cover image Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019

Edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. One World, $32 (512p) ISBN 978-0-593-13404-7

Bestseller Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist) and historian Blain (Set the World on Fire) present an engrossing anthology of essays, biographical sketches, and poems by Black writers tracing the history of the African American experience from the arrival of the first slaves in 1619 to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Highlights include journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, on the erasure from American history of the first slave ship to arrive on U.S. soil; University of Kentucky English professor DaMaris B. Hill’s lyrical reimagining of how tobacco was cultivated in Jamestown, Va.; and political commentator Heather C. McGhee on the desire to believe that Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 was a “class-based, multiracial uprising against slavery, landlessness, and servitude,” despite evidence of the plotters’ “anti-Native fervor,” Stanford University history professor Allyson Hobbs explores racial passing by fugitive slaves in antebellum America, while historian Peniel Joseph looks at the rise of the Black Power movement in the 1960s. With a diverse range of up-and-coming scholars, activists, and writers exploring topics both familiar and obscure, this energetic collection stands apart from standard anthologies of African American history. (Feb.)