The staff of A.K. Smiley Public Library has gathered a list from our collections of books and DVDs featuring Black history and cultural themes with which to honor, remember, and inspire. Most of the items are new, but a few are older and may be just new-to-you. We hope you’ll take a moment to explore and discover an item or two in which you may learn a little something you didn’t know.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a son of formerly enslaved parents, embarked on the establishment of February as Black History Month. He was a teacher and school administrator who in 1912 became the second African American, after W.E.B. Du Bois, to earn a PhD from Harvard University. In February 1926 he launched the precursor of the celebration with “Negro History Week,” designated for the second week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Dr. Woodson also founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Each year the Association, which continues to support Dr. Woodson’s cause, assigns a theme to the celebration. The theme for 2021 is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity” — ideas to ponder as we read.
Please refer to previous blog post Celebrating Black Authors and Black Lives for additional titles. Take a look too at our extensive Catalog for older items on the subject, as well as those for children and young adults. Check them out through our Books to Go program or in person during our new public hours.
Also, don’t forget our eLibrary which includes, besides e-items for download, the new Black Life in America database. This primary source collection provides materials in which you may research the experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media, from 1704 to today. It is an expansive window into centuries of African American history, culture, and daily life — as well as the ways the dominant culture has portrayed and perceived people of African descent.
Streaming video service Kanopy, also located in our eLibrary, features films about racial and social injustice. Inspiring documentaries, like “The Talk: Race in America,” “P.S. I Can’t Breathe,” and many others, can help contribute to a more open dialogue about race relations in modern America.
And finally, for even more ways in which to learn about Black history, view the Heritage Room’s Black History Month webinar series. available for viewing at the AKSPL Special Collections YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx1V0OiVDDpGORavA_W6icQ, or on Facebook under the Video tab.
The offerings include:
- “African American Literature” by Professor Charles Williams of Chaffey College
- “Lincoln’s Greatest Decision: Emancipation and the Use of Black Troops” with Smiley Library Director Don McCue
- “Black Voice News and the History of the Black Press” by Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds (Link here to local newspaper Black Voice News)
- “Hidden in Plain Sight: African Americans in the Library’s Historic Collections” with Archivist Dr. Nathan Gonzales
Also, we encourage you to visit these sites, the Library of Congress at https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov, and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) at https://www.pbs.org/articles/2021/02/celebrate-black-history-month-2021/.
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Centennial Anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
The Tulsa race massacre took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of White residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and destroyed homes and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is alternatively known as the “Tulsa race riot” or the “Black Wall Street massacre.”
See also, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission website, https://www.tulsa2021.org/, and find our books on the subject here:
- The Burning : Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, by Tim Madigan
- Riot and Remembrance : the Tulsa Race War and its Legacy, by James S. Hirsch
Juneteenth, on June 19
Juneteenth (a combination of June and nineteenth) is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. It is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually throughout the United States, with increasing official recognition resulting in its declaration as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865 announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas.
For more information check out our Blog post, Juneteenth, the celebration of emancipation from slavery, now recognized as a federal holiday, and find our books on the subject here:
- The Black Civil War soldier : a Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship / Willis, Deborah
- Courage to Soar : A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance / Biles, Simone
- The Fierce 44 : Black Americans Who Shook Up the World / Reiss, Stephen
- Just As I Am : a Memoir / Tyson, Cicely
- The Truths We Hold : an American Journey / Harris, Kamala
- Finding My Voice : My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward / Jarrett, Valerie
- His Truth is Marching On : John Lewis and the Power of Hope / Meacham, Jon
- A Promised Land / Obama, Barack
- Becoming / Obama, Michelle
- Greyboy : Finding Blackness in a White World / Brown, Cole / Reyburn, Susan
- The Dead Are Arising : the Life of Malcolm X / Payne, Les
- Frederick Douglass : Prophet of Freedom / Blight, David W. *Pulitzer Prize winner, History, 2019
- The Chiffon Trenches : a Memoir / Talley, Andre Leon
- Officer Clemmons / Clemmons, Francois S.
- Alex Haley and the Books that Changed a Nation / Norrell, Robert J.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings / Angelou, Maya
- My Journey with Maya / Smiley, Tavis
- My Grandfather’s Son : a Memoir / Thomas, Clarence
- Thurgood Marshall : a Twentieth-Century Life / Crowe, Chris
- Black Klansman : Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime / Stallworth, Ron
- Zora and Langston : a Story of Friendship and Betrayal / Yuval, Taylor
- The Full Plate / Curry, Ayesha
- The Rise : Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food / Samuelsson, Marcus
- Jubilee : Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking / Tipton-Martin, Toni
- Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook : A Celebration of African American Cooking / Lukas, Albert
- Harriet [videorecording (DVD and Blu-ray disc)] / Erivo, Cynthia
- Marshall [videorecording (Blu-ray disc and DVD)] / Hudlin, Reginald
- Hidden Figures [videorecording (DVD)] / Melfi, Theodore
- Blackkklansman [videorecording (DVD)] / Lee, Spike
- Jackie Robinson [videorecording (DVD)] / Burns, Ken
- 42 : [videorecording (DVD)] the Jackie Robinson Story / Helgeland, Brian
- Beloved [videorecording (DVD)] / Winfrey, Oprah
- If Beale Street Could Talk [videorecording (DVD and Blu-ray disc)] / Jenkins, Barry
- Green Book [videorecording (DVD and Blu-ray disc)] / Farrelly, Peter
- Us [videorecording (DVD and Blu-ray disc)] / Peele, Jordan
- Black Panther [videorecording (Blu-ray disc)] / Coogler, Ryan
- Get Out [videorecording (DVD)] / Peele, Jordan
- Moonlight [videorecording (DVD)] / Jenkins, Barry
- 12 Years a Slave [videorecording (DVD)] / McQueen, Steve
- Lincoln [videorecording (DVD)] / Spielberg, Steven
- The Help [videorecording (DVD)] / Stockett, Kathryn
- Precious (based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire) [videorecording (DVD)] / Daniels, Lee
- The Secret Life of Bees [videorecording (DVD)] / Prince-Bythewood, Gina
- The Great Debaters [videorecording (DVD)] / Washington, Denzel
- The Tuskegee Airmen [videorecording (DVD)] / Markowitz, Robert
- Glory [videorecording (DVD)] / Fields, Freddie
- Roots [videorecording (DVD)] / Margulies, Stan
- To Kill a Mockingbird [videorecording (DVD)] / Mulligan, Robert
- John Lewis [videorecording (DVD) : Good Trouble / Porter, Dawn
- Been to the Mountaintop [videorecording (DVD)] documentary / King, Martin Luther, Jr.
- Up from Slavery [videorecording (DVD)] documentary / Hershberger, Kevin R.
- Alice’s Ordinary People [videorecording (DVD)] documentary / Dudnick, Craig
- The Tubman Command : a Novel / Cobbs, Elizabeth
- Yellow Wife / Johnson, Sadeqa
- Deacon King Kong / McBride, James
- Trouble the Saints / Johnson, Alaya Dawn
- His Only Wife : a Novel / Medie, Peace A.
- Take a Hint, Dani Brown : Novel / Hibbert, Talia
- The Secret Lives of Church Ladies / Philyaw, Deesha
- At Night All Blood is Black / Diop, David
- Black Buck / Askaripour, Mateo
- Ring Shout, or, Hunting Ku Kluxes in the End Times / Clark, P. DjèlÍ
- Lakewood : a Novel / Giddings, Megan
- The Boyfriend Project / Rochon, Farrah
- Memorial : a Novel / Washington, Bryan
- Black Bottom Saints : a Novel / Randall, Alice
- The Vanishing Half / Bennett, Brit
- Luster / Leilani, Raven
- The Prophets : a Novel / Jones, Robert Jr.
- Dirty Music / Sinclair, Shaun
- How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House / Jones, Cherie
- Transcendent Kingdom / Gyasi, Yaa
- The Girl with the Louding Voice / Dare, Abi
- Red at the Bone / Woodson, Jacqueline
- Careful What You Click For / Morrison, Mary B.
- Influence : Death on the Beach / Weber, Carl
- The Color Purple : a Novel / Walker, Alice
- Beloved : a Novel / Morrison, Toni *Pulitzer Prize winner, Literature, 1988
- The Bluest Eye / Morrison, Toni
- A Mercy / Morrison, Toni
- Song of Solomon / Morrison, Toni
- Later Novels / Baldwin, James
- The Help / Stockett, Kathryn
- Push / Sapphire
- The Secret Life of Bees / Kidd, Sue Monk
- To Kill a Mockingbird / Lee, Harper
- Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred : A Graphic Novel Adaptation / Duffy, Damian
- Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower : A Graphic Novel Adaptation / Duffy, Damian
- I Am Alfonso Jones [text (graphic)] / Medina, Tony
- River of Blood : American Slavery from the People Who Lived It : Interviews & Photographs of Formerly Enslaved African Americans / Cahan, Richard, editor
- The Other Madisons : the Lost History of a President’s Black Family / Kearse, Bettye
- Stony the Road : Reconstruction, White supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow / Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.
- Black Origins in the Inland Empire / Skinner, Byron Richard
- Guest of Honor : Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation / Davis, Deborah
- We Were Eight Years in Power : an American Tragedy / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
- 50 Events That Shaped African American History : An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic / Wilson, Jamie Jaywann
- Team of Rivals : the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln / Goodwin, Doris Kearns
- Keeping Hope Alive : Sermons and Speeches of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. / Jackson, Jesse
- The Black Calhouns : from Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family / Buckley, Gail Lumet
- Surrender, White People! : Our Unconditional Terms for Peace / Hughley, D.L.
- You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey : Crazy Stories About Racism / Ruffin, Amber
- Letters to the Future : Black Women, Radical Writing / Hunt, Erica
- The Toni Morrison Book Club / Bennett, Juda
- In Search of The Color Purple : the Story of an American Masterpiece / Tillet, Salamishah
- The Awkward Black Man : Stories / Mosley, Walter
- A Measure of Belonging : Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South / Barnes, Cinelle
- Rainbow in the Cloud : the Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou / Angelou, Maya
- The Measure of Our Lives : A Gathering of Wisdom / Morrison, Toni
- The Source of Self-Regard : Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations / Morrison, Toni
- Goodness and the Literary Imagination : Harvard Divinity School’s 95th Ingersoll Lecture : With Essays on Morrison’s Moral and Religious Vision / Morrison, Toni
- The Selected Letters of Langston Hughes / Hughes, Langston
- Wild Thing : The Short, Spellbinding Life of Jimi Hendrix / Norman, Philip
- The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America/Moore, Marcus J
- Queen Bey : a Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter / Chambers, Veronica
- Odetta : A Life in Music and Protest / Zack, Ian
- Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter / Jackson, Curtis “50 Cent”
- Let Love Rule / Kravitz, Lenny
- More Myself : A Journey / Keys, Alicia
- I Am Restored : How I Lost My Religion But Found My Faith / Lecrae
- Straighten Up and Fly Right : The Life & Music of Nat King Cole / Friedwald, Will
- The Meaning of Mariah Carey / Carey, Mariah
- The Beautiful Ones / Prince
- Black Diamond Queens : African American Women and Rock and Roll / Mahon, Maureen
- African American Poetry : 250 years of Struggle & Song / Young, Kevin
- White Blood : A Lyric of Virginia / Petrosino, Kiki
- Finna : Poems / Marshall, Nate
- Living Weapon / Phillips, Rowan Ricardo
- The Malevolent Volume : Poems / Reed, Justin Phillip
- Owed / Bennett, Joshua
- Make Me Rain : Poems & Prose / Giovanni, Nikki
- How to Carry Water : Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton / Clifton, Lucille
/ Clark, Tiana
- Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart : Poems / Walker, Alice
Politics, Civil Rights, Law
- Unsung : unheralded narratives of American slavery & abolition / Young, Kevin
- Rise Up : Confronting a Country at the Crossroads / Sharpton, Al
- Fight of the Century : Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases / Chabon, Michael
- The Sword and the Shield : the Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. / Joseph, Peniel E.
- When They Call You a Terrorist : a Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World / Khan-Cullors, Patrisse
- On the Other Side of Freedom : the Case for Hope / Mckesson, DeRay
- Driving While Black : African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights / Sorin, Gretchen Sullivan
- The Black Cabinet : the Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt / Watts, Jill
- Vanguard : How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All / Jones, Martha S.
- Blackout : How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation / Owens, Candace
- Our Time is Now : Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America / Abrams, Stacey
- Say It Louder! : Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy / Cross, Tiffany D.
- The Zealot and the Emancipator : John Brown, Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for American Freedom / Brands, H. W.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics / Brazile, Donna
- Franchise : the Golden Arches in Black America / Chatelain, Marcia
- On Account of Race : the Supreme Court, White Supremacy, and the Ravaging of African American Voting Rights / Goldstone, Lawrence
- Deep Delta Justice : a Black Teen, his Lawyer, and their Groundbreaking Battle for Civil Rights in the South / Van Meter, Matthew
- The Names of All the Flowers / Valentine, Melissa
- Make Change : How to Fight Injustice, Dismantle Systemic Oppression, and Own Our Future / King, Shaun
- The Annotated African American Folktales / Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.
Sciences, Philosophy, Journalism, Language, Mathematics, Technology, Performing Arts
- A Fool’s Errand : Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump / Bunch, Lonnie G.
- Trailblazer : a Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America / Gilliam, Dorothy Butler
- The Path Made Clear : Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose / Winfrey, Oprah
- Talking Back, Talking Black : Truths About America’s Lingua Franca / McWhorter, John H.
- Beyond Ebonics : the Linguistic Legacy of American Slavery / Baugh, John
- Spoken Soul : the Story of Black English / Rickford, John R.
- Black Talk : Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner / Smitherman, Geneva
- Talkin That Talk : Language, Culture, and Education in African America / Smitherman, Geneva
- Hidden Figures : the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race / Shetterly, Margot Lee
- Letters from an Astrophysicist / Tyson, Neil deGrasse
- We Could Not Fail : the First African Americans in the Space Program / Paul, Richard
- Black Broadway : African Americans on the Great White Way / Lane, Stewart F.
- The Compton Cowboys : the New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland / Thompson-Hernandez, Walter
- Distributed Blackness : African American Cybercultures / Brock, André L., Jr.
- Hood Feminism : Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot / Kendall, Mikki
- A Black Women’s History of the United States / Berry, Daina Ramey
- A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing : the Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland / Hill, DaMaris B.
- Girl Gurl Grrrl : on Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic / Hunt, Kenya
- The Purpose of Power : How We Come Together When We Fall Apart / Garza, Alicia
- Caste : the Origins of our Discontents / Wilkerson, Isabel
- Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man / Acho, Emmanuel
- Race Man : Selected Works, 1960-2015 / Bond, Julian
- A Peculiar Indifference : the Neglected Toll of Violence on Black America / Currie, Elliott
- Long Time Coming : Reckoning with Race in America / Dyson, Michael Eric
- White Tears/Brown Scars : How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color / Hamad, Ruby
- Daughter of the Boycott : Carrying On a Montgomery Family’s Civil Rights Legacy / Houston, Karen Gray
- Culture Warlords : My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy / Lavin, Talia
- Dispatches from the Race War / Wise, Tim
- Wilmington’s Lie : the Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy / Zucchino, David
- Black Futures / Drew, Kimberly
- Conversations in Black on Power, Politics, and Leadership / Gordon, Ed
- Wandering in Strange Lands : a Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots / Jerkins, Morgan
- Just Us : an American Conversation / Rankine, Claudia
- How to Make a Slave and Other Essays / Walker, Jerald
- Black Fatigue : How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit / Winters, Mary-Frances
- South to Freedom : Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War / Baumgartner, Alice
- A Question of Freedom : The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War / Thomas, William G.
- 42 Today : Jackie Robinson and his Legacy / Long, Michael G., editor
- 24 : Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid / Mays, Willie
- The Last Hero : a Life of Henry Aaron / Bryant, Howard
- Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America / Stanton, Tom
- Courage to Soar : A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance / Biles, Simone
- The Mamba Mentality : How I Play / Bryant, Kobe
- Mentalidad Mamba : Los Secretos de mi Exito / Bryant, Kobe
- Olympic Pride, American Prejudice : the Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics / Draper, Deborah Riley
- A Most Beautiful Thing : the True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team / Cooper, Arshay
- The Second Life of Tiger Woods / Bamberger, Michael
- Serena Williams : Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine / Corbett, Merlisa Lawrence.
- Jackie & Campy : the Untold Story of their Rocky Relationship and the Breaking of Baseball’s Color Line / Kashatus, William C.
- Rickey & Robinson : the True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball / Kahn, Roger