Black History Month book picks

This February, whether you want to educate yourself more on the Civil Rights movement, see how race still effects our politics or just want to celebrate black culture, there’s a book for you. Here, we round up five new books out just in time for Black History Month.

the problem of slavery
“The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation”

Historical pick: “The Problem of Slavery in the age of Emancipation” by David Brion Davis
Pulitzer Prize winning author, historian and Yale professor David Brion Davis releases his tome chronicling slavery and emancipation in the U.S. on February 10. As the conclusion in his trilogy on the subject, his new book doesn’t just give historical background, but also provides provoking philosophical thoughts on how emancipation has molded the country’s politics and culture.

"Still a House Divided"
“Still a House Divided”

Political pick: “Still A House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama’s America” by Desmond S. King and Rogers M. Smith
Our president may be half-black, but race is still a huge dividing factor in U.S. politics, so says authors Desmond S. King and Rogers M. Smith in “Still A House Divided” (newly out in paperback). They show how race plays a part in virtually every big voting issue, such as housing, immigration, employment and criminal justice. The authors highlight the ways President Obama has failed to bring unity to a country still divided by race and outlines what they think needs to be done so we are no longer a country divided.

"Little Rock: Race & Resistance at Central High School"
“Little Rock: Race & Resistance at Central High School”

Social Commentary pick: “Little Rock: Race & Resistance at Central High School” by Karen Anderson
“Little Rock” chronicles the true story of a public school in Arkansas that refused to allow blacks inside, even after racial segregation was pronounced illegal. By telling the personal stories of individual students, policy makers and activists, author Karen Anderson aptly shows what life in America was like in the last 1950s.

"The Invention of Wings"
“The Invention of Wings”

Fiction pick: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
The semi-true story of abolitionist Sarah Grimke, “The Invention of Wings” alternates chapters between a reluctant slave owner and her slave. Sue Monk Kidd – who also wrote “The Secret Life of Bees” – sensitively shows not only what life was like for urban slaves during the 1800s, but also for white women, who had little rights of their own. Her book captures the complexity of black-white friendships during this time period while educating readers about a dark time in American history.

"A Date With A Dish"
“A Date With A Dish”

Cultural pick: “A Date With A Dish: Classic African-American Recipes” by Freda DeKnight
Ebony magazine cooking columnist Freda DeKnight compiles the magazine’s biggest hits in this new recipe book. Oyster gumbo, fried chicken and bourbon barbecued ribs are just a few of the mouth-watering recipes inside. With sections devoted to soup, salads, breads, Creole dishes, meat, desserts and more, you’ll be able to try your hand at your own favorite childhood recipes or start some new ones of your own.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


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