Black History Month Reading List

Many of the most iconic, pivotal, and stirring moments of the Civil Rights Movement took place in Alabama. The titles on our Black History Month reading list below reveal many crucial steps on the path to justice and equality. To order any book on the list, use promo code BHM2024 for a 30% discount and free shipping.


Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman

After War Times

An African American Childhood in Reconstruction-Era Florida

Alabama's Civil Rights Trail

An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom

Archipelagoes of My South

Episodes in the Shaping of a Region, 1830–1965

The Architectural Legacy of Wallace A. Rayfield

Pioneer Black Architect of Birmingham, Alabama

Back To Birmingham

Richard Arrington, Jr., and His Times

Barnstorming to Heaven

Syd Pollock and His Great Black Teams

Before Brown

Civil Rights and White Backlash in the Modern South

Beside the Troubled Waters

A Black Doctor Remembers Life, Medicine, and Civil Rights in an Alabama Town

Black Eagle

General Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.

Black in Selma

The Uncommon Life of J. L. Chestnut Jr.

Bound to Respect

Antebellum Narratives of Black Imprisonment, Servitude, and Bondage, 1816–1861

The Cana Sanctuary

History, Diplomacy, and Black Catholic Marriage in Antebellum St. Augustine, Florida

Chains and Freedom

Or, The Life and Adventures of Peter Wheeler, A Colored Man Yet Living. A Slave in Chains, A Sailor on the Deep, and A Sinner at the Cross


The History and Archaeology of the Last Slave Ship

Constance Baker Motley

One Woman's Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law

Cradle of Freedom

Alabama and the Movement That Changed America

Dear Denise

Letters to the Sister I Never Knew

Desert Rose

The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King

Dividing Lines

Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma


The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Doctrine and Race

African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism between the Wars

Every Goodbye Ain't Gone

An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans

A Fire You Can't Put Out

The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham's Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

First Freedom

The Responses of Alabama's Blacks to Emancipation and Reconstruction

The Freedom Quilting Bee

Folk Art and the Civil Rights Movement

From Mammies to Militants

Domestics in Black American Literature from Charles Chesnutt to Toni Morrison

Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues

The Arthur Alexander Story

The House by the Side of the Road

The Selma Civil Rights Movement

If It Takes All Summer

Martin Luther King, the KKK, and States' Rights in St. Augustine, 1964

Integral Music

Languages Of African-American Innovation

Keep Your Airspeed Up

The Story of a Tuskegee Airman

Laying Claim

African American Cultural Memory and Southern Identity

Lift Every Voice

African American Oratory, 1787-1901

Opening the Doors

The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa

Powerful Days

Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore

A Right to Read

Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama's Public Libraries, 1900–1965

The Road South

Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders

Selma, Lord, Selma

Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days

Sense of Place

Birminghams Black Middle-Class Community, 1890-1930

Show Us How You Do It

Marshall Keeble and the Rise of Black Churches of Christ in the United States, 1914-1968

The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon

Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of Independence, 1801–1804

Speak Truth to Power

The Story of Charles Patrick, a Civil Rights Pioneer

Split-Gut Song

Jean Toomer and the Poetics of Modernity

Taxing Blackness

Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

There's Hope for the World

The Memoir of Birmingham, Alabama's First African American Mayor

Thirteen Loops

Race, Violence, and the Last Lynching in America

To Raise Up the Man Farthest Down

Tuskegee University’s Advancements in Human Health, 1881–1987

Until Justice Rolls Down

The Birmingham Church Bombing Case

W. C. Handy

The Life and Times of the Man Who Made the Blues

What I Say

Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America

Wrestlin' Jacob

A Portrait of Religion in Antebellum Georgia and the Carolina Low Country

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