Digital Download Penguin Group USA/ Audible, Inc. 2009
DD ISBN $19.95
Jules Archer's history of African-Americans spans five centuries on the North American continent. Although recorded as an audiobook for young adults (ages 10 and up), it works well for all listeners. Narrator Roscoe Orman's deep voice avoids the temptation to imitate the historical characters; instead he keeps himself in the background while the lives and deeds of prominent black leaders come forward in the mental images he creates. Orman's rendition of the story of Frederick Douglas may be the most emotional of the chapters, much of it taken from Douglas's autobiography of suffering and achievement. The decision to have the narrator say "quote" and "end of quote" each time one occurs introduces a huge distraction as one realizes how numerous and annoying the attributions are. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2009]
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