New: From Slavery to Cecil Street

This copy of the 1947 classic is in great shape. Here is more about historian John Hope Franklin (1915-2009).


Diane McKinney-Whetsone is author of six novels — including the 2004 Leaving Cecil Street — and former teacher of creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about the book from Reading Group Guides and more about the author from her website. This is an uncorrected proof of the 2005 publication, and it’s clearly been enjoyed by several readers while still ready for more use.

Help Us Catalogue: 3 January Dates

Book donations for Charnice Milton Community Bookstore continue to arrive, and we need volunteers to help us catalogue our growing collections: books for children and youth, which we continue to provide, free of charge, to help local young people establish home libraries; adult books, which we sell locally at nominal fees, and on-line at market rate, to help support the literacy goals of the bookstore.

No experience or expertise necessary for these cataloguing days, but a laptop or tablet is required.

  • Sunday 1/21 (1-5 p.m.)
  • Saturday 1/27 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
  • Sunday 1/28 (1-5 p.m.).

Please enter your name and contact information, as well as how you heard of these work days, below. THANKS!

If you have any trouble with the form below, or if you have questions, please contact

Please check the date(s) you can volunteer:

Kujichagulia Book Giveaway

Charnice Milton Community Bookstore presents Kujichagulia Book Giveaway to celebrate Kwanzaa and Self-Determination. December 27, 12 – 5 p.m.
1918 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE (near corner of Good Hope Road)
Two free books per young person. Performance by Baba Ras D.

Adult books also available for purchase.

Please share this invite!


Work Days: Nov 11 and 12

The Charnice Milton Community Bookstore needs lots of hands and eyes to help us sort and preserve our growing collection of books.

Saturday, November 11: Heavy lifting, stair climbing, and sorting.
Sunday, November 12: Sorting and boxing.

Join us for one or both days, Noon to 5 p.m.

Light refreshments, great company, and, of course, books!

Contact with questions.

Ugh! The Constraint of Race and the Charm of Used Books

Some titles jump out as collections grow in the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore. The Constraint of Race: Legacies of White Skin Privilege in America is one of those books. And clearly a previous reader couldn’t resist commenting on one of the historic episodes described: Passage of Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, and the role of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Having the company of previous readers, especially if they left evidence of how the reading affected them, is a great benefit of reading a used copy!


The Constraint of Race flips the usual script on race to look at the benefits of “white skin privilege,” rather than focusing on “disadvantages suffered by blacks in the American welfare state.” In highlighting white skin privileges, Williams wanted “to help undermine their acceptance as ‘normal,’” her publisher explains, “and motivate renewed efforts toward achieving a more just and equitable society.” The writing is accessible and clear. The topic immensely important.

Linda Faye Williams touched many in the DC area, through her years at Howard University and the University of Maryland, as well as her time Institute for Policy Research and Education at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. This book, completed a few years before her death in 2006, continues to touch many others.

Linda Faye Williams. The Constraint of Race: Legacies of White Skin Privilege in America. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2003).