Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 220
- In A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines's 1983 novel, a white Cajun work boss is found shot in a black man's yard. Nineteen elderly black men and a young white woman all claim responsibility for the murder in order to thwart the expected lynch mob.
- Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (1977) is the story of Milkman Dead's quest for identity and how he discovers his own courage, endurance, and capacity for love and joy when he discovers his connection with his ancestors.
- Mark Twain's 1884 popular and sometimes controversial classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn follows the satirical adventures and moral development of Huck Finn, a young white boy, as he accompanies Jim, an escaped slave, down the Mississippi River in a quest for freedom.
- Uncle Tom's Children, a 1938 collection of stories by Richard Wright relates how African Americans struggle for survival in a racist world and explores themes of fear, violence, flight, courage, and freedom.
- Taylor Branch's social history Parting the Waters: American in the King Years, 1954-63, which won the 1988 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, looks at the state of the American civil rights movement between World War II and the 1960s. While focusing on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the work also includes profiles of other important leaders and traces key historical events.
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