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Manchild In the Promised Land

by Claude Brown  

Manchild in the Promised Land is the odyssey of a young black man through the treacherous streets of Harlem and beyond. In the person of Sonny, the book’s narrator, Claude Brown tells his own story of growth and survival against all odds. Though some of the book is fiction, this autobiographical novel remains an authentic account of Brown’s evolution from tough, hardened streetfighter to a young man on the brink of becoming one of the most powerful writers of the urban African American experience. Buy It      


Native Son (Perennial Classics) 

by Richard Wright

  Native Son takes place in Chicago. All the action is confined to a few weeks in the winter of an unspecified year in the late 1930s. Twenty-year-old Bigger Thomas is living in a tenement room in the South Side ghetto with his mother and younger sister and brother. Buy It    

A Lesson Before Dying

by Ernest J. Gaines 

A Lesson Before Dying is set in the late 1940’s, in the former slave quarters of the Marshall plantation and the town of Bayonne. Gaines takes his reader back to a time when racial segregation was both legal and endemic in the South, a time when black people could barely hope for recognition of their humanity, much less find justice in a court of law. Buy It      

Alex Haley: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

by Attallah Shabazz

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley chronicles the rise of Malcolm X, from his years as a street hustler, dope peddler, and thief to becoming one of the most influential African-American leaders in the American civil rights’ movement. Buy It      

James Baldwin: If Beale Street Clould Talk

In the opening scene of the novel, nineteen-year-old Clementine Rivers (Tish), sitting with phone in hand on one side of a solid glass barrier, tells twenty-two-year-old Alonzo Hunt (Fonny), who is in jail, and on the other side of the glass wall, that she is pregnant with his child. That she is unmarried does not bother Tish. She knows that she and Fonny had planned to marry, and had Fonny not been falsely accused of raping a Puerto Rican woman, they would have been wed. The novel is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Troubled About My Soul,” constitutes about 90 percent of the book; the remaining 10 percent is part 2, “Zion.” Buy It  

To Die for the People: The Writings of Huey P. Newton

With a rare and persuasive honesty, To Die for the People records the Party’s internal struggles, rivalries and contradictions, and the result is a fascinating look back at a young revolutionary group determined to find ways to deal with the injustice it saw in American society. And, as a new foreword by Elaine Brown makes eminently clear, Newton’s prescience and foresight make these documents strikingly pertinent today. Buy It      

In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. Hardcover

by Wil Haygood 

In scrupulous detail and with stunning powers of evocation, Wil Haygood takes us back to the era of vaudeville, where it all began for four-year-old Sammy who ran out onstage one night and stole the show. From then on it was a motherless childhood on the road, singing and dancing his way across a segregated America with his father and the formidable showman Will Mastin, struggling together to survive the Depression and the demise of vaudeville itself. Buy It    

 Nigger: An Autobiography

by Dick Gregory and Robert Lipsyte 

Dick Gregory’s story begins in St. Louis where his family was on relief, goes through his sports career in school and college, and includes his success as an entertainer and recent front-line work in the civil rights movement. Buy It]]>

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