Monday, February 18, 2019

Celebrate Black History Month With These Books

Congratulations to Connie Saunders who won Vijaya Bodach's new novel, BOUND. Thanks to all of you for your comments the last three weeks; both Vijaya and I appreciated hearing from you.


Many of you have been following my blog for years and some of you are new readers. My "old" followers are familiar with the books that have helped me write Half-Truths. To recognize Black History Month, I thought I'd provide links to these past reviews, particularly for my new readers. I hope you'll add some of them to your "to-be-read" list. 

The order in which the books are displayed reflects the order in which I read them; most recent book is on top.

Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy  Written by North Carolina professor, Elizabeth Gillespie McRae, this book opened my eyes to the role that white women in the South played in maintaining segregation.

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop Alice Faye Duncan's debut picture book told from the perspective of a young girl who "meets" Martin Luther King.

Eyes on the Prize This excellent book on the Civil Rights decade is written by Juan Williams. If you're looking for an in-depth overview of the Civil Rights movement, then you've come to the right book.

Be Free or DieThe Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero. This is a great panoramic view of South Carolina before, during, and after the Civil War and an eye-opening biography of an amazing man.

Crossing Ebenezer Creek This middle grade novel, based on true events, deepened my understanding of what ex-slaves experienced after "freedom."

Midnight Without a Moon. This book takes place in Mississippi in the mid-50's. Linda Williams Jackson's debut novel uses Emmitt Till's murder as a background for Rose Lee Carter's decision not to flee the South. 

Loving vs. Virginia. This is a great curriculum resource written in free verse which shows Mildred and Richard Loving's struggles to legalize their marriage in Virginia. 

The Lions of Little Rock This classic civil rights book is set in Little Rock, AK in 1958. I now use it as a comp title in my pitch for Half-Truths!

Carver: A Life in Poems. Lillian, my most important secondary character, wants to be a scientist. Reading about George Washington Carver helped me think more deeply about Lillian.

Primary Lessons: A Memoir by Sarah Bracey White Sarah grew up in the Jim Crow south and here I share excerpts describing her experiences. 

Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond. This book was a fascinating look into Strom Thurmond's bi-racial daughter and the many challenges she and her mother faced. I blogged about it extensively. 

The Color of Love. This is an autobiographical account of a boy whose mother falls in love with a black man in the Jim Crow South. 

Mixed: My life in Black and White  A candid autobiography written by Angela Nissel. She describes what it was like to grow up in Philadelphia as a bi-racial child during the second half of the 20th century.

Fly Girl A beautifully written YA novel about a young black woman who becomes a pilot during WWII.

A Lesson Before Dying. A book review of a powerful book portraying racism in Louisiana in the 1940's.

Here are a few of the books that didn't make it into this list!

Have you read any books about African American history that you would recommend? Please share in the comments below. 

(This post was originally published on the Write2Ignite blog.)


Linda Phillips said...

Wow Carol, what an impressive list of books you have used to research your topic! Can't wait for the "final product" of all your labors!

Theresa Milstein said...

Nice list! I knew some but not others. Thanks!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Linda and Theresa. I appreciate your comments!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Hi Carol, I enjoyed reading your suggestions. I remember a book while I was still at the library titled Grandma Lois remembers. It was juvenile non-fiction and related a grandmother sharing the stories of her growing up.

Carol Baldwin said...

Mare's War has a similar theme, Connie, I forgot to link to that!

Rosi said...

Lots of good books there. I really loved A Lesson Before Dying.

Vijaya said...

Impressive Carol! I read a bunch of memoirs but the best was 12 Years a Slave. They also made a movie and it was well done.

I cam across a horrible statistic. In NY State 85% of African American babies die in the womb. This is genocide.

Carol Baldwin said...

I think I saw that movie, sounds familiar. 85% of black babies in NY die in the womb? That's horrendous.

sheri levy said...

These are very interesting books and I know you used much of their information to guide your story! Well done!
We have learned about Robert Small since we moved to this area. One of the private schools, Robert Small International Academy is in Beaufort. His house still stands and if you take the tour of Beaufort, you learn about his life.
Come here for a visit! Lots of history to see.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Sheri. His story is amazing!

Jilanne Hoffmann said...

Excellent list, Carol! Thanks for sharing it.

Carol Baldwin said...

You're most welcome, Julianne!

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