A list of 36 of the best nonfiction books ever written about Jacksonville and the people who made it what it is today.
Looking to learn more about the history of our city? This list features some of The Jaxson’s favorites, covering topics ranging from the silent film era to the Great Fire to African American history. Many of these books can be found at Jacksonville booksellers including Chamblin Bookmine, Chamblin’s Uptown, San Marco Books, and BookMark Independent Bookstore, or local Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and Target stores.
A. Philip Randolph: A Biographical Portrait - by Jervis Anderson, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973 (first edition)
A leading figure in the early civil rights and labor movements, Asa Philip Randolph grew up on Jacksonville’s Eastside. He founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly black labor union, and in the 1940s fought hiring discrimination and segregation in the U.S. Military. In 1963 Philips and Bayard Rustin organized Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. Jervis Anderson’s biography includes a good history of Jacksonville from the perspective of a prominent citizen who lived there from 1891 to 1911.
Keeping the Faith: Race, Politics, and Social Development in Jacksonville, Florida, 1940-1970 - by Abel A. Bartley, Praeger, 2000 (2nd edition)
This academic book discusses the massive changes Jacksonville experienced during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, which saw the expansion of civil rights and African-American political representation and, ultimately, Consolidation.