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Black History Month       View List as Printable PDF

Books about Black history and by Black authors


Celebrate Black History


Black History In its Own Words

Black History In its Own Words
by Wimberly, Ronald
GN 973.0496 WIM
Black History in its Own Words presents quotes of dozens of black luminaries with portraits & illustrations by Ronald Wimberly. Featuring the memorable words and depictions of Angela Davis, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Kanye West, Zadie Smith, Ice Cube, Dave Chappelle, James Baldwin, Spike Lee and more.

Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing

Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing
by Oliver, Stephanie Stokes (Editor)
808.849 BLA
Spanning over 250 years of history, Black Ink traces black literature in America from Frederick Douglass to Ta-Nehisi Coates in this masterful collection of twenty-five illustrious and moving essays on the power of the written word.

A black women's history of the United States

A black women's history of the United States
by Berry, Diana Ramey
305.4889 BER
A Black Women's History of the United States is a critical survey of black women's complicated legacy in America, as it takes into account their exploitation and victimization as well as their undeniable and substantial contributions to the country since its inception.

The Color of Law

The Color of Law
by Rothstein, Richard
e-book
This "powerful and disturbing history" exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review). Widely heralded as a "masterful" (Washington Post) and "essential" (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers "the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation" (William Julius Wilson).

The dead are arising : the life of Malcolm X

The dead are arising : the life of Malcolm X
by Payne, Les
BIO X
Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X-all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist.

Driving while black : African American travel and the road to civil rights

Driving while black : African American travel and the road to civil rights
by Sorin, Gretchen Sullivan
323.1196 SOR
Gretchen Sorin recovers a forgotten history of black motorists, and recounts their creation of a parallel, unseen world of travel guides, black only hotels, and informal communications networks that kept black drivers safe.

The Fire This Time

The Fire This Time
by Ward, Jesmyn
e-book
National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America , The Fire Next Time , as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019

Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019
by Kendi, Ibram X.
973.04 KEN
A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Last year marked the four hundredth anniversary of thefirst African presence in the Americas--and also launched the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracism Institute of American University, and Keisha Blain, editor of The North Star.

How We Fight For Our lives

How We Fight For Our lives
by Jones, Saeed
811.6 JON
Jones's bestselling memoir is a personal account of growing up in the South as a young gay man who's attempting to find himself while battling rocky relationships with family, friends, and lovers.

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Kindred

Kindred
by Butler, Octavia E.
SCIENCE FICTION BUT
In what is considered a literary masterpiece and Butler's most popular novel, Kindred follows a young Black woman named Dana. Though she lives in 1976 L.A., she's suddenly transported to a Civil War-era plantation in Maryland. Soon, the more frequently Dana travels back in time, the longer she stays, as she faces danger that threaten her life in the future.

My Vanishing Country

My Vanishing Country
by Sellers, Bakari
BIO SELLERS
An eye-opening odyssey through the South's past, present, and future that is a moving and gripping tribute to America's forgotten rural working-class black folks. The small town of Denmark was once a thriving hub of South Carolina's idyllic Low Country. Yet today, this majority African-American town with a population of 3,500 is emblematic of the "Forgotten South" -- small communities of color stretching from Appalachia to the Sunbelt. For CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers, Denmark is "home" -- the land on which his forefathers toiled to build lives of meaning and substance, despite systemic racism and Jim Crow laws. In My Vanishing Country, he illuminates the pride and pain that continue to fertilize the soil of one of the poorest states in the nation and the forces threatening rural working-class black life.

The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half
by Bennett, Brit
FICTION BEN
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined.

The Yellow House

The Yellow House
by Broom, Sarah
BIO Broom
Sarah M. Broom's [memoir] The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.