Hidden Girl

Author: Shyima Hall
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781442481701
Release Date: 2014-01-21
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

An inspiring and compelling memoir from a young woman who lost her childhood to slavery—and built a new life grounded in determination and justice. When Shyima Hall was eight years old, her impoverished parents sold her to pay a debt. Two years later, the wealthy family she was sold to moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled her with them. Shyima served the family eighteen hours a day, seven days a week until she was twelve. That’s when an anonymous call from a neighbor brought about the end of Shyima’s servitude—but her journey to true freedom was far from over. A volunteer at her local police department since she was a teenager, Shyima is passionate about helping to rescue others who are in bondage. Now a US citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima “commands unfailing interest, sympathy, and respect” (Publishers Weekly), candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances, and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.

A New Day One

Author: Rodney J. Walker
Publisher: Advantage Media Group
ISBN: 159932699X
Release Date: 2016-03-22
Genre: Business & Economics

No one can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Rodney faced incredible hardships in the foster care system and coping with family drug problems and violence. But through sheer determination and the support of some key mentors, Rodney was able to reach for new heights as an entrepreneur and a Yale University graduate. A New Day One is Rodney's story of triumph over adversity, filled with valuable principles and life lessons that are sure to inspire you into action. Whether you're an inner-city youth or a high-networth businessman, there's something to be learned from Rodney's incredible story.

That Mean Old Yesterday

Author: Stacey Patton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471109690
Release Date: 2012-12-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

'So there I was - a twenty-one year old black female university student walking down a suburban street with a gun, no shoes and murder on my mind. I was going to kill the past. I didn't know what else to do with it' Stacey Patton today is a vibrant and impressive young woman with a promising career in journalism. Yet her childhood was a battleground of bullying, abuse and mental torture. Abandoned by her birth mother, Stacey was placed in the New Jersey foster care system and was apparently lucky to be adopted by a hardworking, God-fearing African American couple. Yet something else was going on in this immaculately kept home - punishment in terrible ways, physical, emotional and sexual. Her mother was tyrannical and her father, either so in love with or in fear of his wife, turned a blind eye to the abuse she heaped on their love-starved little girl. Stacey survived by channelling her energy into her school work and her education raised her from the shackles of her unhappy home. Drawing parallels between her own childhood and the treatment of black slaves brought to America, Stacey Patton weaves the moving story of her own painful upbringing with the shameful slave history of America.

Kindred

Author: Octavia E. Butler
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781472214829
Release Date: 2014-03-27
Genre: Fiction

Kindred is Hugo and Nebula Award winner Octavia E. Butler's 1979 masterpiece. An essential read which explores themes of racial and gender identity with insight and originality, for fans of the Hulu TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. 'A shattering work of art' Los Angeles Herald-Examiner On her 26th birthday, Dana and her husband are moving into their apartment when she starts to feel dizzy. She falls to her knees, nauseous. Then the world falls away. She finds herself at the edge of a green wood by a vast river. A child is screaming. Wading into the water, she pulls him to safety, only to find herself face to face with a very old looking rifle, in the hands of the boy's father. She's terrified. The next thing she knows she's back in her apartment, soaking wet. It's the most terrifying experience of her life ... until it happens again. The longer Dana spends in 19th century Maryland - a very dangerous place for a black woman - the more aware she is that her life might be over before it's even begun.

A CHANCE IN THE WORLD

Author: Steve Pemberton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc
ISBN: 9781595554161
Release Date: 2012-01-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A heart-rending but uplifting story of the human spirit’s ability to prevail. From the day he is five-years-old and dropped off at his foster home of the next eleven years, Stephen is mentally and physically tortured. No one in the system can help him. No one can tell him if he has a family. No one can tell him why, with obvious African-American features, he has the last name of Klakowicz. Along the way, a single faint light comes only from a neighbor’s small acts of kindness and caring—and a box of books. From one of those books he learns that he has to fight in any way he can—for victory is in the battle. His victory is to excel in school. Against all odds, the author succeeded. He attended college, graduated, became a successful corporate executive, and married a wonderful woman with whom he established a loving family of his own. Through it, he dug voraciously through records and files and found his history, his birth family—and the ultimate disappointment as some family members embrace him, but others reject him. Readers won’t be the same after reading this powerful story. They will share in the hurts and despair but also in the triumph against daunting obstacles. They will share this story with their family, with their friends, with their neighbors.

The Warmth of Other Suns

Author: Isabel Wilkerson
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679604075
Release Date: 2010-09-07
Genre: History

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties. Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. From the Hardcover edition.

They Cage the Animals at Night

Author: Jennings Michael Burch
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101659892
Release Date: 1985-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The heartbreaking, iconic true story of an abandoned little boy’s horrific journey through the American foster care system. On a misty evening in Brooklyn, Jennings Michael Burch’s mother, too sick to care for him, left her eight-year-old son at an orphanage with the words, “I’ll be right back.” She wasn’t. Shuttled through a bleak series of foster homes, orphanages, and institutions, Jennings never remained in any of them long enough to make a friend. Instead, he clung to a tattered stuffed animal named Doggie, his sole source of comfort in a frightening world. Here, in his own words, Jennings Michael Burch reveals the abuse and neglect he experienced during his lost childhood. But while his experiences are both shocking and devastating, his story is ultimately one of hope—the triumphant tale of a forgotten child who somehow found the courage to reach out for love, and found it waiting for him.

The Door of No Return

Author: Sarah Mussi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416915508
Release Date: 2008-08-26
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Sixteen-year-old Zac Baxter never believed his grandfather's tales about their enslaved ancestors being descended from an African king, but when his grandfather is murdered and the villains come after Zac, he sets out for Ghana to find King Baktu's long-lost treasure before the murderers do.

Promise Land

Author: Jessica Lamb-Shapiro
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439101605
Release Date: 2014-01-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“A funny yet surprisingly nuanced look at the legends and ideas of the self-help industry” (People, 3.5 stars), Promise Land explores the American devotion to self-improvement—even as the author attempts some deeply personal improvements of her own. Raised by a child psychologist who was himself the author of numerous self-help books, as an adult Jessica Lamb-Shapiro found herself both repelled and fascinated by the industry: did all of these books, tapes, weekend seminars, groups, posters, t-shirts, and trinkets really help anybody? Why do some people swear by the power of positive thinking, while others dismiss it as so many empty promises? Promise Land is an irreverent tour through the vast and strange reaches of the world of self-help. In the name of research, Jessica attempted to cure herself of phobias, followed The Rules to meet and date men, walked on hot coals, and even attended a self-help seminar for writers of self-help books. But the more she delved into the history and practice of self-help, the more she realized her interest was much more than academic. Forced into a confrontation with the silent grief that had haunted both her and her father since her mother’s death when she was a baby, she realized that sometimes thinking you know everything about a subject is a way of hiding from yourself the fact that you know nothing at all. “A jaunty, cannily written memoir” (Chicago Tribune), Promise Land is cultural history from “a witty and enjoyably self-aware writer…Jessica Lamb-Shapiro’s talent as a storyteller is undeniable” (The New York Times Book Review).

Rosa Lee

Author: Leon Dash
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465055869
Release Date: 2015-06-02
Genre: Social Science

Based on a heart-rending and much discussed series in the Washington Post, this is the story of one woman and her family living in the projects in Washington, D.C. A transcendent piece of writing, it won the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.For four years Leon Dash of the Washington Post followed the lives of Rosa Lee Cunningham, her children, and five of her grandchildren, in an effort to understand the persistence of poverty and pathology within America’s black underclass. Rosa Lee’s life story spans a half century of hardship in the slums and housing projects of Southeast Washington, a stone’s throw from the marble halls and civic monuments of the world’s most prosperous nation. Yet for all of America’s efforts, Rosa Lee and millions like her remain trapped in a cycle of poverty characterized by illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, drugs, and violent crime.Dash brings us into her life and the lives of her family members offering a human drama that statistics can only refer to. He also shows how some people—including two of Rosa Lee’s children—have made it out of the ghetto, breaking the cycle to lead stable middle-class lives in the mainstream of American society.

Secret Slave

Author: Anna Ruston
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Ltd.
ISBN: 9781911274117
Release Date: 2016-12-29
Genre: Family & Relationships

'You're not going home. You're not going anywhere. You're mine now.' Growing up in a deeply troubled family, 15-year-old Anna felt lost and alone in the world. So when a friendly taxi driver befriended her, Anna welcomed the attention. She agreed to go home with him to meet his family. She wouldn't escape for over a decade. Held captive by a sadistic paedophile, with the full acceptance of his family, Anna was subjected to despicable levels of sexual abuse and torture. The unrelenting violence and degradation resulted in numerous miscarriages, and the birth of four babies... each one stolen away from Anna at birth. Her salvation arrived thirteen years too late, but despite her shattered mind and body, Anna finally managed to flee. This is her harrowing, yet uplifting story, of survival.