Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Browsing Area Book of the Week, February 18, 2013.

Life upon these Shores: Looking at African American History 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Library Call Number: E185.G27 2011.

          A bold, beautifully illustrated book by the eminent historian uses countless portraits, drawings, pictures and documents to illustrate the long history of African American involvement in the American story, from the first group of “twenty and odd” Angolans captured in African Civil wars and sold into slavery, ending up in 1600’s Jamestown, Virginia; Jean Baptiste Point  DuSable’s founding of an early farm and trading post that would come to be known as Chicago; the paroxysm of violent struggle that wrenched America apart in the Civil War; W.E.B. DuBois’ magnificent photographic essay of blacks in America shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900; Jack Johnson’s extraordinary fights in and out of the ring; the Civil Rights era of the 60’s and 70’s to the recent first  inauguration of President Obama.  Most importantly, Gates notes the hundreds of black Americans who made significant contributions to all aspects of American life and culture.  This is a book of constant struggle, heartbreaking setbacks and triumphant victories. Most importantly, it is an integral part of American history.

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