From Frederick Douglas and Ralph Ellison to Malcolm X and Queen Latifah, Columbia presents the definitive one-volume anthology of African American primary sources
Compiled by Marable (director, Inst. for Research in African American Studies, Columbia Univ.), this anthology presents a well-documented perspective of the African American experience from Colonial times to the present. It is intended as "a narrative of struggle and sacrifice, not from the top down but from the bottom up" and also as an attempt "to illustrate and document the innumerable connections between culture and resistance." These goals are clarified by the division of the text into the three sections: "Gender, Kinship, and Community," "Political, Economic, and Social Justice," and "Culture, Faith, and Celebration." The text itself contains academic essays, poems, lyrics, sermons, political documents, oral histories and interviews, personal correspondence, excerpts from slave narratives and autobiographies, political manifestoes, and important statements of black institutions and organizations, all providing a rich understanding of this complex history. Each document is accompanied by a brief introduction and a bibliography, and acknowledgments throughout show what sources were used. The beauty of this volume is not that it challenges the existing canon on black experience but that it fills lacunae left by other works such as To Make Our World Anew. For instance, it contains a superb account of the contributions that women have made to African American identity, history, and consciousness. Essential reading for anyone interested in American history and African American studies, this is recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Edward G. McCormack, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Lib. & Media Ctr., Long Beach Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.