Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers Setting

Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack
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This section contains 610 words
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The McKissacks describe the role African Americans played in the East Coast whaling industry. The book starts with an overview of whaling, informing readers that whale oil burned longer and cleaner than other fuels. The demand for this product skyrocketed two centuries ago, creating big business. Supporting businesses emerged: shipbuilders, cooper smiths, sail makers, caulkers, and suppliers. These businesses sprung up at ocean ports that developed into robust whaling centers: places like Nantucket, New Bedford, New London, Mystic, Sag Harbor, Providence, and Cold Spring Harbor became major whaling centers. The authors present the history of whaling out of two major ports: Nantucket, a small island near Cape Cod, and New Bedford.

These ports played a vital role in the abolitionist movements and most keenly illustrated the importance of African Americans in this segment of history. The authors chose this setting for telling readers about the hardships and triumphs...

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This section contains 610 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers Short Guide
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Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.