Books for Black History Month
Check out the library’s picks for Black History Month!
January 25, 2024
February is black history month!
Dive into Black History Month with a book! Discover gripping non-fiction, personal memoirs, and inspiring biographies shedding light on pivotal moments and extraordinary individuals. Immerse yourself in fiction that celebrates the richness of Black culture. Explore, learn, and celebrate the stories that shape our history.
This list includes:
How We Grow The World We Want
Part memoir, part manifesto, the author, in this thought-provoking book on race, technology and justice, recounts her personal experiences and those of her family, showing how seemingly minor decisions and habits could spread virally and have exponentially positive effects.
Black Gun, Silver Star
The Life And Legend Of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves
Art T Burton
In this new edition of the biography of Bass Reeves, who was formerly enslaved and then served as a peace officer in and around late nineteenth-century Indian Territory, Art Burton traces Reeves’s presence in contemporary national media and in popular modern media.
A Fever In The Heartland
The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot To Take Over America, And The Woman Who Stopped Them
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist traces the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to power in the 1920s, driven by the con man D.C. Stephenson, and how a seemingly powerless woman named Madge Oberholtzer brought them to their knees.
In The Pines
A Lynching, A Lie, A Reckoning
Grace Elizabeth Hale
An award-winning scholar of white supremacy tackles her toughest research assignment yet: the unsolved murder of a black man in rural Mississippi while her grandfather was the local sheriff–a cold case that sheds new light on the hidden legacy of racial terror in America.
A Young Woman, A Devious Surgeon, And The Harrowing Birth Of Modern Women’s Health
J. C. Hallman
Through extensive research, the author provides the first evidence ever found of Anarcha, a young enslaved woman who endured experimental surgical procedures at the hands of a young surgeon considered “The Father of Gynecology,” illuminating the sacrifice of this woman who changed the world only to be forgotten by it–until now.
Race And Insanity In A Jim Crow Asylum
Tracing the legacy of slavery to the treatment of Black people’s bodies and minds in our current healthcare system, a Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist tells the 93-year-old history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the nation’s last segregated asylums.
Teddy And Booker T.
How Two American Icons Blazed A Path For Racial Equality
The New York Times best-selling author of George Washington’s Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates turns to two other heroes of the nation: Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
You Have To Be Prepared To Die Before You Can Begin To Live
Ten Weeks In Birmingham That Changed America
Taking readers behind the scenes of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s pivotal 10-week campaign in 1963 to end segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, a journalist zeroes in on its specific history and its echoes throughout our culture now.
Built From The Fire
The Epic Story Of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street: One Hundred Years In The Neighborhood That Refused To Be Erased
Focusing on one family’s experiences, this history of Tulsa’s Greenwood district, known as the “Black Wall Street” traces its origins, the 1921 race massacre that decimated the area and its eventual urban renewal and gentrification.
A Most Tolerant Little Town
The Explosive Beginning Of School Desegregation
Rachel Louise Martin
This portrait of the first school to attempt to implement court-ordered desegregation in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education focuses on its impact on Clinton, Tennessee, a small town living through a tumultuous turning point for America.
Rediscovering Family Legacy, And A Quest To Honor America’s First Black Generals
A descendant of America’s first two Black generals, who helped integrate the American military and created the Tuskegee Airmen, tells his family’s story across five generations, from post-Civil War America to modern day Asia and Europe.
Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism And How To Do Better
Regina Jackson, Saira Rao
A no-holds-barred guidebook aimed at white women who want to stop being nice and start dismantling white supremacy from the team behind Race2Dinner and the documentary film, Deconstructing Karen.
Medgar And Myrlie
Medgar Evers And The Love Story That Awakened America
Tracing the extraordinary lives and legacy of two civil rights icons, this gripping account of Medgar and Myrlie Evers is told through their relationship and the work that went into winning basic rights for black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.
A Forgotten Hero And The Fight For Freedom In Slavery’s Borderland
This riveting account of the little-known abolitionist, liberator and writer recounts how he organized mass escapes from Washington, Baltimore and surrounding counties to freedom in the north, risking his own freedom to battle what he called “the most inhuman system that ever blackened the pages of history.The New York Times best-selling author of George Washington’s Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates turns to two other heroes of the nation: Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
To Free The Captives
A Plea For The American Soul
Tracy K Smith
In this thought-provoking personal manifesto on memory, family and history, the author, heartsick from constant assaults on Black life, finds herself soul-searching and digging into the historical archive to understand who we are as a nation and what we might hope to mean to one another.
America’s Last Slave Ship And The Community It Created
The story of the slave ship Clotilda that carried last group of enslaved people ever brought to the U.S. from West Africa and the community they established outside Mobile, Alabama that still exists today.
Driving The Green Book
A Road Trip Through The Living History Of Black Resistance
An award-winning broadcaster and educator presents his experiences following the path of African Americans who traveled the country during the age of segregation using The Green Book, a guide which helped Black people travel safely.
Biography & Memoir
In Search Of The Beloved Community
Presents the first full-length biography of civil rights hero and congressman John Lewis.
Drawing on recently declassified FBI files, this first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon reveals the courageous and often emotionally troubled man who demanded peaceful protest but was rarely at peace with himself, while showing how his demands for racial and economic justice remain just as urgent today.
Leslie F-Cking Jones
Introducing the woman behind the laughs, this audacious memoir reveals what it took to for Leslie Jones to become one of America’s most beloved and plain-speaking superstars, encouraging others to let go of the fear and self-doubt holding them back to live a bigger life than ever imagined.
The Kneeling Man
My Father’s Life As A Black Spy Who Witnessed The Assassination Of Martin Luther King Jr.
Leta McCollough Seletzky
The author presents this intimate and heartbreaking story of her quest for the truth about her father, the Black undercover police officer who famously kneeled down beside the assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., trying save him, whose true identity challenged her understanding of what it meant to be Black in America.
The Art Of Scandal
After discovering her husband is having an affair, Rachel Abbott agrees to keep playing the ideal Black trophy wife until after his reelection campaign but finds it hard to keep her side of the bargain when she falls in love with an artist whose secrets blow everything wide open.
In the Jim Crow South, twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., who can see ghosts, is sent to The Reformatory where boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, while his sister Gloria rallies everyone in Florida to get him out before it’s too late.
The Neighbor Favor
Enlisting the help of her new neighbor to find a date for her sister’s wedding, not realizing he is her favorite fantasy author-the very same one who ghosted her months ago–aspiring children’s book author Lily Greene finds this simple favor between them becoming anything but.
Life And Other Love Songs
When her husband disappears on his 37th birthday, Deborah and her daughter, in the days, months and years to follow, look backward and forward as they piece together the life of the man they love, but whom they come to realize they might never have truly known.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths
In 1957 Salt Point, Maine, the Kindred sisters–as parts of the country call for freedom, equality and justice for black Americas–are seen as threats along with the town’s only other black family, and amid violence, prejudice and fear, they commit great acts of heroism and grace to survive.
Cheryl A Head
Searching for answers in the unsolved murder of her great-grandfather decades ago, Meghan Mackenzie, the youngest reporter at the Detroit Free Press, spurred by the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, travels to Birmingham where she uncovers secrets that put her own life in danger.
In a multi-generational novel set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and in the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama, a mother fights for her sanity and survival.
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
When a skeleton is unearthed in the small, close-knit community of Chicken Hill, Pennsylvania, in 1972, an unforgettable cast of characters–living on the margins of white, Christian America–closely guard a secret, especially when the truth is revealed about what happened and the part the town’s white establishment played in it.
When he wakes up with the knowledge that humanity is a virus destined to destroy all existence and he is the cure, Martin, uses his new physical strengths to violently defend his family–the only Black family in their neighborhood in Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles–against pure evil.
What Napoleon Could Not Do
Envious of his sister, who achieved, as their father put it, “what Napoleon could not do,” by graduating law school in the U.S. and marrying a wealthy black businessman from Texas, Jacob, fighting for a visa to join his wife in Virginia, must learn from his dashed hopes to fulfill his own dreams.
Symphony Of Secrets
A gripping page-turner from the celebrated author of book club favorite The Violin Conspiracy: Music professor Bern Hendricks discovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time–his music may have been stolen from a Black Jazz Age prodigy named Josephine Reed. Determined to uncover the truth that a powerful organization wants to keep hidden, Bern will stop at nothing to right history’s wrongs and give Josephine the recognition she deserves.
Let Us Descend
In the years before the Civil War, Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, struggles through the miles-long march, seeks comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother, opening herself to a world beyond this world.