Reviews for Black Frontiers : A History of African-American Heroes in the Old West


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1996
Schlissel introduces homesteaders, cowboys, miners and their mail-order brides, professional people, and adventurers. Also covered are African Americans who took refuge among Native Americans; others, who developed black communities; and many who lived and worked side by side with white frontier settlers. Black-and-white reproductions illustrate this presentation of previously underrecognized pioneers. Bib., ind. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1996 #1
Illustrated with black-and-white reproductions. These handsome histories, so similar in layout and organization, both fit rather handily under the span of Schlissel's subtitle, though neither book is devoted strictly to heroic individuals. Both authors write of the black men and women who "shared the work of settling America's western frontiers" in considerable numbers, though conventional histories have most often ignored their presence. Schlissel points to a key element that is illustrated in both books: "The black presence in the West is sometimes most powerfully expressed in old photographs." Each horizontally rectangular volume joins double-columned text in brief chapters with absorbing photographs of diverse individuals and families from many walks of life. Homesteaders, cowboys, miners and their mail-order brides, professional people, and adventurers are all introduced. Both writers tell of African Americans who took refuge among Native Americans, of others who developed black communities, and of many who lived and worked side by side with white frontier settlers. Schlissel has more thematic entries, while Katz has a more geographical focus. Schlissel, who has written adult books about the western frontier, hasn't yet established a firm voice in addressing young people; her prose is sometimes wooden and choppy. Katz follows his pattern from many previous books, providing well-organized explanations of many aspects of black history. However, his rather truncated vignettes of some individuals may leave readers unsatisfied. The two books cover an impressively diverse array of factual information and fascinating people. American history assumes new depth through Schlissel's and Katz's presentations of these previously underrecognized pioneers. m.a.b. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1995 December
Gr 5 Up?The subtitle of this book is the key to its content?not the title. Schlissel presents biographies of several black settlers, as well as more general chapters such as ``Black Homesteaders,'' ``The Dime Novel,'' and ``The Buffalo Soldiers.'' The text, though not extensive, is informative and well written. Even though most of the persons mentioned are given attention in other books, the collecting of them under one cover makes this title appealing to most libraries. Black-and-white photos and reproductions, some clearer than others, appear on almost every page.?George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield

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