Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


MCLS Booklists

African American History Month:
Non-Fiction & Fiction


Alice Walker: Author and Social Activist
by Stephanie Fitzgerald.
BIOGRAPHY: Born in 1944 in the segregated South, Alice Walker grew up to be a leading voice for African-Americans. A writer and activist, she addresses a wide variety of social issues in her novels, essays, poems, and stories. Her 1983 novel, The Color Purple, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction-the first time an African-American woman received that honor. She continues to speak and write about the experiences of black women in the United States and social injustices throughout the world. Book jacket.

Black Pain: It just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting: Real Talk for When There’s Nowwhere To Go But Up.
By Terrie M. Williams
SELF HELP: A successful woman entrepreneur addresses the taboo of depression that pervades African-American culture, drawing on her own experiences of suffering and recovery while offering advice on how to overcome cycles of denial and psychological pain.

Friends: A Love Story
by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, with Hilary Beard.
BIOGRAPHY: They ran for years as friends in the same small circles. They had some hits, but mostly misses with other partners, and they shared one spectacularly dreadful first date together. And then, Courtney and Angela connected. Experience the up-close-and-personal, real-life love story of this inspirational African-American celebrity couple. Learn how they navigate the fickle tides of fame, while keeping their relationship fresh and true. See how they've carved a meaningful life together in spite of humble beginnings, family tragedy and the ups and downs of stardom with love, faith and determination. Book jacket.

Heart Smart for Black Women and Latinas; A 5 Week Program for Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
by Jennifer H. Mieres and Terri Ann Parnell, with Carol Turkinton.
SELF HELP: Library Journal: Cardiologist Mieres and Parnell, a registered nurse, present a simple plan to help women of color prevent heart disease, showing them how to lose weight and lower their blood pressure and cholesterol with an inexpensive, easy-to-follow diet and exercise program. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mae Jemison
by Stephen Feinstein.
BIOGRAPHY: Highlights the life and accomplishments of the first African American woman in space.

Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics
by James Oakes.
BIOGRAPHY: "This is a book about two towering figures in our nation's history. It is a story about an improbable friendship, and an important story about an equally improbable alliance. When the pressures of war led Lincoln to embrace emancipation and Douglass to embrace Republican politics, they could finally see eye to eye. Their three meetings in the White House signaled a profound shift in the direction of the Civil War and in the fate of the United States. In this first book to draw the two together, James Oaks has written a narrative history. He brings these two iconic figures to life and sheds new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America."--BOOK JACKET.

Rosa Parks: Civil Rights Pioneer
by the editors of Time for Kids; wit Karen Kellaher.
BIOGRAPHY: An introduction to the life of Rosa Parks, who helped start the civil rights movement in the United States. Ages 7-9.


by Kalisha Buckhanon.
ADULT: Following in her single mother's footsteps when she becomes pregnant at the age of fifteen, Shivana believes that all black women fall into the same trap, until she meets Rasul, a teenager with problems of his own, with whom she forges a friendship.

Jubilee Journey
by Carolyn Meyer
YOUNG ADULT: Emily Rose has always felt comfortable growing up in Connecticut with her African American mother and her "French American" father, but when they spend some time with her great-grandmother in Texas, Emily Rose learns about her black heritage and uncovers some new and exciting parts of her own identity.

Mudbound: A Novel
by Hillary Jordan.
ADULT: Library Journal Starred Review. Jordan's poignant and moving debut novel, winner of the 2006 Bellwether Prize, takes on social injustice in the postwar Mississippi Delta. Here, two families, the landowning McAllans and their black sharecroppers, the Jacksons, struggle with the mores of the Jim Crow South. Six distinctive voices narrate the complex family stories that include the faltering marriage of Laura and Henry McAllan, the mean-spirited family patriarch and his white-robed followers, and returning war heroes Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson. In every respect, the powerful pull of the land dominates their lives. Henry leaves a secure job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to buy their farm, never noticing that the refined and genteel Laura dreams of escaping the pervasive mud and dreary conditions of farm life. Ronsel, encouraged by his war-hero status as a tank commander, wants to break away from the past and head North to a better future, while his parents, knowing no other life but farming, struggle to buy their own land. Jordan faultlessly portrays the values of the 1940s as she builds to a stunning conclusion. Highly recommended for all public libraries.—Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO

Of Blood and Sorrow: A Tamara Hayle Mystery
by Valerie Wilson Wesley.
MYSTERY: Life is looking up for African-American private detective Tamara Hayle, until old acquaintance Lilah Love arrives to ask her to find her missing child, and Tamara's son, Jamal, witnesses a brutal murder and becomes the prime suspect.

Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow
by Dedra Johnson
ADULT: "Despite being a straight-A student and voracious reader, nine-year old Sandrine Miller is treated like a servant by her mother, who forces Sandrine to clean house, do chores and take care of her younger stepsister, Yolanda. On top of the despair of her life at home, Sandrine must confront the harshness of life in mid-1970s New Orleans, where older men prey on young girls and she is ostracized because she is a light-skinned black girl. The only refuge against her bleak world is spending summers with her beloved grandmother, Mamalita. After Mamalita's death, Sandrine realizes that she must escape from her mother, from New Orleans, from everything she has ever known, if she is to have any kind of future."--BOOK JACKET.

Sin No More
by Kimberla Lawson Roby.
ADULT: Resolving to turn over a new leaf after cheating on his wife once again, the Reverend Curtis Black is blackmailed by both his former mistress and a substitute pastor, a situation that further tests his marriage and reveals additional painful secrets.

Something on the Side
by Carl Weber.
ADULT: In a novel of friendship, love, sex, and betrayal, the voluptuous members of the Big Girls Book Club come together to discuss their passion for books and men, discovering how hard it is to keep it real when they all have something on the side.

Song Yet Sung
by James McBride
ADULT: A tale set against a backdrop of slave rights conflicts in the nineteenth-century Chesapeake Bay region finds young runaway Liz Spocott inadvertently inspiring a slave breakout from the attic prison of a notorious slave thief.

Wind Flyers by Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Loren Long.
EASY: A boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe. Introduces young readers to the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.




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