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American Founders called essential reading by scholars, reviewers, and trumpeters alike

The variety of individuals who have called American Founders a must-read are as diverse as they are distinguished. This recently released work of historical genius from Christina Proenza-Coles traces the impact African-descended peoples have had on the American continent, beginning long before the first English ship reached our shores. It is this wide-ranging and unique perspective that led Henry Wiencek, author of Master of the Mountain, to call American Founders an “important work” that “offers an extraordinary, compelling new narrative of the African role in creating the Americas of the Western Hemisphere.”

We were thrilled to see American Founders named a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book Award in the category of history in June of this year. Even more recently, jazz legend and maestro trumpeter Wynton Marsalis surprised us by naming the book his personal favorite on the subject of freedom in a short video for his personal blog. What an achievement for American Founders! Marsalis expertly describes Proenza-Coles’s research and, not surprisingly, ties the significance of the work back to jazz.

Christina Proenza-Coles’s book was also the subject of a penetrating radio program for WYPR’s On the Record, Baltimore’s NPR affiliate. The author herself was a guest, offering insights and little-known stories from American history that show in what remarkable ways AfroAmericans have contributed to the character and early history of our country, including in the struggle for freedom and social justice.

Of course, history is still being made. The momentous events of this moment in the year 2020 place in bold relief the many ways in which African-descended Americans continue to shape our destiny, leading the charge toward a more equitable and just society. For more information, visit