10 books like The Juneteenth Story

By Alliah L. Agostini,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Juneteenth Story. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Slavery by Another Name

By Douglas A. Blackmon,

Book cover of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites in the U.S. is enormous! Whites have 10 times the wealth as Blacks. The disparity is not because Whites are smarter or have worked harder. This book does a masterful job of clearly explaining one of the reasons behind the wide wealth gap. 

Most people are aware of the fact that 246 years of slavery was a successful government policy that intentionally enriched Whites while simultaneously impoverishing Blacks. But most people are not aware that a new system with the same dual objectives, followed the abolition of slavery in 1865. This book tells the story of Black Codes, Vagrancy Laws, and convict leasing that occurred for 60 years after the passage of the 13th Amendment, emancipating Black enslaved people. These government supported policies replaced slavery as the new program to subsidize White wealth creation at the expense of millions of Blacks. 

Douglas Blackman…

Slavery by Another Name

By Douglas A. Blackmon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Slavery by Another Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This groundbreaking historical expose unearths the lost stories of enslaved persons and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter in “The Age of Neoslavery.”

By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented Pulitzer Prize-winning account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

Following the Emancipation Proclamation, convicts—mostly black men—were “leased” through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments. Using a…


The Warmth of Other Suns

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Book cover of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Wilkerson embeds us with some of the millions of Black men and women who fled the Jim Crow South between 1915 and 1970, describing communities abandoned and hopes realized or disappointed. Robert Foster left his Louisiana town for Southern California, where he navigated new forms of racism to establish himself as a surgeon and prominent social figure. Ida Mae Gladney took her family from Mississippi to Chicago, where lodging, segregation, and “mind-numbing labor” scarcely improved on that of the South. But it was in Chicago that Ida Mae was first able to vote. Through the lives of people like these, Wilkerson paints a sweeping history of twentieth-century America that tells us as much about a country and an era as Tolstoy did in War and Peace.

The Warmth of Other Suns

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Warmth of Other Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…

The Color of Money

By Mehrsa Baradaran,

Book cover of The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

This is one of my all-time favorite books! It was given to me by my nephew Kareem, in 2018. I have read it cover to cover, twice. My handwritten notes are on over 50% of the pages. 

The research that Baradarian put into this book is unparalleled. The book is chockful of facts and data that I never knew about Black history. For example, her research uncovered the fact that the forty acres of land that were to go to the 4 million formerly enslaved Black people after the Civil War was to be sold, not given to Blacks at $1.25 per acre. 

This book is filled with an abundance of typically unknown data, as she admirably tells the history of Blacks in America, through the Black banking industry’s chronicles. 

In the spirit of full transparency, my love for this book preceded the 2019 interview that I did of Baradarian…

The Color of Money

By Mehrsa Baradaran,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Color of Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Read this book. It explains so much about the moment...Beautiful, heartbreaking work."
-Ta-Nehisi Coates

"A deep accounting of how America got to a point where a median white family has 13 times more wealth than the median black family."
-The Atlantic

"Extraordinary...Baradaran focuses on a part of the American story that's often ignored: the way African Americans were locked out of the financial engines that create wealth in America."
-Ezra Klein

When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, the black community owned less than 1 percent of the total wealth in America. More than 150 years later, that number…


Dreams of Africa in Alabama

By Sylviane A. Diouf,

Book cover of Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America

After reading Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, I wanted to learn more. This book, about the last Black person captured in Africa and enslaved in America, was astounding, but short. 

My thirst for more about the protagonist, Kossolo Lewis, led me to Dreams of Africa in Alabama. This book gives excellent riveting details about slavery, the crime against humanity. It also fascinatingly tells the detailed story, supported by research of facts and data about a crime against Federal U.S. laws, how Mr. Lewis was taken from Africa in the 1850’s, more than 4 decades after the U.S. prohibited the importation of people to be enslaved in 1808. 

By reading this book, I was exposed to real life stories about a White family, who broke laws, so they could enrich themselves off of the suffering of other humans. But even more importantly, the book chronicles Mr. Lewis’ life after slavery.…

Dreams of Africa in Alabama

By Sylviane A. Diouf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dreams of Africa in Alabama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1860, more than fifty years after the United States legally abolished the international slave trade, 110 men, women, and children from Benin and Nigeria were brought ashore in Alabama under cover of night. They were the last recorded group of Africans deported to the United States as slaves. Timothy Meaher, an established Mobile businessman, sent the slave ship, the Clotilda , to Africa, on a bet that he could "bring a shipful of niggers
right into Mobile Bay under the officers' noses." He won the bet.

This book reconstructs the lives of the people in West…

On Juneteenth

By Annette Gordon-Reed,

Book cover of On Juneteenth

In this brief and powerful book, esteemed historian Annette Gordon-Reed focuses on “Juneteenth”, the day (June 19, 1865) when enslaved workers in Texas were declared free by the Union Army following the conclusion of the Civil War. For Gordon-Reed, a black Texas woman, Juneteenth, recently declared a federal holiday, offers a starting point for pondering the legacy of slavery and emancipation for Afro-Texans and for thinking more broadly about the tension between history and myth. In the course of all this, Gordon-Reed tells her own personal story about navigating the often fraught terrain of her state’s legacy of racial exploitation.

On Juneteenth

By Annette Gordon-Reed,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Juneteenth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Interweaving American history, dramatic family chronicle and searing episodes of memoir, On Juneteenth recounts the origins of the holiday that celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. A descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas in the 1850s, Annette Gordon-Reed, explores the legacies of the holiday.

From the earliest presence of black people in Texas-in the 1500s, well before enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown-to the day in Galveston on 19 June 1865, when General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery, Gordon-Reed's insightful and inspiring essays present the saga of a "frontier" peopled by…


Sister of Mine

By Sabra Waldfogel,

Book cover of Sister of Mine

The Jewish people have been persecuted—even enslaved—for millennia. One would hope this would make them more compassionate toward another persecuted and enslaved group, American Blacks. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the way human nature works. To quote Frederick Douglass: “Everybody, in the south, wants the privilege of whipping somebody else.” If humans can get ahead by oppressing someone else, we too often do. With her fictional Jewish family and the Blacks they enslave—one of whom is also their blood kin—Waldfogel explores this terrible truth. A hundred and fifty years after its setting, this novel challenged me to be a better human.

Sister of Mine

By Sabra Waldfogel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sister of Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When two Union soldiers stumble onto a plantation in northern Georgia on a warm May day in 1864, the last thing they expect is to see the Union flag flying high-or to be greeted by a group of freed slaves and their Jewish mistress. Little do they know that this place has an unusual history.

Twelve years prior, Adelaide Mannheim-daughter of Mordecai, the only Jewish planter in the county-was given her own maid, a young slave named Rachel. The two became friends, and soon they discovered a secret: Mordecai was Rachel's father, too.

As the country moved toward war, Adelaide…

In the Matter of Color

By A. Leon Higginbotham,

Book cover of In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process 1: The Colonial Period

We may think we know about colonial America. Higginbotham reveals that we are just beginning to learn about this geographical space and this period of history. Higginbotham shows another ‘America,’ still dominated by the laws of European countries such as Britain, France, the Dutch Republics, and Spain. This is an America that may be unfamiliar to us and it is a place where Africans could still negotiate their status in the courts of law. This book offers a very detailed exploration of a fascinating moment in American history. And shows us what the founding of the United States of America really meant to the Africans, who had already been there for more than a hundred years. 

In the Matter of Color

By A. Leon Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Matter of Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.,

Book cover of The Prophets

This novel is a fever dream of the best kind. The Prophets is unapologetically about love, how rare and revolutionary it is. How selfish, envious others can see it as a threat—especially when that love is between two enslaved Black men. As powerful as Isaiah and Samuel’s story is, the chapters set in Africa held me equally entranced. As I read, I kept shouting “Yes!” in my head. I felt like I’d been waiting for this book for years. I don’t reread novels often, but this is one to savor.

The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prophets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*

'This visionary and deeply evocative debut carves a radiant love story out of the bleakest of landscapes.' Waterstones - Best Books to Look Out For in 2021

'An Outstanding novel' Guardian
'A lyrical, poetic novel' Independent
'Epic in its scale' Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
'A rare marvel' Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
'Magisterial' Courttia Newland, author of A River Called Time
'A spellbinding debut' COSMO
'Ambitious and intense' Vanity Fair

In this blinding debut, Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with the vivid prose…


Flight and Rebellion

By Gerald W. Mullin,

Book cover of Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

A classic, this book was one of the first to challenge prevailing white attitudes about the assimilation and acculturation of Africans and African Americans to life under slavery. Mullin describes how greater levels of assimilation translated into more effective means of protest.

Flight and Rebellion

By Gerald W. Mullin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flight and Rebellion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Douglass' Women

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Book cover of Douglass' Women

Escaping slavery doesn’t make you a saint. Even Frederick Douglass, one of the world’s most famous former slaves, one of history’s greatest writers, orators, and human rights activists, had feet of clay. His wife Anna was a free Black woman who helped him escape bondage and bore him five children. Yet Frederick cheated on her in a decades-long affair with a White German woman—who is somehow equally sympathetic here. I finished this novel loving all three of these flawed, complex characters, all of whom were real people. Rhodes’s psychological insight leaves me in awe.

Douglass' Women

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Douglass' Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2003 PEN OAKLAND JOSEPHINE MILES AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING WRITING AND THE BLACK CAUCUS OF THE ALA LITERARY AWARD
Frederick Douglass, the great African-American abolitionist, was a man who cherished freedom in life and in love. In this ambitious work of historical fiction, Douglass' passions come vividly to life in the form of two women: Anna Murray Douglass and Ottilie Assing.
Douglass' Women is an imaginative rendering of these two women -- one black, the other white -- in Douglass' life. Anna, his wife, was a free woman of color who helped Douglass escape as a slave. She…

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