How Girls Achieve
Sally A. Nuamah
Harvard Univ. Press, HC, $23.95, 216 pages
If we want girls to succeed, we need to teach them the audacity to transgress. Through the lives of students at three very different schools, an award-winning scholar-activist makes the case for “feminist schools” that orient girls toward a lifetime of achievement.
This necessary book points out a simple and overlooked truth: most schools never had girls in mind to begin with. That is why the world needs what Sally Nuamah calls “feminist schools,” deliberately designed to provide girls with achievement-oriented identities. And she shows how these schools would help all students, regardless of their gender. Educated women raise healthier families, build stronger communities, and generate economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Yet millions of disadvantaged girls never make it to school — and too many others drop out or fail. Upending decades of advice and billions of dollars in aid, Nuamah argues that this happens because so many challenges girls confront — from sexual abuse to unequal access to materials and opportunities — go unaddressed. But it isn’t enough just to go to school. What you learn there has to prepare you for the world where you’ll put that knowledge to work.
A compelling and inspiring scholar who has founded a nonprofit to test her ideas, Nuamah reveals that developing resilience is not a gender-neutral undertaking. Preaching grit doesn’t help girls; it actively harms them. Drawing on her deep immersion in classrooms in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, Nuamah calls for a new approach: creating feminist schools that will actively teach girls how and when to challenge society’s norms, and allow them to carve out their own paths to success.
"I" New and Selected Poems
University of Pittsburgh Press, $29.95,320 pages
"How do you gain access to the
power of parts of yourself you
abhor, and make them sing
with beauty, tenderness, and compassion?"
The story of Toi Derricotte is a hero’s odyssey. It is the journey of a poetic voice that in each book earns her way to home, to her own commanding powers. “I”: New and Selected Poems shows the reader both the closeness of the enemy and the poet’s inherent courage, inventiveness, and joy. It is a record of one woman’s response to the repressive and fracturing forces around the subjects of race, class, color, gender, and sexuality. Each poem is an act of victory, finding a path through repressive forces to speak with both beauty and truth. This collection features more than thirty new poems as well as selections from five of Derricotte’s previously published books of poetry.
“The new poems in Toi Derricotte’s collection ‘I’ reveal that she has entered an entirely new sphere as a poet, in which the struggles fall away and the spirits take her hands and float her forward. After years of wrestling with her demons, Derricotte has awakened--enlightened, serene, truth coming to her, through her, so casually. She has earned this grace with all her hard work, suffering and love.” - Alicia Suskin Ostriker
THEY ALL FALL DOWN
Rachel Howzell Hall
Forge Books, HC, $26.99, 320 pages
It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico with six other strangers. Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is soon shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses — and all seven strangers harbor a secret. Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keep the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents stir suspicions, as one by one . . . they all fall down.
Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism
Jelani M. Favors
The University of North Carolina Press, HC, $29.95, 368 pages
For generations, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been essential institutions for the African American community. Their nurturing environments not only provided educational advancement but also catalyzed the Black freedom struggle, forever altering the political destiny of the United States. In this book, Jelani M. Favors offers a history of HBCUs from the 1837 founding of Cheyney State University to the present, told through the lens of how they fostered student activism.
Favors chronicles the development and significance of HBCUs through stories from institutions such as Cheyney State University, Tougaloo College, Bennett College, Alabama State University, Jackson State University, Southern University, and North Carolina A&T. He demonstrates how HBCUs became a refuge during the oppression of the Jim Crow era and illustrates the central role their campus communities played during the civil rights and Black Power movements. Throughout this definitive history of how HBCUs became a vital seedbed for politicians, community leaders, reformers, and activists, Favors emphasizes what he calls an unwritten "second curriculum" at HBCUs, one that offered students a grounding in idealism, racial consciousness, and cultural nationalism.