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Window on the Past: African American Fiction

Books

  • Come August, come freedom : the bellows, the gallows, and the black general Gabriel
    Come August, come freedom : the bellows, the gallows, and the black general Gabriel
    Gigi Amateau.
    Imagines the childhood and youth of "Prosser's Gabriel", a courageous and intelligent blacksmith in post-Revolutionary Richmond, Virginia, who roused thousands of African-Americans slaves like himself to rebel.
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  • No crystal stair : a documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller
    No crystal stair : a documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller
    Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
    In this work of historical fiction, Nelson tells the story of a man with a passion for knowledge and of a bookstore whose influence has become legendary.
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  • Caleb's wars
    Caleb's wars
    by David L. Dudley.
    Fifteen-year-old Caleb's courageous commitment to justice grows as he faces a power struggle with his father, fights to keep both his temper and self-respect in dealing with whites, and puzzles over the German prisoners of war brought to his rural Georgia community during World War II.
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  • Good fortune
    Good fortune
    Noni Carter.
    Brutally kidnapped from her African village and shipped to America, a young girl struggles to come to terms with her new life as a slave, gradually rising from working in the fields to the master's house, secretly learning to read and write, until, risking everything, she escapes to seek freedom in the North.
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  • Forge
    Forge
    Laurie Halse Anderson.
    Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, fifteen-year-old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more.
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  • The rock and the river
    The rock and the river
    Kekla Magoon.
    In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.
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  • Mare's war
    Mare's war
    Tanita S. Davis.
    Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.
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  • Chains
    Chains
    Laurie Halse Anderson.
    After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
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  • Josephine
    Josephine
    Beverly Jenkins.

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  • Fire from the rock
    Fire from the rock
    Sharon M. Draper.
    In 1957, Sylvia Patterson's life--that of a normal African American teenager--is disrupted by the impending integration of Little Rock's Central High when she is selected to be one of the first black students to attend the previously all white school. Includes author's note and related websites.
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  • Mississippi trial, 1955
    Mississippi trial, 1955
    by Chris Crowe.
    In Mississippi in 1955, a sixteen-year-old finds himself at odds with his grandfather over issues surrounding the kidnapping and murder of a fourteen-year-old African American from Chicago.
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  • Copper sun
    Copper sun
    Sharon M. Draper.
    Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.
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  • Fallen angels
    Fallen angels
    Walter Dean Myers.
    Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
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  • Day of tears
    Day of tears
    by Julius Lester.
    When gambling debts and greed enter into the Butler household, Pierce Butler decides to host the biggest slave auction in American history and breaks a promise by selling Emma, his most-valued slave and caretaker of his children--a decision that brings about unthinkable consequences.
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  • Harlem summer
    Harlem summer
    by Walter Dean Myers.
    In 1920s Harlem, sixteen-year-old Mark Purvis, an aspiring jazz saxophonist, gets a summer job as an errand boy for the publishers of the groundbreaking African American magazine, "The Crisis," but soon finds himself on the enemy list of mobster Dutch Shultz.
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Websites

Link TextLink URLLink DescriptionSort Order
Celebrate Black Historyhttp://www.biography.com/blackhistory/index.jspInteractive timeline of African American history and biographical information  
Africans in Americahttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home.htmlAmerica's journey through slavery presented by PBS 
The Harlem Renaissancehttp://www.jcu.edu/harlem/index.htmMultimedia look into the Harlem Renaissance 
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.htmlFirst person accounts of slavery 
Civil Rights Digital Libraryhttp://crdl.usg.edu/?WelcomePrimary sources and other educational materials from and about the civil rights movement1