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

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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
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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: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,153,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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Great historical book of the African American pursuit. My great uncles (the Bates brothers) are mentioned in Jacob Lawrence's experience.
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