Black History Month
Recent books delve into black history and culture, including hairstyles, guns and music.
Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (St. Martin's) by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps is a revised and updated version of a fascinating look at the history, culture, politics and business of black hairstyles.
Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms (Prometheus Books) by Nicholas Johnson, a law professor and Second Amendment expert, is a revealing examination of the historical importance of armed self-defense in black communities.
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (Bloomsbury) by Robert Gordon is the inspiring, sometimes tragic story of the hit-making record label, founded in the late 1950s in Memphis, Tenn., by a white brother and sister, that became home to such stars as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam and Dave.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor