Review by Choice Review
Walker (history, Univ. of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and an award-winning author) culled from many diverse sources this admirable and comprehensive encyclopedia of more than 200 signed entries dealing with the African American business experience, 1600s-1990s. She provides an introduction to black business experiences and, in a historical study of black Americans and business, examines various business topics, including biographies, business history, and surveys of business participation in selected industries (e.g., hair care products). Arranged alphabetically with generous cross-references, articles vary in length from a single page (e.g., William L. Adams) to more than 18 (e.g., international trade enterprises). Each entry includes a selected bibliography, and there is a select subject bibliography, comprehensive index, list of contributors, and a superb chronology of black business historical experience in America from 1619 (the first arrival of Africans in Jamestown, VA) to 1999 (Jesse Jackson's 2nd PUSH Wall St. Project Conference). Recommended without reservation as a first purchase for most libraries. G. T. Johnson; formerly, Central State University (OH)
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This encyclopedia, edited by a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, analyzes the African American business experience from the 1600s to the present through three main types of entries: biographies, topics in black business history, and black participation in selected industries. Each biography begins with a geographic location and name or type of business that distinguishes the person. After an overview of the individual's business activities, the development and successes or failures of the enterprises are discussed. Among those who are the subjects of entries are William Ellison (1790^-1861), a freed slave who became a wealthy planter; Mary Ellen Pleasant (ca. 1814^-1904), a San Francisco real estate entrepreneur; Booker T. Washington; and Oprah Winfrey. Some of the entries on business history, such as Slaves, plantation market-related activities; Great Migration, black entrepreneurship; and Business trends, post-1960s, focus on specific historic periods. Others, such as Boycotts, economic and Set-asides, minority business, are issue-related. Industry entries include Architects; Book publishers, commercial; and Hair care products industry. The more than 200 entries are arranged alphabetically with extensive cross-references. Length ranges from half a page for some biographies to more than 10 pages for Women business enterprises. Additional topics related to an entry are marked with an asterisk. Following each entry is a selected bibliography of sources used by contributors, as well as ones important for locating more information. These are a mix of primary documents, standard reference titles, scholarly journals and monographs, and periodicals such as Black Enterprise and Business Week. Following the entries is a "Chronology of Black Business History" (1619^-1999) and another selected bibliography grouped in six general subject areas. Concluding the work are an index and a list of the more than 100 contributors and their academic affiliations. Though some of the information can be found elsewhere, this resource's focus on business makes it unique. Recommended for academic libraries as well as large public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.