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Portraits of African American Life since 1865 is an intimate study of 14 African Americans since the end of the Civil War. Written by established and rising scholars, these diverse biographies offer a rich portrayal of the African American experience over the last 150 years.
Unlike many other similar books, this volume explores the lives of ordinary individuals who pursued a variety of endeavors from politics, labor reform, religion, medicine, sports, business, and, importantly, civil rights.
Editor Nina Mjagkij includes the largely untold stories of the Highgate sisters, two northern black teachers whose lives exemplify the African American thirst for education and penchant for racial uplift through schooling; Pan-African Congress member and international peace movement activist Addie Waites Hunton; and Lester A. Walton, a journalist, foreign minister, and political activist who fought tirelessly for the birthright of citizenship for African Americans in a country that systematically denied that claim. Compelling and informative, Portraits of African American Life since 1865 gives a heightened understanding of the evolution of what it has meant to be black and American through more than three centuries of U.S. history.
Nina Mjagkij is Director of African American Studies at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is the author/editor of several books on the African American experience including Light in the Darkness:
African Americans and the YMCA, 1852-1946, and the Encyclopedia of African American Associations.
Chapter 1 Edmonia G. and Carolina v. Highgate: Black Teachers, Freed Slaves, and the Betrayal of Black Hearts Chapter 2 Benjamin "Pap" Singleton: Father of the Kansas Exodus Chapter 3 William Washington Browne: Fraternal Society Leader Chapter 4 Richard Henry Boyd: Black Business and Religion in the Jim Crow South Chapter 5 Anna Julia Cooper: Educator, Clubwoman, and Feminist Chapter 6 Noble Drew Ali: Popular Religion in the Promised Land Chapter 7 Ma Rainey: Mother of the Blues Chapter 8 Addie W. Hunton: Crusader for Pan-Africanism and Peace Chapter 9 Lester A. Walton: A Life Between Culture and Politics Chapter 10 Willard Townsend: Black Workers, Civil Rights, and the Labor Movement Chapter 11 Elmer Henderson: Civil Servant and Civil Rights Activist Chapter 12 Roberta Church: Race and the Republican Party in the 1950s Chapter 13 Edgar Daniel Nixon: Founding Father of the Civil Rights Movement Chapter 14 Sgt. Allen Thomas, Jr.: A Black Soldier in Vietnam