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Book Cover
Author Nathans, Sydney, author.

Title A mind to stay : White plantation, Black homeland / Sydney Nathans
Published Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, [2017]
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (x, 313 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations, map
Contents Prologue: Unexpected -- Part one. Proving ground: Spared -- "Emigrants" -- "So detested a place" -- Held back -- Reversals -- Part two. A foothold in freedom: -- Exile's return -- "Against all comers" -- "If they can get the land" -- Part three. Beyond a living: "Hallelujah times" -- "A game rooster" -- Sanctuaries -- Part four. Heir land: "That thirties wreck" -- New foundations -- "unless it's a must" -- Epilogue: "A heavy load to lift."
Summary A Mind to Stay is a unique and extraordinary historical narrative of generations of a Black family with roots in slavery and in the South. This family won their freedom with emancipation but, instead of fleeing the poverty and oppression of the White plantation, decided to stay on the homeland of their White masters and then to purchase it for themselves within a decade. In a true counterpoint to the predominant tale of the Black exodus north in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, these African Americans chose to hold onto the land that they had rightfully inherited and to risk all to keep it in the ensuing decades. Sydney Nathans, in his deep research into family and plantation papers and archives, as well as in invaluable oral interviews, has uncovered a slice of history that would otherwise have remained unknown. It is the story of a White plantation, Cameron Place, its owners who kept their slaves in family units, and who then sold their plantation to the same families in the 1870s. Those land-owning Blacks chose to remain on their land in the South through the tumultuous years of Reconstruction and Jim Crow and to claim all the rights due to a landowner up to the present. It is an unusual and original story told with great sensitivity and poignancy by Nathans who has the perseverance of a detective in seeking out the hidden tale and the skills and empathy of the historian in relating it.-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes In English
Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed March 28, 2017)
Subject African Americans -- Land tenure -- Alabama -- Hale County
Freedmen -- Alabama -- Hale County
Land tenure -- Alabama -- Hale County
Plantation owners -- Alabama -- Hale County
Rural African Americans -- Alabama -- Hale County -- History
African Americans -- Land tenure.
Land tenure.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Public Policy -- Cultural Policy.
Plantation owners.
Rural African Americans.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Anthropology -- Cultural.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Popular Culture.
Alabama -- Hale County.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0674977882