AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO WERE FIRST by Joan Potter

AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO WERE FIRST

Age Range: 9 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sound-bite presentation of 65 African-Americans who were ``first'' at something. Potter and Claytor urge readers ``to let the lives of these courageous people guide you in setting your own goals.'' The list begins in the American colonies and continues on to the present: Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to publish a book, in 1773; James Derham, the first African-American doctor; Alexander Twilight, the first African-American to earn a college degree, in 1823, at Middlebury College; Toni Morrison, the first African-American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. Each vignette begins with a caption of that person's ``first,'' but these are limiting, and do not always illustrate the featured person's real importance. Harriet Tubman is called the ``first African-American woman to appear on a postage stamp''; only in the middle of the page-long biographical information is the Underground Railroad mentioned. Similarly, Booker T. Washington is featured as the ``first African-American to have his portrait on a postage stamp,'' perhaps because his other successes do not lend themselves to a quick caption. A worthy listing, but only a first stop on the way to further research. (b&w photos, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-65246-9
Page count: 91pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1997




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