African American Lives offers up-to-date, authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans. These 1,000-3,000 word biographies, selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, illuminate African-American history through the immediacy of individual experience. From Esteban, the earliest known African to set foot in North America in 1528, right up to the continuing careers
of Venus and Serena Williams, these stories of the renowned and the near forgotten give us a new view of American history. Our past is revealed from personal perspectives that in turn inspire, move, entertain, and even infuriate the reader. Subjects include slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business
people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them a voice. Their experiences and accomplishments combine to expose the complexity of race as an overriding issue in America's past and present.
African American Lives features frequent cross-references among related entries, over 300 illustrations, and a general index, supplemented by indexes organized by chronology, occupation or area of renown, and winners of particular honors such as the Spingarn Medal, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer Prize.