African American Lives
Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
Reviews and Awards
A Pennsylvania School Librians Association Young Adult Top Forty Reference Title 2004
A Booklist Editor's Choice for Best Reference 2004!
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2004!
"...there's no doubt that African American Lives has the definitive list of black contributions in a new reference book that's thoroughly researched and well written....the book is a treasury of entertaining and informative glimpses into American and world history....The research that went into each biography pays off handsomely. Each story is told with depth and detail. No reader should leave this book without having learned the significance of each profiled individual and his or her contribution to society....Such vivid details set African American Lives apart from other reference materials. The book is a must for anyone who loves history. Don't be deterred by the price. It's worth every penny, and given the book's research and writing, shouldn't sit idly on any shelf to gather dust."--Sun-Sentinel
"The alphabetically arranged biographical entries are well written and focus on the subject's contributions to both the subculture and history of black Americans as well as the person's impact on the general history and culture of the US....Relatively inexpensive, African American Lives offers accessible and authoritative biographical and critical information on a well-selected representative group of influential black Americans. It also offers a glimpse into what promises to be a major publishing event of 2006---the publication of a multivolume biographical encyclopedia on African Americans. African American Lives is highly recommended for most academic and public libraries."--Booklist STARRED Review
"When is a reference book vastly more than just a reference book? One plausible answer: when it's this one."--Buffalo News
"If there is no history, only biography, then this work opens multiple fresh vistas on proper African American history.... This work easily supplants Rayford Logan and Michael Winston's Dictionary of American Negro Biography (1982) while also serving as a tantalizing appetizer to the feast promised in 2006 with the release of a 6000-entry, eight-volume African American National Biography. Essential for any serious African American collection."--Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
"This substantial compilation offers thorough, accessible biographies of 611 African-Americans over more than four centuries....The 1,000-3,000 word entries are generally well-written, even lyrical, and balanced...this documenting of a major power and achievement will undoubtedly be a standard reference work."--Publishers Weekly
"Browsing through a copy of the encyclopedia-style volume, African American Lives, is an exercise that never fails to inform and entertain. Turn to the "M" section, for example, and the two-page biography of Malcolm X is followed by an entry on a lesser known figure, Annie Turnbo Malone, a determined Illinois businesswoman who made a multimillion-dollar fortune in the 1920s with a hair-care products company. These two subjects are among 600 profiled herefrom slaves to contemporary sports heroesin a volume that was meticulously researched and compiled. Each entry contains fascinating bits of information that add to our understanding of the importance of race and class in America. Edited by scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Higginbotham and distilled from a forthcoming eight-volume set intended primarily for libraries, this readable collection is a mosaic that offers a unique portrait of the African-American experience."--Bookpage