The Civil War and Reconstruction in Georgia, Part 1

Above: Sherman’s March to the Sea (Savannah Campaign), 1864 This post is excerpted from The Way It Was in the South: The Black Expericience in Georgia by Donald L. Grant and Jonathan Grant (University of Georgia Press, 2001). All rights reserved. Publishing to critical acclaim, The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia was an American Heritage Editors’ Choice selection and also won Georgia’s “Author of the Year” honors for Dr. Grant. About the Author:  Donald Grant (1919?88) received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri and was professor of history at Fort Valley State College (now University) in Middle Georgia.  He was also the author of The Anti?Lynching Movement: 1883-1932.  And how this book came to be published after my…

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5-Star Review of Brambleman: Neil Gaiman meets Flannery O’Connor

Here’ s a review of Brambleman by G.D. Brennan, a Chicago author who gives it five stars.  I’m flattered, of course, and I’m especially gratified when a reader gets out of the book what I was  certain I put into it.  Brennan’s observation echoes my feelings. When I was pitching the book, I said, “Imagine Neil Gaiman and Joseph Heller collaborating on To KIll a Mockingbird.” Close enough, G.D. To see the original review, click here. To purchase a copy of Brambleman, click here.    G.D. Brenna writes: Imagine Neil Gaiman and Flannery O’Connor collaborating on a story about the legacy of a true-life ethnic cleansing in rural Georgia. Better yet, imagine that story being told by someone with both of those…

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Finishing my father’s life’s work: It’s not just a job, it’s an indenture

Original Caption: Grant says his father’s book is inextricably linked to other facets of his life. He was scouring page proofs of The Way It Was in the South when his wife went into labor with their second child—son Nathan (shown above). This is the story behind a Georgia Book of the Year. Ah, yes, I remember it well. I was sitting in the delivery room marking up page proofs when Judy’s situation suddenly required my complete attention. I tell people that while Nathan may look young (he’s a college freshman now), he was born during World War I. Dad would like that. The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia was honored as an Editor’s Choice by American Heritage magazine and named…

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The classic book about Georgia’s black history

The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia by Donald L. Grant Edited with an Introduction by Jonathan Grant 624 pp., hardcover University of Georgia Press, 2001   Editors’ Choice — American Heritage Winner, Georgia “Author of the Year” Award Available wherever books are sold, or from the University of Georgia Press.  Read about the effort to complete my late father’s life’s work This readable, fast-paced account covers 450 years of Georgia’s African-American experience. Solidly researched and documented, The Way It Was in the South sets the record straight on the progress of blacks and the contributions they made to the state — and the solid wall of white resistance they encountered nearly every step of the way.…

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Georgia’s most famous runaway slaves: William and Ellen Craft

I remain appalled at the “content” (or rather, the lack thereof) taught in Georgia’s 8th grade classrooms about the state’s history—and especially the short shrift its deep and rich African-American history receives. Of course, the same can be said for the nation’s classrooms during Black History Month. (Why February? Comedian Chris Rock once said, “Because it’s the shortest month.”) There would be no need for such a thing as Black History Month if African Americans’ story had been told properly and effectively all along, but that didn’t—and hasn’t happened—so here we are. Well, here’s something. When I worked on my father’s book, this story—which I’d never heard before—jumped off the page at me. I was so enthralled by it that I later wrote…

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