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Discover Black History

February is National Black History Month, and related titles from Kent State University Press include a wide variety of books, covering topics as disparate as civil war soldiers, the 1972 Olympics, or poetry and photography, are available in both print and ebook formats.

Discover black history and learn more about important aspects of our shared history.

Disqualified

and | Filed under: Award Winners, Black Squirrel Books, Discover Black History, Sports
Disqualified. Eddie Hart and Dave Newhouse Cover

Having previously tied the world record, Eddie Hart was a strong favorite to win the 100-meter dash at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. en the inexplicable happened: he was disqualified after arriving seconds late for a quarterfinal heat. Ten years of training to become the “World’s Fastest Human,” the title attached to an Olympic 100-meter champion, was lost in a heartbeat. But who was to blame?

 


For Their Own Cause

| Filed under: American History, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Discover Black History, Understanding Civil War History
For Their Own Cause by Kelly Mezurek. Kent State University Press

The 27th United States Colored Troops (USCT), composed largely of free black Ohio men, served in the Union army from April 1864 to September 1865 in Virginia and North Carolina. It was the first time most members of the unit had traveled so far from home. The men faced daily battles against racism and against inferior treatment, training, and supplies. They suffered from the physical difficulties of military life, the horrors of warfare, and homesickness and worried about loved ones left at home without financial support. Yet their contributions provided a tool that allowed blacks with little military experience, and their families, to demand social acceptance and acknowledgment of their citizenship.

 


Democracy and the American Civil War

and | Filed under: African American Studies, American History, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, Symposia on Democracy, Understanding Civil War History
Adams and Hudson Cover

In 1865, after four tumultuous years of fighting, Americans welcomed the opportunity to return to a life of normalcy. President Abraham Lincoln issued his emancipation decree in January 1863 and had set the stage for what he hoped would be a smooth transition from war to peace with the announcement of his reconstruction program in December 1863 and with his call of “malice toward none and charity for all” in his Second Inaugural Address in March 1865. Lincoln’s dream of completing the process of reconstructing the nation was cut short just one month later by the hand of an assassin.

 


Interpreting American History: Reconstruction

| Filed under: Discover Black History, Interpreting American History, U.S. History, Understanding Civil War History
Smith cover

Writing in 1935 in his brilliant and brooding Black Reconstruction, W. E. B. Du Bois lamented America’s post–Civil War era as a missed opportunity to reconstruct the war-torn nation in deed as well as in word. “If the Reconstruction of the Southern states, from slavery to free labor, and from aristocracy to industrial democracy, had been conceived as a major national program of America, whose accomplishment at any price was well worth the effort,” wrote Du Bois, “we should be living today in a different world.”

 


African Canadians in Union Blue

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Award Winners, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, Military History, Understanding Civil War History
Reid Cover

When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he also authorized the U.S. Army to recruit black soldiers for the war effort. Nearly 200,000 men answered the call, and several thousand of them came from Canada. What compelled these men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to fight in a foreign war? In African Canadians in Union Blue, Richard M. Reid sets out in search of an answer and discovers a group of men whose courage and contributions open a window on the changing understanding of the American Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted and were torn asunder.

 


To Plead Our Own Cause

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, History
Cameron_Plead-hr

The antislavery movement entered an important new phase when William Lloyd Garrison began publishing the Liberator in 1831—a phase marked by massive petition campaigns, the extraordinary mobilization of female activists, and the creation of organizations such as the American Anti-Slavery Society. While the period from 1831 to 1865 is known as the heyday of radical abolitionism, the work of Garrison’s predecessors in Massachusetts was critical in laying the foundation for antebellum abolitionism. To Plead Our Own Cause explores the significant contributions of African Americans in the Bay State to both local and nationwide antislavery activity before 1831 and demonstrates that their efforts represent nothing less than the beginning of organized abolitionist activity in America.

 


Denmark Vesey’s Revolt

and | Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Discover Black History, History
Lofton cover

In 1822, Denmark Vesey was found guilty of plotting an insurrection—what would have been the biggest slave uprising in U.S. history. In Denmark Vesey’s Revolt, John Lofton draws upon primary sources to examine the trial and provide, as Peter Hoffer says in his new introduction, “one of the most sensible and measured” accounts of the subject. This classic book was originally published in 1964 as Insurrection in South Carolina: The Turbulent World of Denmark Vesey, and then reissued by the Kent State University Press in 1983 as Denmark Vesey’s Revolt: The Slave Plot That Lit a Fuse to Fort Sumter.

 


Race and Recruitment

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War History Readers, Discover Black History, History, Understanding Civil War History
Smith_Race-hr

“Race and Recruitment pulls readers right into the middle of the most important scholarly conversations about race, slavery, and the Civil War that have taken place over the last half century. Each of these sixteen essays has stood the test of time, asking the big questions and offering the answers that have forever changed the way historians talk about the middle of the nineteenth century.

 


Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole

and | Filed under: Discover Black History, History, Photography, Regional Interest
Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole by Black & Williams. Kent State University Press

During the Great Depression, photographer Allen Eugene Cole posted a sign in front of his studio in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood: Somebody, Somewhere, Wants Your Photograph. An entrepreneurial businessman with a keen ability to market his images of Cleveland’s black experience, Cole was deeply immersed in civic life.

 


An Integrated Boyhood

| Filed under: Autobiography & Memoirs, Discover Black History, Voices of Diversity
BeFunky_Richards

In An Integrated Boyhood, Richards candidly describes how this exemplary middle-class Cleveland sojourn left him hopelessly confused and dislocated at the very moment of his parents’ triumph. His narrative of success provides the background to a more private turmoil: Richards’s struggle to read the shifting meanings of his privileged experience amid the city’s shifting racial lines, the fringe on the Left, the tumult of rising black consciousness, and the fears of nervous white suburban neighbors. This coming-of-age story sings the undersong of an older generation’s hard-won success. Like all black Clevelanders, Richards was forced to struggle for his understanding of the city’s—and his own—endless racial confusion in the midst of frightening historical change. It is this reality that recurs throughout Richards’s memoir: the early encounters of a scared, bookish African American boy from Mt. Pleasant with what can only be described as the real world.

 



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