New African American Histories and Biographies to Read Now

Posted by Cybil on January 5, 2021


Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with a national holiday in the U.S., what better time than now to remind ourselves of our collective history.

We selected these new histories and biographies, all published since 2016, that highlight different aspects and eras of African American history. This collection includes the 2020 National Book Award winner for nonfiction, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, as well as 's bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

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Which books on African American history would you recommend to your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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message 1: by Jorge (new)

Jorge Mario I want biografires


message 2: by Barbara (new)

Barbara North I’m reading Barack Obama’s new book. It’s quite good. Why wasn’t it listed here?


message 3: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Kaufman For a fresh take on African American history, I recommend Sun Ra’s Chicago by William Sites


message 4: by Cybil, Goodreads employee (new)

Cybil Barbara wrote: "I’m reading Barack Obama’s new book. It’s quite good. Why wasn’t it listed here?"

This list is histories and biographies, we did not include memoirs for this particular article.


message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Willemse African American histories ere very self reliant, single opinioned relationships. What about the monstrosities related to Native Americans?
Anonymous


message 6: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Rosensky Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents was such a good book! Well worth the read!


message 7: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Rosensky Ben wrote: "African American histories ere very self reliant, single opinioned relationships. What about the monstrosities related to Native Americans?
Anonymous"


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, The Round House, and The Removed are good books for this topic.


message 8: by Nell (new)

Nell Brittany wrote: "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents was such a good book! Well worth the read!"

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents explains what is happening in America today and in this country's history.


message 9: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Are any of them general sweeping histories from 1600s to current day?


message 10: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Mitchell @Aurora Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi is a good option for that out of this collection of books!


message 11: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Manchester It's not out yet, but I expect Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 to absolutely make a list like this in the future. So excited for this book next month!


message 12: by Christy (new)

Christy Tate have read Begin Again, and was humbled by it. James Baldwin was a human being whose gift was being a writer and his words are awesome. didn't feel like either author was hating me because i'm white, but more so trying open my eyes, ears and mind and say listen to us.


message 13: by Key (last edited Jan 15, 2021 11:57AM) (new)

Key Barbara wrote: "I’m reading Barack Obama’s new book. It’s quite good. Why wasn’t it listed here?"

does it provide any details regarding his upbringing? Struggles, downfalls, etc


message 14: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine A lot of interesting books!


message 15: by kate Taylor (new)

kate Taylor Warmth of other suns is fantastic


message 16: by Zhana (new)

Zhana Zhana Ben wrote: "African American histories ere very self reliant, single opinioned relationships. What about the monstrosities related to Native Americans?
Anonymous"


The same methods that were used against the original people of the Americas were later used in Africa.


message 17: by Katie (new)

Katie Why didn't you include a history or biography on Dr. King?


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