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Publisher's Summary

America's Black intellectuals have made many important contributions to American intellectual life as writers, historians, educators, and social activists. Various lines of thought, which form the black intellectual traditions, emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries and continue to influence the present.

Book One: Life and Times of Frederick Douglass covers the life of the prominent abolitionist during and after the Civil War. Here, Douglass provides a fuller account of his escape from slavery and the underground railway to freedom. It includes his recollections of presidents Garfield and Lincoln, Johnson and Garfield, and an account of his service as Marshall of the District of Columbia. 

Book Two: Although the Civil War marked an end to slavery in the United States, it would take another 50 years to establish the country's Civil Rights Movement. Booker T. Washington, in his book Up from Slavery (1901), stresses the importance of vocational training, defining the term "industrial education" as acquiring the skills to become a valuable member of society, and the ability to apply this knowledge to business. He believed that the South presented a far better opportunity than the North when it comes to the matter of securing property and employment. 

Book Three: The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933), discusses the flaws of Eurocentric curricula that ignores African American history and culture. Carter D. Woodson claims that Blacks of his day were being culturally indoctrinated in American schools. He believed the system failed to give African American students a proper sense of who they are within society; it failed to prepare them for success and caused them to seek out inferior positions in society. The author goes to great lengths to identify the historical roots of the problem, its development, and its influence on interpersonal relations and historical scholarship. 

Book 4: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963), was an author, scholar, sociologist, historian, Pan-Africanist, and civil rights activist. The Gift of Black Folk (1924) is an analysis of the role of African Americans in the development of American culture. The author provides examples of the ways in which the culture was shaped and enriched by Blacks on many levels, including their economic, religious, and cultural contributions. Also in his speeches and letters, Du Bois promoted the idea of a synthesis of racial and national consciousness dedicated to “the ideal of human brotherhood”. Some of the frequent subjects include African history and culture, black history in the United States and the world, the need for black higher education to remain culturally relevant, and scientifically sound and the opportunities associated with black economic cooperation. 

Book 5: Sojourner Truth’s autobiographical narrative chronicles her life as a slave in upstate New York, and her transformation into an abolitionist, women’s rights activist, orator, and preacher. She was born around 1797 and emancipated by state law in 1827. The following year she moved to New York City, where she became involved with various unorthodox religious groups. By 1843, she had become an itinerant preacher and spent most of the next 13 years in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was illiterate; her autobiography was dictated to her neighbor Olive Gilbert, and the Narrative was published in 1850. In the 1870s, her friend Frances Titus compiled a new edition, adding the Book of Life, a scrapbook of articles, essays, and letters from Truth’s admirers.

Public Domain (P)2021 Museum Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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This is a must read for generations to come!

I'm so glad I had an opportunity to read these books. It helped open my eyes to the minutiae that we continue to carry with us till this day, good and bad.

1 person found this helpful