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Review: A Search of African-American Life, Achievement and Culture

Norm Goldman reviews the Arc Copy of John C. Cothran's book:  A Search of African-American Life, Achievement and Culture

John C. Cothran, author of A Search of African-American Life, Achievement and Culture, candidly states in the Introduction to his book, that as an African American growing up in the USA, he was unaware of significant accomplishments of African Americans. 

The author indicated to me that he started his project about twenty years ago and the original idea was to create a game based on facts.

Not satisfied with this approach, he decided to write a book that would resemble the

question and answer format or the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) used by  many companies on Internet sites.

It should be mentioned and as pointed out by the author, the use of the term “African American” in the book pertains to people of African descent from North America and South America. 

Divided into ten chapters, the book touches a wide spectrum of subjects, as the contributions of African Americans in the fields of the Arts, Business, Education, Entertainment, Geography, History and Civil Rights, Literature, Military History, Science, Sports, Children, and Adolescence.

It certainly is, as the author states in the Preface, a small encyclopedia in a different format. 

It was an eye opener to discover that the founder of the city of Chicago was Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable (c.1745-1818), who was an African American, and who spent his youth in Haiti.

Did you know that W.C. Handy was considered the “Father of the Blues?” He taught music at the Alabama A&M College in Normal Alabama in 1900.  He left because the college emphasized music he considered inferior. Two of his compositions were “Memphis Blues” and “St. Louis Blues.”

Whose name means “Ethiopian” In Greek, and was known for his fables and children’s stories? I will leave that one for you to find out from the book. 

In the world of Science we are informed that it was an African American slave in 1721 who described how he was inoculated against smallpox using an African method of inoculation. Cotton Mather began to use this procedure in America, and it was used to protect soldiers of the Revolutionary War-later adopted by the British.

When you sharpen your pencil, remember it was J.L. Love who on Nov. 23, 1807 patented the pencil sharpener.

If you love potato chips, the next time you put one in your mouth, remember it was Hryam S. Thomas in 1868, who developed it. 

These are just a sampling of the hundreds of facts and findings that are highly informative, precise, well researched, and ideal for sharing with children and adults alike.

All of which are enlivened with black and white photos, and coherently presented in a simple accessible styleHealth Fitness Articles, illustrating the outstanding and little known contributions of African Americans.

Source: Free Articles from


Norm Goldman is the Editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, and  of the travel site

In addition to being a book reviewer, Norm and his artist wife, Lily, meld words with art focusing on romantic destinations.

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