The Making of African America
The Four Great Migrations
By Ira Berlin
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143118794, 304pp.)
Publication Date: December 28, 2010
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In this masterful account, Ira Berlin, one of the nation's most distinguished historians, offers a revolutionary-and sure to be controversial-new view of African American history. In "The Making of African America," Berlin challenges the traditional presentation of a linear, progressive history from slavery to freedom. Instead, he puts forth the idea that four great migrations, between the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries, lie at the heart of black American culture and its development. With an engrossing, accessible narrative, Berlin traces the transit from Africa to America, Virginia to Alabama, Biloxi to Chicago, Lagos to the Bronx, and in the process finds the essence of black American life.