Black Americans mentioned in traditional histories of the United States are usually marginal characters, shuffling along the periphery of momentous change. However, recent scholarship has demonstrated otherwise. Now
Black Odyssey documents Afro-American involvement in all the nation's great maritime traditions. In peace and war, from colonial times to the present, black men readily turned to the sea when life ashore proved uncertain or hostile, taking jobs that did not arouse the envy of whites, and perhaps finding a certain solace in the sea's endless harmonies of wind and wave.