Civil Rights Movement

Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans

By James Melvin Washington

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Beautiful words from slaves, writers, preachers, and theologians of color who sound out their faith in God's justice through poetry, prayers, hymns, and stories.

Slavery and the eclipse of the African Gods, 1760-1860 -- The crucible of the Anglo-African conscience, 1861-1893 -- The vale of tears, 1894-1919 -- The new Negro, 1920-1955 -- The Civil Rights ethos, 1956-1980 -- Postmodern African-American worlds, 1981-1994.

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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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Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights--Black Power Movement

By Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin, editors

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"Women were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, but their indvidiual stories were rarely heard. Only recently have historians begun to recognize the central role women played in the battle for racial equality. In Sisters in the Struggle, we hear about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movements such as Ella Baker, who helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who took on segregation in the Democratic party (and won), and Septima Clark, who created a network of 'Citizenship Schools' to teach poor Black men and women to read and write and help them to register to vote.

"We learn of Black women's activism in the Black Panther Party where they fought the police, as well as the entrenched male leadership, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where the behind-the-scenes work of women kept the organization afloat when it was under siege. It also includes first-person testimonials from the women who made headlines with their courageous resistance to segregation--Rosa Parks, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Dorothy Height."

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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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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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Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By

By Sharon Robinson

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"I once had a conversation with Jesse Jackson about why my father's legacy lives on. He talked with me about the difference between a champion and a hero. A champion, said Reverend Jackson, wins a World Series or an Olympic event and is hoisted on the shoulders of the fans. A hero carries the people on his shoulders."

To millions of people, Jackie Robinson is a sports and civil rights hero. To Sharon Robinson, he was all that -- and Dad. From the unique perspective that only a daughter could have, she serves as a personal tour guide through the nine heartfelt, hard-won values that helped Jackie achieve his goals. Sharon Robinson explores these values -- courage, justice, teamwork, citizenship, determination, integrity, persistence, commitment, and excellence -- through a wonderful, richly diverse collection of writings. The anthology includes compelling autobiographical passages by both Robinsons and powerful profiles of people like Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Marian Wright Edelman, Christopher Reeve, and Oprah Winfrey, who carry on Robinson's valuable legacy.

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Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall

By Carl T. Rowan

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"According to Carl Rowan, writing this impassioned biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall was 'tantamount to trying to write the social, legal, economic, political, and moral history of this nation over most of the twentieth century.' Crucial events in American history, such as the black migration out of the postbellum South, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, and the African-American revolution of the 1960s are magnificently portrayed within the context of Justice Marshall's unrelenting mission to fulfill the promise of equal justice for every American."

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A Wreath for Emmett Till

By Marilyn Nelson

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In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement.

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