Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Spring 2013: Good Reads From The University Presses

The Jazz Life Of Dr. Billy Taylor
Dr. Billy Taylor with Teresa L. Reed

Distribution: World
Publication Date: 3/28/2013, 256pp
Indiana University Press

Legendary jazz ambassador Dr. Billy Taylor's autobiography spans more than six decades, from the heyday of jazz on 52nd Street in 1940s New York City to CBS Sunday Morning. Taylor fought not only for the recognition of jazz music as "America's classical music" but also for the recognition of black musicians as key contributors to the American music repertoire. Peppered with anecdotes recalling encounters with other jazz legends such as Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and many others, The Jazz Life of Dr. Billy Taylor is not only the life story of a jazz musician and spokesman but also a commentary on racism and jazz as a social force.



Child to Soldier: Stories from Joseph Kony's Lords Resistance Army
By Opiyo Oloya

Publication Date: 3/13/2013
University of Toronto

What happens when children are forced to become child soldiers? How are they transformed from children to combatants? In Child to Soldier, Opiyo Oloya addresses these timely, troubling questions by exploring how Acholi children in Northern Uganda, abducted by infamous warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), become soldiers.Oloya – himself an Acholi, a refugee from Idi Amin’s rule of Uganda, and a high ranking figure in Canadian education – is a scholar who challenges conventional thinking on child-inducted soldiers by illustrating the familial loyalty that develops within a child’s new surroundings in the bush. Based on interviews with former child combatants, this book provides a cultural context for understanding the process of socializing children into violence. Oloya details how Kony and the LRA exploit and pervert Acholi cultural heritage and pride to control and direct the children in war.Child to Soldier is also ground-breaking in its emphasis on the tragic fact that child-inducted soldiers do not remain children forever, but become adults who remain sharply scarred by their introduction into combat at a young age. Given the constant struggle in courts in deciding whether former child-inducted soldiers should be pardoned or prosecuted for their activities and conduct, Oloya’s eye-opening book will have a major impact.



Free Radicals: Ernest Chambers, Black Power and the Politics of Race
Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson
Texas Tech

Amid the deadly racial violence of the 1960s, an unassuming student from a fundamentalist Christian home in Omaha emerged as a leader and nationally recognized black activist. Ernest Chambers, elected to the Nebraska State Legislature in 1970, eventually became one of the most powerful legislators the state has ever known. As Chambers bids for reelection in 2012 to the office he held for thirty-eight years, Omaha native Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson illuminates his embattled career as a fiercely independent defender of the downtrodden.Tracing the growth of the Black Power Movement in Nebraska and throughout the U.S., Johnson discovers its unprecedented emphasis on electoral politics. For the first time since Reconstruction, voters catapulted hundreds of African American community leaders into state and national political arenas. Special-interest groups and political machines would curb the success of aspiring African American politicians, just as urban renewal would erode their geographical and political bases, compelling the majority to join the Democratic or Republican parties. Chambers was one of few not to capitulate.In her revealing study of one man and those he represented, Johnson portrays one intellectual’s struggle alongside other African Americans to actualize their latent political power.
Post a Comment