Great Resources for Black History Month

This list from the Gathering will no doubt include works that have not yet made it to your bookshelf. Here you’ll discover film, non-fiction and fiction (even sci-fi) gems to enjoy far beyond February!

When Affirmative Action was White, by Ira Katznelson – “For Black History Month, I’m recommending a classic: No other book on the history of the welfare state (and it’s systematic exclusion of Blacks) is more illuminating to my students.” (Kathy Edin)

Black Feminist Thought, by Patricia Hill Collins – “I recommend Collins for her magisterial explanation of “interlocking systems of oppression/matrix of domination,” whereby she shows how race, class, and gender hierarchies reinforce each other to maintain White patriarchal capitalist control.” (Angie Simms)

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi – “I love this novel, which toggles between two sisters lives–one who is forcibly removed from Africa during the Transatlantic Slave Trade and one who remains in west Africa.” (Angie Simms)

The Evangelicals, by Frances Fitzgerald – “I recommend this for a thorough social history of American racist conservative Christianity.” (Lindsay Thompson)

Four Hundred Souls, ed. by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain – “A valuable collection of essays exploring the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present…” (R.C. Bingham)

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler – “Dystopian sci-fi through Butler’s lens is a fresh treasure, and you’ll discover her futurist powers especially in her sequel, Parable of the Talents. Warning: the narrative can be triggering for survivors of abuse.” (R.C. Bingham)

Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, by Leon F. Litwack – “A searing portrayal of atrocities against African Americans during that period. Not for the faint-hearted…” (Tim Nelson)

(two books and two film recommendations from Jonathan Cox)

  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James – (the first novel in Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.)
  • 13THby Ava DuVernay (film)

(and four recommendations from Keilah Jacques)