- Hardcover: 3960 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (April 7, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195170555
- ISBN-13: 978-0195170559
- Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.4 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 23.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,071,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience (5 Volume Set) 2nd Edition
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Thoroughly revised and massively expanded, this monumental work not only serves as a replacement for its 1999 edition, but also merits a place in any academically oriented high school or college collection. Alphabetically arranged but backed up by both a detailed index and a topical list of headers in the final volume, the nearly 4500 entries delve into both African and African-American history, from wide-angled studies of Slavery in Africa and Blackness in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Interpretation, to close-focus mentions of Malcom X's Aardvark references and major Zydeco musicians. Most articles are signed and close with see-also references. Illustrations are uncommon but well chosen, a blend of clearly designed maps, charts, and graphs, and sharply reproduced prints or color photos. Though approximately 175 of the biographical entries have been drawn from the American National Biography (Oxford Univ, 2005), none of the resource lists include Web sites, and some details are dated–a table of African-American Academy Award winners ends with 2002, for instance, and the set's introductory chronology stops at mid-2004. However, students seeking information about African music, insight into the failure of school desegregation in the U.S. or the significance of Curt Flood's challenge to baseball's reserve clause, background on the history of colonialism, or hundreds of other historical topics will find both facts and ideas in plenty here.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The second edition of Africana is updated and greatly expanded from the one-volume 1999 edition to encompass five volumes (at five times the price). Described as "the first encyclopedia of Africa and her diaspora," Africana chronicles the history and culture of people of African descent in an objective manner, actualizing W. E. B. DuBois' original intention of "a black Encyclopaedia Britannica." Included are more than 4,000 entries, 1,200 more than in the previous volume. Entries new to this edition include African oral literature; Board games; Classicism, black, in the United States; Rethinking Palmares: Slave resistance in colonial Brazil; and Transatlantic slave trade database. Coverage of the African diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean has been expanded. Coverage of literature has also been expanded, with substantial new entries for Literature, black, in 18th-century Britain and the U.S.; Literature, black, in Senegal; and Literature, English-language, in the Caribbean, to name just a few. Many of the entries have been revised for living people and places, and there are updated photographs, maps, and tables throughout. Also new to this edition are a much-needed comprehensive index, a topical index, a chronology, a bibliography arranged by broad subject, and, for country essays, a summary "At a Glance" table that provides data on population, religion, climate, economic activity, government, and more.
Entries vary in length from a few sentences to several pages, usually with a brief definition or overview in bold. Longer entries are signed by their scholar contributors and have a brief bibliography; examples of longer essay entries include DuBois, W. E. B. and Harlem Renaissance. Cross-references to other entries are sprinkled throughout the encyclopedia. Among the categories of topics that are discussed are individuals (Fidel Castro, Cab Calloway); events (Attica uprising, Nat Turner's rebellion); places (Jamaica, Kenya); politics and government (African National Congress, Black Power); the arts (Bebop, Graffiti art, Uncle Tom's Cabin); religion (Islam, Slave religion); and ethnic groups (Lobi, Venda). Coverage is heaviest in the areas of literature and journalism, music, and politics.
While other reference sources generally focus on either Africa or the U.S, Africana is notable for its global coverage beyond just the Western perspective. It remains to be seen how it will compare with the forthcoming revised Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Macmillan), which has reportedly expanded its scope dramatically. The second edition of Africana is recommended for college and university libraries or any library needing to update its old edition. Susan Gardner
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
It does not so much challenge the existing Eurocentric narrative as sidesteps it altogether -- going around and well beyond the historical territory that existed long before the Roman empire, for instance. Plus, it pulls together all the missing links into a very pleasing and integral if only a symbolic whole. And although it is a competing story that begins at the beginning of man "out of Africa," "peopling the rest of the world," and treats the Diaspora in its fullest glory, it is not a scholarly work guilty of multiplying the Eurocentric bias by only replacing it with an equally undesirable African bias.
Inspired by and thus dedicated to W.E.B. DuBois, who had spent the latter part of his life unsuccessfully trying to get just such a scholarly project done, it is a fitting tribute to his legacy both in terms of its high standards of scholarship, and in terms of its comprehensiveness.
As is made clear in the introduction, DuBois migrated to Ghana at the invitation of Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah to complete just such a project as this one. The invitation came only after a long and bitter internecine struggle back in the U.S. among black historians to get funding and to publish an encyclopedia on Africans in the U.S. Although, he died before the project could be completed, this is the project worthy of his fondest dreams, and I have no doubt that he would have been justly proud of it. It is well worth the price.
The five-volume 2nd edition is much easier to handle in terms of weight for each volume than the VERY heavy one volume 1st edition. However, one must wonder how Harvard professors (the editors) could allow a lack of a comprehensive index the second time around.
I bought the 1st edition, but I recommend not buying the 2nd edition. If a future edition has a comprehensive index, I will buy and would urge you to buy, as there is a wealth of information.
As for this (2nd) edition, save your money. Use the volumes at your school/university or community library for good general background information on the African and African American Experience.
It is amazing to know that African people were so dedicated to the institution of the family. They traveled throughout this country to find members of their family. Many of us today cannot move far enough from some family members. We do not want to deal with the issues that our families have. Our families do not want to deal with our issues. So we distance ourselves as much as possible and engage with our family during special occasions or emergencies. There is a saying, friends are the family that we choose, but we distance ourselves from them as well. I think that the freedpeople give us a standard to aspire to.