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Research Guides

HIST481: Global Black Activism in the 20th Century-Dr. Takkara Brunson-Fall 2021


This guide will introduce you to some of the best library and web resources related to this course. If you have suggestions for how to improve this guide please contact Rebecca Hankins.  Please feel free to leave your comments and additions. Enjoy!

Books of Interest

Jah Kingdom

From its beginnings in 1930s Jamaica, the Rastafarian movement has become a global presence. While the existing studies of the Rastafarian movement have primarily focused on its cultural expression through reggae music, art, and iconography, Monique A. Bedasse argues that repatriation to Africa represents the most important vehicle of Rastafari's international growth. 

Freedom Dreams

From Paul Robeson to Aime Cesaire to Jayne Cortez, Kelley unearths freedom dreams in African and Third World liberation movements, in the hope that Communism offered, in the imaginative mindscapes of Surrealism, in the transformative potential of radical feminism, and in the four-hundred-year-old dream of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. 

Forging Diaspora

In Forging Diaspora, Frank Andre Guridy shows that the cross-national relationships nurtured by Afro-Cubans and black Americans helped to shape the political strategies of both groups as they attempted to overcome a shared history of oppression and enslavement. 

Liberated Threads

In this thought-provoking book, Tanisha C. Ford explores how and why black women in places as far-flung as New York City, Atlanta, London, and Johannesburg incorporated style and beauty culture into their activism. Focusing on the emergence of the "soul style" movement--represented in clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and more--Liberated Threads shows that black women's fashion choices became galvanizing symbols of gender and political liberation. 

Black Cultural Traffic

"Black Cultural Traffic is nothing less than our generation's manifesto on black performance and popular culture. With a distinguished roster of contributors and topics ranging across academic disciplines and the arts (including commentary on film, music, literature, theater, television, and visual cultures), this volume is not only required reading for scholars serious about the various dimensions of black performance, it is also a timely and necessary teaching tool. 

Carnival: Culture in Action

This beautifully illustrated volume features work by leading writers and experts on carnival from around the world, and includes two stunning photo essays by acclaimed photographers Pablo Delano and Jeffrey Chock.

Cultural Theory and Popular Culture

This extensively revised and updated fifth edition of Storey's market-leading textbook provides an engaging, clear and coherent introduction to cultural theory. Popular culture is used to critically examine the theories and main approaches of cultural theory, and ensures that the accessible approach of previous editions is retained.

Globalization and Survival in the Black Diaspora

Links the plight of contemporary urban dwellers of African descent across North America, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa, examines their coping strategies, and advocates social policies sensitive to their cultural and societal differences.

Readings in African Popular Culture

An impressive collection of inspiring and thought-provoking essays." --Media Development "This is a book that should find its way into many syllabuses and onto the bookshelves of Africanist scholars in many disciplines. This book surveys the popular culture of contemporary Africa, including popular literature, oral narrative and poetry, dance, drama, music, and visual art, with special emphasis on the verbal arts. The essays cover six main areas: views of the field; oral tradition revisited; social history, social criticism and interpretation; women in popular culture; "little genres of everyday life"; the local and the global.

Questions of Cultural Identity

Questions of Cultural Identity offers a wide-ranging exploration of this issue. Stuart Hall firstly outlines the reasons why the question of identity is so compelling and yet so problematic. The cast of outstanding contributors then interrogate different dimensions of the crisis of identity; in so doing, they provide both theoretical and substantive insights into different approaches to understanding identity.

Spiritual Citizenship

In Spiritual Citizenship N. Fadeke Castor employs the titular concept to illuminate how Orisha practices informed by Yoruba cosmology shape local, national, and transnational belonging in African diasporic communities in Trinidad and beyond. Drawing on almost two decades of fieldwork in Trinidad, Castor outlines how the political activism and social upheaval of the 1970s set the stage for African diasporic religions to enter mainstream Trinidadian society.

The Judith Butler Reader

The Judith Butler Reader is a collection of writings that span her impressive career and trace her intellectual history. Judith Butler, author of influential books such as Gender Trouble, has built her international reputation as a theorist of power, gender, sexuality and identity Organized in active collaboration between Judith Butler and Sara Salih Collects together writings that span Butler's impressive career as a critical philosopher, including selections from both well-known and lesser-known works Includes an introduction and editorial material to assist students in their readings of theories that stand at the forefront of contemporary theoretical and political debates

Black Brazil

Black Brazil: Culture, Identity, and Social Mobilization provides, in a single volume, what most learned associations aspire to produce after a major conference. And a conference it was: held at the University of Florida, Gainesville, in April 1993, on the same theme, it brought together a mix of scholars, activists, and artists from across the Atlantic. UCLA Latin American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero

This book reconsiders the poetry activism of Jayne Cortez and Adrienne Rich side-by-side, engaging poetics theory, cultural studies, and popular media in its literary analyses.