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I Fight for a Living

Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915

Louis Moore

The black prizefighter labored in one of the few trades where an African American man could win renown: boxing. His prowess in the ring asserted an independence and powerful masculinity rare for black men in a white-dominated society, allowing him to be a man--and thus truly free. Louis Moore draws on the life stories of African American fighters active from 1880 to 1915 to explore working-class black manhood. As he details, boxers bought into American ideas about masculinity and free enterprise to prove their equality while using their bodies to become self-made men. The African American middle class, meanwhile, grappled with an expression of public black maleness they saw related to disreputable leisure rather than respectable labor. Moore shows how each fighter conformed to middle class ideas of masculinity based on his own judgment of what culture would accept. Finally, he argues that African American success in the ring shattered the myth of black inferiority despite media and government efforts to defend white privilege.

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I Fill This Small Space

The Writings of a Deaf Activist

Lawrence Newman, Edited by David Kars

Lawrence Newman became deaf at the age of five in 1930, and saw his father fight back tears knowing that his son would never hear again. The next time he saw his father cry was in 1978, when Newman received an honorary doctorate from Gallaudet University, his alma mater. Newman was recognized for his achievements as a life-long advocate for deaf education, including receiving California’s Teacher of the Year award in 1968. Perhaps his greatest influence, however, stemmed from his many articles and columns that appeared in various publications, the best of which are featured in I Fill This Small Space: The Writings of a Deaf Activist. Editor David Kurs has organized Newman’s writings around his passions — deaf education, communication and language, miscellaneous columns and poems on Deaf life, and humorous insights on his activism. His articles excel both as seamless arguments supporting his positions and as windows on the historical conflicts that he fought: against the Least Restrictive Environment in favor of residential deaf schools; for sign language, Total Communication, and bilingual education; and as a deaf teacher addressing parents of deaf children. A gifted writer in all genres, Newman amuses with ease (“On Mini and Midi-Skirts”), and moves readers with his heartfelt verse (“Girl with a Whirligig”). Newman ranges wide in his ability, but he always maintains his focus on equal tights for deaf people, as he demonstrates in his title poem “I Fill This Small Space:” I fill this small space, this time Who is to say yours is better Than mine or mine yours

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I Foresee My Life

The Ritual Performance of Autobiography in an Amazonian Community

Suzanne Oakdale

I Foresee My Life is a study of the ritual performances of the Kayabi, a Brazilian indigenous people, during the 1990s. Kayabi rituals are distinct in that they center on the autobiographical narratives of living people. Suzanne Oakdale discusses these autobiographical performances in the context of shamanic cures, mortuary rites, and political oratory. In each ritual, leaders describe how some of the dramatic environmental, economic, and political changes taking place in the Amazon have affected them. For example, the Kayabi have moved from a heavily colonized area to a reservation and as a result have had to address different facets of Indian identity, new forms of commodity consumption, residence patterns, and leadership.
 
As they narrate their lives in these rituals, leaders also give other participants ways to address some of the pressing issues in their own lives. Special emphasis is given to the emotional effects of narrative performances and how these accounts move people to identify with others, compel them to act in appropriate ways, or assuage their grief over a lost loved one. Oakdale analyzes autobiographical performances using insights from studies on ritual, life history, and linguistic anthropology to better understand Kayabi notions of self and person and the role these narrative expressions play in their social life. Richly textured with eyewitness accounts and indigenous voices, I Foresee My Life demonstrates the enduring power of indigenous performances today

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I Fought a Good Fight

A History of the Lipan Apaches

Sherry Robinson

This history of the Lipan Apaches, from archeological evidence to the present, tells the story of some of the least known, least understood people in the Southwest. These plains buffalo hunters and traders were one of the first groups to acquire horses, and with this advantage they expanded from the Panhandle across Texas and into Coahuila, coming into conflict with the Comanches. With a knack for making friends and forging alliances, they survived against all odds, and were still free long after their worst enemies were corralled on reservations. In the most thorough account yet published, Sherry Robinson tracks the Lipans from their earliest interactions with Spaniards and kindred Apache groups through later alliances and to their love-hate relationships with Mexicans, Texas colonists, Texas Rangers, and the U.S. Army. For the first time we hear of the Eastern Apache confederacy of allied but autonomous groups that joined for war, defense, and trade. Among their confederates, and led by chiefs with a diplomatic bent, Lipans drew closer to the Spanish, Mexicans, and Texans. By the 1880s, with their numbers dwindling and ground lost to Mexican campaigns and Mackenzie’s raids, the Lipans roamed with Mescalero Apaches, some with Victorio. Many remained in Mexico, some stole back into Texas, and others melted into reservations where they had relatives. They never surrendered.

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I Go to America

Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson

Joy K. Lintelman

Near the end of her life, Mina Anderson penned a lively memoir that helped Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg create "Kristina," the central female character of his beloved emigrant novels, a woman who constantly yearns for her homeland. But Mina's story was quite different. Showcasing her previously untranslated memoir, "I Go To America" traces Mina's trip across the Atlantic to Wisconsin and then the Twin Cities, where she worked as a domestic servant, and her move to rural Mille Lacs County, where she and her husband worked a farm, raised seven children, and contributed to rural Swedish community life. Mina herself writes about how grateful she was for the opportunity to be in America, where the pay was better, class differences were unconfining, and children--girls included--had the chance for a good education. In her own words, "I have never regretted that I left Sweden. I have had it better here." Author Joy Lintelman greatly expands upon Mina's memoir, detailing the social, cultural, and economic realities experienced by countless Swedish women of her station. Lintelman offers readers both an intimate portrait of Mina Anderson and a window into the lives of the nearly 250,000 young, single Swedish women who immigrated to America from 1881 to 1920 and whose courage, hard work, and pragmatism embody the American dream.

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I Have a Story to Tell You

I Have a Story to Tell You is about Eastern European Jewish immigrants living in Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg in the early twentieth century. The stories encompass their travels and travails on leaving home and their struggles in the sweatshops and factories of the garment industry in Canada. Basing her work on extensive interviews, Seemah Berson recreates these immigrants’ stories about their lives in the Old Country and the hardship of finding work in Canada, and she tells how many of these newcomers ended up in the needle trades. Revealing a fervent sense of socialist ideology acquired in the crucible of the Russian Revolution, the stories tell of the influence of Jewish culture and traditions, of personal–and organized–fights against exploitation, and of struggles to establish unions for better working conditions.

This book is a wonderful resource for teachers of Canadian, Jewish, and social history, as well as auto/biography and cultural studies. The simplicity of the language, transcribed from oral reports, makes this work accessible to anyone who enjoys a good story.

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I Have My Own Song For It

Edited by Elton Glaser and William Greenway

I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio gathers together 117 poems by 85 poets for a fresh perspective on the Buckeye State. Not since 1911 has there been a comprehensive collection of poems written about Ohio. And this anthology is especially relevant as Ohio celebrates its 200th year as a state. It could be called Ohio’s bicentennial gift to itself. These poems, written by such celebrated Ohio natives as James Wright and Mary Oliver, and by accomplished if less well known poets like Ruth L. Schwartz and Rachel Langille, offer a virtual tour of people and places in the state, traveling around Ohio’s lakes and rivers, farms and open country, small towns and large cities. In resonant language and compelling imagery, in shapely verse and lines responsive to the moment’s impulse, the poems bring Ohio to its citizens and, beyond the borders of the state, to lovers of poetry everywhere. The perspective may be personal or historical, close-up or wide-ranging, celebratory or otherwise, but each poem becomes part of the state’s legacy passed on to future generations, a collective record of how Ohio appears to itself and to others at the begining of the 21st century.

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I Hear a Symphony

Motown and Crossover R&B

Andrew Flory

I Hear a Symphony opens new territory in the study of Motown’s legacy, arguing that the music of Motown was indelibly shaped by the ideals of Detroit’s postwar black middle class; that Motown’s creative personnel participated in an African-American tradition of dialogism in rhythm and blues while developing the famous “Motown Sound.” Throughout the book, Flory focuses on the central importance of “crossover” to the Motown story; first as a key concept in the company’s efforts to reach across American commercial markets, then as a means to extend influence internationally, and finally as a way to expand the brand beyond strictly musical products. Flory’s work reveals the richness of the Motown sound, and equally rich and complex cultural influence Motown still exerts.

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I Hear Voices

A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio

Jean Feraca

Jean Feraca’s road to self-fulfillment has been as quirky and demanding as the characters in her incredible memoir. A veteran of several decades of public radio broadcasting, Feraca is also a writer and a poet. She is a talk show host beloved for her unique mixture of the humanities, poetry, and journalism, and is the creator of the pioneering international cultural affairs radio program Here on Earth: Radio without Borders.
    In this searing memoir, Feraca traces her own emergence. She pulls back the curtain on her private life, revealing unforgettable portraits of the characters in her brawling Italian-American family: Jenny, the grandmother, the devil woman who threw Casey Stengel down an excavation pit; Dolly, the mother, a cross between Long John Silver and the Wife of Bath, who in battling mental illness becomes the scourge of a Lutheran nursing home; and Stephen, the brilliant but troubled older brother, an anthropologist adopted by a Sioux tribe. In a new chapter that reinforces and ties together the book’s exploration of the multiple forms of love, Jean introduces us to Roger, a Wildman and her husband’s best friend with whom she, too, develops an extraordinary intimacy. A selection of fifteen of Feraca’s poems add counterpoint to her engaging prose.

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I Heart Francis

Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer

by Donna Schaper

Everyone is paying attention to Pope Francis, and that includes the most unlikely of admirers: a female Baptist pastor. Veteran minister and social justice advocate Donna Schaper has become a fan of the pope, covering him for Religion Dispatches, traveling to see him speak, and taking up many of his issues. Schaper says that Francis is a pope for all of us, and she has written him a series of letters—love letters, of a sort. She agrees with him on the environment, climate change, love of animals, and concern for the poor. But she has a lovers’ quarrel with him on the issues of women’s ordination and GLBT rights. Schaper’s letters to Pope Francis are intimate and ornery, affirming and challenging. She has high hopes that he can heal the church and the globe, and she prods him to be even more inclusive than he already is. In the end, in spite of their disagreements, Pastor Donna loves Pope Francis, and she calls us all to join him in loving the world.

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