15 Best Books About Juneteenth Update 05/2022

Books About Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a celebration of the day on June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved individuals in the United States were freed. Celebrate the fiction and nonfiction written by African American writers who continue to influence our culture, celebrate freedom, and commemorate the continuing struggle for freedom and equality, more than 150 years after it began.

Four Hundred Souls

Four Hundred Souls

by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire, have assembled an exceptional cast of characters to chronicle the epic narrative of African Americans’ 400-year journey from 1619 to the present. In this book, the most critical and relevant voices of our day write a history that explains our past and offers fresh perspectives on our future.

A Little Devil in America

by Hanif Abdurraqib

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Black performance to the fabric of American society, and Hanif Abdurraqib’s book does just that. He analyzes the poignancy of large and little acts with care and kindness, and each one seems deeply familiar and alive, at once ageless and desperate.

The Warmth of Other Suns

by Isabel Wilkerson

From 1915 to 1970, about six million individuals abandoned the South in quest of a better living in northern and western cities. “The Warmth of Other Suns” is both a fascinating microcosm and a comprehensive evaluation. There is no doubt that this book will go down in history as a classic because of its scope, the quality of its writing, the breadth of its research, as well as the richness of the characters and lives it depicts.

How to Be an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi

Readers of Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist will learn how to perceive racism in all its manifestations, what it does to society, and what they can do to stop it – both in our institutions and inside ourselves. Those who wish to go beyond just being aware of racism to actively participating in the creation of a fair and equitable society should read this book.

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

One of the most influential essayists of our time and the author who “transformed the national political discussion about race,” Toni Morrison has proclaimed this book “mandatory reading.” It’s been said that


by Yaa Gyasi

An unrelated pair of half-sisters is born in Ghana during the eighteenth century. The Cape Coast Castle’s sumptuous chambers will be your home for the rest of your life if you marry an Englishman. A attack on her town will bring her to the same castle where she will be imprisoned and sold into slavery. It traces the eight-generation journey of these sisters and their descendants from the Gold Coast through Mississippi plantations and Harlem jazz clubs. It’s an amazing work by Yaa Gyasi that exposes slavery’s problematic legacy for both those who were taken and those who stayed—and reveals how the memory of captivity has been written on the spirit of our country.”

Caste (Oprah’s Book Club)

by Isabel Wilkerson

We still live in a hierarchical society, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Isabel Wilkerson, who delves into the history of America’s unacknowledged caste system. “Caste” is an insightful look into the lives of individuals and history, as well as a study of what’s going on now in the United States.

I’m Still Here

by Austin Channing Brown

A revealing tale of growing up black, Christian, and female in a mostly white America that reveals how “diversity” frequently falls short of the goals of white America’s love affair. Discover how blackness—if we let it—can rescue us all from indifference and cynicism.

Stony the Road

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Slavery abolishment in the wake of the Civil War and the civil rights movement that reshaped the country after World War II are well-known stories. But what happened in the century that followed? If emancipation triggered “a fresh birth of freedom” in Lincoln’s America, why did it become essential to march in MLK Jr.’s America? Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of our major chroniclers of the African-American experience, attempts to answer that question in a history that spans from the Reconstruction Era through the “nadir” of the African-American experience under Jim Crow, all the way through World War I and the Harlem Renaissance.

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

by Nic Stone

However, the police officer who just handcuffed Justyce McAllister does not care about the fact that he’s a wonderful kid, an honor student, and always ready to lend a hand to a buddy. Justyce relies on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings for guidance. However, how long can they last? To discover out, he begins a notebook addressed to Dr. King. It’s Nic Stone’s amazing first novel, and it’s a book that’s as genuine as they come.

Hood Feminism

by Mikki Kendall

Women, not men, are today’s feminist movement’s most obvious blind spot. As a society, we tend to put too much emphasis on the privileged few and not enough on the many who are struggling to make ends meet. The question Mikki Kendall poses is, “How can we stand as a movement if we know that certain women are oppressing others?” Her first novel is an unforgettable exhortation to all would-be feminists to live out the genuine mission of the movement both in thought and in practice that Kendall has penned.


by Ralph Ellison

When Senator Adam Sunraider is dying, he begs Daddy Hickman, an itinerant Negro preacher, to tell him what occurred. Bliss, an orphan adopted by Hickman and reared as a preacher like himself, was Sunraider as a young man. Bliss’s life spans from his youth in the South through his days as a bucolic filmmaker and a love affair in an Oklahoma field under the hot heat. How did this selected youngster grow up to be the guy who would go to such extremes as this in order to attain his goals? Juneteenth is the product of an American master, beautifully made, emotional, and sage.

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition)

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition)

by Bryan Stevenson

At the same time, Just Mercy offers a touching look into the lives of individuals whose rights he has fought for and an argument for the importance of compassion in the quest of genuine justice.

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time was a national bestseller when it was originally published in 1963, igniting the country and giving a passionate voice to the burgeoning civil rights movement. Author James Baldwin’s early childhood in Harlem is vividly depicted, while the book examines the long-term effects racial injustice may have on a person’s life. Two “letters” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation urge all Americans, black and white, to combat the scourge of racism in the United States. While The New York Times Book Review called The Fire Next Time a “sermon…all rendered in blistering and magnificent writing,” The Fire Next Time is considered a literary masterpiece by many.

The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

Cotton plantation slave Cora lives in Georgia. Much among her own people, the Africans, she is an outcast, and she is on the verge of womanhood, which will bring her even more suffering. Hence, her decision to join Caesar, a slave from Virginia who has just arrived in the area, on the Underground Railroad. When it comes to the Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead’s brilliant idea is that engineers and conductors run a hidden network of underground tracks and tunnels. While flying from one state to another, Cora encounters new and familiar versions of her own universe. From slavery to slavery to slavery, Whitehead expertly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum period while weaving in the narrative of our country. As a narrative of one woman’s struggle to free herself from a life of servitude and as a profound reflection on the shared history of the world, The Underground Railroad is both compelling and thought-provoking.

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