Gustavus Myers Anti-Bigotry* Book Awards
The books below received recognition as the outstanding books of the year 2005 by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston Massachusetts, 02115, 617/521-2171, email@example.com.
The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History in Atlanta was the site for the December 8, 2005 Awards. The Greater Atlanta human rights community joined as well in co-sponsoring a lively dialogue spotlighting the various books.
Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart, by Liza Featherstone. Basic Books, 2004. The voices of working class women illustrate how the largest corporate discount retailer, and largest private US employer, exploits its workers. The author tells the story of the pending class action suit.
The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons, by Abraham Ignacio, Enrique de la Cruz, Jorge Emmanuel, and Helen Toribio. T'Boli Publishing, 2004. Mainstream cartoons carried the story a century ago of the intertwining of racism and empire-building in the aftermath of the Spanish-American war. This history has much relevance to the continuing story of "America as world leader."
Let's Talk About Race, by Julius Lester and Karen Barbour (illustrator). HarperCollins Children's Books, 2005. This vibrantly illustrated book is an engaging invitation for children to discover for themselves that people, beneath their skin, are all the same.
Beyond Diversity Day: A Q&A on Gay and Lesbian Issues in School, by Arthur Lipkin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Longtime teacher/curriculum developer offers practical insights and in-depth strategies to help us all better protect the dignity and worth of youth of all sexualities - all our youth.
Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, by James Loewen. New Press, 2005. A powerful, cutting-edge indictment of white notions of supremacy in the historic and purposeful expulsion of African Americans and other people of color from towns and counties across the country, particularly in the 1890s-1930s.
Homeland, by Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson. Seven Stories Press 2004. Through photos and words, the reader feels the post-September 11, 2001 pulse of the country: the outrage, the climate of fear, the grassroots hope for transformation.
John Brown Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, by David S. Reynolds. Knopf, 2005. Compelling cultural biography of life, context and controversial impact of John Brown's activism and actions. Reynolds argues that Brown's place in history stems from responses following his execution.
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion Books Young Adult Fiction, 2004. This novel for teens fictionalizes a true series of events in Phippsburg and Malaga Island, Maine where the two main characters resiliently attempt to block the expulsion by whites of African Americans and their allies.
Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, Elena R. Gutierrez. South End Press, 2004. The authors tell how progressive women of color lucidly demonstrate the spiritual and organic nature of reproductive justice.
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith. South End Press, 2005. Analysis linking sexual violence in various forms to state colonial oppression of people of color and the genocide of native peoples. Smith addresses the intrinsically related issues of colonial appropriation of land and bodies/property.
A list of Honorable Mention Awardees is available at www.myerscenter.org.
* The print edition of the magazine carried the inaccurate headline, "Gustavus Myers Anti-Racist Book Awards" and referred to the awards as "anti-racist" in the byline. Loretta Williams of the Myers Center reminded us that the Gustavus Myers Center is proudly anti-racist, but the purview of the organization, and the awards, involves work against the inter-sectionality of oppression, not racism alone. Sam Diener, Peacework co-editor, apologizes for making this error.