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antique portrait of African-American woman

African-American History Month Books

February 2020

In 1986, Congress passed Public Law 99-244, which designated February as "National Black (Afro-American) History Month." Since 1996, presidents have regularly issued proclamations for what is now known as National African-American History Month.

first display case with African-American history books

At the New York State Library, we often observe National African-American History month by featuring books and publications that recognize the myriad achievements of African Americans across a broad spectrum: the arts, science, politics, military service, and much more. 

display case of books featuring civil rights movement

In the words of a featured author, W.E.B. Du Bois:

"Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the worldwilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from out its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful…"

display case with more African-American history books


Alridge, Derrick. The Educational Thought of W.E.B. Du Bois. New York, New York: Teachers College, 2008.
NYSL Call Number: C 370.1, A459, 208-3880.

Attie, Alice. Harlem on the Verge. New York, New York: Quantuck, 2003.
NYSL Call Number: C 99747, qA885, 204-5054.

Bell, Gregory. In the Black. New York, New York: Wiley & Sons, 2002.
NYSL Call Number: C 332.63209, B433, 202-5820.

Bennett, Lerone, Jr. Before the Mayflower. Chicago, Illinois: Johnson, 2007.
NYSL Call Number: C 301.451, B471a.

Black, Samuel (Ed). Soul Soldiers. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Heinz History Center, 2006.
NYSL Call Number: 956.7043, 207-4188.

Brown, Tamara, et al (Ed). African American Fraternities and Sororities. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
NYSL Call Number: C 378.1985, A258, 205-4587.

Buster, Larry. The Art and History of Black Memorabilia. New York, New York: Clarkson Potter, 2000.
NYSL Call Number: C 973.04449, B982, 201-8614.

Carbado, Devon, et al. Time on Two Crosses. San Francisco, California; Cleis, 2003.
NYSL Call Number: C 323.1196, R971, 203-12786.

DuBois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. New York, New York: Modern Library, 1996.
NYSL Call Number: C 326.8, D81.

Esquire. Esquire's World of Jazz. New York, New York: Esquire, 1975.
NYSL Call Number: C 781.57, qE77.

Evers, Medgar.  The Autobiography of Medgar Evers.  New York, New York: Perseus, 2005. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 323.1196, E934, 206-2557.

Holmes, Keith.  Black Inventors.  New York, New York: Global Black Inventors, 2008. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 609.2, H751, 210-1682.

Jonas, Gilbert.  Freedom's Sword.  New York, New York: Routledge, 2005. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 323.1196, J761, 205-3867.

Joseph, Peniel.  Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour.  New York, New York: Henry Holt, 2006. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 323.1196, J835, 206-9118.

Mance, Ajuan.  Inventing Black Women.  Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press, 2007. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 811.50989, M268, 209-4683.

Martin, Michael, et al (Ed).  Redress for Historical Injustices in the United States.  Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2007. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 362.8496, R321, 208-2567.

Mayer, Robert.  Blacks in America.  Rochester, New York: Eastman House, 1988. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 779.9973049, qM468, 88-16787.

Norwood, Kimberly (Ed).  Ferguson's Fault Lines.  Chicago, Illinois: ABA, 2016. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 363.23089, F353, 219-1625.

Powell, A. Clayton, Sr.  Riots and Ruins.  New York, New York: Richard Smith, 1945. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 325.26, P882.

Roach, Hildred.  Black American Music.  Malabar, Florida: Krieger, 1992. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 780.8996073, qR628, 74-10394.

Salzberger, Ronald, et al (Ed).  Reparations for Slavery.  New York, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 323.1196, R425, 206-2666.

Stanford, Karin (Ed).  If We Must Die.  New York, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 355.00973, I231, 209-4444.

Wexler, Sanford.  The Civil Rights Movement.  New York, New York: Facts on File, 1993. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 323.1196073, qW545, 93-42993.

Wilkerson, Isabel.  The Warmth of Other Suns.  New York, New York: Random House, 2010. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 304.873, W681, 214-2275.

Willis, Deborah.  Reflections in Black.  New York, New York: Norton, 2000. 
NYSL Call Number:  C 770.8996, qW734, 201-968.

W.E.B Du Bois book

Exhibit curated by Michael Meyer

Last Updated: November 2, 2021