E-Reader’s Rack Vol. 4: Weekend Reading Black History Edition

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The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes (based on the novel Someone Knows My Name) will be BET’s first miniseries. The star-studded production includes lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire), and features Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line). Director and co-writer Clement Virgo is a feature film and television director (The Wire) who also serves as producer with executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have).

Price: $9.95

Amazon

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 Gifted Hands 20th Anniversary Edition: The Ben Carson Story

In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Carson gained worldwide recognition for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. Carson pioneered again in a rare procedure known as a hemispherectomy, giving children without hope a second chance at life through a daring operation in which he literally removes one half of their brain.

Such breakthroughs aren’t unusual for Ben Carson. He’s been beating the odds since he was a child.

Raised in inner-city Detroit by a mother with a third grade education, Ben lacked motivation. He had terrible grades. And a pathological temper threatened to put him in jail.

But Sonya Carson convinced her son he could make something of his life, even though everything around him said otherwise. Trust in God, a relentless belief in his own capabilities, and sheer determination catapulted Ben from failing grades to the directorship of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gifted Hands takes you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world—and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician who lives to help others.

Price: $3.99

Amazon

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Twelve Years a Slave: Plus Five American Slave Narratives, Including Life of Frederick Douglass, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Life of Josiah Henson, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Up From Slavery

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE (Plus MUCH more!)

This exciting new release includes the complete text of “Twelve Years a Slave.” Read the amazing story of Solomon Northup before (or after) you see the critically-acclaimed movie of 2013. But this collection doesn’t stop there. It also includes:

* Complete, unabridged texts of the five additional works listed below, all well-known works about slavery in America
* An active table of contents for easy navigation to any book or chapter
* The original illustrations for “Twelve Years a Slave”
* Easy-to-use links to download unabridged audiobooks of four of the works from Librivox
* Well-formatted text with adjustable font and size

Below is a brief introduction to the six included works. (Excerpts from Wikipedia are used in the summaries.)

–Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana —
Author: Solomon Northup (July 1808 – c. 1864-1875)
Published: 1853

“Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northup as told to David Wilson, is a memoir of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped, sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War.”

— Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave —
Author: Frederick Douglass (February 1818 – February 20, 1895)
Published: 1845
Audiobook available from Librivox, link included

“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and ex-slave, Frederick Douglass. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States.”

— The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself —
Author: Josiah Henson (June 15, 1789 – May 5, 1883)
Published: 1849

“The Life of Josiah Henson is a slave narrative written by Josiah Henson, who would later become famous for being the basis of the character of Tom from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. ”

— Uncle Tom’s Cabin —
Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896)
Published: 1852
Audiobook available from Librivox, link included

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe…Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible.”

— Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl —
Author: Harriett Ann Jacobs, under the pen name Linda Brent (February 11, 1813 – March 7, 1897)
Published: 1861
Audiobook available from Librivox, link included

“Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a slave narrative that was published in 1861 by Harriet Ann Jacobs, using the pen name “Linda Brent.” It addresses the struggles and sexual abuse that young women slaves faced on the plantations, and how these struggles were harsher than what men suffered as slaves.”

— Up From Slavery —
Author: Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915)
Published: 1901
Audiobook available from Librivox, link included

“Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his work to rise from the position of a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools.”

Price: $0.99

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A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post–Civil War narratives surviving. A mere handful are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. Now two newly uncovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, join that exclusive group with the publication of A Slave No More, a major new addition to the canon of American history. Handed down through family and friends, these narratives tell gripping stories of escape: Through a combination of intelligence, daring, and sheer luck, the men reached the protection of the occupying Union troops. David W. Blight magnifies the drama and significance by prefacing the narratives with each man’s life history. Using a wealth of genealogical information, Blight has reconstructed their childhoods as sons of white slaveholders, their service as cooks and camp hands during the Civil War, and their climb to black working-class stability in the north, where they reunited their families. In the stories of Turnage and Washington, we find history at its most intimate, portals that offer a rich new answer to the question of how four million people moved from slavery to freedom. In A Slave No More, the untold stories of two ordinary men take their place at the heart of the American experience.

Price $2.99

Amazon

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Roots: The Enhanced Edition: The Saga of an American Family

Roots: The Enhanced Edition features rare interviews with author Alex Haley from the NBC News Archives that took place as the Roots phenomenon unfolded over 30 years ago. There are also photos, footage, and recordings from the Haley family, all of which provide a unique understanding of Alex Haley’s journey researching and writing the book.  In new video interviews NBC’s Tom Brokaw and David Wilson reflect on the story’s lasting impact.

Roots is a groundbreaking story of history and family that spanned continents and touched generations.  One of the most important books and television series ever to appear, Roots galvanized the nation and created an extraordinary political, racial, social and cultural dialogue that hadn’t been seen since the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The book sold over one million copies in the first year, and the miniseries was watched by an astonishing 130 million people. It also won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Roots opened up the minds of Americans of all colors and faiths to one of the darkest and most painful parts of America’s past, and we continue to feel its reverberations today.

Roots: The Enhanced Edition is truly definitive–adding unmatched, sweep, context and insight to this ever-relevant classic.

The Enhanced Edition features:
•    Full text of the book
•    Video introduction and interview with David Wilson
•    New video interview with Tom Brokaw
•    Footage of author Alex Haley provided by the NBC News Archives and the Haley family, including Today Show interviews with Tom Brokaw, Roots-related events in the 1970s, an extended interview about the book, and more  (45 minutes of video)
•    Recordings of Alex Haley speaking about researching and writing the book (30 minutes of audio)
•    10 rare photos from the Haley family
•    Essay by Alex Haley
•    Reading Group Guide
•    Introduction by Michael Eric Dyson
•    Extended biography of Haley

Price: $9.99

OTHER GOOD READS

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