Milestone Documents in African American History
Milestone Documents
in African American History:

Exploring the Essential Primary Sources
 Editor in Chief: Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School

List price: $395
Publication date: June 2010
First edition * 4 volumes * 2,100 pages * 8.5 x 11

Our award-winning Milestone Documents series continues with African American History, featuring our groundbreaking approach combining primary source documents with in-depth expert analysis. Plus free online access to the full content. 


  • Four volumes, including 1,900 pages
  • 125 documents, each with full expert analysis
  • Nine detailed teachers activity guides
  • Appendixes, indexes and resource listings


  • Fully supported
  • Complimentary online access
  • Unlimited users at your library
  • Full access from home or dorm room
  • Immediate access via online registration
  • A simple, intuitive interface
  • User profile areas for students and patrons
  • Sophisticated search functions
  • Complete content, including appendixes
  • Fully illustrated

Permissions Statement

The fourth publication in our award-winning, critically acclaimed Milestone Documents series explores the fundamental primary sources in African American history. The four-volume set covers 125 iconic primary documents from the 1600s to the present. Each entry offers the full text of the document in question as well as an in-depth, analytical essay that places the document in its historical context.

With content aligned to the National Standards in U.S. History and signed essays written by a team of 70 esteemed historians, Milestone Documents in African American History offers an unparalleled reference tool for students conducting primary source research. It's particularly useful for high school students in both regular and A.P. history courses, community college students, and American history survey courses for undergraduate college students. In-depth teacher activity guides make the set extremely useful at the classroom level, and every entry includes study questions that assist teachers in engaging students with further research.


Each entry in Milestone Documents in African American History begins with an overview section that outlines the importance of the document. Subsequent sections include the following:

  • "Context": places the document in its historical context
  • "Time Line": includes key events surrounding the writing of the document
  • "About the Author": discusses the authorship of the document, including a brief biographical profile of the author(s), if known
  • "Explanation and Analysis of the Document": consists of a detailed examination of the document text
  • "Audience": discusses the intended audience of the document’s author(s)
  • "Impact": examines the historical impact of the document
  • "Questions for Further Study": includes study questions for students
  • "Bibliography": lists books, articles, and Web sites for further research
  • Full text of the primary document
  • "Glossary": defines important, difficult, or unusual terms in the document text
  • "Essential Quotes": offers a selection of key quotes from the document

Scope & Coverage

Among the documents included in the set are important legislative documents such as the Reconstruction era amendments; critical Supreme Court decisions from Dred Scott v. Sandford to Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education; and iconic speeches and writings by leaders such as Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King Jr., Shirley Chisholm, and Barack Obama. Key congressional reports, executive orders, and letters help round out our coverage, providing an invaluable collection of primary documents that is paired with extensive original commentary that helps students understand the documents.

Other features include a general subject index, an index by category, and hundreds of photographs and other images. The editor in chief for the set is Dr. Paul Finkelman, the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School. In addition to serving as executive editor for the Milestone Documents series, Dr. Finkelman has previously edited landmark reference sets on African American history, including Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896-present (Oxford, 2009); Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 (Oxford, 2006); Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Routledge, 2004); and Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery (Macmillan, 1998).

View the Table of Contents

Available from Salem Press--in print and online

Milestone Documents of African American History is available in print exclusively through Salem Press and online through Salem History. To order, call 1-800-221-1592.