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Juneteenth: Books

In celebration of Juneteenth

The National Museum of African American History & Culture recommends the following concise list of select works.

Items in your SCC/SFCC Library collection

On Juneteenth

by Annette Gordon-Reed

"The essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth's integral importance to American history, including its origins and the legacies of the holiday. Gordon-Reed provides a stark reminder that the fight for equality is ongoing." - The publisher

African American Poetry

250 Years of Struggle and Song

edited by Kevin Young

"Here are all the significant movements and currents: the nineteenth-century Francophone poets known as Les Cenelles, the Chicago Renaissance that flourished around Gwendolyn Brooks, the early 1960s Umbra group, and the more recent work of writers affiliated with Cave Canem and the Dark Noise Collective. Here too are poems of singular, hard-to-classify figures: the enslaved potter David Drake, the allusive modernist Melvin B. Tolson, the Cleveland-based experimentalist Russell Atkins. The volume also features biographies of each poet and notes that illuminate cultural references and allusions to historical events." -The publisher

Four Hundred Souls

A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

by Ibram X. Kendi

ebook & print available

"The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history." - The publisher

Stony the Road

Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind. Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans." - The publisher

The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

A National Book Award & Pulitzer Prize Winning work

"Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom."  - The publisher

A Black Women's History of the United States

by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali N. Gross

"In centering Black women's stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women's unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today." - The publisher

Stamped from the Beginning

The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

by Ibram X. Kendi

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

by Isabel Wilkerson

"During the Great Migration, 1915 to 1970, an estimated six million African Americans left their homes in the South in search of a better life in the North. This book reveals the riveting truth behind what drove this mass relocation through three separate first-hand accounts of black Americans, including their fears, hopes, and dreams." - The publisher

Frederick Douglass


ebook & print available

Contents include The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Originally published in 1881)


SCC logo, Skitch holding bookThis guide was created by librarians at Spokane Community College Library.