12-07-2016  4:08 pm      •     
McMenamins

When he was 19, Nasir "Nas" Jones began recording what would be one of the most important hip hop albums of all time. The 1994 "Illmatic" is a personal account of life in New York's Queensbridge housing project...


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Wench" by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is startling and original fiction that raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence. An enchanting and unforgettable novel based on little-known fact, Wench combines the narrative allure of Cane River by Lalita Tademy and the moral complexities of Edward P. Jones's "The Known World" as it tells the story of four Black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War...


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How did Christmas come to be more closely associated with consumerism than with spiritualism? What sort of toll does the emotional and financial pressure to buy gifts we can't afford take on today's society? Should it matter that the recipients generally aren't even very appreciative since they tend to get things they neither want nor would ever consider buying for themselves?


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Who even knew that any children of slaves were still alive? A debt of gratitude is owed to Sana Butler for compiling this bittersweet collection of revealing interviews with the offspring of folks freed by the Emancipation Proclamation well over a century ago. What makes this book special is how seamlessly the author contrasts her aging subjects' fading recollections with her own expectations of them and her intimate reflections about being Black and female in present-day America.


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In "Who Will Cry for the Little Girl" author Alexander Lee Barrett follows the life of his own great-great-great-great-great Grandmother, Chaney Rice as she deals with life as a slave on the plantation of one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Greene County, Alabama


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By the time Felicia "Snoop" Pearson was 15, she was serving hard time for a murder she says happened in self-defense. But now, the woman that was born a "three-pound, cross-eyed crack baby in East Baltimore," is famous for starring as a cold-blooded villain on the critically acclaimed HBO series "The Wire."


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Everybody knows Cornel West, the public intellectual, the popular Princeton University Professor and best-selling author who has remained dedicated to the plight of the poor and underprivileged over the course of his illustrious career. Yet few know anything about his private life, or about what has inspired him to remain on such a righteous path and in touch with his roots over the years...


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In author Malik Green's new book, "The Black-print," the former crack addict and veteran spells out a way for wealth, prosperity and respect for African Americans. Despite 50 years or what Green skeptically calls progress, the Black community contuse to face a myriad of obstacles...


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From 1974 to 1983, photographer Todd Gray was allowed near complete access to a young Michael Jackson. As his personal photographer during these years, Gray was able to capture the rising star both on and off stage...

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Dorothy Dandridge was the first Black woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Almost a half century passed before another Black woman -- Halle Berry -- won the award.

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