The Grio: 15 Black histories to read beyond Black History Month

A deep dive into mid-century African American newspapers, exploring how Black pulp fiction reassembled genre formulas in the service of racial justiceWith only 28 days each year devoted to reflecting on the history and contributions of Black Americans, it’s impossible to fit in the full scope of the Black experience in America. But while bestselling books like The 1619 ProjectFour Hundred SoulsHow the Word Is Passed, and The Warmth of Other Suns have expanded our understanding of our collective trajectory since the first slave ships reached American shores, there are many other narratives to explore.

Whether reflecting on our tumultuous but still growing political impact or our indelible influence on pop culture, there is an abundance of written and visual accounts of our rich and varied history. With that in mind—and in no particular order—we’ve compiled a list of fifteen historically relevant books guaranteed to inspire any month of the year.

Pulp fiction wasn’t just for white folks. In academic Brooks E. Hefner‘s exploration of “a rich archive of African American genre fiction from the 1920s through the mid-1950s,” he reveals Black pulp fiction to be a creative response to the suppression of the era and a vehicle for imagining what racial justice in America might look like. As the fight for equality evolves in tandem with a new era of Black speculative fiction, fans of Lovecraft Country to the films of Jordan Peele can connect those contemporary works to their origins in this study of how it all began.

Read the full list at The Grio.

University of Minnesota Press Podcast


Art and Posthumanism: Cary Wolfe in conversation with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard.


Life in Plastic: Petrochemical fantasies and synthetic sensibilities, with Caren Irr, Lisa Swanstrom, Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, and Daniel Worden.


Live: A book launch for We Are Meant to Rise at Next Chapter Booksellers features Carolyn Holbrook, David Mura, Douglas Kearney, Melissa Olson, Said Shaiye, and Kao Kalia Yang.