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Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived Itby Herb Boyd
Synopses & Reviews
Benjamin Banneker on Thomas Jefferson's hypocrisy * Old Elizabeth on spreading the Word * Frederick Douglass on life in the North * Sojourner Truth on black women's rights * W.E.B. Du Bois on the Talented Tenth * Matthew Henson on reaching the North Pole * and many more.
"It has been said, 'He who does not know history is doomed to repeat it.' We as African Americans must put forth a concerted effort to know and to write our own history...We have the knowledge, the know-how, the resources, and we were there."
--Rev. Bernice A. King
Celebrating the spirituality, courage, and intellectual achievements of African Americans, Autobiography of a People is the first anthology to effectively trace the history of the African American experience--from the Middle Passage to Emancipation, from the Civil War to Vietnam, from the Little Rock Nine to the Million Man March--by telling the story in the words of the men and women who lived it.
Editor Herb Boyd has combined a powerful chorus of voices from the past and present to create a compelling portrait of how African Americans have survived--and shaped--some of the most important events in United States history. The misery of slavery, the bloodshed of war, and the struggle for civil rights are just some of the pivotal experiences described in vivid detail throughout the book. Many of the most revered historical and intellectual figures, writers, religious leaders, and activists appear within these pages, such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Elaine Brown, Margaret Walker, and General Colin Powell. Yet this remarkable collection also includes riveting scenes from the lives of ordinary men and women whose accomplishments may not have been recorded in the history books, but whose experiences are equally important to the African American story.
Offering a wealth of historical detail and emotion, Autobiography of a People is a stunning accomplishment that brings African American history to life, in all its tragedy and triumph, in a brilliant testament to the black experience in America.
The book boasts an astounding roster of important historical and intellectual figures, writers and religious leaders, such as Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., General Colin Powell, and Angela Davis, as well as a generous selection of riveting accounts from ordinary people. The misery of slavery, the bloodshed of several American wars, and the struggle for civil rights are just some of the pivotal experiences described in vivid detail throughout the book. Linked by editor Herb Boyd's informative narrative bridges, these powerful voices from the past and present combine to create a compelling portrait of how African Americans have survived-- and shaped--some of the most important events in U.S. history.
A monumental achievement, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PEOPLE brings African-American history to life in all its tragedy and triumph, in a brilliant testament to the black experience in America. -->
From the Hardcover edition.
Autobiography of a People is an insightfully assembled anthology of eyewitness accounts that traces the history of the African American experience. From the Middle Passage to the Million Man March, editor Herb Boyd has culled a diverse range of voices, both famous and ordinary, to creat a unique and compelling historical portrait:
Benjamin Banneker on Thomas Jefferson
Old Elizabeth on spreading the Word
Frederick Douglass on life in the North
W.E.B. Du Bois on the Talented Tenth
Matthew Henson on reaching the North Pole
Harriot Jacobs on running away
James Cameron on escaping a mob lyniching
Alvin Ailey on the world of dance
Langston Hughes on the Harlem Renaissance
Curtis Morriw on the Korean War
Max ROach on "jazz" as a four-letter word
LL Cool J on rap
Mary Church Terrell on the Chicago World's Fair
Rev. Bernice King on the future of Black America
And many others.
About the Author
Herb Boyd is the coeditor with Robert Allen of Brotherman—The Odyssey of Black Men in America and the author of Down the Glory Road and Black Panthers for Beginners. An award-winning journalist, his articles have appeared in the Amsterdam News, Black Scholar, Code, Down Beat, Emerge, Metro Times (Detroit), and The Source. He is the national editor of "The Black World Today," an online publication, and he teaches at the College of New Rochelle and New York University.
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