Books covering Black culture

Throughout the month of February, UC Press will highlight books we have had the privilege to publish. Books featured will raise up Black voices, highlight the works of Black artists, bring forth the history, and speak about the issues facing the Black community.

We are proud to publish multiple books focused on exploring in very unique ways Black music and how it relates or impacts life and culture.

Follow us on Twitter (@UCPress) and on Instagram (@uc_press) as we will highlight a new or recent book each day.

Freedom Moves
Hip Hop Knowledges, Pedagogies, and Futures

Edited by H. Samy Alim, Jeff Chang, and Casey Wong

“This collection presents essays reflecting on how hip-hop music has helped communities around the world understand their histories and identities in the last half-century.”New York Times Book Review

Artists, educators, and activists discuss how hip-hop goes beyond music in this prolific and illuminating book.”Library Journal, starred review

This expansive collection sets the stage for the next generation of Hip Hop scholarship as we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the movement’s origins.

Joy and Pain
A Story of Black Life and Liberation in Five Albums

By Damien M. Sojoyner

Q&A with author Damien M. Sojoyner

“Lively discussions of Black musicians pepper the narrative, as do deep dives into the tactics and strategies of advocacy groups such as the Black Panther Party and the California Housing and Action Network. Progressive activists will savor this in-depth portrait of the struggle for justice.”Publishers Weekly

Structured as a “record collection” of five “albums,” this innovative book depicts the overwhelming nature of Black precarity in the twenty‑first century through the lenses of housing, education, health care, social services, and juvenile detention. 

Rebel Speak
A Justice Movement Mixtape

By Bryonn Rolly Bain

Listen to author Bryonn Rolly Bain’s playlist

“A powerful and intimate look at the fight for a more equitable and compassionate justice system.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rebel Speak is an impassioned addition to conversations about how America was designed to harm Black citizens—and how it continues to do so.”—Foreword Reviews

A literary mixtape of transformative dialogues on justice with a cast of visionary rebel activists, organizers, artists, culture workers, thought leaders, and movement builders.

Who Hears Here?
On Black Music, Pasts & Present

By Guthrie P Ramsey Jr.

Read Guthrie Ramsey’s reflection on his career

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., is an award-winning musicologist, music historian, composer, and pianist whose prescient theoretical and critical interventions have bridged Black cultural studies and musicology. Representing twenty-five years of commentary and scholarship, these essays document Ramsey’s search to understand America’s Black musical past and present and to find his own voice as an African American writer in the field of musicology.