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What is a memoir?
A memoir is a narrative, written from the perspective of the author, about an important part of their life.
Memoir authors choose important moments in their lives and present these moments in a more natural language than a traditional autobiography. Memoirs give more of an insight into the author, their memory of their lives, and the inner thoughts that drive them.
What is Social Justice?
Social justice can look like many different things and can manifest in many different ways but the main principles of Social Justice are:
- Equal RIghts
- Equal Opportunity
- Equal Treatment
Social justice is creating fairness and equality in the social, institutional, and governmental aspects of humanity. It is recognizing, supporting, preserving, and fighting for EVERY person's basic human rights.
Working for Peace and Justice by
Publication Date: 2012-03-20
A longtime agitator against war and social injustice, Lawrence Wittner has been tear-gassed, threatened by police with drawn guns, charged by soldiers with fixed bayonets, spied upon by the U.S. government, arrested, and purged from his job for political -reasons. To say that this teacher-historian-activist has led an interesting life is a considerable understatement. In this absorbing memoir, Wittner traces the dramatic course of a life and career that took him from a Brooklyn boyhood in the 1940s and '50s to an education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to the front lines of peace activism, the fight for racial equality, and the struggles of the labor movement. He details his family background, which included the bloody anti-Semitic pogroms of late-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and chronicles his long teaching career, which comprised positions at a small black college in Virginia, an elite women's liberal arts college north of New York City, and finally a permanent home at the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Throughout, he packs the narrative with colorful vignettes describing such activities as fighting racism in Louisiana and Mississippi during the early 1960s, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev's Soviet Union, and leading thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima. As the book also reveals, Wittner's work as an activist was matched by scholarly achievements that made him one of the world's foremost authorities on the history of the peace and nuclear disarmament movements--a research specialty that led to revealing encounters with such diverse figures as Norman Thomas, the Unabomber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Caspar Weinberger, and David Horowitz. A tenured professor and renowned author who has nevertheless lived in tension with the broader currents of his society, Lawrence Wittner tells an engaging personal story that includes some of the most turbulent and significant events of recent history. Lawrence S. Wittner, emeritus professor of history at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including the award-winning three-volume Struggle Against the Bomb. Among other awards and honors, he has received major grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Aspen Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Soldiers and Statesmen by
Publication Date: 2012-04-30
Which generals were most influential in World War II? Did Winston Churchill really see himself as culturally "half American"? What really caused the break between Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower? In Soldiers and Statesmen, John S. D. Eisenhower answers these questions and more, offering his personal reflections on great leaders of our time. The son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, John S. D. Eisenhower possesses an expert perspective on prominent political and military leaders, giving readers a matchless view on relationships between powerful figures and the president. Eisenhower also had a long military career, coincidentally beginning with his graduation from West Point on D-Day. His unique position as a young Army staff officer and close relationship with his father gave him insider's access to leaders such as Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, John Foster Dulles, Mark Clark, Terry Allen, and Matthew Ridgway. He combines personal insight with the specialized knowledge of a veteran soldier and accomplished historian to communicate exclusive perspectives on U. S. foreign relations and leadership. Eisenhower's observations of various wartime leaders began in June 1944, just after the Allied landings in Normandy. On orders from General George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff, Eisenhower sailed from New York aboard the British-liner-turned-American-troopship Queen Maryto join his father, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, in London, where he stayed for over two weeks. A year later, at the end of the war, Eisenhower accompanied his father as a temporary aide on trips where Ike's former associates were present. In the mid-1950s, Eisenhower's perspective was broadened by his service in a room next to the White House Oval Office during his father's tenure as president. On the light side, Eisenhower has added a special appendix called "Home Movies," in which he reveals amusing and often irreverent vignettes from his life in military service. Eisenhower gives readers both a taste of history from the inside and a rich and relatable memoir filled with compelling remembrances.
The Making of a Civil Rights Leader by
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
Born in 1944, Jose Angel Gutierrez grew up in a time when Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Texas and the Southwest attended separate schools and avoided public facilities and restaurants that were designated Whites Only. Despite the limits of segregation and rural culture in Texas, the passion to learn and to educate others, as well as to undo injustice, burned in his belly from an early age. Gutierrez offers portraits of his early influences, from his father's own pursuit of knowledge and political involvement, to his Mexican pre-school teacher's interest in bilingual-bicultural education which did not exist in public schools at that time, and to his mother's courage and persistence, taking up migrant field work to provide for her family after the death of young Gutierrez's father. In this intensely narrated memoir, Gutierrez details his rise from being beaten down by racist political and agricultural interests in South Texas to his leadership role in the Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Complemented by photos from his personal archives, Gutierrez recalls his struggle for education, his early baptism in grass-roots political organizing, and his success in creating one of history's most successful third party movements, La Raza Unida Party. Along the way, Gutierrez earned college and law degrees, as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science. He was elected or appointed to school boards, commissions, judgeships and party chairmanships, all with the single-minded purpose of extending equality to Mexican Americans and other minorities in the United States. Through his tireless efforts, he crossed paths with African American and Native American civil rights leaders, Mexican presidents, and other international figures.
One Voice Rising by
Publication Date: 2020-01-30
One Voice Rising is a memoir by a Ute healer, historian, and elder as told to Anglo writer, Linda Sillitoe. Clifford Duncan (1933-2014) was a tribal official and medicine man, a museum director, a trained lay archaeologist, an artist, a U.S. army veteran, and a leader in the Native American Church. In this text Duncan covers personal and tribal history during a crucial period in the tribe's development. His discussions with Sillitoe offer a unique look at individual and societal issues, including the Native American Church, powwows and tribal celebrations, and interactions with the larger world. George Janecek's intimate photographs of Clifford Duncan and his world expand the impact of Duncan's words. "Everything was Indian then, when I was a boy. They had to explain to us about the white man's side. Now everything is in the white man's world and we teach Indian ways." - Clifford Duncan (from the book).
White Lawyer, Black Power by
Publication Date: 2020-11-30
Inspired by a colleague's involvement in the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964, Wall Street attorney Donald A. Jelinek traveled to the Deep South to volunteer as a civil rights lawyer during his three-week summer vacation in 1965. He stayed for three years. In White Lawyer, Black Power, Jelinek recounts the battles he fought in defense of militant civil rights activists and rural African Americans, risking his career and his life to further the struggle for racial equality as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and an attorney for the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union. Jelinek arrived in the Deep South at a pivotal moment in the movement's history as frustration over the failure of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to improve the daily lives of southern blacks led increasing numbers of activists to question the doctrine of nonviolence. Jelinek offers a fresh perspective that emphasizes the complex dynamics and relationships that shaped the post-1965 black power era. Replete with sharply etched, complex portraits of the personalities Jelinek encountered, from the rank-and-file civil rights workers who formed the backbone of the movement to the younger, more radical, up-and-coming leaders like Stokely Carmichael and H. ""Rap"" Brown, White Lawyer, Black Power provides a powerful and sometimes harrowing firsthand account of one of the most significant struggles in American history. John Dittmer, professor emeritus of American history at DePauw University and author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, provides a foreword.
From Willard Straight to Wall Street by
Publication Date: 2019-04-15
In stark and compelling prose, Thomas W. Jones tells his story as a campus revolutionary who led an armed revolt at Cornell University in 1969 and then altered his course over the next fifty years to become a powerful leader in the financial industry including high-level positions at John Hancock, TIAA-CREF and Citigroup as Wall Street plunged into its darkest hour. From Willard Straight to Wall Street provides a front row seat to the author's triumphs and struggles as he was twice investigated by the SEC--and emerged unscathed. His searing perspective as an African American navigating a world dominated by whites reveals a father, a husband, a trusted colleague, a Cornellian, and a business leader who confronts life with an unwavering resolve that defies cliché and offers a unique perspective on the issues of race in America today. The book begins on the steps of Willard Straight Hall where Jones and his classmates staged an occupation for two days that demanded a black studies curriculum at Cornell. The Straight Takeover resulted in the resignation of Cornell President James Perkins with whom Jones reconciled years later. Jones witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 from his office at ground zero and then observed first-hand the wave of scandals that swept the banking industry over the next decade. From Willard Straight to Wall Street reveals one of the most interesting American stories of the last fifty years.
Nisei Naysayer by
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
Among the fiercest opponents of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was journalist James "Jimmie" Matsumoto Omura. In his sharp-penned columns, Omura fearlessly called out leaders in the Nikkei community for what he saw as their complicity with the U.S. government's unjust and unconstitutional policies--particularly the federal decision to draft imprisoned Nisei into the military without first restoring their lost citizenship rights. In 1944, Omura was pushed out of his editorship of the Japanese American newspaper Rocky Shimpo, indicted, arrested, jailed, and forced to stand trial for unlawful conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violations of the military draft. He was among the first Nikkei to seek governmental redress and reparations for wartime violations of civil liberties and human rights. In this memoir, which he began writing towards the end of his life, Omura provides a vivid account of his early years: his boyhood on Bainbridge Island; summers spent working in the salmon canneries of Alaska; riding the rails in search of work during the Great Depression; honing his skills as a journalist in Los Angeles and San Francisco. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Omura had already developed a reputation as one of the Japanese American Citizens League's most adamant critics, and when the JACL leadership acquiesced to the mass incarceration of American-born Japanese, he refused to remain silent, at great personal and professional cost. Shunned by the Nikkei community and excluded from the standard narrative of Japanese American wartime incarceration until later in life, Omura seeks in this memoir to correct the "cockeyed history to which Japanese America has been exposed." Edited and with an introduction by historian Arthur A. Hansen, and with contributions from Asian American activists and writers Frank Chin, Yosh Kuromiya, and Frank Abe, Nisei Naysayer provides an essential, firsthand account of Japanese American wartime resistance.
Becoming Ms. Burton by
Becoming Ms. Burton is the remarkable life story of the renowned activist Susan Burton. In this'stirring and moving tour-de-force'(John Legend), Susan Burton movingly recounts her own journey through the criminal justice system and her transformation into a life of advocacy. After a childhood of immense pain, poverty, and abuse in Los Angeles, the tragic loss of her son led her into addiction, which in turn led to arrests and incarceration. During the War on Drugs, Burton was arrested and would cycle in and out of prison for more than fifteen years. When, by chance, she finally received treatment, her political awakening began and she became a powerful advocate for'a more humane justice system guided by compassion and dignity'(Booklist, starred review). Her award-winning organization, A New Way of Life, has transformed the lives of more than one thousand formerly incarcerated women and is an international model for a less punitive and more effective approach to rehabilitation and reentry.
At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom by
Publication Date: 2015-11-01
Robert L. Green, a friend and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., served as education director for King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference during a crucial period in Civil Rights history, and--as a consultant for many of the nation's largest school districts--he continues to fight for social justice and educational equity today. This memoir relates previously untold stories about major Civil Rights campaigns that helped put an end to voting rights violations and Jim Crow education; explains how Green has helped urban school districts improve academic achievement levels; and explains why this history should inform our choices as we attempt to reform and improve American education. Green's quest began when he helped the Kennedy Administration resolve a catastrophic education-related impasse and has continued through his service as one of the participants at an Obama administration summit on a current academic crisis. It is commonly said that education is the new Civil Rights battlefield. Green's memoir, At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom: The Fight for Social and Educational Justice, helps us understand that educational equity has always been a central objective of the Civil Rights movement.
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around by
Publication Date: 2014-11-01
Reveals a remarkable woman's life and her contributions to social justice movements related to Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism.
Restless Wave by
Publication Date: 2004-04-01
With this critically acclaimed 1940 memoir, pioneering Japanese writer and activist Ayako Ishigaki made history. Restless Wave is the first book written in English by a Japanese woman, introducing Western readers to a largely unknown world; a unique voice; and a writer of great talent, integrity and courage. In exquisite prose, Ishigaki recalls coming of age in a privileged family and rebelling against strict codes of women's behavior. She also traces the political awakening that would force her to flee Japan for the United States and would eventually make her an internationally renowned activist for peace, social justice and women's rights. As The Nation noted, "In lyrical, poetic terms, Restless Wave tells the story of a single individual who lived at a turning-point of history."
A Long Way from No Go by
This is a memoir of an Aboriginal woman, Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who began life without any of the advantages of her fellow non-Indigenous Australians except for grit, humour and diverse talent in spades. Life was tough and poor as an Aboriginal kid in No Go, in remote Queensland. Tjanara navigates the treacherous waters of her childhood, immersed in the legacy of 200 years of brutal treatment of her mother's people that has left its suppurating scars deep in their psyche. Tjanara's parents believed that education was the only way to break through systemic poverty, and found ways to send all five children to school that were at once desperate and fraught. A disempowered people are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse – in her case, by the Catholic clergy. A strong-willed, successful student and athlete, after graduating from university, the times were ripe. She found her place in the new era of federal policymaking: land rights and self-determination, initiatives on health, education, and social justice that were spearheaded by Charlie Perkins and his bright young people. Tjanara was at the nerve centre of Australia's political life, shaping policy during the most exciting and innovative period in Australian politics. But she struggles to escape the dark side that leads straight back to her heritage – her experiences as an Indigenous Australian: the abuse, the daily acts of cruel racism, the despairing plight of her people, the addictions to numb the pain. Rising to a management position in Social Policy within the Prime Minister's Department, the ideological landscape has taken a tectonic turn under the Howard government. When fraudulent claims are cooked up to give the government an excuse to send the military into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, she courageously blows the whistle, and is sacked, charged and convicted for breaches of the Crimes Act relating to disclosure of confidential information; and is bankrupted for her actions. Always the professional, engaged in numerous ways to help her people, her own damage leads her on a search for healing: from psychotherapy to Aboriginal knowledge to Indian meditation and spirituality. Szego is captivated and captivates us with this extraordinary Australian whose irrepressible, playful wicked humour leaps off the pages, even as we glimpse the personal and communal pain and despair at times in a life that sweeps across the breadth of the land and its history. Through one woman's story, this book shines a light on the shameful treatment and betrayal of first Australians by individuals and social institutions over generations since Europeans took over this country. Not least in her sights is the Catholic Church: her shocking claims about systemic sexual abuse of Aboriginal children, including herself, have never been aired publicly until now. This is a story of resilience, courage and Tjanara's remarkable capacity to overcome every possible barrier that can be thrown up in Australian society. She is an inspiration to all fellow Australians and more specifically to the disenfranchised, marginalised and voiceless Indigenous communities
Waging Peace by
Publication Date: 2014-11-01
David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships and trains loaded with munitions; he has marched with mothers confronting violent regimes and stood with refugees threatened by death squads. Waging Peace is a testament to the difference one person can make. Hartsough's stories inspire, educate and encourage readers to find ways to work for a more just and peaceful world. Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence.
Rainbow Warrior by
Publication Date: 2019-06-04
In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker's Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of liberation, forever cementing his pivotal role in helping to define the modern LGBTQ movement. Rainbow Warrior is Baker's passionate personal chronicle, from a repressive childhood in 1950s Kansas to a harrowing stint in the US Army, and finally his arrival in San Francisco, where he bloomed as both a visual artist and social justice activist. His fascinating story weaves through the early years of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, when he worked closely with Milk, Cleve Jones, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Baker continued his flag-making, street theater and activism through the Reagan years and the AIDS crisis. And in 1994, Baker spearheaded the effort to fabricate a mile-long Rainbow Flag--at the time, the world's longest--to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City. Gilbert and parade organizers battled with Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the right to carry it up Fifth Avenue, past St. Patrick's Cathedral. Today, the Rainbow Flag has become a worldwide symbol of LGBTQ diversity and inclusiveness, and its colorful hues have illuminated landmarks from the White House to the Eiffel Tower to the Sydney Opera House. Gilbert Baker often called himself the "Gay Betsy Ross," and readers of his colorful, irreverent, and deeply personal memoir will find it difficult to disagree.