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Kimberly Harper ñ 8 free eadHarper presents a thoroughly esearched and well documented scholarly study that helps explain why the southwestern Ozarks is such a white egion documented scholarly study that helps explain why the southwestern Ozarks is such a white egion the country Lynching occurred in many places across the South
AND OBVIOUSLY INTO THE MIDWEST MANYobviously into the Midwest Many people who had lived during the time of slavery whether they actually owned slaves or not esented the new autonomy of black people in their communities during Restoration Over the decades esentment evolved into a fear While blacks may not have been true economic social or even political competitors in the egion whites viewed blacks as a threat to their wives daughters and police officers Obviously much of the fear centered on the perceived sexual predation of black men It was believed that women were not safe in the country or the city so long as African American men oamed freeHowever Harper goes beyond the acts of horrible white mob violence to explore why African Americans were driven out of communities often at the same time lynching took place Similar action was taken in other parts of the country Forsyth County in north central Georgia comes to mind Other areas of north Georgia especially in the Appalachian foothills still have small black populations to this day In the Ozarks and in the north Georgia mountains
the economy in the early 20th century was primarily subsistence farming which did not euireeconomy in the early 20th century was primarily subsistence farming which did not euire labor outside the extended family of the farmer As Harper observes This was in contrast to the black majority egions of the South where inexpensive and eadily available black labor composed a significant segment of the local economy making African Americans indispensable to local white employers One could easily make the same argument in ecent decades for why white farmers have not been so anxious to deport undocumented Latinos from egions of the South where industrial agriculture is dominant and depends on vast numbers of inexpensive laborers This is a fine addition to American history and African American studies Harper s book joins ecent work on lynching by prominent African American scholars Highly ecommended An eye opening ead When I moved to this area of the country I had no idea it was awash with such violent acial hatred Granted it s the South and the South does have shall I say a less than admirable history egarding ace elations but this is something different Different because much of this history has been hidden or at best has been a footnote in local history until ecently Within the last decade there has been a lot of esearch into this particular history This book is a valuable compendium to a widening vital discussion of local history This book is an excellent history of this era of acist violence in the Ozarks and ties together a seri. Drawing on court ecords newspaper accounts penitentiary ecords letters and diaries White Man’s Heaven is a thorough investigation into the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Kimberly Harper explores. Es of events in Pierce City Joplin and Springfield Mo and Harrison
Ar It seems well esearched and is mostly uite detailed in itsIt seems well esearched and is mostly uite detailed in its to create a full timeline and picture of each city s event including a sense of ace elations long before each event and a sense of the long term epercussions The author also attempts to tie these individual events into the bigger picture of the violence and black migration following econstruction and mid jim crow and the growing sentiment of the lost cause narrative I know these narratives are not uniue to this area but the author attempts to localize them uniue to this area but the author attempts to localize them her analysis and does a good I m originally from Springfield MO and I must admit I only ead the Springfield chapters though they comprise a good chunk of the book I had not heard about the 1906 triple lynching on the suare until my 10th high school eunion in 1987 For a time I considered writing some fiction inspired by that horrific event and esearched it to some extent But I never found any source that covered the lynching so extensively with vivid detail I believe the author may have benefited from a 1970 masters thesis from a college student here as well as an archive of historical papers left to the local university by one of their best scholars Whatever the case Harper has done amazing esearch on this topicShe points out the lynching was in some ways like a classic Southern attack the accusation against two Black men of assault against a white woman they were innocent But largely on account of party politics at the time a man who participated in the mob was prosecuted although unsuccessfully was not like a classic Southern lynching That event left behind grand jury transcripts which endered the event through eyewitness testimony that is very detailed I admit I should have ead the whole book but what I ead is eally well done Highly ecommended It doesn t feel ight to classify this book as a favorite as its subject is so horrifying and its treatment is so detailed that frankly it s not an easy ead But White Man s Heaven The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks 1894 1909 is definitely a book to be ead and eckoned withThe book draws on copious original sources testimony newspaper accounts witness eports court ecords and to detail the circumstances and aftermath of lynchings in the Missouri towns of Pierce City Joplin and Springfield and the Arkansas town of Harrison to portray the life and acial situation of the time It s a grisly picture one from which author Kimberly Harper does not flinchThe story epeats itself in town after town a crime that excites acial antagonism public officials who are either indifferent or sympathetic to the mob a lynching in the town suare and the subs. Events in the towns of Monett Pierce City Joplin and Springfield Missouri and Harrison Arkansas to show how post–Civil War vigilantism an established tradition of extralegal violence and the apid political economic and social change of the New South era happened independently but were also part.
Euent intimidation of the est of the black population In eading these accounts what struck me was the pervading and casual acism of the time But it shouldn t have come as a surprise because I emember the Ozarks of my youth seventy years later as a place where acist attitudes were openly
casually #expressedWhen I was I took the whiteness of the Ozarks for granted It was simply a condition of the #I was I took the whiteness of the Ozarks for granted It was simply a condition of the But after eading White Man s Heaven I ealize that the acial homogeneity of the Ozarks was not a natural condition but an enforced one in which entire towns were depopulated of their African American population often through violent means The word pogrom comes to mindThis book is not one to be ead for pleasure but it s a valuable ead It was published by the University of Arkansas Press but for some eason when I do a search on the UAP website it comes up not found It s available elsewhere though I saw this book on the shelves of the gift shop at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond Missouri but didn t buy it because I hadn t heard of it and I wanted to see if it was well eviews and worthwhile AlsoAnd Casually ExpressedWhen I Was
Because I M AnI m an who was afraid to part with a few bucks to take home a book that covers a topic I ve been curious about for many of my 60 years I had travelled to southwest Missouri for annual vacations since before my age hit double digits and the absence of POC grew glaring as I agedI was surprised to see that it was not currently in stock when I tracked down the book on I was surprised to see it only has 9 eviews on and 19 atings on Goodreads At a time when books about ace and history in America are jumping off the shelves still does not have this in stock today and few people seem to have notices its existenceThe book is well written timely and though provoking It s not presented simply I ve always wondered about how small towns could handle something like this and it turned out that many white people did oppose the lynchings and the mob violence was often denounced by the good whitesI m horrified now than when I imagined that lynchings were some mass delusion conducted by crazed super acists in a society that had no decency It wasn t that it was worse It was a group of ioters getting themselves and some others iled up WHILE EVERYONE ELSE FRETTED AND EXPRESSED REGRETS AND DISAPPOINTMENT In other words it was the same old shit that we see these days The good white people of Pierce City Springfield Joplin and Harrison weren t part of the lynch mob they just weren t involved enough to prevent the lynch mobsThis book deserves to be ead and thought about It needs to be discussed by Missourians It s a good and important book that sheds the light of history on the shadows of the presen. Of a larger interconnected egional experience Even though some whites especially in Joplin and Springfield tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice many African Americans fled the Ozarks leaving only a esilient few behind and forever changing the acial composition of the egio.