Winner of the Z calo Public Square Book Prize
Benjamin L. Hooks Award Finalist
"An insightful, powerful, and moving book."
--Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice
"Sturkey's clear-eyed and meticulous book pulls off a delicate balancing act. While depicting the terrors of Jim Crow, he also shows how Hattiesburg's black residents, forced to forge their own communal institutions, laid the organizational groundwork for the civil rights movement."
--New York Times
If you really want to understand Jim Crow--what it was and how African Americans rose up to defeat it--you should start by visiting Mobile Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the heart of the historic black downtown. There you can still see remnants of the shops and churches where, amid the violence and humiliation of segregation, men and women gathered to build a remarkable community. Hattiesburg
takes us into the heart of this divided town and deep into the lives of families on both sides of the racial divide to show how the fabric of their existence was shaped by the changing fortunes of the Jim Crow South.
"Sturkey's magnificent portrait reminds us that Mississippi is no anachronism. It is the dark heart of American modernity."
--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk
"When they are at their best, historians craft powerful, compelling, often genre-changing pieces of history...William Sturkey is one of those historians...A brilliant, poignant work."
--Charles W. McKinney, Jr., Journal of African American History