African American Lives
Overview - African American Lives offers up-to-date, authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans. These 1,000-3,000 word biographies, selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, illuminate African-American history through the immediacy of individual experience. Read more...
More About African American Lives by Henry Louis Gates; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
African American Lives offers up-to-date, authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans. These 1,000-3,000 word biographies, selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, illuminate African-American history through the immediacy of individual experience. From Esteban, the earliest known African to set foot in North America in 1528, right up to the continuing careers of Venus and Serena Williams, these stories of the renowned and the near forgotten give us a new view of American history. Our past is revealed from personal perspectives that in turn inspire, move, entertain, and even infuriate the reader. Subjects include slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them a voice. Their experiences and accomplishments combine to expose the complexity of race as an overriding issue in America's past and present.
African American Lives features frequent cross-references among related entries, over 300 illustrations, and a general index, supplemented by indexes organized by chronology, occupation or area of renown, and winners of particular honors such as the Spingarn Medal, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer Prize.
Slices of African-American life
Browsing through a copy of the encyclopedia-style volume, African American Lives, is an exercise that never fails to inform and entertain. Turn to the "M" section, for example, and the two-page biography of Malcolm X is followed by an entry on a lesser known figure, Annie Turnbo Malone, a determined Illinois businesswoman who made a multimillion-dollar fortune in the 1920s with a hair-care products company. These two subjects are among 600 profiled herefrom slaves to contemporary sports heroesin a volume that was meticulously researched and compiled. Each entry contains fascinating bits of information that add to our understanding of the importance of race and class in America. Edited by scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Higginbotham and distilled from a forthcoming eight-volume set intended primarily for libraries, this readable collection is a mosaic that offers a unique portrait of the African-American experience.