Book Description

From School Library Journal Gr 5 Up--Black history in America and its rich African heritage in a one-volume encyclopedia? Yes, and well done to boot! In a clear, succinct style, Altman provides a wealth of information on individuals, peoples, places, events, movements, groups, legal cases, and terms. The emphasis is on African-American political and intellectual history but the author doesn't neglect people and events outside this focus--'Nat Love,' 'rap,' etc. In addition, the history and culture of Africa, the African Diaspora, and individual African nations are included. Entries are alphabetical with most ranging between 150-200 words, although some are longer. Several subjects, such as 'education' and 'slavery,' are covered at length. Entries are only disappointing when they are too short, such as the coverage of the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement. However, 'see' and 'see-also' references and/or lists of 'recommended listening' and recommended reading are included for many of the articles. An extensive, up-to-date bibliography and accurate index conclude the volume. Illustrative material is limited primarily to dark black-and-white photos and a few maps. A welcome addition to any collection or classroom.Daryl Grabarek, Brooklyn Public LibraryCopyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more From Booklist When the first edition of this title was published in 1997, we called it a 'reasonably priced encyclopedia . . . recommended for school libraries and other small libraries that need an accessible source that is well-written.' Coverage is still alphabetical, from Aaron, Henry to Zulu, with many brief articles of half a page or less and a few more lengthy ones, such as Black soldiers and Education. Included in this attractive volume are entries for some lesser-known subjects, such as Fort Pillow, the site of a massacre of black Union soldiers by Confederate troops in 1864, and Rosewood, a small Florida town that was destroyed during a race riot in 1923. However, coverage is somewhat inconsistent. Meant to chronicle 'Africans who were captured' and their descendants, there is spotty treatment of modern African leaders and groups. Why include Dinka but not Hutu or Tutsi? Why no separate entry for Brown v. Board of Education but ones for Plessy v. Ferguson and Griffin v. Prince Edward County? Why Haiti but not Jamaica? Nowhere is there any information on the Spingarn Medal, historically black colleges, or the Delany sisters. Editing could be better--both the Apollo Theater and Melba Patillo's name are misspelled.Updating from the previous edition includes revision of some articles (ranging from a sentence added to Achebe, Chinua to a substantial rewrite of Congo Free State ) and several new entries, among them Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Affirmative action; Criminal justice system, U.S.; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.; Hemings, Sally; Houston mutiny, and Red summer of 1919. Brief identifying phrases ('inventor,' 'jazz singer') have been added to biographies. There are some new photos and two new tables: a 'Chronology of the Antislavery Movement in the United States' and 'African-American Medal of Honor Recipients.' Some entries are current to May 2000.This one volume certainly doesn't compare to the comprehensive Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History (Macmillan, 1996), but it remains affordable and useful for libraries serving junior-high students and up. Although the first edition is only a few years old, libraries in which it has been heavily used should consider the update. REVWRCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more See all Editorial Reviews