The Star Creek Papers

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9780820319049: The Star Creek Papers
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The Star Creek Papers is the never-before-published account of the complex realities of race relations in the rural South in the 1930s.

When Horace and Julia Bond moved to Louisiana in 1934, they entered a world where the legacy of slavery was miscegenation, lingering paternalism, and deadly racism. The Bonds were a young, well-educated and idealistic African American couple working for the Rosenwald Fund, a trust established by a northern philanthropist to build schools in rural areas. They were part of the "Explorer Project" sent to investigate the progress of the school in the Star Creek district of Washington Parish. Their report, which decried the teachers' lack of experience, the poor quality of the coursework, and the students' chronic absenteeism, was based on their private journal, "The Star Creek Diary," a shrewdly observed, sharply etched, and affectionate portrait of a rural black community.

Horace Bond was moved to write a second document, "Forty Acres and a Mule," a history of a black farming family, after Jerome Wilson was lynched in 1935. The Wilsons were thrifty landowners whom Bond knew and respected; he intended to turn their story into a book, but the chronicle remained unfinished at his death. These important primary documents were rediscovered by civil rights scholar Adam Fairclough, who edited them with Julia Bond's support.

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About the Author:

Horace Mann Bond (1904-1972) was a historian, teacher, university administrator, and the author of six scholarly books, including the prize-winning "Negro Education in Alabama: A Study in Cotton and Steel." His widow, Julia W. Bond, makes her home in Atlanta. Adam Fairclough is the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Chair of History and Culture of the United States at Leiden University. His books include "Martin Luther King, Jr.," "To Redeem the Soul of America," "Teaching Equality," "Race and Democracy," and "The Star Creek Papers" (all available from Georgia).

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1934, Horace Mann Bond was not yet a renowned educator and author of Negro Education in Alabama: A Study in Cotton and Steel. While studying the operation of the local black schools in a small farming community in southeastern Louisiana, he and his wife, Julia, lived in a cabin without electricity or running water--conditions that were no different from those of most people living in the rural South in the 1930s. The couple made friends with their neighbors, and Horace recorded their observations and experiences in the diary that is the basis for this collection of short writings. Bond's interest in black family history, and his curiosity about why so many local black farmers owned their own land, led him to construct a "Portrait of Washington Parrish" through the complex, interconnected genealogies of black and white families. In "The Lynching" and "Forty Acres and a Mule," Horace Bond focused on the family of John Wilson, whose son had been hastily convicted of murder in a bizarre shooting incident by a jury of white men. The young man was subsequently dragged from the jail and beaten to death. Although Horace Bond intended to write a history of the Wilson family from their slave origins to the lynching of Jerome Wilson, he never completed his book. If this collection is fragmentary, it once again proves Horace Bond, who died in 1972, was a shrewd observer of race relations and black family life. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9780820340838: The Star Creek Papers

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ISBN 10:  0820340839 ISBN 13:  9780820340838
Publisher: University of Georgia Press, 2011
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