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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Black History' Category

Fri, December 6th, 2013
Minority Report: Knowing Mandela Was the Real Deal
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

My oldest son, now an adult, was a toddler when Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years imprisoned on Robben Island. I held my squirming son in my lap as I watched the historic occasion and tried to get him to watch, too. He was bored and distracted; I was stunned and mesmerized. Nelson Mandela […]


Tue, November 5th, 2013
Be Careful Reading Brain Scans–and Books on the Subject
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

I’m as intrigued as anyone with science and technology that seems to open us up to understand the mysteries of our bodies, our brains, our genes. I was listening to an interview recently about the pros and cons of women of Jewish heritage learning about their genetic propensity for breast cancer and, in the funny […]


Mon, October 3rd, 2011
Elizabeth and Hazel Show Unsentimentalized Complexity of Race Relations
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

Like most black Americans of the civil rights generation, I recognize the iconic photograph of Elizabeth Eckford in 1957 as she was taunted and threatened by white hecklers on her first day of school — the first day of school for nine black students at the newly desegregated Little Rock (Arkansas) Central High School. The first […]


Mon, July 18th, 2011
Minority Report: Revisiting Malcolm X in the “post-racial” age
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, is the most stolen book in American libraries, according to an attendee at a recent symposium on Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. That declaration of the popularity of Haley’s book, and the iconic status of the book and its subject, was reportedly based on […]


Tue, May 24th, 2011
Minority Report: Gang Reflections
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

Some fifty years and nearly twenty miles from the site of operation of the notorious Chicago gang the Almighty Black P Stone Nation, nearly sixty people gathered recently to discuss the book of same title that examines the rise and fall of that gang and its leader. The setting was the main library in Oak […]


Tue, February 8th, 2011
Minority Report: Stumbling onto First Black Candidate for US President
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

Nearly a year ago, I was in a public library for a class on online research tools, searching a site for biographies. On a whim I typed in the name George Edwin Taylor. I happened to have the galley of the book, For Labor, Race, and Liberty: George Edwin Taylor, His Historic Run for the White House, […]


Mon, November 1st, 2010
Minority Report: The Great Migration to The Warmth of Other Suns
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

“This is our story,” a friend declared in a recent email to me and  others. By “our history” she meant the history of African Americans living in northern cities throughout the US whose parents or grandparents had migrated from the South (which is to say the overwhelming majority of us). Her declaration was about Isabel […]


Tue, August 31st, 2010
Minority Report: Witnessing the Backlash
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

If I hadn’t read Will Bunch’s The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama, I might have been more mystified by several recent developments. Monday, NBC’s Brian Williams, in an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama, asked for a response to charges that the president is not a native-born […]


Tue, July 27th, 2010
Minority Report: “The New Jim Crow;” Sparking a Social Movement?
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

First day on her job as the director of the Racial Justice Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California,  Michelle Alexander saw a bright yellow poster declaring: “The drug war is the new Jim Crow.” Skeptical, she went on to work. But within ten years she would accept the declaration on that […]


Mon, June 28th, 2010
Minority Report: Writers Grow, So Do Readers
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

I’m not exactly sure when I read Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. It might have been in college as part of a black literature course or after college as “required reading” for any young black person with any level of race consciousness. But I have certainly come to know Ellison more through reading about him, particularly […]





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