The book ranges from the African origins of African American communities to coverage of slave communities, female slaves, slave–slave holder relations, and freed persons. Additional chapters look at African Americans in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow eras. An alphabetically organized "mini-encyclopedia," plus additional information sources round out this eye-opening work of social history.
Once Africans landed in America as slaves, state laws denied them civil rights and humane treatment. The hopelessness, brutalization, and alienation of blacks aroused the conscientiousness of humanitarian groups to seek the repatriation of freed men to their ancestry homeland in Africa, away from Anglo Americans. This became a risky rescue mission, which put the ACS in direct opposition with anti-colonizationists. This book highlights the complicity of the precarious endeavor and the founding of the first African Republic on the continent.