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In Our Own Image: Treasured African American Traditions, Journeys, and Icons. (eye).

In Our Own Image: Treasured African American Traditions, Journeys, and Icons by Patrik Henry Bass and Karen Pugh Running Press, October 2001, $30.00 ISBN 0-762-41075-2

If your family's archives have disappeared and the local griot is not available, lament no longer. In their new book In Our Own Image, Patrik Bass and Karen Pugh offer endearing images and personal stories of African American life and lifestyles. They focus on the nineteenth and the last half of the twentieth centuries. We are taken on an indispensable historical journey to nuances, characteristics and achievements in black culture now often obscured and overshadowed by less flattering images rendered at the hands of mass media. Baby boomers will find sweet memories lurking between the pages and hip hoppers will find a history rarely reported with such tenderness. Overall, readers of all generations will find something that either strikes a chord of remembrance or opens the mind to something new.

In Our Own Image recalls how our ancestors sought and secured the American dream of home ownership and community stability organizations like Black Loan Association and the Colored Mutual Investment Association. In Our Own Image highlights organizations African Americans created to develop and master leadership skills and holiday spots developed for blacks by blacks. Ordinary lives come to light, national heroes and sheroes are illuminated. Presented throughout its pages are glimpses of our homes, celebrations, nightlife, work and worship. Quotes from black newspapers such as The Freedom's Journal of 1827, the first African American newspaper in America and San Francisco's Mirror of the Times (1855) bring to our attention the varied vehicles blacks used to inform and honor each other in a public forum. In Our Own Image fills in gaps left by other historical texts. Each chapter contains historical information that has not been widely reported but is urgently needed for our collective esteem and cultural memory. Through personal anecdotes and archival photos, Bass and Pugh portray praiseworthy perspectives of African American cultural history. In Our Own Image is a valuable book for everyone's personal library.

Kathleen DeQuence Anderson is an educator and on staff at a regional high school library. She lives in western Massachusetts.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Anderson, Kathleen DeQuence
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2001
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