Black History Month 2023

Thank you very much for visiting the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Black History Month 2023 Resources and Events page. 

2023 Black History Month theme provided by the Global Black Caucus: Black Resistance in The Past, Present, and Future…

Black history is a living and breathing story of struggle and overcoming. It is both ancient and in process now. It is the summation and multiplication of Black people’s capacity for innovation and the will to survive and thrive in the face of relentless violence against our humanity. 

Our story is chronicled over thousands of years of Black existence—beginning with the bones of Dinknesh, the great Mousian library, and the civilizations of Mali, Songhai, Kush, and Aksum. It has been likewise expressed in the untold revolts by those who were enslaved, and Black people’s persistent march toward liberation and freedom.

And, we are making history right now. The largest protest movement in the history of the world was birthed on these shores by our people who have declared that Black Lives Matter. Black people, and Black women in particular, saving the best prospects for democracy in the last election cycle is yet another testament to this fact.

Placing Black history in this context of past and present affirms that it does not begin with slavery (as this country is wanton to do all too often). This point of departure is also a reminder that history should not be merely relegated to the past, but that in this very moment, we are making history in a way that will impact the kind of future we will have together.

With this level-setting as a backdrop, I’d like to draw your attention to a set of questions that we've been reflecting on. They are questions that invite us to courageously reflect on our history, to be informed and intentional about the decisions before us today, and to embrace the idea that what we do now will impact the future we have together.

Looking back at generations past, what if:

  • African civilizations never encountered European invaders and colonialism?
  • Black people actually received their 40 acres and a mule?
  • Slavery or Jim Crow never happened?
  • Race riots in places like Tulsa, Memphis, Atlanta, and Chicago never happened? FDR made stronger and more explicit provisions for Black folks in the New Deal?
  • The wars on crime and drugs—and the resulting rise of mass incarceration never happened?
  • There was a way to revitalize our neighborhoods without gentrifying them and displacing Black people?
  • The murders of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Emmitt Till, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Felycya Harris, Mia Green, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin never happened—and they were still alive?

Asking these questions in this way not only opens our imagination for what might have happened if people living during these times had chosen to do otherwise.  It also invites those of us who are living in the present to consider the critical choices that are before us now—what they will require of us, their impact, and how people 100 years from now will reflect on what we do in this present moment.  Given this, we are left to consider the ‘what ifs’ of our time. 

What if we:

  • Became a democracy that leads with racial equity and racial justice?
  • Closed racial income and wealth gaps?
  • See poverty (particularly Black poverty) as a systemic and societal failure rather than an indictment on individuals?
  • Embrace a comprehensive reparations program for Black people that redresses America’s history of racism and allows us (and the entire nation) to heal?
  • Convened truth and reconciliation commissions at the national and local levels?
  • Design interlocking systems of education, health, civic participation, and economy that produce racial equity and racial justice?
  • Established a new paradigm for wealth-starting with Black wealth?
  • ALL Black lives really mattered?

And yes we invite you to have the conversations and share the knowledge you gather here with your family and friends, brothers and sisters, allies, or even the stranger sitting next to you on a bench….

We've put together lists of activities/events, books, films, and other information we hope you find interesting, inspiring, helpful, and educational. The resources on this page are intended to help you learn more about African-American History, and GBC issues and help you develop activities and events for your chapter or precinct. 

The Black History Month 2023 Resources page will be regularly updated. 

Where links are provided, they have only suggested sources. Please use the sources you are most comfortable with. 

If you have any questions or ideas you would like us to include, please feel free to contact us at: [email protected]

Historicizing Black Resistance in the U.S.

Historicizing Black Resistance in the U.S.


Questions for Discussion and Reflection:

  • What connections can be made between earlier black freedom movements and the current protests? What sets the current protests apart from previous examples?
  • What strategies and theories of change have African American activists supported historically? How do these compare to the current protest demands?
  • How have local, state, and federal government responses to protests affected the movement for social change? What lessons can be applied to the current official responses?
  • What can the history of policing black Americans teach us about gender/class/racial/ethnic stereotypes in American society?
  • What role does community organizing and mass protest play in pressuring government/society to affect change?
  • What is the role of youth in the current protests? How does that compare to past movements?
  • Using examples from the past, what methods can historians and the general public use to preserve the history of the current protests and make them available to the public?

Slavery and Resistance

Much of the wealth of the United States was built on the labor of enslaved African Americans. During the latter part of the twentieth century, historians began to focus on the experiences of slaves themselves. They began to use evidence in new ways to reconstruct the viewpoints of enslaved people and understand how the enslaved acted in response to their condition. The documents and teaching activities in this collection include a rich variety of evidence—from poems to paintings to advertisements for runaway slaves—which helps students to develop their own understandings of how enslaved individuals coped with hardship, managed to undermine the system of slavery in subtle ways, and seized back some of the humanity stolen from them. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which required police officers everywhere in the country to capture escaped slaves and return them to their owners. Although anyone who was caught helping escaped slaves could be arrested and face large fines, abolitionists resisted the law and continued to support the actions of enslaved people seeking freedom. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

Why They Fought: Ordinary Soldiers in the Civil War Collection

The documents and teaching activities in this collection reveal the complex motivations that drove soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Some wholeheartedly believed in the stated war aims. Others had no choice but to fight, and tensions over conscription and the ability of the rich to avoid service exposed the class conflicts at the heart of both northern and southern society. African Americans, on the other hand, viewed service in the Union Army as a route to freedom and citizenship. Understanding soldiers’ reasons for fighting helps explain why the United States dissolved in 1861 and why such overwhelming violence was required to restore the union. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

A collection of excerpted interviews with former slaves, conducted as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1938. The more than 2000 WPA interviews, an invaluable resource for understanding the experiences of the enslaved, were assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

Two sets of classroom activities and resources focused on understanding the meanings and realities of freedom for African Americans after the Civil War; and the militant attack on slavery staged by black and white abolitionists, including John Brown.  From: Investigating U.S. History

Black Resistance in the Early 20th Century

A teaching activity in which students enact a debate among four African American leaders at the turn of the century, about what strategy the black community should adopt to achieve full equality in the twentieth century. Students research their roles by reading and analyzing primary sources. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

During World War I, tens of thousands of African Americans fled the South. In Up South, a Mississippi barber and a sharecropper woman tell how they organized groups to escape Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and forced labor. The promise of freedom and full citizenship drew them to Chicago. Once there, the migrants faced poor housing, discrimination on the job, and racial violence. They responded by forming women’s clubs, engaging in political campaigns, and creating the “New Negro” movement. 30-minute streaming video from ASHP with accompanying Viewer’s Guide.

A set of activities and primary sources that introduces k-12 students to the term Jim Crow and the concept of legally mandated racial segregation.  From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

This text highlights the growth of political activism in Harlem during the Great Depression. Discriminatory hiring practices and widespread unemployment triggered campaigns focused on increasing black employment in the largely white-owned business sector of Harlem and creating more opportunities for qualified blacks in non-menial (white-collar) jobs. This chapter discusses both the successes and the failures of  these campaigns and Harlem’s economically and politically diverse population. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

Thousands of southern blacks and returning black soldiers moved north after World War I, looking for good jobs, respect, and security. The Great Migration prompted a series of urban race riots; it also nurtured the era of the “New Negro,” a time when cultural expression and black self-help organizations proliferated. The Crisis, the national magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), offered one of the earliest and most powerful endorsements of the “New Negro.” In an editorial following a 1919 riot in Chicago, Crisis editor W. E. B. Du Bois advocated black self-defense and armed resistance. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

This 1921 article by Rollin Lynde Hartt, a white Congregational minister and journalist, captured well what was “new” in the “New Negro”: an aggressive willingness to defend black communities against racist attacks and a desire to celebrate the accomplishments of African American communities in the North. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

The Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey, a brilliant orator and black nationalist leader, turned his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) into the most important black organization in the United States in the early 1920s. Garvey’s speeches drew huge audiences, and stories of his stubborn resistance in the face of white hostility proliferated among his supporters. In an oral history interview, devotee Audley Moore remembered that Garvey’s defiant behavior at a rally in New Orleans caused “the [white] police [to] file out . . . like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them.” She proudly recalled the crowd intimidating the police by raising their guns and chanting “speak, Garvey, speak.” From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

In the years following World War I, devastating race riots erupted across the U.S. The 1921 Tulsa race riot, a 24-hour rampage by white Tulsans, was one of the most vicious and intense race riots in American history before or since. Between 75 to 250 people were killed and more than 1,000 black homes and businesses were destroyed. In this article, Amy Comstock, personal secretary to the editor of the Tulsa Tribune, attempted to shield Tulsa’s white citizenry from criticism and fix blame for the riot on an ostensibly impoverished and licentious black community. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

A poster distributed in support of Benjamin A. Davis’s 1945 campaign for a seat on the New York City Council.  A lawyer and communist who was first elected to City Council to represent Harlem in 1943, Davis was a fierce advocate of fair employment, fair housing, and an end to police brutality.  From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

Civil Rights and Black Power

A classroom activity and resources to teach the history of the civil rights movement and to discover how historians’ understanding of the movement have changed over time.  From: Investigating U.S. History

This letter from the Women's Political Council to the Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, threatened a bus boycott by the city's African American residents if demands for fair treatment were not met. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

An excerpt from Reverend Ralph Abernathy’s recollections of the first mass meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) at a Baptist church on the first day of the boycott. After this, the MIA held regular weekly meetings until the boycott ended. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

Rosa Parks gained international fame in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat in the "whites-only" section on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Parks, an employee of the Montgomery Fair department store and secretary for the NAACP, later said, "It was just time... there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner." This record from the Montgomery Police Department details Parks' arrest and fingerprinting. Although not the first to challenge segregation laws on buses and elsewhere, Parks' act of civil disobedience launched the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott, the event which catapulted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into fame and sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

In 1960, following student sit-ins at segregated lunch counters throughout the South, reporter George E. McMillan traveled the region and analyzed its “current raw, ugly temper.”  Despite the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, most Southern schools remained unchanged. African Americans faced disenfranchisement, severely limited economic opportunities, prejudicial treatment in the criminal justice system, and attacks from mobs and police. McMillan contrasted black outrage at a gradualist approach to change with white insistence on retaining the status quo, and he examined the role of the military and business communities in fostering change. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

In this 1964 speech, activist lawyer Pauli Murray describes how race discrimination uniquely affects black women.  Written decades before legal scholar Kimberle՛Crenshaw coined the term ‘intersectionality,’ Murray articulated the dual burdens of racism and sexism black women faced, and called for white and black women to ally to address sex discrimination.  From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

In the 1960s, the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) investigated and tried to disrupt dissident political groups within the United States.  It targeted civil rights activists, both advocates of non-violence, like Martin Luther King, and those whom Hoover referred to as "black nationalist hate groups," like the Black Panther Party. This document outlines COINTELPRO's goal to limit the effectiveness of such groups. In practice, the FBI used infiltration, legal harassment, disinformation and sometimes extra-legal intimidation and violence against black activist groups in its attempt to discredit and disrupt them. From: HERB: Social History for Every Classroom

In June 1966, Stokely Carmichael first voiced the slogan “Black Power” during a march in Mississippi. He later explained that the slogan was “a call for black people in this country to begin to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.” Carmichael’s rhetoric, influenced by Malcolm X, revealed a growing divide in the civil rights movement between those who encouraged interracial collaboration and those who advocated black separatism. This testimony before a Senate subcommittee investigating internal security includes an interview Carmichael recorded during a visit to Cuba in 1967. Although he advocated an international struggle to end capitalism, Carmichael later declared Communism is “not an ideology suited for black people.” From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

President Lyndon Johnson formed a National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in July 1967 to investigate why riots had plagued cities each summer since 1964 and to provide recommendations for the future. The Commission’s 1968 report, informally known as the Kerner Report, concluded that the nation was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Unless conditions were remedied, the Commission warned, the country faced a “system of ’apartheid’” in its major cities. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

How does 2020 compare to 1968? During the Democratic Party National Convention, held in Chicago, violent confrontations exploded when 10,000 protesters faced off against more than 20,000 army troops and police officers. Seven police officers faced dismissal proceedings; but eight leaders of protest organizations were indicted for conspiring to violate the 1968 Anti-Riot Act. In this testimony before a House Committee on Un-American Activities hearing to investigate “subversive involvement” in the disruption, activist Tom Hayden expressed outrage at the current “state of anarchy,” and his continued support for participatory democracy. From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

In the 1960s, Black and Puerto Rican students at CUNY mobilized to demand a more equitable public university system. In 1969, black and Puerto Rican students mobilized at the City College of New York (CCNY) campus, in Harlem.  For more than a month they occupied CCNY buildings and held marches. This flyer outlined their demands. Although they encountered violence from police, their protests led to the resignation of CCNY’s president and helped establish an Open Admissions policy at CCNY and across all CUNY campuses in 1970. From: CUNY Digital History Archive

In 1970, students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) mobilized to demand an end to increases in tuition fees, a day care center for children of students, and new practices regarding the use of city police on campus.  This photograph shows Maria Ramos, the BMCC Student Government President, and others shortly before their arrest in a 1970 protest. From: CUNY Digital History Archive

This flyer from 1976 advertises a protest, sponsored by the Black Students Union and other Black student organizations, against “genocide and racism in the city’s university.”  The protest, held at the United Nations Plaza in Manhattan on Paul Robeson’s birthday, was in response to austerity measures that severely cut funding to vital city services and CUNY, and overwhelmingly targeted working-class class communities of color.  From: CUNY Digital History Archive

Resources by and/or for Public Historians, Archivists, and Museum Professionals

A publicly-accessible reference to support equitable and inclusive work in public settings. The handbook contains concrete examples of how to make history more relevant. Compiled by the National Council on Public History.

A collection of resources developed by the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture for parents and educators.

A list of culturally-specific museums created by people of color in the United States.

This project connects archivists and other memory workers who are willing to share their time, resources, and expertise with activists documenting protests against police violence.  

An extensive list of resources (syllabi, books, articles, podcasts, video, etc) probing museum accountability as sites of racial and cultural exclusion.

Other Teaching Activities and Reading Lists

The Zinn Education Project provides many valuable free resources, including their ongoing People's Historians Online weekly webinars that pair a scholar and teacher, and teaching activities designed for students in grades k-12. Classroom activities include: ‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement, COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement, and Attica Uprising.

Teaching Tolerance creates lesson plans and classroom activities to teach about ‘hard history’ including topics ranging from slavery to police violence in the U.S.

In 2014 historian Marcia Chatelain started #FergusonSyllabus and How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson to gather recommendations of materials suitable for teaching about the death of Michael Brown and the uprisings that followed.  Scholars subsequently generated the CharlestonSyllabus, after nine African American parishioners were murdered during a Bible study class at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church; and the BaltimoreSyllabus after police in that city killed Freddie Gray while transporting him in a police van during an arrest.  The Confederate Monument Syllabus offers resources for teachers and students on the high school and college levels and others who want to understand better ongoing debates about the meaning of Confederate monuments and the American Civil War. Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus is a collection of articles coordinated by JSTOR Daily to bring context to present-day violence against African Americans.

The co-editors at the Abusable Past have compiled this list to provide adult readers with quick access to collected resources for teaching, learning, and acting in the wake of the most recent wave of police killings in U.S. cities.

This extensive reading list and syllabus for adult readers was compiled by Trish Kahle, a Postdoctoral Social Sciences Teaching Fellow in the Department of History and the College at the University of Chicago, and published on the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society.  

A wide-ranging list of books, suitable for children, young adults, and adult readers and including fiction, nonfiction, classic texts, and more recent titles.

This daily calendar, put out by the Equal Justice Initiative, provides a set of tools for learning more about people and events in American history that are critically important but not well known. 

A collection of excerpted writings by radical Black activists from Reconstruction to the present, produced by CUNY Struggle, a collective of students and teachers affiliated with the City University of New York.

  • Anti-Racism and #BlackLivesMatter Resources This list highlights anti-racism and Black liberation resources found in the collection of Mina Rees Library at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.  It also points to critical works made by scholars teaching at the Graduate Center.
  • Online Resources for Learning Civil Rights History A list of resources to explore and expand your understanding of the American Civil Rights Movement as part of a larger struggle for human rights and racial equality.

Crowd-Sourced and Interactive Digital Resources on Police Violence, Segregation, Incarceration, and Protests

Statistics regarding police violence are hard to find. There is currently no national, governmental database for those killed or injured by police. Non-governmental resources that track fatal police shootings include the Washington Post’s Police Shooting Database, and Mapping Police Violence, a free, crowdsourced database. A “National Use-of-Force” database that would track killings and injuries (when such data are voluntarily made public by police departments) was announced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2019 but has not been released. 

  • Mapping Prejudice delves into residential covenants and documents that disclose the history of residential segregation in Minneapolis. Mapping Inequality offers an interactive map of HOLC Security Maps of cities across the country, which were one piece of the institutionalization of redlining. All maps, and their accompanying area descriptions, are downloadable.   
  • Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks is an interactive map showing the high cost of incarceration in Chicago. Using data from 2005-2009, the authors determine—unsurprisingly—that public dollars flowing into the city’s carceral landscape are most concentrated in majority Black neighborhoods, revealing the stark racial disparities of incarceration.
  • Preserve the Baltimore Uprising: Your Stories. Your Pictures. Your Stuff. Your History is a crowdsourced project that documents the uprising following the 2015 murder of Freddie Gray. Similarly, Documenting Ferguson makes available interviews and other materials detailing the protests following the murder of Michael Brown in 2014.
  • States of Incarceration, a public humanities project organized by the Humanities Action Lab and focused on the past, present, and future of mass incarceration and prisons in the United States.


Black History Month Events

DA Black History Month Events

(Will be regularly updated.)


  • GBC Events:

The National Welfare Rights Organization 1966 - 1975

An outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement: Women of Color Rising to lift themselves and their children out of poverty.

Join the Global Black Caucus for an insightful webinar, during Black History Month 2023, and learn more about the significance of the National Welfare Rights Organization and its activism and legacy which still carries on today.  

February 11, 2023, at 10:00 AM EST / 16:00 PM CET / 23:00 HKT 


  • GBC Supported Events:


  • GBC Cosponsored Events:

A 21st-Century Economic Bill Of Rights

How do we reverse increasing income inequality in the United States? A 21st-Century Economic Bill of Rights would guarantee all people residing in the United States the right to the essentials of a good life, regardless of their income, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or country of origin. Join our guest speakers to learn more about this progressive proposal and what we can do to implement it.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Harvey J. Kaye: American historian and sociologist. Author of several books, including “Thomas Paine and the Promise of America” and “The Fight for the Four Freedoms.” He is a Professor Emeritus of Democracy & Justice Studies and the Director of the Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.
  • Alan Minsky: Executive Director of the Progressive Democrats of America and a lifelong activist, who has worked as a progressive journalist, as Program Director at KPFK Los Angeles, and as coordinator for Pacifica Radio’s national coverage of elections. 


Black History Month Articles

Black History Month Articles

(Will be regularly updated.)

The Library of Congress's most recent magazine focuses on Black History Month. Featuring articles on the poet Phyllis Wheatley and on two of the founders of Black History Month, it also has excellent links to primary source materials including "The Born in Slavery" oral history collection. 

The History of Black History Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied or even documented-when the tradition originated.

How One Woman Helped End Lunch Counter Segregation in the Nation’s Capital. Mary Church Terrell’s court case demanded the district’s “lost laws” put an end to racial discrimination in dining establishments. She was also one of the founders of the NAACP.

ASALH Announces 2018 Black History Theme, African Americans in Times of War The 2018 theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” commemorates the centennial of the end of the First World War in 1918, and explores the complex meanings and implications of this international struggle and its aftermath. The First World War was initially termed by many as “The Great War,” “The War to End All Wars,” and the war “to make the world safe for democracy.”

Archibald Grimké (August 17, 1849 – February 25, 1930) was an American lawyer, intellectual, journalist, diplomat and community leader in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A graduate of freedmen's schools, Lincoln University and Harvard Law School, he later was appointed as American Consul to the Dominican Republic from 1894 to 1898. He was an activist for rights for blacks, working in Boston and Washington, DC. He was a national vice-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as president of its Washington, DC branch.

Oswald Villard, the NAACP and The Nation - In 1909, when the founders of the NAACP needed help organizing their new civil rights group, they reached out to Oswald Garrison Villard, The Nation's future editor and owner.

5 Things About Slavery You Probably Didn’t Learn In Social Studies

African-American History Month: African-Americans in Air Force leadership Since the inception of the Air Force, African-Americans have been valuable team members and leaders in the world’s greatest air force. In honor of African-American History Month, we’re highlighting three of those exemplary leaders, which include father and son generals and the first African-American chief master sergeant of the Air Force.

The Side of the Black Panthers That's Been Virtually Ignored: Their Fight for Healthcare Justice In her new book, Columbia professor Alondra Nelson documents the multifaceted (and under-reported) health activism of the Panthers.

Bryan Stevenson on What Well-Meaning White People Need to Know About Race An interview with Harvard University-trained public defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson on racial trauma, segregation, and listening to marginalized voices.

Who Was the First African American? Juan Garrido was first African in America and he was a freeman. In 1513, he joined Ponce de León 's well-known expedition to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth.

America's First Terrorist Tried to Free Black People The Story of John Brown. He was dedicated to black liberation and died a martyr to the cause. 

Did You Know About the First and Only Black Owned Automobile Company? Charles Richard Patterson escaped slavery and used his blacksmith skills to gain employment at a carriage building company that evolved into an automobile company.

The Thibodaux Massacre Left 60 African-Americans Dead and Spelled the End of Unionized Farm Labor in the South for Decades

Oscar Dunn And The New Orleans Monument That Never Happened - An audio story Oscar James Dunn (1826 – November 22, 1871) was one of three African Americans who served as a Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana during the era of Reconstruction.

A Century Later, a Little-Known Mass Hanging of Black Soldiers Still Haunts Us   The Houston riot grew out of a confrontation between the soldiers and Houston city police, at the end of which sixteen white people were dead, including five policemen, with four soldiers also killed. It was one of the only riots in U.S. history in which more white people died than black people.

The Origin of the Zombie is More Horrific Thank You Think  Never believe black people wanted to be slaves. That is just projection from our oppressors.

Black History Month Books

Books for Black History Month

(Will be regularly updated.)

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

Paperback: 560 pages

Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (October 25, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0465049664

ISBN-13: 978-0465049660

Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback and Audiobook


Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany by Hans J. Massaquoi

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 6, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0060959614

ISBN-13: 978-0060959616

An astonishing true tale of how he came of age as a black child in Nazi Germany. The son of a prominent African and a German nurse, Hans remained behind with his mother when Hitler came to power, due to concerns about his fragile health, after his father returned to Liberia. Like other German boys, Hans went to school; like other German boys, he swiftly fell under the Fuhrer's spell. So he was crushed to learn that, as a black child, he was ineligible for the Hitler Youth. His path to secondary education and an eventual profession was blocked. He now lived in fear that, at any moment, he might hear the Gestapo banging on the door -- or Allied bombs falling on his home. Ironic,, moving, and deeply human, Massaquoi's account of this lonely struggle for survival brims with courage and intelligence.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


On the Pleasures of Owning Persons: The Hidden Face of American Slavery by Professor and Chair Volney Gay (Author)

Publisher: Ipbooks; . ed. edition (July 31, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 099654819X

ISBN-13: 978-0996548199

The real reason Americans owned slaves was not just financial. They did it because they liked it. For the first two centuries of American history, starting with the colonists, slavery was a part of the social, economic, and governmental order. Looking back, many of us find it more comfortable to view slave owners as evil or sociopathic. The startling truth is that many were otherwise admirable.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (February 2, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 054438766X

ISBN-13: 978-0544387669

Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback and Audiobook


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963)

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON; 1 edition (October 17, 2000)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 003055442X

ISBN-13: 978-0030554421

We are living through something of a Baldwin renaissance, in large part thanks to Raoul Peck’s brilliant documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Any number of Baldwin’s books might earn a place on this list, but The Fire Next Time stands out. Consisting of two essays, one addressed to Baldwin’s nephew, it is a passionate and visceral plea to black and white America. It is the only document I know of that expresses the civil rights case as eloquently as the speeches of Martin Luther King.


Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Césaire (1950)

Paperback: 102 pages

Publisher: Monthly Review Press (2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1583670254

ISBN-13: 978-1583670255

Published in 1955, when most of Africa was still the colonial possession of one or other of the European powers, Césaire’s masterwork argues that the European empires were, like all empires, run for the profit of the colonizing powers, rather than the benefit of the colonized peoples. More controversially, Césaire hypothesized that the roots of Nazism could be found in the toxic soil of imperialism.

Available Formats: Paperback


The Black Atlantic by Paul Gilroy (1993)

Paperback: 280 pages

Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reissue edition (March 8, 1993)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0674076060

ISBN-13: 978-0674076068

It was in this book that Gilroy laid out his concept of the “Black Atlantic”, the idea that black culture is essentially a hybrid, a product of centuries of exchange, slavery, and movement across the Atlantic. Exploring everything from the lives and work of African American philosophers such as WEB DuBois, to black popular music, Gilroy demonstrates that black culture is both “local” and “global”, and cannot be constrained within any single national culture. It flows across the black Atlantic of the book’s title. The influence of Gilroy’s work can be felt not only in modern scholarship but even in the work of the visual artist John Akomfrah.

Available Formats: Hardcover and Paperback


Roots by Alex Haley (1976)

Hardcover: 704 pages

Publisher: Wings; Reprint edition (September 5, 2000)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0517208601

ISBN-13: 978-0517208601

What turns a great book into a great political book is its impact, as much as its content. Both on the page and later on the television screen, Alex Haley’s masterpiece was a phenomenon. For African-Americans, whose familial links to Africa had been severed by slavery and racism, it was a revelation. Although Haley’s methodology has been criticized, the cultural impact of Roots remains undeniable.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (2010)

Hardcover: 290 pages

Publisher: The New Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1595581030

ISBN-13: 978-1595581037

Lists of great books tend to focus on works that are old enough to have become firmly established as classics. Michelle Alexander’s book, published just seven years ago, earns its place and already seems prescient. Controversially and passionately, it exposes the crisis that is the mass incarceration of African-American men in post-civil rights America.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (2010)

Hardcover: 512 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (March 15, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0393049345

ISBN-13: 978-0393049343

I’m sometimes nervous about books that use the phrase “white people” as if all “white people” or all “black people” can be categorized as being a single group. But Painter’s book is a clever history of the idea of “whiteness”. It demonstrates that a number of ethnic groups, whom we today automatically regard as being “white”, were once regarded as being outside of the white race.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Race Matters by Cornel West (1993)

Hardcover: 128 pages

Publisher: Beacon Press; Anniversary edition (December 5, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 080704122X

ISBN-13: 978-0807041222

Race Matters is to be re-issued later this year to mark its forthcoming 25th anniversary. The timing is grimly pertinent. Across a series of interweaving essays, West argues that racism is so much a part of American history and culture that it can only be addressed and confronted if that reality is confronted – and by Americans of all races.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain by Peter Fryer (1984)

Paperback: 648 pages

Publisher: Pluto Press; 2 edition (November 6, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 074533072X

ISBN-13: 978-0745330723

In June 1948, Peter Fryer, then a young reporter, was dispatched to Tilbury docks to report on the arrival of the Empire Windrush and the 492 West Indian migrants on board. That led, 36 years later, to the publication of Staying Power. At a time when little on the subject was written, Fryer created an encyclopedic panorama of the black presence in Britain.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley (1976)

Hardcover: 528 pages

Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (September 29, 1992)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0345379756

ISBN-13: 978-0345379757

Co-authored by Alex Haley and based on a series of interviews with Malcolm X, this is one of the greatest biographies of the last century. Through his own life story and that of the key figures of his troubled years in the underworld of New York, Malcolm bore witness to the racism of the 1930s and 40s. It’s impossible to believe he would occupy the cultural position he holds today had the book never been written.


Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (1994)

Hardcover: 507 pages

Publisher: HOLT, RINEHART, AND WINSTON; 1 edition (September 22, 2000)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0030565812

ISBN-13: 978-0030565816

I was in Tanzania when the news of Mandela’s death was announced. I rushed out and bought the only copy of Mandela’s 1994 biography I could find in the book shops of Dar es Salaam – others had evidently felt the same urge to re-read the book. If apartheid was the most perfected and methodically applied system of racial oppression ever devised the Long Walk to Freedom is the ultimate denouncement of it. It is a statement of the obvious that Mandela was one of the great figures of our age. To fully understand how great you have to read his account of the infamous Rivonia trial.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st-Century Revolutions by Dhoruba Bin Wahad,‎ Jamal Joseph,‎ Sekou Odinga

Paperback: 648 pages

Publisher: PM Press (August 15, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1629633895

ISBN-13: 978-1629633893

In 1969, 21 members of the militant New York branch of the Black Panther Party were rounded up and indicted on multiple charges of violent acts and conspiracies. The membership of the NY 21, which includes the mother of Tupac Shakur, is largely forgotten and unknown. Their legacy, however—reflected upon here in this special edition—provides essential truths which have remained largely hidden.

Available Formats: Kindle and Paperback


Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America by Peniel E. Joseph

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 10, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0805083359

ISBN-13: 978-0805083354

Was the black power movement part of the civil rights movement, or something separate? Joseph, a leading figure in the new black power studies, makes the case for its singularity in the most comprehensive overview of the topic published to date. Rather than seeing black power as a series of unconnected iconic episodes and images – Black Panthers toting guns, the clenched fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics, Angela Davis's loud and proud Afro–Joseph presents a picture of a coherent movement with its own distinct politics and sensibilities.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Vintage; 2 edition (October 23, 1989)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0679724672

ISBN-13: 978-0679724674

This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba. It is the story of the French colony of San Domingo, a place where the brutality of masters toward slaves was commonplace and ingeniously refined. And it is the story of a barely literate slave named Toussaint L'Ouverture, who led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean.

Available Formats: Hardcover and Paperback


Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times by Harriet A. Washington

Paperback: 528 pages

Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 8, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 076791547X

ISBN-13: 978-0767915472

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America by Peniel E. Joseph

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 10, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0805083359

The Black Power movement is one of the most misunderstood movements in history. Decades of negative media coverage and stereotypes have contributed to that. Here Peniel Joseph dives in deep and shows where and how the Black Power movement diverged from and overlapped with other racial equality movements, from its inception with Stokely Carmichael at the helm to the rise of the Black Panther Party.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Paperback) – by Carol Anderson

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1632864134

ISBN-13: 978-1632864130

From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America--now in paperback with a new afterword by the author, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Assata: An Autobiography - by Assata Shakur

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books; unknown edition (November 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1556520743

ISBN-13: 978-1556520747

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portray the strengths, weaknesses and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides."

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Paperback: 640 pages

Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0679763880

ISBN-13: 978-0679763888

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, George Starling, and Robert Foster. Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis

Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books edition (February 12, 1983)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0394713516

ISBN-13: 978-0394713519

A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday by Angela Y. Davis

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (January 26, 1999)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0679771263

ISBN-13: 978-0679771265

From one of this country's most important intellectuals comes a brilliant analysis of the blues tradition that examines the careers of three crucial black women blues singers through a feminist lens. Angela Davis provides the historical, social, and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as powerful articulations of an alternative consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American culture.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South by E. Patrick Johnson

Paperback: 592 pages

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 2 edition (September 1, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0807872261

ISBN-13: 978-0807872260

Giving voice to a population too rarely acknowledged, Sweet Tea collects more than sixty life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the South. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as "backward" or "repressive" and offers a window into the ways black gay men negotiate their identities, build community, maintain friendship networks, and find sexual and life partners--often in spaces and activities that appear to be anti-gay. Ultimately, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures.

Available Formats: Kindle, Paperback, and Audiobook


Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension Of American Racism by James W. Loewen

Hardcover: 562 pages

Publisher: New Press, The; 1st, First Printing edition (September 29, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 156584887X

ISBN-13: 978-1565848870

In this groundbreaking work, bestselling sociologist James W. Loewen, author of the national bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me, brings to light decades of hidden racial exclusion in America. In a provocative, sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, Loewen uncovers the thousands of “sundown towns”—almost exclusively white towns where it was an unspoken rule that blacks could not live there—that cropped up throughout the twentieth century, most of them located outside of the South. These towns used everything from legal formalities to violence to create homogenous Caucasian communities—and their existence has gone unexamined until now. For the first time, Loewen takes a long, hard look at the history, sociology, and continued existence of these towns, contributing an essential new chapter to the study of American race relations.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


God's Other Children - A London Memoir by Vernal W Scott

Paperback: 606 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 22, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1482741172

ISBN-13: 978-1482741179

Black LGBTQ people have long been an integral part of black history. A crucial part of their more recent history has been captured in this essential non-fiction book, which has won rave reader reviews and recommendations by WH Smith and notables such as Peter Tatchell and Lord Paul Boateng. Born in early 1960s London to Jamaican parents, Vernal has written the only self-published title to be shortlisted for the 2014 Polari First Book Prize. Featuring text and photos over 600 pages, it is quite an astonishing account of Black culture and sexuality, ‘coming out’, the ‘AIDS war years’, gay fatherhood, politics, ‘damaging religion’, hate, love, and more.

Available Formats: Kindle and Paperback


The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family by Gail Lumet Buckley

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (February 2, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0802124542

ISBN-13: 978-0802124548

In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley—daughter of actress Lena Horne—delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from the Civil War to Civil Rights.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook

Black History Month Documentaries

Black History Month Documentaries


The PBS Series: The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross

This series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent right up to today when America has a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race.      

Episode 1: The Black Atlantic (1500-1800)

Episode 2: The Age of Slavery (1800 -1860)

Episode 3: Into the Fire (1861-1896)

Episode 4: Making a way Out of no way (1897-1940)

Episode 5: Rise! (1940 - 1968)

Episode 6: A More Perfect Union (1968 - 2013)

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 For three decades, the film canisters sat undisturbed in a cellar beneath the Swedish National Broadcasting Company. Inside was roll after roll of startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage shot in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, all of it focused on the anti-war and Black Power movements. When filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson discovered the footage, he decided he had a responsibility to shepherd this glimpse of history into the world. With contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fueled an era of convulsive change. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, Mixtape is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.

13TH: A Netflix Original In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. Available on Netflix

Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965–1985

Season 2, Episode 1:The Time Has Come: 1964-1966  Episode focuses on black militancy and the roots of the black power movement. Also tracks the influence of ideas of black separatism and black nationalism on a new generation of blacks and analyzes the long-term impact they had on whites who supported the freedom movement.

Season 2, Episode 2: Two Societies: 1965-1968  Northern cities served as the backdrop for confrontations on a scale the civil rights movement had never seen before the mid-1960s. Scarred by widespread discrimination, black inner-city neighborhoods became sites of crumbling houses, poverty, and street violence. Although the black-led movement for social change and equality in the North had a long history, it had not received the same media attention the struggle in the South had.

Season 2, Episode 3: Power!: 1966-1968 Exploring the influence of the idea of black power on freedom movement. Follows leaders of three black communities in their efforts to gain political and economic power that would enable advancements in employment, housing and education.

Season 2, Episode 4: The Promised Land: 1967-1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. stakes out new ground for himself and the rapidly fragmenting civil rights movement. He is assassinated in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel.

Season 2, Episode 5: Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More: 1964-1972 Call to pride and push for unity galvanize blacks. Cassius Clay challenges America to accept him as Muhammad Ali, who refuses to fight in Vietnam. Students at Howard University fight to bring the growing black consciousness movement and their African heritage inside the walls of the institution.

Season 2, Episode 6: A Nation of Law?: 1968-1971 Black activism is increasingly met with violent and unethical response from local and federal law enforcement. A five-day inmate takeover at Attica Prison calls the public's attention to conditions there leaves 43 dead: 39 killed by police.

Season 2, Episode 7: The Keys to the Kingdom: 1974-1980 In the 1970s, anti-discrimination rights are put to the test. Boston whites violently resist federal school desegregation order. Atlanta's mayor Jackson proves affirmative action can work, but Bakke decision challenges that policy.

Season 2, Episode 8: Back to the Movement: 1979-Mid 1980s Episode explores new and old challenges that black communities faced 25 years after civil rights struggle began. It follows black communities in Miami and Chicago and chronicles their dramatically different responses to these challenges.

The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela This 2-hour PBS FRONTLINE documentary covers Nelson Mandela's amazing life story, from his radical political activism in Johannesburg as a youth to his over 20-year imprisonment, and then to his remarkable rise as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 in which he presided over the dismantling of apartheid. This documentary features excellent footage from all periods in Mandela's life along with interviews of the people closest to him. It's a story that must be heard to be believed.

For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots A two-part, four-hour documentary series honoring African-American servicemen and women.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013) investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. Available on Amazon Video and  iTunes.

Black America Since MLK:And Still I Rise parts 1-4 Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole.

Parts 1 & 2 Parts 3 & 4

Black History Month Children's Books

Children's Books for Black History Month

(Will be regularly updated.)


Happy Hair

By Mechal Renee Roe

Published: Feb 11, 2020, // ISBN 9781984895578 // 3-7 years

Happy Hair is a call-and-response book that promotes positive self-esteem and hair love to girls of all ages! Happy Hair covers different shades and hair types all while being fun and fashionable! This book is the foundation to building Happy Hair.



Cool Cuts

By Mechal Renee Roe

Format: 34 pages, Hardcover

Published: May 19, 2014 // ISBN: 9780991621118 // 3-7 years

Mechal Renee Roe, illustrator of Vice President Kamala Harris’s Super Heroes Are Everywhere, creates a joyful, positive, read-together book celebrating boys with natural black hair that will have kids everywhere chanting: “I am born to be awesome!”

When the stars shine, the world is mine! I am born to be awesome! My hair is free, just like me! I am born to be awesome! 

Boys will love seeing strong, happy reflections of themselves in this vibrant, rhythmic book full of hip Black hairstyles. From a ‘fro-hawk to mini-twists and crisp cornrows, adorable illustrations of boys with cool curls, waves, and afros grace each page, accompanied by a positive message that will make kids cheer. It’s a great read-aloud to promote positive self-esteem to boys of all ages, building and growing the foundation of self-love (and hair love!) and letting every boy know that “You are born to be awesome!”

Standing in the Need of Prayer

By Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Published: Sep 20, 2022  // ISBN 9780593306345 // 6-9 years

From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual. The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. A perfect gift or timeless keepsake!

This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Carole Boston Weatherford’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.

Stretching more than four hundred years, this book features pivotal moments in history, such as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; Nat Turner’s rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.

Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.

The Green Piano

By Roberta Flack and Tonya Bolden

Illustrated by Hayden Goodman

Published: Jan 10, 2023 // ISBN 9780593479872 // 4-8 years 

This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green.

Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn’t have fancy clothes or expensive toys…but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano.

When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter’s dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for–one that will make her become a legend in the music industry.


Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Doreen Rappaport

Illustrated by: Bryan Collier

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Age Level: 6-9

Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.



Through My Eyes

By: Ruby Bridges

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Age Level: 9-12

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Six-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African American to integrate an elementary school. Her memories of that year, when so much hatred was directed at her, make for a powerful memoir. A 1999 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner.



Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrated by: Ekua Holmes

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry

Age Level: 9-12

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stirring poems and vibrant collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of the Civil Rights and voting rights movements from the 1950s through the 1970s. Born in the Mississippi delta, the youngest of 20 children, Hamer had to drop out of school after sixth grade to work in the cotton fields before she became a powerful voice for her people. The book vividly brings to life Hamer’s legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.



The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

By: Langston Hughes

Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney

Genre: Poetry

Age Level: 6-9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

The great American poet Langston Hughes chose the poems in this classic collection, originally published for young people in 1932.



Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

By: Deborah Hopkinson

Illustrated by: James Ransome

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Age Level: 6-9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clara is born into slavery but learns an important skill when she becomes a seamstress. Her quilting ability allows Clara to put together directions to escape north to freedom when she overhears a conversation about a route to Canada.



Two Friends

by Dean Robbins

Illustrated by Selina Alko, Sean Qualls

Ages Level: 7-10

Genre: Historical Fiction

Some people had rights, while others had none. Why shouldn't they have them, too?Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. The premise of this particular exchange between the two is based on a statue in their hometown of Rochester, New York, which shows the two friends having tea.The text by award-winning writer Dean Robbins teaches about the fight for women's and African Americans' rights in an accessible, engaging manner for young children.



Minty: A Story Of Young Harriet Tubman

by Alan Schroeder

Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Age Level: 5-7

Genre: Biography and Autobiography

Many people know about Harriet Tubman's adult life — how she helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. But how many know about Harriet Tubman's life as a child on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s? As a young slave, nicknamed "Minty," Harriet Tubman was a feisty and stubborn girl with a dream of escape, and whose rebellious spirit often got her into trouble. Pinkney's expressive illustrations bring every emotion to brilliant life — from troubled sorrow to spirited hope for freedom.



Dad, Jackie, And Me

by Myron Uhlberg

Illustrated by Colin Bootman

Age Level: 8-10

Genre:Historical Fiction

An inspiring and sentimental tale of one famous summer in Brooklyn in 1947. It is the summer of 1947 and a highly-charged baseball season is underway in New York. Jackie Robinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers — and the first black player in major league baseball. A young boy shares the excitement of Robinson's rookie season with his deaf father. Each day he listens eagerly to the Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. When his father arrives home from work, the boy uses sign language to tell him about the Dodgers. His father begins to keep a scrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play in person!



What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld

Recommended ages: 8 and up

Did you know that African-American inventors had a hand in everything from the ice-cream scoop and the refrigerated food truck to cortisone cream and open-heart surgery? In this book co-authored by NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, kids can learn about the great minds behind important inventions, product improvements, and scientific and medical discoveries that we take for granted.

Black History Month Feature Films

Black History Month Feature Films (Will be regularly updated.)

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)  The story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

42 (2013) The story of Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Available on Amazon Video, iTunes.

Remember the Titans (2000) Based on a true story, in 1971, a court order forces three high schools in Alexandria, Virginia (two white, one African-American), to integrate their student bodies and faculties for the first time. Denzel Washington stars as the coach of a newly integrated football team in Virginia. A high school football coach finds himself fighting for stakes much higher than the State Championship in this drama based on actual events.  Available on iTunes.

Glory (1989) The film is about one of the first military units of the Union Army, during the American Civil War, to consist entirely of African-American men (except for its officers), as told from the point of view of Colonel Shaw, its white commanding officer. The regiment is known especially for its heroic actions at Fort Wagner. Available on Amazon Video and  iTunes.

Adam Clayton Powell (1989) The film delves into the gripping life and career of the most influential and flamboyant civil rights leader in America in the '30s, '40s and '50s. Narrated by civil rights activist Julian Bond and resplendent with rich archival footage and candid interviews with those who knew him best, this tell-all documentary mines the good, bad, and ugly acts of Powell's illustrious but controversial career - the multiple marriages, the uproarious taunting of the white establishment, his desegregation of Congress, and his shameful smearing of Martin Luther King, Jr. from self-imposed exile on the island of Bimini.Available on Amazon Video and  iTunes.

Malcolm X (1992) Spike Lee’s Malcolm X stars Denzel Washington as one of black history’s most revolutionary leaders. This famous biopic chronicles the activist’s life up until his assassination in 1965.

Race (2016) Race is a biopic film about Jesse Owens, the famed track and field athlete who endured racial discrimination and adversity on his way to winning 4 gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany, a record that remained unbroken for 48 years. Despite his victory, Owens couldn’t even sit in the front of a bus when he returned home to the US.

Girlhood (2014) Selected to open the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight, this French film depicts a young girl’s coming of age and provides a fresh look into growing up black and poor in a Paris housing project. Girlhood reminds viewers that girls’ and women’s empowerment is a universal issue.

Dear White People (2014) Dear White People tells the story of a group of black college students who grapple with issues of race, sexual orientation, and what it’s like to not fit in at a predominantly white university. The film, which won the Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, brings much needed attention to racial tension that exist on college campuses in the 21st century.

The Secret Life of Bees (2008) Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd, the film follows 14-year-old Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) as she runs away from her abusive father with her caregiver (Jennifer Hudson). The pair is taken in by the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo), who are more connected to Lily’s past than it might appear.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Also based on a true story, The Pursuit of Happyness follows single father Chris Gardner as he fights to survive after he and his son are evicted from their home right when he is set to begin an internship that has the potential to change both of their lives for the better.

Fruitvale Station (2013) The film follows the last day in the life of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was murdered by police on New Year’s Day 2009. By giving such a tight 24-hour look at Grant’s life, Fruitvale Station really forces audiences to see him as a whole person and not just another headline — an important message in a world where black men are murdered so often that people seem to become numb to the fact that they are human beings who have families, dreams, and fears just like everyone else.

12 Years A Slave (2013) This film, directed by Steve McQueen, won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free man who, due to a tragic betrayal, was sold illegally into slavery in 1841. He lived out the next 12 years of his life on a plantation in Louisiana. This film chronicles his story.

Moonlight (2016) Chiron, the protagonist, is played by three different actors throughout the film. His mother is an addict, he gets mercilessly bullied at school and his father is absent. This is not the recipe for a successful life. To add to that, the only role model he has is a drug dealer called Juan. With such an upbringing, Chiron inevitably ends up in a life of crime, but he has a secret that is ashamedly still taboo in the black community. Moonlight offers the other end of the spectrum so rarely captured in film of what goes on behind the tough exterior that comes with blackness and how vulnerability in a world that sees your race as subordinate is a dangerous thing.

The Color Purple (1985)  What can we say about this 1980s classic that gave Oprah her Oscar and gave us one of Whoopie Goldberg’s most iconic roles. Based on a novel by Alice Walker, this is a must-watch whether you’ve seen it before or not. A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)  Nina Simone is one of the most famous voices of a generation, but many today don’t know that she was also a vocal black rights and women’s rights activist. Living life out loud, Simone was incredible, and her life was fascinating.

Hidden Figures (2016) The true story of the black women who helped propel America into the space race.

Marshall (2017) Based on a true story, MARSHALL follows future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, as he defends a black man from sexual assault charges against his white employer.

Selma (2014) A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

4 Little Girls (1997) A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.

Amistad (1997) In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.