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Encyclopedia of African-American heritage
2nd ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, c2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 353 p. : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Offers a wealth of information on both African and African American history, politics, culture, people, and places. Entries describe the rich tapestry woven by Africans, from those who remained on their ancestral continent, to those who were forced to leave their homes, and to the great strides being made by African Americans today. New to this edition are entries on affirmative action, criminal justice, labor, and property rights. This edition also contains an expanded art programs with 52 new b&w photos and 6 new maps. Altman is author of two books for young readers on the Black American experience.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 909.0496 ALT 1 1
Reference Book R 909.0496 ALT 1 1

On Order



This highly acclaimed and comprehensive volume offers a wealth of information on African-American history

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up‘Black history in America and its rich African heritage in a one-volume encyclopedia? Yes, and well done to boot! In a clear, succinct style, Altman provides a wealth of information on individuals, peoples, places, events, movements, groups, legal cases, and terms. The emphasis is on African-American political and intellectual history but the author doesn't neglect people and events outside this focus‘"Nat Love," "rap," etc. In addition, the history and culture of Africa, the African Diaspora, and individual African nations are included. Entries are alphabetical with most ranging between 150-200 words, although some are longer. Several subjects, such as "education" and "slavery," are covered at length. Entries are only disappointing when they are too short, such as the coverage of the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement. However, "see" and "see-also" references and/or lists of "recommended listening" and recommended reading are included for many of the articles. An extensive, up-to-date bibliography and accurate index conclude the volume. Illustrative material is limited primarily to dark black-and-white photos and a few maps. A welcome addition to any collection or classroom.‘Daryl Grabarek, Brooklyn Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

This overview for students in grades 4 to 12 gathers in one volume information on the Africans who remained on their ancestral continent, those who were forced to move, and their progeny who matured in a new land. Entries on people, places, culture, politics, and history are complete enough to whet a student's interest, although they are too brief for reports. Entries range from Henry "Hank" Aaron to Zulu. Topics such as the Harlem Renaissance, buffalo soldiers, Sam Gilliam (artist), Bill Pickett (rodeo performer), Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, CORE, and SNCC vary in length from a paragraph to a page. Individual entries do not include bibliographies, but there is a lengthy list of further reading at the back of the book, followed by an index. Black-and-white photos are provided for some entries. The author has written several books for children, and her writing skills make this work useful for reference as well as engaging reading for the library browser. Although there are dozens of reference works on African American history, this reasonably priced encyclopedia is recommended for school libraries and other small libraries that need an accessible source that is well written and presents a cross-disciplinary view of the African American heritage.

Choice Review

Altman's short-entry encyclopedia covers topics from Henry Aaron to Zulu. Although the majority of entries deal with American topics, some treat ancient and modern Africa, African ethnic groups, and political movements. Entries range in length from 35-40 word paragraphs to single-page 500-word articles. Recommendations for further research accompany 10-15 percent of the entries. Resources listed include books, videotapes, and recordings. Cross-references are provided. Illustrations (primarily photographs) appear on nearly every page. A bibliography of approximately 250 books and articles follows the entries. The subject index refers to both the text and illustrations. Altman has previously published a collection of African American poetry and a biographical dictionary on African Americans for children. The text was reviewed by historians affiliated with Howard and Morgan State universities. Most college and university library reference collections will already hold either The African American Encyclopedia, ed. by Michael W. Williams (CH, Nov'93), or Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, ed. by Jack Salzman et al. (CH, Sep'96), which treat in depth many of the topics briefly covered here, while general encyclopedias provide comparable coverage on Africa. Comprehensive, departmental, or two-year college library collections only. M. Stark; Southern Methodist University



Praise for the previous edition: Black history in America and its rich African heritage in a one-volume encyclopedia? Yes, and well done to boot! A welcome addition to any collection or classroom.--School Library Journal This highly acclaimed and comprehensive volume offers a wealth of information on African-American history, politics, and culture. Chronicling more than a millennium of history, the encyclopedia traces the rich and varied tapestry woven by Africans--from those who remained on their ancestral continent to those who were forced to leave their homes and begin again in a new land. Coverage includes: People: scientists, civil rights leaders, artists, explorers, politicians, athletes, and key figures in ancient African history Places: nations and major cities of Africa, as well as former empires and kingdoms Culture: the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, the Negro Baseball League, rhythm and blues, calypso, and rap Politics: key political groups, movements, and events, including the voting rights struggle in the United States and the victory of the African National Congress over apartheid in South Africa History: major events of the African-American past, including slavery and resistance to it, the abolitionist and civil rights movements, Reconstruction, and Pan-Africanism. New entries include: Affirmative Action Criminal justice, labor, and property rights Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; John Robert Lewis; Tiger Woods; Sally Hemings; Marvin Gaye; and many more Plus, an expanded art program that includes 52 new photographs and 6 new maps. Excerpted from Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage by Susan Altman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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