Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Black History Month: My husband recommends books

Today’s guest post is by my husband, John Piper. He has posted a couple of items relating to Black History month, here, here, and here. I asked him for a few book suggestions.


These are some books I have found helpful or inspiring.

Carl Ellis, Free at Last? The Gospel in the African

American Experience

In my experience, this 1996 book continues to be the best way to grasp what has happened in the American Black experience.

Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom, America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible

The Wall Street Journal is probably right in calling this “possibly the most far-ranging, information-rich analysis of our seismic racial shifts.”

Mark Noll, God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

Noll is unparalleled for balanced and nuanced, illustrative, original historical research and analysis.

Shelby Steele, A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America


White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of he Civil Rights Era

Steele’s burden is that some black leaders have leveraged white guilt by means of nurturing a victim mentality among blacks and, and some white leaders have exploited this guilt to implement programs that have the opposite effect of freedom and prosperity.

Juan Williams, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It.

Williams gives an anguished exposition of Bill Cosby’s speech of May 17, 2004, that insists there are personal and cultural issues the black  community must deal with, without discounting the structural realities of racism.

Michael Eric Dyson, Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

A dissenting view from the Willians-Cosby plea.

Clarence Thomas, My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir

A moving autobiography from our time by a conservative African-American who paid dearly for his views.

Tony Carter, On Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Experience


Glory Road: The Journeys of 10 African-Americans into Reformed Christianity

Two moving glimpses into the new theological situation of a growing African American movement.

Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors

Fascinating, virtually unknown history of three black Reformed pastors from early America.

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2 Responses to “Black History Month: My husband recommends books”

  1. […] John Piper recommends ten books for Black History Month. I happen to think that if they’re good books, they’re good to read any month, not just during February which happens to have been designated Black History Month. […]

  2. Other excellent reads: ‘Decoded’ by Jay-Z. A modern view from one man that looks at a large scope of AA culture when a major 70’s changed the culture’s tragectory forever and how the voice of the community has grown complex and layered through hip hop.
    Also ‘Black Titan’ about AG Gaston written by Carol Ann . He was a very important aspect of the civil rights movement, but also the wealthiest black man of his day. His grandparents were slaves and he managed a fortune by his midlife.

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