Books: Non-Fiction

Our Kind of Historian: The Work and Activism of Lerone Bennett Jr.

Book — Non-fiction. By E. James West. 2022. 328 pages.
This biography examines the life of historian and activist Lerone Bennett Jr. and his influence on African American culture and history.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Racism & Racial Identity

book cover of Our Kind of HistorianJournalist, activist, popular historian, and public intellectual, Lerone Bennett Jr. left an indelible mark on twentieth-century U.S. history and culture. Rooted in his role as senior editor of Ebony magazine, but stretching far beyond the boundaries of the Johnson Publishing headquarters in Chicago, Bennett’s work and activism positioned him as a prominent advocate for Black America and a scholar whose writing reached an unparalleled number of African American readers.

This critical biography — the first in-depth study of Bennett’s life — travels with him from his childhood experiences in Jim Crow Mississippi and his time at Morehouse College in Atlanta to his later participation in a dizzying range of Black intellectual and activist endeavors. Drawing extensively on Bennett’s previously inaccessible archival collections at Emory University and Chicago State, as well as interviews with close relatives, colleagues, and confidantes, Our Kind of Historian celebrates his enormous influence within and unique connection to African American communities across more than half a century of struggle. [Publisher’s description]

ISBN: 9781625346452 | University of Massachusetts Press

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