by Kidada Williams
Longlisted for the National Book Award in Nonfiction
“Powerful and deeply moving.”–Los Angeles Times * Shortlisted for the Museum of African American History’s Stone Book Award
From a groundbreaking scholar, a heart-wrenching reexamination of the struggle for survival in the Reconstruction-era South, and what it cost.
The story of Reconstruction is often told from the perspective of the politicians, generals, and journalists whose accounts claim an outsized place in collective memory. But this pivotal era looked very different to African Americans in the South transitioning from bondage to freedom after 1865. They were besieged by a campaign of white supremacist violence that persisted through the 1880s and beyond. For too long, their lived experiences have been sidelined, impoverishing our understanding of the obstacles post-Civil War Black families faced, their inspiring determination to survive, and the physical and emotional scars they bore because of it.