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Black History Month 2021: In the Library

Learn more about National Black History Month, Feb. 1 - Feb. 28

Databases Resources

Print Book List

See the list below for black history books that are held in the library. These books are available NOW for checkout via curbside/front door pickup! 

Print Books Gallery

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history arguing that the "Global South" was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress, as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms American history into the story of the working class organizing against imperialism. In precise detail, Ortiz traces this untold history from the Jim Crow-esque racial segregation of the Southwest, the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, International Workers' Day, when migrant laborers-Chicana/os, Afro-Cubanos, and immigrants from nearly every continent on earth-united in resistance on the first "Day Without Immigrants." Incisive and timely, 

The African American Family Album

The American Family Albums tell the often heroic stories of American immigrant groups, largely through their own words and pictures. Like any family album or scrapbook, the pages contain many period photographs and other memorabilia. These join with original documents -- including selections from personal diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspapers -- to provide a pictorial and written record of the group's life in America, and their contributions to the brilliant diversity of these United States.

African American Food Culture

Like other Americans, African Americans partake of the general food offerings available in mainstream supermarket chains across the country. Food culture, however, may depend on where they live and their degree of connection to traditions passed down through generations since the time of slavery. Many African Americans celebrate a hybrid identity that incorporates African and New World foodways. The state of African American food culture today is illuminated in depth here for the first time, in the all-important context of understanding the West African origins of most African Americans of today. Like other Americans, African Americans partake of the general food offerings available in mainstream supermarket chains across the country. Food culture, however, may depend on where they live and their degree of connection to traditions passed down through generations since the time of slavery. Many African Americans celebrate a hybrid identity that incorporates African and New World foodways. The state of African American food culture today is illuminated in depth here for the first time, in the all-important context of understanding the West African origins of most African Americans of today. 

African American History Day by Day

The proof of any group's importance to history is in the detail, a fact made plain by this informative book's day-by-day documentation of the impact of African Americans on life in the United States. One of the easiest ways to grasp any aspect of history is to look at it as a continuum. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events provides just such an opportunity. Organized in the form of a calendar, this book allows readers to see the dates of famous births, deaths, and events that have affected the lives of African Americans and, by extension, of America as a whole. Each day features an entry with information about an important event that occurred on that date. Background on the highlighted event is provided, along with a link to at least one primary source document and references to books and websites that can provide more information. While there are other calendars of African American history, this one is set apart by its level of academic detail. It is not only a calendar, but also an easy-to-use reference and learning tool. More than 365 chronologically arranged entries featuring events and information about African Americans An introduction that overviews the importance of African American history in a day-by-day approach A preface that explains the scope, methodology, and rationale for coverage Primary source excerpts for some events and two vetted books and websites for all events

African American Males

African American Males

Black History in Its Own Words

A look at Black History framed by those who made it. BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN ITS OWN WORDS presentsquotes of dozens of black luminaries with portraits & illustrations byRonald Wimberly. Featuring the memorable words and depictions of Angela Davis,Jean-Michael Basquiat, Kanye West, Zadie Smith, Ice Cube, Dave Chappelle, JamesBaldwin, Spike Lee and more.

Creating Black Americans

Here is a magnificent account of a past rich in beauty and creativity, but also in tragedy and trauma. Eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter blends a vivid narrative based on the latest research with a wonderful array of artwork by African American artists, works which add a new depth to our understanding of black history.
Painter offers a history written for a new generation of African Americans, stretching from life in Africa before slavery to today's hip-hop culture. The book describes the staggering number of Africans--over ten million--forcibly transported to the New World, most doomed to brutal servitude in Brazil and the Caribbean. Painter looks at the free black population, numbering close to half a million by 1860 (compared to almost four million slaves), and provides a gripping account of the horrible conditions of slavery itself. The book examines the Civil War, revealing that it only slowly became a war to end slavery, and shows how Reconstruction, after a promising start, was shut down by terrorism by white supremacists. Painter traces how through the long Jim Crow decades, blacks succeeded against enormous odds, creating schools and businesses and laying the foundations of our popular culture. We read about the glorious outburst of artistic creativity of the Harlem Renaissance, the courageous struggles for Civil Rights in the 1960s, the rise and fall of Black Power, the modern hip-hop movement, and two black Secretaries of State. Painter concludes that African Americans today are wealthier and better educated, but the disadvantaged are as vulnerable as ever.

Music of Black America

This text provides comprehensive coverage of black American music, from the arrival of the first Africans in the English colonies to contemporary developments in African-American history. The book draws on authentic documents, from colonial times to the present, to illuminate the history of black music.

A Shining Thread of Hope

At the greatest moments and in the cruelest times, black women have been a crucial part of America's history.  Now, the inspiring history of black women in America is explored in vivid detail by two leaders in the fields of African American and women's history. A Shining Thread of Hope chronicles the lives of black women from indentured servitude in the early American colonies to the cruelty of antebellum plantations, from the reign of lynch law in the Jim Crow South to the triumphs of the Civil Rights era, and it illustrates how the story of black women in America is as much a tale of courage and hope as it is a history of struggle.  On both an individual and a collective level, A Shining Thread of Hope reveals the strength and spirit of black women and brings their stories from the fringes of American history to a central position in our understanding of the forces and events that have shaped this country.

The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK * From the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom. "This potent book about America's most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist."--The New York Public Library * Kirkus Reviews * Library Journal Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her--but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North.