African Americans and Civil Rights: From 1619 to the Present / Edition 1

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This well-written narrative, concise but packed with history, chronicles the struggle for African American civil rights. Beginning in 1619 when the first ship carrying Africans arrived in North America and continuing to the present, historian Michael L. Levine gives readers a balanced overview of how U.S. laws have prevented blacks from having the same civil rights as others. The text is accompanied by 65 detailed biographical sketches that describe the roles played by key individuals who worked to advance—or block—the civil rights of African Americans.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The volume encompasses nearly 400 years of African-American history with remarkable thoroughness and insight . . . [provides] thorough discussion of . . . issues that will shape the future of African Americans in our country."


Norman Hill, President A. Philip Randolph Institute

Library Journal
Moving in ten chapters from West Africa and the slave trade to progress and setbacks since 1969, Levine surveys the special and inferior status allotted people of full or partial African descent in the United States from Colonial times. A former researcher at the black trade unionists' A. Philip Randolph Institute, Levine links blacks' role in the economy to their legal and political status. His work as a freelance reference book editor of several volumes, including the Encyclopedia of American Legislative History, strengthens the text; various sections provide biographies, a chronology, a glossary, and further reading, which aid understanding of context and detail. While this work is suitable for general readers, Mary Frances Berry's Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America (A. Lane, 1994) and Donald Nieman's Promises To Keep: African-Americans and the Constitutional Order, 1776 to the Present (Oxford Univ., 1991) remain better choices for serious students.Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
A readable account of African Americans' struggle for racial equality from the colonial era to the present, analyzing important issues such as slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the civil rights movement. Stresses the political and legal dimensions of racism and resistance, also touching on economic, social, and cultural themes. Includes b&w photos and illustrations, biographies of key figures, a chronology, and a glossary. For high school level and up. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897748599
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Social Issues in American History Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL L. LEVINE, Ph.D., is a freelance editor for Charles Scribner's Reference Books, Macmillan, Inc., where he is editor for Encyclopedia of American Legislative History, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, and Encyclopedia of Latin American History.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 West Africa, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and the Americas 1
Ch. 2 The Colonial Era: 1619-1763 16
Ch. 3 The Era of the American Revolution: 1764-1820 37
Ch. 4 The Antebellum Years: 1820-1860 57
Ch. 5 The Civil War and Reconstruction: 1861-1877 83
Ch. 6 The Triumph of White Racism: 1878-1915 109
Ch. 7 World War I through the Great Depression: 1914-1941 140
Ch. 8 World War II and the Postwar Years: 1941-1960 166
Ch. 9 The Civil Rights Revolution, Black Power, and White Backlash: 1960-1968 183
Ch. 10 Progress and Setbacks in a Conservative Era: 1969 to the Present 209
Biographies 249
Chronology 277
Glossary 289
Further Reading 295
Index 317
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