And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK


A companion to the PBS series And Still I Rise, hosted and produced by the preeminent harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

This illustrated chronology details the most salient events of the last half century in African American history, from the climactic moments of the civil rights movement the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the once unimaginable, and now nearly complete, two-term presidency of Barack H. Obama.

From Selma to Ferguson, affirmative action to the Forbes list, Motown to Def Jam, "Black Is Beautiful" to "Black Lives Matter," And Still I Rise is a record of a people who have made astonishing progress since the King years, climbing to the highest rungs of society and revolutionizing global culture, but who also confront daunting challenges within a nation still struggling over issues of inequality.

The authors' year-by-year approach vividly chronicles the people and events that have irrevocably shaped the African American community and the nation as a whole. At the root of And Still I Rise is a seemingly simple question: What binds African Americans together? Is it the inheritance of memories and experiences across time? Is it the legacy born of fighting a system of laws that, for such a long portion of American history, drew a color line based on "one drop of blood?" Is it the common cause that has come from fighting for freedom and equality, or the cultural ties that unite a people through the cultural and social institutions, the sacred and secular forms and songs that speak to their epic journey? Or, given the sheer diversity and divergence of some forty million people, is it even possible to think of this "nation-within-a-nation" as a unified cultural or social entity at all?

Accompanying photographs of signal moments in the political and social evolution of Black America are images of the accomplishments of black thinkers and artists, entertainers and writers, sports figures and businesswomen and -men, professionals and workers, who have helped to define American culture, in all of its manifestations. Comprehensive but in no way exhaustive, And Still I Rise is intended to start a conversation, within and between generations and races."

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Henry Louis Gates
Ecco Press
Publication Date:
October 27, 2015