History of African Americans
Exploring Diverse Roots
by Thomas J. Davis
October 2016, 271pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38540-7
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38541-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From music to cuisine to technological innovations and inventions, African Americans have greatly contributed to America’s national tapestry.

This rich cultural history of African Americans outlines their travails, triumphs, and achievements in negotiating individual and collective identities to overcome racism, slavery, and the legacies of these injustices from colonial times to the present.

One of every five Americans at the nation’s beginning was an African American—a fact that underscores their importance in U.S. growth and development. This fascinating study moves from Africans’ early contacts with the Americas to African Americans’ 21st-century presence, exploring their role in building the American nation and in constructing their own identities, communities, and cultures.

Historian and lawyer Thomas J. Davis’s multi-themed narrative of compelling content provides a historical overview of the rise of African Americans from slavery and segregation in their anti-racist quest to enjoy equal rights and opportunities to reach the American Dream of pursuing happiness. The work features portraits of individuals and treats images of African Americans in their roles as performers, producers, consumers, and creators, and as the face of social problems such as crime, education, and poverty.


  • Reveals the extent of anti-black racism in America
  • Examines black heritage in America from its colonial origins to the present
  • Highlights the contributions of African Americans throughout history
  • Illustrates the role of blacks in the American economy
  • Centers on African Americans in the development of American history
Thomas J. Davis, PhD, JD, is professor of history at Arizona State University, Tempe. His published works include Greenwood's Race Relations in America: A Reference Guide with Primary Documents and Race Relations in the United States, 1940–1960 as well as Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora. Davis earned his juris doctor degree from the University at Buffalo Law School and his doctorate in United States history from Columbia University.
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