Black History Month Bibliography


"Carter G. Woodson: Teacher, Historian, Publisher" (Artist: Charles Alston, 1943)
“Carter G. Woodson: Teacher, Historian, Publisher” (Artist: Charles Alston, 1943)

When Carter G. Woodson inaugurated Negro History Week in the second week of February 1926, he imagined an event that would popularize black history and create an awareness of it far outside of the halls of academia.

In that spirit, my post this February is meant to function as the beginnings of a widely accessible and publicly curated Black History Month Bibliography. The following books all pertain to the origins, evolution, professionalization, and expansion of the field of black history. The authors of these books examine the concerns of early black historians, find an enduring tradition of black race histories, and address the key role that black women have played in the writing of black history. They also recover the process by which Woodson and others helped define the modern field of black history and they make a case for the significance of writings about black history today.

This list is, of course, far from exhaustive. I hope that AAIHS readers will share further suggestions in the comments. Any and all books (and articles) that help us better understand the long tradition of black historical writing and attendant ideas about the place of black history in the United States are most welcome.

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Brandon Byrd

Brandon R. Byrd is an assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University and author of 'The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti.' Follow him on Twitter @bronaldbyrd.

Comments on “Black History Month Bibliography

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    Excellent list, Brandon.

    I’d add Janet Sims-Woods, Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University: Building a Legacy of Black History (The History Press, 2014) and Lorenzo Greene’s Diary edited by Arvarh E. Strickland:

    Working with Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History: A Diary, 1928-1930 (LSU, 1989)
    Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson: A Diary, 1930-1933 (Missouri, 1996)

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      Great suggestions, Phil. Many thanks for the contribution.

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    I would also suggest:
    Andrea Burns, From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013)

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      Great! Thank you, Skyler.

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    Great list, Brandon. Thanks for posting.

    I’d also add:
    Clarence Taylor, “Black Religious Intellectuals: The Fight for Equality from Jim Crow to the 21st Century.”

    Taylor’s book notably includes a chapter on Pauli Murray and Ella Baker as religious intellectuals.

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      Great suggestion, Anthony. Many thanks for reading and for the contribution.

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