Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. (Random House, 2008, 496 pp.)
Douglas A. Blackmon shows how African-Americans across the South, deep into the 1900s, were routinely arrested on bogus charges, exorbitantly fined and forced to pay the fines with hard labor at farms, factories, mines and lumber camps. Local sheriffs and companies, even large corporations, profited from this convict leasing system. Some of the victims never regained their freedom. A Pulitzer Prize winner.
Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Ethnic Cleansing in America. (Basic Books, 2007, 341 pp.)
Elliot Jaspin documents the fact that blacks were removed en masse from countless towns, cities and counties between the Reconstruction era and the Great Depression. These families were shot at, burned out and driven out to keep them from competing with whites for jobs and property. The victims lost land, homes, possessions, often their lives.
All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw (Random House, 1974, 575 pp.)
This classic oral history of a Southern black farmer depicts the neo-slavery of sharecropping and tenant farming that persisted deep into the 1900s. This book was written down and edited by Theodore Rosengarten, but the real author is an 82-year-old black farmer, Nedd Cobb (a.k.a. Nate Shaw). A National Book Award winner.
Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power , 2nd ed.(Wesleyan University Press, 1989)
Kenneth Clark examines the American ghetto in general, and Harlem in particular, to reveal the psychological, physical and economic harm that segregation inflicted on African-Americans in Northern cities in the last century.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010, 312pp.)
Michelle Alexander describes the new racial caste system that evolved after civil rights victories restored the black vote and desegregated public accommodations. Starting in the 1980s, the War on Drugs and mandatory sentencing laws put millions of blacks behind bars, many for minor offenses. They face a lifetime of discrimination “in voting, employment, housing, education, public benefits and jury service.”