Sample Term Paper

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Leon F. Litwick is a noted authority on the black history and a distinguished author. He is best known for his 1980 Pulitzer Prize and Parkman Prize-winning the book, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. In 1998, he published a sequel entitled, Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, which has drawn critical acclaim from fellow historians and literary critics. This paper provides a biographical sketch, information on Litwick’s extensive portfolio, and an analysis of Trouble in Mind as one of the most comprehensive additions to the annals of American and African-American history.

Litwick’s impressive expertise on black history has garnered numerous awards. Many reviewers have called him “one of America’s most talented historians” (Gatewood, 1). He received the Guggenheim Fellowship, two Distinguished Teaching Awards, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Film Grant. Currently, Litwick is a Professor of American History at the University of California, Berkeley (Amazon, 4).

From the 1960s to the present, Litwick has written and edited extensively alone and with historian colleagues. Some of these works include North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860 (1961); The Enduring Struggle: Tom Joad’s America (1991); and Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (2000); The Harvard Guide to African-American History (2001); and The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s (2002). These are just some of the many contributions he has made in documenting the human fabric of America.

Litwick has received considerable notoriety for Trouble in Mind. Based on research from diverse sources, Litwick uses contemporary documents and first-person narratives from blacks and whites. Instead of focusing, as many books do, on well-known black leaders, Litwick’s purpose is to describe how ordinary black people survived under severe restrictions during the late 19th and 20th centuries.

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