Black History Month

     In honor of Black History month, the following new titles are recommended. color by Kenneth A. McClane is a collection of essays by Cornell University's W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Literature.  McClane shares more intimate stories and recollections in this new book than ever before.  This inspiring and popular teacher reveals the pain and the cruelties of his Harlem childhood along with the joys and privileges of life as the son of a doctor and a pharmacist. His account of serving as an alternae juror is humorous and thoughtful. He reflects on affirmative action as it affects his students. McClane's essays are moving and poignant.
    Barack and Michelle: portrait of an American marriage by Christopher Andersen shares their beginnings, their love story, and their turbulent marital moments, including the serious illness of Sasha as a baby. Those who have wondered about the shadowy father and stepfather in our president's life need wonder no longer. School days, friends, early political life, it's all here.
    An unusual new book is Nelson Mandela: the authorized comic book by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Umlando Wezithombe. This large paperback recounts in detail the long fight and imprisonment of Mandela, in full-color, from childhood to presidency and beyond.
    In a look back, Booker T. Washington: black leadership in the age of Jim Crow by Raymond W. Smock profiles the environment and events along with the renowned leader. Smock has studied Washington for more than twenty years, and his narrative excels in every way and is a great choice with its concise and engaging style.     
    Role of a lifetime: reflections on faith, family, and significant living by James Brown (with Nathan Whitaker) is an inspirational work by the celebrity sports commentator. This easy read has some great stories mixed well with nuggets of life lessons.  Along the way, Brown's upbeat outlook and humorous observations keep your interest and maintain a nice pace.