Without question, I believe Norman Coombs has written an extraordinary and comprehensive history of the role and place that Afro-Americans have played in the United States, dating back to the 17th century. Coombs writes not only of the introduction of African slaves into the American continents (North, South and Central), but of the impact of slavery, segregation, discrimination and other forms of racism.
Coombs expands on his chronology of the treatment of Afro-Americans by providing insights into the various civil rights organizations which came into existence between the 19th and 20th centuries in the U.S. He further discusses the significant blank leaders of these various movements, including men such as: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, A. Phillip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Stokely Carmichael. The author also cites several noteworthy events.
I found this volume to be the finest compilation of the elements that went into the history of the black experience in America. I believe it ought to be mandatory reading for any American history course (college level). For that matter, it should be included in sociology and cultural courses.
Finally, I would like to note that Coombs includes a discussion of the significant cultural achievements and contributions originating from within the black community, including art, music, poetry, fiction writing, and the theater.