We stand against racism and violence toward the Black community. And we commit to listening—to our readers, our authors, and to our teams—as we work toward becoming part of the change.

Below is a collection of works that chronicle the black experience in America from 1619 through the Civil Rights movement to today. This list of books that chronicle black history is not exhaustive, but it is a place to start.

#BlackLivesMatter


STONY THE ROAD_Black HistoryStony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind.

“A bracing alternative to Trump-era white nationalism . . . In our current politics we recognize African-American history—the spot under our country’s rug where the terrorism and injustices of white supremacy are habitually swept. Stony the Road lifts the rug.” —Nell Irvin Painter, The New York Times Book Review

Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

Wilkerson combines impressive research…with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.”—John Stauffer, The Wall Street Journal

Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Click to Watch Isabel Wilkerson’s TED Talk.

Visit Isabel Wilkerson’s Website.


CASTE_Black HistoryCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

“[Caste] should be at the top of every American’s reading list.”—Chicago Tribune

Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

 

 


A More Beautiful and Terrible History by Jeanne Theoharis

By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred. A More Beautiful and Terrible History will change our historical frame, revealing the richness of our civil rights legacy, the uncomfortable mirror it holds to the nation, and the crucial work that remains to be done.

“A bracing corrective to a national mythology that renders figures like King ‘meek and dreamy, not angry, intrepid and relentless’ . . . It’s clarifying to read a history that shows us how little we remember, and how much more there is to understand.”—The New York Times

Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook Editions.


WE RETURN FIGHTING_Black HistoryWe Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity by National Museum of African American History and Culture

A richly illustrated commemoration of African Americans’ roles in World War I highlighting how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities after they returned home.

“Using photographs, images of objects, and medals, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has created a rich compilation of visual sources to present an extremely important segment of American history that needs to be preserved.”—School Library Journal

Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.


THE BLACK BOOK_Black HistoryThe Black Book Edited by Middleton A. Harris, Ernest Smith, Morris Levitt and Roger Furman; Foreword by Toni Morrison

A new edition of the classic New York Times bestseller edited by Toni Morrison, offering an encyclopedic look at the black experience in America from 1619 through the 1940s with the original cover restored.

“I am so pleased the book is alive again. I still think there is no other work that tells and visualizes a story of such misery with seriousness, humor, grace and triumph.”—Toni Morrison

Available in Hardcover.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country.

“This book is a gift to anyone interested in a more complete—a more truthful—story about the United States. By starting the history about Black women on this land with us as free people and as people agitating for our freedom, by prioritizing all Black women’s voices and coming up to the present day, Dr. Gross and Dr. Berry illuminate greater possibilities for our collective freedom dreams and struggles for collective liberation.” —Charlene A. Carruthers, author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements

Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


The Golden Thirteen: How Black Men Won the Right to Wear Navy Gold by Dan C. Goldberg

The story of the 13 courageous black men who integrated the officer corps of the US Navy during World War II—leading desegregation efforts across America and anticipating the civil rights movement.

The Golden Thirteen is the book all Americans need to read. This is a must-read for anyone interested in race, service, heroism, the civil rights movement, and the power of a few brave men to change the course of American history.”—Christina M. Greer, author of Black Ethnics

Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


PREJUDENTIAL_Black HistoryPrejudential: Black America and the Presidents by Margaret Kimberley

A concise, authoritative exploration of America’s relationship with race and black Americans through the lens of the presidents who have been elected to represent all of its people.

“This book is an effort to shed light on the truth . . . To the extent that our leaders embody aspects of who we are as a people, studying how each president has participated in our nation’s complicated and often shameful treatment of black people is as good a place as any to start.” —Margaret Kimberley from the Preface

Available in Trade Paperback and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream by Blair Imani; Forword by Patrisse Cullors

A powerful illustrated history of the Great Migration and its sweeping impact on Black and American culture, from Reconstruction to the rise of hip hop.

“There’s something revolutionary about recounting our history, especially since traditional narratives often reflect only a sliver of the full Black American experience. But in the tradition of African griots, Making Our Way Home carries on the legacy of our fore-parents, informing new generations about how we got to where we are, and how America—and the world—was transformed in the process.”—Tre’vell Anderson, director of culture and entertainment at Out magazine

Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Carribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth Century America by Winston James

This diligently researched, wide ranging and sophisticated book will be welcomed by all those interested in the Caribbean and its émigrés, the Afro-American current within America’s radical tradition, and the history, politics, and culture of the African diaspora.

“James’s work is a major, substantial contribution to the history of the African Diaspora, to the history of the Caribbean and to the history of African-America. Written elegantly but with anger and with passion, it is based on very thorough research.”—Labor HistoryThis diligently researched, wide ranging and sophisticated book will be welcomed by all those interested in the Caribbean and its émigrés, the Afro-American current within America’s radical tradition, and the history, politics, and culture of the African diaspora.

 Available in Trade Paperback and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


Reconstruction: Voices from America’s First Great Struggle for Racial Equality by Brooks D. Simpson

The violent aftermath of the Civil War comes to dramatic life in this sweeping new collection of firsthand writing.

“For the men and women who lived it, Reconstruction was not an abstraction but an experiment in hope, in justice, in the very best of American principles. Generous, capacious, fresh and wide-ranging, this volume is indispensable for understanding the myriad voices of the nation. And it’s hard to put down.” —Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848–1877 

Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.


More Resources for Readers:

 

Click for Books About Black Activism.

Click for Reads to Celebrate Juneteenth.

Click for an Anti-Racist Reading List.

Click for More Anti-Racist Books and Resources for Our Readers.

Click for Anti-Racist Audiobook Recommendations.

Click for Books from Penguin Young Readers.

Click for Books from Random House Children’s Books.

Maureen Meekins administrator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *