A volume of this type and scope is basic Social Studies equipment. The amazing aspect is its comprehensive content. Spanning 400 years of chronological time was remarkable, but the thoroughness of the presentation was staggering. While many of the familiar stories are here, there are dozens and dozens of less known histories of events, movements, and individuals. Individuals are presented in some kind of historical context. So a sub-section dedicated to an individual does not read like an unrelated encyclopedia entry. As a whole, the structure builds toward a holistic presentation of African American history and the contribution of this slice of history to the current state of the nation.
Because the book is based mostly on text, the visuals were important for breaking up the experience and holding attention. They are all photos, paintings, diagrams and maps--no illustrations. There is no credited editor in charge of selecting these, so I have to assume Tarrant-Reid did this herself. The permissions alone would have been daunting, so I expect there was an editor who helped.