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The Columbia guide to African American history since 1939
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, c2006.
Physical Description:
xiv, 442 p. ; 24 cm.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 973.0496 COL 1 1

On Order



This book is a multifaceted approach to understanding the central developments in African American history since 1939. It combines a historical overview of key personalities and movements with essays by leading scholars on specific facets of the African American experience, a chronology of events, and a guide to further study.

Marian Anderson's famous 1939 concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was a watershed moment in the struggle for racial justice. Beginning with this event, the editors chart the historical efforts of African Americans to address racism and inequality. They explore the rise of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and the national and international contexts that shaped their ideologies and methods; consider how changes in immigration patterns have complicated the conventional "black/white" dichotomy in U.S. society; discuss the often uneasy coexistence between a growing African American middle class and a persistent and sizable underclass; and address the complexity of the contemporary African American experience. Contributors consider specific issues in African American life, including the effects of the postindustrial economy and the influence of music, military service, sports, literature, culture, business, and the politics of self-designation, e.g.,"Colored" vs. "Negro," "Black" vs. "African American".

While emphasizing political and social developments, this volume also illuminates important economic, military, and cultural themes. An invaluable resource, The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 provides a thorough understanding of a crucial historical period.

Author Notes

Robert L. Harris Jr. is professor of African American history in the Africana studies and research center at Cornell University. The author of Teaching African American History , he has been a W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University.Rosalyn Terborg-Penn is professor of history emerita at Morgan State University. She is the author of African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1929 and the coeditor of several titles, including Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

There is no shortage of recently published or forthcoming reference works concerning the African American experience. This includes the six-volume second edition of the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (CH, Oct'06, 44-0699). However, this new eclectic guide proves valuable as a one-stop work for quick reference as well as basic historical research. The guide covers the period just prior to WW II through the present, and everything is nicely laid out in an extensive chronology. Eight essays on various topics from music and the arts to military and business precede the chronology and a section of A-Z encyclopedic entries of important African American personalities, organizations, and events. There is also an extensive bibliographical resource guide that lists broad topics such as "Affirmative Action," which are stratified into narrower subtopics and various categories of resources. The guide offers concise geographical listings of major libraries, museums, and historical places, as well as a list of African American newspapers and Web sites for further research. There is also a well-constructed index for easy lookup of topics. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic libraries. B. D. Singleton California State University--San Bernardino

Table of Contents

Robert L. Harris Jr. and Rosalyn Terborg-PennRosalyn Terborg-PennRobin D. G. KelleyBrenda L. MooreSundiata DjataKevin K. Gaines and Penny M. Von EschenCraig WernerJuliet E. K. WalkerRobert L. Harris Jr.Robert L. Harris Jr. and Michelle R. ScottDebra Newman Ham
Introductionp. xi
Part I Historical Narrativep. 1
Interpreting African American History Since 1939p. 3
Foundations of the Movement, 1939-57p. 11
The Civil Rights Movement, 1955-65p. 30
Black Power / Black Consciousness, 1965-75p. 61
A Glass Half-Full or Half-Emptyp. 75
Part II Key Themes in African American History Since 1939p. 89
Naming Ourselves: The Politics and Meaning of Self-designationp. 91
Looking Backward: African Americans in the Postindustrial Erap. 101
African Americans in the Militaryp. 120
African Americans in Sports: The Other Championsp. 136
African Americans in Literature and the Artsp. 155
Black Music and Black Possibility: From Be-Bop to Hip-Hopp. 172
Black Business Developmentp. 194
Part III Chronology, 1939-2005p. 211
Part IV A-Z Entriesp. 245
Part V Resource Guidep. 331
African American History
Textbooksp. 333
Surveysp. 333
Black Womenp. 334
General Resourcesp. 335
Almanacs and Atlasesp. 335
Bibliographiesp. 336
Biographical Sourcesp. 337
Chronologiesp. 338
Demographyp. 338
Encyclopediasp. 339
Filmp. 339
Literaturep. 340
Manuscript Collectionsp. 340
Newspapers and Periodicalsp. 341
Photographyp. 341
Web Sitesp. 342
General Military Resourcesp. 342
Historiesp. 342
Bibliographiesp. 343
Biographical Sourcesp. 343
Documentsp. 343
Recordsp. 343
World War IIp. 344
Historiesp. 344
Archive and Manuscript Sourcesp. 351
Film and Videop. 353
Desegregation of the Armed Forcesp. 355
Koreap. 355
Vietnamp. 356
The Civil Rights Movementp. 357
Historiographiesp. 357
Surveysp. 357
Roots of the Movementp. 358
International Contextp. 359
Autobiographiesp. 360
Biographiesp. 362
Documentsp. 365
Dictionaries and Encyclopediasp. 366
Historiesp. 367
Local Studiesp. 369
Laborp. 371
Musicp. 371
Organizationsp. 372
School Desegregationp. 374
Sportsp. 375
Film, Video, and Audiop. 376
Manuscriptsp. 379
Black Nationalismp. 384
Black Powerp. 384
Black Arts and Black Aestheticsp. 386
Urban Rebellions/Riotsp. 386
Post-Civil Rightsp. 388
Affirmative Actionp. 388
Businessp. 389
Filmp. 390
Race Relationsp. 391
Educationp. 393
Familyp. 394
Politicsp. 395
Religionp. 396
Science and Technologyp. 396
The 1980sp. 397
The 1990sp. 397
Libraries, Museums, and Historical Sitesp. 398
Newspapers, Periodicals, and Journalsp. 403
Selected Web Sitesp. 406
Contributorsp. 409
Indexp. 411
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