The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery

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Product Details
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.42 inches | 0.44 pounds

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About the Author

Rochelle Riley is an award-winning newspaper columnist who is no longer seeking permission to put the burden down. She has fearlessly called out elected officials who should have been ashamed of themselves and has helped raise millions of dollars for just causes, especially the fight for improved adult literacy. She offers commentary on MSNBC and NPR and contributes to Essence and Ebony magazines. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016, received the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and Northwestern University, and was awarded the 2017 Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a global wanderer who has visited twenty-six countries and counting.


A unique and exceptional read from cover to cover, "The Burden" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic libraries.

--Michael Dunford "Midwest Book Review"

Here we stand two years away from commemorating four hundred years of the inception of slavery in America and we still have yet to come to grips with its multi-generational impact. Rochelle Riley dutifully takes us through the necessary paces to confront America's original sin and our refusal to deal with its many implications in every facet of our society.

--Roland S. Martin "Senior Analyst for Tom Joyner Morning Show"

The Burden has certainly achieved its major goal of attesting that postracism is a myth and that the ghost of slavery continues to determine and haunt the lives of African Americans, thus enlightening or changing the readers' conception about the reality of racism in the US. The Burden, with its broad range of perspectives, is a recommended work for all readers, but more specifically for ones interested in black history, cultural studies, and social studies, with a specific focus on race relations in America.

--Yesmina Khedhir "Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies"

Now, in 2018, it's a critical time for The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery, an important, searing, moving, and necessary read.

--Julie Hinds "Detroit Free Press"

The Burden is one of the most comprehensive, enlightening, and thought-provoking books I have ever read on African-American history. The insights into how slavery affects every aspect of America today from politics to economics to culture is powerfully presented by this remarkable essay collection.

--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "New York Times best-selling author"

This book is overflowing with truth telling. And page after page makes it painfully clear that until our nation fully owns and deals with the burden of enslavement of African Americans, all of America's people can never be truly free.

--Johnnetta Betsch Cole "President Emerita at Spelman and Bennett Colleges and Principal Consultant for Cook Ross, Inc."

[Rochelle Riley] has spent decades fighting for social good, and her latest project, The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery, is a collection of essays which aim to show that the effects of slavery remain.

--Paris Giles "BLAC Magazine"

The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery serves as a vital reminder that beneath America's propagated claims of inclusion and diversity, lies a history muddied by the unsettling realities and present-day repercussions of over 200 years of American slavery. Rochelle Riley has assembled a powerfully written and thought-provoking collection of essays aimed at exposing the perpetual effects of slavery on the American psyche and eviscerating the misconception that modern commentary about slavery is nothing more than futile apprehension over events of our past. This provocative book makes it impossible for any reader to feign ignorance about the uncomfortable truths and persisting effects of American slavery. An essential read for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of the African-American experience, both past and present.

--Damon J. Keith "Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit"

The Burden will marinate in my consciousness, flashing in my mind like a highlight reel, reminding me of how much work still needs to be done in this country surrounding race.

--Lisa Braxton "2040 Review"