Recommended Reading

There are many amazing books written about this time period in American History. Recent articles state that the interest in the topic of race in America is growing, with libraries creating “Jim Crow Book Club Lists.” I encourage you to read and learn.


A Few Drops of Blood: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919; Claire Hatfield; Clarion Books; 2018

1919, TheYear of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back; David F. Krugler; Cambridge University Press; 2015

The Chicago Race Riots: July, 1919; Carl Sandburg; Dover Publications; 2013.

The Warmth of Other Suns; Isabel Wilkerson; Vintage Books / Random House; 2011.

Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America; Cameron McWhirter; St. Martin’s Griffin; 2011.

The Great Influenza; John. M. Barry; Penguin; 2009.

On the Laps of Gods; Robert Whitaker; Three Rivers Press; 2008.

Race Riots & Resistance: The Red Summer of 1919; Jan Voogd; Peter Lang Publishing; 2008

Mississippi: A History; Westley F. Busbee, Jr.; Wiley-Blackwell, 2005.

Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940; David E. Kyvig; Ivan R. Dee; 2004.

Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the Twentieth Century; Rosemarie Ostler; Oxford University Press; 2003.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America; John M. Barry; Touchtone / Simon & Schuster; 1998.



12 Years a Slave; Solomon Northup; Penguin; original 1808 / new 2013.

Life is So Good; George Dawson; Random House; 2013.

Same Kind of Different as Me; Ron Hall and Denver Moore; Thomas Nelson; 2006.

Black Boy (American Hunger); Richard Wright; Perennial Classics; original 1945 / new 1998.

The Color of Water; James McBride; Riverhead Books; 1996.

Mississippi; Anthony Walton; Vintage Departures/Random House Books, 1996.

Coming of Age in Mississippi; Anne Moody; Laurel / Dell; original 1968 / new 1976.



Washington Black; Esi Edugyan; Knopf; 2018

The Underground Railroad; Colson Whitehead; Doubleday; 2016

The Invention of Wings; Sue Monk Kidd; Viking / Penguin; 2014.

The Good Lord Bird; James McBride; Riverhead Books / Penguin; 2013.

Southern Cross the Dog; Bill Cheng; HarperCollins; 2013.

The Tilted World; Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly; William Morrow / Harper Collins; 2013.

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy; Ken Follett; New American; 2010.

The Kitchen House; Kathleen Grissom; Touchstone / Simon & Schuster; 2010.

The Queen of Palmyra; Minrose Gwin; Harper Perennial; 2010.

The Moonflower Vine; Jetta Carelton; Harper Perennial; original 1962 / new 2009.

The Help; Kathryn Stockett; Amy Einhorn Books / G.P. Putman / Penguin; 2009.

Mudbound; Hillary Jordan; Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 2008.

Eight Men: Stories; Richard Wright; Harper Perennial; original 1940 / new 2008.

Uncle Tom’s Children: Novellas; Richard Wright; Harper Perennial; original 1940 / new 2008.

Lawless; Matt Bondurant; Scribner; 2008.

Jonah’s Gourd Vine; Zora Neale Huston; Harper Perennial Classics; original 1934 / new 2008.

A Mercy: Toni Morrison; Knopf; 2008.

Their Eyes Were Watching God; Zora Neale Hurston; Harper Perennial; original 1937 / new 2006.

A Million Nightengales; Susan Straight; Anchor Books; 2006.

My Jim; Nancy Rawles; Crown; 2005.

Cotton; Christopher Wilson; Harcourt; 2005.

Freshwater Road; Denise Nicholas; Pocket Books / Simon & Schuster; 2005.

The Known World; Edward P. Jones; Amistad / Harper Collins; 2004.

The Darkest Child; Delores Phillips; SOHO; 2004.

Four Spirits; Sena Jeter Naslund; Perennial / Harper Collins; 2003.

Cry, The Beloved Country; Alan Paton; Scribner; original 1948 / new 2003.

The Keepers of the House; Shirley Ann Grau; Vintage; original 1964 / new 2003.

The Awakening; Kate Chopin; Barnes & Noble Classics; original 1899 / new 2003.

To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee; Perennial Classics; original 1960/ new 2002.

Three Junes; Julia Glass; Anchor Books / Random House; 2002.

A Parchment of Leaves; Silas House; Ballantine Books; 2002.

Chalktown; Melinda Haynes; Hyperian; 2002.

Cane River; Lalita Tademy; Warner Books; 2001.

Mother of Pearl; Melinda Haynes; Washington Square / Pocket Books; 1999.

Juneteenth; Ralph Ellison; Vintage; original 1942/ new 1999.

A Lesson Before Dying; Ernest J. Gaines; Vintage; 1993.

The Ways of White Folks: Stories; Langston Hughes; Vintage classics; original 1933/1934 / new 1999.

Native Son; Richard Wright; Harper Collins; original 1940 / new 1992.

Light in August: William Faulkner: Vintage; original 1932 / new 1990.

As I Lay Dying; William Faulkner; Vintage; original 1930 / new 1990.

Beloved; Toni Morrison; New American Library; 1987.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Barnes & Noble.



Going to Chicago; California Newsreel; 1994.

Rising from the Rails; AMS Pictures; 2007.

One Woman, One Vote; PBS; 1995.

Influenza 1918: The Worst Epidemic in American History; American Experience / PBS; 1998.