A Deeper South Bookshelf
This is a list of some of the books that have profoundly informed my work here at A Deeper South. I will update this regularly and add links, but in the meantime, here is a list of Black-owned bookstores. Look for one in your town.
These books range between the academic and general-interest, from the broad to the very specific. If you are looking for an accessible entry point into this literature, I highly recommend Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name.
Arnold, Edwin T. What Virtue There is in Fire: Cultural Memory and the Lynching of Sam Hose (Athens, GA: University of Georgia 2012).
Baldwin, James, The Fire Next Time (New York: Vintage 1992).
Baldwin, James, The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings (New York: Vintage 2010).
Baptist, David E. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (New York: Basic Books 2016)
Blackmon, Douglas. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (New York: Vintage 2008).
Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War and American Memory (Cambridge: Harvard 2001).
Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963 (New York: Simon & Schuster 1988).
Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963–65 (New York: Simon & Schuster 1998).
Branch, Taylor. At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965–1968 (New York: Simon & Schuster 2006).
Burns, Rebecca. Rage in the Gate City: The Story of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot (Athens, GA: UGA Press, 2009).
Carmer, Carl. Stars Fell on Alabama (New York: Blue Ribbon 1934).
Cunningham, David. Klansville, U.S.A: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-era Ku Klux Klan (Oxford: OUP 2014).
Dray, Phillip. At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (New York: Modern Library, 2002).
Du Bois, W. E. B. Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 (New York; Free Press, 1998)
Du Bois, W. E. B. Souls of Black Folk (New York: Library of America 1990).
Eubanks, W. Ralph. A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape (Portland, OR: Timber Press 2021).
Foner, Eric. The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (New York: Norton 2019).
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper Collins 2014).
Foner, Eric. A Short History of Reconstruction (New York: Harper & Row 1990).
Garrow, David. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (New York: Perennial 2004).
Green, Victor Hugo. The Negro-Motorist Green Book [1940 Facsimile Edition] (Camarillo, CA: About Comics 2016).
Greene, Melissa Fay. Praying for Sheetrock: A Work of Non-fiction (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo 1991).
Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (New York: Vintage 1999).
Hampton, Henry, and Steve Fayer. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s (New York: Bantam 1990)
Hayes, John. Hard, Hard Religion: Interracial Faith in the Poor South (Chapel Hill: UNC 2017)
Horwitz, Tony. Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (New York: Vintage 1998).
Jeffries, Hasan Kwame. Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (New York: NYU 2010).
Jennings, Willie James. The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale 2011).
Kenan, Randall. Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (Alfred A. Knopf 1999).
Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (New York: Bold Type Books 2016).
Kendi, Ibram X., and Keisha N. Blain, eds. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (New York: One World, 2021).
King, Gilbert. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America (New York: Harper Perennial 2013).
Kruse, Kevin M. White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton: Princeton 2005).
Kytle, Ethan J. and Blain Roberts. Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy (New York: The New Press 2018)
Landrieu, Mitch. In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History (New York: Penguin 2018).
Lauterbach, Preston. Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers (New York: W. W. Norton & Company 2020).
Leamer, Laurence. The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan (New York: HarperCollins 2016).
Litwack, Leon. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (New York: Vintage 2010).
Lomax, Alan. The Land Where the Blues Began (New York: Delta 1993).
McWhorter, Diane. Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (New York: Simon & Schuster 2013).
Mann, Sally. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (New York: Back Bay Books 2015).
Masur, Kate. Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (New York: W. W. Norton & Company 2021).
Matthews, Donald. At the Altar of Lynching: Burning Sam Hose in the American South (Cambridge: CUP 2018)
Murray, Albert. Collected Essays & Memoirs (New York: Library of America, 2016)
Neiman, Susan. Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019).
Oney, Steve. And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank (New York: VIntage, 2003).
Oshinsky, David M. “Worse than Slavery:” Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (New York: Free Press 1996).
Phillips, Patrick. Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in Georgia (New York: Norton 2017).
Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (New York: Norton 2017).
Smith, Lillian. Killers of the Dream (New York: Norton 1949; 1994)
Sokol, Jason. There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (New York: Vintage 2007)
Terkel, Studs. Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession (New York: Anchor 1992).
Tisby, Jemar. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan 2019).
Twitty, Michael W. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South (New York: HarperCollins 2017).
Tyson, Timothy B. Blood Done Sign My Name (New York: Three Rivers 2004).
Tyson, Timothy B. The Blood of Emmett Till (New York: Simon & Schuster 2017).
Wells, Ida B. The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader (New York: Penguin 2014).
Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (New York: Penguin 2011).
Wilson, Charles Reagan. Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause 1865-1920 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press 2009).
Woodward, C. Vann. The Burden of Southern History (New York: Vintage 1966)
Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow (Oxford: OUP 2001).
Zinn, Howard, SNCC: The New Abolitionists (Chicago: Haymarket 2017).