A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country

Jabari Asim, illus. by Lynn Gaines. Black Dog & Leventhal, $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-316-43642-7
Asim (Preaching to the Chickens) thoroughly explores influential events, political and social movements, and individuals in African-American history, beginning with the ugly legacy of slavery: “African Americans are the only ethnic group whose ancestors were brought to this country against their will.” Moving forward in time, Asim discusses topics that include abolitionism, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement; highlights African-American activists, artists, and athletes; and contextualizes events such as the airing of the 1977 miniseries Roots and the Los Angeles riots. A closing section carries readers into the 21st century with Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, and Black Lives Matter. Newcomer Gaines’s portraits are often stiff and awkward, but Asim’s thoughtful, wide-ranging commentary makes this a useful and accessible resource. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/11/2017
Release date: 01/02/2018
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-4080-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-4083-9
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