Black History Month Book Recommendations

In honor of Black History Month, President Vincent Rougeau invited members of the campus community to recommend books that celebrate African American history or have particular meaning to them as we continue to interrogate, reckon with, and better understand our shared American history.

Black History at Holy Cross and in Worcester

  • From Bondage to Belonging: The Worcester Slave Narratives” edited by B. Eugene McCarthy, professor emeritus of English, and Thomas L. Doughton, senior lecturer at the College’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
  • “Fraternity” by Diane Brady
  • First Fruits of Freedom: The Migration of Former Slaves and Their Search for Equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900” by Janette Greenwood, professor of history at Clark University

President Vincent Rougeau's Personal Favorites

  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Recommendations from the Campus Community

  • “We Were Eight Years in Power” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “The Known World” by Edward P. Jones '72
  • “Caste: The Origins of our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  • “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson
  • “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
  • “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
  • “Rediscovering an American Community of Color : The Photographs of William Bullard, 1897-1917” by Nancy Kathryn Burns, Janette Thomas Greenwood
  • “The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition” by Manisha Sinha
  • “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
  • “Stamped” by Jason Reynolds
  • “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the age of Bush, Obama and Trump” by Lonnie G. Bunch III
  • “Moonlight Helmsman: Robert Smalls' Amazing Escape” by Richard Maule
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Remix by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (for children)
  • Four Hundred Souls edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
  • “Martin & Malcolm & America” by James Cone
  • “Prophesy Deliverance!” by Cornel West
  • “Century Cycle” by August Wilson
  • Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil by W.E.B. DuBois
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Freedom in the Making of Western Culture by Orlando Patterson
  • 12 Million Black Voices by Richard Wright

Other Resources from the Campus Community

Materials for the deaf community in celebration of Black Deaf History Month:

Materials from “Cinegogia,” a bilingual Digital Humanities project at Holy Cross focused on Latin American cinema and Afro-descendant representation in Latin American film:

A thematic catalogue from a 2019 Worcester Art Museum exhibition of photographs of Black residents of Worcester, from the turn of the 20th c.: Janette Greenwood and Nancy Burns, 2019, Rediscovering an American Community of Color: the Photographs of William Bullard, 1897-1917

Holy Cross Guide to Antiracism: Juneteenth 

The Equal Justice Initiative