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Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America

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Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America Cover

ISBN13: 9780316017237
ISBN10: 031601723x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"Rhodes-Pitts, an essayist and recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, takes as her title a 1948 essay wherein Ralph Ellison describes 'nowhere' as the crossroads where personal reality meets the metaphorical meanings attached to people and places. A transplant to Harlem from Texas, Rhodes-Pitts began a personal journey into the iconic neighborhood, poring over Harlem in literature and life, reading its empty lots and street scenes, its billboards and memorials for clues to what it means to inhabit a dream (that fabled sanctuary for Black Americans) and a real place (the all too material neighborhood buckling beneath relentless gentrification). Acutely conscious of the writer's simultaneous role of participant in and recorder of present and past, Rhodes-Pitts weaves a glittering living tapestry of snatches of overheard conversation, sidewalk chalk scribbles, want ads, unspoken social codes, literary analysis, studies of black slang--all if it held together with assurance and erudition. Like Zora Neale Hurston (whose contradictions she nails), she is 'tour-guide and interpreter' of a Mecca cherished and feared, a place enduring and threatened that becomes home. (Jan.) Bard, the head of nonprofit advocacy group American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, takes a historical look at the relationship between the United States and the lobbying efforts of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Bard examines these relations over time and argues that many of the political actions taken by the U.S. have been aimed at appeasing this lobby; even decisions surrounding the establishment of Palestine, he suggests, were influenced by lobbyist complaints. To Bard, there's no mistaking the main motivation behind U.S. interest in Arab lands, and as far back as the mid ‘30s, the U.S. recognized the strategic importance of Arabian peninsula oil. Bard examines the lobby's beginnings, going back to 1917 when England's call for a Jewish homeland in Palestine sparked opposition, to their current 'brainwashing' of children ('American taxpayers... subsidize... K-12 education materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices') to the 'conspiracy theory' woven by the authors of The Israeli Lobby. A subject this intrinsic to U.S. foreign policy deserves a more rigorous examination than what Bard can undertake, given his position of advocacy. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

No geographic or racial qualification guarantees a writer her subject....Only interest, knowledge, and love will do that--all of which this book displays in abundance. (Zadie Smith, Harper's)

A finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

For a century Harlem has been celebrated as the capital of black America, a thriving center of cultural achievement and political action. At a crucial moment in Harlem's history, as gentrification encroaches, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts untangles the myth and meaning of Harlem's legacy. Examining the epic Harlem of official history and the personal Harlem that begins at her front door, Rhodes-Pitts introduces us to a wide variety of characters, past and present. At the heart of their stories, and her own, is the hope carried over many generations, hope that Harlem would be the ground from which blacks fully entered America's democracy.

Rhodes-Pitts is a brilliant new voice who, like other significant chroniclers of places-Joan Didion on California, or Jamaica Kincaid on Antigua-captures the very essence of her subject.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Noor, January 8, 2013 (view all comments by Noor)
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts has created an amazing inter-genre, inter-textual book that provides a true journey through space!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Courtney Young, November 28, 2012 (view all comments by Courtney Young)
Harlem is Nowhere is one of the best books that I've read all year. In the way that Joan Didion writes about California and Suketu Mehta wrote about Bombay, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts has done the same for Harlem. An exhaustive and well-written account of the cultural, historic, and political legacies of one of America's most well-known cities, Harlem is Nowhere is not to be missed!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316017237
Author:
Rhodes Pitts, Sharifa
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Author:
Rhodes-Pitts, Sharifa
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Harlem (new york, n.y.)
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
African American Studies-General
Publication Date:
20110131
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
288

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America Used Hardcover
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316017237 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Rhodes-Pitts, an essayist and recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, takes as her title a 1948 essay wherein Ralph Ellison describes 'nowhere' as the crossroads where personal reality meets the metaphorical meanings attached to people and places. A transplant to Harlem from Texas, Rhodes-Pitts began a personal journey into the iconic neighborhood, poring over Harlem in literature and life, reading its empty lots and street scenes, its billboards and memorials for clues to what it means to inhabit a dream (that fabled sanctuary for Black Americans) and a real place (the all too material neighborhood buckling beneath relentless gentrification). Acutely conscious of the writer's simultaneous role of participant in and recorder of present and past, Rhodes-Pitts weaves a glittering living tapestry of snatches of overheard conversation, sidewalk chalk scribbles, want ads, unspoken social codes, literary analysis, studies of black slang--all if it held together with assurance and erudition. Like Zora Neale Hurston (whose contradictions she nails), she is 'tour-guide and interpreter' of a Mecca cherished and feared, a place enduring and threatened that becomes home. (Jan.) Bard, the head of nonprofit advocacy group American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, takes a historical look at the relationship between the United States and the lobbying efforts of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Bard examines these relations over time and argues that many of the political actions taken by the U.S. have been aimed at appeasing this lobby; even decisions surrounding the establishment of Palestine, he suggests, were influenced by lobbyist complaints. To Bard, there's no mistaking the main motivation behind U.S. interest in Arab lands, and as far back as the mid ‘30s, the U.S. recognized the strategic importance of Arabian peninsula oil. Bard examines the lobby's beginnings, going back to 1917 when England's call for a Jewish homeland in Palestine sparked opposition, to their current 'brainwashing' of children ('American taxpayers... subsidize... K-12 education materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices') to the 'conspiracy theory' woven by the authors of The Israeli Lobby. A subject this intrinsic to U.S. foreign policy deserves a more rigorous examination than what Bard can undertake, given his position of advocacy. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , No geographic or racial qualification guarantees a writer her subject....Only interest, knowledge, and love will do that--all of which this book displays in abundance. (Zadie Smith, Harper's)

A finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

For a century Harlem has been celebrated as the capital of black America, a thriving center of cultural achievement and political action. At a crucial moment in Harlem's history, as gentrification encroaches, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts untangles the myth and meaning of Harlem's legacy. Examining the epic Harlem of official history and the personal Harlem that begins at her front door, Rhodes-Pitts introduces us to a wide variety of characters, past and present. At the heart of their stories, and her own, is the hope carried over many generations, hope that Harlem would be the ground from which blacks fully entered America's democracy.

Rhodes-Pitts is a brilliant new voice who, like other significant chroniclers of places-Joan Didion on California, or Jamaica Kincaid on Antigua-captures the very essence of her subject.

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