Review of the Week: 2/6/17

In honor of Black History Month, our latest Review of the Week offers an important history of African Americans.

History of African Americans : exploring diverse roots

Davis, Thomas J. Greenwood, 2016
271p bibl index, 9780313385407 $58.00, 9780313385414

History of African Americans : exploring diverse roots book cover

First following the 1860s Reconstruction Amendments, and then the 1950s–60s civil rights legislation, African Americans found themselves left to their own devices to achieve any semblance of equality. These events removed legal barriers to advancement but provided no path for those mistreated and discriminated against. Starting his book well before 1619 when the first Africans arrived for sale in Jamestown, Virginia Colony, Davis (Arizona State Univ., Tempe) introduces the Spanish importation of Africans to work New World plantations. Establishing a clear chronology to the present, he explores all the horrors and hardships imposed on these millions of victims of human trafficking. Well into the early 19th century, more immigrants came from Africa than from Europe. For the first three hundred years, new imports kept the African heritage alive. These ethnically and geographically diverse peoples came together, bridging differences to create a new culture in the harsh environment of American slavery. Their labor at all levels of production helped bring the US to its position as an economic powerhouse. Davis’s book is mandatory reading for undergraduates and the general public, who tend to have only the most superficial understanding of African American history.

Summing Up: Essential. All public and undergraduate libraries.
Reviewer: D. R. Jamieson, Ashland University
Readership Level: General Readers, Lower-division Undergraduates, Upper-division Undergraduates, Two-Year Technical Program Students
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – History, Geography & Area Studies – North America
Choice Issue: May 2017