Books for Black History Month
Check out the library’s picks for Black History Month!
February 8, 2023
This list includes:
The Trayvon Generation
One of the great literary voices of our time shares her celebrated and moving reflection on the challenges facing young Black America, illuminating our nation’s unresolved problem with race.
This essay was originally published in the New Yorker, and is included in the essay anthologies The Matter of Black Lives, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Magazine Writing.
Julian Bond’s Time To Teach
A History Of The Southern Civil Rights Movement
The SNCC co-founder and civil rights professor draws on original lecture notes to explain the role of youth activism in key historical events, the unpopular and high-risk realities of disruptive movements and what today’ s activists need to know.
By Hands Now Known
Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners
Margaret A Burnham
The director of Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project examines the legal apparatus that helped sustain Jim Crow-era violence, focusing on a series of harrowing cases from 1920 to 1960.
The Epic Story Of African Americans Fighting World War II At Home And Abroad
This history of World War II as told from the African American perspective looks at the bravery and patriotism of the one million black men and women who served in the face of unfathomable racism.
Black American Refugee
Escaping The Narcissism Of The American Dream
A prominent Black writer shares her journey from Trinidad to New Jersey in search of a better life, only to return to Tobago after becoming exhausted by chasing an American Dream that has become inaccessible to Black people.
How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals
David Hackett Fischer
Investigates the little-known history of how enslaved people from various parts of Africa mixed with colonists of European ancestry in the colonial United States to establish unique regional cultures.
How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won The Vote, And Insisted On Equality For All
Martha S Jones
Examines the struggle of African American women to achieve equality and political power by examining the lives and work of black women, including Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Fannie Lou Hamer
A Shot In The Moonlight
How A Freed Slave And A Confederate Soldier Fought For Justice In The Jim Crow South
A true tale of justice in the Jim Crow south relates the story of George Dinning, a freed slave who was wrongfully convicted of murder after defending himself against a white mob and later won damages against them in court with the help of a Confederate war hero-turned-lawyer.
His Name Is George Floyd
One Man’s Life And The Struggle For Racial Justice
Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa
Two prize-winning Washington Post reporters examine how systemic racism impacted both the life and death of the 46-year old black man who was murdered in broad daylight outside a Minneapolis convenience store by white officer Derek Chauvin.
South To America
A Journey Below The Mason-Dixon To Understand The Soul Of A Nation
This intricately woven tapestry of stories of immigrant communities, exploitative opportunists, enslaved peoples, unsung heroes and lived experiences shows the meaning of American is inextricably linked to the South– and understanding its history and culture is the key to understanding our nation as a whole.
Waging A Good War
A Military History Of The Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968
Thomas E Ricks
A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter offers a fresh perspective on the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and its legacy today, narrating its triumphs and defeats and highlighting lesser-known figures who played critical roles in fashioning nonviolence into an effective tool.
Under The Skin
The Hidden Toll Of Racism On American Lives And The Health Of A Nation
The first book to tell the full story of race and health in America today, showing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation, by a groundbreaking journalist at the New York Times Magazine.
I Saw Death Coming
A History Of Terror And Survival In The War Against Reconstruction
Kidada E Williams
From a groundbreaking scholar, a heart-wrenching reexamination of the struggle for survival in the Reconstruction-era South, and what it cost.
Biography and Memoir
Until I Am Free
Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message To America
Keisha N Blain
Blending together social commentary, biography and history, an award-winning historian challenges us to listen to Fannie Lou Hamer, a working-poor and disabled Black woman activist and intellectual of the civil rights movement, as we grapple with modern concerns around race, inequality and social justice.
A Coastline Is An Immeasurable Thing
A Memoir Across Three Continents
An American African poet recalls her journey from Nigeria to England to America and the racial, religious and cultural challenges she faced while confronting the bonds and boundaries of blackness.
The Legacy Of Slavery In An American Family
Kerri K Greenidge
Award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge presents a parallel narrative, indeed a long-overdue corrective,shifting the focus from the white abolitionist sisters to the Black Grimkes and deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality.
My Seven Black Fathers
A Young Activist’s Memoir Of Race, Family, And The Mentors Who Made Him Whole
Looking back on the relationships with an extraordinary series of mentors who enabled him to thrive, including President Barack Obama, an attorney, activist and community leader offers a transformative way for black men to shape the next generation.
The Four Seasons Of Jackie Robinson
Offers a new chronicle of the life of Jackie Robinson, one of baseball’s, and America’s, most significant figures.
A Memoir Of Second Chances And First Takes
Stephen A Smith
Revealing who he really is when the cameras are off, America’s most popular sports media figure writes about the greatest highs and deepest lows of his life and career, while sharing his signature, uninhibited opinions about current political and social issues.
When she moves in with her coffee entrepreneur boyfriend and his doomsday-prepping roommates, Aretha, a black lawyer, finds her dreams of making partner slipping away as she is drawn into preparing for the end of the world, which may be around the corner.
Moon And The Mars
Set in the impoverished Five Points district of New York City in the years 1857-1863, this novel is told through the eyes of Theo, an orphan living between the homes of her Black and Irish grandparents, as the nation divides and marches to war.
A young British Ghanaian woman navigates her 20s and finds her place in the world.
The Love Songs Of W.E.B. Du Bois
Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
To come to terms with who she is and what she wants, Ailey, the daughter of an accomplished doctor and a strict schoolteacher, embarks on a journey through her family’s past, helping her embrace her full heritage, which is the story of the Black experience in itself.
The House Of Eve
From the award-winning author of Yellow Wife, a daring, beautiful, and redemptive novel that explores what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal.
Moonrise Over New Jessup
In 1957, Alice Young arrives in the all-Black town of New Jessup, Alabama, a place of opposing viewpoints on desegregation at the beginning of the civil rights movement, where she falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activities could expel them from the home they love.
Anywhere You Run
Wanda M Morris
Two sisters on the run from Jim Crow justice in 1964 Jackson, Mississippi, flee to separate parts of the country, unaware that they are both being pursued by someone with dark secrets and a disturbing motive for finding them that is unknown to anyone buthimself.
River Sing Me Home
A redemptive story of a mother’ s gripping journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery.
In The Upper Country
Summoned to a neighboring farm to gather testimony after an old woman who recently arrived via the Underground Railroad kills a slave hunter, Lensinda Martin accepts the woman’s proposed barter of a story for a story instead of a confession.
De’Shawn Charles Winslow
When three siblings are found shot to death in the still-segregated town of West Mills, North Carolina, in 1976, and the white authorities show no interest in solving the case, Josephine Wright sets out to prove the innocence of her childhood sweetheart,Olympus “Lymp” Seymore, the murder victims’ half-brother and the leading suspect in the case.