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The Black history of the White House

by Lusane, Clarence, 1953-

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 8 Libraries 8 of 9 copies
Available (8)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Hill District Non-Fiction Collection F204.W5 L87 2011
Location  CLP - Hill District
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  F204.W5 L87 2011
CLP - Homewood African American F204.W5 L87 2011
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  African American
Call Number  F204.W5 L87 2011
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction F204.W5 L87 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  F204.W5 L87 2011
CLP - South Side Non-Fiction Collection F204.W5 L87 2011
Location  CLP - South Side
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  F204.W5 L87 2011
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 975.3 LUSANE
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  975.3 LUSANE
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 975.3 L87
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  975.3 L87
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 975.3 L97
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  975.3 L97
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 975.3 LUS
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  975.3 LUS
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection

The Black History of the White House presents the untold history, racial politics, and shifting significance of the White House as experienced by African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build it or were forced to work there to its first black First Family, the Obamas.

Clarence Lusane juxtaposes significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for democratic, civil, and human rights by black Americans and demonstrates that only during crises have presidents used their authority to advance racial justice. He describes how in 1901 the building was officially named the "White House" amidst a furious backlash against President Roosevelt for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner, and how that same year that saw the consolidation of white power with the departure of the last black Congressmember elected after the Civil War. Lusane explores how, from its construction in 1792 to its becoming the home of the first black president, the White House has been a prism through which to view the progress and struggles of black Americans seeking full citizenship and justice.

"Clarence Lusane is one of America's most thoughtful and critical thinkers on issues of race, class and power."--Manning Marable

"Barack Obama may be the first black president in the White House, but he's far from the first black person to work in it. In this fascinating history of all the enslaved people, workers and entertainers who spent time in the president's official residence over the years, Clarence Lusane restores the White House to its true colors."--Barbara Ehrenreich

"Reading The Black History of the White House shows us how much we DON'T know about our history, politics, and culture. In a very accessible and polished style, Clarence Lusane takes us inside the key national events of the American past and present. He reveals new dimensions of the black presence in the US from revolutionary days to the Obama campaign. Yes, 'black hands built the White House'--enslaved black hands--but they also built this country's economy, political system, and culture, in ways Lusane shows us in great detail. A particularly important feature of this book its personal storytelling: we see black political history through the experiences and insights of little-known participants in great American events. The detailed lives of Washington's slaves seeking freedom, or the complexities of Duke Ellington's relationships with the Truman and Eisenhower White House, show us American racism, and also black America's fierce hunger for freedom, in brand new and very exciting ways. This book would be a great addition to many courses in history, sociology, or ethnic studies courses. Highly recommended!"--Howard Winant

"The White House was built with slave labor and at least six US presidents owned slaves during their time in office. With these facts, Clarence Lusane, a political science professor at American University, opens The Black History of the White House (City Lights), a fascinating story of race relations that plays out both on the domestic front and the international stage. As Lusane writes, 'The Lincoln White House resolved the issue of slavery, but not that of racism.' Along with the political calculations surrounding who gets invited to the White House are matters of musical tastes and opinionated first ladies, ingredients that make for good storytelling."-- Boston Globe

Dr. Clarence Lusane has published in The Washington Post , The Miami Herald , The Baltimore Sun , Oakland Tribune , Black Scholar , and Race and Class . He often appears on PBS, BET, C-SPAN, and other national media.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Despite the racial progress represented by the election of the first black president of the U.S., the nation's capital has a very complicated and often unflattering racial history. Lusane traces the racial history of the White House from George Washington to Barack Obama. He profiles slaves and free blacks who defied the barriers of racism, including Oney Judge and others owned by presidents who escaped to freedom; performers such as the enslaved musical prodigy known as Blind Tom, who performed at the White House; and Elizabeth Keckly, who served as seamstress and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. From the very beginning, the tension between the nation's ideals and the practices of its leaders produced glaring contradictions: Washington's deliberate circumvention of the law to hold on to slaves while living in Philadelphia, Lincoln's struggle to keep a fractious nation together and come to terms with his own racial biases, and the struggle of others to balance party and political concerns against a burgeoning civil rights movement. A sweeping portrayal of changing historical tides at the White House.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Lusane (Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice) returns to the nation's highest office in his latest work, tracing the seldom-revealed contributions of black men and women in the White House, from the days of its construction to the present. He meticulously threads personal stories of slaves, builders, chefs, jazz performers, policymakers, and other historic figures (accompanied by occasional portraits) with sharp analyses of leaders facing the criticism and challenges of their times. Whether considering slave-owning presidents who publicly skirted their participation in the practice, exploring Emancipation, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement and its aftermath, or discussing contemporary instances, like the Beer Summit, and questioning whether the Obama presidency signals a post-racial era, Lusane offers a vital addition to American history. The thorough density with which he approaches his subject may slow the pace, but scholars will find an intelligent account of one the most controversial and revered seats of power. Lusane's effort is much more than a catchy title or revisionist tome: it's an eye-opening tribute and a provocative reminder of the many narratives that have gone untold. Photos. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Series Open Media book.
Subjects White House (Washington, D.C.) -- History.
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.) -- History.
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.) -- Social conditions.
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.) -- Biography.
Presidents -- Relations with African Americans -- History.
Presidents -- United States -- Racial attitudes -- History.
Presidents -- United States -- Staff -- History.
Slavery -- Washington (D.C.) -- History.
United States -- Race relations -- Political aspects.
Publisher San Francisco :City Lights Books,2011
Language English
Description 575 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 523-540) and index.
ISBN 9780872865327 (pbk.)
0872865320 (pbk.)
Other Classic View