Books for Adults


Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer’s Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s to the 1980s

Eric Marcus’ Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights

Priscilla Murolo and A.B. Chitty’s From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States

Benjamin Quarles’ Black Aboltionists

Francisco Rosales’ Chicano!: The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

Ruth Rosen’s The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America

Paul Smith and Robert Warrior’s Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee

Doris Steven’s Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote

Kim Voss and Irene Bloemraad’s Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America

The rest of this list is a work in progress. 🙂  In the first section, we tried to list books written for a popular audience.  The final list are academic books and you will find them less accessibly written.


Barnett, Alan W. Community Murals: The People’s Arts.

Cockcroft, Eva Sperling and Holly Barnet-Sanchez.  Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals.

Davis, Flora.  Moving the Mountain: The Women’s Movement in America since 1960.

Drescher, Timothy.  San Francisco Murals: Community Creates Its Muse

Dunitz, Robin J.  Street Gallery: Guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals.

Fortunate Eagle, Adam.  Heart of the Rock: The Indian Invasion of Alcatraz.

Garcia, Mario T., ed.  The Gospel of Cesar Chavez: My Faith in Action.

Halberstam, David.  The Children.

Horton, Myles.  The long haul: An autobiography.

Johnson, Troy R.  We Hold the Rock: The Indian Occupation of Alcatraz.

Jones, Mary Harris.  The Autobiography of Mother Jones.

Levy, Jacque E.  Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa.

Margolin, Malcolm.  The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco/Monterey Bay Area.

Martinez, Elizabeth.  500 Years of Chicana Women’s History.

Matthiessen, Peter.  Sal Si Puedes: Cesar Chavez and the New American Revolution.

McHugh, Paul.  Alcatraz: The Official Guide.

Menkart, Deborah, Murray, Alana D. and View, Jenice.  Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching.

Okada, Jon.  No-No Boy.

Perry, Mark.  Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimke Family’s Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders.

Salomon, Larry R.  Roots of Justice: Stories of Organizing in Communities of Color.

Stavans, Ilan, ed.  Cesar Chavez: An Organizer’s Tale (speeches)

Stavans, Ilan.  Latino U.S.A.: A Cartoon History.

von Drehle, David.  Triangle: The Fire that Changed America.

X, Malcolm & Alex Haley.  The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

Zinn, Howard.  A People’s History of the United States.


Adams, Frank.  Unearthing Seeds of Fire: The Idea of Highlander.

Almaguer, Tomas.  Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California.

Anderson. Karen.  Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School.

Anderson, Kat.  Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources.

Baker, Jean.  Votes for Women.

Brodkin, Karen.  Making Democracy Matter: Identity and Activism in Los Angeles.

Broyles-Gonzalez, Yolanda.  El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement.

Butler, Cornelia.  WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution.

Cannato, Vincent.  American Passage: The History of Ellis Island.

Chin, Margaret.  Sewing Women: Immigrants and the New York City Garment Industry.

Costain, Anne N.  1992.  Inviting Women’s Rebellion: A Political Process Interpretation of the Women’s Movement.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Durant, Sam.  Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas.

Ferree, Myra.  Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women’s Movement.

Flammang, Janet A.  1997.  Women’s Political Voice: How Women Are Transforming the Practice and Study of Politics.  Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Glen, John M.  Highlander: No Ordinary School.

Heidenreich, Linda.  “This Land Was Mexican Once”: Histories of Resistance from Northern California.

Horton, Aimee Isgrig.  1989.  The Highlander Folk School: A History of its Major Programs, 1932-1961.  Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing.

Horton, Myles & Paulo Freire.  1990.  We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change, edited by Brenda Bell, John Gaventa, & John Peters.  Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Jacobs, Dale.  The Myles Horton Reader: Education for Social Change.

Jacoby, Annie.  Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo.

Kraut, Alan.  Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes and the Immigrant Menace.

Lovett, Bobby L.  The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: A Narrative History.

Marable, Manning.  Malcolm X.

McAdam, Doug.  1988.  Freedom Summer.  New York: Oxford University Press.

McAdam, Doug.  1982.  Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Morgan, Iwan & Philip Davies.  From Sit-ins to SNCC: The Student Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Morris, Aldon D.  1984.  The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change.  New York: Free Press.

Payne, Charles M.  1995.  I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle.  Berkeley: University of California Press.

Piven, Frances Fox & Richard A. Cloward.  1979.  Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail.  New York: Vintage.

Pulido, Laura.  Black, Brown, Yellow and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles.

Reed, T.V. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle.

Robnett, Belinda.  1997.  How Long? How Long?: African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Roy, William G.  Reds, Whites and Blues: Social Movements, Folk Music and Race in the United States.

Sanchez, George G.  Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano L.A. 1900-1945.

Springer, Kimberly.  Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980.

Street, Richard Steven.  Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913.

Takaki, Ronald.  A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America.

Terbourg-Penn, Rosalyn.  African-American Women in the Struggle for the Vote.

Varzally, Allison.  Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring Outside Ethnic Lines.

Wigginton, Eliot, ed.  1991.  Refuse to Stand Silently By: An Oral History of Grass Roots Social Activism in America, 1921-64.  New York: Doubleday.

Zlolniski, Christian.  Janitors, Street Vendors and Activists: The Lives of Mexican Immigrants in Silicon Valley.


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