African American women

The Seventh Child

By Freddie Mae Baxter

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"The seventh of eight children, Freddie Mae Baxter was born in 1923 in rural South Carolina. When her father left the family, her mother had to raise the children alone, and Freddie Mae went to work--first picking cotton, then cooking for the white families in town. At seventeen, she decided to go up North in search of new horizons and a better life. Now, in an astonishingly original voice, Freddie Mae shares with us the wisdom of her seventy-five years, and some vivid memories: from her childhood in the South ('Two cents was money in those days. . .') to her life in Harlem, where she played saxophone in an all-girl band ('We just jammed!') and danced at all the hot clubs ('Anyplace that there was music, you could find me'). Through the good times, bad times, and the enormous changes she's lived through, Freddie Mae has remained steadfastly optimistic and emotionally generous."

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The Riches of Oseola McCarty

By Evelyn Coleman

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A brief biography of Oseola McCarty, a hard-working washer woman who, without a formal education herself, donated a portion of her life savings to the University of Southern Mississippi to endow a scholarship fund for needy students.

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The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story

By Yvonne S. Thornton, as told to Jo Coudert

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"...the inspiring portrait by a loving daughter of an unusual man who was as clearheaded as he was ambitious and determined. Working two full-time jobs--and with the help of his equally remarkable wife, who worked as a cleaning woman--Donald thornton formed his bright and talented girls into a rhythm-and-blues band that played Harlem's Apollo Theater, at the same time ensuring that each of them completed her education and rose to stand on equal terms with anyone, man or woman, black or white."

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Pushed Back to Strength: A Black Woman's Journey Home

By Gloria Wade-Gayles

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"This Spelman College English professor and poet weaves back and forth through time, fashioning a richly textured autobiographical tapestry of her emotional, spiritual, and intellectual maturation as a southern black female."

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On My Own at 107: Reflections on Life without Bessie

By Sarah L. Delany with Amy Hill Hearth

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The surviving sister of the pair whose story was told in Having Our Say recounts her transition from mourning the loss of her sister, Bessie, to a renewed zest for life, symbolized by Bessie's flower garden.

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Dancing Spirit: An Autobiography

By Judith Jamison

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The first black superstar of American dance shares her story. Read about her passion and will and her views about black history, about spirituality, about womanhood, about holding a vision, about carrying on.

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What Moves at the Margin: Selected Non-fiction

By Toni Morrison

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“The commanding voice of Morrison's essays, speeches and reviews offers compelling insights into family, history, other writers and politics. The pieces span from 1971, when Morrison was an editor at Random House, to 2002, the year she won the Nobel Prize, and range from book introductions to thoughts on the nature of writing and reflections on 9/11.”

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Tell No Tales

By Eleanor Taylor Bland

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Chicago police detective Marti MacAlister returns early from her honeymoon to tackle two baffling cases--one a mummified body and one a much fresher corpse. Part of a series.

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Slim Down, Sister: The African-American Woman's Guide to Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss

By Fabiola Demps Gaines and Roniece Weaver and Angela Ebron

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One of the first weight-loss books to address the serious health concerns facing African-American women offers a comprehensive program of diet and exercise written by experts in the fields of health and nutrition. Includes the Soul Food Pyramid (low-fat versions of favorite recipes), tips for staying motivated, how to start a support group, and more.

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Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War

By Thomas B. Allen

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"Readers discover that Harriet Tubman--well-known to them as an ex-slave who led hundreds of her people to freedom along the Underground Railroad--was also a spy for the Union Army. More specifically she worked behind Confederate lines in South Carolina getting information about troop movement and Rebel fortifications from slaves that she was leading to freedom on the Underground Railroad."

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