African American Lives by Henry Louis Gates

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African American Lives offers up-to-date, authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans. These 1,000-3,000 word biographies, selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, illuminate African-American history through the immediacy of individual experience. From Esteban, the earliest known African to set foot in North America in 1528, right up to the continuing careers of Venus and Serena Williams, these stories of the renowned and the near forgotten give us a new view of American history. Our past is revealed from personal perspectives that in turn inspire, move, entertain, and even infuriate the reader. Subjects include slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them a voice. Their experiences and accomplishments combine to expose the complexity of race as an overriding issue in America's past and present.
African American Lives features frequent cross-references among related entries, over 300 illustrations, and a general index, supplemented by indexes organized by chronology, occupation or area of renown, and winners of particular honors such as the Spingarn Medal, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer Prize.

About Henry Louis Gates

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Humanities, Chair of Afro-American Studies; Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham is Professor of History and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University; Editor, Harvard Guide to African American History.
Published March 23, 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA. 1056 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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It turns out that a discontinuity — the making of an exception — is, in fact, one of the first components of family life that Professor Gates uncovers in interviews with his guests.

Feb 01 2006 | Read Full Review of African American Lives

Publishers Weekly

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This substantial compilation offers thorough, accessible biographies of 611 African-Americans over more than four centuries, beginning with Esteban, the first African known to have set foot in Nort

Mar 22 2004 | Read Full Review of African American Lives

BC Books

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The prominent individuals in the second series are no less impressive: Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, Tom Joyner, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle, Peter Gomes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Maya Angelou, Bliss Broyard, Linda Johnson Rice, and Kathleen Henderson, a college administrator who was selected from more t...

May 17 2008 | Read Full Review of African American Lives

Blogger News Network

The second episode is “A Way Out Of No Way.” In this episode, we delve deeper into their ancestry from the previous episode back through the Civil War.

Apr 26 2008 | Read Full Review of African American Lives

New York Magazine

Imagine his consternation on discovering in the fourth hour of his new documentary, the fascinating and provocative African American Lives, that, according to the best available DNA evidence, he is not only 50 percent sub-Saharan African and 50 percent European, but that the European half seems t...

Jan 28 2006 | Read Full Review of African American Lives


"Lives 2" plays like the kind of production they used to run after lunch to quiet down the kids -- the one that half the class slept through, as often as not, hoping nobody would notice.Executive producers, Henry Louis Gates Jr., William R.

Feb 06 2008 | Read Full Review of African American Lives

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