Julian Bond's Time to Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement by Julian BondWhat it is: an incisive collection of college course lectures delivered by professor, social activist, and civil rights leader Julian Bond (1940-2015).
Why you might like it: Photographs, intimate firsthand accounts, and detailed historical context enrich this detailed you-are-there chronicle of many of the civil rights era's pivotal moments.
Who it's for: This accessible work will enlighten and inspire history buffs, general readers, and activists alike.
Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham (editors)What it is: an inventive and nonlinear mixed-media anthology that asks: "What does it mean to be Black and alive right now?"
What's inside: poetry, artwork, essays, memes, recipes, and interviews.
Contributors include: Ta-Nehisi Coates; Zadie Smith; Kiese Laymon; Samantha Irby; Hanif Abdurraqib; Ziwe Fumudoh.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma OluoWhat it's about: how white male identity in America preserves a status quo that harms women and people of color.
Food for thought: "If white men are finding that the overwhelmingly white-male-controlled system isn’t meeting their needs, how did we end up being the problem?”
Author alert: Ijeoma Oluo is the New York Times bestselling author of So You Want to Talk About Race.
Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer1594 Netherlands: Dutch navigator William Barents embarked on the first of three Arctic expeditions seeking a northern route to China.
But then... during the third expedition, Barents and his crew became icebound in Nova Zembla, where they spent a year battling the elements, hungry polar bears, and disease.
Read it for: a dramatic, vividly recreated survival story aided by journal entries, archival materials, and the author's own travels to the Arctic.
Unsinkable: Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett by James SullivanWhat it's about: the USS Plunkett, the United States Navy destroyer that played a crucial role in the Allied war effort.
Why you might like it: This richly detailed history chronicles daily crew life as much as it does the ship's more dramatic wartime exploits.
Featuring: well-researched accounts of five crew members' experiences, including those of John Gallagher, the author's great-uncle.
A Black Women's History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole GrossWhat it is: a sweeping yet concise history prioritizing the experiences of Black women whose "everyday heroism" shaped America.
What's inside: profiles of 11 lesser known Black women whose stories provide illuminating context for the Atlantic slave trade, the Great Migration, Jim Crow laws, protest movements, and more.
Try this next: Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall.
Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong DunbarHow it began: In 1796, on the eve of being "gifted" to one of George and Martha Washington's granddaughters, lifelong Washington family slave and seamstress Ona Judge made a daring escape to freedom.
What happened next: Pursued by Washington for years, Judge settled in New Hampshire, where she lived freely for the next half century.
Book buzz: This thought-provoking National Book Award Finalist offers an eye-opening perspective on the legacy of America's first president.
What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished... by Michael Eric DysonWhat it's about: the fateful May 1963 meeting organized by attorney general Robert F. Kennedy and James Baldwin to discuss race relations.
In attendance: Lorraine Hansberry, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and Freedom Rider Jerome Smith.
Why it matters: This "watershed moment in American politics" jump-started difficult conversations that continue to resonate today.
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.What it is: a sobering history of America's Reconstruction era and Jim Crow legislation that offers striking parallels to contemporary white supremacy movements.
Topics include: eugenics and scientific racism; mass produced stereotypes and blackface; the emergence of the "New Negro."
Reviewers say: "indispensable for understanding American history" (Publishers Weekly).
Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights by Gretchen SorinWhat it is: an accessible and engaging history of the freedoms (and limitations) of 20th-century Black mobility.
Why you might like it: Featuring photos, interviews, and author Gretchen Sorin's own memories of family car trips, Driving While Black spotlights the ways in which Black travel signaled Black resistance.
Further reading: Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor.
Contact your librarian for more great books!