Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America

Overview

Justly celebrated by readers and scholars, the Black history classic, Before The Mayflower, has been called "one of the most popular single-volume histories of blacks ever written." The paperback edition continues the Mayflower tradition with new photographs and material. A major bonus is the extensive use of color photographs. The much-copied "Landmarks and Milestones" section consists of significant dates and events from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first century. The new section is essentially an ...
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Overview

Justly celebrated by readers and scholars, the Black history classic, Before The Mayflower, has been called "one of the most popular single-volume histories of blacks ever written." The paperback edition continues the Mayflower tradition with new photographs and material. A major bonus is the extensive use of color photographs. The much-copied "Landmarks and Milestones" section consists of significant dates and events from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first century. The new section is essentially an outline of Black history and is a handy and invaluable reference tool for students, teachers, and readers of all races and colors.

A vivid, passionate history of black Americans--from their roots in Africa to their lives in contemporary America. In this newly revised edition of an established classic, Bennett relates with clarity and vision the experiences of "the other Americans."

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Editorial Reviews

Sacred Life
Before the Mayflower grew out of a series of articles Bennett published in Ebony magazine in 1962, regarding "the trials and triumphs of a group of Americans whose roots in the American soil are deeper than the roots of the Puritans who arrived on the celebrated Mayflower a year after a 'Dutch man of war' deposited twenty Negroes at Jamestown." Bennett's history is infused with a desire to set the record straight about black contributions to the Americas and about the powerful Africans of antiquity. While not a fresh history, it provides a solid synthesis of current historical research and a lively writing style that makes it accessible and engaging reading.

After discussing the contributions of Africans to the ancient world, Before the Mayflower tells the history of "the other Americans," how they came to America, and what happened to them when they got here. The book is comprehensive and detailed, providing little-known and often overlooked facts about the lives of black folks through slavery, Reconstruction, America's wars, the Great Depression, and the civil rights movement. The book includes a useful time line and some fascinating archival images.

Bennett, who attended Morehouse College, was a reporter in Mississippi before becoming the first senior editor of Ebony. He has published several books on the black experience, as well as a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Bennett hoped to astonish the reader with "the richness of the Negro's heritage," to illustrate that their story is "relevant to the struggle of all men." With Before the Mayflower, he succeeded brilliantly.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874850000
  • Publisher: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 784
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Lerone Bennett Jr. is the author of 10 books, including Forced Into Glory, winner of the 2002 American Book Award, Great Moments in Black History, Pioneers in Protest, The Shaping of Black America, and What Manner of Man? He is the executive editor emeritus of Ebony magazine. He lives in Chicago.
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Table of Contents

1 The African Past 3
2 Before the Mayflower 28
3 The Founding of Black America 55
4 Behind the Cotton Curtain 86
5 Blood on the Leaves: Revolts and Conspiracies 112
6 The Generation of Crisis 140
7 The Jubilee War: Witnesses and Warriors 187
8 Black Power in the Old South 214
9 The Life and Times of Jim Crow 255
10 Red, White and Black: Race and Sex 297
11 From Booker T. Washington to Martin Luther King Jr. 326
12 The Time of the Whale 386
Landmarks and Milestones 443
Black Firsts 645
Select Bibliography 675
Index 695
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Hidden African American History

    This book details some amazing points of history that I have never learned about anywhere else. For example it explores how the "Emancipation Proclimation" didn't really do anything to help the American slaves. Because it only granted freedom to slaves in the south, which at the time Lincoln had no real jurisdiction since he didn't control the south at that time. He could have freed the slaves in the north too, but he didn't. That's just one example.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2004

    Tha Realist words ever spoken!!!!

    I feel this book to be the best pictation of our(african American) true struggle. I thank this author for their spark of light in these dark days! Sincerely Thankful, L. Banks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    This is the real Deal!

    This book was recommended during a sermon at church (Bibleway) one sunday morning. The actual facts of who, what, when, where and how are fascinating and very eye opening for the person that thinks they know the history of black america. The facts are beautifully laidout chronologically and fills in the gaps American history somehow forgot. This is a must reading for everyone that is inquisitive and avid about learning black history. I hope this book is part of a series that travels with time in this great society we live.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2000

    A Must Have for Your Reference Library!

    'Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America' is a wonderfully informative book not only about Black America but about historical America. It even answers why the concepts of 'white' and 'black' in reference to race came about, and how these concepts were calculatedly used to justify a system of dehumanization focused on Black Americans. The book is educational, by a well respected author whose book excerpts have appeared many times in Ebony Magazine. 'Before the Mayflower' is a must for your reference library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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