Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic

Article excerpt

Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic. Ed. By Charles A. Gallagher and Cameron D. Lippard. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2014. 4 vols. Acid free $399 (ISBN 978-1-4408-0345-1). E-book available (978-1-4408-0346-8), call for pricing.

This new four-volume set purports to be a definitive source on race-related topics in the United States, both historically and in the present. Not focusing exclusively on black and white race relations, the scope of the set is extensive. The cover images of the handsome print edition give a good representation of the variety of issues covered. A drawing of a slave in chains entitled, "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" from a broadside edition of an 1835 poem is the oldest image, while a photograph from a Los Angeles May Day rally in 2012 is the most recent. In between chronologically are a black-and-white photograph of Japanese Americans under armed guard at an internment camp, black and white college students holding hands and singing while working to register black voters in the American South, a cross burning at a KKK rally, and a contemporary protest of the Washington Redskins team nickname. These represent some of the typical entries in this encyclopedia, portraying the complex reach of racial issues across American society and history

Entries cover noteworthy figures and personalities, memorable events, and other sundry race-related topics. Alphabetically ordered, they typically contain "See Also" references and usually at least ten resources for further reading. While relatively brief--usually only a few pages--the entries are also complemented by sidebars providing additional information and context for users. For example, the entry on the Nation of Islam contains side boxes on both the Million-Man March on Washington in 1995 as well as the Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Other features are an index that refers users both to main entries and persons and subjects within entries. …

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