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The Shaping of Black America: The Struggles and Triumphs of African-Americans, 1619-1990s

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What forces transformed Africans into African-Americans? In what way did their presence shape the attitudes--and fortunes--of white America? How did black people become a nation within a nation? And what are the prospects for that nation in the 1990s?

These are among the questions that Lerone Bennett, Jr., addresses in this triumphant companion volume to his epochal Before the Mayflower.Where that book rendered the African-American experience chronologically, The Shaping of Black America tells its story from a developmental perspective. Its first section, "Foundations," encompasses black slaves and white indentured servants, the black founding fathers, and the relationship between African-American and Indians. In the second section, "Directions," Bennett traces the growth of black labor and black capital and the development of a system that unites and separates blacks and whites. The result is a bold and literate work that persuasively demonstrates its author's notion that "blacks lived a different time and a different reality in this country."

368 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 1975

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About the author

Lerone Bennett Jr.

31 books55 followers
Lerone Bennett Jr. was an African-American scholar, author and social historian, known for his analysis of race relations in the United States.

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
20 reviews3 followers
May 18, 2007
This will blow your mind when you find out there are EXTREMELY important things left out of our high school history books. It drives home the idea that "history" is controlled by the man with the pen. This is a must read.
Profile Image for Marrick.
Author 1 book9 followers
November 16, 2008
The title says it all. Another great historical text from Lerone Bennett.
63 reviews2 followers
January 16, 2020
“The Shaping of Black America” is a book that began as essays in Ebony magazine. The author, Lerone Bennett, Jr., was the long time editor of the acclaimed magazine. The book starts with the earliest documented instances of Africans on American soil and finishes with the South Central L.A. riots of 1992.

This is a very enlightening book. Bennett discusses important yet little known Black figures from the 17th century on. It is a historical documentation of the economical, social, religious, educational, and political ups and downs of Black people. Most of the aforementioned was used to oppress Black Americans, but there are the cases of those who were able to excel in these areas in spite of the overwhelming forces against them.
Profile Image for Simon.
100 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2020
Read for American Studies - 94

Would like to reread for 2020
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