The African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 5, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 414 pages
One hundred original profiles of the most influential African-Americans of the twentieth century.

Without Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis, we would not have jazz. Without Toni Morrison or Ralph Ellison, we would miss some of our greatest novels. Without Dr. King or Thurgood Marshall, we would be deprived of political breakthroughs that affirm and strengthen our democracy. Here, two of the leading African-American scholars of our day, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West, show us why the twentieth century was the African-American century, as they offer their personal picks of the African-American figures who did the most to shape our world.

This colorful collection of personalities includes much-loved figures such as scientist George Washington Carver, contemporary favorites such as comedian Richard Pryor and novelist Alice Walker, and even less-well-known people such as aviator Bessie Coleman. Gates and West also recognize the achievements of controversial figures such as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and rap artist Tupac Shakur. Lively, accessible, and illustrated throughout, The African-American Century is a celebration of black achievement and a tribute to the black struggle for freedom in America that will inspire readers for years to come.

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THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CENTURY: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country

User Review  - Kirkus

Gates (Identities) and West (Race Matters, 1993, etc.) have compiled over 100 essays of mostly biographical material on some fairly well-known figures in the arts, military life, sports, civil rights ... Read full review

The African-American century: how Black Americans have shaped our country

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The 20th century witnessed both the transformation of black life in the United States and blacks' transformation of life in the United States. Focusing on 100 extraordinary personalitiesDten in each ... Read full review


Josephine Baker
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Jean Toomer
Duke Ellington
Lena Home
Adam Clayton Powell Jr
Jackie Robinson

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About the author (2002)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American research at Harvard University. Among his many books are Colored People: A Memoir and Wonders of the African World. He won an American Book Award in 1989 for The Signifying Monkey.

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