February marks Black History Month, a tribute to African-American men and women who have made significant contributions to the world in science, politics, civil rights, sports, and entertainment among others. Many of us think of figures like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and President Barack Obama, but there are so many other African-Americans that have made an impact on our history.
If you are looking for more books about noteworthy African-American people throughout time, please visit our Biography section, our Children’s Department, and the 323’s in our non-fiction section.
Coach Wooden and Me – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
When future NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still an 18-year-old high school basketball prospect from New York City named Lew Alcindor, he accepted a scholarship from UCLA largely on the strength of Coach John Wooden’s reputation as a winner. It turned out to be the right choice, but it also marked the beginning of one of the most enduring friendships in the history of sports.
Muhammad Ali : A Champion is Born – Gene Barretta
After twelve-year old Cassius Clay’s bicycle is stolen, he seeks a police officer in a nearby gym, igniting a passion for boxing that led to a celebrated career as a world champion boxer, activist, and humanitarian.
The Blood of Emmett Till – Timothy B. Tyson
The event that launched the civil rights movement, now re-examined with never-before-heard accounts from those involved as well as recently recovered court transcripts from the trial
Death of a King – Tavis Smiley
A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the 12 months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy – Coretta Scott King
The life story of Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and singular twentieth-century American civil rights activist.
Let the Children March – Monica Clark-Robinson
Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
Streetcar to Justice – Amy Hill Hearth
In 1854, a young African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings won a major victory against a New York City streetcar company, a first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan.
The United States v. Jackie Robinson – Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Tells the true story of Jackie Robinson’s battle against prejudice while serving in the military during World War II, covering his court-martial for refusing to move to the back of an integrated bus.