At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire tells the story of Black women’s fight to obtain civil rights and equal legal protection against rape and sexual harassment. I recommend the book for a different perspective on Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a good jumping off point for learning about some of the less celebrated women of the Civil Rights Movement. While it doesn’t really directly discuss feminism or womanism it does touch on topics related to those ideologies.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, weaves together the stories of three people who fled the South during The Great Migration. Ida Mae Brandon Gladney who migrated from Mississippi to Chicago in the 1930’s. George Swanson Starling who moved from Florida to Harlem in the 1940’s. And Robert Joseph Pershing Foster who relocated from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950’s.
The Corner by David Simon and Edward Burns is one of the most saddening and inspiring books I’ve ever read. The book follows the lives of residents near the corner of West Fayette and Monroe Streets in West Baltimore over the course of a year in the early 90’s. The authors lay bare how a history of poverty, crime, and drug addiction tore apart the neighborhood, families, and individuals.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a slave narrative written by Harriet Jacobs that covers her childhood and adulthood. Jacobs was born a slave in Edenton, NC and later escaped North with hopes of reuniting with her children. The book shares some similarities with 12 Years a Slave if you can imagine it from the perspective of Patsy. It was written under the pseudonym of name Linda Brent to preserve Harriet Jacobs’ and her family’s safety.