Notes Concerning the Author:
The Chronological History of the Negro in America is the work of “Peter M. Bergman, assisted by a staff of compilers under the direction of Mort N. Bergman.” Peter Bergman published this compilation in 1969 in “association with Harper & Row, Publishers.” Of the staff of compilers, Bergman expresses his thanks with the following words:
“It is impossible adequately to thank all who have helped in the cooperative project of writing this book, but special acknowledgment is due to Judith Lippmann, Mark Waits and Albin Unterweger. Jean McCarroll, who among other things worked through for me more than 800 thick volumes of the Congressional Record, especially deserves public thanks.”
Bergman has published many books of a reference nature, compiled by teams of assistants. Such reference works was his area of interest.
Although African Americans played a major role in building America from “sea to shining sea,” the history of that very important contribution is rather buried within the history of the immigrants from Europe who led the effort. The African American journey was difficult, to be sure, but most weathered the hard times and experienced a large and healthy population growth and a standard of living that far surpassed that of the cousins left behind in their native Africa. Perhaps the book recommended here is a good account of their journey. We wish there were more and better references.
The Chronological History of the Negro in America, in its coverage of the years 1492 to 1940, contains 493 pages of summations of events, presented chronologically, by year. The note for 1492 says:
“According to legend, Pedro Alonzo Nino, one of Columbus’ crew on his first voyage to the West, was a Negro.”
As you know, the scope of concern for The Society of Independent Southern Historians concludes with the close of 1940. Reports for that year end on page 493 (the book’s final entries, 1968, are found on page 616). Highlights from 1940 include:
“There were 12,866,000 Negroes in the U. S. representing 9.8% of the population.” [Society note: that was 21 times the number of Negroes imported into the land that became the United States, indicative of a healthy and growing population.]
Considerable additional information, derived from the 1940 census, is reported for the year 1940.
“In October, President Roosevelt announced that Negro strength in the Army would be in proportion to the Negro percentage in the total population.”
[Perhaps in response to Roosevelt] “The Communist Party platform read: The Negro people . . . are being prepared to fight another war for ‘democracy’ in order to further enslave them.”
“When the Communists [Party] openly seized control of the National Negro Congress, most other groups and leaders left the organization.”
“Only 5% of Southern Negroes of voting age were registered to vote. . . . The Negro Democratic vote in 1940 was estimated as 40% of the total Negro vote.”
“W. E. B. Du Bois founded his journal Phylon at Atlanta University.”
“Hattie McDaniel, the Negro actress, received an Academy award as best supporting actress for her role in Gone With the Wind.”
“The average Negro population in Central and South America was 13.8% and 7.3%, respectively. . . . [However] In Martinique, of a total population of 244,908, only 5,000 were white.”
Availability of this Book
You can get a used copy of George Levy’s book by going to Amazon.com and to other places. There is no Kindle book and as of now no Google scanned book. This reference work ought to be made available as a scanned digital book. Let us hope.