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Encyclopedia of African American Society

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ISBN 10: 0761927646 / ISBN 13: 9780761927648
Published by SAGE Publications Inc
New Condition: New Hardcover
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The Encyclopedia of African American Society is the first comprehensive, accessible reference set in this field to give voice to the turbulent trends, past and present, that are often ignored in favour of mere facts. This two-volume encyclopedia has become a staple in collections in school, public and academic libraries. Editor(s): Jaynes, Gerald David. Num Pages: 1112 pages, Illustrations, ports. BIC Classification: GBC; JFSL3. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 226 x 288 x 40. Weight in Grams: 1812. . 2005. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780761927648

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Encyclopedia of African American Society

Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


This two-volume reference seeks to capture the ways in which the tenets and foundations of African American culture have given rise to today's society. Approaching the field from a "street level" perspective, these two volumes cover topics of universal interest in America: rap music, sports, television, cinema, racism, religion, literature, and much more. The Encyclopedia of African American Society is also the first comprehensive yet accessible reference set in this field to give voice to the turbulent historical trends–slavery, segregation, "separate but equal"–that are often ignored in favor of mere facts. This is a definitive, reliable, and accessible entry point to learning the basics about African American society.

From Booklist:

Geared to the lay reader and the senior-high-school and lower-level-college student, this encyclopedia offers close to 700 "concise essays" that provide "a starting point for learning basic facts and ideas about African American society and for obtaining guidance about where to go for more information." The entries are cross-disciplinary and focus on "social events, issues and ideas of consequence." There are also many biographical main entries, but some biographical information is incorporated into sidebars for nonbiographical topical entries (e.g., Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary on Arctic expeditions, is covered in a boxed sidebar within the entry for Explorers).

Preceding the main body of alphabetical entries are a list of entry headings with somewhat incomplete cross-references; a "Reader's Guide" listing 118 general topical categories (for example, "Concepts and Theories"; "Fine Arts, Theater, and Entertainment"; "Organizations and Institutions") followed by appropriate entry headings; a list of 18 principal contributors, half of whom are described simply as "independent scholars"; a table of contents for 49 black-and-white illustrations dispersed through the two volumes; and a three-page introduction.

The main entries are clearly and simply written, and they often contain sidebars consisting of document excerpts, biographical information, or a description of a historical event. Most of the shorter entries have no author identification, and only about half of the longer entries are followed by an author byline. Most of the entries also end with see also cross-references (additionally, there are a few see references in the encyclopedia's body of main entries). About three-quarters of the entries also contain a further reading list of one to six books.

Several appendixes follow the main entries: a partial list of "African Americans in Halls of Fame" along with the names of black Americans who have been recognized for their achievement in different fields; a partial list of American colleges and universities with African American/Black Studies programs (but no contact information); a list identifying the names and addresses of "Selected African American Heritage Sites;" an unannotated 20-page bibliography; and an index with main entries in bold. The bibliography is too big to use effectively, and much of the information in the appendixes seems to be randomly selected and can be found elsewhere with more context and detail.

Broad in scope and easy to access, this reference source will be useful mostly to high-school and college students who are just beginning research related to the history, culture, and society of black Americans. Libraries serving those seeking more scholarly rigor and detail should rely on the large, five-volume Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (Oxford, 2005), edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Jack Forman
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