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Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of…
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Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (edição 2021)

por Ibram X. Kendi (Editor)

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214695,995 (4.17)1
Título:Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
Autores:Ibram X. Kendi (Editor)
Informação:One World (2021), Edition: 1st Edition, 528 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 por Ibram X. Kendi (Editor)

Adicionado recentemente porMadLudwig, biblioteca privada, emoodley, jobinsonlis, WInterHillCatHouse, msliz_31, booksforbrunch, sw1341
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Mostrando 5 de 5
"For people of African descent, the United States is still a place of half freedom."
  booksforbrunch | May 5, 2021 |
At first glance, it's a bit overwhelming. But it is fairly approachable once you start. The "community-written" history covering 400 years of African-American history is a collection of short (3-5 pages) chronological essays describing key events and people well-known and not so much. Not a comprehensive history but it does what I believe it sets out to do: share less-known stories and history and the humanity behind them. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Apr 10, 2021 |
  joyblue | Feb 23, 2021 |
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Ibram X. Kendi, Keisha N. Blain, editors of 90 essays, with huge cast of narrators
The book has received tremendous acclaim without anyone mentioning anything negative, which leads me to believe that if one does, one will be labeled a racist. I hope that my review is accepted as honest and I am not falsely accused or called unjust names.
Where does one begin when one wishes to write a review about a book that purports to explain and inform the public about the four-hundred-year history of African America, when America did not exist when this history begins. How does one write a review that is contrary to so many that have already been written? The ones in the majority have only reinforced each other’s praises for the messages in the book. Ninety scholarly individuals wrote their essays which were read by a full cast of narrators who sometimes over emoted, and therefore, hijacked the message in favor of their performance. Still, there was a lot of information presented, and a lot was interesting and new, if not documented, since many essays were stories handed down or overheard, or were ideas that were surmised. For my part, I do not believe that America’s history began in 1619, when about 20 people from Angola were brought here against their will, on a ship called The White Lion. I do, however, believe that racism exists, has existed and will continue to exist, although I do not believe it is systemic. I do believe, that in this book, no credit for the advancement of society was provided. It seemed to dwell entirely on the negative. It was as if the only overriding message was one of disappointment, and few if any essays, were uplifting or hopeful. Without a doubt, the owning of human beings was and is totally unacceptable, but there was no attempt to take responsibility for this behavior, by Africans, who were responsible for helping the British to capture the slaves, centuries ago. Different tribes sold their rival tribe members to the British African Company, that then engaged in the slave trade. Little to no information was provided about how some Africans even had slaves themselves.
There was no attempt to emphasize the progress that has been made to advance the cause of the people of color or to eradicate the racial divide. Instead, the book concentrated on progressive ideas that continue to promote division. The book does, however, provide a wealth of information in five-year segments, from 1619 to 2019. However, America as we know it, did not exist in 1619, nor did The Mayflower which brought the first settlers to The New World, the following year. The New World was a colony of Great Britain, and at that time, Great Britain engaged in the slave trade, as did the Africans. Owning human beings is reprehensible, torturing and punishing them because of someone’s superiority is reprehensible, but pretending that Africans didn‘t do the same thing to other Africans is also reprehensible. Pretending that it all stems from White Supremacy is inaccurate. I believe that there is enough blame to go around. If there was and is, White Supremacy and racism, there is also the corollary, Black Supremacy and racism. Pretending that it is not so, is not completely honest. I am Jewish, and I am white, and I believe that America is a wonderful place, and that is why so many people want to come here. I have also experienced, or know of others of my faith who have experienced hardships, because of being Jewish. Historically, centuries ago, Jews were also slaves. Yet we do not dwell on our past or our continued harassment. We keep working to improve the situation and try to dwell on the more positive results, even though anti-Semitism is still alive and well and does exist in communities of color.
This book starts out with a premise that is basically true. Africans were brought here against their will and treated abominably. However, the white population rose up to fight a war to free the descendants of those slaves, and the book does not emphasize that, at all, rather it emphasizes all that is wrong with America and does not recognize all that is right. The essays support BLM, Black Lives Matter and Antifa, while ignoring the riots they inspired which were not called an insurrection, although they tried to storm the White House on several occasions, injuring many of the Secret Service officers. The essays support the idea that active resistance, that might indicate violence, may be necessary to accomplish their stated goals. Yet, if injustice, targeting, subjugation and prejudice is heinous, should it not be heinous for people of color also? Should these issues be subjective, depending on which side one is on?
Some essays also support The Black Panthers and their message of resistance and activism, even when it is counter to the idea of peaceful demonstrations, ala Martin Luther King Jr. Some support Angela Davis, a Communist who was implicated in domestic terrorism resulting in several murders, and although she was eventually acquitted, she did provide the weapons for the crimes. The book overwhelmingly supports Barack Obama, while Trashing President Trump, I believe unfairly. There is much evidence, that he did far more for the black community than Obama ever did, yet the essay says Obama was followed by a White Supremacist, without proof. President Trump reformed the penal code, improved employment opportunities for the black community, pardoned many that were languishing in prison unjustly, and created an Opportunity Zone. Does that sound like a White Supremacist? Yet, the book falsely accuses him of being just that, in addition to a voter suppressor who is against immigration. Both concepts are untrue. He is for legal immigration and voter ID’s, which is quite different. When contrary information was presented, it was often without documentation, or it was not based in fact, but was presented as if it was the truth, even when unsupported.
Some of the essayists support marches and resistance, although it has resulted in tremendous loss of property and bodily harm. Innocent people were hurt, some lost their lives. Law enforcement was attacked and nowhere is that behavior rejected. As police officers have abused many black people, so have black people resisted arrest, and unlawfully, they continue to harass law enforcement without consequences. That information was nowhere in an essay. Some false information is actually even promoted. I do understand that there are more blacks in prison, and some question whether or not their crimes should rise to incarceration, but that doesn’t explain why the numbers of prisoners in the community of color is so high when compared to their number in society. In addition, if incarceration is not the answer, what does society do to criminals. I do believe that the penal code should be reformed to be more uniform, however, but if crimes are committed and the criminals are imprisoned, is that white supremacy? Why should some crimes be acceptable for some, but not for others?
I don’t believe that Christine Blasey-Ford was telling the truth when she accused Justice Kavanaugh of attempted rape, because there was no evidence to support her story, nor did even one of her friends who were supposed witnesses, acknowledge her charges. Zero tolerance is unfair, when it is one-sided. I don’t believe that lies should be proffered as truths, as with the death of Michael Brown who did not die with his hands up. I don’t believe that his death was justified, but I don’t believe resisting arrest is wise. While I don’t have an opinion on Anita Hill’s charges against Justice Thomas, I do not believe that Clarence Thomas should be vilified merely because she accused him, certainly not if Keith Ellison, after being accused of rape, is elected as Attorney General, and not punished in any way, and Bill Clinton got away with charges of rape, had an affair with Monica Lewinsky which the democrats chose to believe was her fault, and was reelected. I do not believe that Democrats who rode with the KKK should be ignored or lauded by essayists while they accuse President Trump of being racist, without any evidence whatsoever. I believe he and his wife were treated abysmally by a corrupt press and Democrats. Yet nowhere is that other side presented in this four hundred year book of essays. There is a great deal of worthy information interspersed in this book, mixed in with the anger and finger pointing and shaming in many of the essays. The anecdotal stories illustrated the terrible injustices unfairly perpetrated upon an innocent people, but that does not justify black support for anti-Semitic behavior like BDS, or black support for defunding the police which has caused more brutality and murders of cops than ever in history. We cannot correct injustice by being more unjust.
There were many facts misrepresented or skewed. Trayvon Martin’s death, George Floyd’s death and others were introduced, but nowhere was the death of Sheriff Dorn mentioned, although it was at the hands of rioting protesters, rioting that many of the essayists believed was acceptable and necessary, and was supported by the party of choice of people of color. On the whole, democrats are lionized while Republicans are demonized, though the results of both party’s efforts defy that false conclusion. The essays which present anecdotal as well as factual information will have a long lasting and emotional and intellectual effect on the reader. The interesting format will encourage continued interest as new essays keep moving the narrative. The essays will inspire further research into the light and experiences of people of color.
Let’s hope that a more equal assessment of our country, with regard to race, will arise from this book, but it only will do that if people assess its message openly and honestly. The book emphasizes black oppression, but does not emphasize the great strides, not only that blacks have made, but that the diverse American population, as a whole, has made as it tried to embrace a fairer and more just approach to the problem of race. Perhaps people of color will always see the world through a different “color” lens, no matter how much progress is made.
Blacks are glorified and Whites are vilified in this book, so how do I write an honest review without being vilified myself? I really don’t know. I do know that I would give it five stars for the effort and for the illuminating essays, but on the other hand, only one for the approach of some essays that manipulated the facts or supported injustice, with a completely one-sided view. We all have dreams and all deserve the fulfillment of those dreams. There is no way to justify the abusive way the blacks were enslaved, but to cast blame on the shoulders of Americans who live now, seems unjustified. I do believe that black lives matter, but so do Jewish lives and Christian lives and Asian lives, and Native American lives, in other words, I believe that all lives matter equally. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Feb 18, 2021 |
With Four Hundred Souls, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain have set the standard for a historical survey of Blacks in America. They have taken the 400 years from 1619 to 2019 and separated them into five-year spans, then bestowed each segment to a writer to do as they please in two to five pages. There are personal essays, biographies, fiction, as well as straight historical writings. Offerings come from Black elites including Nikole Hannah-Jones, Clint Smith, Donna Brazile, Isabel Wilkerson, Angela Davis and so many more. If that’s not enough to entice readers, every 40-year segment is capped with a poem by other renowned writers like Ishamel Reed and Mahogany L. Brown. This is a book to devour or to savor in small doses over and over again--to refer back to throughout a lifetime. I cannot imagine a US History teacher who would not want this on a syllabus as not only a record of history but as a collection of incredible mentor texts for students to see the various ways to examine the past. Not only a must-read but a must-own for everyone.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC of this book. ( )
1 vote Hccpsk | Dec 5, 2020 |
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To all the souls
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Four hundred years ago, in 1620, a cargo ship lowered its anchor on the eastern shore of North America.
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