african american non fiction

Soldiers of Freedom: An Illustrated History of African Americans in the Armed Forces by Kai Wright

Spanning from the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, this long-overdue, comprehensive history covers the full scope of African Americans’ involvement in the armed forces during war and peacetime. Accompanying the informative text are 300 photographs and illustrations, most of them rare, some never before published.  [BOOK LINK]

Sisters in the Struggle : African-American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement edited by Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin

Women were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, but their individual stories were rarely heard. Only recently have historians begun to recognize the central role women played in the battle for racial equality.

In Sisters in the Struggle, we hear about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movements such as Ella Baker, who helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who took on segregation in the Democratic party (and won), and Septima Clark, who created a network of “Citizenship Schools” to teach poor Black men and women to read and write and help them to register to vote. We learn of Black women’s activism in the Black Panther Party where they fought the police, as well as the entrenched male leadership, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where the behind-the-scenes work of women kept the organization afloat when it was under siege.

[BOOK LINK]