Read Story of the Negro by Arna Bontemps Free Online
Book Title: Story of the Negro|
The author of the book: Arna Bontemps
Edition: Alfred A. Knopf
Date of issue: June 28th 1978
ISBN 13: 9780394916903
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.34 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1970 times
Reader ratings: 7.1
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"In the past thirty years I think I have owned and read every published history of the Negro. This is by all odds the best written, the most interesting, accurate, and concise work for the general reader." —Arthur B. Spingarn, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
In this account of the history of his people, Arna Bontemps has told the story that, he says, "I would have given my eye teeth to know when I was a high school boy in California—the story that my history books barely mentioned."
Its scope is wide, for he traces the history of the Negro people from "as far back as it goes" down to the present. But the rich and colorful picture of the Negro in Africa is merely the background for what was to follow when boatloads of stolen men were brought to the shores of America to be sold as slaves. "Along the way," he says, "I tried to make clear how American slavery came about and what causes lay behind the present attitudes toward Negroes on the part of some people." The long, hard struggle that ensued is a story filled with courage and heroism. What adventure stories can rival the tales of the slave ships "Le Rodeur" and the "Saint Leon"; the mutiny of the "Amistad" captives; the insurrection of the Haitian slaves; the accounts of the escapes via the Underground Railroad? What success story can match that of the hotel waiter, Henri Cristophe, who became a "king" and built the Citadel in Haiti that is considered the eighth wonder of the world?
Mr. Bontemps introduces a long and varied procession of heroes, like Antar, the black warrior-poet of the desert; the blessed Martín de Porres of old Lima, Peru; Phillis Wheatley, the slave girl poet who charmed Boston and London and won the praise of George Washington; the orator Frederick Douglass; the educator Booker T. Washington; and the scholar and writer, W. E. B. Du Bois.
But aside from the drama and excitement that fill every chapter, there is an inherent dignity throughout the book—the dignity of a people fighting for freedom, a people about whom too little is known. In writing this much-needed story dispassionately and without bias, Mr. Bontemps has made a significant contribution to the education of the young people of America.
The book is illustrated with striking black and white chapter head drawings by Raymond Lufkin.
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Read information about the authorArnaud "Arna" Wendell Bontemps (October 13, 1902 – June 4, 1973) was an African-American poet, novelist and librarian, and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance
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