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#CharlestonSyllabus Research Guide

A curated guide on racial violence and race relations in the US based on readings compiled by African-American scholars following the devastating events of June 2015 in Charleston, SC.

General Overviews

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power (1969)

Howell Raines, My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered (1977)

Clayborne Carson, In Struggle:  SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981)

Aldon D. Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change (1984)

David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1986)

David J. Garrow, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Spirit of Leadership,” Journal of American History, Vol. 74 (1987): 438-447.

Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr.  (1987)

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson and David J. Garrow, The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It : The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (1987)

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: American in the King Years, 1954-1963 (1988)

Clayborne Carson, The Eyes on the Prize: Civil Rights Reader (1991)

William Van Deburg,  New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975 (1992)

David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement (1994)

John Dittmer, Local People: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (1994)

Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (1995)

Gerald Horne, Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s (1995)

Robert F. Williams, Negroes with Guns (1998)

Chana Kai Lee, For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (1999)


Bruce Nelson, Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality (2001)

Bettye Collier-Thomas and V. P. Franklin, eds., Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement (2001)

Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (2003)

Martha Biondi, To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City (2003)

Lance Hill,  The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (2004)

Matthew Countryman, Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia (2005)

Clive Webb, Massive Resistance: Southern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction (2005)

Peniel E. Joseph, Waiting ‘til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (2006)

Thomas Jackson, From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice (2007)

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 (2008)

Thomas Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (2008)

Hasan Jeffries, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (2009)

Akinyele Umoja, We Will Shoot Back Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement (2013)