Madame C.J. Walker (in the driver’s seat at left) was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist who became the first black woman millionaire in the United States. She made her fortune selling hair care products for women. She was born Sarah Breedlove to Louisiana sharecroppers in 1867. She was widowed by age 20 and went to work as a laundress in St. Louis, MO. After starting to lose her hair in 1905, she develped a product that helped with her condition and went on to create a whole system of hair treatment products specifically geared towards black women’s hair. She lived extravagantly, and her Manhattan townhouse would later become a meeting place for artists of the Harlem Renaissance. She also gave extravagantly to charities like the NAACP, black YMCA, and funded scholarships for women to the Tuskeegee Institute. She is ranked #85 of the 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: a Ranking Past and Present.
One of the biographies of Madame C.J. Walker available is On her own ground : the life and times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles, New York: Scribner, 2001.
Another more recent biography is “Her Dream of Dreams: the Rise and Triumph of Madame C.J. Walker, by Beverly Lowry, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
It is difficult to overstate the impact Frederick Douglass had on the abolition movement in the 19th Century. He escaped slavery, fled to New York City and became a major figure in the movement. Rentschler Library has both of his famous books. His first, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, is a “testament to the evils of slavery, detailing its dehumanizing nature and its attempt to crush one’s spirit.” (Notable Black Americans, 1998). His second autobiography, My Bondage and my Freedom, “revises key portions of his original 1845 Narrative and extends the story of his life to include his experiences as a traveling lecturer in the United States as well as England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.” (Documenting the American South)
The book jacket above is a biography of Douglass, edited by L. Diane Barnes, using selected speeches and writings. One reviewer said it is a “well-collocated set of materials from across Douglass’s life” and provides “an approachable and meaningful introduction to the man and his ideas.”
1911 photo of Tubman, Library of Congress
February is African American History month and so this month the library’s blog is going to feature images, books, and other content to celebrate the contributions of African Americans, as well as info on any related events on our campuses. At left is Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian and spy for the North during the U.S. Civil War.
Next up is the Taste of Soul Dinner & Silent Auction, on Feb. 11 from 6-9 p.m. at the Wilks Conference Center. Enjoy traditional soul food, a silent auction from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., and entertainment by The Brotherhood Singer from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+), and $5 for Miami students and children under 12. Call 513-785-3024 or email kingmm (“at” symbol) miamioh.edu.
Essential Hinduism. Author Rosen, as editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies , is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: “The Basis,” which focuses on Hinduism’s history and holy texts, and “The Practice,” which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations – Library Journal
Lewis’s Mere Christianity discusses the essence of Christian faith and the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a discussion of Christian belief that rejects the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations. The author finds a common ground on which all Christians can stand together, and provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for their faith – Publisher summary
Basic Beliefs of Judaism takes a contemporary point of view, looking at how the basic beliefs of Judaism fit into the lives of modern Jews. The author does this with an eye toward helping the reader form his/her own understanding of Judaism. The book touches upon beliefs relating to creation, God, and the cosmos, as well as beliefs relating to day-to-day issues of family relations, social interactions, and ethics. – Publisher summary
Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, collects important philosophical texts from each major Buddhist tradition. Each text is translated and introduced by a recognized authority in Buddhist studies. Each introduction sets the text in context and introduces the philosophical issues it addresses and arguments it presents, providing a useful and authoritative guide to reading and to teaching the text. – Publisher summary
Demystifying Islam is “a concise guide to what Islam really teaches about provocative topics, from the burqa to Shariah law. After a short introduction to basic beliefs and practices, each chapter boldly tackles a challenging topic about Islam today. The book is forthright about issues where Muslims disagree, and provides a single, engaging source where readers can turn for answers to these important topics.” – Publisher summary
Hello and welcome to all new and returning students! We hope this semester will be rewarding and successful one. Rentschler Library is ready to help you, whether it’s help with research, or finding out what your instructor has on reserve. We have group study rooms that you can reserve for 2 hr. periods, and even book them at least 2 weeks in advance.
Our hours are:
8AM – 9PM Monday-Thursday
8AM-5PM on Friday
10AM – 2PM Saturday
1PM – 5PM Sunday
Best of luck!
The library and campus will be closed on Monday, January 16th. The library will reopen at 8:00am on Tuesday, January 17th.
Winter Term is here! If you need to do some research or pick up books, we are open. Our hours are 8AM – 5PM Monday through Friday. and we are closed on weekends. Regular hours resume on Jan. 23 with the start of Spring Semester.