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African American History

A Guide devoted to the importance of African American History.

The African American Experience

We must understand the experiences of other cultures. One way we can gain a small understanding of other cultures is through reading a great diversity of authors. The #OwnVoices movement is currently one of the best ways to determine diverse reads. It is best to read from #OwnVoices because "there's a long history of majority-group authors (white, abled, straight, cisgender, male, etc.) writing outside their experience to tell diverse stories" (Whaley, 2020).

This brief listing will provide information about fiction and non-fiction titles held by the Kaufman Library. There will also be links to important African American authors. Many of these items are available in print and electronically.

Please note that you might encounter written, photographic, and video content that graphically depicts violence against African Americans. While this content is emotionally and intellectually challenging to interact with, it is important to meaningfully and thoughtfully interact with this content. Please feel free to speak with one of your Librarians to find a great book about the African-American experience.

African American Fiction @ Kaufman Library

This is just a small sample of the fiction offerings at the Daniel J. Kaufman Library. Please see one of your librarians for recommendations!

ALA's Coretta Scott King Awards

Coretta Scott King Book Awards logoIn 1969, the American Library Association created the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. These awards were created to celebrate African American authors and illustrators of children's and Young Adult Literature who appreciate African American culture and human values. The award is dedicated to the honor and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King and their dedication to pursuing non-violent social change. 

The winners of this award from 1970 to present are some of the most influential African American authors. Please consult the list of Coretta Scott King Award winners to find one of your next great reads!

African American Non-Fiction @ Kaufman Library

 African Americans have been present for every moment in our country's history. To understand the importance of African American contributions, we must read widely about topics outside of our present realities. One way to do this is to read nonfiction with open minds, empathy, and understanding. Here are some nonfiction selections about the importance of African American contributions to the United States, presented by the Daniel J. Kaufman Library. 

African-American Authors

In order to find more African American narratives, the Daniel J. Kaufman Library staff encourage you to seek out African American authors for more #OwnVoice narratives. A small selection of African American authors and their official websites are below: