Posts filed under ‘African and African American’
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s Communication Award for Best Book
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Wellcome Trust Book Prize
Named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010, including: Best Book of the Year at: O, The Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bookmarks Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly, East Bay Express, and Kansas City Star, A Discover Magazine 2010 Must Read, National Public Radio, Best of the Bestsellers
In 1951, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks, stricken with cervical cancer, became an involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were propagated by scientist George Otto Gey to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These cells are now known worldwide as HeLa. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot brilliantly weaves together the Lacks’s story–past and present–with the story of the birth of bioethics, the story of HeLa cells, and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans. Important, powerful, and compassionate, this is a remarkable work of science and social journalism. (more…)
Below is a note from, Kimberly A. Huisman, one of the co-editors of the new book Somalis in Maine.
Somalis are among those refugees who have witnessed many horrors and suffered great losses. Despite their relatively small numbers as refugees and immigrants, Somalis have attracted media attention nearly everywhere the global diaspora has taken them. Many of these media stories about Somalia are replete with images of starving women and children, the violence of the civil war, the lawlessness of piracy off the Somali coast, and alleged links to al-Qaeda. The media reports about Somali immigrants to North America have centered on social problems involving race, religion, and economic tensions in cities, schools, and work settings. Lewiston, Maine, for example, was a site of national and international media attention in 2002 when the mayor of Lewiston published a letter in the local newspaper asking Somalis to please stop moving to Maine. These powerful and monolithic portrayals of Somalis—as either victims or social problems—have left little room in our public imagination for more nuanced narratives about the lives and experiences of Somali immigrants.
The phenomenal story behind a woman named Henrietta Lacks, or better known as HeLa by scientists worldwide, is grabbing the attention of teachers and students alike.
Henrietta was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.
In the following video clip, author Rebecca Skloot shares her inspiration for writing the book and how one woman’s life changed the world and came to be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Author website: www.rebeccaskloot.com
To read an excerpt, click here
Recommended for Course Adoption: Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama’s Speeches, from the State House to the White House, by Two Political Insiders
Professors: Be one of the first to assign Power in Words for your course. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free copy. Mention that you saw it at “Make Me Required Reading.”
“In the long sweep of history, readers will be able to refer to this work to better understand and appreciate the power of words of our forty-fourth president of the United States.”–Dana Perino, former White House press secretary
In his foreword, Ted Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy, suggests that President Obama’s campaign speeches place him with the oratorical greats, “the first indication that he would rank with Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy.” In Power in Words, political insiders Mary Frances Berry and Josh Gottheimer introduce Obama’s most memorable speeches, from his October 2002 speech against the war in Iraq and his November 2008 election-night victory speech to “A More Perfect Union,” his March 2008 response to the Reverend Wright controversy, and lesser-known but revealing speeches, such as one given in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2006. Berry and Gottheimer include a rich introduction to every speech that features political analysis and provides insight and historical context. Power in Words includes commentary from Jon Favreau, Obama’s chief speechwriter, as well as former presidential speechwriters such as Michael Waldman (Bill Clinton) and Michael Gerson (George W. Bush). (more…)
This Just In: Oakland Community College Adopts Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains for Its Fall Course
By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, this book, now in paperback, recounts the story of Deo, a young man from war-torn Burundi, who endures homelessness before pursuing an education at Columbia University and going on to medical school.
“A tale of ethnocide, exile and healing by a master of narrative nonfiction. . . . Terrifying at turns, but tremendously inspiring. . . . a key document in the growing literature devoted to postgenocidal justice.” —Kirkus Reviews
Strength in What Remains has been selected for course reading at Oakland Community Collge, Flagler University, and other colleges. It has also been selected for Common Reading at Caldwell College, Penn State Berks, Stanford University, and University of Delaware.
Free Copy Offer to Educators: Be the First to Adopt The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes by John Prendergast with Don Cheadle
In their New York Times bestseller, Not On Our Watch, human rights activist John Prendergast and Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle focused the world’s attention on genocide in Sudan by offering readers strategies on how to take action to end the tragedies. Here now is their continued call to action: The Enough Moment : Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes, an empowering look at how people’s movements and inspired policies can stop genocide, child soldier recruitment, and rape as a war weapon in Africa.
In The Enough Moment , Prendergast and Cheadle explain how hope, anger, citizen activism, social networking, compassion, celebrities, faith in action, and globalization are all coming together to produce the beginnings of a mass movement against human rights crimes.
As Prendergast and Cheadle describe, an “Enough Moment” is defined as that time when outrage triggers action and bystanders become “Upstanders,” or people who take action on behalf of others. But can ordinary citizens turn their Enough Moments into instruments of meaningful change? Prendergast and Cheadle say “yes,” illustrating with such examples: (more…)
From the author of the highly praised Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, here is the first analysis of the crisis in Darfur that considers the events of the last few years within the broad context of the history of Sudan, as well as examines the efficacy of the world’s response to the crisis. Incisive and authoritative, Saviors and Survivors will radically alter our understanding of the crisis in Darfur.
“An incisive and challenging analysis. Framing both Darfur’s war and the ‘Save Darfur’ movement within the paradigm of the West’s historic colonial encounter with Africa, Mahmood Mamdani challenges the reader to reconsider whether Darfur’s crisis is ‘genocide’ warranting foreign military intervention.”—Alex de Waal, Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and author of War in Darfur (more…)