These biographies and memoirs uncover the life stories and enduring legacies of some of the most prominent and influential Black Americans in U.S. history, from the pioneering abolitionist Frederick Douglass to the first Black president of the United States, Barack Obama. Including both contemporaneous accounts and biographies written with a longer historical view of their subjects, these titles are a great place to start for those looking to find out more about major moments in American history and the people behind them.

Explore everything the Library has to offer for Black History Month, and discover more recommended reads with the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List.

Some of these titles are also available in accessible formats including talking books (DB), braille (BR), and through Bookshare (BK), as indicated below. See The New York Public Library's Andrew Heiskell Library for more information.