Shop Oakland: Black History Month Reading List

The Visitors Center & Museum Shop at Oakland Cemetery celebrates Black History Month with 10% off all titles related to African American history, through the end of February. Immerse yourself in these newly-released titles that shed light on the voices, struggles, and triumphs throughout history. Historic Oakland Foundation members receive an additional 10% off as well!

Voices Beyond BondageVoices Beyond Bondage: An Anthology of Verse by African Americans in the 19th Century:
The early 19th century birthed the nation’s first black-owned periodicals, the first media spaces to provide primary outlets for the empowerment of African American voices. For many, poetry became this empowerment. Almost every black-owned periodical featured an open call for poetry, and African Americans, both free and enslaved, responded by submitting droves of poems for publication. Yet until now, these poems — and an entire literary movement — have been lost to modern readers. The poems in Voices Beyond Bondage address the horrific and the mundane, the humorous and the ordinary and the extraordinary. Authors wrote about slavery, but also about love, morality, politics, perseverance, nature, and God. These poems evidence authors who were passionate, dedicated, vocal, and above all resolute in a bravery which was both weapon and shield against a world of prejudice and inequity. These authors wrote to be heard; more than 150 years later it is at last time to listen.

Southern Food and Civil RightsSouthern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding The Revolution:
Food has been and continues to be an essential part of any movement for progressive change. From home cooks and professional chefs to local eateries and bakeries, food has helped activists continue marching for change for generations. Atlanta’s Paschal’s restaurant provided safety and comfort food for Civil Rights leaders. Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam operated their own farms, dairies, and bakeries in the 1960’s. “The Sandwich Brigade” organized efforts to feed the thousands at the March on Washington. Author Fred Opie details the ways southern food nourished the fight for freedom, along with cherished recipes associated with the era.

Atlanta and the Civil Rights MovementAtlanta and The Civil Rights Movement 1944-1968:
Since Reconstruction African Americans have served as key protagonists in the rich and expansive narrative of American social protest. Their collective efforts challenged and redefined the meaning of freedom as a social contract in America. During the first half of the 20th century, a progressive group of black business, civic, and religious leaders from Atlanta challenged the status quo by employing a method of incremental gradualism to improve the social and political conditions existent within the city. By the mid-20th century, a younger generation of activists emerged, seeking a more direct and radical approach towards exercising their rights as full citizens. A culmination of the death of Emmitt Till and the Brown decision fostered this paradigm shift by bringing attention to the safety and educational concerns specific to African American youth. Deploying direct-action tactics and invoking the language of civil and human rights, the energy and zest of this generation of activists pushed the modern civil rights movement into a new chapter where young men and women became the voice of social unrest.

Politics Civil Rights and law in Black AtlantaPolitics, Civil Rights, and Law in Black Atlanta:
The Civil Rights movement in Atlanta is most often equated with the tireless work and inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. However, a host of other courageous individuals, both known and unknown, came before, during, and after Dr. King to face the challenges of racism and segregation in the South. This unique pictorial history celebrates these people, their accomplishments, and the legacy they left for today’s African American youth in Atlanta.