It's ironic (and shameful) that a nation which prides itself on freedom, equality and independence should have acquired a significant number of its citizens against their will. Equally shameful, however, is the assumption that the descendants of the slaves still need a leg up, that they're culturally backward and can't fend for themselves. Liberals propound this all the time, under the guise of "humanitarian efforts" and "affirmative action."

Anyone who thinks this way has never heard of Frederick Douglass, or Booker T. Washington, or George Washington Carver, or Richard Wright, or Ralph Ellison, or Langston Hughes....and that isn't even the beginning of the list. The way to think about African Americans isn't as African Americans, but simply as Americans whose ethnic and ancestral roots are in Africa.

Putting African Americans in a whole different category is condescending and hypocritical. Still, they do constitute a significant demographic, and many of them relish and maintain their cultural heritage far more assiduously than European Americans (though probably less carefully than most Asian Americans).

The use of regional modifiers before the word "American" is a bit counterintuitive. We are all Americans, and to identify ourselves as a particular type belies the equality we so highly praise publicly. Perhaps the best way to break these walls of separation is to learn as much about our African American brothers and sisters as possible, till we see the differences between us are insignificant and synthetic.

To that end, we offer you African American biographies. Many of those we carry are specifically oriented toward Christian men and women, though secular writers, scientists, musicians, politicians and athletes are also represented. We hope these life stories are inspiring, and that they lead to increasingly genial relations between members of all ethnic groups who collectively inhabit the United States of America.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

Did you find this review helpful?
9 Items found Print
Active Filters: Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)
Buffalo Soldiers: The Story of Emanuel Stance
by Robert H. Miller
from Silver Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$5.20 (1 in stock)
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
by Jean, Illustrated By Pinkney, Jerry Marzollo
from Scholastic Inc.
Picture Book Biography for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$0.80 (1 in stock)
by Carole Boston Weatherford
1st edition from Hyperion/Madison Press
for Preschool-3rd grade
2007 Caldecott Honor Book
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
My People
by Langston Hughes with Charles R. Smith, Jr.
First Edition from Atheneum
for Preschool-1st grade
Coretta Scott King Award
in Poetry for Children (Location: POET-CHIL)
Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by David A. Adler
from Holiday House
Biography for Preschool-1st grade
in Clearance: Biographies (Location: CLE-BIO)
Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children
by Sandra L. Pinkney, Myles C. Pinkney
from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool-1st grade
in Multicultural Books (Location: HISMC-MUL)
Storm in the Night
by Mary Stolz
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged!
by Jody Nyasha Warner, Richard Rudnicki
from Groundwood Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: HISA-20CIV)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Weed Is a Flower
by Aliki
Reprint from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$2.80 (1 in stock)