UAB Civil Rights Commemoration Texts and Contexts

Dr. Robert Corley, UAB’s Birmingham historian, has compiled the following list of recommended reading on the Civil Rights Movement. 

Choose a title to view the call number, location, and availability of the book at Mervyn H. Sterne Library. Electronic books (E-book versions) require UAB BlazerID login.


Books on Birmingham and the Civil Rights Movement:
Bass, S. Jonathan. Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr, Eight White Religious Leaders, and the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail." Louisiana University Press, 2001.

Carter, Dan. The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics. Louisiana University Press, 1995.

Clark, E. Culpepper, The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama. University of Alabama Press, 2007.

Eskew, Glenn T. But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movement in the Civil Rights Struggle. University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
(E-book version)

Huntley, Horace, and John W. McKerley.  Foot Soldiers for Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.

Jeffries, Hasan K. Bloody Lowndes: Civil Right and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt. New York: New York University Press, 2009.

King, Martin Luther. Why We Can’t Wait. Penguin Group, 2000. (About the Birmingham Campaign and includes “The Letter from the Birmingham Jail”)

Manis, Andrew M. A Fire You Can’t Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham’s Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. University of Alabama Press, 1999. (E-book version

McWhorter, Diane. Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution. Simon and Schuster, 2001.


Books on the Civil Rights Movement:
Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (E-book version)

Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters : America in the King years, 1954–1963. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire : America in the King years, 1963–1965. Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Branch, Taylor. At Canaan's Edge: America In the King Years, 1965–1968. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Carson, Clayborne; Garrow, David J.; Kovach, Bill; Polsgrove, Carol, eds. Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1941–1963 and Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1963–1973. New York: Library of America, 2003.

Egerton, John. Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

Garrow, David J. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York: William Morrow, 1986.

Katznelson, Ira. When Affirmative Action was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in 20th Century America. W.W. Norton, 2005.

King, Martin Luther, and Washington, James (ed.). A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Harper Collins, 1986.

Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality.   New York, Vintage Books, 1976.

Lewis, David Levering. W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 (1994) and W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919–1963 (2001).

Lewis, John. Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement. Harcourt Brace, 1998. (E-book version)

Marable, Manning. Race, Reform and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945–1982. University Press of Mississippi, 1984.

Marable, Manning. Malcolm X: A Life of Re-invention. Viking Penguin, 2011.

Mohl, Raymond A. South of the South: Jewish Activists and the Civil Rights Movement in Miami, 1945-1960. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004.

Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education, a Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Payne, Charles M. I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle. University of California Press, 2007.

Raines, Howell. My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered. Penguin Group, 1983.

Roberts, Gene and Klibanoff, Hank. The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. Knopf/Doubleday, 2007.

Sokol, Jason. There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945–1975. New York: Knopf, 2006.

Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.

Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Third Revised Edition.  Oxford University Press, 1974.