The Black experience and its impact on our nation's culture and character are illustrated in twelve chapters, from ancient Africa and the slave trade to such key eras as the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction; the Harlem Renaissance and the Jim Crow Era; and the modern Civil Rights and Black Power/Black Arts movements. The more than 150 historic items showcased here include documents, letters, images, and artifacts, many never before published. Readers will find 18th-century maps of Africa; the pincushion of Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln's seamstress; Depression-era images by Robert M. McNeil; and a Langston Hughes letter in which he first shares his famous poem I, Too, Sing America. Rare photographs include a unique daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass in profile and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, circa 1880. Prominent Black scholars and activists offer expert insights on the collection, on subjects ranging from traditional African societies to 21st-century art and politics.--From publisher description.