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Encyclopedia of African American Society

Encyclopedia of African American Society

Two Volume Set
Edited by:

February 2005 | 1 112 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Do your students or patrons ever ask you about African Americans in sports? How about African American Academy Award winners? Or perhaps you're asked about more complex social issues regarding the unemployment rate among African Americans, or the number of African American men on death row? If these questions sound familiar, the Encyclopedia of African American Society is a must-have for your library.

This two-volume reference seeks to capture the ways in which the tenets and foundations of African American culture have given rise to today's society. Approaching the field from a "street level" perspective, these two volumes cover topics of universal interest in America: rap music, sports, television, cinema, racism, religion, literature, and much more. The Encyclopedia of African American Society is also the first comprehensive yet accessible reference set in this field to give voice to the turbulent historical trends–slavery, segregation, "separate but equal"–that are often ignored in favor of mere facts. This is a definitive, reliable, and accessible entry point to learning the basics about African American society.

The encyclopedia is anchored by alphabetically arranged essays on such topics as abolitionism, affirmative action, and the civil rights movement. More than just a "who's who", these volumes emphasize social issues and events—those filled with significance and consequence through history. Civil Rights, economic growth, law and justice, and politics—with all of their numerous subcategories—receive substantial coverage. The encyclopedia naturally contains hundreds of articles on notable African Americans (Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Miles Davis), groundbreaking events (Emancipation Proclamation, Los Angeles Riots), sports and culture (Rap Music, Jazz), and significant heritage sites (Apollo Theater).

This much needed two-volume encyclopedia should become a staple in collections at school, public, and academic libraries. Readers of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnic or racial groups will find fascinating material on every page.

Key Features

  • Nearly 700 signed articles
  • Almost 50 photographs
  • Complete list of African Americans in sports Halls of Fame
  • Cross-referenced for easy links from one topic to another
  • Reader's guide facilitates easy browsing for relevant articles
  • Clear, accessible writing style appropriate for high school and college students and interested lay readers
  • Comprehensive index and bibliography

Topics Covered

  • Concepts and Theories
  • Fine Arts, Theater, and Entertainment
  • Health and Education
  • History and Heritage
  • Literature
  • Media
  • Movements and Events
  • Music and Dance
  • Organizations and Institutions
  • Places
  • Politics and Policy
  • Popular Culture
  • Religion and Beliefs
  • The Road to Freedom
  • Science, Technology, and Business
  • Social Issues
  • Special Populations
  • Sports

Advisory Board

Sherri L. Barnes, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara
W. Maurice Shipley, Ph.D., Ohio State University
William H. Wiggins, Jr., Ph.D., Indiana University

"The two-volume set touches on virtually every aspect of African American life and history, including entertainment, literature, politics, religion, sports, and law. In more than 700 signed essays, it recounts the intellectual underpinnings that defined a people and their movements, explains actions that transformed a nation, and describes the personalities and realities that shaped and continue to shape the black experience in America."


"In nearly 700 A-Z articles ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, this reference work presents African Americans in historical, cultural, and social context. And, it is this context that sets it apart... This work gains immediacy through well-chosen b&w photographs and through occassional and appropriate sidebars... Even schools with African American history and culture well represented in their reference sections should consider adding this work. Highly Recommended."

Library Media Connection (starred review)
Library Media Connection (starred review)

"Jaynes's work attempts to focus on social events, ideas, and issues of consequence that provide 'the source of continuing cohesiveness' allowing the world to think in terms of an 'African American society'. . . . Jaynes's volumes should find a place in all secondary school and undergraduate libraries."

Anthony J. Adam
Prairie View A & M University
Multicultural Review

"In his introduction, Jaynes states that the objective of this two-volume set is ‘tp provide a reference base for those interested in obtaining information about the significant events, institutions, and activities that have taken African Americans along the path leading to their present positions and that have provided the source of continuing cohesiveness that allows both African Americans and the rest of the world to think of Americans of African decent in the terms that justify the nomenclature ‘African American society.’. . . . This reference source will prove useful to any African American studies collection, especially those serving high school students and undergraduates; for serious researchers it will be valuable as a starting point."

N.M. Allen
University of South Florida

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ISBN: 9781452265414

ISBN: 9780761927648

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