Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation (Book Title)


Program Description:

Deep Souths tells the stories of three southern regions from Reconstruction to World War II: the Georgia Sea Islands and Atlantic coast, the eastern Piedmont of Georgia, and the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta. Though at first these regions shared the histories and populations we associate with the "Deep South"-all had economies based on slave plantation labor in 1860-their histories diverged sharply during the three generations after Reconstruction. Harris presents a comparative, ground-level view of history, one that encompasses the rise of segregation and also resistance to it; blues music as well as cotton plantations, and the challenges to the southern order from new political forces. Deep Souths challenges the idea that the lower South was either uniform or static in the era of segregation. By the end of the New Deal, changes in these regions had prepared the way for the civil rights movement and the end of segregation. Deep Souths was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2002. Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation (Nonfiction, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001, ISBN 080187310X)


J. William Harris

J. William Harris is a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire where he has been teaching since 1985. He completed a doctorate in history from Johns Hopkins after graduating from MIT with a bachelor's degree in humanities and science. He has taught or lectured in Italy, the U.K, and Brazil, and he has held fellowships from the National Humanities Center and Harvard University. Professor Harris’s research and teaching interests focus on the history of the American South, the Civil War, and African American history. He is the author of four books and the editor of three others. His most recent book, published in 2009, is The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah: A Free Black Man's Encounter with Liberty, which examines the extraordinary case of a free black slave owner in Charleston, South Carolina, in the era of the American Revolution. It was named by Library Journal to its Best Books of 2009 list.His 2001 book, Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation, won awards from the Organization of American Historians and the Agricultural History Society, and it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2002. In 2006, he won the Lindberg Prize for Teaching and Scholarship from the UNH College of Liberal Arts.

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