50 Events That Shaped African American History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic

ABC-CLIO. 2 vols. 2019. 850p. ed. by ed. by Jamie J. Wilson. ISBN 9781440837869. $204. REF
Wilson (history, Salem State Univ.; Black Panther Party) and more than 80 scholars examine 50 key moments in black history, from the start of the transatlantic slave trade in 1502 to the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. Along the way, readers will gain insight into Reconstruction, the Great Migration, Jackie Robinson’s integration of baseball, the murder of Emmett Till, the rise of Motown records, the election of Barack Obama, and the founding of Black Lives Matter. The work is comprised of broad topic essays; the detailed index is crucial for specific subject access. Each signed, accurate essay includes a time line, related sidebars, brief biographies of relevant individuals, excerpts from primary source documents, and a bibliography. Winnowing down a topic that spans centuries, Wilson has chosen wisely, crafting a rich and varied perspective. Though this work is more general than other similar resources available, its value lies in its broader view of history.
VERDICT In distilling African American history down to a series of essential snapshots, this title offers an excellent jumping-off resource for students exploring avenues for research in U.S. history, African American studies, and sociology.

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