Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events

Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events

by Jessie Carney Smith
     
 

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Originally published in 1994, Black Firsts inspired readers of all ages. An epic record of African American achievement, it testified to a rich but often overlooked part of our history. Jessie Carney Smith, William and Camille Cosby Professor of the Humanities at Fisk University, greatly expands the new edition with more than 1,000 new stories of a people overcoming

Overview

Originally published in 1994, Black Firsts inspired readers of all ages. An epic record of African American achievement, it testified to a rich but often overlooked part of our history. Jessie Carney Smith, William and Camille Cosby Professor of the Humanities at Fisk University, greatly expands the new edition with more than 1,000 new stories of a people overcoming adversity to emerge triumphant. With more than 100 illustrations, Black Firsts includes modern-day pioneers like Halle Berry and Denzel Washington, Suzan-Lori Parks (winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama), and Vonetta Flowers, the first African American to be awarded the Winter Olympic gold medal. Readers will revel and rejoice in the stories of barrier-breaking pioneers in all fields -- arts, entertainment, business, civil rights, education, government, inventing, journalism, religion, science, sports, and more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The third edition of this invaluable resource of African American achievements updates the previous edition. Recommended for anyone from elementary-school age to adults who are interested in African American history."— Booklist

"In the new book Black Firsts by Jessie Carney Smith, you’ll find information on tens of thousands of folks who’ve gone before you – in a good way."— Bookworm Sez

"Black Firsts is a book full of hope."— Chicago Sun-Times

"A superb historical study of black achievement."— Houston Chronicle

"The well-researched sketches provide a great deal of information. This is an excellent resource for starting research on black history, but its sheer volume may be overwhelming to casual researchers. The lesser-known figures, however, make the title worth digging into."— Library Journal

"An exhaustive listing of the accomplishments of black Americans in the arts, business, education, the military, medicine and science, and sports."— Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"This authoritative work, with its brief biographies of many accomplished and famous African-Americans, is one that writers, researchers, and libraries will want to keep close at hand for its valuable information."— Richmond Times-Dispatch

"This is a must-have reference."— St. Paul Pioneer Press

"...comprehensively catalogs the achievements of everybody from Hank Aaron to Bruce Yuille..."— Syracuse Post-Standard

"An excellent reference source, but, more than most such encyclopedia collections, it also can be read."— The Salt Lake Tribune

Library Journal
Carney presents major accomplishments ranging from firsts in cartooning and jazz to sporting firsts for jockeys in the Kentucky Derby. Brief profiles are presented chronologically and cover major figures such as Michael Jackson and Jackie Robinson as well as lesser-known figures such as Moses Fleetwood Walker, the first black member of a varsity collegiate baseball club. Entries, several of which offer photos of their subjects, range in length from a few sentences to a full paragraph and each includes information on primary sources of data. The well-researched sketches provide a great deal of information in an economical space. Of particular note is the section on military firsts, which includes those who have served in wars from the American Revolution through the present, among them James T. Whitehead, the first black pilot of a U-2 spy plane, and Hazel Winifred Johnson, the first black woman to achieve the rank of general in the Army. VERDICT This is an excellent resource for starting research on black history, but its sheer volume may be overwhelming to casual researchers. The lesser-known figures, however, make the title worth digging into.—Wayne R. Cherry, Jr., First Baptist Academy Lib., Houston, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578594252
Publisher:
Visible Ink Press
Publication date:
12/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
848
File size:
9 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Black Firsts remains an important part of the reference collection, and school, public, and academic libraries will welcome this updated version."  —Booklist

"An exhaustive listing of the accomplishments of black Americans in the arts, business, education, the military, medicine and science, and sports."  —Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"This authoritative work, with its brief biographies of many accomplished and famous African Americans, is one that writers, researchers, and libraries will want to keep close at hand for its valuable information."  —Richmond Times-Dispatch

"This is a must-have reference."  —St. Paul Pioneer Press

"The well-researched sketches provide a great deal of information. This is an excellent resource for starting research on black history, but its sheer volume may be overwhelming to casual researchers. The lesser-known figures, however, make the title worth digging into." —Library Journal (December 2012)

"The book itself is an achievement. . . . It is a treasure trove of information about black history and surely an inspiration." —www.BookViewsByAlanCaruba.blogspot.com

Meet the Author


Jessie Carney Smith is a noted author, biographer, and black studies scholar. She is William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities at Fisk University in Nashville, where she also serves as the university librarian. Among her numerous awards are the 1992 National Women's Book Association Award, the Candace Award for excellence in education, and "Sage" magazine's Ann J. Cooper Award for her published works on African American women. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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