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School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up
This ambitious work covers the history of the African people in America from the 1400s to the present. Historical photographs, archival documents, maps, and a fact-filled time line provide a visually stimulating introduction to the subject. The illustrations are accompanied by informational paragraphs with bold headings such as "Kidnapped!" and "Wanted: Runaways!" that draw readers into the story of the long struggle, social change, and continuing discrimination that mark the African-American experience. Abolitionists and the Civil War, jazz and literature during the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans in sports and the military, and the Civil Rights Movement are just some of the topics discussed. Thumbnail sketches of important figures, including Phyllis Wheatley [sic], Booker T. Washington, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama, engage readers' attention. The last chapter, "Resources," includes a list of "Laws & Proclamations" and "Charts & Graphs." The book is more visually appealing but less comprehensive than Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler's The African American Family Album (Oxford Univ., 1998) or Walter Dean Myers's Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom (HarperCollins, 1991). Masoff provides a tremendous amount of material in an exciting, appealing title that is useful for browsing, introductory lessons, quick reference, and beginning research.
—Carole PhillipsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.