Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery

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9780151003396: Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery

The companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in americanca features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson. Two-color with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

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Review:

This extraordinary book--the accompanying volume to the PBS series--looks at the history of slavery in the United States with an honesty that reveals both horror and heroism in the common humanity of all Americans. Uncovering the indigenous history of African slavery and the involvement of Arab and European nations, it then traces the journey of enslaved Africans across the "Middle Passage" of the Atlantic to the Caribbean and America. Charles Johnson's spellbinding fictional narratives beautifully evoke the feeling of times and places, such as the Haitian revolution or the plantation slave society. In "The Transmission," two captives in the bottom of a slave ship try to preserve their heritage. "Oboto quietly sang to his brother--in a language their captors could not understand--how their people long ago had navigated the New World ... on and on like a tapestry, Oboto unfurled their past, rituals, and laws in songs and riddles..."

Poet/journalist Patricia Smith's historical anecdotes and references to legendary African American heroes (including Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass), juxtaposed with rare documents, letters, slave advertisements, slave-ship cargo diagrams, and paintings, provide evidence of the African American fight for freedom, from the black soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War to the Underground Railroad to the return to combat in the Civil War. When emancipation finally came, Smith writes, "the newly liberated slaves sang for themselves, for their new country, and for the thousands upon thousands of Africans ripped from the clutches of home." --Eugene Holley Jr.

About the Author:

Charles Johnson, recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Foundation Award, is the author of five works of fiction, including the recently published Dreamer. He has received many honors and awards, including the National Book Award. He is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Washington.

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Book Description Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New book, never been read. This book retells the familiar story of our founding -- from the landing in Jamestown to the Civil War -- from a new perspective: the Africans, who came in shackles, created the agricultural foundation and wealth of this nation, believed the language of the Declaration of Independence, watched as perpetual slavery was sealed into the Constitution, and then forever bore the yoke of racism. Told from the African-American point of view by the brilliant Patricia Smith and peppered with unforgettable short stories by Charles Johnson, Africans in America is riveting narrative history and a powerful antidote to schoolbook history as we were taught it. Current list price: $30.00. Bookseller Inventory # 002038

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