2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction (Finalist)The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in AmericaWe know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating. Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongst Americans, as well as the second-most visited online category. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites, and Internet communities, and a booming heritage tourism circuit.The tsunami of interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African American community has been especially overwhelming. In The Social Life of DNA, Alondra Nelson takes us on an unprecedented journey into how the double helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgent contemporary social issues around race.For over a decade, Nelson has deeply studied this phenomenon. Artfully weaving together keenly observed interactions with root-seekers alongside illuminating historical details and revealing personal narrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressing old and enduring issues. In The Social Life of DNA, she explains how these cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry.Nelson incisively shows that DNA is a portal to the past that yields insight for the present and future, shining a light on social traumas and historical injustices that still resonate today. Science can be a crucial ally to activism to spur social change and transform twenty-first-century racial politics. But Nelson warns her readers to be discerning: for the social repair we seek can't be found in even the most sophisticated science. Engrossing and highly original, The Social Life of DNA is a must-read for anyone interested in race, science, history and how our reckoning with the past may help us to chart a more just course for tomorrow.From the Hardcover edition.
|Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century|
by Dorothy Roberts (Author)
This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by...
|Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination|
by Alondra Nelson (Author)
2013 MIRRA KOMAROVSKY AWARD
2012 LETITIA WOODS BROWN MEMORIAL AWARD
2012 ASSOCIATION FOR HUMANIST SOCIOLOGY AWARD
2012 DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION TO SCHOLARSHIP AWARD, ASA
2012 C. WRIGHT MILLS AWARD (FINALIST)
Between its founding in 1966 and its formal end in 1980, the Black Panther Party blazed a distinctive trail in American political culture. The Black Panthers are most often remembered for their revolutionary rhetoric and...
|Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science|
by Kim TallBear (Author)
Who is a Native American? And who gets to decide? From genealogists searching online for their ancestors to fortune hunters hoping for a slice of casino profits from wealthy tribes, the answers to these seemingly straightforward questions have profound ramifications. The rise of DNA testing has further complicated the issues and raised the stakes.
In Native American DNA, Kim TallBear shows how DNA testing is a powerful—and problematic—scientific process that is useful in...
|Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor|
by Virginia Eubanks (Author)
Naomi Klein: "This book is downright scary."
Ethan Zuckerman, MIT: "Should be required reading."
Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: "A must-read."
Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform: "The single most important book about technology you will read this year."
Cory Doctorow: "Indispensable."
A powerful investigative look at data-based discrimination―and how technology affects civil and...
|Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness|
by Simone Browne (Author)
In Dark Matters Simone Browne locates the conditions of blackness as a key site through which surveillance is practiced, narrated, and resisted. She shows how contemporary surveillance technologies and practices are informed by the long history of racial formation and by the methods of policing black life under slavery, such as branding, runaway slave notices, and lantern laws. Placing surveillance studies into conversation with the archive of transatlantic slavery and its afterlife,...
|Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty|
by Dorothy Roberts (Author)
In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the Black Body exposed America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies. From slave masters’ economic stake in bonded women’s fertility to government programs that coerced thousands of poor Black women into being sterilized as late as the 1970s, these abuses pointed to the...
|The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome|
by Jenny Reardon (Author)
Now that we have sequenced the human genome, what does it mean? In The Postgenomic Condition, Jenny Reardon critically examines the decade after the Human Genome Project, and the fundamental questions about meaning, value and justice this landmark achievement left in its wake.
Drawing on more than a decade of research—in molecular biology labs, commercial startups, governmental agencies, and civic spaces—Reardon demonstrates how the extensive efforts to transform...
|Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism|
by Safiya Umoja Noble (Author)
A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for “black girls”—what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so...
|Social by Nature: The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics|
by Catherine Bliss (Author)
Sociogenomics has rapidly become one of the trendiest sciences of the new millennium. Practitioners view human nature and life outcomes as the result of genetic and social factors. In Social by Nature, Catherine Bliss recognizes the promise of this interdisciplinary young science, but also questions its implications for the future. As she points out, the claim that genetic similarities cause groups of people to behave in similar ways is not new―and a dark history of eugenics warns...
|In the Wake: On Blackness and Being|
by Christina Sharpe (Author)
In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the "orthography of the wake." Activating multiple registers of "wake"—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation....