Black Firsts: 500 Years of Trailblazing Achievements and Ground-Breaking Events

Visible Ink. 4th ed. ed. Jan. 2021. 704p. ISBN 9781578596881. pap. $29.95. REF
For the fourth edition of this work (last updated in 2013), Smith (librarian emerita, Fisk Univ.; editor, The Handy African-American History Answer Book) includes additions and updates to some of the thousands of entries, which range in length from a paragraph (Dave Chappelle) to a column (Madame C.J. Walker) and occasionally longer. Entries are arranged chronologically in broad professional categories (science and medicine; arts and entertainment), with photos and boxed text interspersed. Occasional tables on topics such as Black pioneers of higher education convey material succinctly. Sources appear at the end of each entry, with further reading found at the book’s conclusion.
VERDICT A wide-ranging overview that will result in hours of browsing and serve as a strong jumping-off point for research projects or deeper study.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing