“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.
Tag: civil rights movement
“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.
The details may differ but the story of Fred Hampton is unfortunately not uncommon. Fred Hampton is one in a long list of Black activists murdered during the turbulent 1960’s. His death stands apart from most others as it was proven to have been the result of a concerted effort by the FBI and Chicago police. I won’t go into the details of the murder here as “The Assassination of Fred Hampton” by Jeffrey Haas does an excellent job of explaining the raid on Hampton’s apartment, shootout, and trials.
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody is the story of a young Black woman coming of age in rural Mississippi during the 40’s and 50’s. The book begins with Anne Moody’s early life as the eldest child of sharecroppers on a large plantation. Her father, Daddy, is a womanizer and gambler. While her mother, Mama, struggles to maintain stable committed relationships with her husbands/lovers.
Watch Me Fly is more than the story of the widow of a civil rights hero. It’s also the story of a rather sheltered woman who struggles to find herself in her thirties after her world is ripped apart. I’d recommend Watch Me Fly if you’re interested in the Civil Rights Movement or the Black experience. But, the book also delves into Myrlie’s personal journey and her quest to improve herself. Watch Me Fly could also be very appealing if you’re into self-help books or are looking for motivation to become better versions of themselves.