Lerone Bennett, Jr. A Life in Popular Black History

E. James West

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In the August 1972 issue of Ebony magazine, the nation‘s largest black periodical attempted to identify the 10 most important black men in American history.1 To help adjudicate, Ebony assembled a panel of experts that included Vincent Harding, director of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta; Lorraine Williams, head of the History Department at Howard University; Benjamin Quarles, chair of the History Department at Morgan State University; and Lerone Bennett, Jr., its own senior editor and in-house historian.2 “Sifting through nearly 400 years of American history,” the panel eventually settled on 10 individuals pulled from a shortlist of 30 men whose contributions to American history were deemed worthy of “special citation.” Alongside familiar faces such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the shortlist included pioneering black journalists such as John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish, revolutionaries such as Denmark Vesey and Henry Highland Garnet, and historians such as Carter G. Woodson and Bennett himself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages16
JournalBlack Scholar
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

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