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Black History Month Books

  • We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For
  • Ancestral Genomics
  • Who’s Black and Why?
  • A Secret among the Blacks
  • Fugitive Pedagogy

New and classic books that explore Black lives, history, culture, and experiences, ranging from a groundbreaking theory of Black education to a lyrical meditation on Black leadership today.

Author - Editorial Staff

Date - 23 January 2024

Time to read - 1 min

During Black History Month, receive 30% off these books with promo code BHM30 at checkout.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

James Baldwin
  • We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For

    We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For

    Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

    From the author of the New York Times bestseller Begin Again, a politically astute, lyrical meditation on how ordinary Black Americans can shake off their reliance on a small group of professional politicians and pursue self-cultivation and grassroots movements to achieve a more just and perfect democracy.

    We are more than the circumstances of our lives, and what we do matters. In We Are th...

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  • Ancestral Genomics

    Ancestral Genomics

    African American Health in the Age of Precision Medicine

    Constance B. Hilliard

    A leading evolutionary historian offers a radical solution to racial health disparities in the United States.

    Constance B. Hilliard was living in Japan when she began experiencing joint pain. Her doctor diagnosed osteoarthritis—a common ailment for someone her age. But her bloodwork showed something else: Hilliard, who had never had kidney problems, appeared to be suffering from renal failu...

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  • Who’s Black and Why?

    Who’s Black and Why?

    A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Andrew S. Curran

    2023 PROSE Award in European History

    “An invaluable historical example of the creation of a scientific conception of race that is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.”
    —Washington Post

    “Reveals how prestigious natural scientists once sought physical explanations, in vain, for a social identity that continues to carry enormous significance to this day.”
    —Nell Irvin Painter, autho...

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  • A Secret among the Blacks

    A Secret among the Blacks

    Slave Resistance before the Haitian Revolution

    John D. Garrigus

    A bold rethinking of the Haitian Revolution reveals the roots of the only successful slave uprising in the modern world.

    Unearthing the progenitors of the Haitian Revolution has been a historical project of two hundred years. In A Secret among the Blacks, John D. Garrigus introduces two dozen Black men and women and their communities whose decades of resistance to deadly environmental and p...

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  • Fugitive Pedagogy

    Fugitive Pedagogy

    Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching

    Jarvis R. Givens

    A fresh portrayal of one of the architects of the African American intellectual tradition, whose faith in the subversive power of education will inspire teachers and learners today.

    “As departments…scramble to decolonize their curriculum, Givens illuminates a longstanding counter-canon in predominantly black schools and colleges.”
    —Boston Review

    “Informative and inspiring…An homag...

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  • Traveling Black

    Traveling Black

    A Story of Race and Resistance

    Mia Bay

    Winner of the Bancroft Prize
    Winner of the David J. Langum Prize
    Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
    Winner of the Order of the Coif Book Award
    Winner of the OAH Liberty Legacy Foundation Award
    A New York Times Critics’ Top Book of the Year

    “This extraordinary book is a powerful addition to the history of travel segregation…Mia Bay shows that Black mobility has always been...

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  • Liner Notes for the Revolution

    Liner Notes for the Revolution

    The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound

    Daphne A. Brooks

    Winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
    Winner of the American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation
    Winner of the PEN Oakland–Josephine Miles Award
    Winner of the MAAH Stone Book Award
    A Pitchfork Best Music Book of the Year
    A Rolling Stone Best Music Book of the Year
    A Boston Globe Summer Read

    “Brooks traces all kinds of lines…inviting v...

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  • Being Property Once Myself

    Being Property Once Myself

    Blackness and the End of Man

    Joshua Bennett

    Winner of the William Sanders Scarborough Prize

    “This trenchant work of literary criticism examines the complex ways…African American authors have written about animals. In Bennett’s analysis, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Jesmyn Ward, and others subvert the racist comparisons that have ‘been used against them as a tool of derision and denigration.’...An intense and illuminating reevaluati...

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  • The Legacy of Slavery at Harvard

    The Legacy of Slavery at Harvard

    Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Committee

    The Presidential Committee on the Legacy of Slavery

    Harvard’s searing and sobering indictment of its own long-standing relationship with chattel slavery and anti-Black discrimination.

    In recent years, scholars have documented extensive relationships between American higher education and slavery. The Legacy of Slavery at Harvard adds Harvard University to the long list of institutions, in the North and the South, entangled with slavery and i...

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  • Tacky’s Revolt

    Tacky’s Revolt

    The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

    Vincent Brown

    Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
    Winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize
    Winner of the Elsa Goveia Book Prize
    Winner of the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations
    Winner of the P. Sterling Stuckey Book Prize
    Winner of the Harriet Tubman Prize
    Winner of the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
    Finalist for the Cundill Prize

    “Brilliant…groundbreaking…Bro...

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  • The Anatomy of Racial Inequality

    The Anatomy of Racial Inequality

    With a New Preface

    Glenn C. Loury

    “Lifts and transforms the discourse on ‘race’ and racial justice to an entirely new level.”
    —Orlando Patterson

    “Intellectually rigorous and deeply thoughtful…An incisive, erudite book by a major thinker.”
    —Gerald Early, New York Times Book Review

    Why are black Americans so persistently confined to the margins of society? And why do they fail across so many metrics—wages, unempl...

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  • Racism in America

    Racism in America

    A Reader

    Racism in America has been the subject of serious scholarship for decades. At Harvard University Press, we’ve had the honor of publishing some of the most influential books on the subject. The excerpts in this volume—culled from works of history, law, sociology, medicine, economics, critical theory, philosophy, art, and literature—are an invitation to understand anti-Black racism through the eyes...

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  • Marking Time

    Marking Time

    Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

    Nicole R. Fleetwood

    Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
    A Smithsonian Book of the Year
    A New York Review of Books “Best of 2020” Selection
    A New York Times Best Art Book of the Year
    An Art Newspaper Book of the Year

    A powerful document of the inner lives and creative visions of men and women rendered invisible by America’s prison system.

    More than two million people are currentl...

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  • The Origin of Others

    The Origin of Others

    Toni Morrison

    America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?

    Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morris...

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  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money

    Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

    Mehrsa Baradaran

    “Read this book. It explains so much about the moment…Beautiful, heartbreaking work.”
    —Ta-Nehisi Coates

    “A deep accounting of how America got to a point where a median white family has 13 times more wealth than the median black family.”
    —The Atlantic

    “Extraordinary…Baradaran focuses on a part of the American story that’s often ignored: the way African Americans were locked out...

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  • The Condemnation of Blackness

    The Condemnation of Blackness

    Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, With a New Preface

    Khalil Gibran Muhammad

    Winner of the John Hope Franklin Prize
    A Moyers & Company Best Book of the Year

    “A brilliant work that tells us how directly the past has formed us.”
    —Darryl Pinckney, New York Review of Books

    How did we come to think of race as synonymous with crime? A brilliant and deeply disturbing biography of the idea of black criminality in the making of modern urban America, The Condemna...

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