Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of The Black American Journey from Booklist on September 1, 2021

Cover: African Americans and the Revolutionary War

The Black American Journey is the latest generation of the publisher’s Journey to Freedom: The African American Library series (circa 2000) and The African American Journey series (a decade later). Some of the recent books are entirely new, while others are revised editions. The repackaged texts appear to be largely unchanged, although sentences or sections have sometimes been reworded (e.g., using enslaved people rather than slaves) or even omitted. The new book design, slightly smaller format, and increased use of color give the pages a more inviting look, and the smaller font is more suitable for the audience. With few textual updates, African Americans and the Revolutionary War examines Black minutemen and soldiers and whether this war truly delivered freedom. John Lewis traces the leader’s path from childhood to Congress but concentrates on his years practicing nonviolent resistance during the civil rights movement. The Racial Justice Movement discusses topics such as the killing of George Floyd and the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement while placing them within the historical context of racism and civil rights in America. The Underground Railroad omits the 2002 edition’s section on patchwork quilts carrying secret messages for people escaping slavery, a notion that many historians regard as folklore. With well-chosen illustrations appearing throughout the books, this series offers concise, informative introductions to elements of Black history.

—Carolyn Phelan

Products Reviewed

Title   ATOS Format Qty
African Americans and the Revolutionary War 5.3
John Lewis: Civil Rights Champion and Politician 5.6
The Racial Justice Movement 5.9
The Underground Railroad 5.5

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