Black History Nonfiction

This guide is for black history nonfiction books. If you click on the title, you will be brought to our catalog. We have placed the call number next to each title and author for convenience. 
Nonfiction Books
"Becomingby Michelle Obama 921 OBAMA/LT 921 OBAMA
Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates 305.8009 COA
The author writes a letter to his fifteen-year-old son, Samori. He weaves his personal, historical, and intellectual development into his ruminations on how to live in a black body in America.
"Black Girl Magic811.608 BLA
A BreakBeat Poets anthology, Black Girl Magic celebrates and canonizes the words of Black women across the diaspora.
"Black Girl Rock!" 305.4889 BLA
From the award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! movement comes an inspiring and beautifully designed book that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world.
"Bound to the Fire" by Kelley Fanto Deetz 641.5929 DEE
Kelley Fanto Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. She reveals how these men and women were literally "bound to the fire" as they lived and worked in the sweltering and often fetid conditions of plantation house kitchens. 
"A Colony in a Nation" by Christopher Hayes 364.973 HAY
America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a post-racial world, yet nearly every empirical measure--wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation--reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first "law and order" president.
"Dear White People" by Justin Simien 817 SIM
Right out of college, Justin Simien wrote a screenplay about the nuanced experiences of four black students on a predominantly white college campus.
"Dressed in Dreams" by Tanisha C. Ford 391 FOR
From sneakers to leather jackets, a bold, witty, and deeply personal dive into Black America's closet In this highly engaging book, fashionista and pop culture expert Tanisha C. Ford investigates Afros and dashikis, go-go boots and hotpants of the sixties, hip hop's baggy jeans and bamboo earrings, and the #BlackLivesMatter-inspired hoodies of today.
"This Will Be My Undoing" by Morgan Jerkins 305.4889 JER
In her collection of linked essays, Jerkins takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to "be"-- to live as, to exist as-- a black woman today?
"Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand 940.54 HIL
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared--Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.
Nonfiction Audiobooks
"12 Years a Slaveby Solomon Northup CD NF NORTHUP
Twelve Years a Slave is the harrowing account of a black man, born free in New York State, who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841.
"Becomingby Michelle Obama CD NF OBAMA
Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates CD NF COATES
The author writes a letter to his fifteen-year-old son, Samori. He weaves his personal, historical, and intellectual development into his ruminations on how to live in a black body in America.
"Death of a King" by Tavis Smiley CD NF SMILEY
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations.
"Defining Moments in Black History" by Dick Gregory CD NF GREGORY
A reflection on 100 key events from the complicated history of black America, as told through the acerbic wit, humor, and paranoia of one of the foremost black comedians.
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot CD NF SKLOOT
Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer, was buried in an unmarked grave sixty years ago. Yet her cells -- taken without her knowledge, grown in culture and bought and sold by the billions -- became one of the most important tools in medical research.
"The Second Coming of the KKK" by Linda Gordon CD NF GORDON
By legitimizing bigotry and redefining so-called American values, a revived Klan in the 1920s left a toxic legacy that demands reexamination today.
"The Souls of Black Folk" by WEB Du Bois CD NF DUBOIS
Du Bois received a doctorate from Harvard in 1895 and became a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University. His dynamic leadership in the cause of social reform on behalf of his fellow blacks anticipated and inspired much of the black activism of the 1960s. The Souls of Black Folk is a classic in the literature of civil rights.
"This Will Be My Undoing" by Morgan Jerkins CD NF JENKINS
In her collection of linked essays, Jerkins takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to "be"-- to live as, to exist as-- a black woman today?

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