Black History Month Reading List: Black Resistance

In celebration of Black History month, we will be featuring reading lists of relevant titles throughout February. This week’s reading list is inspired by the theme, chosen by the founders of Black History Month: the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which is Black Resistance.

You can also browse our full list of African American studies Titles, learn about our new Black Women’s History Series, and keep up with previous reading lists. Plus, if you’re interested in purchasing any of these titles, you can get 30% off plus free shipping on orders over $75 with code 01UNCP30.

Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition,Revised and Updated Third Edition by Cedric J. Robinson With a new preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard and a new foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley

“A towering achievement. There is simply nothing like it in the history of black radical thought.”—Cornel West, Monthly Review

Black Marxism has become an unlikely handbook for a new generation of radicals and activists.”—London Review of Books

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement by Monica M. White, Foreword by LaDonna Redmond

2019 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Division on Racial and Ethnic Minorities

2020 Association for the Study of Food and Society First Book Award

“A timely work that convincingly demonstrates the power of agricultural resistance for African American communities.”—Journal of African American History

“An excellent model of using the past to inform the present.”—H-Environment

The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman, Jim Casey, Sarah Lynn Patterson

“This essential overview of the CCP’s legacy offers fresh understanding of the history of organized Black activism and commitment to community efforts for equal rights. Highest recommendation.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

“This collection captures an important piece of African American history . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice Reviews

Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power by Simon Balto

2019 Hooks National Book Award, Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis

“A compelling regional case study of the Chicago Police Department’s vexed relationship with the African American community dating back to at least the 1910s and extending through the 1970s.”—Journal of African American History

“Demonstrates how Black Chicagoans have resisted CPD repression for as long as it has existed, from the NAACP and Chicago Freedom Movement to the Black Panthers to We Charge Genocide.”—South Side Weekly

A New Kind Of Youth: Historically Black High Schools and Southern Student Activism, 1920–1975 by Jon N. Hale

A New Kind of Youth brings high school activism into greater focus, illustrating how Black youth supported liberatory social and political movements and inspired their elders across the South.

“Jon Hale charts the unfolding of southern Black high school activism over thirty years, uncovering an understudied but crucial cast of characters who helped power the Black freedom struggle.”—Joy Williamson-Lott, author of Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order

Before Busing: A History of Boston’s Long Black Freedom Struggle by Zebulon Vance Miletsky

“Impressive . . . .Before Busing resoundingly reaffirms that a second glance at places we do not assume to be home to dramatic freedom struggles may actually be cradles of radical grassroots reform.”—Black Perspectives

“This is a significant contribution, which will do much to shift discussion around Black America’s long struggle for civil rights from the South to the North, and to expose how African Americans in the North, particularly urban Boston, used their particular environments, politics, and social conditions to respond to the rapidly changing social and political conditions.”—Shawn Leigh Alexander, author of An Army of Lions: The Struggle for Civil Rights before the NAACP