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    Hidden in Plain View : A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (18 January, 2000)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $10.50
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    Editorial Review

    When quiltmaker Ozella McDaniels told Jacqueline Tobin of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code, it sparked Tobin to place the tale within the history of the Underground Railroad. Hidden in Plain View documents Tobin and Raymond Dobard's journey of discovery, linking Ozella's stories to other forms of hidden communication from history books, codes, and songs. Each quilt, which could be laid out to air without arousing suspicion, gave slaves directions for their escape. Ozella tells Tobin how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety.

    The authors construct history around Ozella's story, finding evidence in cultural artifacts like slave narratives, folk songs, spirituals, documented slave codes, and children's' stories. Tobin and Dobard write that "from the time of slavery until today, secrecy was one way the black community could protect itself. If the white man didn't know what was going on, he couldn't seek reprisals." Hidden in Plain View is a multilayered and unique piece of scholarship, oral history, and cultural exploration that reveals slaves as deliberate agents in their own quest for freedom even as it shows that history can sometimes be found where you least expect it. --Amy Wan ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Book Creates New American Myth
    The book, Hidden in Plain View, is based on the oral testimony of an elderly lady, shared with one of the co-authors shortly before she died. This book was immediately seized upon by the popular press and apparently, embraced by many people as the "Gospel Truth".
    Page 33 of the book shares the author's own statement that the book is conjecture. No collaborative evidence was provided nor sought by the books' authors, and since neither of them are quilt historians, they surely did not realize the inanity of what is proposed.
    In my opinion, this book is a major insult to intelligent people everywhere yet it has been picked up to be shared as "fact" in Social Studies classes across America, instead of the "fiction" that it is. The book does not jibe with what we know about the Underground Railroad and African American history. Most certainly, the depiction of quilt blocks is not in tandem with known quilt and/or quilt block history.
    Members of the American Quilt Study Group, a group that is comprised of University professors, professional writers/book authors, appraisers, publishers, and many others associated with the quilt world, have privately and publicly condemned this book. For interesting reading, you may like to read the introductory remarks that Marsha MacDowell shared in the year 2000. Marsha is a researcher and faculty member of Michigan State University, andher thoughts are available to read in Vol. 21 of the Research Papers of the American Quilt Study Group "Uncoverings", 2000.
    From a quiltmaker's point of view and also that of a quilt historian, several of my articles about Hidden in Plain View have been published by major magazines. This book, HIdden in Plain View, is scholarship at its worst.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Master's Thesis as Literature?
    I can't add much to the other reviewers who have comprehensively covered the deficiencies of this book.Aside from the leaps of faith made in the research, it reads like the author's master's thesis, crafted for academia and not for actual reading.

    1-0 out of 5 stars --Sadly disappointing--
    I was intrigued when I found this book and really wanted to like it. However, I feel that HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW has no substance and offers no new information that can be validated. The authors base their premise, that quilts were used as a tool to help slaves escape, on the word of a woman who sells quilts in South Carolina. The theory was that quilts with different symbols were displayed and they gave messages to the slaves. The authors also went back into African history and attempted to tie in a lot of symbols. I believe the authors were trying, but they really had no solid information to offer and kept on spinning their story.

    It is possible that along a route going north, a quilt could be displayed outside of a house as a message that this was a "safe house" or something of that nature.Escaping slaves mostly traveled by night, so hanging out a quilt would only work during the daylight hours. There's a story for children called SWEET CLARA AND THE FREEDOM QUILT that is quite good.The girl in the story makes a quilt out of scraps of material that detail the plantation that she lives on; also detailed, was the area outside the plantation, which was more difficult since the girl had to have that area described to her. In the book, the quilt is used as a map for anyone attempting to escape and go to Canada. I really liked the idea and found it plausible.

    I think, that after all of this time, we'll never know for sure if quilts were hung as signals for the travelers on the Underground Railroad, but the idea of a quilt helping to save a human life is comforting. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0385497679
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. Afro-American quilts    3. Communication    4. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    5. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    6. Fugitive slaves    7. History    8. Slavery    9. Social Science    10. Social aspects    11. Sociology    12. Underground railroad    13. United States    14. United States - 19th Century    15. United States - Civil War    16. Social Science / African-American Studies   


    The Black New Yorkers: The Schomburg Illustrated Chronology
    by Howard Dodson, Roberta Yancy, Christopher Moore
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (26 October, 1999)
    list price: $40.00 -- our price: $25.20
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    Editorial Review

    The Black New Yorkers is the companion volume to the Schomburg Center exhibit as well as a resource for the PBS history of New York City. With over 200 illustrations and 480 pages, it traces the nearly 400-year-old black presence in New York--from the appearance of the free Afro-Caribbean trader Jan Rodriguez in 1613, through the majesty of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, to the infamous 1998 Million Youth March. As Howard Dodson writes in his introduction, "Here is an unparalleled reference source designed to answer your questions about the history of Black New York," and "a fascinating story of great achievement and struggle in a dynamic global context." Indeed, we learn that West Indians and native-born blacks make Brooklyn, not Harlem, the largest concentration of people of African descent in the U.S. We also learn of Liberty, a mid-19th-century drawing of a black woman that may have been the model for the Statue of Liberty. We discover that the bebop revolution was ushered in by Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk in Harlem--and that salsa and Latin jazz were also born there, thanks to musicians such as Mario Bauza, Tito Puente, and Eddie Palmieri, who blended Afro-Cuban and Afro-American rhythms and musical forms. The collection also contains excellent biographical listings, from Samuel Cornish--founder of the abolitionist newspaper Freedom's Journal in 1827--to the city's first black mayor, David Dinkins. The Black New Yorkers reveals the wealth not only of the Big Apple but also of the Schomburg Center, arguably the most exhaustive resource on the African diaspora. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great History Book
    The Black New Yorkers is the single-most complete history of African Americans in the United States that I have ever read! I was amazed to find the contributions of Africans extend so far back in New York's history.Indeed, I was not aware there were any blacks in New York prior to the 20thcentury Harlem Renaissance. There are literally hundreds of little knownbut important facts about black New Yorkers in this book. From the firstblack New Yorker, Jan Rodriguez, to the 2.3 million blacks who live in NewYork City today, this book has set a new standard for scholarship inAmerican history.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not comprehensive enough
    Unless the authors are planning to do a book on Brooklyn New Yorkers, I am disappointed not to see text on my grandfather, George E. Wibecan, who was a noted activist and politician in Brooklyn from the turn of the centuryuntil his death in 1946.Materials and photographs are available at theSchomberg Library.I wanted to purchase this book for my family members. But when I realized that George Wibecan was omitted, I quickly changed mymind about its value to black families from outside Manhattan. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0471297143
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. Blacks In The U.S.    3. Chronology    4. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    5. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    6. History    7. New York    8. New York (State)    9. New York - Local History    10. Pictorial works    11. Social Science    12. Social life and customs    13. Sociology    14. United States - State & Local - General    15. Black studies    16. History / United States / State & Local    17. Modern period, c 1500 onwards    18. Social groups & communities    19. Social history    20. USA   


    Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
    by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis, Jr. Gates
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $100.00
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    Editorial Review

    Legendary scholar-activist W.E.B. Du Bois labored to complete an "Encyclopedia Africana" before his death in 1963. Just over 35 years later, two Harvard educators, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ghanaian-born Kwame Anthony Appiah, have brought Du Bois' intellectual dream to life in Africana, the most complete and comprehensive record of the Pan-African diaspora compiled into one volume. With over two million words and 3,500 entries from more than 220 contributors, Appiah and Gates sought, as they put it, to "give a sense of the wide diversity of peoples, cultures, and traditions that we know about Africa in historical times, a feel for the environment in which that history was lived, and a broad outline of the contributions of people of African descent, especially in the Americas, but, more generally, around the world." To fulfill this aim, they consider biographical, political, artistic, economic, historical, and geographical data; a brief sampling of topics includes "Food in African-American Culture," "Creolized Musical Instruments of the Caribbean," and "Anthropology in Africa." The section on Africa fills about two thirds of the book, loaded with invaluable information--from the ethnic and colonial factors that contributed to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Eritrea, and Sierra Leone to the educational, linguistic, and social advances in Tanzania, Gabon, and South Africa. The legacies of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe are also presented in great detail. The encyclopedia also contains documented evidence of African-derived peoples in Asia, including the exploits of Malik Ambar, who arrived in India from Ethiopia as a result of the East Indian slave trade.

    Turning to the Western Hemisphere, Africana skillfully and succinctly synopsizes the lives and achievements of a multitude of African Americans, from 18th-century inventor-astronomer Benjamin Banneker to late-20th-century heroes like Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, and astronaut Mae Jemison. You'll learn about the little-considered black presence in Canada; Africana also uncovers hidden pockets of black culture in surprising places like Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina (where the Negro population, we discover, was reduced by a process of miscegenation known as blanqueamiento, or whitening). The upper-crust veneer of the Argentine tango is peeled away, revealing the dance's roots in the rhythmic innovations of 19th-century Afro-Argentines. With all of the aforementioned headings and topics, however, it's the special essays that best detail the treasure chest of scholarship of Africana. Robin Kelley examines the volatile clash between "Malcolm X and the Black Bourgeoisie"; Thomas Skidmore deconstructs "Race and Class in Brazil" and the myth of "racial democracy"; Mahmood Mamdani, in "Ethnicity in Rwanda," brilliantly decodes the complex and maddening colonial manipulations that erupted in genocide and made the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups "more political than cultural identities ... one is power and the other is subject."

    A splendidly packaged reference work that will adorn libraries and homes for years to come, Africana defines the black experience in the same sweeping way that the Encyclopedia Britannica defined Euro-American civilization. More importantly for young readers, the magnificent collection shows that Africans and the continent's descendants are a truly global people who have made tremendous contributions to human civilization. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (20)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive And Fascinating - 2095 Pages
    This is a comprehensive & valuable book. However, it does lack a proper index. It is set up in encyclopedia format in simple alphabetical listings. It needs to have a cross-reference index for the thousands of listings contained within because many of the listings are full articles that need to be cross referenced. Some of the articles have a reference at the end of the article that says "see also." However, this is not the same as having a comprehensive index available. This book has hundreds of maps, tables, charts, and photographs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Africana: The Experience of the African and African Am
    re: Africana: Appiah & Gates

    today i finally broke down and purchased this seemingly valuable book; only to become frustrated - sorely disappointed and then angry ...

    it really befuddles my mind, how someone could put so much effort, hard work and many hundreds of hours into compiling this "encyclopedia" per sé, yet omit including a comprehensive index.

    such a piece of work - all it's worth, is virtually wasted, if one is use this encyclopedic masterpiece of immense proportions; yet being unable to search an index and/or find easy access to necessary facts and dat- let alone being able to cross-reference.

    what this book is going to mean to myself - someone who continually researches these many issues is negligeable ... this book is bound to gather dust on my laden bookshelves ... grrr ...

    what a pity ... sigh ...

    my autobiography "The Long Nights© - the continuous struggle for survival (a work in progress) will most certainly have well defined indexis - footnotes - including a glossary - together with terminology - pertaining to southern africa - it's people, culture, cutoms, tradition and languages ...

    my intention is to enlighten the reader - give them a real insight to the complexities of my country and not have them second-guess what it is, that i am saying/referring to, by assuming - (incorrectly of course) that they are eu fait with africa ...

    i still think that the publishers/editors of "basic civitas books" need to supply an insert to this valuable work - in order to do it true justice - make it's true worth come to the fore ...

    (living in the diaspora)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Obafemi Awolowo
    Africana is one of the best things that happened to Africans all over the World.I did not regret buying this Encyclopedia.
    As a Nigerian I belive Chief Obafemi Awolowo was on of the Greatest Nigerian and one of the Greatest African that ever lived based on his acheivement in the struggle for independence in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
    His acheivement in the Positive Development of Nigeria Politically, Economically & Socially -Education & Health- is incomparably to any other Nigerian Leader that ever lived and his lagacy still lives on in Nigeria.
    This Great Leader and Son of Africa was omitted in this Good book . This does not do JUSTICE to AWOLOWO in particuler and AFRICA in general.
    Thank you.

    Babatunde Sekoni ... Read more

    Isbn: 0465000711
    Subjects:  1. Africa    2. Africa - General    3. African Americans    4. African diaspora    5. Blacks    6. Civilization    7. Encyclopedias    8. Encyclopedias (Multi-Subject)    9. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    10. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    11. History - General History    12. History Of Blacks    13. Reference    14. Social Science   

    My Soul Is a Witness: A Chronology of the Civil Rights Era 1954-1965
    by Bettye Collier-Thomas, V. P. Franklin
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 January, 2000)
    list price: $30.00
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS CHRONOLOGY
    Everything you've heard but forgotten put in proper sequence and total truthful facts.This is the best chronology of the whole civil rights movement that I've ever seen.It puts all of it in proper sequence andperspective of the times.This is a must read for anyone that believes infreedom for all...get it, and read it twice...the index is super...it's alibrary keeper.And buy one for your friends! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0805047697
    Sales Rank: 721004
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. African Americans    3. Blacks In The U.S.    4. Chronology    5. Civil rights    6. Civil rights movements    7. Discrimination & Racism    8. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    9. History    10. History - General History    11. History: American    12. Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights    13. U.S. - Political And Civil Rights    14. United States    15. United States - 20th Century    16. United States - General   

    The Hairstons : An American Family in Black and White
    by Henry Wiencek
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (19 February, 2000)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Editorial Review

    The Hairstons traces the complex lineage and fascinating legacy of one of America's largest families. Henry Wiencek explores the lives of black and white members of the Hairston clan, as they have accepted each other as one family, easing the historical divide between the races, and reveals how Southern families have been affected by slavery's legacy and by the burden it continues to carry. Visiting family reunions, interviewing family members, and exploring old plantations, Wiencek combs the far-reaching branches of the Hairston family tree to gather anecdotes from members about their ancestors and piece together a family history that involves the experiences of both plantation owners and their slaves. He expertly weaves the Hairstons' stories from all sides of historical events like slave emancipation, Reconstruction, school segregation, and lynching. For example, from a black Hairston, Wiencek learns of a slave who burned rail fences to cook a hog for his starving comrades; white Hairstons record the incident as an act of slave indolence, a way to hinder the next day's work.

    As Wiencek tells the stories of individual Hairstons, he uncovers the layers of a shared history at times painful, shameful, extraordinary, and joyful. Beautifully describing the land of the South and faithfully recounting what he has been told, Wiencek testifies that he "heard history not as a historian would write it but as a novelist would imagine it." The dynamic stories in The Hairstons are not solely one family's legacy but a record that reflects America's complicated process of healing and understanding the mark of slavery. --Amy Wan ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book about the Old South
    My father is from Danville, VA where many of the Hairstons lived. Like the author, I am from Boston, but have always been fascinated by Southern history and specialized in it during college. This is an exceptional book that combines the best of responsible historical research and engaging journalism.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a surprise!
    I personally thought this book was wonderful!It could not have been more vividly illustrated by Wiencek. I am a native of Lexington, NC and my great great grandfather is pictured in this book, Righteous Hairston.From what I have been told he was a ferryman.Having attended "Hairston Clans Reunion" when I was younger, I am intrigued to know that there is a book written about my family!It tells a story of days long gone and how a family has thrown away racial barriers and how they decided to come together as one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Hairston's in Black and White
    I am the niece and greatniece to two relatives in the book from pages 120.Jean is my aunt and Bay is my great aunt.For many years, our grandmother, Laura Hairston Cunningham Crenshaw told the stories of how powerful her family was.She always said she was black.Being very young at the time, I couldn't really understand why she kept saying that because she didn't look Black.This family history is fulled with the curses and blessings that come from years of sinful living and righteous living.My siblings and I visited our grandmother in Mississippi several times in our youth.My sister read the book and she was in tears, an older brother read the book and he became angry.I choose to accept the past for what it is.I have lived with my father who has direct knowledge of that family going back several generations, yet, he never discusses his life as a youth growing up in the heart of the South as a Hairston.His two brothers are now deceased but they left children behind.We have family members in Chicago and St. Louis as well as Mississippi.

    I can only tell you that wealth extracts a price of its own.So does being poor.My father loved his mother and his maternal grandfather.He came away from Mississippi having learned about the character of a man and how to measure it.He loved his children (and there are many of us).He loved his brothers and his sister.We may never know the depths of his hurt and we may never understand if the hurt is the result of being a Hairston or the product of a so-called bi-racial marriage.What our family knows is that the past owes us nothing.The stories that are told about this side of the family don't matter.We were loved by them and they loved us.God brought the family through those times and continues to smile on us today.Every family has a story to tell.The Bible is filled with stories of the lives of those who passed on many years ago.Our destiny is to learn from those who have passed on.Each of us shoulders a responsibility to achieve whatever is good and right in God's sight.No more and no less. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0312253931
    Subjects:  1. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: American    5. Slavery    6. United States - General    7. United States - State & Local - General    8. Social Science / African-American Studies   


    Hidden Witness: African American Images from the Dawn of Photography to the Civil War
    by Jackie Napolean Wilson
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 January, 2000)
    list price: $27.50
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    Editorial Review

    The image is striking: A woman gazes serenely at the camera, baby cradled in her arms in classic Madonna-and-child pose. More striking is the fact that the sitters are black, and the photograph dates from 1860. Few photographs from the mid-19th century feature African Americans, enslaved or free. Those that do are often staged and reflect the biases of the photographer or the printmaker who published them. Others, however, provide glimpses of daily life before the abolition of slavery.

    Renowned collector of early photographs Jackie Napolean Wilson has compiled 70 such images in Hidden Witness. Each photograph--whether an outdoor scene, where slaves are afterthoughts in the frame, so-called Mammy portraits of slaves holding white children, studio portraits of proud freemen and women--is accompanied by a brief explanation, contextualizing the image and speculating on the nature of the pictured relationships. Some of the subjects are famous, such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass; others, though unknowns, carry a force of their own: the exuberant grin of the prizewinning boxer, the proud stance of a Union soldier, the quiet dignity of a slave nurse. A handsome addition to the history of African Americans and photography. --Sunny Delaney ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Precious history.
    This book has photographs to treasure.To see black people at this period of history recorded in photographs is a precious thing.However, I must agree with the consensus that the text is worthless, which is why I didn't give the book five stars.I was not interested in the author's guesses about these people and many times he wasactually obnoxious in his anxiety to make sure the reader saw the photographs with his spin on them.

    Particularly moving, besides the portrait on the front of the woman and child were the memorial photograph of the dead baby, and the couple of photos of slaveslined up in front a plantation.It was interesting to see, although it was not the common experience that there were already so many black middle-class pre-slavery, or at least, so many blacks managed to dress up for even a one-time portrait.I have some older photos in my family and I know from that that people put their best foot forward and rented clothes that were better than their usual ones and so forth for portraits.Also, even in the 19th century it was possible to retouch photos and remove things that they did not want to be seen.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Let the eyes tell us what the picture means
    The photographs are great!! I just wish that the author had let them speak for themselves, or if he felt that he must say something, tell us what he felt when looking at the photos.I don't think that there is a person over the age of 8 that doesn't know about the difficult times that African American faced and still face, but to add them as facts to the photographs is just a bit much.God I want just one book that has photographs of us that talk about our pride and strength seen in our eyes by the len.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Precious Images
    These photographs are gorgeous. Many of the readers have probably never seen early photos of free and even prosperous proud ante-bellum black people. I would give this book five stars were it not for the commentary. Jackie Napoleon Wilson tries so hard to interpret the photos that he makes ridiculous assumptions. There is no way to know what was going on in thesepeople's heads. As other reviewers have pointed out, becuase of the daugeretype's long exposure time the man in the photo on page 3 didn't just get caught in the scene he must have been posed. When Wilson says the woman and daughter on page 13 didn't have a close attachment he's speaking nonsense. How on earth can you tell that?Despite the commentary this book is a worthy addition to the bookshelf of anyone who is interested in history. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0312245467
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. African Americans    3. Black American Sociology    4. Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions    5. Documentary Photo Collections    6. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    7. History    8. Photo Essays    9. Portrait photography    10. Portraits    11. Slaves    12. Social Science    13. United States   

    Let Nobody Turn Us Around
    by Manning Marable
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 December, 1999)
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $22.05
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    Editorial Review

    "Throughout their entire history as a people," write historian Manning Marable and anthropologistLeith Mullings, "African Americans have created themselves." This well-conceived, thoughtfully annotated anthology both documents and honors that process of creating identities, histories, and cultural memories in the aftermath of diaspora.

    Marable and Mullings's collection takes in examples of African American social and political writing over the last three centuries. The anthology's first section, covering the years 1789 to 1865, opens with an excerpt from Nigeria-born Olaudah Equiano's memoir of slavery, which became a key document in the abolitionist movement; the section includes passages from writings and testimonials by Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass, among others. The second section visits the era of reconstruction and the emergent nationalist and civil rights movements, with contributions from Booker T. Washington, William Monroe Trotter, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others. The third and fourth sections address the relocation of African Americans from predominantly rural settings to the industrial centers of the Northeast and Midwest, a time of revolutionary and artistic ferment, while the fifth section takes readers to the present, guided by the remarks ofCornel West,Jesse Jackson,Henry Louis Gates Jr., and other contemporary thinkers.

    Much of this material is relatively well known, but many pieces have not been gathered elsewhere, making the anthology especially useful to students seeking diverse points of view. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For those who think they know history!
    This is an absolute must have.It is the cornerstone of my library collection.From "David Walker's Appeal" to Angela Davis' "I Am a Revolutionary Black Woman" to Mumia Abu-Jamal's "A Voice from Death Row" this book is pure genius.It is not a book to borrow but to be owned and cherished in any book collection!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A unique and exceptional contribution to Black Studies.
    This Afro-American anthology provides accounts of civil rights reforms, history and resistance, gathering the most important political writings and testimonials from over three centuries. Activists like DuBois, Douglass andMalcolm X are joined by lesser-known names in this survey of how individualactions formed into a movement. Oral testimonies, interviews and essaysblend in an important coverage. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0847699307
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. Civil rights    3. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    4. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    5. History    6. Political History    7. Social Science    8. Social conditions    9. Sociology    10. Sources    11. United States - General    12. American English    13. Black studies    14. Collections & anthologies of various literary forms    15. Other prose: from c 1900 -    16. Social Science / General    17. USA   


    The New York Public Library African American Desk Reference
    by New York Public Library
    Hardcover (16 September, 1999)
    list price: $40.00 -- our price: $25.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    This is exactly the type of reference book you'd expect from the New York Public Library--it is packed with tables, charts, timelines, and summaries devoted, in this case, to the African American experience. Chapters cover a variety of topics, including the saga of African American history, politics and civil rights, science and technology, the military and the media. African American Desk Reference opens with a timeline of African American history beginning in 1200 B.C. when, according to a number of scholars, black Africans from Egypt and Nubia sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and had extensive contact with native peoples of the Americas. The timeline spans 22 pages and ends in 1998 with a description of the President's Commission on Race, which looked at issues affecting African Americans, and BET's announcement that it would produce films for the African American market. As readers would expect, slavery is given much attention throughout the nearly 600 pages. And this is where the book's depth of information shines. Not only are slavery's origins, key players, and ultimate demise discussed, there are also tables showing the gender and age of captives taken from Africa between 1600 and 1800; a record comparing occupations in Charleston in 1848 among slaves, "free Negroes," and whites; and a chart of the nationality of ships engaged in the Atlantic slave trade from 1701 to 1800. Lighter topics are also covered, including summaries of the origins of major holidays, as well as the traditions behind family and wedding celebrations. A variety of recipes are also included (Onions, Okra, Corn and Tomatoes; Nola's Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese; Creole Red Beans and Rice), as are explanations of children's games, including the jump-rope contest Double Dutch and the clapping rhyme game Mary Mack. Notable achievements of African Americans are also addressed, including inventors and innovators, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and winners of major literary prizes. True to its librarian roots, each chapter in the book ends with a list of sources where readers can find additional information. It's hard to imagine, though, that much is left uncovered in this extensive book. --John Russell ... Read more

    Isbn: 0471239240
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. Afro-Americans    3. Bibliographies & Indexes    4. Black American Sociology    5. Blacks In The U.S.    6. Encyclopedias    7. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    8. General    9. History    10. Reference    11. Sociology    12. American history    13. Black studies    14. Cultural studies    15. Reference / General    16. Reference works    17. USA   


    Finding a Place Called Home : A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity. Revised andExpanded
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (16 November, 1999)
    list price: $18.00
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the best thing published on this subject
    African-American genealogy is a field that few non-Black researchers know very much about, myself included. The essentials of family research are generally the same, of course, and this well-written book reflects that -- but there are also a great many special considerations, techniques, and applications of old ideas that Woodtor presents clearly and in detail. Several chapters lay out the basic principles for the novice: Working backward from the living generation, moving from the known to the unknown, developing good research habits, checking all the sources, and so on. But they also point out the importance of oral tradition among African-American families, the necessity of identifying the last slave owner, and the tendency among many families to "disremember" unpleasant periods or relationships in the past. The author also relies on anecdotes, mostly from her own family, to illustrate the research process and to warn of special problems the researcher may encounter. A number of important topics are discussed at length, most of which I had only the most superficial knowledge of. Among these were the several extended exoduses during the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the great out-migration from Edgefield County, South Carolina to Tennesse, Arkansas, and (via Charleston) to Liberia; the "exodusters" movement of 1878-1879 from most of the Od South to Kansas and the Midwest; and the effects of World War I on the formation of a Black artisan and middle-class. Even searching the censuses of 1870-1920 brings special problems for the African-American researcher, since race was often incorrectly reported and surnames often changed over time. Another important consideration is possible enlistment in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War; this is especially true for Louisiana (my special research area), which supplied more enlistees than any other state, North or South. There are several rules to keep in mind in working your way back before 1865: The smaller the slave owner, the fewer the records created. Rather than analyzing nuclear families, one will be looking at lists of slaves in an effort to reconstruct kinship ties. The general principle of working slowly from the present to the past tends to break down in slave research, with very wide gaps between records. In order to understand the movement and selling of more than one million slaves in the South between 1790 and 1860, one must understand the principles and mechanics of the slave trade. And, perhaps most important, the genealogy of slaves is the genealogy of slave owners. The author also explains the reasons behind "protective" slavery and slave ownership by free Blacks, the place of free Blacks in the North before the Civil War, and the question of American Indian ancestry among African-Americans. Several closing chapters discuss special topics, including Caribbean ancestry, sources of African-American institutional records, genealogical research at family reunions, and what to do with your research. I highly recommend this volume to any and all genealogists, regardless of race or ethnicity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a superb discussion of evidence and sources
    Dee Parmer Woodtor, Finding a Place Called Home:A Guide toAfrican-American Genealogy and Historical Identity (New York: Random House,1999) is a superb discussion of resources and methods, with awell-developed (and essential) emphasis on interpreting evidence fromrecords.Includes examples and case studies throughout.The best book ofits genre yet written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I heartily applaud Dee's efforts
    The book itself is beautifully laid out with photos, tables, quotes and sample documents. But don't let the good looks fool you! This book has real meat to it! I heartily applaud Dee's efforts to:

    describe the type of records available

    suggest how to organize research

    handle thedelicacies of slave trading, and the consequential short history of manyAfrican Americans

    discuss the usefulness of tracing European ancestry

    assist you in finding your own voice during the process

    guide readersto a thoughtful presentation of results.

    Chapter headingsinclude:

    Regaining Our Collective Memory, Reclaiming a Lost FamilyTradition

    Beginning Your Genealogical Pursuit

    Techniques & Tools

    Your Ancestors on Record: The importance of documenting the life cycle

    A Place Called Down Home

    Unraveling the ties that Bound 1870-1920

    Finding Freedom's Generation 1860-1865

    Close to Kin, but StillWaiting for Forty Acres and a Mule - Searching for your ancestors duringthe reconstruction

    A Long Way to Freedom - The genealogy of your slaveancestors

    The Last Slave and the Last Slave Owner

    The Records ofSlavery

    Reconstructing Families and Kinship in the Slave Community

    The Records Freedom Generated

    The Last African & the FirstAmerican

    Conclusion - Family Reunions & Regaining a CollectiveMemory

    Special topics include:

    Sources for Advanced Research in SlaveGenealogy

    African American Institutional Records

    Caribbean Ancestry

    American Indian Ancestry

    World Wars I & II

    What to Do withYour Research - Writing family memoirs or the family story, and 101genealogy research projects waiting to be done

    Further Note on CountyCourthouse Records

    Personal Recordkeeping with exercises for Beginners

    African American and Genealogy Web Sites

    African American GenealogySocieties in the United States and Canada.

    Dee's bibliography,referenced by chapter, is found on 24 pages of closely spaced lettering --a literal MUST READ set of resources to augment her offerings.

    Notablecomments, which ring true to my understanding include:

    "...Once youfind the last slave owner, you are using his family history and genealogyas a guide to identify his recorded transactions that named slaves he andhis extended family owned over time using primarily the family's personalrecords, if you can find them, and any public transactions that theyrecorded at the courthouse. " p 275.

    "Dotted throughout theSouth are thousands of small African American Churches of every knownProtestant denomination.If there are now approximately 65,000 AfricanAmerican Churches in the United States, over half of them must be in thesouth.

    A recent survey reported that 70 percent of African Americansattend church.In each and every county of the historical Black Belt andin every small place where Black folks lived during slavery, you will findthat they established independent churches within a few decades ofemancipation. Many were extensions of churches established during slaveryor through a bequest by a former slave owner."p 107.

    RegardingAfrican Americans serving in the military during the US Civil War from page148: "Anoder ting is, suppose you had kept your freedom withoutenlisting in dis army; your chillen might have grown up free and been wellcultivated as to be equal to any business, but it would have been alwaysthrown in dere faces --"Your fater never fought for his ownfreedom." Private Thomas Long, 1st Carolina South Colunteers Cited inBenjamin Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War.

    The author, Dee Woodtor,is a member of the Genealogy Forum staff

    copyright 2000 ... Read more

    Isbn: 037570843X
    Sales Rank: 267273
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. Afro-Americans    3. Ethnic identity    4. Genealogy    5. General    6. Handbooks, manuals, etc    7. Social Science    8. Sociology    9. Social Science / African-American Studies   

    The Face of Our Past: Images of Black Women from Colonial America to the Present
    by Kathleen Thompson, Hilary Mac Austin, Darlene Clark Hine
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $12.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Purchase
    This book covers generations of history.The pictures are
    breath-taking....it gives you a sincere sense of purpose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Purchase
    This book covers generations of history.The pictures are
    breath-taking....it gives you a sincere sense of purpose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, beautifully captioned
    This is a marvelous and moving selection of visual moments, carefully chosen and elegantly captioned. It is refreshingly free of the stuffily convoluted prose one would expect of a book from an academic press. Although the pictures could be said to speak for themselves (and sometimes they can), the information supplied by the gracefully literate writer(s) is helpful and interesting.

    Groups of photographs can be wonderful to look at. This collection rises far above what it might have been by means of the exquisite care that was taken in its selection and the highly accessible captioning that accompanies the images. ... Read more

    Isbn: 025333635X
    Sales Rank: 69013
    Subjects:  1. African American women    2. Blacks In The U.S.    3. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    4. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    5. History    6. Photoessays & Documentaries    7. Pictorial works    8. Social Science    9. Sociology    10. Sources    11. Women In The U.S.    12. Women's Studies - History   


    Spirit Dive : An African American's Journey to Uncover a Sunken Slave Ship's Past
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (28 December, 1999)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $14.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    For most Afro-Americans, the slave ship was the vessel that ushered their unwilling ancestors from their homeland to the New World. That is why Michael Cottman's Spirit Dive resonates with such horror and history, as he uncovers the sordid tale of the Henrietta Marie, which sailed from London to West Africa and on to America, where it sank off the coast of Key West in 1700. In an emotional narrative that combines scuba diving; American, Caribbean, and African history; and underwater archeology, Cottman's descriptions of the ship's discovery, the horrible instruments of bondage the Africans were forced to endure, and the soul-killing greed that dehumanized the Europeans who participated in this hellish "business" make Spirit Dive an unforgettable read. "I needed to know about the man who had captained the Henrietta Marie," Cottman writes. "The ironmongers who had manufactured the shackles for the ship; the crewmen who had set the sails and helped navigate the 120-ton vessel from London to Africa; the deckhands who had enslaved the Africans as part of their daily duties, men who had showed no remorse in senselessly slaughtering rebellious human beings in the time it takes to think." --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shackles
    The author notes that as a ten year old in Detroit he loved the program SEA HUNT.Scuba diving led to a journey to uncover a slave ship's past.The book opens with a timeline of events significant to the operation of the HENRIETTA MARIE.

    Mel Fisher is probably the most well known treasure hunter in the world.Moe Molinar, a successful black treasure hunter, found the shackles.Additional diving in 1973 produced more rusted shackles.They were stored in a warehouse in Key West.The first artifact identifying the wreck was a bell inscribed HENRIETTA MARIE, 1699.This was discovered by David Moore, an archeologist, in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The author conducted research at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.David Moore and the author were haunted by the one hundred shackles found in the wreck of the HENRIETTA MARIE.Their presence showed without a doubt the ship's purpose.The author had been taught by his mother to use the story of slavery for inspiration.

    On its second slave voyage, and what proved to be its last, two hundred fifty Africans began the trip.Landfall after the Middle Passage was a location in Jamaica, Port Royal, where the African people were sold for three thousand one hundred forty four pounds.In the Florida straits the HENRIETTA MARIE was blindsided by strong winds.The ship sank thirty seven miles west of Key West.

    In Jamaica Michael Cottman, the author, may have met descendants of the people transported on the HENRIETTA MARIE.They had the same surname as a family of Jamaican plantation owners and English manufacturers of the cannon installed on the HENRIETTA MARIE.The meeting in Jamaica occurred after four years of research.

    In 1992 Michael Cottman attended his first national conference of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers.It was the organization's second national meeting.Safe diving practice means sticking to a buddy system.The association of black divers grew out of the need to obtain partners to follow the sport of scuba diving.

    The dive to the HENRIETTA MARIE was undertaken in May, 1993.It was quite an accomplishment to find the wreck after an absence of nine years; sand shifts, currents move and displace objects.Visibility underwater is frequently poor.Having located the wreck of the slave ship the HENRIETTA MARIEon New Ground Reef, the divers paid tribute to those ancestors and others who lost their lives during the Middle Passage.The dive was a sort of pilgrimage.

    In 1996 Cottman went to Dakar, to Goree Island.Historians believe the HENRIETTA MARIE once sailed along the West Coast of Africa.In 1996 since there were severe problems in Nigeria, Cottman elected to travel to Senegal.Michael Cottman and his guide went to a structure named the House of Slaves.Goree Island was a place of mass suffering and tormented souls.

    The book is moving.The terrible wound inflicted, slavery, needs to be discussed in this country.There is a Holocaust Museum memorializing a European event.No museum memorializes the peculiar institution.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and informative read
    I have always wanted to visit the Motherland, but never more than after reading Michael Cottman's "Spirit Dive." I thoroughly enjoyed his rich descriptions of the people and places he encountered there on hisquest, especially his visit to the Door of No Return on Goree Island andscuba diving the clear water off the west African coast. I enjoyed thepassages about scuba diving--the kinship between the black divers, theadventures of the underwater treasure hunters, Cottman's encounters withplayful schools of fish and no-so-playful sharks. I also found impressivethe detail the book included of the workings of the slave trade from abusiness perspective--the way the enslavers were so single-minded in theirgreed that they completely disregarded the value of black life. I willnever forget the image of the tiny shackles imprisoning babies--it wasdisturbing but richly described. I found it difficult to put "SpiritDive" down and have shared it with my young son, nephews, nieces andseveral friends. So many of the stories about slavery and the struggle ofour forebearers are written in a disconnected way. This book was a warm andpersonal account of a journalist and father's search for truth about hisheritage.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book To Read
    I really enjoyed reading Spirit Dive. I found it very interesting, inspiring and informative. It was an excellent way to learn about slavery without feeling depressed. I liked the idea of weaving one man's personalexperience with the history of one slave ship. The book made me laugh andcry. But it gave me a new way of thinking regarding the issue of slavery - African Americans survived slavery and continue to be a strong race ofpeople. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0609805525
    Subjects:  1. Afro-Americans    2. Antiquities    3. Earth Sciences - Geography    4. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    5. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    6. Excavations (Archaeology)    7. Florida    8. Key West Region    9. Ships & Shipbuilding - Shipwrecks    10. Shipwrecks    11. Slavery    12. Social Science    13. Sociology    14. Underwater archaeology    15. Social Science / African-American Studies   


    Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad
    by Randolph Paul Runyon
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 December, 1999)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good writing, good drama, good history
    Easy reading, warts and all biography and balanced scholarship about the complex and intertwined lives of proslavery figures and two famous abolitionists carrying their moral battle and suffering to Kentucky as prelude to the Civil War. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0813109744
    Sales Rank: 1263297
    Subjects:  1. Biography/Autobiography    2. History    3. History - General History    4. Slavery    5. U.S. History - Slavery Question And Abolitionism    6. United States - 19th Century    7. Women    8. Women In The U.S.    9. Women's Studies - History   


    Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country (Interventions--Theory and Contemporary Politics)
    by Esther Cooper Jackson, Constance Pohl
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 February, 2000)
    list price: $28.00
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    Editorial Review

    When it was created in 1961, the goal of the publication Freedomways was "to serve as a vehicle of communication, which will mirror developments in the diversified many-sided struggles of the Negro people." By the time of its demise in 1986, it had tracked the peril and promise of the civil rights era and the bewildering decade of the 1970s. This informative reader, compiled by the magazine's cofounder Esther Cooper Jackson, covers the full scope of Freedomways' history. In addition to contributions by W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and James Baldwin, the magazine boasted three Nobel Prize winners in Martin Luther King Jr., Pablo Neruda, and Derek Walcott. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee graced its pages, along with then-rising stars Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and Jesse Jackson. Covering topics as diverse as politics, culture, jazz, the antiwar movement, Pan-Africanism, prison, and education, Freedomways Reader is an excellent diary of late-20th-century African American life. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mandatory Reading
    This book should be mandatory reading for any course about the civil rights or black arts movement of the 60s. Freedomways magazine, edited by Esther Cooper Jackson, chronicled the entire civil rights and black arts movement with insightful analysis, critique and articles. Includes work by W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and other legendary Black poets and writers who first started out by publishing in the magazine. Also, it provides interesting research on the struggle for social, civil, and political rights here in this country and abroad. A must read as many of the articles within the "Reader" have never been published elsewhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars very important Book
    this is a Great book that covers so much Historical important information.a wide view of knowledge of the struggle all here.a must have.books like this cover so much.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Important addition to personal and academic Black studies.
    From 1961 to 1986, Freedomways published the words and thoughts of the leaders of the freedom movement; yet few modern Americans have heard of the publication. Esther Cooper Jackson and Constance Pohl's Freedomways Readergathers key writings from the pages of the various Freedomways booklets,charting the struggles for racial equality and providing an oral history ofblack freedom struggles, from reports of the Freedom Riders to shortstories. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0813367697
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. American - African American & Black    3. Black American Sociology    4. Blacks    5. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    6. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor    7. History    8. Literary Criticism    9. Race relations    10. Sociology    11. United States - 20th Century   

    In Search of Black America: Discovering the African American Dream
    by David J. Dent
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 February, 2000)
    list price: $26.00
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    Editorial Review

    If you watch the news, it is possible to misconstrue African Americansas an undereducated, hyperathletic, and jail-prone demographic group residinglargely in urban areas. This is precisely the kind of cliché thatjournalist David J. Dent seeks to undermine in his thought-provoking InSearch of Black America. In his travels across the U.S., Dent found that,contrary to popular opinion, African Americans are a complex group of peoplewith a myriad of opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs. "While diversity andmulticulturalism within the African American community are rich, there are stillsome common threads running throughout it," Dent writes. In 1993, he began hisfive-year mission to seek out these common threads and to meet the people behindthe statistics. What emerges are the hopes, plans, triumphs, and failures of apeople, as well as a close look at America in general. Dent reveals himself asan informed and enlightening travel companion. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was ok
    I don't know why, but i didn't really like it. I felt the author had a negative opinion about a lot of the people he interviewed, and i didn't care for a lot of the people he chose to interview. One lady in particular really got under my skin, Ms Holbart, she implied that a lot of black women because of low class didn't like her, and also because she was so beautiful. And that's why a lot of her relationships failed because they were too low class. It was a few interesting things in the book

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was ok
    I don't know why, but i didn't really like it. I felt the author had a negative opinion about a lot of the people he interviewed, and i didn't care for a lot of the people he chose to interview. One lady in particular really got under my skin, Ms Holbart, she implied that a lot of black women because of low class didn't like her, and also because she was so beautiful. And that's why a lot of her relationships failed because they were too low class. It was a few interesting things in the book

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was ok
    I don't know why, but i didn't really like it. I felt the author had a negative opinion about a lot of the people he interviewed, and i didn't care for a lot of the people he chose to interview. One lady in particular really got under my skin, Ms Holbart, she implied that a lot of black women because of low class didn't like her, and also because she was so beautiful. And that's why a lot of her relationships failed because they were too low class. It was a few interesting things in the book ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684810727
    Subjects:  1. 1975-    2. African Americans    3. Black American Sociology    4. Blacks In The U.S.    5. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    6. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Lifest    7. Middle class    8. Minority Studies - General    9. Multicultural Nonfiction    10. Social Science    11. Social conditions    12. Social life and customs    13. Sociology    14. United States    15. Social Science / African-American Studies    16. Bargain   

    I May Not Get There with You : The True Martin Luther King, Jr.
    by Michael Eric Dyson
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (17 January, 2000)
    list price: $25.00 -- our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Provocative preacher-teacher Michael Eric Dyson, known for his hip-hop-style delivery and encyclopedic intellectual powers, heroically tries to update and examine the true legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. for a glib Generation-X world. Calling I May Not Get There with You a work of "biocriticism," Dyson peels away the superficial image of King the man to reveal a complex human being whose work was far from finished or totally understood. "In the last thirty years we have trapped King in romantic images or frozen his legacy in worship," he writes. "I seek to rescue King from his admirers and deliver him from his foes." To that end, Dyson takes aim at neoconservatives like Shelby Steele, who spin King's multiracial dreams into a right-wing call to end affirmative action, and goes after black militants who thought King was "soft" and overlooked the power of his "black radical Christianity." He also criticizes the government's co-opting of King's philosophy in a holiday, as well as what he calls the King family's well-meaning, but destructive, attempts to protect King's legacy. Dyson forces us to accept King for all of his faults--including plagiarism and womanizing--but more importantly allows us to see a real human being who rose to the height of humanity. --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
    I have always been fascinated with Dr. King as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. I love the work that Dr. Dyson did in writing this book, because he is authentic in talking about Dr. King the man - strengths, weaknesses and all - while exposing the myths about him. Being African-American, I can understand why many within our community woud want to scold Dr. Dyson for exposing Dr. King's dirty laundry. I, however, consider it not only essential, but relevant that we talk about the true humanity of our leaders (espcially one as esteemed as Dr. King) to avoid the danger of us elevating them as idols. It is a great reminder that God uses people (albeit flawed people) for magnificent works in a fallen world. This is a great book that I highly recommed!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars libelous work written by pseudo-intellectual
    I picked up this book expecting a fresh approach and analysis of Dr. King apart from the obligatory images we're force-fed each new year.Instead, I was disappointed to find that Eric Dyson made heavy use of speculation with the intent to scandalize more than to inform and enlighten.One such example includes Dyson conveying the idea that Dr. King may have engaged in orgies with many different women along with his right-hand man Ralph Abernathy.He then goes on to infer that there was talk of King and Abernathy engaging in sexual acts with each other!The author had no commentary to either support or dispel this "theory" making Dyson's retelling of the alleged incident totally irresponsible and even libelous.He just dropped the information, true or untrue, in the readers lap to do with as the reader pleased.To that end, it is my opinion that Dyson's intent in writing this book was in no way honorable or truth-seeking, rather it was a means to convey his baseless ideas to anyone who would listen.I'm reminded of something my grandmother and mother would always say to me, "an empty wagon makes the loudest noise." Eric Dyson makes a lot of noise in this book but totally lacks substance.This was an expensive tabloid.

    4-0 out of 5 stars be ready for analysis, not simply historical biography
    This book was not what I expected, but enjoyed regardless.I particularly liked his idea of banning the 'I Have a Dream' speech from public media.The stories about his philandering were a bit shocking to me, but I have never read any biography of King before, so I wasn't prepared.The ocassional tangents might irk some, but understand Dyson has to take some risks and expand on ideas to make the book worth his time.Realize the civil right movement is not over.Dialogue needs to continue in written forms such as this book to make progress.
    - logan square yuppie ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684867761
    Subjects:  1. 1929-1968    2. 20th century    3. African American civil rights workers    4. African Americans    5. Baptists    6. Biography    7. Biography / Autobiography    8. Civil rights    9. Clergy    10. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    11. Historical - U.S.    12. History    13. Influence    14. Jr.,    15. King, Martin Luther,    16. People of Color    17. Political    18. Political and social views    19. Social Science    20. Sociology    21. U.S. - Political And Civil Rights Of Blacks    22. United States    23. Biography & Autobiography / General    24. King, Martin Luther   


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