Biography & Autobiography - Cultural Heritage

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The Life and Times of Frederick Dougl...

Frederick Douglass

Born around 1817 in Maryland, Frederick Douglass was a former plantation slave who went on to become a brilliant writer and eloquent orator. In this amazing first-hand narrative, published in 1881, he vividly recounts his early years,...

Published: Dec 2003

A Song Flung Up to Heaven

Maya Angelou

When this volume of her autobiography opens, Angelou is returning home from Africa to work alongside Malcolm X. However, she shortly thereafter learns of his assassination and begins her dark journey through the violent terrain of the...

Published: Jan 2002

Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughte...

Essie Mae Washington-Williams

The illegitimate half African-American daughter of the southern Senator best known for his twenty-four-hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 reveals the discrepancies between the father she knew and his public persona, ...

Published: Feb 2006

Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

Kao Kalia Yang

In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmo...

Published: Apr 2008

Nobody Knows My Name

James A. Baldwin

Told with Baldwin's characteristically unflinching honesty, this collection of illuminating, deeply felt essays examines topics ranging from race relations in the United States to the role of the writer in society, and offers personal...

Published: Dec 1992

Manchild in the Promised Land

Claude Brown

One of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time, Manchild in the Promised Land is a seminal work of modern literature published during a literary era marked by the ascendance of black writers like Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison,...

Published: Jan 2012

The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.,...

Martin Luther King

Back in print in this handy pocket paperback format, ideal for Martin Luther King's Birthday (January 15) and Black History Month. (February). Over 200,000 copies sold--this perennial classic belongs in every home, school and library....

Published: Apr 2001

The Color of Water 10th Anniversary E...

James McBride

A young black man’s search to uncover his white mother’s past and his own identity. Born in Poland, the daughter of a rabbi, James McBride’s mother grew up in the Southern United States, ran away to Harlem, married a...

Published: Jan 2006

Black Like Me (50th Anniversary Editi...

John Howard Griffin

This American classic has been corrected from the original manuscripts and indexed, featuring historic photographs and an extensive biographical afterword.

Published: Oct 2010

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Mem...

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist.  Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to pro...

Published: Oct 2011

No Disrespect

Sister Souljah

Rapper, activist, and hip-hop rebel, Sister Souljah possesses the most passionate and articulate voice to emerge from the projects. Now she uses that voice to deliver what is at once a fiercely candid autobiography and a survival manu...

Published: Jan 1996

Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography ...

Rebecca Walker

Hailed as 'compelling' by The Washington Post and 'stunningly honest' by The San Francisco Chronicle, this memoir has hit bestseller lists and earned critical praise from coast to coast. Rebecca Walker was born in 1969 to author Alice...

Published: Jan 2002


FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTIONSolitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement―in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in ...

Published: Feb 2020

Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughte...

June Cross

A powerful memoir about the complicated but ultimately loving relationship between a black daughter and her white mother Secret Daughter is a deftly drawn and moving portrait of a childhood spent in two very different worlds: one w...

Published: May 2007

Black Boy

Richard Wright

Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi amid poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a 'drunkard,' hanging about in taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self...

Published: Apr 2007

The Yellow House: A Memoir

Sarah M. Broom

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSLLER Winner of the 2019 National Book Award in Nonfiction A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New O...

Published: Jun 2020

Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of ...

James S. Hirsch

In 1967, the black boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter and a young acquaintance, John Artis, were wrongly convicted of triple murder by an all-white jury in Paterson, New Jersey. Over the next decade, Carter gradually amassed convincing ev...

Published: Oct 2000

Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of th...

John Lewis

The son of an Alabama sharecropper, and now a sixth-term United States Congressman, John Lewis has led an extraordinary life, one that found him at the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the late '50s and '60s. As Chairman of t...

Published: Oct 1999

White Like Her: My Family's Story of ...

Gail Lukasik

As seen on The Today Show and in the Washington Post's most inspiring stories of the year! “Important in helping us understand America’s complex racial history.”—Kenyatta D. Berry, Host of PBS&rsqu...

Published: Feb 2021

My Two Italies

Joseph Luzzi

A charming, informative personal history that blends the anecdotal, historical, and downright unusual The child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning scholar of Italian literature, Joseph Luzzi straddles these two perspectives in...

Published: Jul 2015

The Church of Cheese: Gypsy Ritual in...

Carol Miller

A disapora spread over five continents, Gypsies have yet to enter the American public consciousness, yet they have been arriving since the late sixteenth century. Columbus brought several, forcibly transported to the Colonies, and man...

Published: Jan 2010

The Content of Our Character: A New V...

Shelby Steele

In this controversial essay collection, award-winning writer Shelby Stelle illuminates the origins of the current conflict in race relations--the increase in anger, mistrust, and even violence between black and whites. With candor and...

Published: Jan 1975

Letter to My Daughter

Maya Angelou

For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers.Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals ...

Published: Oct 2009

Wendy's Got the Heat

Wendy Williams

Traces the life and career of the radio diva and VH1 Fashion Awards commentator, describing her childhood in a conservative and predominantly white community, college education, efforts to succeed in the male-dominated radio industry,...

Published: Aug 2004

Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington,...

Deborah Davis

In this revealing social history, one remarkable White House dinner becomes a lens through which to examine race, politics, and the lives and legacies of two of America's most iconic figures. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invi...

Published: Feb 2013

The Negro Travelers' Green Book: 1954...

Victor H. Green

In the segregated US of the mid-twentieth century, African-American travelers could have a hard time finding towns where they were legally allowed to stay at night and hotels, restaurants, and service stations willing to serve them. V...

Published: Jan 2019

Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Maki...

Carol Jenkins

The grandson of slaves, born into poverty in 1892 in the Deep South, A. G. Gaston died more than a century later with a fortune worth well over $130 million and a business empire spanning communications, real estate, and insurance. Ga...

Published: Jan 2005

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Manning Marable

"An extraordinary portrait of a man and his time. . . .A masterpiece." -San Francisco ChronicleThe late Manning Marable's acclaimed biography of Malcolm X finally does justice to one of the most influential and controversi...

Published: Jan 2012

Life on the Color Line: The True Stor...

Gregory Howard Williams

The author recounts the shock he experienced when he learned that his father's relatives in Muncie, Indiana, were poor and black, and describes the prejudice that he and his brother endured from both sides. Reprint. NYT.

Published: Feb 1996

A Piece of Cake: A Memoir

Cupcake Brown

There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.Cupcake Brown...

Published: Apr 2007
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