A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics: the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present

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Product Code: 8863
ISBN: 9780593449349
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: One World
Published Date: 02/01/2022
Pages: 528
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $20.00

The story begins in 1619 - a year before the Mayflower - when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith - instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.

This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.


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Contents

A Community of Souls: An Introduction by Ibram X. Kendi

Part One
1619-1624: Arrival by NIKOLE Hannah-Jones
1624-1629: Africa by Molefi Kete Asante
1629-1634: Whipped For Lying with A Black Woman by Ijeoma Oluo
1639-1644: Tobacco by Damaris B. Hill
1644-1649: Black Women’s Labor by Brenda E. Stevenson
1649-1654: The Black Family by Heather Andrea Williams
1654-1659: Unfree Labor by Nakia D. Parker
Poem: “Upon Arrival” by Jericho Brown

Part Two
1659-1664: Elizabeth Keye by Jennifer L. Morgan
1664-1669: The Virginia Law On Baptism by Jemar Tisby
1669-1674: The Royal African Company by David A. Love
1674-1679: Bacon’s Rebellion by Heather C. McGhee
1679-1684: The Virginia Law That Forbade Bearing Arms; Or The Virginia Law That Forbade Armed Self-Defense by Kellie Carter Jackson
1684-1689: The Code Noir by Laurence Ralph
1689-1694: The Germantown Petition Against Slavery by Christopher J. Lebron
1694-1699: The Middle Passage by Mary E. Hicks
Poem: “Mama, Where You Keep Your Gun?” by Phillip B. Williams

Part Three
1699-1704: The Selling of Joseph by Brandon R. Byrd
1704-1709: The Virginia Slave Codes by Kai Wright
1709-1714: The Revolt in New York by Herb Boyd
1714-1719: The Slave Market by Sasha Turner
1719-1724: Maroons and Marronage by Sylviane A. Diouf
1724-1729: The Spirituals by Corey D. B. Walker
1729-1734: African Identities by Walter C. Rucker
1734-1739: From Fore Mose to Soul City by Brentin Mock
Poem: “Before Revolution” by Morgan Parker

Part Four
1739-1744: The Stono Rebellion by Wesley Lowery
1744-1749: Lucy Terry Prince by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
1749-1754: Race and The Enlightenment by Dorothy E. Roberts
1754-1759: Blackness and Indigeneity by Kyle T. Mays
1759-1764: One Black Boy: The Great Lakes and The Midwest by Tiya Miles
1764-1769: Phillis Wheatley by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
1769-1774: David George by William J. Barber II
1774-1779: The American Revolution by Martha S. Jones
Poem: “Not Without Some Instances of Uncommon Cruelty” by Justin Phillip Reed
Part Five
1779-1784: Savannah, Georgia by Daina Ramey Berry
1784-1789: The U.S. Constitution by Donna Brazile
1789-1794: Sally Hemings by Annette Gordon-Reed
1794-1799: The Fugitive Slave Act by Deirdre Cooper Owens
1799-1804: Higher Education by Craig Steven Wilder
1804-1809: Cotton by Kiese Laymon
1809-1814: The Louisiana Rebellion by Clint Smith
1814-1819: Queer Sexuality by Raquel Willis
Poem: “Remembering The Albany 3” by Ishmael Reed

Part Six
1819-1824: Denmark Vesey by Robert Jones, JR.
1824-1829: Freedom’s Journal by Pamela Newkirk
1829-1834: Maria Stewart by Kathryn Sophia Belle
1834-1839: The National Negro Conventions by Eugene Scott
1839-1844: Radical Passing by Allyson Hobbs
1844-1849: James McCune Smith, M.D. by Harriet A. Washington
1849-1854: Oregon by Mitchell S. Jackson
1854-1859: Dred Scott by John A. Powell
Poem: “Compromise” by Donika Kelly

Part Seven
1859-1864: Frederick Douglass by Adam Serwer
1864-1869: The Civil War by Jamelle Bouie
1869-1874: Reconstruction by Michael Harriot
1874-1879: Atlanta by Tera W. Hunter
1879-1884: John Wayne Niles by William A. Darity, JR.
1884-1889: Philadelphia by Kali Nicole Gross
1889-1894: Lynching by Crystal N. Feimster
1894-1899: Plessy v. Ferguson by Blair L.M. Kelley
Poem: “John Wayne Niles … .--…- -.- …/ - --- Ermias Joseph Asghedom” by Mahogany L. Browne

Part Eight
1899-1904: Booker T. Washington by Derrick Alridge
1904-1909: Jack Johnson by Howard Bryant
1909-1914: The Black Public Intellectual by Beverly Guy-Sheftall
1914-1919: The Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
1919-1924: Red Sumer by Michelle Duster
1924-1929: The Harlem Renaissance by Farah Jasmine Griffin
1929-1934: The Great Depression by Robin D. G. Kelley
1934-1939: Zora Neale Hurston by Bernice L. McFadden
Poem: “Coiled and Unleashed” by Patricia Smith

Part Nine 1939-1944: The Black Soldier by Chad Williams
1944-1949: The Black Left by Russell Rickford
1949-1954: The Road to Brown v. Board of Education by Sherrilyn Ifill
1954-1959: Black Arts by Imani Perry
1959-1964: The Civil Rights Movement by Charles E. Cobb, JR.
1964-1969: Black Power by Peniel Joseph
1969-1974: Propery by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
1974-1979: Combahee River Collective by Barbara Smith
Poem: “And The Record Repeats” by Chet’la Sebree

Part Ten
1979-1984: The War on Drugs by James Forman, JR.
1984-1989: The Hip-Hop Generation by Bakari Kitwana
1989-1994: Anita Hill by Salamishah Tillet
1994-1999: The Crime Bill by Angela Y. Davis
1999-2004: The Black Immigrant by Esther Armah
2004-2009: Hurricane Katrina by Deborah Douglas
2009-2014: The Shelby Ruling by Karine Jean-Pierre
2014-2019: Black Lives Matter by Alicia Garza
Poem: “American Abecedarian” by Joshua Bennett

Conclusion: Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams by Keisha N. Blain
Acknowledgments
Notes
Contributors
Permissions
Index

“This engrossing collection is divided into ten parts, each covering forty years, and each part ends with a poem that captures the essence of the preceding essays. . . . The brief but powerful essays . . . feature lesser-known people, places, ideas, and events as well as fresh, closer looks at the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Harlem Renaissance, Brown v. Board of Education, the Black Power movement, the war on drugs, Hurricane Katrina, voter suppression, and other staples of Black American history and experience. Poignant essays by Bernice L. McFadden on Zora Neale Hurston, Salamishah Tillet on Anita Hill, and Kiese Laymon (“Cotton 1804–1809”) deftly tie the personal to the historical. Every voice in this ‘cabinet of curiosities’ is stellar. . . . An impeccable, epic, essential vision of American history as a whole and a testament to the resilience of Black people.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An engrossing anthology of essays, biographical sketches, and poems by Black writers tracing the history of the African American experience from the arrival of the first slaves in 1619 to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement . . . With a diverse range of up-and-coming scholars, activists, and writers exploring topics both familiar and obscure, this energetic collection stands apart from standard anthologies of African American history.” - Publishers Weekly

“African American history is a communal quilt, crisscrossed with the stitches of elders, youth, LGBTQ folk, mothers, fathers, revolutionaries, and poets. . . . [Kendi and Blain] honor this multilayered heritage in a monumental work of collaborative history. . . . This seamless collection crackles with rage, beauty, bitter humor, and the indomitable will to survive.” - Booklist (starred review)

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