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6 Books for Black History Month

Books We Love

6 Books for Black History Month

6 Books for Black History Month

From slavery, to the Civil Rights Movement, to ongoing social justice activism, these books for Black History Month detail key historic and contemporary figures, as well as the social, economic, political, and cultural fabric of Black communities.

Know Your Price by Andre M. Perry

Know Your Price by Andre M. Perry (Brookings)

Know Your Price advocates new means of valuing Black individuals and their communities, which have long gone undervalued as a result of America’s history of slavery, racism, and discrimination. Reflecting on the social and economic impact of racism in America, this book guides readers through five Black-majority cities whose assets and strengths are undervalued.

Educator, journalist, and scholar Andre Perry presents rigorous research and thorough analysis on the worth of Black communities, property, and traditional institutions. Perry makes the case for shifting away from simplified notions of equality, empowering Black communities, and maximizing equity.

The Princeton Fugitive Slave by Lolita Buckner Inniss

The Princeton Fugitive Slave by Lolita Buckner Inniss (Fordham)

This book tells the story of James Collins Johnson , who after escaping slavery in Maryland and establishing a life in Princeton, New Jersey, was recognized as a former slave and put on trial for extradition.

Just four years after his escape from slavery, a Princeton University student from Maryland recognized Johnson, who was subsequently arrested and put on trial for extradition under the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. The Princeton Fugitive Slave recounts Johnson’s life from his birth as a slave in Maryland, to his daring escape, to his sensational trial, and beyond. 

42 Today by Michael G. Long (Editor)

42 Today by Michael G. Long (NYU Press)

Before the United States Supreme Court ruled against segregation in public schools, and before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, Jackie Robinson walked onto the diamond on April 15, 1947, as first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, making history as the first African American to integrate Major League Baseball in the twentieth century.

42 Today’s collection of essays from distinguished sportswriters, cultural critics, and scholars explore Robinson’s legacy not only as a sport star, but a civil rights activist, proponent of nonviolence, and role model for the civil rights activism that continues to this day.

Black Lives, White Lives by Bob Blauner

Black Lives, White Lives by Bob Blauner (UC Press)

Black Lives, White Lives features a remarkable collection of oral histories spanning three decades of rapid racial and social change.

In 1968, Bob Blauner and a team of interviewers conducted candid interviews with people caught up in the sweeping changes. These interviews capture the racial tensions and diverse experiences of the 16 Black and 12 White participants. Subsequent interviews in 1979 and again in 1986 record the shift in culture and even the daily lives of these individuals over the decades.

Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice by Andrea Freeman

Skimmed by Andrea Freeman (Stanford)

Skimmed explores the connections between the 70 billion dollar baby formula industry and the legal, political, and societal factors that have historically denied Black women the ability to choose how they feed their babies.

Author Andrea Freeman recounts the story of the Fultz quadruplets, four girls born to a Black-Cherokee mother in North Carolina in 1946, while recounting inequalities surrounding how America’s youngest citizens are fed. Learn how this modern health crisis came about through the story of four extraordinary girls, and how we can fight for a healthier future.

King Al: How Sharpton Took the Throne by Ron Howell

King Al by Ron Howell (Fordham)

King Al tells the incredible story of Reverend Al Sharpton, from early life as a boy preacher to his occupation today as a leading Black American activist, minister, and cable news host.

From being a favorite target of the white press in the 1980’s to hosting his own news program, trace Sharpton’s journey to become the famously influential figure we know today.

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