Great Events from History: African American History Review

CHOICE, Editors’ Top 75 Community College Resources for February 2018

“Mack-Shelton (history, Claflin Univ., SC) addresses African American history from the arrival of the first slave ships in 1619 to the present-day Black Lives Matter movement. Although many of the volumes’ approximately 600 essays and entries appeared in previous “Great Events from History” sets, including African American History (2006) and Great Lives from History: African Americans (2011), this worthwhile encyclopedia boasts a significant amount of new material, such as 80 original essays, expanded and updated bibliographies, and a list of unarmed black individuals killed by white civilians and police since 2000. It begins with 35 overview essays addressing important core aspects of the topic, followed by hundreds of chronologically arranged articles on narrower subjects that have significantly impacted American culture. Sidebars, maps, and illustrations enhance and support the entries. Though articles have “see also” references, there are no further reading suggestions, and while a lot of the information here can be found elsewhere, students will greatly benefit from having it all in one resource. The work brings disparate topics and themes together to validate the importance and influence of African Americans in U.S. history. VERDICT A well-organized, clearly written, and accessible compilation for a wide range of users from high school and undergraduate students to general readers.”

“This three-volume set is part of the Great Events from History series. It is divided into two parts: Overviews and Chronology of Events. The Overviews section emphasizes essays on important topics of African American history, some of which include sports, literature, education, lynching, segregation, cowboys, agriculture, slavery, and stereotypes, to name a few. The Chronology of Events section comprises essays beginning with The Middle Passage to American Slavery (17th century) up to the present. Each essay is approximately 1,600 words in length, starting with a summary paragraph, broad discussion of the topic and its significance with focus on key figures, and see also references. Sprinkled throughout the volumes are sidebars which provide quotations from primary source documents. There are many black-and-white photographs and illustrations as well. Appendixes include Notable Figures in African American History, a Timeline of African American History, and a bibliography. Indexes are divided into category and subject areas. I highly recommend these volumes for high school and academic libraries.”
—Library Journal