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From Black Power to the White House

Book chronicles historical events, untold stories

11/11/2015, 4:42 p.m.
Scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kevin M. Burke have come up with a gorgeous collection of black history in ...
Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his new book, "And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House."

Scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kevin M. Burke have come up with a gorgeous collection of black history in a new book that chronicles the lives of black Americans over the past 50 years.

And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House explores the passage of the Civil Rights Act to the birth of Black Power in the United States, from having both a black president and black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies, to a large black underclass beset by persistent poverty, inadequate education, and an epidemic of incarceration.

Gates, a Harvard professor and host of the PBS series of the same name, raises disturbing and vital questions about this dichotomy. How did the African American community end up encompassing such profound contradictions? And what will “the black community” mean tomorrow?

Gates takes readers through the major historical events and untold stories that have irrevocably shaped both the African American experience and the nation as a whole, from the explosive social and political changes of the 1960s, into the 1970s and 1980s—eras characterized by both prosperity and neglect—through the turn of the century to today, taking measure of such racial flashpoints as the Tawana Brawley case, O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, the murders of Amadou Diallo and Trayvon Martin, and debates around the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policies.

And Still I Rise is also a celebration of the accomplishments of black artists, musicians, writers, comedians, and thinkers who have helped to define American popular culture and to change our world.