An eight-volume reference set containing over 4,000 entries written and signed by distinguished scholars and under the direction of Editors in Chief Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, the African American National Biography is the most significant and expansive compilation of black lives in print today. This landmark scholarly reference work will present history through the lives of its people, profiling many well-known individuals but also many names largely lost or forgotten over time. Covering the full panoply of life for almost five centuries (from the arrival of Esteban in Spanish Florida in 1528 to notable black citizens of the present day), this major reference project collects and resurrects the lives of thousands of African Americans revealing an intimate and textured history. The individuals in these biographical entries (both alive and deceased) are slaves and abolitionists; writers; politicians and business people; musicians and dancers; artists and athletes; victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil right leaders who gave them a voice.
Their experiences and accomplishments each provided a piece of the collective biographical history of African Americans in America. Finally, through the AANB, these important lives and contributions have been restored and recorded and made accessible to all students, teachers, scholars, and anyone interested in African American history.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham is Professor of History and Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and editor of The Harvard Guide to African American History.