Black History Month Booklist

“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”

Maya Angelou

This month gives us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of our fellow Americans with African or Caribbean heritage.


Bessie Coleman: First Female African American and Native American Pilot by Cathleen Small

The challenging times and amazing accomplishments of the first woman of African American and Native American descent to become a successful pilot and famous stunt flyer.

DB082201, BR021183

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates examines the history of race relations in America, reflects on the ways racial inequality plays out in his personal past, and imagines the world his teenage son may inherit. Some strong language.


The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Hughes often uses jazz rhythms to share the joy and pain of life in black America from the 1920s to the mid-1960s.


I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story by Hank Aaron

Aaron reveals his thoughts about setting baseball records and about his struggle to endure the abuse that African-Americans were subjected to in predominantly white leagues.


Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy A. Taylor

Examines the influence and impact of the Green Book, as well as safety issues facing black Americans. Some strong language.


Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth by Kevin M. Levin

The myths and truths of what roles African Americans filled on either side of the US Civil War.


She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

A biography of the famous Underground Railroad conductor who may be the new face on the twenty-dollar bill.  Some violence.


The Rest I Will Kill: William Tillman and the Unforgettable Story of how a Free Black Man Refused to Become a Slave by Brian McGinty

Tillman, a free black man working as a ship cook and steward in 1861, recaptured the schooner from the Confederate privateers who had commandeered it and tried to enslave him. Some strong language and some violence.


Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S Jones

Examines the role of African American women in American politics, particularly focusing on their participation in the suffrage crusade. Unrated.