Different Stories: The African-American Experience in Non-fiction

"Negro President"--Jefferson and the Slave Power

By Garry Wills

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Wills argues that the U.S. Constitution's three-fifths clause for slave "representation" in Congress and the Electoral College gave slave holders the edge in winning most presidential elections, controlling the federal government, and maintaining slavery by throttling personal liberties.

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An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America

By Henry Wiencek

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"When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his 'only unavoidable subject of regret.' In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life--as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president, and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community.

"Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change."

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Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

By Kevin Boyle

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A young man from the South moves to Detroit and finds the land of honey, but also runs into the Klan of the '20s, and he is indicted for murder. A fascinating true story.

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Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.

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Some men have broken the cycle of violence and some have not. Their stories and those of their children provide an in-depth look at an important issue in American life.

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Black and White Sat Down Together: The Reminiscences of an NAACP Founder

By Mary White Ovington

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In 1909, Ovington, W.E.B. Du Bois and 50 others founded the NAACP. This memoir chronicles her life, the politics of her era, the prejudice that civil rights workers faced, and what drew her - a white woman - to the struggle.

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Black Genius and the American Experience

By Dick Russell

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Offering inspiring and surprising results, and interweaving past and present, this book explores the roots of black achievement in America. It includes portraits of people such as Wynton Marsalis, Ralph Ellison, Paul Robeson, and Muhammad Ali.

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Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

By Timothy B. Tyson

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In 1970, a young black veteran walked into a store, and was killed. This book tells the story of the event and the events it spawned as well as how it affected both the local community and the larger community of the United States.

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Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics

By Donna Brazile

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Brazile was the first African-American to head a major political campaign. In this interesting, funny, and sometimes moving book, she traces her journey, which began in a working-poor family in New Orleans.

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Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle

By Manning Marable and Leith Mullings

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This photographic journey of the African-American struggle for equality chronicles the battle to eliminate slavery up to the Civil Rights era and beyond. The 600 images include blacks and whites, heroes and the unheralded, public acts of protest and private moments of victory.

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