Review by Choice Review
Stepto recognizes that African American history covers a great enough span of time to need this chronological treatment. The need of today's students for such a framework is often disregarded; many lack working knowledge of a subject's order. The history of Africans in the new world predates the traditional date of 1619 given for the arrival of slaves in Jamestown, so students must contend with a 500-year period. Since the work illustrates that African Americans have affected all aspects of American culture, no period goes ignored. At first blush, section titles may seem inadequate, but they follow standard divisions of American history--"The Colonial Period and The Revolutionary War" and "The Civil War." The various main entries include primary source documents accompanied by sidebars that provide an overview of the primary document and supply its historical context. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. C. Williams Hunter College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
When it was published in 1998, Scribner's The American Years: A Chronology of United States History was one of the few chronologies besides the standard Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates (10th ed., HarperCollins, 1997) to focus on the U.S. Gale has recently published a second edition of The American Years (2002) and has also expanded it into a series by adding chronologies that are more specific. The first of these deals with the history of African Americans. Whereas The American Years provides detailed year-by-year coverage, the chronological portion of The African American Years takes up just 65 pages. It extends from 1444 to 2002, with entries for events grouped by year and ranging from a sentence to a paragraph in length. The entries are heavily cross-referenced to what is actually the major part of the volume, six lengthy sections that cover the periods from "The Colonial Period and the Revolutionary War" to the Civil Rights era and beyond. These sections provide general overviews; discussions of more particular topics, such as "African Americans on the Frontier" and "The African American Literary Experience"; bibliographies; and fairly extensive selections of primary documents. Sidebars and black-and-white illustrations complement the text. The volume concludes with a general index and an index to primary source material. To describe this volume as a chronology is somewhat misleading, for it offers much more than a strictly "what happened when" perspective. At the same time, the researcher who wants exactly that perspective would be better served by other titles, such as Gale's own Chronology of African American History (2d ed., 1997), which provide more year-by-year detail. The African American Years is recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries as a useful guide to black history and a complement to works such as The African American Encyclopedia (2d ed., Marshall Cavendish, 2000) and Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History (Macmillan, 1996).
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up-This companion to Ernie Gross's The American Years (Scribner's, 1998) opens with a detailed chronology tracing the history of African Americans from 1444 to 2002. Cross-references in the chronology lead to more detailed chapters that cover the Colonial period through Civil War and Reconstruction to the modern era. This work employs wide-ranging sources such as essays, journal entries, poems, and sidebars along with numerous black-and-white reproductions and photographs, and bibliographies. Chapters include "Reconstruction and the Rise of Jim Crow"; "Migration, Industrialization, and the City"; "The Civil Rights Struggle: From Nonviolence to Black Power"; etc. A strength of the volume is the more unusual primary-source documents, such as the slave memoir, Narrative of Louis Asa-Asa; the photograph of Augusta Savage's sculpture The Harp, which was inspired by the hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sing"; and Michael Harper's poem "Pullman Pass." This resource will be useful for those researching black heritage and who are interested in lesser-known primary sources.-Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.