POS334-L: THE RACE AND ETHNICITY BOOK REVIEW DISCUSSION LIST
Home | Index | Schedule | Archive | Syllabus | New Books | Publication | Subscribing | Host
Archives: | A-D | E-L | M-R | S-Z |


Chrisanne Beckner, 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History
 

From Subject
robert joseph nuckolls <bjnuckol@RS6000.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> Review of 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 12:28:16 -0500 
From: robert joseph nuckolls <bjnuckol@RS6000.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> 
Subject: Review of 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History 

The Review of Chrisanne Beckner's 100 African-Americans Who Shaped
American History Bob Nuckolls
 

Although not nearly the numbers as White Americans, increasingly, there are more African- Americans who are becoming widely known for making significant contributions for the betterment of society, and thus assuming a major role in the history of the United States. Although upon first hearing this information, one, especially an African-American, may find this encouraging news. Yet, before one celebrates, one needs to eliminate the "myth". The "myth" is that the only African Americans who have had a significant role in the shaping of American history, and continue to have a role, are entertainers in either the arenas of movies, television, or music, or they are in the field of athletics. Unfortunately, in the homes of many Americans, regardless of race, if the name of the respective African-American is not Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Micheal Jordan, Micheal Jackson, or any other African-American mainstream name, there may be a probability the name of the respective African-American will be foreign or unfamiliar. Although, admittedly, the aforementioned statement may be somewhat harsh, there are many who would support it. Although I recognized the great deal of hard work and effort many African-American "celebrity entertainers" have endured to shape American history, as well as, world history, I also recognized that there are many African-American "non-celebrity entertainers", who have also endured a great deal of hard work and effort to shape American and world history, who have gone virtually unnoticed by the history books, and mainstream society.

There are those who would argue that there are names of African-Americans, who by definition are not entertainers, who definitely have made major contributions in the shaping of American history, and are routinely recognized for their respective accomplishments. Examples of these respective African Americans are Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Thurgood Marshall, and Julian Bond, just to name a few. Arguably these names are familiar to most everyone because they have been instilled in the minds of most Americans during their school history courses, the media, and other methods of exposure. These names have for the most part, transcended racial lines, and are quite recognizable by most persons. But, what about the names of those African-Americans who are not mentioned in the history books of most mainstream American educational school systems? What about the names of those African-Americans who have not been positively, or negatively for that matter, been exposed by the media, or by any other method of exposure? What about the Matthew Henson's, the Kenneth B. Clark's, or the Bessie Coleman's? This is just a very minute sampling of names of African-Americans who have made significant contributions towards the betterment of society, and who have shaped American history in a very positive manner. These African-Americans have assumed a major role in the history of the United States. Unfortunately, if one has not been exposed to a particular course in African-American history, or something similar to this, there is a probability one would not be familiar with these names.  Chrisanne Beckner has performed a major step towards solving this with a very well written, very informative book simply titled, 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History. The book, which was very badly needed, gives much deserved recognition