SmileyBooks Honors African American Legends in America I AM Exhibit Companion Volume

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Arresting full-color images and insightful quotes bring the lives and legacies of seventy-eight 20th Century African American LEGENDS to life.

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It is impossible to think of how we could have accomplished so much, in such a short amount of time, without the abilities, sacrifices, and brilliance of the groundbreakers, the visionaries, and the leaders portrayed in this volume.

On February 2, 2009, SmileyBooks released America I AM Legends: Rare Moments and Inspiring Words (Hardcover, $34.95; Trade Paperback; $24.95) edited by SmileyBooks with a foreword by Tavis Smiley. The first of a series of companion volumes inspired by the groundbreaking America I AM: The African American Imprint exhibit, this beautifully conceived work highlights the central theme of the exhibition, posed by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1903:"Would America have been America without her Negro people?" Through exceptional photographic images and penetrating words, America I AM Legends captures the dynamism of seventy-eight renowned African American individuals and institutions, highlighting the indelible imprint each has made on the United States and on the world.

"Nothing is more inspiring than individual stories of those who struggled head-on against the problems of the twentieth century--and succeeded," writes Smiley in the foreword. "It is impossible to think of how we could have accomplished so much, in such a short amount of time, without the abilities, sacrifices, and brilliance of the groundbreakers, the visionaries, and the leaders portrayed in this volume." A statement illuminating a unique aspect of each iconic figure--made by the legend or by someone carrying on their legacy today--portrays the vision and contribution of each subject.

Representing the full scope of black brilliance, America I AM Legends features the artistic genius of Toni Morrison and Duke Ellington; the athletic excellence of Serena and Venus Williams and Michael Jordan; the political leadership of Ralph Bunche and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.; and those who struggle to make America true to its promise, from Martin Luther King Jr., to Barack Obama. Each legend, from those who still walk among us to those who walked well before us, reminds us that America would be unrecognizable without its remarkable African American imprint.

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