Tens of thousands of books have been published on slavery. Movies and television programs about the Civil War; provide umbrella coverage of slavery and emancipation. What could this book do that other books, films, and media projects don't? The creative team history professor Kevin McGruder, Ph.D., public historian Velma Maia Thomas and visual journalist Georgia Scott understands what it means to make the dry bones of the past come alive today! In their lavishly illustrated book, history is released from the confines of school, original documents are liberated from archival storage for everyone to see, and 500 years of events are explained as clearly and simply as T.V. and social media coverage of the most recent inauguration. We are living in historic times, and this book conveys what specifically makes these days so amazing. Almost everyone knows Africans were enslaved in this "land of liberty" and later freed after a nation-splitting war. Yet few understand precisely why slavery existed and how its hold on our country was gradually broken.
From the Declaration of Independence to The Constitution to Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and finally, to the signed executive order that began to unshackle Black Americans, documents revealing the story are beautifully reproduced here and decoded in plain words. Although they are important, documents and dates alone can never make sense of the past nor fully connect the present with the stream of time we must never forget. Therefore, the creators of this book provide an important glimpse of the people of those bygone eras and interpret how they thought and viewed their world. Their ideas were often surprisingly different from what is universally accepted today, and understanding them can instruct us as we think about current issues. Perfect for coffee tables or study groups, for adults, teens, or even grade-schoolers, this book does what other books, films, and media projects don't. It depicts the story of U.S. Blacks, enslaved and free, in one short, compelling, entertaining volume for our time.
About the Author
Kevin McGruder, Ph.D., holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a doctorate from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. From 2011 to 2012, McGruder was a Scholar in Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A native of Toledo, McGruder is an Assistant Professor of History at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he currently resides. Velma Maia Thomas is a public historian who uses her engaging style to bring history to life. She holds a degree in journalism from Howard University, and a master's in political science from Emory University. She is the author of the award-winning interactive book Lest We Forget The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation and other titles in Freedom s Children, and No Man Can Hinder Me and We Shall Not Be Moved. One of 100 distinguished Americans selected to contribute to Lift Every Voice and Sing A Celebration of the Negro National Anthem. Thomas served as a distinguished scholar at the historic Penn Center on St. Helena, Island, SC, is a keynote speaker at universities, libraries, and museums across the nation, and has been interviewed by the New York Times, The Atlanta Journal, and Constitution and the British Broadcasting Corporation. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia.