Gwinnett father, son authors donate 1,000 books to celebrate Black History Month

Michael Carson and his son Matthew are giving museum visitors free copies of their latest book on Feb. 24.
Michael Carson and Matthew Carson will be handing out 1,000 of the books they have written together at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to celebrate Black History Month. (Family handout)

Credit: Family handout

Credit: Family handout

Michael Carson and Matthew Carson will be handing out 1,000 of the books they have written together at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to celebrate Black History Month. (Family handout)

Over the last several years, Grayson resident Michael Carson and his son Matthew have written and published five books covering various topics in African-American history. Their latest collaboration, “Unsung African-American History Makers: Unknown Hidden Figures and Their Stories,” came out in 2023.

This year, instead of writing a book together, the Carson’s opted to seek out a venue that would enable them to, as Carson the elder said, “give back” to the community in the form of donated books.

“We looked at unique ways to give back, as far as providing books for people to read and enjoy,” said Carson. “In the past, we’ve done donations — to elementary schools, middle schools and Boys & Girls Clubs — but this time we wanted to do it on a larger scale.”

The father-and-son team contacted the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta and presented a proposal whereby they would donate 1,000 books to museum visitors. As part of Black History Month, the Carson’s will be on hand at the museum on Feb. 24 to sign and give out copies of their latest book.

“They loved the idea so much that they dedicated a whole day for us in February,” said Carson. “We worked on a date together and found the perfect day. It gives visitors a personal takeaway from the museum.”

Carson said he anticipates a considerable gathering at the museum.

“We feel very good about it,” he said. “We are going to invite hundreds of people to come out. They’ll get a chance to see the museum if they’ve never visited it and receive a gift at the end. We’re very excited about that.

“The museum is only about 10 years old, so it’s kind of new to Atlanta, and we’re authors in the metro Atlanta area, so we look at it as a great partnership and we hope to participate in other events. We’ve spoken with the museum staff and maybe this will be one of many events for us.”

In addition to “Unsung African-American History Makers,” the Carson’s have published “African-American Inventions That Changed the World” (2017), “Today in African-American History” (2018), “African-American Musicians That Changed Music Forever” (2021) and “How did Black History Month Begin?” (2022).

Carson said he and Matthew — who celebrated his 14th birthday in late January — offered all five of the books to the museum, adding that they particularly liked “Unsung African-American History Makers” and wanted to focus on that book, which brings to the forefront some of the hidden figures in African-American history.

“We wanted to highlight many of the unknown and unsung people of African-American history who did incredible things but don’t have widely recognized names,” he said. “Their contributions were monumental to the fields of civil rights, science, technology, medicine, law and beyond. Their contributions were big, but their names weren’t.”

Carson said that Matthew, who is an eighth-grade student at Keystone Academy, an online school, has “grown tremendously” during the years of their collaboration.

“We do a lot of events and book signings and we’ve branched out into different states and different events to highlight the books and do signings,” said Carson. “It originally started off with me speaking with people, telling them about the books and presenting them for purchase and signings.

“But over the last five years, Matthew has been the one bringing individuals to the table and kind of being a spokesperson and telling people what the books are about. He’s got his routine down where he knows each book cover to cover and he’s educating people about the books. He’s become a great speaker and a great educator in his own way.”

Although the Carson’s aren’t planning to write a book in 2024, they are kicking around some ideas and may have an additional collaborator in Shenika Carson, Michael’s wife and Matthew’s mother.

“We may eventually get together and partner with my wife and we may write a book highlighting historical women who did great things,” said Carson. “That’s an idea we have, but we don’t have a specific project yet. We just bounce ideas off one another and come up with things, and one conversation will lead to pen and paper — we kind of go that route.”

For more information on Michael and Matthew Carson’s books, email


The AJC’s Black History Month series focuses on the role of African Americans and the Arts and the overwhelming influence it has had on American culture. These daily offerings appear throughout the paper. More subscriber exclusives on the African American people, places and organizations that have changed the world are available at

Credit: Gwinnett Daily Post

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Credit: Gwinnett Daily Post


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