The African American National Biography

By Dodson, Angela P. | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, February 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

The African American National Biography


Dodson, Angela P., Diverse Issues in Higher Education


The African American National Biography, $995, Oxford University Press, USA, February 2008, ISBN-10: 0195160193, ISBN-13:978-0195160192, pp. 5568.

In the not-too-distant past, most pubUshers released nearly aU of the few books they had about or of interest to Black people just in time for Black History Month. With the huge growth and diversification of the Black book market in the last decade or so, that has changed. Black readers can look forward to book launches aU year long. Stfll, the weeks leading up to February bring box loads of new books our way, because pubUshers often save major Black history releases for this month and make a big push to promote earUer ones. This year's offerings offer both variety and depth.

Particularly of note is the African American National Biography, an eight-volume reference work from the Oxford University Press, edited by Drs. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham of Harvard University's W E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. This extraordinary accomplishment has been 10 years in the making.

With more than 4,000 entries about African-Americans of note, Uving and deceased, the publishers say it is "the largest repository of black Ufe stories ever assembled." It is the first biographical reference on African-Americans in 25 years, since the Dictionary of American Negro Biography by Rayford Whittingham Logan and Michael R Winston, W. …

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