An examination of the earliest Africans, both slave and free, the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South, and freedom movements in the late 18th century.
Black lives change dramatically following the American Revolution; individuals including Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass push the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics.
Black Americans flee plantations to serve in the United States Colored Troops; after emancipation, black people seek economic, political and civil rights.
Black Americans search for opportunities in the North and the West; black arts and culture grow in spite of Jim Crow.
Black Americans returning from World War II continue to face racial violence on the home front; Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a city bus in 1955; Martin Luther King Jr promotes a nonviolent approach to integration.
Class disparity threatens to split the black community in the late 1960s; economic and political forces isolate the black urban poor; many issues remain unresolved, despite the election of America's first black president in 2008.
Peniel E. Joseph
Henry Louis Gates
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