28 Black History Month Books

Updated: Jun 1, 2020


For 28 days this month, we shared a free book for our followers to check out on our Facebook page. Did you miss out on the greatness? Don't worry, check out the list below. You don't have to only educate yourselves this month only. These books can and should be read year round. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any suggestions, leave a comment on our Facebook page and we will get back to you.


1). African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision

This book explores the rich past and bright future of the nine Black Greek-Letter organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. In the long tradition of African American benevolent and secret societies, intercollegiate African American fraternities and sororities have strong traditions of fostering brotherhood and sisterhood among their members, exerting considerable influence in the African American community, and being on the forefront of civic action, community service, and philanthropy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Arthur Ashe, Carol Moseley Braun, Bill Cosby, Sarah Vaughan, George Washington Carver, Hattie McDaniel , and Bobby Rush are among the many trailblazing members of these organizations. The rolls of African American fraternities and sororities serve as a veritable who's who among African American leadership in the United States and abroad. African American Fraternities and Sororities places the history of these organizations in context, linking them to other movements and organizations that predated them and tying their history to one of the most important eras of United States history―the Civil Rights struggle.


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2). Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work

Zora Neale Hurston, one the first great African-American novelists, was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance and an inspiration for future generations of writers. Suitable for high school and college-level students, this book provides information on Hurston's life and work.


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3). The Mis-Education of the Negro



The thesis of this book is that African-Americans of the 1930s, when the book was first published, were being culturally conditioned, rather than taught, in American schools. "When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions."


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4). Moonlight Movie Transcript



A moving, transcendent, award-winning look at 3 defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy and love from the most unexpected places.

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5). From Toussaint to Tupac



This focuses on three moments in global black history: the American and Haitian revolutions, the Garvey movement and the Communist International following World War I, and the Black Power movement of the late twentieth century. Contributors demonstrate how black internationalism emerged and influenced events in particular localities, how participants in the various struggles communicated across natural and man-made boundaries, and how the black international aided resistance on the local level, creating a collective consciousness.


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6). The Cultural Unity of Black Africa



This is a profound contribution to the universal store of knowledge in that it situates the geographical and cultural origins of patriarchy and matriarchy in Europe and Africa respectively, and shows that social systems evolve out of specific climatic and environmental factors.


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7). Black Feminist Thought



In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African-American women outside academe. She provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. The result is a superbly crafted book that provides the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought.


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8). The Story of the SNCC



The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the major Civil Rights Movement organizations of the 1960s. It emerged from the first wave of student sit-ins and formed at a May 1960 meeting organized by Ella Baker at Shaw University.


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9). Unsung Heroes



Famed women's rights advocate Elizabeth Ross Haynes presents this collection of short biographies on some of history's most influential, though least known, heroes. The text includes chapters on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Paul Cuffé, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and many more.


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10). Biko Lives!


This collection looks at the on-going significance of Black Consciousness, situating it in a global frame, examining the legacy of Steve Biko, the current state of post-apartheid South African politics, and the culture and history of the anti-apartheid movements.


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11). To Keep the Waters Troubled


In the generation that followed Frederick Douglass, no African American was more prominent, or more outspoken, than Ida B. Wells. Her crusade against lynching in the 1890s made her famous, or notorious, across America, and she was seriously considered as a rival to W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington for race leadership. This book is the first full biography of Wells, a passionate crusader for black people and women--and one who was sometimes torn by her conflicting loyalties to race and gender.

Wells' career began amidst controversy when she sued a Tennessee railroad company for ousting her from a first class car, a legal battle which launched her lifelong committment to journalism and activism. In the 1890s, Wells focused her eloquence on the horrors of lynching, exposing it as a widespread form of racial terrorism. Backing strong words with strong actions, she lectured in the States and abroad, arranged legal representation for black prisoners, hired investigators, founded antilynching leagues, sought recourse from Congress, and more. Wells was an equally forceful advocate for women's rights, but parted ways with feminist allies who would subordinate racial justice to their cause. She perpetually walked a tightrope between being an agitator and behaving like a "lady"--a designation prized by black women too often denigrated and exploited by white men. Using diary entries, letters, and published writings, McMurry illuminates Wells's fiery personality, and the uncompromising approach that sometimes lost her friendships even as it won great victories.

To Keep the Waters Troubled is an unforgettable account of a remarkable woman and the and the times she helped to change.


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12). Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory



Nat Turner's name rings through American history with a force all its own. Leader of the most important slave rebellion on these shores, variously viewed as a murderer of unarmed women and children, an inspired religious leader, a fanatic--this puzzling figure represents all the terrible complexities of American slavery. And yet we do not know what he looked like, where he is buried, or even whether Nat Turner was his real name.

In Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory, Kenneth S. Greenberg gathers twelve distinguished scholars to offer provocative new insight into the man, his rebellion, and his time, and his place in history. The historians here explore Turner's slave community, discussing the support for his uprising as well as the religious and literary context of his movement. They examine the place of women in his insurrection, and its far-reaching consequences (including an extraordinary 1832 Virginia debate about ridding the state of slavery). Here are discussions of Turner's religious visions--the instructions he received from God to kill all of his white oppressors. Louis Masur places him against the backdrop of the nation's sectional crisis, and Douglas Egerton puts his revolt in the context of rebellions across the Americas. We trace Turner's passage through American memory through fascinating interviews with William Styron on his landmark novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and with Dr. Alvin Poussaint, one of the "ten black writers" of the 1960s who bitterly attacked Styron's vision of Turner. Finally, we follow Nat Turner into the world of Hollywood.

Nat Turner has always been controversial, an emblem of the searing wound of slavery in American life. This book offers a clear-eyed look at one of the best known and least understood figures in our history.


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13). Another Dimension to the Black Diaspora



This is an engrossing study of black disease immunities and susceptibilities and their impact on both slavery and racism. Its pages interweave the nutritional, biological, and medical sciences with demography. The book begins with an examination of the pre-slavery era in Africa and then pursues its subject into the slave societies of the West Indies and the United States. This truly interdisciplinary approach permits the blending of two distinctive concepts of racial differences, that of the hard sciences based on gene frequencies and that of the social sciences stressing environmental factors. The authors investigate black health and white medical practice in the United States during the antebellum period, and establish a link between black-related diseases and white racism. A final section traces major black disease susceptibilities from the Civil War to the present, arguing that the different nutritional and medical needs of blacks are still largely unappreciated or ignored.


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14). In Search of Sisterhood