During Black History Month we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Black people in American history and recognize how the struggles of Black Americans have helped our democracy more fully realize its founding ideals of liberty and equality.
Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad by Matthew F. Delmont
More than one million Black men and women served in World War II, playing crucial roles in nearly every theater, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home and largely ignored in historical accounts. Delmont sets the record straight.
American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America's First Paramedics by Kevin Hazzard
This is a rich and troubling hidden history of the Black origins of America's paramedics, a special band of dedicated essential workers who stand ready to serve day and night on the line between life and death for every one of us.
Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality by Tomiko Brown-Nagin
This is the first major biography of one of our most influential judges – an activist lawyer who became the first Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary – that provides an eye-opening account of the twin struggles for gender equality and civil rights in the 20th Century.
The Movement Made Us: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride by David J. Dennis Jr. in collaboration with David J. Dennis Sr.
A dynamic family exchange that pivots between the voices of a father and son, The Movement Made Us is a unique work of oral history and memoir, chronicling the extraordinary story of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and its living legacy embodied in Black Lives Matter.
Alabama v. King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement by Dan Abrams and Fred D. Gray with David Fisher
The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.
Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968 by Thomas E. Ricks
This is a new take on the Civil Rights Movement, stressing its unexpected use of military strategy and its lessons for nonviolent resistance around the world.
U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler's Guide to the People, Places, and Events That Made the Movement by Deborah D. Douglas
From eye-opening landmarks to celebrations of triumph over adversity, experience a tangible piece of history in this vivid glimpse into the story of Black America's fight for freedom and equality.
South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
This is an essential, surprising journey through the history, rituals and landscapes of the American South – and a revelatory argument for why you must understand its history and culture in order to understand the nation as a whole.
A Few Days Full of Trouble: Revelations on the Journey to Justice for My Cousin and Best Friend, Emmett Till by Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr and Christopher Benson
In a hypnotic interplay between uncovered facts and vivid recall, the last surviving witness to the lynching of Emmett Till tells his story, with poignant recollections of Emmett as a boy, critical insights into the recent investigation, and powerful lessons for racial reckoning, both then and now.
You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston
This collection of provocative essays spans more than three decades of work by Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most celebrated writers from the Harlem Renaissance, providing her controversial arguments on enslavement and Jim Crow, feminism, sexism, education and Black history itself.
African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals by David Hackett Fischer
This is a brilliant synthesis of African and African-American history that shows how slavery differed in different regions of the country, and how the Africans and their descendants influenced the culture, commerce and laws of the early United States.
The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning by Ben Raines
Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the Clotilda became the last ship in history to bring enslaved Africans to the United States. The ship was scuttled and burned on arrival to hide evidence of the crime. Raines recounts the ship's perilous journey, the story of its rediscovery, and its complex legacy.
The Color of Abolition: How a Printer, a Prophet, and a Contessa Moved a Nation by Linda Hirshman.
This is a history of a group of American abolitionists who were roiled by divisiveness. It’s the story of the fascinating, fraught alliance among Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Maria Weston Chapman--and how its breakup led to the success of America's most important social movement.
The Devil's Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South's Most Notorious Slave Jail by Kristen Green
Drawing on years of deep research, Kristen Green tells the extraordinary hidden story of young Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman who sought freedom and lit a path for liberation for thousands more.
Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation by Kris Manjapra
This book focuses on emancipation and how this opportunity to make right further codified the racial caste system instead of obliterating it. An understanding of why the shadow of slavery still haunts society today requires that we must not only look at what slavery was, but also the unfinished way it ended.
Beyond Baseball's Color Barrier: The Story of African Americans in Major League Baseball, Past, Present, and Future by Rocco Constantino
This is a celebration of Black players throughout the history of Major League Baseball, providing a comprehensive history dating back to the 1800s, but also highlighting accomplishments and personalities and insight into what the future may hold.
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy
This is a probing, richly-detailed, unique biography of Jackie Robinson, one of baseball's – and America's – most significant figures: the person who most profoundly extended, and continues to extend, the reach of the game.
The Come Up: An Oral History of the Rise of Hip-Hop by Jonathan Abrams
This is the most comprehensive account so far of hip-hop's rise, from its origins on the playgrounds of the Bronx to its reign as the most powerful force in pop culture, told in the voices of the people who made it happen.
Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith
A weave of biography, criticism, and memoir, Shine Bright is Danyel Smith's intimate history of Black women's music as the foundational story of American pop from Phillis Wheatley through Mahalia Jackson, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Mariah Carey.
My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives by Charlayne Hunter-Gault
An eminent dean of American journalism, Charlayne Hunter-Gault has chronicled the lives of Black people in America – shining a light on their experiences and giving a glimpse into their community as never before. Her work reveals the evolving issues at the forefront of Black American lives and how many of the same issues continue to persist today.