To Make Our World Anew: Volume I: A History of African Americans to 1880

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The two volumes of Kelley and Lewis's To Make Our World Anew integrate the work of eleven leading historians into the most up-to-date and comprehensive account available of African American history, from the first Africans brought as slaves into the Americas, right up to today's black filmmakers and politicians. This first volume begins with the story of Africa and its origins, then presents an overview of the Atlantic slave trade, and the forced migration and enslavement of between ten and twenty million people. It covers the Haitian Revolution, which ended victoriously in 1804 with the birth of the first independent black nation in the New World, and slave rebellions and resistance in the United States in the years leading up to the Civil War. There are vivid accounts of the Civil War and Reconstruction years, the backlash of the notorious "Jim Crow" laws and mob lynchings, and the founding of key black educational institutions, such as Howard University in Washington, D.C. Here is a panoramic view of African-American life, rich in gripping first-person accounts and short character sketches that invite readers to relive history as African Americans have experienced it.

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Since nearly any history of African Americans is bound to be compared to John Hope Franklin's masterwork From Slavery to Freedom, perhaps it's best to state straightaway that To Make Our World Anew does indeed measure up to, and on some levels surpass, Franklin's epochal work. In this impressive multidisciplinary book, professors Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis bring together nine scholars, including Colin Palmer, Vincent Harding, Peter Wood, and Barbara Blair, to outline the 500-year African American experience, from the Middle Passage to the Million Man March. "The history of African Americans is nothing less than the dramatic saga of a people attempting to remake the world," Kelley and Lewis write. "Even when they did not succeed, the actions, thoughts, and dreams of Africans are responsible for some of the most profound economic, political, and cultural developments in the modern west." Every aspect of the African American experience is explored: slavery, slave rebellions, emancipation, segregation, lynchings, civil rights, and the post civil rights era. Major figures like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Harriet Tubman are highlighted, as are the lesser-known exploits of Esteban, the Afro-Moorish slave who "discovered" New Mexico and Arizona, and Henry "Box" Brown, the Virginia slave who escaped to freedom by putting himself in a coffin-like box that was shipped to Philadelphia. The book is particularly strong on late-20th-century social issues, with insightful coverage of the attack on affirmative action and the impact of immigration, crack cocaine, and AIDS on the black community. To Make Our World Anew is essential reading for anyone interested in the black American experience. --Eugene Holley Jr.

About the Author:


Robin D. G. Kelley is Professor of African-American Studies at Columbia University and author of several books, most recently Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. He lives in New York City. Earl Lewis is Provost and the Asa G. Candler Professor of History and African-American Studies at Emory University. He is the author of several books including In Their Own Interests, Love On Trial (with Heidi Ardizzone) and Defending Diversity (with Patricia Gurin and Jeffrey Lehman). He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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9780195181357: To Make Our World Anew: Volume II: A History of African Americans Since 1880

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9780195139457: To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans

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