Southern Illinois University Press, 2012. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover with Dust Jacket.
Signed with an Inscription by the Author.
No Flaws or Blemishes but minimal shelf handling; Still Gift Quality. 9.25 inches tall; 256 pages with Appendixes, Notes, Bibliography and index.
Fine / Fine. Item #17877
John W. E. Thomas, the first African American elected to the Illinois general assembly, held a prominent position as the leader of the state's African American community for nearly two decades. His impactful contributions paved the way for future black leaders in Chicago politics.
Despite playing a crucial role in the passage of Illinois' inaugural civil rights act and tirelessly working to uplift his community amid significant personal and political challenges, Thomas's life and career have faded into obscurity, overlooked by both historians and the public.
This comprehensive biography, a pioneering exploration of Thomas's influence and the broader landscape of African American politics in post–Civil War Chicago, sheds light on a forgotten era.
Authored by David A. Joens in "From Slave to State Legislator," it traces Thomas's journey from a slave in Alabama to a prominent attorney, ultimately becoming the wealthiest African American in Chicago at the time of his death in 1899.