The dialogues in Black history that compromise this unique volume recapitulate the past, provide a picture of the present and point toward the future.
The participants in the dialogues- a teacher or moderator and a group of students of varying backgrounds- review for the reader the black experience on the North American continent: the slave trade that had its nefarious beginnings in the early 1500s; early attempts at resistance and revolution; the events leading up to the Civil War and black participation in that conflict; the gains and losses of the Reconstruction era; historic court decisions, and along the way, thumbnail sketches of important figures in black history.
It is a history of oppression and injustice and man's inhumanity to man, as much illuminated by the responses of the student participants in the dialogues as by the recital of the facts. The students are alternately sickened by the harrowing experiences of their forebears so much of which is like a bad dream that one wants to banish immediately upon awaking and full of pride at the accomplishments achieved by individual blacks, often as a result of great sacrifice.
If the black experience of the present is typified by the young speakers of these exchanges, then the future of their race, and therefore, of all humanity, is brighter than even the most optimistic among us would dare to predict. They are impassioned, inquiring, full of both outrage and good humor, determined to know their history so intimately that the mistakes of the past can never be repeated in the future. We Have Known Rivers is a sign of life that provides sustenance to mind and heart.
"Interesting & Awakening"
"Informing Afro-American History"
"Splendid Volume discussing The Black Experience"
.....The New York Times
"Startling, Provocative and Educational"
.....Columbus Call & Post
"Informative & enjoyable, should be required reading for all history students"
.....Delta News Letter - Editor
"I couldn't stop reading it"