We just added two interesting and deeply personal new titles to our online selection. Individual and collective traumas of the past can negatively impact lives and societies for generations, and each of these books takes the reader on a personal journey exploring this phenomenon. Both authors show how resistance and strength born of personal conviction pave the way for understanding, change, and triumph over the dark legacies of violence, oppression, and hatred. Find these titles and more at Oakland’s online Museum Store today.
One woman’s inspiring struggle to restore an old slave cemetery uncovers centuries-old racism. When author China Galland visits her childhood hometown in east Texas, she learns of an unmarked cemetery for slaves called Love Cemetery. Her ensuing quest to restore and reclaim the cemetery unearths racial wounds that have never completely healed. Research becomes activism as she organizes a grassroots, interracial committee, made up of local religious leaders and laypeople, to work on restoring community access to the cemetery. The author also presents material from the time of slavery and the Reconstruction Era, including stories of “landtakings” (the theft of land from African Americans), and forms of slavery that continued well into the twentieth century. Ultimately Keepers of Love delivers a message of tremendous hope as members of both black and white communities come together to right a historical wrong, and in so doing, discover each other’s common dignity. $15.99. View title.
This compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey offers a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.
At age nineteen, Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985. $27.95. View title.