The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Black Women in America spans three centuries and profiles more than 1,000 African-American women and the institutions that influenced them. The inspirational biographies capture the personal accounts of women who overcame adversity and changed history. Students will learn about the perseverance, courage, and 'personal will' that these women had in common, each with one shared goal: improvement through change.
This 11-volume set features biographical information on about 950 well-known and lesser-known African American women in a variety of fields and professions, as well as historical information about 100 institutions. Each subject volume is organized alphabetically by surname or organization and includes an introductory chapter, chronology (most covering through 1995), bibliography, index, black-and-white photographs, and content information about the entire set. The volume on law and government, for example, includes newsmakers such as Barbara Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Mosley-Braun, and Anita Hill, while Science, Health, and Medicine features Rebecca Lee Crumpler, considered to be the first black female physician; former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders; and Henrietta Lacks, the young cancer patient after whom HeLa cells were named. Although the entries are well-written and -researched, information about contributing editors was not included, and direct quotations lack footnotes. Still, this richly personal and readable resource gives the lay audience at which it is clearly aimed a 400-year perspective on the achievement of black women in America, providing inspiration and insight to people of varying backgrounds and ages. Recommended for larger public libraries, secondary schools, and undergraduate collections.Elizabeth Connor, Univ. of Connecticut Health Ctr. Lib., Farmington