Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Description

2016 NAACP Image Award Winner

Winner of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction

An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit--a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid.

In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese "pygmy"--a person of petite stature--arrived from central Africa and 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 tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe.

Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga's captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota's tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life.

Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today.

Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780062201027
006220100
9780062201003
9780062201010
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 7e0d1856-d110-cdc3-7b4c-4cff301b0140
Grouping Title spectacle the astonishing life of ota benga
Grouping Author newkirk pamela
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-10-19 23:00:46PM
Last Indexed 2019-10-20 00:59:40AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Pamela Newkirk
author_display Pamela Newkirk
available_at_catalog Madison
Madison Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
collection_catalog Biography
detailed_location_catalog Madison - Adult Biography
Main Library - Adult Biography
display_description "Describes the cruelty and prevalent racial prejudice in early-twentieth-century America that resulted in a Congolese man being featured in an exhibit in the 1904 World's Fair and then displayed in the Monkey House of a New York zoo,"--Amazon.com.
format_catalog Book
eBook
format_category_catalog Books
eBook
id 7e0d1856-d110-cdc3-7b4c-4cff301b0140
isbn 006220100
9780062201003
9780062201010
9780062201027
item_details
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
ils:CARL0000464034 35192047599687 Madison - Adult Biography B B4661n 1 false false On Shelf MA
ils:CARL0000464034 A02116477 East Nashville Magnet High - Teen Non-Fiction 967.51 NEW 1 false false On Shelf 63290
ils:CARL0000464034 FF00129347 MLK Jr. Magnet - Teen Non-Fiction 967.51 NEW 1 false false On Shelf 6C497
ils:CARL0000464034 35192047599695 Main Library - Adult Biography B B4661n 1 false false On Shelf MN
ils:CARL0000679085 QQ00253571 Hillsboro High - Teen Biography B NEW BEN 1 false false On Shelf 66435
overdrive:554496d4-d222-428a-9fe3-02e47a0cf5af -1 Online OverDrive Collection Online OverDrive eBook eBook 1 false true OverDrive Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read Available Online
itype_catalog
Book
last_indexed 2019-10-20T05:59:40.185Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog B B4661n
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Madison
Madison Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
primary_isbn 9780062201027
publishDate 2015
2016
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000464034 Book Books First edition. English Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015] xvi, 297 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.
ils:CARL0000679085 Book Books First Amistad paperback edition. English Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016. xviii, 316 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
overdrive:554496d4-d222-428a-9fe3-02e47a0cf5af eBook eBook English HarperCollins 2015
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_catalog
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:CARL0000464034 35192047599687 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000464034 35192047599695 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
overdrive:554496d4-d222-428a-9fe3-02e47a0cf5af -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Benga, Ota
Biographies
Human zoos -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Pygmies -- Congo (Democratic Republic) -- Biography
Pygmies -- Crimes against -- Congo (Democratic Republic)
Pygmies -- United States -- Biography
United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
title_display Spectacle : the astonishing life of Ota Benga
title_full Spectacle : the astonishing life of Ota Benga / Pamela Newkirk
Spectacle The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga
title_short Spectacle :
title_sub The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga
topic_facet Benga, Ota
Biographies
Crimes against
History
Human zoos
Nonfiction
Pygmies
Social life and customs