In order to celebrate where we are, we have to know where we came from. My collection is mostly first editions or used books overlooked and sold for as little as $0.25. Lucky me. While I read a lot, I do not save all the books I read. I believe these books in particular educate, torture and nurture our souls in the truth. These books are not “whitewashed” to minimize the sting of what we have endured. Nor do they patronize excuses or make American seem less than the horror it was. Especially original editions.
My take on recently published history books is they are not as forthright unless the “source” is reliable. When I purchase “contemporary” history books, I cross reference them with my dated ones for accuracy. Try, if it is cost effective, to purchase retro editions as the text will be more original. Otherwise, well – you get it.
These books are NOT just for People of Color. I encourage other races to explore the history of where African-Americans “Truly” came from, where we been and how it impacts where we are going. The truth may hurt but the truth shall also set you free.
So to all I say, enjoy!
Here are the Top 15 African-American “Must Read” Books for Black History Month:
1) African Presence in Early Europe by Ivan Van Sertima
2) The African Slave Trade (pre-colonial History 1450-1850) by Basil Davidson
3) Negro Thought in America 1880-1915 Racial Ideologies in the Age of Booker T. Washington
by August Meier
4) A profile of the Negro American by Thomas F. Pettigrew
5) The Harder We Run by William H. Harris
6) The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Dubois
7) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (An American Slave)
http://amzn.com/0486457575 (Both Classics in one Book)
8) Black Leadership in America 1895-1968 by John White
9) Black Families by Harriette Pipes McAdoo
10) Black Leaders of the Nineteenth by Leon Litwack & August Meier
11) Black Leaders in the Twentieth Century by John Hope Franklin & August Meier
12) Eyes of the Prize America’s Civil Rights Years (1954-1965) by Juan Williams
13) Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
14) The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X, AlexHaley and Attallah Shabazz
15) In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and The Nation of Islam
(The C. Eric Lincoln Series on the Black Experience)
Let us know if you have any book suggestions, questions or comments!