John Hope Franklin wrote From Slavery to Freedom in 1947, and in the years since its initial publication it became and has remained the preeminent history of Africa Americans.
We at McGraw-Hill are honored to publish this classic work and thrilled that Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham of Harvard agreed to revise it for this ninth edition.
Certainly the task of revising a book that is considered the classic text in its ﬁeld is a formidable one; however, Dr. Higginbotham not only accepted the torch that John Hope Franklin passed to her, but lifted it higher. Relying on the most recent scholarship, she has brought both the story of African-American history and its telling into the 21 st century. Among the most signiﬁcant changes in the new edition are:
• New scholarship on ancestral Africa and Africa during the time of the slave trade, including internal trade across land and river systems and the role of Africans themselves in the Atlantic slave trade.
• Attention to the complexity of North American slave culture during the colonial period, treating not only the British Colonies, but also slave life in the Spanish, Dutch, and French colonies.
• Increased coverage of women and women's history.
• Consideration of the emergence of grassroots social movements in local communities
across the U.S. in the mid-twentieth century.
• The important role of art and culture as a reﬂection of the events and ideas of their time
periods, including discussion of individual writers, musicians, and artists. Images of representative works of art are woven into the text.
• “Windows in Time” features that expose the reader to actual voices from the past.
Of course, there is no book on African-American history for which the election of Barak Obama as the ﬁrst African-American president of the United States provides a more ﬁtting and hopeful ending. As Dr. Franklin said in an interview ﬁ lmed by Duke University shortly after Obama's nomination, ‘It's an indication of the willingness as well as the ability of this country to turn a signiﬁcant corridor toward full political equality. . . . I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.”
Since its publication, From Slavery to Freedom has sold over 3 million copies and been translated into many languages. To quote Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his Foreword to this ninth edition, “Every scholar of my generation studied Franklin 's book in a survey course in African-American history; it this sense, we are all his godchildren.”
We at McGraw-Hill are pleased that Dr. Higginbotham's re-envisioning of this classic work will continue its tradition as the deﬁnitive account of the African-American experience in the United States .