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Best of Emerge Magazine
Edited by George E. Curry
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"This whopper of an anthology perfectly captures black life and culture...This retrospective volume is journalism at its best: probing, controversial and serious...Although Emerge was devoted unequivocally to African-Americans, Curry’s vision and editorship of this book will instruct, provoke and sometimes entertain or inspire any reader."

- Publishers Weekly

From Publishers Weekly

This whopper of an anthology perfectly captures black life and culture as offered through Emerge. Launched in 1989, the award-winning magazine provided an animated, informative alternative to mass media until its demise in June 2000. This retrospective volume is journalism at its best: probing, controversial and serious. In loose juxtaposition, American Society of Magazine Editors president Curry presents (with more than 100 columns) a mosaic of issues that resonate in the black community.

A popular magazine written in a popular style, Emerge was radical in its treatment of the black condition as the human condition. Naturally, famous writers appear, including Dick Gregory, Walter Mosley, Clarence Thomas and Maxine Waters. So, too, do newsworthy major events, lest readers forget the loss of Emmet Till (lynching) or Ron Brown (airplane crash). Besides terrific writing and coverage of important news, though, Emerge had unusual breadth. It dipped into biblical scholarship, environmental issues, for-profit prisons, the Internet, the brokering of businesses and medical research. It taunted double standards: the targeting of black congressmen, genocide in Rwanda. Its coverage stretched around the world, to Kosovo, Brazil, Cuba and Japan. It kept an eye close to home, too, taking in radio talk-show hosts, Miss Apollo and churchwomen. Emerge knew how to laugh at strategies for getting away from long awards dinners. Although Emerge was devoted unequivocally to African-Americans, Curry's vision and editorship of this book will instruct, provoke and sometimes entertain or inspire any reader.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description

The 1990s. African Americans achieved more influence–and faced more explosive issues–than ever before. One word captured those times. One magazine expressed them. Emerge.

In those ten years, with an impressive circulation of 170,000 and more than forty national awards to its credit, Emerge became a serious part of the American mainstream. Time hailed its “uncompromising voice.” The Washington Post declared that Emerge “gets better with each issue.” Then, after nearly a decade, Emerge magazine closed its doors. Now, for the first time, here’s a collection of the finest articles from a publication that changed the face of African American news.

From the Clarence Thomas nomination to the Bill Clinton impeachment . . . from the life of Louis Farrakhan to the death of Betty Shabazz . . . from reparations for slavery to the rise of blacks on Wall Street . . . the most important people, topics, and turning points of this remarkable period are featured in incisive articles by first-rate writers.

Emerge may have ended with the millennium, but–as this incomparable volume proves–the quality of its coverage is still unequaled, the extent of its impact still emerging. Stirring tribute, uncanny time capsule, riveting read–The Best of Emerge Magazine is also the best of American journalism.

The Affirmative Action Debate
Edited by George E. Curry
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"...Collects the leading voices on all sides of this crucial dialogue…the one book you need to understand and discuss the nation’s sharpest political divide."

The Affirmative Action Debate collects the leading voices on all sides of this crucial dialogue. A provocative range of politicians, researchers, legal experts, and businesspeople dispute the best way to fight discrimination. Their essays explore such questions as, How did affirmative-action policies come to be? Who benefits most from them, and who suffers? How do these programs work in hiring, contracting, college admissions, and other fields? What will recent Supreme Court rulings and legislative initiatives mean? And, most fundamentally, does any race-conscious remedy simply perpetuate discrimination? Recognizing affirmative action as more than a black-and-white issue, this book includes the voices of women, Latinos, and Asian-Americans who are also affected but often ignored. A sourcebook of solid facts and surprising arguments, The Affirmative Action Debate is the one book you need to understand and discuss the nation’s sharpest political divide.

Jake Gaither: America’s Most Famous Black Coach
By George E. Curry
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"Curry has some telling points to make on the unlooked for effects of court-ordered desegregation."

- The New York Times

"...an excellent example of sports writing."
- Library Journal

He grew up expecting to preach hell, fire and brimstone like his father. Noting he was "always running at the mouth," his mother expected him to become a lawyer.

But when his father died just as Alonzo Smith "Jake" Gaither was finishing college, he had to become a provider, which meant taking a job as a high school football coach.

In 1945, three years after barely surviving a bout with brain cancer, Gaither became head coach at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. The school's president couldn't get anyone else to take the job.

He coached at the school for 25 seasons, compiling a 203-36-4 record, the highest winning percentage (.844) of anyone who has coached more than 13 seasons of college football.

Born in 1903 in Dayton, Tenn., Gaither wanted his players "mobile, agile and hostile." By the 1960s, he had established such an elaborate pipeline in Florida that he didn't bother to recruit anywhere else.

Gaither's greatest innovation was the Split-Line T formation, which appeared in 1963 and was soon imitated by virtually every successful coach. His proudest moment came Nov. 29, 1969, when his Rattlers defeated the University of Tampa, 34-28, in the South's first interracial college football game.

His passion and his motivational skills set Gaither apart. He wasn't above hiding an onion in his handkerchief to work up tears for a pre-game pep talk. No onion was necessary after a loss.

By the time he retired in 1969, Gaither was as much an institution as Florida A&M itself. Forty-two of his players had gone on to the NFL. Gaither never had any intention of going anywhere.

Before he died at 90 in 1994 in Tallahassee, he told his biographer, George E. Curry:

"I run into so many people who have no deep sense of morals -- people who got a price tag on them, who'd sell their soul. I want to find the man who has no price tag on him. I'm not for sale."

-- Dick Scanlon