People’s Historian: Lerone Bennett Jr.


For the Howard Zinn Centennial, we are highlighting people’s historians who preceded Howard Zinn and those who are expanding the field today.

Black Power USA Book Cover | Zinn Education ProjectOne historian we feature is Lerone Bennett Jr., who was senior editor of Ebony magazine. Bennett’s Before the Mayflower, published in 1962, looks at three centuries of Black history.

One of our favorite books on Reconstruction is Bennett’s Black Power U.S.A.: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867–1877.

Reconstruction in all its various forms was a supreme lesson for America, the right reading of which might still mark a turning point in our history. As a matter of fact, an understanding of the triumphs and failures of this first Reconstruction is indispensable for an understanding of the triumphs and failures of the second Reconstruction we are now undergoing. — Lerone Bennett, Black Power U.S.A.: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877

book cover of Our Kind of HistorianA biography of Bennett was published this year: Our Kind of Historian.

 

People’s Historians

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