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Untold Glory: African Americans in Pursuit of Freedom, Opportunity, and Achievement Paperback – January 9, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767921178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767921176
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,039,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of 27 alphabetically arranged interviews focuses on the power of determination in confronting and overcoming discrimination. With birth dates ranging from 1907 to 1957, these ordinary people provide a cumulative picture of the changing decades. (Most of the interviews took place in 2005, although several are from the late '90s, and one dates to 1980). Among them are a bank president, baseball player, welfare rights organizer, tap dancer, engineer and blues musician. Most of the subjects are not well known (with the exception of painter Jacob Lawrence and former governor, now mayor Douglas Wilder), since Govenar is interested in untold stories. Unfortunately, few of them break out of the author's rigid format, which focuses on the impact of discrimination and segregation in their lives, lending sameness to each conversation. Still, there are some fresh moments: an entrepreneur's bout with sickle cell anemia offers a graphic portrait of that illness; a mathematician's early life as a nun and an actor's picture of Hollywood in the '30s provide fascinating glimpses of those milieus. By the end, Govenar's voices offer an eye-opening corrective for familiar stereotypes of African-Americans. (Jan. 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Exploring the beloved American concept of frontier from an African American perspective, Govenar offers portraits of 24 black achievers who forged paths for themselves in the arts, culture, business, religion, and politics. Each profile begins with a short biography followed by a first-person account of obstacles overcome and achievements earned in a cross section of professions and geography. The subjects recount the social and cultural contexts for their personal struggle and how they pushed beyond racial boundaries. The collection includes L. Douglass Wilder, the grandson of slaves who became Virginia's governor; attorney Oliver W. Hill, part of the legal team that argued the landmark Brown v.Board of Education case; Herb Jeffries, creator of the role of the black cowboy in western movies in the 1930s; Marvin Williams, a baseball player in the Negro Leagues who later tried out for the Boston Red Sox; and Frank Mark Dean, an IBM executive and holder of three of the nine patents involved in the personal computer. This is an inspiring collection of African American achievers, most not well known. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Alan Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer, and filmmaker. He has a B.A. with distinction in American Folklore from Ohio State University, an M.A. in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is president of Documentary Arts, a non-profit organization he founded in 1985 to present new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Over the years, he has worked with Documentary Arts to organize festivals, arts-in-education programs and exhibitions; develop interactive media; and produce films, videos and radio series for national and international broadcast. Govenar has served on an Experts Panel on the safeguarding and inventory of intangible cultural heritage at UNESCO and has worked with FARO in Brussels to develop the touring exhibition Recognizing Our Cultural Heritage: An American and Flemish Dialogue.
Govenar is the author of more than twenty-five books, including Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound, Stompin' at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller, Extraordinary Ordinary People: Five American Masters of Traditional Arts, Untold Glory: African Americans in Pursuit of Freedom, Opportunity and Achievement, Stoney Knows How: Life as a Sideshow Tattoo Artist, Deep Ellum: The Other Side of Dallas, Portraits of Community, and The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues. His book Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter won First Place in the New York Book Festival (Children's Non-Fiction), a Boston Globe-Hornbook Honor; and an Orbis Pictus Honor from the National Council of Teachers of English. The off-Broadway premiere of Govenar's musical Blind Lemon Blues, co-created with Akin Babatunde received rave reviews in The New York Times and Variety.
For more than two decades, Govenar has directed Masters of Traditional Arts, an ongoing, multifaceted initiative focused on the recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually by the National Endowment for the Arts since 1982. In this capacity, Govenar has worked with institutions and cultural organizations across the United States and has compiled and edited a two-volume biographical dictionary, co-authored an education guide for teachers and students, developed interactive touchscreen kiosks for museums, schools and libraries, produced two 52-part radio series for national broadcast, and curated the touring exhibition Extraordinary Ordinary People: American Masters of Traditional Arts. 
Govenar has directed numerous documentary films for broadcast and educational distribution in the United States and abroad, including You Don't Need Feet to Dance, The Beat Hotel, Master Qi and the Monkey King, Poetry of Exactitude, The Devil's Swing, Texas Style, Everything But the Squeak, The Human Volcano, The Hard Ride, Dreams of Conquest, and Little Willie Eason and His Talking Gospel Guitar. His film Voyage of Doom was co-produced with La Sept/ARTE for broadcast in 20 French and German countries and with NOVA for primetime broadcast in North America.


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Format: Paperback
Alan Govenar, president and founder of the nonprofit cultural history organization Documentary Arts, presents Untold Glory: African Americans in Pursuit of Freedom, Opportunity, and Achievement, a compilation of twenty-four oral accounts of African-Americans whose efforts stretched past self-imposed and culturally imposed boundaries and into the frontiers of history. From IBM Vice President and Inventors Hall of Fame member Mark Dean, to Civil Rights attorney Oliver W. Hill, to classical pianist and museum founder Josephine Love, each individual dedicated himself or herself to greatness. Extensively researched, featuring a handful of black-and-white photographs, Untold Glory is an inspirational anthology and enthusiastically recommended especially for public library collections.
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