“Ida: A Sword Among Lions” by Paula Giddings is a biography that details the journalistic activism of Ida B. Wells. Covering the incredibly impactful life of Wells is a huge undertaking but Giddings delivers the goods.
“King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Hochschild is the story of how King Leopold II of Belgium used violence and coercion to gain control of the Congo. In this review, I discuss how on a larger scale the book also provides a perspective on how various European powers carved up Africa for their own gain.
Phillip Dray details the history of mob violence and lynchings in At the Hands of Persons Unknown. Dray lays out how lynchings were used as a form of political terrorism aimed at subjugating Black people and enforcing white supremacy.
“Black Against Empire” by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr is the definitive history of The Black Panthers. The book not only charts the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party but also provides detailed backgrounds of its most prominent members. It gives a fair and balanced account of both of both the good points and failings of the Black Panthers.
“Before the Mayflower” by Lerone Bennett Jr is the ultimate book to read if you’re interested in Black History, especially American Black History. Originally published in 1962, the book covers the history of Black America from 1619 to 1962.