Reading Recommendations · Black and White in America
The Personal Experience of Race
305.800973 R265 1996
Columnist and commentator Raybon hated white people until a girl at school became her first white friend.
305.800973 K84c 2002
A sociologist explores some of the problems and issues and inter-racial friendship through interviews with 40 black and white pairs of friends.
818.5409 A584Za 1997
In the fourth volume of her acclaimed autobiographical series, Angelou writes about the creative, personal, and political challenges she faced during the 1960s when she lived in New York City.
Also in large print, compact disc
973.0496073 H153Zh 1998
The personal story of the Haizlips, an interracial couple who worked in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and 70’s and created a successful marriage in an age of segregation.
973.0496073 H523Zh 2001
A former biracial Washington Post correspondent, who grew up in predominantly white Seattle, tells the story of his search for the white branch of his family.
973.0496073 A427Zm 1998
True story of Mary Rice, daughter of a freed slave and a retired Confederate Brigadier General whose public recognition of his black children contributed to their later success, but brought ostracism from his own community.
975.79150099 H284Zb 2001
William Harleston was a rice planter in South Carolina who had eight children with Kate Wilson, a slave. Ball shows the success these children had because of their privileged background as well as the hardships they endured from having a black mother and, by definition, a black ethnicity.
973.0496024 J17 1988
In her own words, Jacobs recounts her life as a slave woman in the Antebellum South, with great insight into the predominant views of white society toward the black community during this period and the prevailing value of racial purity.
R973.7115 C675 1876
A brief history of the labors of a lifetime on behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives who gained their freedom through Coffin’s initiative.
R973.7115 H388Zh 1881
The autobiography of the Lewanee County, Michigan educator, and temperance and anti-slavery activist.
975.7915 B187Zb 1998
An invitation to a family reunion in South Carolina prompts Ball (a journalist) to exhaustively research the story of his slave-owning ancestors and search for the descendents of the people they owned.
Also in large print, audio cassette
Race and American Society
305.800973 P981 2002
An analysis of the effects of America’s shift from a predominantly white country to one where people of color are increasingly numerous and more visible.
305.800973 C692 1997
Voices of present-day struggles and past hardships create a portrait of race relations in Milwaukee, one of the most segregated cities in America.
305.803407 S971 2002
The author argues that through non-violent persuasion, white nationalism has found new energy and new audiences.
305.800973 H847 2001
From Stone Mountain, Georgia, to Akron, Ohio, journalists address the ongoing political, cultural, and social issues that plague our culture.
305.800973 S557 1997
Pulitzer-Prize winning author Shipler traveled the United States for five years, visiting schools, police stations, neighborhoods and boardrooms to explore America’s racial divide.
P.D. D 1.2:B 56 1991
A history of African-American participation in the U.S. military, with lists of Medal of Honor recipients, military leaders, and graduates of U.S. military academies.
P.D. D 301.82:B 56
A well-documented consideration of the black military experience during World War II.
977.178004 R118 1993
From the Ante-bellum era to more contemporary times, the editor, a former medical administrator at the University of Cincinnati, documents through a series of essays the progress and setbacks of the black community in Cincinnati, often in conflict with the white majority.
Document originally prepared for the Cincinnati Arts Consortium through the Center for Neighborhood and Community Studies, with a twenty-five page bibliography.
Story of the underground railroad in Ohio, with a map of routes.
P.D. CR 1.2:P 75/16
Report of the Commission on Civil Rights from 1981 concerning Cincinnati police activity.
Prominent Black Thinkers
305.896073 G259 1996
Two prominent intellectuals address W.E.B. DuBois’ idea of the ‘talented tenth,’ that class of African-Americans who would serve as models for the rest of the black community, in essays that analyze the widening gulf between upper and lower class African-Americans.
305.896073 A259 2002
Essays on the work of such scholars as W.E.B. Dubois, John Hope Franklin, and Herbert Aptheker.
To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King Jr.
A description of the history of the SCLC, including its triumphs and setbacks, its talented men and women, and the road to Congress.
323.119607 O96Zo 1995
In this memoir, Ovington speaks candidly of her work with the NAACP in an era of intolerance.
A critical perspective of the fundamental concepts of Martin Luther King, Jr.: equality, structure, direct action, love, and justice. It traces the development of a secular logic of nonviolence.
323.119607 S5622Zm 1999
The story of the Reverend’s civil rights struggles in Birmingham in the 1950s and 60s, based on a variety of primary sources, including interviews with friends and family members, as well as with Shuttlesworth himself.
940.541273 U589Zc 2003
An engrossing account of the first African American unit to be integrated with a white infantry company since the Revolutionary War. The author clearly dispels any notion that black soldiers provided sub par performance as he documents many instances of courage in battling an elite German force holding the Remagen Bridgehead during World War II.
973.0496073 P119 2002
A comprehensive, readable account of the legalized segregation system imposed on African Americans by a white majority in many Southern states.
973.929092 C641Zwic 2002
Using many first-person testimonies, the author examines how Bill Clinton, a white president, experienced such profound popularity among African Americans.
Raising Nonracist Children
649.1096073 H791 1990
An important guide for anyone concerned about the well-being of African-American children and young people in today’s racially conscious society.
The Skin We’re in: Teaching Our Children to be Emotionally Strong, Socially Smart, Spiritually Connected
649.108996 W259 2000
Strategies for parents to help their children to grow into healthy adults, secure in their racial identity.
649.7 M431 1996
A good source for parents who wish to raise their children to respect all peoples, organized in five age-related sections ranging from preschool to teenage years, which include advice on topics ranging from selecting toys to talking about the evening news.
649.7 B935 1996
With a philosophy of embracing respect for all people, Bullard provides an extensive list of books, toys, games, and music that explore ethnicity and promote tolerance.
Race and Education
371.82996 F165 2001
Examines the difficult compromises black educators had to make in order to get schools and funding in the post-Reconstruction era.
371.974 W89m 1977
The classic 1933 essay on the effects of racist education on black students.
370.117 H849 1999
A white teacher's acount of being engaged with issues of race, social justice, and diversity in education.
372.9747 K79 1988
A personal story of the stereotypes and misunderstandings that can get in the way of good teaching.
373.0117 O12 2001
An examination of the impact on teaching of racial differences between white teachers and African-American students.
Race in the Arts
791.43028 P757Zp2 2000
Autobiography of an actor whose film roles and personal life have had a significant influence on American culture.
Also in large print
Biography of renowned Harlem-raised painter known for his depictions of numerous generations of African-American life.
788.92165 M363Zm2 2001
Immensely talented, opinionated, and an inspiration to many, Wynton Marsalis is arguably the most successful living jazz musician.
791.430973 B675 1994
Bogle recounts controversial aspects of the depiction of blacks in film.
810.9287 B867 1993
An examination of the ways black and white female authors depict characters of other races, as well as their perceptions of each other as individuals and artists.
811.540803 L651 1995
A collection of poems by more than 60 poets of all races and ethnicities who acknowledge and celebrate diversity with honesty and passion.
813.4 C625puZm 1990
Essays by a host of scholars debate the issues and questions raised by Twain’s classic novel of mistaken racial identity.
811.54 G512Zg2 1994
The thoughts and observations of the native Cincinnati poet on the vexing issues of American race relations.
810.9896073 S958 1993
The author argues that white culture does not exist apart from black culture, and that white literature and black literature form a “single interwoven tradition.”
770.92 P252Zp 1990
Gordon Parks is a multi-talented African American artist known principally as a photographer, but also successful in film, music, and poetry.
Race and the Law
347 U.S 483(1954)
Landmark Supreme Court case which began the progress of desegregation and overturned the notion of ‘separate but equal’ facilities for blacks and whites.
Overcoming the Past, Focusing on the Future: an Assessment of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Enforcement Efforts
P.D. CR 1.2:P 26
A look at the history of civil rights legislation and how the EEOC has sought to enforce it.
P.D. LC 1.12.2:SL 1/2
Essays on significant U.S. slavery cases.
P.D. CR 1.2:B 81/2
A statistical and narrative look at housing discrimination.
P.D. I 29.9/5:156
An illustrated guide to the history of the Underground Railroad from the National Park Service.
For Further Study
The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture
P.D. LC 1.6/4:AF 8
A beautifully illustrated, well-referenced book based on original source materials in the Library of Congress.
P.D. LC 1.12/2:AF 8/4
A Library of Congress bibliography of resources for family history research.
P.D. LC 1.12/2:N 31
An extensive bibliography of historical materials organized by subject.
A Chicago-born teenager visiting relatives in Mississippi during the 1950s is brutally murdered after he makes the mistake of speaking in French to a white woman. The repercussions resonate for decades in the lives of those involved in the tragedy.
Also in large print, audio cassette
From a simple hair product for black women, Madame C. J. Walker built a cosmetic empire and became the first African American female millionaire. Not content to improve only her own life, Madame used her wealth and influence to make a difference for others. Due used original research given her by Alex Haley to create this fascinating fictional portrait.
A bigoted Senator from New England surprisingly calls an elderly black Baptist minister to his deathbed. Inspired by the Civil War and its aftermath, Ellison's second novel offers a compelling meditation on race, lost identity, and liberation. Published posthumously, Juneteenth was the literary event of 1999.
An African American woman in 1930 rural Florida finds freedom and self-knowledge through a personal journey encompassing three very different marriages.
Also in large print, audio cassette
In this powerful collection, Johnson writes of both slaves and slave owners in imaginative, sometimes disturbing portraits; one story paints a heartbreaking picture of the cargo hold trip from Africa to America. An important volume and vital contribution to African American literature by the author of Middle Passage.
Set in Lorain, Ohio in 1941, this is the heartbreaking story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, who longs desperately for her eyes to turn blue so people will be drawn to her beauty and her world will be different. Morrison’s first novel won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Also in large print, audio cassette, compact disc
Peacock’s engaging novel traces the two sides of the Redd family, one black and one white, from the days of slavery until the 1970s. Family stories passed on through the years keep alive the tenuous blood ties binding these two families together.
A clumsy attempt to do good results in violence in this suspense bestseller that raises sensitive questions of race and class in America. Ray Mitchell, a white man who got out of the New Jersey projects where he was raised, is attacked when he returns there to teach. Nerese Ammons, a black neighborhood cop who once knew Ray, tries to find out why.
This deeply thoughtful, angry satire on modern American life offers no easy answers to the issues of race and intolerance it debates. A professor is forced out of his job after he makes what is interpreted as a racist remark. Ironically, he himself is black but has spent his life “passing.”
Birdie and Cole are children of a biracial marriage that founders amidst the racial turbulence of Boston in the 1970s and 1980s. The sisters are separated, and Birdie is left with her family torn apart and herself a misfit in both parents’ worlds, black and white.
Although the planned community in which she and her family live has all the amenities, eleven-year-old Tempestt is drawn to 35th Street, an impoverished but vibrant area of the Chicago ghetto. An accomplished, magical tale that explores social ills and racism.
Also in large print
Fiction for Teens
Zack Lane is a biracial teenager who has never explored his African-American heritage. Touching on issues of family conflict and racism, this coming-of-age story follows Zack on a journey to discover his whole identity.
Black basketball player Jerome and white baseball player Bix become friends when Bix persuades Jerome to teach him his new game at a secret basketball court in the woods. When Bix suddenly vanishes though, their friendship means Jerome is the only one who can tell the real story.
In 1963 Alabama, fourteen-year-old Isaac Stone believes in the nonviolent teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but his father thinks nonviolence is for cowards. Can Isaac change his father's mind, even when violence erupts in his own neighborhood?
Growing up in pre-civil rights Alabama, eighth-grader Francie experiences the day-to-day hardships of racial inequality. When Jesse, a sixteen-year-old friend and schoolmate is unjustly accused of attacking a white man, Francie decides to help Jesse no matter what.
Cassie and her new neighbor Jemmie find they have a lot in common and quickly become friends. But Cassie and Jemmie's families do not approve of their budding friendship because Cassie is white and Jemmie is black. A crisis forces the families to reconsider their opinions.
When Talley's inner city school begins busing in white kids, the last thing she expects is to make friends with a white girl, Didi or to be attracted to David, a white boy Didi knows. Her "white romance" isn't the experience she imagined it would be, though.
In a small Vermont town in 1924, a community struggles with racism and intolerance when the Klu Klux Klan begins to take hold of the town. Community members are forced to face their own prejudices and decide where they stand.
Jimmy Doyle is a basketball legend in his small Minnesota town. When he is asked to be on an American High School Dream Team for an international basketball tournament, he learns that the lives of his talented African-American teammates are very different from his own.
Thirteen-year-old Maggie's camera allows her to see her small Georgia town in a new light. But when she snaps a confrontation between a civil rights activist and her opponents at the local cafe, she must decide how to use her new vision.
Based on actual events in the town of Freedom, Texas in 1921 as told by teenager Rosa Lee Jefferson, this is the story of how Freedom was destroyed because the white residents of the neighboring town of Dillon voted to turn Freedom into a town park.
In Missouri in 1937, sharecropper Mr. McMulty is kicked off his land by the white landlord to make room for a white family. When Mr. McMulty takes revenge, eleven-year-old Rass Whitley risks danger to himself and his family to hide Mr. McMulty from the Klu Klux Klan.
Fourteen-year-old Vicki Harris can handle the sore feet, physical exhaustion and difficulty of the classes at the School of American Ballet in New York City. However, dealing with the cruelty and racism of her classmates is not so easy.
In this prequel to Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Paul-Edward Logan, the son of a white plantation owner and his black slave, tells the story of life caught between two worlds in the Reconstruction-era south, where inequality and injustice threatens to make his dream of owning his own land impossible.
Jordan is not interested in his ancestors' suffering. But when he needs money for his new gang and steals his grandfather's pocket watch he finds himself transported to the time of slavery where he develops a new understanding of his heritage and his present day situation.
When Jeremiah and Ellie meet during the first week of prep school it is love at first site. He is black. She is white. But to them nothing matters but their feelings for each other. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't seem to understand.
The middle child of interracial family, Staggerlee doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Her uncertainty about her identity extends to every part of her life, including her sexuality.
Nonfiction for Teens
305.235 S947 1997
Fifteen young adult African-American women from across the country share their opinions on everything from race and gender to the future of black women in America.
305.800973 S542 1998
This easy-to-read brief history of racism in the United States suggests ways that we can all combat racism in everyday life.
345.76195 H351 1994
The story of racial injustice in Alabama in 1931 that led to the arrest and trial of nine young African-American men for the rape of two white women.
811.008092 qI11 1998
Beautifully illustrated, this collection features 25 African-American poets and offers historical perspective and personal experience.
973 W5551 1999
Forty-five mixed-race young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty-six share their experiences growing up as people who do not always fit into simple categories.
973.0496073 L665 1993
In this compilation of oral histories, thirty African-Americans who were young people during the Civil Rights Movement, tell inspiring stories of what it was like to fight segregation in the South during the 1950s and 1960s.
Books for Children
Two lonely boys, one black, one white, meet on the street and become friends.
A young girl describes, in rhyming verse, how members of her community make her feel loved.
Children give examples of how peace can be realized by helping and caring for each other and our world.
In 1946 after desegregation laws have passed, Joe is saddened to find that prejudice against his friend John Henry and other African-Americans still exist.
Two girls, one black, one white, in pre-civil rights era middle class America, become friends over the fence that divides their yards, community and lives.
Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like.
An African-American boy learns about children his age struggling against slavery in modern Sudan. He learns about children of slave masters, children attempting to support their families and remain out of the slave trade and children living as slaves.
A young African-American girl explores her community to find a place where everyone is welcome in the 1950s and finds herself at the public library.
A black family in living in the South during the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination that the children do not understand.
j398.2 P355 1992
A compilation of stories and proverbs about conflict and resolution gathered from around the world.
j305.800973 qB618 1997
Six young people discuss their feelings about their own ethnic backgrounds and about their experiences with people of different races.
j155.22 qG142 1998
Illustrations and simple text explore ways in which children are alike and in some ways they may be different.
j305.8 qG796 1998
Discusses the nature of racism, possible explanations for it, and ways to end it.
j303.69 L933 1991
Introduces the concept of nonviolent resolution of conflicts by listening to each other and understanding differences.
A chronicle of the 1830 revolt on board a slave ship bound for America and the campaign to free the Americans jailed for murder and piracy.
VHS 10119, DVD 791.43 L641 1999
A teacher in a small town in the South is asked to help a young man condemmed to death recover his dignity and manhood. The ennobling power of the human spirit redeems both men.
VHS 11682, DVD 791.43 R386 2001a
A 1971 court order forces two suburban Virginia high schools to merge with an inner-city school from the nation's capital. Two football coaches, one black, and one white, overcome their differences and mold their players into champions. Based on a true story.
VHS 12084,DVD 791.43 S266 2001
An interracial couple are brought together by their love of dancing but struggle to win the acceptance of friends and family.
The story of Miss Jane Pittman, who began her life as a slave and who marched for civil rights in the 20th century at the age of 10.
A young basketball player in New York City with a secret passion for writing and a reclusive novelist learn lessons from each other about life and friendship.
ABC anchor Ted Koppel and correspondent John Donvan explore what it means to be black in America.
An unflinching look at the history of racism.
WCPO-TV tells the story of Vine Street in Over-the Rhine, ground zero for the April 2001 race riots that attracted national media attention.
This filmed tour of civil rights landmarks blends archival footage and photos with group discussions about race relations in the U.S.
A video anthology of African American poetry from 1960–1995.
The life and works of Maya Angelou presented through interviews, archival footage, and photographs, with Oprah Winfrey.
College students talk about interracial relationships and the racial legacy they have inherited from the fears of past generations.
Discusses the life, work, and ideas of the black American novelist Richard Wright.
One of American’s leading black intellectuals reveals the hidden rules of race that dominate politics, society, and cultural life.
A comprehensive collection on six cassettes including “I Have a Dream,” and the acceptance address for the Nobel Peace Prize, with historic remarks by Cincinnati’s Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.
Also in large print
Need more suggestions? Contact your local library and a reference librarian will be happy to assist you.