While this wasn't our book club book, I'd highly recommend reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. The story takes place in post-Civil War Jackson, Mississippi. I loved the character development and that the story is told from the viewpoint of multiple heroines, both white and black. It's discouraging to think that such segregation occured just a few short years ago, but encouraging to think that the future can only get better.
The author brings to life the love between white and black women who live side by side but never truly know each other.