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Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers by Richard S. Newman
Publication Date: New York: New York University Press, 2008
Freedom's Prophet is a long-overdue biography of Richard Allen, founder of the first major African-American church and the leading black activist of the early American republic. Allen (1760-1831) was born a slave in colonial Philadelphia, secured his freedom during the American Revolution, and became one of the nations leading black activists before the Civil War. A tireless minister, abolitionist, and reformer, Allen inaugurated some of the most important institutions in African-American history including the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He co-authored the first copyrighted pamphlet by an African American writer, published the first African American eulogy of George Washington, and convened the first national convention of black reformers. He influenced nearly every black leader of the nineteenth century, from Douglass to Du Bois. This important book makes it clear that Allen belongs in the pantheon of Americas great founding figures.
Sojourner Truth (c.1797-1883)
Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 1996
Sojourner Truth: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist, figure of imposing physique, riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, she is regarded as a radical of immense and enduring influence. Now, in a masterful blend of scholarship and sympathetic understanding, eminent black historian Nell Irvin Painter goes beyond the myths, words, and photographs to uncover the life of a complex woman who was born into slavery and died a legend. Inspired by religion, Truth transformed herself from a domestic servant named Isabella into an itinerant pentecostal preacher.
Sojourner Truth's America by Margaret Washington
Publication Date: Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009
Organized chronologically into three distinct eras of Truth's life, Sojourner Truth's America examines the complex dynamics of her times, beginning with the transnational contours of her spirituality and early life as Isabella and her embroilments in legal controversy. Truth's awakening during nineteenth-century America's progressive surge then propelled her ascendancy as a rousing preacher and political orator despite her inability to read and write. Throughout the book, Washington explores Truth's passionate commitment to family and community, including her vision for a beloved community that extended beyond race, gender, and socioeconomic condition and embraced a common humanity. For Sojourner Truth, the significant model for such communalism was a primitive, prophetic Christianity.
Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)
Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies. Library of America. Contains his three autobiographies. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and American Slave (1845), My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). by Frederick Douglass; Henry Louis Gates (Editor).
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: Penguin, 1994
In this Library of America volume are collected Frederick Douglass's three autobiographical narratives. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for the abolition of slavery and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. This volume contains a detailed chronology of Douglass's life, notes providing further background on the events and people mentioned, and an account of the textual history of each of the autobiographies.
The Speeches of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass; John R. McKivigan (Editor); Julie Husband; Heather L. Kaufman
Publication Date: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018
A collection of twenty of Frederick Douglass's most important orations. This volume brings together twenty of Frederick Douglass's most historically significant speeches on a range of issues, including slavery, abolitionism, civil rights, sectionalism, temperance, women's rights, economic development, and immigration. Douglass's oratory is accompanied by speeches that influenced him, his reflections on successful rhetorical strategies, contemporary commentary on his performances, and modern-day assessments of his rhetorical legacy.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018
David Blight, as the magnum opus of an illustrious career as an historian, has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass. Blight had access to new primary source material that few scholars have used before. He brings to life again one of the most important people in American history.
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)
Harriet Tubman: The Life and the Life Stories by Jean McMahon Humez
Publication Date: Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003
Jean M. Humez s comprehensive Harriet Tubman is both an important biographical overview based on extensive new research and a complete collection of the stories Tubman told about her life - a virtual autobiography culled by Humez from rare early publications and manuscript sources. This book will become a landmark resource for scholars, historians, and general readers interested in slavery, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and African American women. Humez includes an extended discussion of Tubman s work as a public performer of her own life history during the nearly sixty years she lived in the north. Drawing upon historiographical and literary discussion of the complex hybrid authorship of slave narrative literature, Humez analyzes the interactive dynamic between Tubman and her interviewers. Humez illustrates how Tubman, though unable to write, made major unrecognized contributions to the shaping of her own heroic myth by early biographers like Sarah Bradford.
Bound for the Promised Land by Kate Clifford Larson
Publication Date: 2003-12-30
Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton
Publication Date: New York: Little, Brown, 2005
Catherine Clinton has written a good modern biography of Harriet Tubman, so well known for her leadership role in the Underground Railroad. Tubman's life was written about a number of times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in many works for children and young people, but no scholarly biographies. "Clinton's expertise in writing Civil War history is readily evident in discussions of Tubman's role as a scout, spy, and indispensable leader in the June 1863 Combahee River (South Carolina) Raid that resulted in the liberation of hundreds of women, men, and children. Many of the able-bodied men among them joined the U.S. Colored Troops." -- Wilma King, Journal of Southern History.
She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Publication Date: New York : 37 Ink/ Simon & Schuster, 2019
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)
Ida: A Sword among Lions - Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings
Publication Date: New York: Amistad, 2008
Paula Giddings has written an important and influential biography of Ida B. Wells--crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight for women's suffrage and against segregation and lynchings. Ida B. Wells was born into slavery and raised in the Victorian age yet emerged, through her fierce political battles and progressive thinking, as the first "modern" black women in the nation's history. Wells began her activist career when she tried to integrate a first-class railway car in Memphis. After being thrown bodily off the car, she wrote about the incident for Black Baptist newspapers, thus beginning her career as a journalist. But her most abiding fight would be the one against lynching, a crime in which she saw all the themes she held most dear coalesce: sexuality, race, and the law.
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois; Henry Louis Gates (Editor); Terri Hume Oliver (Editor)
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton,1999
This is a critical edition of one of the great classics of American letters, The Souls of Black Folk. It is a collection of essays by W.E.B. Du Bois on African American history, culture, and society which probes fundamental issues of race and justice and documents his conviction that the "soul" of the black community must be preserved and revered.This edition includes a collection of political and biographical documents related to the text, historic photographs, and thirteen contemporary and modern assessments of Du Bois and his work.
W. E. B. du Bois, 2 vols. by David Levering Lewis
Publication Date: New York: Holt, 1993-2000
This is the most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Du Bois, treating his extensive life, from 1868-1963, in two detailed volumes. Daniel Levering Lewis won separate Pulitzer Prizes for each volume.
The New Abolition: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel by Gary Dorrien
Publication Date: New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015
The black social gospel emerged from the trauma of Reconstruction to ask what a "new abolition" would require in American society. It became an important tradition of religious thought and resistance, helping to create an alternative public sphere of excluded voices and providing the intellectual underpinnings of the civil rights movement. This tradition has been seriously overlooked, despite its immense legacy. In this groundbreaking work, Gary Dorrien describes the early history of the black social gospel from its nineteenth-century founding to its close association in the twentieth century with W. E. B. Du Bois. He offers a new perspective on modern Christianity and the civil rights era by delineating the tradition of social justice theology and activism that led to Martin Luther King Jr.
Abraham J. Muste (1885-1967)
Essays of A. J. Muste, 2nd ed. by A. J. Muste; Ed. by Nat Hentoff; New preface by Jo Ann O. Robinson
Publication Date: New York: A. J. Muste Memorial Institute, 2002; Originally published, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967
Non-Violence in an Aggressive World by Abraham J. Muste
Publication Date: New York: Harper & Bros., 1940
American Gandhi: A. J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century by Leilah Danielson
Publication Date: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014
Abraham Went Out: A Biography of A. J. Muste by JoAnn D. Robinson
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982
Howard Thurman (1899-1981)
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2012. Originally published New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1949
Howard Thurman and the Disinherited by Paul Harvey
Publication Date: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2020
Teacher. Minister. Theologian. Writer. Mystic. Activist. No single label can capture the multiplicity of Howard Thurman's life, but his influence is written all over the most significant aspects of the Civil Rights movement. In 1936, he visited Mahatma Gandhi in India and subsequently brought Gandhi's concept of nonviolent resistance across the globe to the United States. Later, through his book Jesus and the Disinherited, he foresaw a theology of American liberation based on the life of Jesus as a dispossessed Jew under Roman rule. After founding one of the first intentionally interracial churches in the country--The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco--he shifted into a mentorship role with Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders. He advised them to incorporate more inward seeking and rest into their activism, while also thinking of their struggle for racial equality in a more cosmopolitan, universalist manner.
Myles Horton (1905-1990)
The Long Haul: An Autobiography by Myles Horton with Judith Kohl and Herbert Kohl
Publication Date: New York: Teachers' College Press, 1998; Originally published New York: Doubleday, 1990
In his own direct, modest, plain-spoken style, Myles Horton tells the story of the Highlander Folk School. A major catalyst for social change in the United States for more than 70 years, this school has touched the lives of so many people, including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Pete Seeger. Filled with disarmingly honest insight and gentle humor, The Long Haul is an inspiring hymn to the possibility of social change. It is the story of Myles Horton, in his own words: the wise and moving recollections of a man of uncommon determination and vision.
We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire; Ed. by Brenda Bell, John Gaventa and John Peters
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990
This dialogue between two of the most prominent thinkers on social change in the twentieth century was certainly a meeting of giants. Throughout their highly personal conversations recorded here, Horton and Freire discuss the nature of social change and empowerment and their individual literacy campaigns.
The Myles Horton Reader: Education for Social Change by Myles Horton
Publication Date: Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003
Highlander: No Ordinary School, 2nd ed. by John M. Glen
Call Number: Original edition, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1988 Ed.
Publication Date: Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996
Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)
Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench by Michael D. Davis & Hunter R. Clark
Publication Date: New York: Carol Publishing, 1992
Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary by Juan Williams
Publication Date: New York: Times Books, 1998
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
Publication Date: New York : Harper, 2013
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)
Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin, 2nd ed. by Ed. by Devon W. Carbado and Don Weise; foreward by Barack Obama; afterword by Barney Frank
Publication Date: San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2015; Originally published 2003
I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters by Bayard Rustin; Ed. by Michael G. Long; Foreword by Julian Bond
Publication Date: San Frandisco: City Light Books, 2012
Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D'Emilio
Publication Date: New York: Free Press, 2003
Frantz Fanon (1925-1961)
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon; Forward by Homi K. Bhabha; Preface by Jean-Paul Sartre; New Translation by Richard Philcox
Publication Date: New York: Grove, 2004; originally published, Grove, 1963 and translated by Constance Farrington
"Frantz Fanon was one of the twentieth century's most important theorists of revolution, colonialism, and racial difference, and this, his masterwork, is a classic alongside Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X." "The Wretched of the Earth is an analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage of colonized peoples and the role of violence in historical change, the book also incisively attacks postindependence disenfranchisement of the masses by the elite on one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black-consciousness movements around the world. This new translation updates its language for a new generation of readers and its lessons are more vital now than ever."--Jacket.
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon; Forwards by Ziauddin Sardar and Homi K. Bhabha; Translated by Charles Lam Markmann
Publication Date: London: Pluto Books, 2008; Originally published, New York: Grove, 1967; Reprint of Pluto, 1986
This book sets Rosa Parks' historic refusal to give up her seat on a bus in the context of a life that began in 1913 in rural Alabama dramatizes the fact that her action came at a time and place that gave it the force to challenge the rigors of a lopsided system of justice. Few will be unmoved by the tactics employed by whites to disrupt the subsequent boycott; at the center, always, is Parks's dignified, calm recounting of outrages against her and other women and men, giving her words weight and impact as no raw fury could. Like sitting at the knee of an elder with much to tell, reading her story leads to ever more questions and shock that such injustices not only existed in the recent past but still linger.
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2013
The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement Presenting a corrective to the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement, Theoharis provides a revealing window into Parks's politics and years of activism. She shows readers how this civil rights movement radical sought-for more than a half a century-to expose and eradicate the American racial-caste system in jobs, schools, public services, and criminal justice.
She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Herbert R. Kohl and Cynthia Stokes Brown; Introduction by Marian Wright Edelman
Publication Date: New York: The New Press, 2007
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King. Ed. by James M. Washington.
Publication Date: San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986
The Radical King by Martin Luther King; Ed. by Cornel West.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2015
The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Published in 7 vols. so far. by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Publication Date: Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992-<2014>
Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King; Intro. by Clayborne Carson.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. Originally published: New York : Harper & Row, 1958.
Strength to Love by Martin Luther King; Foreward by Coretta Scott King.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2019. Originally published New York: Harper & Row, 1963
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King; Intro by Vincent Harding; Foreward by Coretta Scott King.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. Originally published: New York : Harper & Row, 1968.
Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David J. Garrow
Publication Date: New York: William Morrow, 1986
Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero, Rev. ed. by Vincent Harding
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008
Jo Ann Robinson (1912-1992)
The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson; Ed. by David J. Garrow.
Publication Date: Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987
Ralph Abernathy (1926-1990)
And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography by Ralph D. Abernathy
Fannie Lou Hamer burst unto the national scene when she gave one of the important speeches at a political convention. Representing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, she brilliantly protested the democratic party's plans to seat an all-white Mississippi delegation at the 1964 convention. This major biography of Ms. Hamer, one of the bravest leaders of the civil rights movement, places this event in the context of her full and extraordinary life. For the first forty-four years, Hamer lived on sharecropping plantations, all the while learning life lessons from her family, the Black Baptist religious tradition, and from the oppressive white supremacist mores surrounding her. Once Hamer's life path intersected with the mid-century Civil Rights Movement, she spent fifteen years (1962-1977) traveling from the South to the North--and even to the West Coast of Africa--advocating civil rights, economic justice, and interracial cooperation.
Ella Baker (1903-1986)
Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision by Barbara Ransby
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003
Septima Clark (1898-1987)
Ready from Within: A First Person Narrative - Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement by Septima Clark; Edited with an introduction by Cynthia Stokes Brown
Publication Date: Navarro, CA: Wild Trees Press, 1986
Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark by Katherine Mellen Charron
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
Robert Moses (b. 1935)
Robert Parris Moses: A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots by Laura Visser-Maessen
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2016
Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project by Robert Moses & Charles E. Cobb, Jr.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2002
And Gently He Shall Lead Them by Eric Burner
Publication Date: NYU Press, 1995
This book follows Robert Moses Parrish through the civil rights years--his intensive, fearless tradition of community organizing, his involvements with SNCC and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and his negotiations with the Department of Justice--to his time in Canada after fleeing the draft for a war he opposed, through the decade he spent teaching in Tanzania. Returning in 1977 under President Carter's amnesty program, Moses dedicated the rest of his life to the Algebra Project--an innovative program he established to teach math to Boston's inner-city youth, an important extension of his tireless pursuit of equal rights.
Robert Parris Moses by Laura Visser-Maessen
Publication Date: The University of North Carolina Press, 2021
This new biography recasts Moses as an effective, hands-on organizer, safeguarding his ideals while leading from behind the scenes. By returning Moses to his rightful place among the foremost leaders of the movement, Visser-Maessen testifies to Moses's revolutionary approach to grassroots leadership and the power of the individual in generating social change.
Julian Bond (1940-2015)
Race Man: Selected Works, 1960-2015 by Julian Bond; Ed. by Michael G. Long
Publication Date: San Francisco: City Light Books, 2020
Malcolm X (1925-1965)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X
Publication Date: New York: Ballantine Books, 1992; Originally published New York: Grove Press, 1965
Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements by Malcolm X; Ed. by George Breitman
Publication Date: New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990; Originally published, 1965
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: Penguin, 2011
Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.
James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Collected Essays. Library of America. by James Baldwin
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: 1998
James Baldwin was a uniquely prophetic voice in American letters. His brilliant and provocative essays made him the literary voice of the Civil Rights Era, and they continue to speak with powerful urgency to us today. This collection is edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, and is the most comprehensive gathering of Baldwin's nonfiction ever published.Here are the complete texts of his early landmark collections, Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Nobody Knows My Name (1961), which established him as an essential intellectual voice of his time. The classic The Fire Next Time (1963), perhaps the most influential of his writings, is his most penetrating analysis of America's racial divide and an impassioned call to "end the racial nightmare...and change the history of the world." The massive volume includes dozens of his powerful essays.
Angela Davis (b. 1944)
Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Y. Davis
Publication Date: New York: Random House, 1974
If They Come in the Morning... :Voices of Resistance by Angela Davis
Publication Date: New York: Verso, 2016; Originally published New York: Third Press, 1971
The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis; Introduction by Robin D. G. Kelley
Publication Date: San Francisco, CA : City Lights Books, 2012
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Foreward by Oprah Winfrey
Publication Date: New York: Random House, 2009, c.1969
Toni Morrison (1931-2019)
The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison
Call Number: Essential Read -
Publication Date: New York: Vintage, 2020
Here is Toni Morrison in her own words: a rich gathering of her most important essays and speeches, spanning four decades. These pages give us her searing prayer for the dead of 9/11, her Nobel lecture on the power of language, her searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., her heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. She looks deeply into the fault lines of culture and freedom: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," human rights, the artist in society, the Afro-American presence in American literature. And she turns her incisive critical eye to her own work (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, Paradise) and that of others. An essential collection from an essential writer, The Source of Self-Regard shines with the literary elegance, intellectual prowess, spiritual depth, and moral compass that have made Toni Morrison our most cherished and enduring voice.