Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America
By Nat'l Museum African American Hist/cult (Editor), National Museum of African American History and Culture (Us) (Not available), Nat'l Museum Afr Am Hist/cult (Editor), Kinshasha Holman Conwill (Editor), Barack Obama (Foreword by)
Dream A World Anew is the stunning gift book accompanying the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. It combines informative narratives from leading scholars, curators, and authors with objects from the museum's collection to present a thorough exploration of African American history and culture. The first half of the book bridges a major gap in our national memory by examining a wide arc of African American history, from Slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Great Migrations through Segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and beyond. The second half of the book celebrates African American creativity and cultural expressions through art, dance, theater, and literature. Sidebars and profiles of influential figures--including Harriet Tubman, Robert Smalls, Ida B. Wells, Mordecai Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and many others--provide additional context and interest throughout the book. Dream a World Anew is a powerful book that provides an opportunity to explore and revel in African American history and culture, as well as the chance to see how central African American history is for all Americans.
BOOKLIST History will be made and embraced when the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a long-in-the-works and crucial addition to the Smithsonian Institution, opens on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in September 2016. This richly researched, clarion, and visually exciting volume introduces the museum s encompassing approach to the depth and complexity of the African American experience. With 275 color illustrations and essays brief and extended by two dozen scholars and curators, this welcoming overview covers a broad spectrum of subjects from slavery, emancipation, and desegregation to African Americans in the military, African American churches and educational institutions, the black press, black meccas, black entrepreneurs, and African American artists and athletes. As valuable as the cultural perspectives are, the numerous portraits of individuals stand out, such as enslaved Bridget Biddy Mason, who successfully sued for her freedom and became a millionaire, and once-enslaved Robert Smalls, who became a Civil War Hero and a five-term U.S. congressman. "Helping the public discover a meaningful past in order to understand the present is the museum s mission, and it is splendidly launched by this magnetic, many-faceted book. -Donna Seaman KIRKUS A literary companion to the Smithsonian's soon-to-open National Museum of African American History and Culture. Jumping from history to culture in an earnest attempt to be inclusive, this lavishly illustrated work by the museum's staff and editor Conwill highlights the museum's collection, which has been steadily gathered since 2005 and will open to the public in September 2016 in its imposing new space on the Washington Mall. The contributors to this excellent resource are stellar e.g., "sage adviser" John Hope Franklin (now deceased) and they move beyond the stereotypes embedded in scholarship throughout the eras to bring a fresh sense of how African-Americans contribu ted mightily to the overall "great American dream" and changed it for the better. The enslavement of Africans and their importation to the New World in the 17th century mark the beginning of this tortuous journey, and the editors take readers up to the Civil War in handsome layouts featuring photographs of the collection, such as items owned by slaves and short bios of notable figures like abolitionist publisher William Lloyd Garrison and crusader Sojourner Truth. Eloquent poems help break up the brisk historical tone, and the superb scholarship continues in chapters dealing with Reconstruction and black migration, as well as "Making a Way Out of No Way," which concerns the building of institutions that allowed African-Americans to get educated (e.g., Howard University, Tuskegee Institute) and succeed in life (churches, businesses, newspapers). Interim chapters on military participation and sporting heroes (male and female) make an awkward juxtaposition against the chronolog y, while the last chapter on "African American Influence on American Culture" is dazzling. Some of the contributors include Yale historian David Blight, museum supervisory curator Elaine Nichols, renowned scholar Peniel Joseph, and author Tonya Bolden, among others. An enticing guide to the museum's extensive exhibits."
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