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Literary and Nonfiction
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|Great Lives Online|
|Great Lives from History|
Editor: Carl L. Bankston III, Tulane University
September 2011 · 5 volumes · 1,760 pages · 8"x10"
Great Lives from History:
Great Lives from History: African Americans covers more than 770 people from colonial times through the present, offering fascinating perspectives on Black American history.
Great Lives from History: African Americans features 800 essays covering people from the eighteenth century through the early twenty-first century. The majority of the individuals included in this set have never been covered in this series before. Many individuals are household names, famous for their work in such fields as entertainment, sports, civil rights, politics, and literature. Others have received less attention but made important contributions in such fields as education, journalism, business, and science.
All essays in this set have been specially commissioned. Their subjects are African Americans who have undertaken a wide range of endeavors from late colonial times into the twenty-first century. The criteria for including these people take into account their significance in history or modern culture, their representation of a wide range of fields and periods, their relevance to school curricula, and their interest to high school, undergraduate, and general readers.
Each essay is approximately 2 to 4 pages in length and displays ready-reference top matter, which offers easy access to biographical information, including the individual's name (with any other versions or alternate spellings), the field of work the individual is most associated with, and dates of birth and death. Also included is a brief synopsis explaining the individual's historical or social importance.
The body of the essay is divided into several sections: "Early Life" provides facts about the individual's upbringing and the environment in which he or she was reared. "Life's Work" is a straightforward, generally chronological account of how the individual gained recognition in his or her chosen field, emphasizing the most significant achievements in the figure's life and career. "Significance" provides an overview of the importance of the individual's accomplishments, and discusses why it is important to study this individual. All essays conclude with notes for further research and cross-references to other essays in the set.
An alphabetically complete list of contents can be found in the front matter of every volume, as well as a pronunciation key. A multitude of sidebars provide key information on notable achievements, career highlights, and important causes. Appendixes include a Chronological List of Entries, a comprehensive Bibliography, a list of Research Centers and Libraries, and a list of Literary Works that explore the African American experience. Geographical, Personage, and Subject Indexes round out this fascinating five-volume set.
A few of the many significant biographies are listed below. For a full list by clicking Table of Contents.
Hank Aaron — Baseball player
Alvin Ailey — Dancer
Muhammad Ali — Boxing champion
Marian Anderson — Classical music singer
Louis Armstrong — Jazz musician
Arthur Ashe — Tennis player
Crispus Attucks — Revolutionary War hero
James Beckwourth — Explorer
Guion Bluford — First African American astronaut
Blanche Kelso Bruce — Reconstruction era senator
Ralph J. Bunche — Nobel Prize-winning diplomat
George Washington Carver — Scientist
Shirley Chisholm — Congresswoman
Nat "King" Cole — Jazz musician
Honi Coles and Cholly Atkins — Tap dancing team
Bill Cosby — Actor
Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. — First black Army general
Miles Davis — Jazz musician
Sammy Davis, Jr. — Singer, danger, actor
Frederick Douglass — Escaped slave and abolitionist
Charles R. Drew — Surgeon and blood researcher
W. E. B. Du Bois — Scholar
Ralph Ellison — Novelist
Father Divine — Spiritual leader
Ella Fitzgerald — Jazz singer
Aretha Franklin — R&B singer
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. — Professor and literary critic
Berry Gordy, Jr. — Record producer
Matthew Henson — Polar explorer
Billie Holiday — Jazz singer
Langston Hughes — Poet
Jesse Jackson — Civil rights leader and minister
Mahalia Jackson — Gospel singer
Jack Johnson — Boxing champion
Magic Johnson — Basketball player
Scott Joplin — Ragtime composer and pianist
Michael Jordan — Basketball player
Martin Luther King, Jr. — Civil rights leader
Beyoncé Knowles — R&B singer, songwriter, actor
Malcolm X — Activist and black nationalist
Thurgood Marshall — Supreme Court Justice
Willie Mays — Baseball player
Thelonious Monk — Jazz musician
Toni Morrison — Novelist
Eddie Murphy — Actor
Barack Obama — President of the United States
Jesse Owens — Track and field athlete