Skip to main content

Black History Month

A Black History Month reading and viewing list.

This guide contains information on McKee Library's collection of resources relating to Black History Month, including recommended books for further reading and films. For more information on the individual titles, please click the link to view the complete record in the library's catalog.

Featured Works

Lessons from Little Rock

In his compelling memoir detailing the Little Rock Desegregation Crisis of 1957, "Little Rock Nine" member Terrence Roberts opens the door to the life he and his family lived in the segregated South in the 1950s-a place where some birth announcements in the daily paper addressed new parents as Mr. and Mrs., while others did ¬ a place where some patrons were welcomed to sit at restaurant tables, were welcomed to sit at restaurant tables, while others had to take their food to go; a place where some could walk to school or work without fear, while others could ¬ a place where some teens were prepped for lives of prosperity and respect, while others were not. Roberts gives an eye-witness account of what readers will recognize as history, yet to the young man living through these tumultuous events was just life in a country on the cusp of momentous change. Book jacket.

Hidden Figures

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space--a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation.

12 Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave is the autobiographical account of Solomon Northup, an African American who was born free in New York in the early 1800s. In 1841, Solomon Northup was captured and forced into slavery for a period of twelve years. Northup's account is detailed in its account of life on a cotton and sugar plantation and the daily routine of slave life during the first part of the 19th century. The book describes the daily life of slaves in Bayou Beof, their diet, the relationship between master and slave, the means that slave catchers used to recapture them, and the ugly realities that slaves suffered. Comparable to the accounts of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, and William Wells Brown, Twelve Years a Slave is a captivating narrative of the life of freedom and slavery experienced by one African American man prior to the American Civil War.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums.

The 100 Best African American Poems

Hear voices contemporary and classic as selected by New York Times bestselling author Nikki Giovanni Award-winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the 100 best African American works from classic and contemporary poets. Out of necessity, Giovanni admits she cheats a little, selecting a larger, less round number. The result is this startlingly vibrant collection that spans from historic to modern, from structured to freeform, and reflects the rich roots and visionary future of African American verse.

Race Matters

Now re-issued with a new introduction, this groundbreaking classic is regarded as the most influential and most original articulation of the urgent issues in America's ongoing racial debate. Moving...profound...exhilarating' - Washington Post 'One can only applaud the ferocious moral vision and astute intellect on display in these pages' - The New York Times'

Women of Hope

In this gloriously photographed volume, readers of all ages will be inspired by women who blazed uncharted paths in journalism, politics, law, education, science, and the arts -- to make a better world for us all.