The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting books by or about African Americans from our collection. Below are the eight titles from our February 2019 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.


1. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? : The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
By Chris Barton
Introduces Congresswoman and former Texas Senator Barbara Jordan to young audiences in a beautifully illustrated picture book. Chronicles Congresswoman Jordan's life, from childhood to her roles as a people's advocate, politician, and teacher. Celebrates the life of a remarkable African American woman who fought for justice and equality with a bold, confident, and extraordinary voice.
Beach Lane Books, 2018. 44 pages.



2. Minority Civil Rights and the Texas Legislature
By Secretary of Senate and Senate Engrossing & Enrolling
Surveys the history of racial intolerance toward minorities and the evolution of civil rights in Texas. Details how African American and Hispanic representation in the Texas Legislature has changed through the years. Profiles Texas lawmakers and leaders and their contributions to racial equality. Includes a selection of contemporary and historic photographs and artwork.
Senate Publications and Printing, 2018. 22 pages.
Online at:
L1803.8 M667 2018



3. Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy
By Domingo Morel
Considers state takeovers of local school districts, arguing that state legislatures that have done so are concerned not just with underperforming schools but also with the race, politics, and economics behind resource allocation to local entities. Uses Newark, New Jersey, and Central Falls, Rhode Island, as case studies and asserts that district takeovers often are a systematic political disempowerment of black and Latino communities.
Oxford University Press, 2018. 181 pages.
379.73 M814T 2018



4. African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy
By Texas Historical Commission
Highlights African American culture, heritage, and contributions in Texas. Profiles historical locations, events, and important African American figures that have helped to define Texas' legacy.
Texas Historical Commission, 2016. 71 pages.
Online at:
H2000.5 AF83L 2016





5. Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898
By Merline Pitre
Presents a third edition of Merline Pitre's in-depth examination of African American legislators in Texas after the Civil War, with an updated preface and extended appendices. Highlights Texas Senators Matthew Gaines and George T. Ruby, Texas Representatives Richard Allen and Robert Lloyd Smith, and Republican party leader Norris Wright Cuney. Includes rosters of black legislators of Texas, black legislators' committee assignments, black legislators who were delegates at Republican national conventions, a summary of the background of Texas black politicians (1868-1900), a roster of 20th century black legislators, and a 30-year comparison of 19th and 20th century legislators.
Texas A&M University Press, 2016. 296 pages.
976.4 P931T 2016



6. African Americans in South Texas History
By Bruce A. Glasrud, ed.
Examines the black experience in the racially and ethnically complex region of South Texas in thirteen essays. Covers more than 100 years, from slavery in the 1850s, through the Jim Crow era, to desegregation in the 1960s. Includes essays highlighting particular communities and individuals, and weaves in labor, political, educational, and cultural issues.
Texas A & M University Press, 2011. 353 pages.
305.896 G463A 2011



7. Politics in the New South: Representation of African Americans in Southern State Legislatures
By Charles E. Menifield and Stephen D. Shaffer, ed.
Provides an in-depth study of African Americans in contemporary state legislatures in the South, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Discusses the growing number of African American legislators, the evolution of the Black Caucus, and the elevation of African American legislators to leadership positions. Analyzes roll call data on key votes across legislative sessions from each of the states. Includes a chapter specifically on Texas, "Cohesiveness and Diversity among Black Members of the Texas State Legislature."
State University of New York Press, 2005. 229 pages.
328.75 M524P 2005



8. A Magnified Princes Shall Come Out of Egypt, Texas, and Fort Worth
By Reby Cary
Presents former Representative Reby Cary's work on the contributions of African Americans on U.S. history, culture, and politics from slavery to the beginning of the 21st century. Provides meticulously researched accounts of slaves, civil rights leaders, and black politicians to demonstrate the resilience of African Americans to rise above the racism and injustice that so often plague their communities. Highlights black leaders in Texas and Fort Worth.
Dorrance Publishing Co., 2002. 257 pages.
976.4531 C333M 2002