"What Shall We Do with the Negro?": Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War America by Paul D. Escott was published in 2009. A decade later, America would find itself faced with the very point that this book makes: racism was not killed with slavery. While the title is uncomfortable, the question was one which many leaders asked during the days leading to the end of the Civil War. What would happen to the men and women who had been freed or were going to be freed from slavery, once the South was returned to the Union? Mr. Escott points out that, while many in the United States today view Lincoln as a benevolent and anti-slavery, anti-racist individual, the truth is much less agreeable. He was little different from many other men, especially men in highly placed leadership positions, of his era. His racism was as ingrained as that which was found in the rest of the nation. The book takes a significant amount of time breaking down elements of the slavery situation, including why so many ministers seemed to back it (although there were also a large number who felt very uncomfortable with the prevailing opinion of the time). This would be a good book for anyone trying to better understand the nature of the Civil War, as the author quotes from a variety of primary sources, both from the North and the South. Another benefit of the title is that is doesn't just look at attitudes during the Civil War, but also the opinions of those who are wondering what should be done when it comes to suffrage once the war is completed. It would also be a title of great value for anyone doing research on Lincoln or his policies, especially those surrounding emancipation and what reconstruction might have been, had he not been assassinated.
Along with the nonfiction titles and resources included above, here are classic pieces of fiction relating to African American history: