New Acquisitions in Black Literature and Culture

Each year the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History adds to library holdings focused on biography, social sciences, and literature & culture of Black history around the state.  Rare or limited edition books are held in the P.K. Yonge Library, while general works are made available for loans and circulation.

Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground

By T. R. Simon (Candlewick reprint edition, May 12, 2020). A sequel to Simon’s 2011 co-authored YA novel with Victoria Bond, Zora and Me featuring Zora Neale Hurston and the historic black Florida town of Eatonville. “An extraordinary, richly imagined coming-of-age story about a young Zora Neale Hurston, the long, cruel reach of slavery, and the power of community.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Zora and Me Cover

The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea

By Christopher J. Lebron (Oxford University Press, revised second edition, 2021). Lebron is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, the author of The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice in Our Time, and a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the Boston Review. This introductory history follows the story of the movement starting with the Trayvon Martin case in Florida in 2012.

Cover of Making of Black Lives Matter

Father James Page: An Enslaved Preacher’s Climb to Freedom

By Larry Eugene Rivers (John Hopkins University Press, 2021). This first-of-its-kind biography tells the story of Rev. James Page, who rose from slavery in the nineteenth century to become a religious and political leader among African Americans as well as an international spokesperson for the cause of racial equality.

Detail Father James Page

The Nickel Boys

By Colson Whitehead (Anchor; Reprint edition, June 30, 2020). The Pulitzer Prize Winning novel based on the lived experiences of young African American boys sentenced to detention at the Dozier Reform School in Marianna, Fla.

Nickel Boys detail

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”

By Zora Neale Hurston and Deborah G. Plant (New York, NY: Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2018). “Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Masterpiece.” (Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple ). “Short enough to be read in a single sitting, this book is one of those gorgeous, much too fleeting things…Brimming with observational detail from a man whose life spanned continents and eras, the story is at times devastating, but Hurston’s success in bringing it to light is a marvel.” (NPR)


The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

By Gene Allen Smith (St. Martin’s Press; 1st edition, January 22, 2013). “In The Slaves’ Gamble, Gene Allen Smith richly details the lives of enslaved people struggling for freedom through an array of strategies in a complex war. Thoroughly researched and wide-ranging, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian frontier, and from the sunny Caribbean to dank Dartmoor Prison, this superb book illuminates the plight, courage, and resourcefulness of African Americans in the early republic.” ―Alan Taylor, author of The Civil War of 1812

Slaves Gamble

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Jake Gaither, Florida A&M, and the History of Black College Football

By Derrick E. White (University of North Carolina Press; Illustrated edition, August 15, 2019). White highlights the life and career of Jake Gaither to examine an era. “This fascinating social history effectively uses mid-twentieth-century Black college football as a microcosm through which one can understand the larger civil rights struggle. An important contribution to social history.” –Booklist, starred review

Jake Gaither

Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir

By Evelio Grillo (Arte Publico Press, First Edition,January 1, 2000). “This work presents a seldom-made contrast, that of the differing experiences of a black man in Cuba and in the United States. Grill, a community organizer and political activist, often tells us of the milder divisions between blacks and whites on his home island and of the much tougher, more inextricable racial barriers for blacks in “el Norte.” Not only do whites abuse blacks in Tampa but U.S. blacks also set up hurdles for immigrant blacks such as Grillo and his family.” — Library Journal

Black Cuban Black American


American Beach

Phelts, Marsha Dean
An American beach for African Americans. Published: Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997. LIBRARY WEST and SPECIAL COLL. F319.A45 P47 1997
American Beach has been and is one of the major fights to preserve a historic black town from encroaching development on super-wealthy Amelia Island.

Rymer, Russ
American Beach: a saga of race, wealth, and memory. Published: New York, Harper Collins, 1998. LIBRARY WEST F319.A45 R95x 1998


Sandra W. Rooks and Randolph Lightfoot

Clearwater, Florida (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Press, 2002). F319.C52 R66 2002


Jenkins, Lizzie PRB
Alachua County Florida Published: Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, Inc., 2007 SPECIAL COLL. Florida history F317 .A4 J46 2007
A pictorial history focusing on African American families and businesses.

Caudle, Everett W.  Postbellum race relations in Gainesville, Fla.: a study of social, economic, and institutional arrangements, 1865-1877 Published: Gainesville, Fla.:, 1986 SPECIAL COLL. Florida history F.2 G14 C371p
Vargas, Manuel
“Who took our dreams away?”: a preliminary report on the relationship between the Universityof Florida and the Black community in Alachua County, Florida. Published: Gainesville, Fla.: 1987 SPECIAL COLL. Florida History F.2 A31 V297w and University Archives F319 .G14 V371
Miller, Edward Loring
Negro life in Gainesville: a sociological study. Published: Gainesville, University of Florida, 1938. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 G14 M647n Florida History

Miller conducted his research, including oral histories, in the mid-1930s. Some of his findings are useful for the history of black neighborhoods.

Landers, Jane
The Negro community in Gainesville, 1868-1890. Published: 1982? SPECIAL COLL. F.2 G14 L255n Florida History

Prof. Jane Landers (Vanderbilt) did this essay while she was a history student at UF and it is still heavily cited.

The struggle for survival: a partial history of the Negroes of Marion County, 1865 to 1976. Edited and prepared by Central Florida Community College. Published: Ocala, Fla.: Black Historical organization of Marion County, c. 1977. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 M34 C397s Florida History
Parker, Idella, with Bud and Liz Crussell
Idella Parker, From Reddick to Cross Creek. Publisher: Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 1999. LIBRARY WEST and SPECIAL COLL. PS3535.A845 Z842

A local best-seller. Idella Parker worked for many years as maid for the author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and has written two biographies about growing up in rural Alachua county, of which this is the most recent.

Levy County

Cohen, Caroline

Levy County, Florida (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Press, 2005). F317.L6 C64 2005 


University of Florida

Stewart-Dowdell, Betty, and Kevin McCarthy
African Americans at the University of Florida. Publisher: Gainesville, Fla: B.J. Stewart-Dowdell, 2003. SPECIAL COLL. LC 2802 .F6 S74 2003 University Archives and Florida History
Online Collection Guide: The Visionaires (Gainesville, Florida) being the papers of Gainesville’s oldest women’s club for women of color.
Online Collection Guide: The A. Quinn Jones Collection being the papers of Prof. A. Quinn Jones, principal of Lincoln High School, together with photos and papers of this historic black school.
Bartley, Abel A.
Keeping the faith : race, politics, and social development in Jacksonville, Florida, 1940-1970. Publisher: Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 2000. SPECIAL COLL. F319.J1 B37 Florida history
Crooks, James B.
Jacksonville: the consolidation story, from civil rights to the Jaguars, foreword by Raymond Arsenault and Gary R. Mormino. Publisher: Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 2004. LIBRARY WEST F319.J1 C765 2004
Cassanello, Robert
African-American protest in Jacksonville, Florida, 1895 to 1920. Published: 1995. SPECIAL COLL. F319.J1 C2772x 1995a Florida History
Cassanello, Robert
The Great Migration, migrants and identity in the making of New South Jacksonville, Florida, 1865-1920.Publisher: Florida State University, 2000. SPECIAL COLL. F319.J1 C37 2000a Florida History
Kenney, Patricia Drozd
LaVilla, Florida, 1866-1887: reconstruction dreams and the formation of a black community. Published: 1990. SPECIAL COLL. F326 K3621 Florida History

LaVilla is much in the news as local community leaders try to preserve the area. It was the location of the Freedmen’s Bureau during Reconstruction and a center of black film and music in the early 1900s. Urban renewal in Jacksonville has destroyed much of the area’s heritage.

Richardson, Barbara Ann
A history of Blacks in Jacksonville, Florida, 1860-1895: a socio-economic and political study. Published: 1975. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 J14 R521h 1977 Florida History
Miami and South Florida
Castillo, Thomas Albert
Big City Days: Race and Labor in Early Miami, 1914-1925. Publisher: Masters Thesis, FIU, 2000. SPECIAL COLL. F319.M6 C36 2000a Florida History
Dunn, Marvin
Black Miami in the twentieth century. Published: Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997. LIBRARY WEST, Reserve (2 Hours) 2 hour checkout
and SPECIAL COLL. F319.M6 D86 1997
Lavender, Abraham D., and Adele S. Newson, Editors
Black communities in transition: voices from south Florida. Published: Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1996. LIBRARY WEST and SPECIAL COLL. F317.D2 B5 1996

This work contains reprinted columns and articles from the Miami Herald, most of which deal with the 1960s era and later events.

Fields, Dorothy Jenkins
Colored town, Miami, Florida, 1915: an examination of the manner in which the residents defined their community during this era of Jim Crow. Published: 1996. SPECIAL COLL. F319.M6 F53 1996a Florida History
Shell-Weiss, Melanie Rebecca
“They all came from someplace else”: Miami, Florida’s immigrant communities, 1896-1970. Publisher: Michigan State University, 2002. LIBRARY WEST and SPECIAL COLL. F319.M6 S54 2002a
Fleischmann, Thomas F.
Image and reality: perceptions of early black Miami by the “Miami metropolis”, 1896-1900. Publisher: University of Miami, 1987. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 M61 F596i Florida History
Harris, Daryl B.
The logic of Black urban rebellions: challenging the dynamics of white domination in Miami. Published: Westport, Conn., Praeger, 1999. SPECIAL COLL. F319.M6 H36 1999 Florida history
Florida. Governor’s Dade County Citizen’s Committee.
Report of Governor’s Dade County Citizens’ Committee [Irwin J. Block, chairman]. Published: Miami, Fla., The Committee, 1980. Description: 90, [32] p. ; 28 cm. LIBRARY WEST HN79.F62 D121
Evans, Arthur S. and David Lee
Pearl City, Florida: a Black community remembers. Publisher: Florida Atlantic University Press, 1990. LIBRARY WEST F319.B6 E83 1990 and SPEC COLL. F.2 P16 E92p Florida History
Rouson-Gossett, Vivian Reissland, and C. Spencer Pompey
Like a mighty banyan : contributions of Black people to the history of Palm Beach. Published: Palm Beach County, Fla.: Palm Beach Junior College, 1982 SPECIAL COLL. F.2 P16 L727 Florida History
Oliver, Kitty
Race and Change in Hollywood, Florida. Publisher: Charleston, S.C., Arcadia Publishing, 2003. A study published in small press paperback format by Arcadia. ON ORDER for this semester.
Thompson, Sylvia Ann
Community leadership in greater Miami, Florida: what role for blacks and Cuban-Americans? Published 1984. SPECIAL COLL. film 117-O Florida history

Mt. Dora

Owens, Vivian W.

The Mount Dorans: African American History (Eschar Publications, 2000). F319.M9 O95 2000 

Orlando Area

Thompson, Geraldine Fortenberry

Orlando, Florida (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Press, 2003). F319.O75 T56 2003 

Otey, Frank M.
Eatonville, Florida: a brief history of one of America’s first freedmen’s towns. Published: Winter Park, Fla.: Four-G Pub., c. 1989. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 O63 O87e Florida History

Eatonville was long the home of Nora Zeale Hurston, anthropologist and novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, and was also the study area for her ethnographic work in the 1930s.

Dabbs, Lester.
A report of the circumstances and events of the race riot on November 2, l920 in Ocoee, Florida / Lester Dabbs, Jr. 1969. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 O63 D111r Florida history
D’Orso, Michael
Like Judgment Day: The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood. Publisher: New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, 1996. LIBRARY WEST and SPECIAL COLL. F319.R67 D67

Rosewood remains one of the most infamous massacres in Florida history. New material continues to come out as part of an effort to build a history exhibit at the site.

A Documented History of the Incident Which Occured at Rosewood, Florida, in January, 1923. Florida Board of Regents, with Maxine D. Jones, Larry E. Rivers, David R. Colburn, R. Tom Dye, and William R. Rogers. Publisher: Tallahassee: Florida Board of Regents, 1993. LIBRARY WEST F319.R67 D621 and SPECIAL COLL. F354 C81r

There is also a videotape of testimony and interviews related to this document.

Jenkins, Lizzie PRB Jenkins
The real Rosewood Published: Gainesville, Fla.: BookEnds Press, 2003 INSTITUTE OF BLACK CULTURE and SPECIAL COLL. Florida History F319.R67J46 1998
Moore, Gary
Rosewood, Fla., Jan. 1, 1923 St. Petersburg Times, July 25, 1982 SPECIAL COLL. Florida History F326 M822r Oversize
Florida Public Television
Rosewood Produced, directed, written by Kenneth Jones Published: Tallahassee, Fla.: Florida Public Television, c1994. Description: 1 videocassette (28 min.) LIBRARY WEST Video 3871 and SPECIAL COLL. Florida History F319 .R67 R67 1994
Tuggle, Charlie, Brad Wasson, and Cari Peterson Brunelle
Redemption the Rosewood legacy Published: Gainesville: University of Florida, News & Public Affairs, 1994. Description: 1 videocassette (28 min.) LIBRARY WEST Video 3870 and SPECIAL COLL. Florida History F319 .R67 R43
Tampa/St. Petersburg
Brady, Rowena Ferrell
Things remembered: an album of African Americans in Tampa. Published: Tampa, Fla.: University of Tampa Press, 1997. SPECIAL COLL. F319.T2 T47 1997 Florida History
Primarily a picture history of the Tampa community.
Ingalls, Robert P.
Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882-1936. Publisher: Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988. LIBRARY WEST F319.T2 I64 and SPECIAL COLL. f.2 T15 I44u
Phillips, Evelyn Newman
An ethnohistorical analysis of the political economy of ethnicity among African Americans in St. Petersburg, Florida. Published: 1994. SPECIAL COLL. F319.S24 P54x 1994a Florida History
Fleming, Douglas L.
Toward integration microform: the course of race relations in St. Petersburg, 1868 to 1963. Published: 1973. SPECIAL COLL. film 122-R Florida History
Greenbaum, Susan D.
Afro-Cubans in Ybor City: a centennial history. Published: Tampa, Fla.: 1986 SPECIAL COLL. F.2 T15 G798a Florida History
Rabby, Glenda Alice
The pain and the promise: the struggle for civil rights in Tallahassee, Florida. Published: Athens: University of Georgia Press, c. 1999. LIBRARY WEST F319.T14 R33 1999

Tarpon Springs  

Sandra W. Rooks and Carol Mountain

Tarpon Springs, Florida (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Press, 2003). F319.T28 R66 2002   

Fendrich, James Max
Ideal citizens: the legacy of the civil rights movement. Publisher: Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press, 1993. LIBRARY WEST F319.T14 F46 1993 and SPECIAL COLL. F326 F331i Florida history
U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. Florida Advisory Committee.
Race relations in Tallahassee, Florida: transcript of a community forum, September 30, 1993: (report of the) Florida Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Publisher: The Commission, 1993. SCIENCE LIBRARY, Documents CR 1.2: T 24
St. Augustine
Garrow, David J. (ed.)
St. Augustine, Florida, 1963-1964: mass protest and racial violence Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y., Carlson Pub., 1989. SPECIAL COLL. F.2 S11 S1332 Florida History
Colburn, David R.
Racial change and community crisis: St. Augustine, Florida, 1877-1980. Published: Gainesville: University of Florida Press, c. 1991. LIBRARY WEST F319.S2 C65 1991 and SPEC COLL. F.2 S11 C685r Florida History
Florida. Legislature. Legislative Investigation Committee.
Racial and civil disorders in St. Augustine; report of the Legislative Investigation Committee. Published 1965. LIBRARY WEST 323.409759 F636r