African American women

The Tradition Masters by Odetta

The Tradition Masters by Odetta

Being dubbed "The Queen of Folk" is no small feat. Having Martin Luther King, Jr. give you that title is something else entirely. That is how strongly affecting the music of folk pioneer Odetta is.

The Tradition Masters is a collection of Odetta's most invigorating traditional songs. Born in Birmingham in 1930, Odetta Holmes helped to embody both the Civil Rights and the Folk Revival movements of the 1950's and 60's. One could say that she was in the right place at the right time, but that would fail to credit her heart-stopping talent as a musician and vocalist.

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

By Condoleezza Rice

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Rice shares her unique perspective on the most consequential political, diplomatic, and security issues of the administration. In her own words, she describes the harrowing terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and chronicles her experience of appearing before the 9/11 Commission, for which she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness. She also reveals new details about the contentious debates in the lead-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

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"Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in--even when it feels like no one is listening."
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Fight on! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration

By Dennis Brindell Fradin & Judith Bloom Fradin

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Profiles the first black Washington, D.C. Board of Education member, who helped to found the NAACP and organized of pickets and boycotts that led to the 1953 Supreme Court decision to integrate D.C. area restaurants.

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Yours For Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist

By Philip Dray

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"Journalist Ida B. Wells, a tireless crusader for justice and civil rights, faced her greatest challenge when she confronted the heinous practice of lynching. In 1863, when Ida B. Wells was not yet two years old, the Emancipation Proclamation freed her from the bond of slavery. For her family and others like them, it was a time of renewed faith in America's promise of 'freedom and justice for all.' Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in this promise, young Ida never turned away from the challenges she faced. She insisted on holding her family together after the death of her parents. She defied convention and went to court when a railroad company infringed on her rights. And she used her position as a journalist to speak out about injustice. But Ida's greatest challenge arose after one of her friends was lynched. How could one headstrong young woman help free America from the 'shadow of lawlessness' that loomed over the country?"
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Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley & Mary Todd Lincoln

By Lynda Jones

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In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination. How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women.
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Angels Along the Way: My Life with Help from Above

By Della Reese with Franklin Lett and Mim Eichler

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"The inspiring autobiography of the beloved singer, actor, and star of the hit television series Touched by an Angel....the story of a remarkable woman whose life has been filled with surprises. Born in the Detroit slums, Deloreese Patricia Early landed her first professional tour at thirteen, singing backup for Mahalia Jackson. By 1953 she was in New York with a recording contract, racking up hits including "In the Still of the Night" and "Don't You Know." The first woman to host The Tonight Show, Della also became the first black woman to host her own nationally syndicated television talk show. Through it all, Della has dealt with personal tragedy, such as the early death of her mother, which caused her to leave college in order to take care of her father. One night, while performing on The Tonight Show, Della suffered a potentially fatal aneurysm. When her doctor told her she had just days to live, she found a new surgeon, who trusted in the Almighty as she did. In 1983, Della's 'partner' above inspired her to become a minister. She has served ever since as the chief leader of a ministry she founded in a Los Angeles community, preaching to a standing-room-only crowd every Sunday. Here is the powerful story of a woman who is quick to credit the many miracles in her life to human 'angels,' as well as her 'partner' above."

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Rosa Parks

By Douglas Brinkley

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Read this short, concise biography to learn about the woman behind the myth. Far from being a tired seamstress, Rosa Parks was a bright and inquisitive woman, willing to risk everything for what she believed. The book chronicles her disappointments and disillusionment as well as her essential strength.

Also available on audio.

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On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

By A'Lelia Bundles

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The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, and widowed at 20. On Her Own Ground is a comprehensive biography of an unusual entrepreneur and philanthropist. Contains personal letters, records, and rare photographs from the family collection.

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A Kind of Grace: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Female Athlete

By Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee

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A three-time Olympic gold medalist in the multi-event heptathlon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is recognized as one of the world's best female athletes. This autobiography tells of her youth in impoverished East St. Louis, Illinois, her fledgling athletic endeavors in high school, her collegiate years at UCLA, and her 12-year career as a world-class heptathlete and long jumper. Jackie recounts her courtship and marriage to her collegiate coach, Bob Kersee, and her struggle to recognize her asthma, making the adjustments that would permit her to continue competing.

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