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Books About New York City's Black History

The Harlem Renaissance is often the starting point for discussions about black history in New York City. But African-Americans had been living in New York for three hundred years by the time that waves of southern blacks began to move north after World War One, and new groups of black African and West Indian immigrants continue to bring their own histories and cultures to New York. The variety and richness of black communities in New York has led to an enormous number of books exploring various aspects of black history in New York City.

These titles include:

(know other books about black history in New York City? Discuss them on our message board)

Early History:

The Great New York Conspiracy: Slavery, Crime And Colonial Law (University Press Of Kansas; May 2003) by Peter Charles Hoffer

In The Shadow Of Slavery: African Americans In New York City 1626 - 1863 (University of Chicago Press, December 2002) Leslie M. Harris

Root And Branch: African Americans In New York And East Jersey 1613 - 1863 (University Of North Carolina Press; October, 1999) by Graham Russell Hodges

Rumor Of Revolt: The Great Negro Plot In Colonial New York (University Of Massachusetts Press, January 1985) by Thomas Davis

Somewhat More Independent: The End Of Slavery In New York City, 1770 � 1810 (University of Georgia Press, December 1991) by Shane White

Stories Of Freedom In Black New York (Harvard University Press, November 2002) by Shane White

Harlem And Its Renaissance:

Black Manhattan (Da Capo Press, reprint 1991) by James Weldon Johnson

Harlem Between Heaven And Hell ((University Of Minnesota Press, November 2002) by Monique Taylor

Harlem On My Mind: Cultural Capital Of Black America, 1900- 1968 (New Press, April 1995) edited by Allon Schoener

Harlem: On The Verge (Quantuck Lane Press & the Mill Road Collaborative; November, 2003) by Alice Attie

The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930 (Pantheon Books; 1996), by Steven Watson

Harlem Riot of 1943 (Temple University Press, June 1977) by Dominic Capeci

Harlem: The Making Of The Ghetto (Dee, Ivan R. Publisher, March 1996) by Gilbert Osofksy

Harlemworld: Doing Race And Class In Contemporary America (University Of Chicago Press, October 2001) by John Jackson, Jr.

Looking For Harlem (Pluto Press, June 2000) by Maria Balshaw

Spirit of Harlem: A Portrait Of America's Most Exciting Neighborhood (Doubleday, November, 2003) by Craig Marberry, Michael Cunningham

When Harlem Was in Vogue (Penguin USA; 1997), by David Levering Lewis


Gangsters and Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age, and the Birth of Broadway (Four Walls Eight Windows; November 2003) by Jerome Charyn

Just Before Jazz: Black Musical Theater in New York, 1890-1915(Smithsonian Institution Press; Reprint edition October 1994), by Thomas Laurence Riis

Jazz: A History of the New York Scene (The Roots of Jazz) (DaCapo Press; October 1981), by Samuel Barclay Charters, Leonard Kunstadt

52nd Street, the Street of Jazz (DaCapo Press; April 1988), by Arnold Shaw, Abel Green

Civil Rights:

African American Women And Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA 1905 - 1945 (Harvard University Press; September 1997) by Judith Weisenfeld

Knocking At Our Own Door: Milton A. Galamison And The Struggle To Integrate New York City Schools(Lexington Books, September 2000) by Clarence Taylor and Milton Galmison

Nobody Gave Me Permission: Memoirs Of A Harlem Activist (Xilbris Corporation, November 2000) by Ora Mobley Sweeting and Ezekiel Mobley

To Stand And Fight: The Struggle For Civil Rights In Post-War New York (Harvard University Press, April 2003) by Martha Biondi

Black Immigration:

Carribbean New York: Black Immigrants and The Politics Of Race (Cornell University Press, November 1992) by Philip Kasinitz

In The Company of Black Men: The African Influence On African American Culture In New York City (New York University Press, November 2001) by Craig Steven Wilder

Islands In the City: West Indian Migration to New York (University Of California Press, August 2001) edited by Nancy Foner

Making The Gods In New York: The Yoruba Religion In The African American Community (Taylor & Francis, Inc, December 1997) by Mary Cuthrell Curry

Money Has No Smell: The Africanization of New York City (University Of Chicago Press, March 2002) by Paul Stroller

Still The Promised City? African-Americans and New Immigrants In Post-industrial New York (Harvard University Press, Reprint, 1999) by Roger David Waldinger

Trends In Ethnic Identification Among Second-Generation Haitians In New York City (Greenwood Publishing Group, June 2001) by Flore Zephir

Race Relations:

Bitter Fruit: The Politics Of Black-Korean Conflict In New York City (Yale University Press, February 2003) by Clair Jean Kim

Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews And The Changing Face Of The Ghetto (University of Chicago Press, May 2003) Wendell Pritchett

Civility In the City: Blacks, Jews and Koreans In Urban America (Harvard University Press, September 2002) by Jennifer Lee

A Covenant With Color: Race And Social Power In Brooklyn (Columbia University Press, January 2001) by Craig Steven Wilder

The Future Of All Of Us: Race And Neighborhood Politics In New York City (Cornell University Press, March 2000) by Roger Sanjek

Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts In Chicago And New York In The Early Twentieth Century (Columbia University Press, April 1997) by Kevin Mumford

No Fire Next Time: Black-Korean Conflicts And The Future Of America's Cities (Cornell University Press, September 2003) by Patrick Joyce

The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites And The Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis (Yale University Press, December 2002) by Jerald Podair

Why They Couldn't Wait: A Critique Of the Black-Jewish Conflict Over Community Control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville 1967 � 1971 (Taylor & Francis Inc., August 2001) by Jack Donner

Tour Books:

Black New York(Hippocrene Books, November 1993) by Joann Biondi and Jim Haskins

Discovering Black New York: A Guide To The City's Most Important African-American Landmarks(Kensington Publishing Corporation, November 1999) by Linda Tarrant-Reid

Travel Guide To The Harlem Renaissance (Gale Group, November 2003) by Stuart Kallen


The Black Churches Of Brooklyn (Columbia University Press, October 1994) by Clarence Taylor

Black Corona: Race And The Politics Of Place In An Urban Community (Princeton University Press, August 1999) by Steven Gregory

The Black New Yorkers: The Schomburg Illustrated Chronology: 400 Years Of African American History (New York Public Library, October 2001) by Howard Dodson, Christopher Moore, Robert Yancy

Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story Of New York's African Burial Ground (Henry Holt & Co., November 1997) by Joyce Hanson

Brooklyn Kings: New York City's Black Bikers (powerhouse Cultural Entertainment, August 2000) by Greg Tate, Martin Dixon (photographer)

Singing In The Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets In New York City (University Of Pennsylvania Press, June 1991)by Ray Allen and Patrick Mullen (editor)

Autobiographies Of (At Least Part-Time) New Yorkers

The Heart Of A Woman(Bantam, Reissue September 1982) by Maya Angelou

Manchild In the Promised Land (Simon & Schuster, May 1999) by Claude Brown

Miles: The Autobiography Of Miles Davis (Touchstone, 1989) by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe

Big Sea: An Autobiography (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 1993) by Langston Hughes

Dust Tracks On A Road: An Autobiography (HarperCollins, Revised Edition April 1996) by Zora Neale Hurston, edited by Henry Louis Gates

The Autobiography Of Malcolm X (Random House, April 1975) by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

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