African Americans

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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The Rebellious Slave: Nat Turner in American Memory

By Scot French

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Rather than presenting a traditional account of the slave rebellion that Turner led, French (African-American studies, U. of Virginia) traces the continuing discourse on race, slavery, America's tradition of revolutionary violence, and what to do with Turner's remains since his hanging in 1831.

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The Negro Cowboys

By Philip Durham and Everett L. Jones

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"More than five thousand Negro cowboys joined the round-ups and served on the ranch crews in the cattleman era of the West. Lured by the open range, the chance for regular wages, and the opportunity to start new lives, they made vital contributions to the transformation of the West. They, their predecessors, and their successors rode on the long cattle drives, joined the cavalry, set up small businesses, fought on both sides of the law. Some of them became famous: Jim Beckwourth, the mountain man; Bill Pickett, king of the rodeo; Cherokee Bill, the most dangerous man in Indian Territory; and Nat Love, who styled himself 'Deadwood Dick.' They could hold their own with any creature, man or beast, that got in the way of a cattle drive. They worked hard, thought fast, and met or set the highest standards for cowboys and range riders."
Originally published in 1965.

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

By Kai Wright

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Blacks have shouldered arms in defense of the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. This book portrays the military as the front line of the nation's race war as blacks, ambivalent about being simultaneously rebuffed and desperately encouraged to serve, risked their lives.

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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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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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We Were Always Free: The Maddens of Culpeper County, Virginia: A Two-Hundred-Year Family History

By T.O. Madden, Jr., with Ann L. Miller

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Ever since 1758, when Sarah Madden was born to an unmarried Irish woman and an unknown black father, the Maddens have been free, escaping--and sometimes defying--the laws and customs that condemned other African Americans to slavery in their native state of Virginia.

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Vernon Can Read! A Memoir

By Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. with Annette Gordon-Reed

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Since the 1960s, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan has provided leadership to organizations such as the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League. Here, he describes his life including his work registering black voters in the South, his survival of an assassination attempt, and his relationships with American presidents and business leaders. The volume includes a section of b&w photographs from Jordan's childhood to the present.

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Out of the Madness: From the Projects to a Life of Hope

By Jerrold Ladd

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"An incredible odyssey follows one African American's struggle through horrific circumstances, clinging to a heroin-addicted mother, attempting to get out of the violent, drug-ridden projects, and ultimately, out of sheer guts and self-education, creating a new life."

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