New Books for Black History Month

The surprising history of America's first black millionaires - former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century, from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties - self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success. This is their story.

From one of our premier writers, scholars, and public intellectuals: a surprising, inspiring, often boldly infuriating, highly instructive and entertaining compendium of curiosities regarding African Americans. In 1934, 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof: A Short Cut to the World History of the Negro was published by Joel A. Rogers, a largely self-educated black journalist and historian. Now with élan and erudition--and winning enthusiasm--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Rogers's work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African American history and gossip in question and answer format: Who was the first African American? What was the second Middle Passage? Did black people own slaves? Why was cotton king?

Presents basketball, and especially pickup basketball, as a text of the political, social, and economic struggles of black men in the United States.

The Black Bruins chronicles the inspirational lives of five African American athletes who faced racial discrimination as teammates at UCLA in the late 1930s. Best known among them was Jackie Robinson, a four-star athlete for the Bruins who went on to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball and become a leader in the civil rights movement after his retirement. Joining him were Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, and Ray Bartlett. The four played starring roles in an era when fewer than a dozen major colleges had black players on their rosters.