African-American Culture and History

African-American Culture and History

by Jack Salzman

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Editorial Reviews

Extracting, updating, rewriting, and reconfiguring information from the already venerable five-volume work, Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Macmillan, 1996), the editorial staff of this new edition proposes that it is more accessible to middle and high school students than its predecessor. The bulk of the entries here are biographical, covering a wide range of personal endeavor: the arts, sports, sciences, politics, media, education, and business. Other entries discuss events, places, concepts such as abolition, and forms of endeavor or expression such as comic books or zydeco. Sidebars offer helpful chronologies, and extracts from original source documents are inserted appropriately throughout the narratives. The black-and-white photos vary in quality but usually provide helpful visual reference. Cross references within entries are in bold typeface but fail to be consistent. There is, for example, no cross reference to Detroit, Michigan, within the article on the Supremes, a group certainly associated with that place. An analytical index follows a detailed chronology and a bibliography that is arranged alphabetically by topic at the end of the last volume. Although the articles here are fewer, briefer, and set in larger typeface with wider margins than the Encyclopedia, the text is at a high school reading level, and the content of the biography articles continues to bypass the youth of most subjects. There is some uneven recognition of name changes. Kareem Abdul-Jabar is said to have the real name of Lewis Alcindor, whereas Muhammad Ali's original name of Cassius Clay is recognized and dispensed with in the opening line of his entry. Overall, this workbelongs in any collection serving the research needs of youth if that library does not own the original Encyclopedia. It is a secondary purchase for most collections already owning that work. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. 2001, Macmillan, 1,082p. in 4 vols. PLB $375/set. Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Francisca Goldsmith SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)

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Cengage Gale
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