By Leslie M. Alexander

Encyclopedia of African American historical past introduces readers to the numerous humans, occasions, sociopolitical routine, and concepts that experience formed African American existence from earliest touch among African peoples and Europeans during the overdue twentieth century.This encyclopedia areas the African American adventure within the context of the full African diaspora, with entries equipped in sections on African/European touch and enslavement, tradition, resistance and id in the course of enslavement, political activism from the progressive warfare to Southern emancipation, political activism from Reconstruction to the trendy Civil Rights flow, black nationalism and urbanization, and Pan-Africanism and modern black the USA. in keeping with the newest scholarship and engagingly written, there is not any greater go-to reference for exploring the heritage of African american citizens and their specified impression on American society, politics, enterprise, literature, artwork, foodstuff, garments, song, language, and know-how.

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Each entry includes a bibliography that can serve as the starting point for more advanced research. All bibliographic entries represent readily available books or articles written by professional historians and other scholars. Students, at various levels, can use the bibliographies to generate more advanced research inquiries and understandings into a vast array of topics related to African American history. In addition, more than 200 illustrations, photographs, and maps are included to further augment the essays.

Regarding Africa, European interest in the continent had been developing since ancient times. Herodotus and other Greek and Roman writers detailed aspects of African life and culture; but much like the chronicles of Marco Polo, these writings were infused with the fantastic and were limited and fragmented in scope. Still, some of the most outlandish stories that ancient writers recorded in reference to Africa turned out to be quite true. ”5 This voyage around the southern tip of Africa occurred well before the 15th-century exploits of Portuguese explorers Bartolomeu Dias, who rounded the Cape in 1488, and Vasco da Gama, who surpassed his predecessor by not only rounding the South African coast but also reaching India in 1497.

Taken together, these entries are critically important for several reasons, not the least of which stems from an intense treatment of the crucial role played by Africans in the political, social, and economic development of the Atlantic world. Notably, Africa is regarded in its specificity in this volume and thus enables a more enhanced understanding of the particular roles that specific Africans played in the development of the region during the era of slavery and the slave trade. 42 Because Africans on the continent along with their contemporaries and progeny held captive in the New World played a persistent role in the development of the Atlantic world, they must be regarded as critical agents of change in a burgeoning modern world, rather than as its mere victims.

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