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This reading list is by no means comprehensive. But it will give you a good start towards
building a library on the civil rights movement.


This list will be updated from time to time.

Ralph David Abernathy, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down (1989)
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness (2012)
Carol Anderson: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth About Our Racial Divide (2016)
James D. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 (1988)
Jervis Anderson, A. Philip Randolph (1988)
Raymond Arsenault, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (2007)
Edward Ayers, The Promise of the New South (1992)
Jack Bass, Unlikely Heroes (1981)
Ronald Baylor, Race and the Shaping of 20th Century Atlanta (2000)

Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name (2008)

John Blake, Children of the Movement (2004)
Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters (1993)
Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire (1998)
Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge (2006)
Stewart Burns, ed. Daybreak of Freedom (2008)
Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South (1979)
E. Culpepper Clark, The Schoolhouse Door (1993)
Charles E. Cobb, Jr. That Nonviolent Stuff ‘ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights
Movement Possible
Richard C. Cortner, A Mob Intent on Death (1988)
Emilye Crosby, A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County,
Emilye Crosby, ed., Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National
Maurice C. Daniels, Saving the Soul of Georgia: Donald L. Hollowell and the Struggle for Civil
John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (1995)
W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935)
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques (1973)
John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day (1993)
Glenn T. Eskew, But for Birmingham (1997)
Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1963-1877 (1988)
David Garrow, Protest at Selma (1978)
David Garrow, Bearing the Cross (1988)
Dennis George and Helen Shores Lee, The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill: The Untold Story of
Arthur Shores and His Family's Fight for Civil Rights
Richard Gergel, Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Issac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring (2019) (2019)
David R. Goldfield, Black, White and Southern (1990)
Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights (2008)
Joanne Grant, Ella Baker: Freedom Bound (1998)
Fred Gray, Bus Ride to Justice (2012)

Faith S. Holsaert, Marth Prescod Norman Noon, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson,
Jean Smith Young and Dorothy M. Zellner, eds. Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of the Women in SNCC (2010)
David Halberstam, The Children (2006)
Henry Hampton, Steve Fayer and Sarah Flynn, Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil
Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s

Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America (2016)
Jeanne Theoharis, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (2014)

Jeanne Theoharis, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History (2019)
Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt

Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White (2005)
Melissa Kean, Desegregating Higher Education in the South (2006)
Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped at the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Blair L. M. Kelley, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era
of Plessy v. Ferguson
Mary King, Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement (1988)
Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Towards Freedom (1957)
Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait (1964)
Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Richard Kluger, Simple Justice (1975)
Bernard LaFayette and Kathryn Lee Johnson, In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma
Steven F. Lawson and Charles Payne, Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968 (1998)
Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration (1991)
Andrew B. Lewis, The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights
C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, The Black Church in the African-American
John Lewis, Walking with the Wind  (1998)
James H. Madison, A Lynching in the Heartland  (2001)
Andrew M. Manis, A Fire You Can’t Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham’s Rev. Fred
David Margolick, Elizabeth and Hazel (2011)
Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climatic Battle of the Civil
Rights Movement
Anne Moody, Growing Up in Mississippi (1968)
Gail Williams O’Brien, The Color of Law (1999)
M.J. O’Brien, We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It
Charles E. Payne, I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi
Freedom Struggle
Gene Roberts and Howard Klibanoff, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and
the Awakening of a Nation
JoAnne Robinson, The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It (1987)
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government
Segregated America

David K. Shipler, A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America (1997)
Calvin Trillin, An Education in Georgia (1963) 

Mark V. Tushnet: The NAACP’s Legal Strategy Against Segregated Education, 1925-1950 (1987)

Clement E. Vose, Caucasians Only: The Supreme Court, the NAACP and the Restrictive Covenant Cases (1959)
Hollis Watkins, Brother Hollis: The Sankofa of a Movement Man (2015)
Bruce Watson, Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy (2011)
Clive Webb, Fight Against Fear: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights (2001)
Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize (1988)

Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns (2010)
Bob Zellner, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek (2008)
Howard Zinn, SNCC: The New Abolitionists (1964)

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