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Black History Month Book Display: Home

So Many Books!

We have books on display to celebrate Black History Month! You'll find them near the reference desk and the new books. If you prefer things a little more visual, we have movies and documentaries on display as well!

Looking for more? This is just a small selection of the books available at your library. One of these books checked out? We can help you request it from iShare. 

Art & Music

Gather Out of Star-Dust: A Harlem Renaissance Album by Melissa Barton et al: Delve into the world of the Harlem Renaissance with this collection of primary source works - from the artistic to the literary (and the private!) - pertaining to gatherings.

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman by Jeffreen Hayes: Delve into the life and art of influential sculptor Augusta Savage.

The Chicago Black Renaissance edited by Darlene Clark Hine & John McClusky, Jr.: Delve into Chicago's version of the Harlem Renaissance in this compilation of essays!

She Begat This: Twenty Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Joan Morgan: Journalist and author Morgan, who coined the term "hiphop feminism," delves into Lauryn Wood's remarkable career in this book about Wood's debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism by Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley: Step into Black feminism with the professor who teaches "Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism"!


Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League by Stefan Bradley: The story of how Black students, faculty, and administrators forever changed American higher education.


The Black Revolution on Campus by Martha Biondi: The definitive account of the 1960s and '70s Black students whose protects and actions would change higher education. You can access this book from anywhere - you just need to select SXU from the dropdown list and sign in!

Literature: Novels, Poetry, & Stories

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: Xiomara pours her frustrations and fears out into poems in this 2018 National Book Award for Young People winner.

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe: As colonialism marks the world around him, Ezeulu, chief priest of the god Ulu, is forced to confront his own conflicting impulses in this second book in Achebe's African Trilogy, which begins with Things Fall Apart

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: Fifteen years after they both left military-ruled Nigeria for the West, Ifemulu and Obinze reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, reigniting their passion for each other—and their homeland.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Ayoola's the favorite child. She's also got an inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. And now that she's got her eye on the doctor Korede's got her eye on, Korede's going to have to do something.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Delve into racism and unrest in these short stories, as ordinary characters must traverse extraordinary worlds. 

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs: Step into the Jamaican Diaspora with these short stories, set everywhere from Jamaica to the Midwest and beyond.

Later Novels by James Baldwin: This collection includes Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk, which is now a major motion picture directed by Barry Jenkins!

Kindred by Octavia Butler: In this novel by science fiction master Butler, Dana, a Black woman, finds herself repeatedly transported back in time to the antebellum South, where she must make sure that Rufus, the plantation own's sadistic son, survives to father Dana's ancestor.

Kirk? Krak! by Ediwidge Danticat: Travel into Haiti and its diaspora in these short stories by novelist and short story writer Danticat.

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim: This anthology of essays by Black women writers delves into the importance of finding oneself in one's reading.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi: Ada, born with one foot on the other side, copes with fractured selves that grow in power as she grows up and leaves southern Nigeria for college in the United States. This is Akwaeke Emezi's debut novel; they are one of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 honorees of 2018. Freshwater was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for a Debut Novel and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing: Travel from 1990s Chicago to a future Chicago in local author Ewing's blend of poetry and narrative, realism and surrealism. 

Knots by Nuruddin Farah: Fleeing a failed marriage, Cambara, born in Somalia but raised in America, returns to Mogadishu, where her most unlikely ambitions begin to seem possible.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: The story of two half-sisters born in Ghana in two different villages, Homegoing follows the sisters—and their descendants—from Ghana to Harlem and beyond.

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala: A revelation shared between two teens from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. Iweala's first novel, Beasts of No Nation, is now a film.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: As the world trembles with violence and horror, Essun searches for her kidnapped daughter. This is the first book in Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, and won the Hugo Award for best novel.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue: In the wake of tragedy and the collapse of Lehman Brothrs, the Jongas, Cameroonian immigrants in New York City, must decide whether to continue fighting to stay in a recession-ravaged America or give up and return home to Cameroon. 

Selected Poems by Claude McKay: Read the words of Jamaican poet and Harlem Renaissance mainstay Claude McKay.

Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: Tumble into the investigation of a mysterious triple murder in a small town in Kenya—and then follow its twists into a world filled with people whose leaders have failed them time and again.

The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo: Follow poet Perdomo into the world of a percussionist with these rhythmic and percussive poems. 

Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed: Explore inequity and injustice in Reed's 2018 National Book Award winning poetry. 

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith: Tumble through the failures and glories of humans in US Poet Laureate Smith's Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon: Stuck in the slums of a ship that ferries humanity to a mythical Promised Land, Aster learns there may be a way to a better life - if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: You've seen the movie - now read Thomas's novel!

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: Tired of being singled out at her wealthy, mostly-white private school, Jade would rather participate in its amazing Study Abroad program than join Woman to Woman, a mentorship program for at-risk girls. This is a Coretta Scott King Award winner and a Newbery Honor Book.

The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead: Follow Cora on her flight towards freedom in this Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi: Haitian immigrant Fab must cope with her mother's detention and a whole new world when she moves to Detroit.

Lives: Memoirs, Biographies, & More

Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen Carter: The author tells the story of his grandmother, Eunice Hunton Carter, whose work as a prosecutor would send mobster Lucky Luciano to prison.

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid: In this work of creative nonfiction, follow novelist Kincaid behind the scenes on her home island of Antigua, and learn the stories behind the tourist images.

Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America by John Lewis: Georgia Congressman John Lewis offers guidance and wisdom from his years as a Civil Rights activist in this book.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela: Nelson Mandela tells the story of his life in his 1994 autobiography.

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America by Darnell Moore: Writer and activist Moore tells the story of his life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama: Attorney, administrator, and former First Lady Michelle Obama tells the story of her life in this 2018 memoir. 

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart: The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Alain Locke, father of the Harlem Renaissance. 

Social Sciences: History, Sociology, Theory, & Beyond

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: In this essay based on her TED Talk, the award-winning author of Americanah and more delves into an intersectional feminism for the twenty-first century.

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper: Follow Cooper through an exploration of rage, power, and race.

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar: The story of Ona Judge, who, despite a massive manhunt, successfully escaped slavery - and lived the rest of her life as a free woman.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped WIn the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly: You saw the movie - now, learn the true story of the women whose calculations sent astronauts to the moon (and brought them home again, too).

Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office by Frederick Douglass Opie: The history of Black-Latino coalitions in New York City from the 1950s through the 1980s.

The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution by Julius S. Scott: The gripping true story of the slave revolts and communication networks that made the modern revolutionary era.

Books for Young Folks

Picture Books

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut written by Derrick D. Brown & illustrated by Gordon C. James: This multiple-award-winning picture book celebrates the amazing feeling that comes from walking out of a barbershop with a fresh haircut.

Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolan: Thunder Rose tames stampedes, stops cattle thieves, and more! This is a past winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.

Tar Beach written & illustrated by Faith Ringgold: Cassie flies over her Harlem apartment with its tar beach roof, dreaming of claiming the world for herself and her family.

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Eric Velasquez: This picture book biography tells the story of Afro-Puerto Rican Harlem law clerk Arturo Schomburg, who, when his collection of books about the African Diaspora got so big that his house overflowed (and his wife threatened mutiny), worked with the New York Public Library to create its new Negro Division.

Novels for Middle-Grade Folks

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley & Marjory Wentworth & illustrated by Ekua Holmes: Celebrate poets with these poems in the book that won the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award!

Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood written by James Baldwin & illustrated by Yoran Cazac: Follow four-year-old TJ through Harlem in this recently republished work by seminal novelist and essayist Baldwin!

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds: In this middle-grade novel, which won th 2018 Schneider Family Award, everything backfires when two young brothers decide to prove how brave they are. 

Coming Soon!

These books aren't on our shelves quite yet - but they'll be here soon!

Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat: Celebrated Haitian-American novelist Danticat reflects on life, art, and exile in this mix of memoir and essay.

A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago Since the 1960s by Elizabeth Todd-Breland: The story of Black education reformers in Chicago, from the 1960s to the present. 


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