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ON THE SHELF FEATURE

Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul BY EDDIE S. GLAUDE JR. ’89 CROWN PUBLISHERS, 2016

IN AN ERA where “Black Lives Matter” is passionately chanted in American streets, the question of how the lives of African Americans are valued has become a main conversation piece in this nation. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves The American Soul (Crown, 2016), Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. ’89 takes history, both recent and decades past, to show a “value gap” that allows white lives to be valued more than others. He points to the spate of police shootings of unarmed black men, specifically the one in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was killed. “The crisis currently engulfing black America and the country’s indifference to the devastation it has wrought illustrate what I call the value gap,” he writes. “We talk about the achievement gap in education or the wealth gap between white Americans and other groups, but the value gap reflects something more basic: that no matter our stated principles or how much progress we think we’ve made, white people are valued more than others in this country, and that fact continues to shape the life chances of millions of Americans. The value gap is in our national DNA.” Glaude examines other events, such as the Great Black Depression, which he said came during the 2008 economic downtown; President Barack Obama’s presidency and the cause of black liberalism; and living between two worlds—one, being the 1960s/70s version of the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the other defined by current political and economic situations. The final chapter, “Resurrection,” is Glaude’s idea of how to form a much more powerful expression of black politics today. He urges people to continue to take to the streets to protest bad policing, education structures and the need for jobs that provide livable wages. He urges a 2016 “electoral blank-out” where black voters turn out to vote in the presidential election, but leave the ballot blank “or write in ‘none of the above,’” he writes. In his conclusion, Glaude points to young people leading the way towards a revolution of value where they also have to change their habits. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE

22 WINTER 2017

Aubrey Beardsley: A Catalogue Raisonné

BY LINDA ZATLIN YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS

AFTER WRITING A SECOND BOOK about artist Aubrey Beardsley in the 1990s, friends told Morehouse English professor Linda Zatlin that she should do a catalogue raisonne on Beardsley, a late 17th century artist whose decadent, humorous aesthetic style heavily influenced art noveau and modernism. “I said, ‘What’s that?’” Zatlin said with a laugh. Zatlin was convinced by those friends that she could put together the catalogue raisonne, which is a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist. She connected with an editor at Yale University to make the project happen. It did—22 years later. Aubrey Beardsley: A Catalogue Raisonné (Paul Mellon Centre BA, 2016) is the only full accounting of the drawings and paintings of Beardsley, who died of tuberculosis at age 25. Along the way, he influenced artists such as Pablo Picasso, and Wassily Kandisky. Using her summers off from Morehouse to travel overseas for research and to track down all of Beardsley’s drawings, it took Zatlin 16 years to complete the research and nearly six years for the book to be completely edited. “It was going to happen because I had done all this research and I felt indebted to all of those people who supported me,” she said. “What I want people to see is the wealth and beauty and the humor that he had, the wealth of styles,” Zatlin said. “For the most part it will go to museums, libraries and be an art historical recourse. It’s not a book that you read. It’s a book that you dip into.”

Dealing With This Thing Called Life: The Self-Help Book for ALL Ages BY CHRIS SUMLIN (PROVING PRESS, 2016)

CHRIS SUMLIN ’17 had a lot of time to think during an internship in Los Angeles two years ago. Already a well-read man of Morehouse, Sumlin began to read even more and picked up a number of important things from each book he read. “I learned so much over that summer, just about my life and stuff like that,” he said. “And then I said, “Maybe I should write a book.” Taking the name of a sermon that his dad once preached, Sumlin wrote “Dealing With This Thing Called Life,” which is a group of 12 lessons about life that came to him during that summer in L.A. Weaving personal stories with motivational ideas, Sumlin delves into issues such as self-confidence, positivity during stormy times, being faithful instead of fearful, and doing the best job possible. Sumlin wanted to reach out to readers of his generation with a book that speaks directly to their concerns about life.


Morehouse Magazine Winter 2017