race relations

Black History Month Spotlight: ‘Dreams for Dead Bodies’

by Kasie Pleiness February 4, 2016

Throughout February, the University of Michigan Press will be featuring several titles for Black History Month. In Dreams for Dead Bodies: Blackness, Labor, and the Corpus of American Detective Fiction, M. Michelle Robinson offers new arguments about the origins of detective fiction in the United States, tracing the lineage of the genre back to unexpected texts and uncovering how authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, and Rudolph Fisher made use of the genre’s puzzle-elements to explore the shifting dynamics of race and labor in America. According to Robinson, the narrative elements necessary to any good crime […]

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Black freedom struggles displayed in St. Louis, says story featuring UMP author

by Heather Newman February 25, 2010

In the Sunday February 21st St. Louis Beacon political reporter Jo Mannies writes, “Much is made of the civil-rights movement in northern cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit, or southern cities like Atlanta and Memphis. Clarence Lang, associate professor at the University of Illinois in African-American Studies and history, argues in his new book Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75 that the civil-rights histories in border-state cities like St. Louis offer a clearer window into the nation’s longstanding struggle over race.” Click here to see the full story featuring Lang and […]

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“When I was a young girl” by Susan Messer

by University of Michigan Press July 1, 2009

When I was a young girl, growing up in 1960s Detroit, someone told me, possibly a teacher, that Jews and blacks were minority groups. I remember walking home, turning this idea over in my mind, and thinking that the person who had concocted it must be terribly misinformed, because when I looked around my world, the only people I saw were blacks and Jews. When I told this to a neighbor recently, she said, “You mean there weren’t any  . . . just plain white . . . ?” “No,” I said. “Oh, maybe a few.” Grand River and Joy […]

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