First printing of the first children's book by an African American to become a Newbery Honor Book.
Near fine in very good plus jacket.
"His writing for children across so many genres broke new ground and helped to establish African American children's literature in the mainstream of children's book publishing." – Rudine Sims Bishop
Bontemps was a pioneer in the history of African American children's books. His publications were inspired by his own experiences as a child, frustrated at the difficulties of finding works on African American history and culture among library shelves. This nonfiction history begins with an overview of Africa and moves to the Western Hemisphere. Bontemps dwells on the Haitian revolution and also focuses on the activities of freedom fighters like Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, and Nat Turner within the section on slavery. Though a landmark in the history of the Newbery awards, Bontemps was nevertheless disappointed he didn't win the Medal – and a Black author would not do so until 1974 (for Virginia Hamilton's M.C. HIGGINS, THE GREAT).
Read more: Bishop, Free Within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children's Literature, 49-50.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948. 8.5'' x 5.75''. Original blue cloth, blind-stamped front board, gilt-stamped spine. In original unclipped ($3.00) color pictorial dust jacket designed by Philip Grushkin. Yellow topstain, fore-edge machine deckle. Illustrated by Raymond Lufkin in black and white. xii, 239,  pages. Book a trifle dusty, else quite nice. Jacket with light toning to rear panel and some moderate edgewear, shallow chipping to head of spine.
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