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AUDIOBOOK TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS:
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Nat Turner Cover artAmerica’s Black Spartacus Remembered:
THE CONFESSIONS OF NAT TURNER

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2 CDs, 1:30 hours
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-4-8

read by multiple readers.
In the late summer of 1831, Nat Turner, a slave, led area slaves in rebellion in the countryside outside of Jerusalem, Virginia. Nearly 150 blacks, most of whom knew nothing of Turner’s revolt, lost their lives, and 60 whites also were killed. Turner believed that God directed his attacks, while many of his opponents viewed him to be a “deluded fanatic.” The mystical Turner confession is presented here in its entirety. Actual words of his sentencing judge also are repeated here, as are headlines and brief parts of area newspapers that detail the progress of the rebellion. An Afterthought written by William L. Andrews, co-editor of the Oxford Companion to African-American Literature is presented. Legendary ODETTA sings, “No Mo’ Auction Block for Me” and “Can’t No Grave Hold my Body Down.”


Solomon Northup cd coverAn AMERICAN STORY:
THE ODYSSEY OF SOLOMON NORTHUP
by Solomon Northup

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5 CDs, 6 hours
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-8-6

read by Allen Gilmore.
Northup, a free black New Yorker, was enticed to go to Washington DC to play his violin in the stage show headlined by the congenial Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. There, Northup was drugged and awoke in William’s Slave Pen and his name had been changed to “Platt.” He was shipped to the slave market in New Orleans and sold there. Platt ended up working in the fields of a southern Louisiana Parish. The horrors of Platt’s life as a slave are detailed. He also tells the emotionally wrenching story of Patsy, a remarkable female slave. In unusual circumstances, Platt was freed. As Northup, he sued the men who had forced him into slavery.


x-colored man cd coverTHE AUTOBIOGRAPHY
OF AN EX-COLORED MAN
by James Weldon Johnson

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3 CDs, 3 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-1-7

read by Allen Gilmore
Ragtime music flavors the episodic adventures of the nameless narrator of this classic story which takes place during the “gaslight” era, as his crisis of racial identity deepens. His adventures carry him from a precocious childhood in Connecticut to painful yet eye-opening disappointment in Atlanta; on the coming-of-age experiences among colorful Cuban exiles in Florida; then north to the fast seductive and dangerous night life of New York’s Tenderloin district from which he barely escapes. Later, in America’s south, the awful terror of witnessing a burning at-the-stake lynching draws him across the “color-line” to the white world and a troubled but secure existence.

 

marrow of tradition cdTHE MARROW OF TRADITION
by Charles Chesnutt

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3 CDs, 3:30 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-3-1

read by Michael Collins
Using the Wilmington, NC riot in 1889 as his model, Chesnutt artfully explores the conflict between those ex-confederates who sought to recover power from the “fusionist” black and white office holders, near the end of Reconstruction. Interesting and complex subplots abound, peopled by colorful characters of both races, who are subjected to colliding emotions energized by race, love and greed.

 

kwanzaa cd coverALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO CELEBRATE KWANZAA:
A Step-by-Step Guide for Families
by R.S. Rodgers

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1 CD, 1:30 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-7-9

read by Warren Hazlitt, LaDonna Mabry and Claudie Mabry
Hear a family discussing Kwanzaa’s meaning, what its symbols represent and what is to occur on various days during Kwanzaa’s celebration. This is a guide for would-be Kwanzaa celebrants.

 

Elizabeth Keckley cd coverBEHIND THE SCENES
by Elizabeth Keckley

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3 CDs, 3 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9836330-0-6

read by Ameria Jones
“Is there no one, Mrs. Lincoln that you desire to have with you in this terrible affliction?” “Yes, send for Elizabeth Keckley.” In Behind the Scenes, Elizabeth Keckley tells how she gained her freedom from slavery and of her remarkable friendship with Mary Todd Lincoln for whom she worked as a seamstress in the Lincoln White House. Of this account, Nikki Giovanni wrote: “What a joy to uncover a diamond—a precious memory of times past and present. Mrs. Keckley’s memories add yet one more important piece to the Africa-America quilt of life which is here to not only keep us warm but to enlighten us.”

 

prayers for dark people cd coverPRAYERS FOR DARK PEOPLE
by W.E.B. DuBois

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2 CDs, 1:30 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-9-3

read by Ameria Jones
The values espoused in these prescriptions for daily living are universal in their appeal across race, nationality, and creed and stand as ethical guides to the well-lived life. As we hear the Prayers, we come to realize that these moral admonitions easily could have been titled Prayers for All People. An introduction provides interesting insight into DuBois’ tenure at Wilberforce College, then at Atlanta University and how the Prayers came to be.


caged bird cd cover I KNOW WHAT THE CAGED BIRD FEELS:
The Best Loved Poems of
Paul Laurence Dunbar

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1 CD, 1:30 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-6-2

read by Ameria Jones
This collection of more than 30 of Dunbar’s poems reminds us why Dunbar was celebrated as “Black America’s Poet Laureate” and introduces yet another generation to his poems’ wit, charm, their power to inspire and to their profound insight into the human condition. James Weldon Johnson put it best; “Dunbar took the humble speech of his people and in it wrought music.”


OBlack Bards Poems cd coverO’BLACK AND UNKNOWN BARDS
AND OTHER POEMS
by James Weldon Johnson

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2 CDs, 1:20 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9836330-1-3

read by Michael Collins, Anne Mitchell and Michelle Lyons.
Hooray for the great title (and subtitle), which intrigues and informs as it introduces works by James Weldon Johnson, originally published as FIFTY YEARS AND OTHER POEMS. Michael Collins masterfully reads 32 of Johnson’s powerful poems (including some in dialect), and 33 other of his poems are interpreted by Anne Mitchell and Michelle Lyons. Kudos for the wonderfully accessible title directory on the back cover, which lists each poem’s length and reader. These two CDs are a rare and wonderful treasure, guaranteed to be listened to again and again because of the superior performances, which reach out and grab the listener. L.C. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC 05/ JAN 06]


Souls of Black Folk cd coverTHE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK
by W.E.B. DuBois

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8 CDs, 9 hours
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-5-5

read by Allen Gilmore
Great progress towards the world DuBois envisioned has been made since his publication of Souls. Yet, issues taken up by Souls remain relevant, certainly as historical markers, informal, non-statistical measures of where African-Americans and the nation were then compared to their existence now. Souls is an American Classic and belongs in every public library. This audio book, like the printed version, should find its way as a classic in all libraries.


Incidents Slave Girl CD coverINCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
by Linda Brent

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8 CDs, 10 hrs
ISBN# 978-0-9742088-2-4

read by Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Fowler reads the Introduction, Amy Post reads the letter and song by Odetta
“Incidents” is a narrative account written by Harriet Jacobs under the pseudonym “Linda Brent.” In 1835, in response to her master’s threat to bring her young son and daughter to his plantation to force Harriet’s sexual compliance, she went into hiding, staying in her free grandmother’s small attic crawl space for nearly seven years. Aided by local African-Americans and whites, later Harriet escaped to Philadelphia. From there she went to New York where she was still hunted for years until her white friends, against Harriet’s strong objections, bought her freedom from slave-holding pursuers. Nikki Giovanni, distinguished writer and celebrated poet, reads this narrative as “Linda Brent.”