Celebrate Juneteenth!

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Beloved : a novel

Beloved : a novel

Morrison, Toni, author
2004

Sethe has escaped from slavery but is still haunted by her memories.

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Conjure women

Conjure women

Atakora, Afia, author
2020

After the Civil War, midwife May Belle, her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother's footsteps, and their master's daughter Varina are all affected in different ways by the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.

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The fire next time

The fire next time

Baldwin, James, 1924-1987, author.
1993

The powerful evocation of a childhood in Harlem that helped to galvanize the early days of the civil rights movement examines the deep consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic.

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Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom

Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom

Blight, David W., author
2018

The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time.

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Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Ellison, Ralph.
2021

Tell me what happened while there's still time, demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerant Negro preacher whom he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young man, Sunraider was Bliss, an orphan taken in by Hickman and raised to be a preacher like himself. Bliss's history encompasses the joys of young southern boyhood, bucolic days as a filmmaker, lovemaking in a field in the Oklahoma sun. And behind it all lies a mystery: how did this chosen child become the man who would deny everything to achieve his goals? With an updated introduction and additional notes by John F. Callahan, who first compiled Juneteenth out of thousands of manuscript pages in 1999, and a new introduction by Charles R. Johnson, this brilliantly crafted, moving, and wise novel is the work of an American master.

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The nickel boys : a novel

The nickel boys : a novel

Whitehead, Colson, 1969- author
2019

The story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

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She came to slay : the life and times of Harriet Tubman

She came to slay : the life and times of Harriet Tubman

Dunbar, Erica Armstrong.
2019

"Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before."-- Publisher's description.

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There will be no miracles here

There will be no miracles here

Gerald, Casey, author
2018

Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey--following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team--is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he's never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme.

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Washington Black

Washington Black

Edugyan, Esi, author
2018

Eleven-year-old George Washington Black - or Wash - a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is intially terrified when he is chosen to be the manservant of his master's brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is intiated into a world where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, they must abandon everything and flee. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.

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The water dancer

The water dancer

Coates, Ta-Nehisi, author
2019

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage--and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child--but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. So begins an unexpected journey into the covert war on slavery that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North.

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