Books: Non-Fiction

To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans

Book — Non-fiction. Edited by Robin D. G. Kelley and Earl Lewis. 2005. 320 pages.
Comprehensive history of African Americans.
Time Periods: All US History
Themes: African American

tomakeourworldanewThe two volumes of Kelley and Lewis’s To Make Our World Anew integrate the work of eleven leading historians into a comprehensive account of African American history.

This first volume begins with the story of Africa and its origins, then presents an overview of the Atlantic slave trade, and the forced migration and enslavement of between ten and twenty million people. It covers the Haitian Revolution, which ended victoriously in 1804 with the birth of the first independent black nation in the New World, and slave rebellions and resistance in the United States in the years leading up to the Civil War.

There are vivid accounts of the Civil War and Reconstruction years, the backlash of the notorious “Jim Crow” laws and mob lynchings, and the founding of key black educational institutions, such as Howard University in Washington, D.C. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9780195181340 | Oxford University Press


To Make Our World Anew is an absolute must for every library — school, college, community, and your own personal bookshelves at home. Comprehensive and scholarly, it is also one of the most fascinating, readable, and stirring history books I’ve encountered.” —Marian Wright Edelman, The Children’s Defense Fund

“The scholarship sparkles throughout, offering not just the ‘what’, but also the ‘why’ of the social, cultural, and political events shaping the present. Editors Kelley and Lewis have synthesized the vast knowledge of contemporary African-American studies into a single, fluid volume that provides an intelligent introduction to the history’s intricacies, divisions and accomplishments.” —Publishers Weekly

“A group of leading historians crafts a brilliant monument to individual and collective Black achievement that is ‘nothing less than dramatic saga.’ Sweeping in scope, this invaluable survey charts the transformation of Blacks from Africans into African-Americans.” —Emerge

“The historian co-authors really capture not only the history in a relatively concise form, but also the passion behind our stories through writings that have a glorious spark of fire and aliveness to them. . . . This is no ‘cry me a river’ book. It chronicles clearly and convincingly our personal highs and lows and the real history of our involvement with this country in unique readable and compelling ways. Regardless of your race or ethnicity, if you want to understand American history over the last 500 years, this book is essential reading.” —The Black Book Review

“Uniquely, the book ‘places the struggles and achievements of black people in a larger international framework.’ Thoughtfully written and offering insightful observations, this book offers carefully reasoned analyses of black feminism, urban poverty, and the struggle for political power. . . . A striking reflection of the breadth and vitality of contemporary African American historical scholarship. Worth reading by anyone interested in the African American experience. . . .” —Library Journal

“Well-chosen facts illustrate the relevant periods and the constantly evolving nature of the black struggle. . . A comprehensive and vividly narrated history, enriched by well-chosen illustrations, that is as much an epic-in-progress as a scholarly record.” —Kirkus Reviews