African Americans: a concise history
Incorporating the basic features and narrative from "The African-American Odyssey, " this concise history presents its major episodes, issues and people--and tells a compelling story of survival, struggle, and triumph over adversity. The book starts out among the ancient civilizations of Africa, journeys to the American Revolution of the 1700s, travels through the nineteenth century to a portrayal of life in the twentieth, and considers the continuing impact of African Americans on life in the United States. Its broad coverage of essential topics includes black women, important political and religious leaders, churches, schools, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. MARKET" For an appreciation of the central place of black people and culture in this country, and a better understanding of both African-American and American history.
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This is actually a textbook (high school/college) I would say. I was reading it just as a basic history. I found it extremely informative. There is nothing in here that I found completely new, but the careful explanations of events certainly added considerable detail to my understanding not only on African American history, but of American history in general. I particularly liked that the authors consider such a broad variety of causes for historic events: great people, economics, social presssures, etc. It ranges from a background on African cultures up to events of 2007. (I can imagine the authors anxiously awaiting the opportunity to work the presidential campaign of Barack Obama into the next edition.) The authors have attempted to include cultural as well as historical events and devote a fair amount of space to music, which they consider to be extremely important in African-American culture, and to authors. One might complain that the visual arts are a bit scanted. At times, I thought that there might be a little more coverage of African Americans outside the South, but that was, after all, where the overwhelming majority lived and still live. Although it is sometimes clear that they have a particular point of view on a subject, they attempt to cover many controversies even-handedly. The text is heavily illustrated. In addition to an extensive bibliography, there are annotated recommendations for further reading at the end of each chapter. The text includes chronologies and a glossary, as well as a detailed index. In all, a book that I would recommend, even to those outside the classroom.
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