Forgotten African American Firsts: An Encyclopedia of Pioneering History

Greenwood. Mar. 2023. 352p. Tr $107. ISBN 9781440875359.
Gr 9 Up–This meticulously researched reference by two university professors attempts to resurrect in the public consciousness awareness of dozens of African American firsts in 17 different categories. Mixing the well-known accomplishments of trailblazers in film and media, literature, and sports with the lesser-known accolades of those in law, business, and diplomacy, this resource stretches as far back as the 18th century, with luminaries like Phillis Wheatley, to as recent as 2018 with Jordan Peele, the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. This attempts to bring recognition to the mainstream consciousness of Black Americans who made a lasting impact on our nation in a multitude of arenas.
VERDICT A necessary resource to celebrate the Black experience by exalting the pioneers who are too often ignored or forgotten in discourse surrounding the history of people of color in the United States.

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