african american women

An Extraordinary Union: A Novel of the Civil War

By Alyssa Cole
Star Rating

Rated by Karyn H
Dec 14, 2018


An Extraordinary Union is a historical romance set during the turbulent American Civil War. The heroine is spunky Elle Burns, a former slave with an eidetic memory who becomes a detective for the Union through the Loyal League, a society of freed and enslaved blacks with networks across the country to funnel intelligence to the North. Her latest assignment is to pose as a mute slave in Richmond, Virginia in the household of Confederate Senator Caffrey. The hero is Malcolm McCall, a Scottish born detective for Pinkerton, also assigned to gather intelligence from the Caffrey household, posing

The Sacrifice

By Joyce Carol Oates
Star Rating

Rated by Cheryl M.
May 5, 2015

The Sacrifice, Joyce Carol Oates' new novel, is based largely on the 1987 Tawana Brawley alleged rape case and the author's 1969 novel, Them, based on the 1967 race riots.  The novel takes place in the fictional Red Rock neighborhood of inner-city Pascayne, New Jersey, in October of 1987.  It centers around a black family:  Sybilla Frye, 15, allegedly gang raped and beaten by white police officers; her mother, Ednetta Frye; and her stepfather, Anis Schutt.  At the center of the story are the manipulative Mudrick twins, Rev. Marus Mudrick and his attorney brother, Byron; and Leopaldo Quarrquan

May 5, 2011

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd tells thte story of Lily Owen. In the summer of 1964, Lily was 14 years old and living in South Carolina. When she was very young, her mother had died under mysterious circumstances. Lily was raised by her abusive father and by Rosaleen, an African-American woman her father brought into their home to look after Lily.

1964 was an intense time for the civil rights movement. One hot summer day, Rosaleen gets into trouble with some of the white men in town. Before they knew it, Lily and Rosaleen find themselves on the run. Lily decides to follow a clue on

The Help [unabridged book on CD] by Kathryn Stockett

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 17, 2010

The Help [unabridged book on CD] by Kathryn StockettI have read the book (previously reviewed/blogged 1/26/10) and listened to the cd audio version of The Help and recommend both versions. The audio version gives the reader an enhanced reading/ listening experience. “In pitch-perfect voices” the story is told by four well cast actors rather than the usual one actor per cd audio book. Each chapter is told in the voice of Miss Skeeter, Minnie, or Abilene. Abilene is the sweet natured diplomat, while Minnie is the outspoken comedian of the three. Through these voices the listener is reminded of a time when African American maids were the

Feb 22, 2010

The Color Purple by Alice WalkerEver since the release of the movie Precious, with its six Academy Award nominations, the book it’s based on, Push by the author Sapphire, has become popular. I love underdogs. Any chance I get to wallow in another’s sorrow is one I rarely pass up. When I first heard what Precious/Push is about—a sexually, emotionally, and physically abused African-American teenager growing up in Harlem—I couldn’t wait to see it. Instead, I fell victim to the movie’s hype and wanted to love the movie much more than I actually did. Both Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role and Mo'Nique in a supporting role did