New & Noteworthy List for June 2024

A bibliography of books, reports, and other documents recently added to the Legislative Reference Library collection.

1. Blackbirds Singing: Inspiring Black Women’s Speeches from the Civil War to the Twenty-First Century
By Janet Dewart Bell
Highlights inspiring speeches of 28 Black women from 1865 to 2017, including Sojourner Truth; Harriet Tubman; Maya Angelou; and U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan. Honors a long history of challenging oppression, racial prejudice, and inequality via public address. Explores the abolition of slavery; lynchings; and police violence, as well as the struggles for equality; civil rights; and justice. Emphasizes the ongoing efforts and courage of Black women to advocate for both themselves and their communities.
New Press, 2024. 300 pages.
815.008 B433 2024
2. City Limits: Infrastructure, Inequality, and the Future of America’s Highways
By Megan Kimble
Details the history of highway expansion in the U.S. from the initial highway boom to the motivations that continue to fuel expansion. Argues against highway construction and advocates instead for highway removal, the expansion of public transit, and the revitalization of walkable urban spaces. Looks to Texas cities as prime examples of how highway systems hurt local residents, stymie the growth of urban areas and economies, and exacerbate traffic congestion. Highlights the negative effects highways had, and continue to have, on historically Black and minority neighborhoods. Supports arguments with anecdotal evidence and personal accounts.
Crown, 2024. 340 pages.
388.1 K49 2024
3. One Year in Uvalde: A Story of Hope and Resilience
By John Quinones and Mary Elena Salinas
Documents the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, through the work of investigative correspondents at ABC News who stayed in Uvalde for one year after the tragedy. Highlights the experiences of the victims’ families and the activism and resiliency of the community, including legislative advocacy on gun violence in the 2023 session. Discusses school district police chief Pete Arredondo, the failures of law enforcement, the teachers struggling with survivor’s guilt, and the joy brought to the community by the Uvalde football team in the fall of 2022.
Hyperion Avenue, 2024. 220 pages.
371.7 Q7 2024
4. Rick Perry: A Political Life
By Brandon Rottinghaus
Presents a political biography of former Texas Governor Rick Perry along with a detailed study of the social and political transformation of the state over the last 40 years, including the emergence of the modern Republican Party. Traces Perry’s party switch from a “blue dog” Democrat to one of the most conservative politicians in the state at the time, overseeing legislation on redistricting; abortion; and voting. Suggests that Perry’s evolution was complicated and incomplete due to his positions on immigration, vaccine requirements, and economic development incentives. Chronicles the ways Perry accumulated power and shaped the governorship and concludes that his impact on state policy, politics, and the Republican Party ranks among the most consequential in Texas history.
University of Texas Press, 2024. 370 pages.
352.23 R851 2024
5. They Came for the Schools: One Town’s Fight Over Race and Identity, and the New War for America’s Classrooms
By Mike Hixenbaugh
Investigates the rising conflict over what students should be taught in public schools. Focuses on the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, where conservatives rolled back earlier school district initiatives that had sought to make schools more inclusive. Examines a national conservative campaign’s efforts to revise curricula; ban books; limit civil rights; and adopt school privatization, as well as the rise of a resistance movement to counter these efforts. Includes discussion of school voucher legislation in the 2023 Texas legislative session. Mentions Representative Nate Schatzline and education-related bills SB 8, 88th Legislature, R.S. and HB 3979, 87th Legislature, R.S.
Mariner Books, 2024. 277 pages.
370.9764531 H676 2024
6. Off the Mark: How Grades, Ratings, & Rankings Undermine Learning (But Don’t Have To)
By Jack Schneider and Ethan L. Hutt
Claims that assessment methods used to track student academic performance undermine student learning by promoting earning grades over learning. Addresses three reasons for modern assessment tools: social reliance on testing, the necessity of tracking and assessing learning, and a belief in assessment effectiveness. Points out how grading, testing, and permanent records are ineffective and do not foster a desire to learn. Reviews historical educational systems, explaining why modern assessments became the tools education institutions use to track academic progress. Acknowledges the importance of assessment to gauge student progress, but advocates for assessment methods that promote an intrinsic desire to learn.
Harvard University Press, 2023. 281 pages.
371.27 SCH358 2023