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African American Lives: The Struggle for Freedom uses a unique biographical approach to present the history of African Americans as active and thoughtful agents in the construction of their lives and communities. The text places African American lives and stories at the center of the narrative and as the basis of historical analysis. Each chapter opens with a vignette focusing on an individual involved in a dramatic moment or event. Personal stories are told throughout the narrative, as the lives and experiences of individuals provide the lens through which the story of African American history is viewed.