Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-First Century

Linda Tarrant-Reid. Abrams, $29.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-8109-7098-4
Journalist Tarrant-Reid offers a comprehensive and well-designed history of black Americans, beginning with an examination of early black explorers and the roots of slavery, and concluding with the inauguration of Barack Obama. Throughout, Tarrant- Reid maintains an engagingly personal voice, profiling such prominent individuals as Phillis Wheatley, Booker T. Washington, and Malcolm X, as well as noting those swept up in the wave of history (a section on the American Revolution devotes space to blacks who fought on both sides, and a two-page spread gathers black inventors). Chapters examine the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow eras, followed by a focus on 20th-century social, political, and artistic movements. Reproductions of historical documents, photographs, and artwork provide a sense of immediacy to this immersive tapestry, which reaches well beyond the milestones typically outlined in history books. With expressive details, such as firsthand accounts from the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders, and pop culture references (including the lyrics to Marvin Gaye’s 1971 song “What’s Going On”), it’s a book that will inspire readers to think more broadly and deeply about the African-American experience. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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