This classic work of scholarship and empathy tells the story of the self-creation of the African-American people. It assesses the full impact of the Middle Passage -- "the most traumatizing mass human migration in modern history" -- and of North American slavery both on the enslaved and on those who enslaved them. It explores the ways in which a nominally free society perverted its own freedoms and denied the fact that an inhuman institution lies at the heart of the American experience. The authority and eloquence of this work make it essential reading for all who want to understand the American past and present.
"Nowhere are the psychological dynamics of this ordeal and triumph more clearly, gracefully, or economically set forth."
-- Willie Lee Rose, The New York Review of Books
"Black Odyssey is a masterful work, at once poetic and instructive. His is an enduring contribution to the study of American history. This book deserves the widest readership." -- Herbert G. Gutman
"A thoughtful and thought-provoking book...written with feeling." -- Oscar Handlin
"The classic on the subject for a long time to come....The general reader, for whom the work is written, will simply be enthralled." -- The New Yorker