Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (editors)
Four Hundred Souls is about African American history, from 1619—when the White Lion, the first African slave ship, arrived in Virginia—to the present, but it’s also a really interesting book for anyone fed up with the standard historical narratives we learn in school. The book is a series of essays by historians and journalists, activists and poets. Altogether, it brings together 90 Black voices in 80 chronological chapters.
We spoke to Keisha N Blain, co-editor of the book, about Black women’s history.
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“This is a book of essays and poems, collected and edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. They asked writers to take a five-year period of history and write something about that period, so it could be anything, but it is chronological: it starts in 1619 and goes through to 2019 and contemporary history. There’s a lot of really interesting focus on specific events, on the laws that were passed, on tragic incidents. It’s about the focus a contemporary author brings to that period of history, in a way that we might not think about. There are 90 entries, so most of them are fairly short, less than 10 minutes each.” Read more...
Robin Whitten, Journalist
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