Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid, African Americans’ 400 Years in North America 1619-2019, is a comprehensive study of the treatment African Americans have encountered since arriving in Virginia in 1619. The book documents a saga of racism and white supremacy, history seldom taught in school. Numerous tables, photographs, maps, charts, and extensive endnotes make the study easy to read and provide documentation.

Chapters cover white supremacy and racism, slavery, US Colored Troops’ major contribution ending the Civil War, the devastation of the South, the evolution of the process of Emancipation, and Reconstruction. Other chapters address the Freedmen’s Bureau, “Redemption” and the “Lost Cause,” Jim Crow, blacks’ significant military contributions in both world wars, the Great Migration from the South, the civil rights movement, and the backlash that continues today.

The twelve chapters are chronological but stand alone to make the 502-page study a compelling read. Furthermore, the book addresses contemporary issues, including white supremacy, Confederate statuary, and the status of blacks compared to other groups in society. Note is taken of Professor James Whitman’s observation that Hitler adapted our Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws as a basis for the Holocaust, and of Richard Rothstein’s study of federal and local housing law, documenting whites’ responsibility for creating inner-city ghettos. There are two appendices, one providing the thirty recommendations made by a United Nations Commission after their 2016 visitation, the other documenting an illicit lynching in Virginia in 1932.

This book is extremely relevant due to the 400th anniversary of African Americans’ presence in North America in 2019, accompanied by a resurgence of racism encouraged from the White House.

Published mid-February 2019, eBook (978-1-7960-1107-9), $3.99; paperback (978-1-7960-1106-7), $23.99; and hardbound (978-1-7960-1105-0), $34.99. Discounted by BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and the publisher, Xlibris.com, as well as the author’s website and blog, genebetit.com. The book is returnable and available wholesale for more than ten copies at $18. Sold by the author for $20 per copy, including S/H.

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