I Can't Breathe


Book Description

A work of riveting literary journalism that explores the roots and repercussions of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police—from the bestselling author of The Divide NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. The final moments of Garner’s life were captured on video and seen by millions. His agonized last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the nascent Black Lives Matter protest movement. A grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officer who wrestled Garner to the pavement. Matt Taibbi’s deeply reported retelling of these events liberates Eric Garner from the abstractions of newspaper accounts and lets us see the man in full—with all his flaws and contradictions intact. A husband and father with a complicated personal history, Garner was neither villain nor victim, but a fiercely proud individual determined to do the best he could for his family, bedeviled by bad luck, and ultimately subdued by forces beyond his control. In America, no miscarriage of justice exists in isolation, of course, and in I Can’t Breathe Taibbi also examines the conditions that made this tragedy possible. Featuring vivid vignettes of life on the street and inside our Kafkaesque court system, Taibbi’s kaleidoscopic account illuminates issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy, and racial disparity in law enforcement. No one emerges unsullied, from the conservative district attorney who half-heartedly prosecutes the case to the progressive mayor caught between the demands of outraged activists and the foot-dragging of recalcitrant police officials. A masterly narrative of urban America and a scathing indictment of the perverse incentives built into our penal system, I Can’t Breathe drills down into the particulars of one case to confront us with the human cost of our broken approach to dispensing criminal justice. “Brilliant . . . Taibbi is unsparing is his excoriation of the system, police, and courts. . . . This is a necessary and riveting work.”—Booklist (starred review)




Hate Inc


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Insane Clown President


Book Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Dispatches from the 2016 election that provide an eerily prescient take on our democracy’s uncertain future, by the country’s most perceptive and fearless political journalist. In twenty-five pieces from Rolling Stone—plus two original essays—Matt Taibbi tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society. Taibbi captures, with dead-on, real-time analysis, the failures of the right and the left, from the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the flawed and aimless Hillary Clinton campaign; the rise of the “dangerously bright” alt-right with its wall-loving identity politics and its rapturous view of the “Racial Holy War” to come; and the giant fail of a flailing, reactive political media that fed a ravenous news cycle not with reporting on political ideology, but with undigested propaganda served straight from the campaign bubble. At the center of it all stands Donald J. Trump, leading a historic revolt against his own party, “bloviating and farting his way” through the campaign, “saying outrageous things, acting like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next.” For Taibbi, the stunning rise of Trump marks the apotheosis of the new postfactual movement. Taibbi frames the reporting with original essays that explore the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country. Insane Clown President is not just a postmortem on the collapse and failure of American democracy. It offers the riveting, surreal, unique, and essential experience of seeing the future in hindsight. “Scathing . . . What keeps the pages turning in this so freshly familiar story line is the vivid observation and original turns of phrase.”—San Francisco Chronicle




I Can't Breathe


Book Description

On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City after a police officer put him in what has been described as a "chokehold" during an arrest for selling "loosies," or single cigarettes. The final moments of his life were captured on video and seen by millions, sparking an international series of protests that built into the transformative "Black Lives Matter" movement. Weeks after Garner's death, two New York City police officers were killed by a young black man from Maryland, in what he claimed was revenge for Garner's death. Those killings in turn led to police protests, clashes with New York's new liberal mayor, and an eventual work slow-down. Matt Taibbi, bestselling author and othe best polemic journalist in Americao explores the roots and aftermath of Eric Garner's death and tells a compelling story of the crime, the grand jury, the media circus, the murder of the police, and the protests from every side. The result is a riveting work of literary journalism that breaks new ground and provides a masterful narrative of urban America, the perversion of its policing and a brilliant examination of the racial tensions that threaten to tear it apart.




Criminology


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Crossing Bar Lines


Book Description

In Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space James Gordon Williams reframes the nature and purpose of jazz improvisation to illuminate the cultural work being done by five creative musicians between 2005 and 2019. The political thought of five African American improvisers—trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Ambrose Akinmusire, drummers Billy Higgins and Terri Lyne Carrington, and pianist Andrew Hill—is documented through insightful, multilayered case studies that make explicit how these musicians articulate their positionality in broader society. Informed by Black feminist thought, these case studies unite around the theory of Black musical space that comes from the lived experiences of African Americans as they improvise through daily life. The central argument builds upon the idea of space-making and the geographic imagination in Black Geographies theory. Williams considers how these musicians interface with contemporary social movements like Black Lives Matter, build alternative institutional models that challenge gender imbalance in improvisation culture, and practice improvisation as joyful affirmation of Black value and mobility. Both Terence Blanchard and Ambrose Akinmusire innovate musical strategies to address systemic violence. Billy Higgins’s performance is discussed through the framework of breath to understand his politics of inclusive space. Terri Lyne Carrington confronts patriarchy in jazz culture through her Social Science music project. The work of Andrew Hill is examined through the context of his street theory, revealing his political stance on performance and pedagogy. All readers will be elevated by this innovative and timely book that speaks to issues that continue to shape the lives of African Americans today.




A Feminist Critique of Police Stops


Book Description

If you've dreamed of walking free of sexual harassment, you will understand why it's time to end stop-and-frisk policing.




From Uncertainty to Confidence and Trust


Book Description

This publication originated from the idea that uncertainty should not be taken as fear of the unknown that should be avoided, but as a natural starting point for scientific and journalistic writing. Risk awareness is seen as a necessary prerequisite for gaining confidence and evoking trust. Moving from uncertainty to confidence and trust is also an integral part of international academic collaboration, as the discussions of the partners from Germany (Chemnitz), Macedonia (Skopje, Ohrid/Bitola), Albania (Vlora), Serbia (Niš, Vršac), Croatia (Split) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Banja Luka) have shown throughout this and previous years. The project, funded by DAAD, aimed to bridge the diverse cultural academic and media contexts in Southeast Europe and to show that uncertainty can and should be taken as an opportunity. This was achieved through discussions and research projects in the course of an online workshop and summer school and this publication.




Breathing Aesthetics


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In Breathing Aesthetics Jean-Thomas Tremblay argues that difficult breathing indexes the uneven distribution of risk in a contemporary era marked by the increasing contamination, weaponization, and monetization of air. Tremblay shows how biopolitical and necropolitical forces tied to the continuation of extractive capitalism, imperialism, and structural racism are embodied and experienced through respiration. They identify responses to the crisis in breathing in aesthetic practices ranging from the film work of Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta to the disability diaries of Bob Flanagan, to the Black queer speculative fiction of Renee Gladman. In readings of these and other minoritarian works of experimental film, endurance performance, ecopoetics, and cinema-vérité, Tremblay contends that articulations of survival now depend on the management and dispersal of respiratory hazards. In so doing, they reveal how an aesthetic attention to breathing generates historically, culturally, and environmentally situated tactics and strategies for living under precarity.




Let My People Live


Book Description

Let My People Live reengages the narrative of Exodus through a critical, life-affirming Africana hermeneutic that seeks to create and sustain a vision of not just the survival but the thriving of Black communities. While the field of biblical studies has habitually divided "objective" interpretations from culturally informed ones, Kenneth Ngwa argues that doing interpretive work through an activist, culturally grounded lens rightly recognizes how communities of readers actively shape the priorities of any biblical interpretation. In the Africana context, communities whose identities were made disposable by the forces of empire and colonialism—both in Africa and in the African diaspora across the globe—likewise suffered the stripping away of the right to interpretation, of both sacred texts and of themselves. Ngwa shows how an Africana approach to the biblical text can intervene in this narrative of breakage, as a mode of resistance. By emphasizing the irreducible life force and resources nurtured in the Africana community, which have always preceded colonial oppression, the Africana hermeneutic is able to stretch from the past into the future to sustain and support generations to come. Ngwa reimagines the Exodus story through this framework, elaborating the motifs of the narrative as they are shaped by Africana interpretative values and approaches that identify three animating threats in the story: erasure (undermining the community's very existence), alienation (separating from the space of home and from the ecosystem), and singularity (holding up the individual over the collective). He argues that what he calls "badass womanism"—an intergenerational and interregional life force and epistemology of the people embodied in the midwives, Miriam, the Egyptian princess, and other female figures in the story—have challenged these threats. He shows how badass womanist triple consciousness creates, and is informed by, communal approaches to hermeneutics that emphasize survival over erasure, integration over alienation, and multiplicity over singularity. This triple consciousness surfaces throughout the Exodus narrative and informs the narrative portraits of other characters, including Moses and Yahweh. As the Hebrew people navigate the exodus journey, Ngwa investigates how these forces of oppression and resistance shift and take new shapes across the geographies of Egypt, the wilderness, and the mountain area preceding their passage into the promised land. For Africana, these geographies also represent colonial, global, and imperial sites where new subjectivities and epistemologies develop.