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Books about Black History that have informed who I am today: Part II

February 15, 2022

Books are a lifeline for me. I read as much as I can, to challenge my own understanding of the world, to gain insight into and analysis about how systems of oppression work and to be inspired by those who have come before me.

The books about Black History that have informed and formed who I am today, will be in three categories: 1) books about Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement; 2) books about the larger Black Freedom Struggle up to and including the Civil Rights Movement, and 3) book that have been written in the past 50 years, books that have expanded my understanding of the Black Freedom Struggle and why we need to dismantle the system of White Supremacy!

Last week, we posted a list from category #1. Today’s post will books about the larger Black Freedom Struggle up to and including the Civil Rights Movement. 

Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams & the Roots of Black Power, by Timothy Tyson

When Affirmative Action Was White, by Ira Katznelson

Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America, by Wesley Hogan

Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign, by Micheal Honey

A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, by Jeanne Theoharis

Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton

Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington, by Charles Euchner

The Black Panthers Speak, by Philip Foner

Lessons from Freedom Summer: Ordinary People Building Extraordinary Movements, edited by Kathy Emery, Linda Reid Gold and Sylvia Braselmann

Detroit I Do Mind Dying, by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin

Creating a Movement with Teeth: A Documentary History of the George Jackson Brigade,edited by Daniel Burton Rose

Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America, edited by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard

We Will Return in the Whirlwind: Black Radical Organizations 1960 – 1975, by Muhammad Ahmad

The Deacons for Defense: Armed resistance and the Civil Rights Movement, by Lance Hill

Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Interracial Solidarity in the 1960s-70s New Left Organizing, by Amy Sonnie and James Tracey

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

From the War on Poverty to the War in Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, by Elizabeth Hinton

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban American, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Malcom X: The Final Speeches

Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, by James Loewen

The Radical King: Martin Luther King Jr., edited by Cornel West

The Young Crusaders: The Untold Story of the Children and Teenagers Who Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement, by V.P. Franklin 

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 

America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s, by Elizabeth Hinton 

The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream, by Gary Younge

Martin & Malcolm in America: A Dream or a Nightmare, by James Cone

How Long? How Long?: African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights, by Belinda Robnett

Truth and Revolution: A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization 1969-1986, by Michael Staudenmeier

Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980, by Kimberly Springer

The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy Tyson

I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr., by Michael Eric Dyson

Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, by Barbara Ransby

In Part III, I will share the books that have been written in the past 50 years, books that have expanded my understanding of the Black Freedom Struggle and why we need to dismantle the system of White Supremacy!

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