Monday, March 21, 2016


Yesterday, March 20, 2016, marked the 100th anniversary of Ota Benga's suicide.  Ota, a young Congolese "pygmy," was captured by slavers in Africa, but American explorer Samuel Phillips Verner bought Ota's freedom and convinced Ota to return with him to America.

In the United States, Ota was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair.  Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch man with an orangutan.  Years later, the dehumanization and subsequent depression Ota suffered drove him to ultimately take his own life.

You can read Ota Benga's full story in Pamela Newkirk's Spectacle.  Read a sample here.

More African American studies titles are available in our online catalog.

Friday, March 18, 2016

GIRLS & SEX In the 21st Century

A fascinating video from author of the beloved Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein, delves into the nature of sex and intimacy for girls today.  Orenstein draws from the research she did for her new book, Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, to go in depth on what sexual satisfaction means for girls, and how often their satisfaction derives from their male partners' satisfaction rather than their own.  She also discusses how today's hookup culture has changed the nature of sex.  "Sex," she says, "rather than being an expression of intimacy, is now the precursor of intimacy."

Girls & Sex goes on sale 3/29.  For information on other Women's Studies titles, visit our Gender and Women's Studies online catalog.

You can watch Peggy's video below.