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History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots. By Thomas J. Davis. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2016. 271 p. Cis-free $58 (ISBN 978-313-38540-7). E-book Available (978-0-313-38541-4), call for pricing.

History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots by Thomas J. Davis chronicles the remarkable past of African Americans from the earliest arrival of their ancestors to the election of President Barack Obama. This work was produced to recognize every triumph and tragedy that separates African Americans as a group from others in America. By distinguishing the rich and unique history of African Americans, History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots provides an account of inspiration, courage, and progress. Each chapter details a significant piece of African American history, and the book includes numerous concise portraits of prominent African Americans and their contributions to progressing social life in the United States.

This reference work opens with a brief introduction describing the journey of African Americans that highlights the major topics surveyed within the book. These topics include racism, segregation, equality, and diversity. Following the introduction, there is a chronology of key dates in African American history that provides a quick orientation to noteworthy places, people, and events. History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots contains 271 pages of African American history that is prescribed chronologically in narrative form. The book also includes selected bibliography and index sections succeeding the conclusion. History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots, the hardcover edition is printed on acid-free paper and includes a plentiful amount of black-and-white images depicting various eras in African American history.

Comparing History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots to other resources on the subject of African American history can seem overwhelming because the subject matter is well researched and has been significantly covered by many resources. These resources include many encyclopedias and general reference works both in print and electronically. While there are many resources that describe specific parts of African American history, like the Civil Rights Movement, History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots is a general account of the complete African American experience. The work was envisioned to be an unembellished survey of the African American experience. Several of the newer books on African American history provide much of the same content as History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots; however, the arrangement and narrative form may differ. A few other books highlight historic events in African American history by subject while others focus on the location of the events and people. While much of the content remains unchanged, these other resources serve to provide the reader with the significant events of African American history with varying forms of accessibility.

History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots by Thomas J. Davis is a wide-ranging volume on the African American identity and belongs in any institution that provides historic resources to its users. No specific person, place, or event is hugely examined, but the book provides a well-ordered introduction to the overall history of African Americans. The individual portraits of remarkable African Americans of the past provide short, yet detailed descriptions of leaders, reformers, and educators that fashioned the social landscape of America. For the reader that desires a universal history of African Americans that is organized chronologically, History of African Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots is an ample resource.—Trent Shotwell, Special Collections & Archives Librarian, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

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