African American Frontiers
Slave Narratives and Oral Histories
by Alan Govenar
November 2000, 551pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-0-87436-867-3
$91, £70, 80€, A125
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-437-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The hard road from slavery to citizenship passed through many frontiers. This collection of writings offers an overview of and insights into African American frontiers, spanning history from 1703–1948.

A collection of first hand narratives and oral histories portraying the African American experience from slavery through emancipation and into the 20th century.

African American Frontiers concentrates on the period from 1703, the date of the first published narrative of an African slave’s attainment of freedom in the American colonies, to 1948, the year in which President Harry S. Truman integrated the United States armed forces through Executive Order 9981.

This book is an invaluable historical resource that brings together diverse first-person accounts of individual African Americans through primary source documents, including: Henry “Box” Brown, who escaped the South by express mailing himself to Philadelphia in a wooden crate; Herb Jeffries, who introduced the black cowboy in Westerns; and Eunice Jackson, whose funeral home was destroyed in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Such little known stories, most of them previously unpublished, resonate with the determination, forbearance, moral strength, and imagination of the tellers, and give readers an opportunity to see the world as it once was, as told by the men and women who lived in it.


  • Includes primary source documents
Alan Govenar, PhD, is founder and president of Documentary Arts and is a writer, folklorist, filmmaker, and photographer. He has created educational programs for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts.


"Recommended."—The Book Report, May 1, 2001

"Well-organized, attractive."—School Library Journal, May 1, 2001

"All libraries with strong U.S. history research or African American collections should include it in their holdings."—Choice, May 1, 2001

"Recommended for large university library collections and any other libraries specializing in slave writings, African American history, or migration."—MultiCultural Review, September 1, 2001

"Public, community college, and high school libraries should find this reference tool a valuable addition to their collections."—Booklist, February 15, 2001
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