Black Firsts: 500 Years of Trailblazing Achievements and Ground-Breaking Events

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Product Details
$39.95  $37.15
Visible Ink Press
Publish Date
7.1 X 9.2 X 1.4 inches | 2.46 pounds

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About the Author
Distinguished in the library profession and recognized educator, author and scholar Jessie Carney Smith is dean of the library and holds the Camille Cosby Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her undergraduate work at North Carolina A&T State University and holds master's degrees from Michigan State University and Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Among Dr. Smith's numerous awards are the National Women's Book Association's Award, the Candace Award for excellence in education, Sage magazine's Anna J. Cooper Award for research on African American women, and the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. Her work includes Black Firsts, Black Heroes, The Handy African American History Answer Book, and with co-author Linda T. Wynn, Freedom Facts and Firsts all published by Visible Ink Press. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
"Trailblazing tales: Chronicling Black pioneers over 30 years ... "Black Firsts: 500 Years of Trailblazing Achievements and Ground-Breaking Events" is a proud celebration of Black success."- San Francisco Chronicle

"A valuable resource for young adult students and library reference desks, Smith's exacting overview of Black achievement will answer classroom questions and pique curiosity about innovators ..." - Booklist

"I really believe that this book empowers you to know that the narrative that's been placed upon [Black people] is not really what it is. We have done so many powerful things in this country. We need to teach kids about Black history." - Rockland/Westchester Journal News

"Black Firsts: 500 Years of Trailblazing Achievements and Ground-Breaking Events" is a proud celebration of Black success. ... now in its fourth edition, was begun nearly 30 years ago. It remains dedicated to "the abounding success of our people who, despite the odds, continue to reach new heights." ... Like the story of Black achievement in every field, it's a history of hard work and often incremental progress. ... the struggle goes on, and [Author Jessie Carney] Smith vows to keep chronicling it. "I am not yet done with writing about first black achievers and black hidden figures," she writes. "In the words of one of Fisk University's dean of women, Juliette Derricotte, who reflected on her travels in India, Japan, and China in the late 1920s, 'There is so much more to know than I accustomed to knowing -- and so much more to love than I accustomed to loving.'"-- New York Daily News

"For the fourth edition of this work (last updated in 2013), Smith (librarian emerita, Fisk Univ.) includes additions and updates to some of the thousands of entries, which range in length from a paragraph (Dave Chappelle) to a column (Madame C.J. Walker) and occasionally longer. Entries are arranged chronologically in broad professional categories (science and medicine; arts and entertainment), with photos and boxed text interspersed. Occasional tables on topics such as Black pioneers of higher education convey material succinctly. Sources appear at the end of each entry, with further reading found at the book's conclusion. VERDICT A wide-ranging overview that will result in hours of browsing and serve as a strong jumping-off point for research projects or deeper study."--Library Journal

"... uncovers African American accomplishments in all areas ... such as arts and entertainment, journalism, military, and religion, with separate sections devoted to local government, county and state government, federal government, and international government." - Protoview Book News

Praise for the previous edition ...

"The third edition of this invaluable resource of African American achievements updates the previous edition. Recommended for anyone from elementary-school age to adults who are interested in African American history."-- Booklist

"In the new book Black Firsts by Jessie Carney Smith, you'll find information on tens of thousands of folks who've gone before you - in a good way."-- Bookworm Sez

"Black Firsts is a book full of hope."-- Chicago Sun-Times

"A superb historical study of black achievement."-- Houston Chronicle

"The well-researched sketches provide a great deal of information. This is an excellent resource for starting research on black history, but its sheer volume may be overwhelming to casual researchers. The lesser-known figures, however, make the title worth digging into."-- Library Journal

"An exhaustive listing of the accomplishments of black Americans in the arts, business, education, the military, medicine and science, and sports."-- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"This authoritative work, with its brief biographies of many accomplished and famous African-Americans, is one that writers, researchers, and libraries will want to keep close at hand for its valuable information."-- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"This is a must-have reference."-- St. Paul Pioneer Press

"...comprehensively catalogs the achievements of everybody from Hank Aaron to Bruce Yuille..."-- Syracuse Post-Standard

"An excellent reference source, but, more than most such encyclopedia collections, it also can be read."-- The Salt Lake Tribune