Friday, October 22, 2021

Review of "Notable Black Americans," by Virgil S. Powell

 Review of

Notable Black Americans, by Virgil S. Powell

Five out of five stars

Snippets of black history in personal achievements

 As a lifelong resident of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, I am familiar with the WMT radio station, the work of Powell as well as the artist that designed the book. These short biographies of the black Americans were first aired on WMT. Given that the book was published in 1971, this is a demonstration of how forward-looking the generally conservative WMT was at the time.

 While some of the people featured are generally well known, for example George Washington Carver, most have been generally lost to history. Yet, their actions led to significant changes to the flow of history. There was the black girl (Phoebe Frauncis) that prevented George Washington from being poisoned, the wealthy man (Samuel Frauncis) that made substantial contributions in financing the American Revolutionary War and a mention of the free and slave blacks that fought well under General George Washington and were freed by an act of the Virginia State government.

 Even people experienced in history in general and black history in particular will learn from this book. It is a demonstration of how blacks contributed so much to the growth of the nation above and beyond their basic labor as slaves.

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