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History | African American

History | African American Book List

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Cover of 'Isaac Murphy'

Isaac Murphy
I Dedicate This Ride
By Frank X Walker

A new collection of persona poems from award-winning poet Frank X Walker that tell the untold story of legendary African American jockey Isaac Burns Murphy (1861–1896).

Cover of 'In the Balance of Power'

In the Balance of Power
Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States
By Omar H. Ali
· Foreword by Eric Foner
· Afterword by Jacqueline Salit

A revised and expanded edition of Ali’s important history of how African Americans have created independent and third-party movements to expand democracy.

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention
Cover of 'Driven toward Madness'

Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
By Nikki M. Taylor

Margaret Garner was a runaway slave who, when confronted with capture, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Driven toward Madness probes slavery’s legacy of violence and trauma to capture her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.

Cover of 'Keep On Fighting'

Keep On Fighting
The Life and Civil Rights Legacy of Marian A. Spencer
By Dorothy H. Christenson
· Introduction by Mary E. Frederickson

Dot Christenson records the life story of remarkable leader, Marian Alexander Spencer, who joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve a number of civic leadership firsts and a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.

Cover of 'American Pogrom'

American Pogrom
The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics
By Charles L. Lumpkins

On July 2 and 3, 1917, a mob of white men and women looted and torched the homes and businesses of African Americans in the small industrial city of East St. Louis, Illinois. When the terror ended, the attackers had destroyed property worth millions of dollars, razed several neighborhoods, injured hundreds, and forced at least seven thousand black townspeople to seek refuge across the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri.

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV
Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1951–1954
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional.

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume III'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume III
NAACP Labor Secretary and Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1946–1950
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Born in Baltimore in 1911, Clarence Mitchell Jr. led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Volumes I (1942–1943) and II (1944–1946) of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,

Cover of 'In the Balance of Power'

In the Balance of Power
Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States
By Omar H. Ali
· Foreword by Eric Foner

In the Balance of Power presents a history and analysis of African American third-party movements that can help us better understand the growing diversity among black voters today.

Cover of 'American Pogrom'

American Pogrom
The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics
By Charles L. Lumpkins

On July 2 and 3, 1917, a mob of white men and women looted and torched the homes and businesses of African Americans in the small industrial city of East St. Louis, Illinois. When the terror ended, the attackers had destroyed property worth millions of dollars, razed several neighborhoods, injured hundreds, and forced at least seven thousand black townspeople to seek refuge across the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri.

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume I'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume I
1942–1943
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell’s struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt’s policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell’s FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.The

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume II'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume II
1944–1946
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell’s struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt’s policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell’s FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.The

Cover of 'Memphis Tennessee Garrison'

Memphis Tennessee Garrison
The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman
Edited by Ancella R. Bickley and Lynda Ann Ewen

This oral history, based on interview transcripts, is the untold story of African American life in West Virginia, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman: Memphis Tennessee Garrison, an innovative teacher, administrative worker at US Steel, and vice president of the National Board of the NAACP at the height of the civil rights struggle.

Cover of 'An African American in South Africa'

An African American in South Africa
The Travel Notes of Ralph J. Bunche 28 September 1937–1 January 1938
By Ralph Bunche
· Edited by Robert R. Edgar

Ralph Bunche, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, traveled to South Africa for three months in 1937. His notes, which have been skillfully compiled and annotated by historian Robert R. Edgar, provide unique insights on a segregated society.