The Black History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

DK. Nov. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780744042146. $25. REF
Spanning antiquity to the present, this celebratory work examines not only the struggles but also the achievements of Black communities across the world. Created by 11 Black studies experts, with a foreword by David Olusoga (public history, Univ. of Manchester), the book is organized into six sections: “Pre-History and Ancient History,” “Empire and Expansion,” “Faith and Trade,” “Enslavement and Rebellion,” “Revolution and Resistance,” and “Decolonization and Diaspora.” Each section contains seven to 20 detailed vignettes with eye-catching, informative, and interesting time lines, diagrams, illustrations, pull quotes, and sidebars. Clear, concise profiles of key people, movements, and events illustrate significant ideas and milestones in Black history (e.g., the rock churches of Ethiopia; Black movements in Brazil), many of which have been overlooked in mainstream U.S. history textbooks. The book covers African struggle against European colonization, the Atlantic slave trade, the Harlem Renaissance, Black feminist movements, and Black Lives Matter. The first third of the volume, devoted to the development, evolution, and triumphs of early African kingdoms, is particularly noteworthy. Throughout, the narrative seamlessly connects one era to another: each section expertly builds upon prior discussion and adroitly outlines Black experiences from the African continent to the global diaspora.
VERDICT Readers of all levels will enjoy the aesthetics, content, and presentation of this encyclopedia that so aptly captures the rich history of Black culture.
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