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Black History Month

In celebration of Black history, heritage, and culture, enjoy Santa Ana Public Library’s collection of books, movies, and e-resources.

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This Black History Month, we are celebrating and honoring the impact of African Americans on our history. Join us as we learn about the influence of the Black diaspora in art, music, culture, and more. Sign up and join today!

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Books for Adults

Truths We Hold Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots

by Jerkins, Morgan

Between 1916 and 1970, six million black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest in a movement known as The Great Migration. But while this event transformed the complexion of America and provided black people with new economic opportunities, it also disconnected them from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity, argues Morgan Jerkins. In this fascinating and deeply personal exploration, she recreates her ancestors' journeys across America, following the migratory routes they took from Georgia and South Carolina to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California.


Truths We Hold The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

by Payne, Les

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X―all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction.


Truths We Hold Black Buck

by Askaripour, Mateo

For fans of Sorry to Bother You and Wolf of Wall Street: a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young black man who accidentally impresses a CEO while serving his Starbucks order, catapulting him into the opportunity of a lifetime-a shot at stardom as the lone black salesman at an eccentric, mysterious, and wildly successful startup where, he will soon learn, nothing is as it seem


Truths We Hold Black Bottom Saints: A Novel

by Randall, Alice

An enthralling literary tour-de-force that pays tribute to Detroit's legendary neighborhood, a mecca for jazz, sports, and politics, Black Bottom Saints is a powerful blend of fact and imagination reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's classic novel Ragtime and Marlon James' Man Booker Award-winning masterpiece, A Brief History of Seven Killings.


Truths We Hold Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

The story begins in 1619--a year before the Mayflower--when the White Lion disgorges "some 20-and-odd Negroes" onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.


Truths We Hold The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

by Gates, Henry Louis

For the young Henry Louis Gates, Jr., growing up in a small, residentially segregated West Virginia town, the church was a center of gravity--an intimate place where voices rose up in song and neighbors gathered to celebrate life's blessings and offer comfort amid its trials and tribulations. In this tender and expansive reckoning with the meaning of the Black Church in America, Gates takes us on a journey spanning more than five centuries, from the intersection of Christianity and the transatlantic slave trade to today's political landscape.


Truths We Hold Deacon King Kong: A Novel

by McBride, James

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and, in front of everybody, shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride's funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird.


Truths We Hold Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

by Tubbs, Anna Malaika

Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America's racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families' safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers.


Truths We Hold Marcados al nacer: La historia definitiva de las ideas racistas en Estados Unidos

by Kendi, Ibram X.

Tras la elección de Barack Obama, muchos declararon el inicio de una era postracial. Sin embargo, el pensamiento racista, más sofisticado e insidioso que nunca, sigue profundamente arraigado en la sociedad estadounidense. Tal y como argumenta Ibram X. Kendi-la voz más influyente de la lucha antirracista y uno de los referentes actuales del movimiento #BlackLivesMatter-,aunque las ideas racistas se desarrollan, difunden y consagran muy fácilmente, también se las puede desacreditar. Y esto es lo que se propone con Marcados al nacer, una obra maestra galardonada con el National Book Award que derriba la idea, muy asentada, de que el racismo es consecuencia directa de la ignorancia o el odio.


Books for Teens

Truths We Hold Getting Away with Murder

by Crowe, Chris

The kidnapping and violent murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 was and is a uniquely American tragedy. Till, a black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi, when he allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later, his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River.


Truths We Hold Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era

by Taylor, Diane C.

Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era tells the story of one of the most tumultuous and important eras in American history through the lives of five major figures of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s: Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, and John Lewis. Hands-on activities, essential questions, text-to-world connections, and links to online resources encourage readers ages 12 to 15 to explore how the work of these people sparked the passion of a nation and helped change the tide of social injustice in a way that reverberates to this day.


Truths We Hold Run. Book one

by Lewis, John

From the #1 New York Times bestselling, graphic novel series March comes the continuation of the life story of John Lewis and the struggles seen across the United States after the Civil Rights Movement.


Truths We Hold Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

by Obama, Barack

A revealing portrait of a young Black man asking questions about self-discovery and belonging—long before he became one of the most important voices in America. This unique edition includes a new introduction from the author, full-color photo insert, and family tree.


Truths We Hold The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

by Theoharis, Jeanne

Rosa Parks is one of the most well-known Americans today, but much of what is known and taught about her is incomplete, distorted, and just plain wrong. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks shatters the myths that Parks was meek, accidental, tired, or middle class, instead, Parks is revealed as a lifelong freedom fighter whose activism began two decades before her historic stand that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and continued for forty years after.


Truths We Hold The Book of Awesome Black Americans

by Jones, Monique

Black Americans who have shaped their country and beyond. We are familiar with a handful of African Americans who are mentioned in American history books, but there are also countless others who do not get recognized in mainstream media. Their biographies vary greatly, but each one contributes to the course of Black history and its influence on America and the greater world. Their stories encourage teenage boys and girls, to find their own path to change.


Truths We Hold Dear Justyce

by Stone, Nic

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce--the protagonist of Dear Martin--Quan's story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there's a dead cop and a weapon with Quan's prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.


Truths We Hold When You Look Like Us

by Harris, Pamela N.

When you look like us--brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades--everyone else thinks you're trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing black girl from public housing because she must've brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend--a drug dealer--and his friends. But she's been gone too long. Nic, where are you?


Truths We Hold The Black Kids

by Hammonds Reed, Christina

With the Rodney King riots closing in on high school senior Ashley and her family, the privileged bubble she has enjoyed, protecting her from the difficult realities most black people face, begins to crumble.


Truths We Hold A Sitting in St. James

by Williams-Garcia, Rita

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family's objections, to sit for a portrait. While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved, come to light to reveal a true portrait of the Guilberts.


Free Movies and Documentaries on Kanopy

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Truths We Hold I Am Not Your Negro

Directed by Raoul Peck

An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.


Truths We Hold Mavis!

Directed by Jessica Edwards

An award-winning documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the '60s and hits like "I'll Take You There" in the '70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.


Truths We Hold Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Directed by Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack

Distinctly referred to as "a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture," Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou's incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.


Truths We Hold Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

Directed by Tracy Heather Strain

This documentary sheds valuable light on all aspects of Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, including the daunting challenge of securing investment and a venue for this production about a working class Black family, the casting process, artistic debates and finally its public reception.

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