Africana; The Encyclopedia of the African and African American
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Hardcover: 2095 pages
Publisher: Basic Civitas Books; 1st edition (October 27, 1999)
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.8 x 3.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.2 pounds
An incomparable one-volume encyclopedia of the black world, "Africana" is beautifully designed and illustrated with more than 1,000 images--maps, tables, charts, photographs, hundreds of them in color. A vital resource for families, students, and educators, "Africana" offers a unique testament to the remarkable legacy of a great and varied people. Carry-case packaging.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1909, W.E.B. Du Bois dreamed of editing an "Encyclopedia Africana" filled with all that scholars knew of the history, literature and art of the great continent and diaspora. Such a tome, Du Bois hoped, would, like Diderot's Encyclop'ide, serve as a springboard for future scholarship and a bulwark against racist misconceptions. At the century's close, editors Appiah and Gates - an African and African-American respectively - have fulfilled Du Bois's vision with aplomb. For this accessible, fascinating volume, the two Harvard professors have commissioned and condensed more than 3000 articles by more than 400 scholars. Though the bulk of the entries are devoted to the African continent and its descendant cultures in Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, the encyclopedia also addresses the African presence in Europe, Asia and the rest of the world (each article is color coded for easy reference). Entries range from a paragraph on Abaku's, "all male secret societies created by African slaves living in Cuba during the mid-19th century, "to Evelyn Brooks Higginborham's six-page essay on "Women and the Block Baptist Church." The selections, which run the gamut from the Middle Passage, Rastafarians, the Montgomery bus boycott, rap and every African country, are notable for their clear presentation of facts and their cogent, fair-minded analysis. Some entries such as John Burdick's "Myth of Racial Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Interpretation." are really treatises on significant social issues. And the many minibiographies of accomplished artists - such as actor Paul Robeson, singer Diana Ross and saxophonist Charlie Parker - highlight the tremendous impact African-Americans have had on North American culture. Bursting with information and enhanced by contributions from its illustrious advisory board, which includes Jamaica Kincaid, Nell Irving Painter, Cornel West and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, this book belongs on every family's reference shelf. Du Bois himself could not have done better. 1000 photographs, maps and illustrations.
From Anthony O. Edmonds - Library Journal
Appiah and Gates, both eminent African American scholars at Harvard, have edited a massive encyclopedia covering virtually every facet of Africa and the African Diaspora, although the focus is on political, social, and cultural history. With more than 400 contributors and 3000 articles, the work includes 12 Featured Essays by internationally known scholars like Cornell West ("W.E.B. DuBois") and David L. Lewis ("Harlem Renaissance"). These well-developed analyses are ten to 15 pages in length. Shorter entries, usually from half a column to five pages in length, run the gamut of topics from Nelson Mandela to Tupac Shakur. The contributors include major figures like Gates as well as junior scholars from a number of countries. While obviously focusing on Africana, the compilation avoids extreme ideological stands. The entry on "Afrocentrism," for example, is a model of balance and clarity. The editors have admirably fulfilled the dream of African American scholar and leader W.E.B. DuBois, who worked for much of his life to create such a monument. Highly recommended for all but the smallest libraries.