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"For people who have been systematically excluded from the mainstream of a society, " writes educator Johnnetta B. Cole in her foreword, "it is especially important to remember and celebrate those who have won personal victories against the forces arrayed against them." With more than 50,000 sold, Black Firsts is that celebration, representing a groundbreaking collection of the most significant firsts achieved by blacks, particularly in America. Nearly 3,000 instances of firsts are described by Jessie Carney Smith, the William and Camille Cosby Professor at Fisk University in Nashville and a past winner of the Women's National Book Association Award. Here are the stories of pioneers in all fields -- arts, entertainment, business, civil rights, education, government, inventing, journalism, religion, science, sports, and more. With hundreds of illustrations, a daily calendar of firsts, and a special foldout timeline, Black Firsts offers a real sense of the richness of black history. We've received hundreds of cards and letters from readers who passionately write of how gratified they were by the very existence of the book and inspired by its recording and celebration of great courage and perseverance.