June 2, 2008

Book Review - Black Men Built the Capital

Black Men Built the Capital: Discovering African-American History In and Around Washington, D.C.
Jesse J. Holland
F 205 .N4 H65 2007

Many visitors to the Washington D.C. area wonder where the history of African Americans is represented in its numerous museums and historical sites. Holland brings this hidden history to the surface in his engaging book. Organized geographically, Holland gives his readers a virtual tour of the DC metro area, uncovering the involvement of African Americans as he goes. He begins in the city itself, examining the Capital, the National Mall, and the White House in his first three chapters. The fourth chapter details African American contributions in other parts of the District. From there, Holland takes his readers to Maryland in chapter 5 and Virginia in chapter 6, locating sites and contributions in the counties that surround the capital city. He concludes his visit with the efforts that have been taken to formally recognize these contributions of African American individuals or communities so that they will be more visible to the public. This book will be of interest to African Americans, historians, and anyone interested in our nation's capital.