african americans


Unfamiliar lands

Books for the dark night

Princeton Theological Seminary can be a lonely place for an African American professor. During a difficult period, I saw Isabel Wilkerson on PBS.


Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880, by Luke E. Harlow and The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, by David Brion Davis

Fall books

Why did northern whites support a limited set of rights for blacks during Reconstruction, but then abandon them in the 1870s, and do little to stop the racial violence of the 1880s and beyond? Two new books shed important new light on such questions.


The Long Walk to Freedom, edited by Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise

The runaway slave narratives compiled by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise are as moving as any story by Suzanne Collins or J.R.R. Tolkien.


Runaway Slaves, by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger

Until fairly recently, scholars have not known very much about the everyday lives of enslaved African Americans. But in the past 20 years a wealth of historical studies has lent considerable insight into the worlds of the men, women and children held in bondage in North America. We now know a great deal about how they worked, worshiped, ate and attempted to keep their families together.


Episcopalians and Race, by Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr.

Seven years in the writing, this is a significant and comprehensive history of African Americans and their quest for recognition in the Episcopal Church. It completes a trilogy that began with George Freeman Bragg's History of the Afro-American Group (1922) and continued with Harold Lewis's Yet with a Steady Beat (1996).


Slavery's legacy

Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African Americans, by Alvin Poussaint, M.D., and Amy Alexander