Black History Month


black history month

THE CIVIL RIGHTS COLLECTION

Dig Memphis Collection

Bringing together newspapers, photographs, correspondence, and speeches, the collection illustrates the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis.

THE HALLELUJAH! COLLECTION

Dig Memphis Collection

The Hallelujah! Collection contains production photographs, movie stills, publicity materials, and video discussions of the film’s importance. You can also see our catalog and check the availability of the DVD.

THE BENJAMIN L. HOOKS COLLECTION

Dig Memphis Collection

The Benjamin L. Hooks Collection includes personal material as well official NAACP documents, Freemasons programs, ministry information, photographs, and other miscellaneous materials.

THE M FILES

Dig Memphis Collection

The M Files Collection is the place to find all things Memphis! The collection contains newspaper clippings, photographs, audio/video files, and a collection of African American Portraits, highlighting some of the city’s greatest leaders, thinkers, and doers.

books on african american nonfiction

Libby e-Books and e-Audio

Check out these titles instantly, available on the Libby app. For more information on Libby, visit our eCollection page.

black voices and black history book list

Libby e-Books and e-Audio

Check out these titles instantly, available on the Libby app. For more information on Libby, visit our eCollection page.

commercial appeal archives

Search the Commercial Appeal archives for primary sources of local history.

mark stansbury youtube video

Catch our interview with Mark Stansbury, a fixture in Memphis for decades and avid photographer.


UPcOMING Events

book selections

Browse these titles, place them on hold and pick them up from any library.

celebrating local black authors

Angela kay austin

Beale Street Blues

Darling Crawford lost the man she loved to another woman. Returning to her parents was bad enough, but returning home broke, divorced, and jobless is awful. Right about now she just needs to have fun. A man with a sexy southern drawl. A strong drink. A night of dancing. What happens on Beale Street stays on Beale Street, right?

Sheila e. Bell

My Sister, My Momma, My Wife

Stiles is a proud father, but an indifferent husband, since he can’t stop thinking about his ex-wife who seems to have moved on with her life. When he uncovers buried secrets in his family’s past he must face the truth about his mother, his sister, and his new wife.

marquis cooper

Sista Let Me Tell YA, Bruh If You Only Knew: real talk for parents and educators, from me to you

The author expresses to his readers the importance of understanding the quote; “the past holds the key to the present, and the present holds access to future.” The author explores some historical implications that have had an effect on the current lifestyle of many individuals. 

Rosiland Crossland

And the Truth Shall Set You Free

Star James was sure she had married her soul mate. He was an NBA star. What more could a woman ask for? But with great money comes great problems. Star Jame, Keith James and Elizabeth Jenkins had to find out the hard way….

olivia crump

Conversations with God : a direct line to deliverance

Conversations with God is the voice of the author telling her story of how she allowed sin to take her away from everything she knew and loved. Her marriage, her life, her family, and her beliefs were all compromised. As she tells her story, allow yourself to feel the testimony this author is giving to reach out to that one lost soul. Lost, confused and feeling hopeless, she was at the end.

epiphany z. crush

Love, heartbreaks, epiphanies, and joy : a poetry collection

“Love, Heartbreaks, Epiphanies, and Joy” is a poetry collection that contains 83 poems about love… heartbreaks… epiphanies…and joy. Some of the poems included are based on my own experiences of learning the hard way to love myself and learning how to remove myself from toxic relationships. The book’s purpose is to help others; Also, to shed light on the meaning of love and how to obtain joy in our everyday lives.

karen d’chelle

“Talitha cumi” …little girl rise up! : your man “your boo” or God’s promise:

Life’s circumstances and choices have somehow become chaotic and out of control. However, this little book centers around relief, escape and freedom from pain ONLY when you come into the knowledge of how important you are to yourself, your personal belief and your moral values. It has to be either Your Man, “Your Boo” or God’s promise. Why not God’s promise?

alice faye duncan

Just Like a Mama

Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose. Mama Rose is tender and sweet. She is also as stern and demanding as any good parent should be. Though Carol Olivia misses her mother and father, Mama Rose becomes her “home.” And Carol Olivia concludes that she loves her “just like a mama”.

ashley foxx

Keisha Cane and her very sweet tooth /

Keisha Cane and Her Very Sweet Tooth is a delightful new book for young readers, featuring the memorable and mischievous, Keisha Cane. Keisha’s infamous sweet tooth strikes in the middle of the night and she breaks a cookie jar, sparking a laughable chain of events. Little readers will be able to predict Keisha’s next mishap and will also learn a valuable lesson about making (and fixing) mistakes.

Aram Goudsouzian and Charles W. McKinney Jr.

An Unseen Light : Black Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee

A collection of essays including “The saving of black America’s body and white America’s soul”: the lynching of Ell Persons and the rise of black activism in Memphis / Darius Young — “Since I was a citizen, I had the right to attend the library”: the key role of the public library in the civil rights movement in Memphis / Steven A. Knowlton — “You pay one hell of a price to be black”: Rufus Thomas and the racial politics of Memphis music / Charles Hughes — Black workers matter: the continuing search for racial and economic equality in Memphis / Michael Honey.

james gholson, jr.

Feets: a Civil War novel

A fictional perspective of a young African American youth’s experiences in Memphis during the late stages of the Civil War. His experiences take him from Memphis, to Fort Pillow and end in Nashville, with the Union Victory there against Hood.

Keiya Graves-Garrett

Real to Me

Author uses short stories and various language art skills to illustrate interpersonal skills. “It is the mission of Real to Me to lead, deliver, provide, and encourage the training of children spiritually, academically, and practically through the inspirational word of God, rigorous implementation of national academic standards, and enlightened application of decision making for life. This uniquely hilarious book aims to inspire, educate, and entertain.”

jae henderson

Someday

As a child Tina “Tee” Long dreamed of having it all and as one of Memphis’ most sought after event planners she appears to have achieved it. Even though creating breathtaking events and rubbing elbows with the social elite seems fulfilling, there’s one thing missing from her fairy tale life—her prince charming. 

laura t. johnson

Unbalanced

Catherine “Cat” Palmer is a journalism major at Howard University, and works full-time as a receptionist in an emergency room. Juggling work and studies has left her no time for a social life. When her friends drag her to a frat party one night, she doesn’t expect to be introduced to the campus heartthrob, Dorian Wallace.

lori johnson

A Natural Woman

Aliesha is a dark-skinned beauty who seemingly has it all–a prestigious academic job, a respected role at church, and an adoring boyfriend. All she thinks she needs when she lands in Dante’s barber’s chair is someone capable of handling her natural, unchemically-treated hair. But her encounter with the handsome barber forces her to confront what’s been missing from her life all along.

Queen Titilé Keskessa

Nubian Mermaid Adventures : Maka makes new friends

An adventurous tale about Maka, a nubian mermaid. The author gives important tips and morals on family/parental responsibilities and on children’s safety and discipline.

earnest edward lacey

FreeJoe: a story of faith, love, and perseverance

“FreeJoe” relates the life of Joseph “FreeJoe” Harris, the son of a white plantation owner and a black slave. FreeJoe follows Harris’s life from the presidency of George Washington through the upheaval of the Civil War years and beyond. This is a captivating tale about a man’s faith in God and his determination to use that faith to help his family and his people. Harris’s legacy provides new insight into race relations in America.

patricia lee

My tru-sense : messages of love, hope and healing

Third volume of Tru-Sense messages of love, hope and healing, Patricia Lee has provided pointed commentary on the fundamental issues that all communities need to face, and find constructive ways forward.

katina rankin

Up North, down South : city folk meet country folk

“Many children anticipate and even long for a summer vacation to an exciting destination that they have never visited. This book takes children on a journey across Mississippi, while addressing still-to-common misconceptions about the state in an age-appropriate manner. This book entertains the reader while showing Mississippi is a wonderful state with wonderful people. I believe this book will instill pride in Mississippi’s children, as well as help the children outside of our state gain an appreciation for Mississippi.” – Marcus L. Thompson, Chief Administrative Officer at the Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning

otis sanford

From Boss Crump to King Willie : how race changed Memphis politics

From Boss Crump to King Willie offers an in-depth look at the vital role that race played in the political evolution of Memphis, from the rise of longtime political boss Edward Hull Crump to the election of Dr. Willie Herenton as the city’s first black mayor. Filled with vivid details on the workings of municipal politics, this accessible account by veteran journalist Otis Sanford explores the nearly century-long struggle by African Americans in Memphis to secure recognition from local leaders and gain a viable voice in the city’s affairs.

rochelle stevens

Travel the World by Foot

Rochelle Stevens a Two-Time Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist tells her story about her drive to strive past challenges, perception and struggles to achieve success that goes beyond the playing field. This memoir touches inspiring athletes, children to young adults and corporate audiences with hope and determination. A must read for anyone with aspiration to succeed.

Sheree R. Thomas

Dark matter : a century of speculative fiction from the African diaspora

This volume introduces black science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writers to the generations of readers who have not had the chance to explore the scope and diversity among African-American writers.

martheus wade

Shinobi : ninja princess [graphic novel]

Follows the journeys of 14 year old ninja prodigy Shianndrea Toshigawa. She takes on the trappings of a normal teenager while dealing with the responsibility of a young ninja in training who is hunted by a rival ninja clan.

katrina walker

UnBreakable : 5 husbands, homeless to self-made millionaire, the Katrina Walker story:

UnBreakable is the riveting story of Katrina Walker, a self-made millionaire who went from being an abused teen bride and mother of four, to one of the most successful women in her region. It’s the story of five marriages and a page-turning roller-coaster ride through each of them, including perilous situations that included being penniless, homeless, and ultimately a millionaire. 

larshay watson

Greater Than Myself: A 30 Day Devotional

A unique combination of inspirational poetry with a healthy dose of thought-provoking moments. This stirring devotional will cause you to reflect and inspect your life through the lens of purpose. Each day is packed with a powerful quote, poem, scripture, prayer, and a motivational thought to guide you into forward progress.

more online RESOURCES

U.S. HISTORY (GALE ONEFILE)

U.S. History (Gale OneFile) contains scholarly journals and magazines that can be used by novice historians as well as advanced academic researchers. Updated daily, U.S. History offers balanced coverage of events in U.S. history and scholarly work being established in the field.

Contemporary black biography

Provides biographical profiles of the important and influential persons of African American and/or black heritage. Covers persons of various nationalities in a wide variety of fields, including architecture, art, business, dance, education, fashion, film, industry, journalism, law, literature, medicine, music, politics and government, publishing, religion, science and technology, social issues, sports, television, theater, and others. We have volumes 1 – 104.

Contact us for password if accessing from outside of the Library.

Encyclopedia of African American History

Documents African American culture and political activism from the slavery era through the 20th century.

Contact us for password if accessing from outside of the Library.

world book article on african americans

This article an introduction, African background, the years of slavery, the end of slavery, the growth of discrimination, the civil rights movement, and beyond.

black HISTORY MONTH WEBSITE

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE AND HISTORY

Website for the founders of Black History Month. Find information on past award winners, publications, and events including this year’s virtual festival.

medline plus, Black and African American Health

The 2022 Black History Month theme is Black Health and Wellness. The National Library of Medicine’s consumer health website, MedlinePlus, can be used to explore African American consumer health information.