11 Best Books About The Civil Rights Movement Update 05/2022

Books About The Civil Rights Movement

The Light of Truth

Ida B. Wells

The Light of Truth

In this collection, Wells’s fight against lynching comes to life. She used brilliant social analysis to show that lynching was part of a larger system of oppression in which white people used violence as a way to stop black people from making money in the south of the United States. Wells became famous around the world for her investigative journalism. She went on lecture tours around the Northern States and Europe, where she talked about how to stop lynching. Wells became a well-known advocate for social justice and human dignity by combining hard facts with heartfelt appeals.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was called an anti-white demagogue by his critics, but he gave voice to African-Americans who hadn’t been heard before. He brought them pride, hope, and fearlessness, and he is still an inspirational and controversial figure.

This book, written with Alex Haley, shows his quick-witted honesty, which is usually hidden by a barrage of frenzied headlines. It also shows his fierce idealism, which led him to reject both liberal hypocrisy and black racialism.

Why We Can’t Wait

Martin Luther King Jr.

Lightning doesn’t make a sound until it hits.

People who care about the Civil Rights movement should read this book. It’s written by one of its most powerful and powerful voices, Martin Luther King Jr. When King talks about the pivotal events he saw in the city of Birmingham in Alabama in 1963, he talks about how they pushed his non-violent campaign for racial justice from sit-ins to a movement that “rocked the richest, most powerful country to its foundations.”

Why We Can’t Wait is both a unique piece of American history and a lasting reminder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wise, brave, and always hopeful vision.

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

If we are going to be a real country, we need each other.

James Baldwin’s plea to end the “racial nightmare” in the United States was a best-seller when it came out in 1963. It energized the country and gave the civil rights movement a voice. The Fire Next Time is written in the form of two very personal “letters.” It is both a powerful remembrance of Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a scathing attack on the terrible legacy of racial injustice.


Nella Larsen


There has been a lot of talk about race and identity in the United States for almost 100 years. This is a classic book.

Clare Kendry has a dangerous job. She is beautiful, elegant, and ambitious. She is married to a white man who doesn’t know that she is African American. Clare’s childhood friend, Irene Redfield, is also light-skinned. She has chosen to stay in the African American community, but refuses to accept the racism that keeps her family from being happy. A chance meeting forces both women to face the lies they have told others and the fears they have hidden inside of them.

Mumbo Jumbo

Ishmael Reed

America, the 1920s. A plague is spreading, and it’s spreading quickly, from New Orleans to Chicago to New York City and back again.

If you catch the virus, you’ll want to dance, sing, laugh and jive as much as possible. It’s being spread by Black artists. In the beginning, there was a lot of jazz music, ragtime music, and blues music. The spirit of blackness spread all over the world. It’s also threatening to break down the whole social order. Members of The Wallflower Order, a group of people from all over the world who want to be pure and control people, are trying to get rid of the plague by any means possible, even killing people. Papa LaBas, a private eye and a Vodun priest, is determined to fight back against the people who want to destroy his ancient way of life in the heart of Harlem, though.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham — 1963, 

by Christopher Paul Curtis

Because when the furnace breaks down in Flint, Mich., it’s the last straw for the Watson family. The family, pushed by their Alabama-born mother, decides to take a trip south to see grandma and get some warmth. They stay longer than they thought they would, which gives author Christopher Paul Curtis the chance to add a lot of history to this wonderful book, which is still a favorite for young people. (Michele Norris chose it as one of her first Back Seat Book Club picks) and which won some of the most important awards, like the Newberry Honor Award and the Coretta Scott King Award.

The Story of Ruby Bridges, 

by Robert Coles

Dr. Rober Coles, an expert on the lives of children and how they are affected by things like race and poverty, has written a heartfelt account of school desegregation from a young child’s point of view. Ruby Bridges was just six years old when she was one of the first black children to go to a New Orleans school in 1960. Many people who are older than her have been traumatized by the experience, even though Ruby was only six. Her calmness and courage shine through. There is an afterword written by Ruby herself, who is now a grandmother.

The Rock and the River

Kekla Magoon

The Rock and the River

As a fourteen-year-old in 1968 Chicago, Sam Childs is in a fight with his father, who wants to get African Americans the same rights as everyone else, and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Fire in the Streets

Kekla Magoon

As a follow-up to: “The Rock and the River.” After the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, Maxie, a 14-year-old girl from Chicago, wants to join the Black Panthers, even though her brother Raheem, her ex-boyfriend Sam, and her friends don’t like it. She soon finds herself in the middle of anti-war and civil rights protests.

The Constitution of the United States

Document: The US constitution is important because it makes sure that its citizens have the basic rights and freedoms they need to live in a free country. It also makes sure that those who rule them are not too powerful.

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