Reading List for the Black Summer Series

As we gear up to kick off our Black Summer series next weekend, we write to share with you some great readings and music playlists that are inspiring our team. Check it all out below, and of course, join us Saturday, June 22 (1-3pm) for our Barbecue Cookout potluck discussion.


What the FoodSpark Team Is Reading

The following readings are selections by our FoodSpark team. Join us July 18 at 6pm as we discuss The Fire Next Time for a FoodSpark X conversation at the home of De Nichols.

  1. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

  2. “After St. Louis, God” by Jacqui Germain

  3. “Dear White America” by Danez Smith (Video)

More to Read

Below is a selection of more books that might be of interest. We also invite you to add more articles, poems, and short readings to the list as well!


  1. Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Harper Barnes

  2. That's the Way It Was: Stories of Struggle, Survival and Self-Respect in Twentieth-Century Black St. Louis by Vida "Sister" by Goldman Prince

  3. Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil by Lezley McSpadden

  4. Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75 by Clarence Lang

  5. From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

  6. Race Riot at East St. Louis by Elliott Rudwick

  7. We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

  8. When Ghosts Come Ashore by Jacqui Germain

  9. Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Children’s Books

  1. Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

  2. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

  3. A Dying Breed Volume 1: From the Bright Lights Series by Darian Wigfall

  4. Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine

  5. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison


  1. What Is Juneteenth? via The Root

  2. A mystery illness killed a boy in 1969. Years later, doctors believed they’d learned what it was: AIDS via the Washington Post