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

Here is a selection of books about various aspects of Black history - from slave days to the struggles of today's African-Americans. Many of these works are written from perspectives slightly different from the usual.

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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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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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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The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American

By Steve Watkins

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In 1988, several white managers of the Shoney's restaurant chain protested against the company's discriminatory hiring practices, including an order at some restaurants to blacken the "O" in "Shoney's" on minorities' job applications so that the marked forms could then be ignored or discarded. When the managers refused to comply, they lost their jobs but not their resolve - they sued the company, and their case grew to become one of the largest racial job discrimination class action lawsuits and settlements in American history. The Black O is a fascinating, behindthe- scenes detective story about how the case evolved. The saga is populated with many unforgettable characters. Watkins teaches at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.

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