The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words, 1619-1983



The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words, 1619-1983

This edition

"The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words, 1619-1983." Ed. Milton Meltzer. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1984. x+306 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

Reprinted: New York: HarperCollins, 1987.
This work is condensed from Meltzer's 3-volume "In Their Own Words: A History of the American Negro, 1619-1966" (1964-67).

Table of contents

(The table of contents in this work only gives the editorial titles for the excerpts included in the volume: names of authors and the titles of the works from which the excerpts have been taken are added from the volume itself)

● Milton Meltzer / Foreword
● Olaudah Equiano / I Saw a Slave Ship (from "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African. Written by Himself" [1791])
● John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish / "Freedom's Journal" (editorial from issue of 16 March 1827)
● David Walker / Walker's Appeal (excerpt from "Walker's Appeal, in Four Articles: Together with a Preamble, to the Colored Citizens of the World, but in particular, and very expressly, to those of the United States of America" 1829))
● Nat Turner / Nat Turner's revolt (excerpt from "The Confessions of Nat Turner," edited by Thomas R. Gray, 1831)
● Solomon Northup / Picking cotton (extract from "Twelve Years a Slave," 1853)
● Several speakers / Slavery days (extracts from Federal Writers' Project oral narratives from former slaves from Virginia)
● The ABC's
● Why am I a slave?
● A kidnapping
● A slave sale
● Christmas on the plantation
● On the underground railroad
● A refusal to pay taxes
● Let him come and take me
● What is your fourth of July to me?
● Is money the answer?
● Could I die in a more noble cause?
● Men of color, to arms!
● It was a glorious day!
● A letter from the front
● To my old master
● When freedom come
● From Memphis to New Orleans
● I shall not beg for my rights
● His crime was his color
● We did not discriminate
● I had reached the promised land
● Justice demands it
● You all must live agreeable
● Exodus
● Cast down your bucket where you are
● I want equality-- nothing less!
● A happy set of people
● No cowards or trucklers
● Mob law in Lincoln's state
● My soul is full of color
● I want to get out
● My first lesson
● The one-room kitchenette
● We return-- fighting!
● Black men, you shall be great again
● The right to a home
● Free within ourselves
● This is me! I'm somebody!
● Just hanging on
● No rent money
● Ain't make nothing, don't speck nothing
● We gonna make this a union town yet!
● March on Washington
● Bus boycott
● Oh brothers, if you only knew
● Tell about Mississippi
● Ain't gonna let nobody turn me 'round
● Don't nobody tell me to keep quiet
● That is all there is, it's the work!
● Troubled on every side

A Note on Sources

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In Their Own Words: A History of the American Negro, 1619-1966, 3 vols. Other editions, reprints, and translations Bibliographic Resource