From its Introduction by the revered and distinguished John Hope Franklin to the bibliography and extensive index that complete it, Legacy represents a major new contribution to African-American history. The Black experience and its impact on our nation’s culture and character come alive in twelve chapters that sweep from ancient Africa and the slave trade to such key eras as the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction; the Harlem Renaissance and the Jim Crow Era; and the modern Civil Rights and Black Power/Black Arts movements.
The more than 150 historic items showcased here include documents, letters, images, and artifacts, many never before published. Readers will find 18th-century maps of Africa; the pincushion of Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln’s seamstress; Depression-era images by Robert M. McNeil; and a Langston Hughes letter in which he first shares his famous poem I, Too, Sing America. Rare photographs show a unique daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass in profile and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, circa 1880. Objects include a bell of Sally Hemmings, Thomas Jefferson’s slave and companion, and NAACP membership buttons from the 1960s. More than two dozen prominent Black scholars and activists offer expert insights on the collection, on subjects ranging from traditional African societies to 21st-century art and politics, making this book as definitive as it is beautiful—a priceless resource that will inform and fascinate serious students and casual readers alike.