This book is part of the "Library of African-American History" series. The first half of the book provides an overview of what is termed the African Diaspora, in which peoples from the continent of Africa have spread throughout the rest of the world. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, twelve million Africans were imported as slaves to the Americas. Then after the Civil War, another great migration occurred-from the American South to the west for adventure and to the industrial cities of the North for jobs. The real charm of this book, however, lies in its detailing of African-Americans' cultural history. From oral tradition to the prose of Toni Morrison, from native dance to the tap dancing prowess of Gregory Hines, from spirituals to gospel music to jazz to rhythm-and-blues to soul to rap-the unique cultural tradition of African-Americans shines through in all its glory. Photographs, maps, box quotes, and interesting sidebar stories help enlighten the text.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9In discussing the influences of African people on the Americas, Reef introduces readers to African diaspora, Africanization, and Africanisms. In the chapters that follow, she explores these concepts through discussions on slave culture, emancipation, language, literature, religion, music, and repatriation, citing specific examples (the dialects of Creole, gospel music and jazz, Cuban poetry) from the 16th century to today. Sidebars highlight quotes, individuals, and events. The chapters refer frequently to appended notes; the annotated bibliography and list for further reading are extensive, and the indexing is well done. Average-quality black-and-white photographs, reproductions, and a map break up a text that will serve as a broad introduction to the topic.Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.