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Imani Perry Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Prophets of the Hood (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Beautiful and More Terrible (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
May We Forever Stand (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vexy Thing (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Looking for Lorraine (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
South to America (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of John Hope Franklin Books

The Color of the Law (By: Gail Williams O'Brien) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945 (By: Beth Tompkins Bates) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Politics in New Deal Atlanta (By: Karen Ferguson) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Journey of Hope (By: Kenneth C. Barnes) (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Root and Branch (By: Graham Russell Gao Hodges) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Arts Movement (By: James Smethurst) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
North Carolina Slave Narratives (By: William L. Andrews) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Little Taste of Freedom (By: Emilye Crosby) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Battling the Plantation Mentality (By: Laurie B. Green) (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
An African Republic (By: Marie Tyler-McGraw) (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Faithful Account of the Race (By: Stephen G. Hall) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Joining Places (By: Anthony E. Kaye) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Proudly We Can Be Africans (By: James H. Meriwether) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Movement Without Marches (By: Lisa Levenstein) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Emancipation's Diaspora (By: Leslie A. Schwalm) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
African Cherokees in Indian Territory (By: Celia E. Naylor) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Examining Tuskegee (By: Susan M. Reverby) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Upbuilding Black Durham (By: Leslie Brown) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Self-Taught (By: Heather Andrea Williams) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
All Bound Up Together (By: Martha S. Jones) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Fruits of Freedom (By: Janette Thomas Greenwood) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
David Ruggles (By: Graham Russell Gao Hodges) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Right to Ride (By: BlairL.M. Kelley) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Torchbearers of Democracy (By: Chad L. Williams) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Living for the City (By: Donna Murch) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Way Up North in Louisville (By: Luther Adams) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
North of the Color Line (By: Sarah-Jane Mathieu) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The African American Roots of Modernism (By: James Smethurst) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Left of the Color Line (By: Bill V. Mullen) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
War! What Is It Good For? (By: Kimberley Phillips Boehm) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grassroots Garveyism (By: Mary G. Rolinson) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Blow to Jim Crow (By: Erik S. Gellman) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crossroads at Clarksdale (By: Francoise Nicole Hamlin) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Help Me to Find My People (By: Heather Andrea Williams) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doctoring Freedom (By: Gretchen Long) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Africans in Ghana (By: Kevin K. Gaines) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens (By: Rebecca Sharpless) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
From the Bullet to the Ballot (By: Jakobi Williams) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
W. E. B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk (By: Stephanie J. Shaw) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Geographies of Liberation (By: Alex Lubin) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (By: Farah Jasmine Griffin,Mia E. Bay) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Straight, Not White (By: Kevin J. Mumford) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Chance for Change (By: Crystal Sanders) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Colored Travelers (By: Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Making Gullah (By: Melissa L. Cooper) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Congo Love Song (By: Ira Dworkin) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Game of Privilege (By: Lane Demas) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Promise of Patriarchy (By: Ula Yvette Taylor) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (By: Kimberly M. Welch) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
May We Forever Stand (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights from the 1930s to the 1980s (By: Traci Parker) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal (By: Kate Dossett) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Visualizing Equality (By: Aston Gonzalez) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blurring the Lines of Race and Freedom (By: A.B. Wilkinson) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slavery, Fatherhood, and Paternal Duty in African American Communities over the Long Nineteenth Century (By: Libra R. Hilde) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unceasing Militant (By: Alison M. Parker) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Colored Conventions Movement (By: P. Gabrielle Foreman) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behold the Land (By: James Smethurst) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood (By: Crystal Lynn Webster) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arise Africa, Roar China (By: Yunxiang Gao) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Think in Public(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dawoud Bey: Two American Projects(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Imani Perry

Imani Perry is recognized for her wide-ranging expertise that crosses several fields including racial topics, law, literature, and the study of African-American culture. As an esteemed educator, she holds the position of Hughes-Rogers Professor teaching in African American Studies at the prestigious Princeton University. Additionally, her thoughts extend beyond the classroom as she contributes as a columnist for The Atlantic, sharing her insights with a broad audience.

In 2022, Imani Perry’s exceptional writing skills were honored when she received the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Her book ‘South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation’ has been celebrated for its depth and powerful narrative. Perry’s work not only captivates readers but also invokes a deep understanding of the complexity and history of the American South.

Perry’s remarkable talent and contribution to the literary world and beyond was further acknowledged in October 2023, when she was appointed a MacArthur Fellow. This prestigious recognition, often referred to as a ‘genius grant,’ highlights Perry’s ability to create writing that is not just engaging but also filled with significance and meaning. Her works are a testament to her gift for striking conversations that resonate with a wide range of individuals.

Early and Personal Life

Imani Perry was born on the 5th of September, 1972, in the southern heart of Birmingham, Alabama, and by the age of five, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Growing up in an environment steeped in academia, with a mother who was both a professor and a college dean, and a stepfather as an epidemiologist, undoubtedly shaped her intellectual upbringing. Perry’s early experiences with varied cultures and beliefs sparked her innate curiosity about race and its societal impacts, nudging her toward a path of scholarly pursuit.

Perry’s educational journey was marked by a string of accomplishments, starting with an American Studies and Literature degree from Yale University, followed by focusing on American Civilization with her Ph.D. from Harvard. Law also piqued her interest, leading her to obtain a J.D. from Harvard Law School by twenty-seven, along with an LLM from Georgetown University shortly after. These formative years, etched with dedication to her studies, laid the foundation for Perry to emerge as a compelling voice in discussions on race and culture.

Embarking on a rich academic career, Perry’s initial years teaching at Rutgers School of Law were distinguished by recognition from peers and students alike, securing the New Professor of the Year award and a promotion to full professor. Her expertise later blossomed at Princeton University, where she became an influential figure as the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, with affiliations woven into law, public affairs, gender, and sexuality studies.

Throughout her academic tenure, Perry remains a significant contributor to the public discourse on race and the American consciousness, as underscored by her engagement with wider audiences through platforms like the ‘On Being’ podcast, and prestigious honors such as the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Writing Career

A prolific writer with an illuminating perspective, Imani Perry has so far created over six books and counting that delve deeply into law, culture, and African-American studies. Her writings showcase the breadth of her scholarship and signal her profound influence on these subjects. Perry’s insightful observations can also be found in the introspective notes and introduction she penned for the compelling narrative of a historical figure, Sojourner Truth, in the Barnes & Noble Classics edition.

Her significant contributions to the academic realm include an exploration of American hip hop music, evidenced by her authored chapter in ‘Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic.’

Perhaps most notably, Perry’s ‘South to America’ not only resonated with a wide readership as a New York Times bestseller but also earned the prestigious 2022 National Book Award for non-fiction. Her continuous journey as a writer is underlined by anticipation for her future works, further enriching conversations across various disciplines.

South to America

‘South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation,’ authored by Imani Perry, was published on January 25, 2022, by Ecco Press. In the year of its release, the book earned a nomination for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Nonfiction. The memoir has been recognized for its insightful exploration into southern American culture.

The book itself is a thought-provoking journey that challenges common narratives about the American South, asserting that a deep understanding of this region is crucial to grasping the entirety of the United States. The work goes beyond familiar symbols to unravel the South’s intricate peculiarities and cultural richness.

Perry, an Alabama native, revisits her roots with a fresh perspective, engaging with a diverse array of Southern people and their stories, each contributing to the region’s complex tableau. Through her exploration of various communities, personal anecdotes, and historical reflections, Perry weaves a compelling narrative that suggests the South’s centrality in shaping a more enlightened American future.


Imani Perry’s nonfiction memoir, ‘Breathe: A Letter to My Sons,’ was released on September 17, 2019, by Beacon Press. In 2020, the memoir was distinguished as a Chautauqua Prize nominee and an NAACP Image Award nominee in the nonfiction category, recognizing its impactful contribution to literature on race.

Imani Perry presents a potent and introspective challenge to view Black children with the fullness of their humanity, amidst a backdrop of a society wrestling with racism. Her dual perspective as a scholar and a mother brings a compelling blend of deep affection and intellectual rigor to the conversation.

Drawing inspiration from notable thinkers and writers, Perry intertwines her personal narrative with broader cultural and historical insights. Her work is a heartfelt call to her sons and others to embrace their heritage and carve individual paths enriched by the strength of Black traditions.

Looking for Lorraine

Imani Perry’s biography, ‘Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry,’ hit the shelves on October 9, 2018, published by Beacon Press. Following its publication, the book garnered multiple accolades, cementing its status as an award-winning account. These honors celebrate the significant exploration of Lorraine Hansberry’s life within its pages.

Lorraine Hansberry, who passed away at the young age of thirty-four, was not only known for her classic play, ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ but also for her robust experiences and staunch advocacy for justice, leading to government scrutiny in her early twenties. Friends and peers like James Baldwin and Nina Simone have received their due historical praise; however, Hansberry’s own expansive narrative had remained less examined until recently. With the release of a PBS American Masters documentary and Imani Perry’s comprehensive biography, ‘Looking for Lorraine,’ her deserving legacy receives a new and resonant tribute.

Hansberry leveraged her fame to address significant issues, from urging stronger civil rights actions from prominent political figures to supporting emergent African leaders, while also embracing her identity in the face of potential backlash. Her life intersected with various influential figures, enriching her story and underlining her importance in the tapestry of social and cultural history.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Imani Perry

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