Black Civil Rights Theme

Amazing Grace / Mary Hoffman & Caroline Binch

And all our wounds forgiven / Julius Lester. From Library Journal..."In this novel, Lester thinly disguises Martin Luther King Jr. as Cal, a famous slain civil rights leader. From the grave, Cal shares his thoughts, as do his wife, Andrea; his mistress, Elizabeth, who is a blue-eyed blond from a privileged white family; and Card, a veteran of civil rights work in Mississippi. The novel teeters back and forth, from the present at Andrea's deathbed to the tempestuous 1960s, examining the personal, political, and social impact of the past on the present and future."

Beyond Mayfield / Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. In 1961 the children of Mayfield are concerned with air-raid drills and fallout shelters, but the civil rights movement becomes real when a neighbor joins the Freedom Riders.

Black angels / Rita Murphy: The summer of 1961 brings change to eleven-year-old Celli and her town of Mystic, Georgia, when her beloved Sophie becomes involved in the Civil Rights Movement and Celli learns a secret about the father who left her and her family long ago.

Black like me / John Howard Griffin: In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

The colour purple / Alice Walker

Fire in the rock / Joe Martin. "At its heart, Martin's first novel is about coming-of-age, racism, and the definitions of friendship in the South in the 1950s and '60s... This is a courageous and unsettling novel. It is fast paced and gripping, and the main characters, portrayed with compassion and occasional humor, have substance and vulnerabilities. History is both lived and revisited in this compelling story." Library Journal.

The First of Midnight / Malorie Darke

Forty acres and maybe a mule / Harriet Gillem-Robinet. A 12-year-old orphaned slave leaves South Carolina in search of a Freedmen's Bureau during Reconstruction to claim the "40 acres and a mule" promised by General Sherman. "A stirring story of self-determination," said PW.

Four spirits: a novel / Sena Jeter Naslund: "At first a horrified observer, Stella decides that she must act after witnessing Birmingham citizens openly celebrating President Kennedy's assassination. Stella and Cat, her wheelchair-bound best friend, join the integrated faculty of a night school, where they teach black high school dropouts, deliberately putting themselves in the heart of the danger zone. The consequences are felt throughout the city, setting in motion soul-wrenching acts of fury, courage, sacrifice, and faith. Told in beautifully crafted prose, this is a moving, historically accurate tale of a time of social transformation."

Greed, Seeds & Slavery / Stewart Ross

Jupiter Williams / S I Williams

Just like Martin / Ossie Davis. Following the deaths of two classmates in a bomb explosion at his Alabama church, 14-year-old Stone organizes a children's march for civil rights in the autumn of 1963.

Rebel Cargo / James Riordan

Refugee Boy / Benjamin Zephaniah

The Secret Life of Bees / Sue Monk Kidd, set around the time of the Civil Rights Act it touches on the rights black women and the associated political unrest.

Short Stories of the Civil Rights Movement: an anthology. edited by Margaret Earley Whitt.

Slavery: from Africa to the Americas / Christine Hatt

Strange fruit / Lillian Eugenia Smith. Inter-racial relationship in a Southern own, post WW. "When it was first published in 1944, this novel sparked immediate controversy and became a huge bestseller. It captured with devastating accuracy the deep-seated racial conflicts of a tightly knit southern town. The book is as engrossing and incendiary now as the day it was written."

A summer of kings / Han Nolan: From School Library journal: Gr 6-9 "Confused with rhetoric that is as meaningful today as it was two generations ago, this young teen's account of a life-changing summer not only opens a window to history, but also displays Nolan's brilliant gift for crafting profoundly appealing protagonists. Increasingly resentful of her forced role as the dim, responsible one in her gifted, well-to-do New York family, Esther acts out with increasing bitterness in a struggle to earn some respect and elbow room. Her rebellion begins to gain traction after King-Roy, the 18-year-old African-American son of her mother's childhood friend, travels up from Alabama to escape accusations that he murdered a white man."

Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain

Unheard Voices / Malorie Blackman

Walking to the bus-rider blues / Harriet Gillem-Robinet. In this quasi-mystery set during the 1956 Montgomery bus boycott, 12-year-old Alfa relies on the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. to get through some strange times. PW said this novel "may well inspire readers to discover more about this important chapter in civil rights history."

The Watsons go to Birmingham / Chris Paul Curtis. The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Yankee girl / Mary Ann Rodman. When her FBI-agent father is transferred to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, eleven-year-old Alice wants to be popular but also wants to reach out to the one black girl in her class in a newly-integrated school.