Duke Professor Sydney Nathans comes to The Regulator for a booksigning and reading of his new book, A Mind to Stay: White Plantation, Black Homeland.
The exodus of millions of African Americans from the rural South is a central theme of black life and liberation in the 20th century. A Mind to Stay offers a counterpoint to the narrative of the Great Migration. Sydney Nathans tells the rare story of people who moved from being enslaved to becoming owners of the very land they had worked in bondage in rural Alabama, and who have held onto it from emancipation through the Civil Rights era. Through the prism of a single plantation and the destiny of black families that dwelt on it for over a century and a half, A Mind to Stay illuminates the changing meaning of land and land owning to successive generations of rural African Americans.
Sydney Nathans is Professor Emeritus of History, Duke University. He was selected as the winner of the 2013 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for his book To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker (Harvard University Press). The Douglass Prize is awarded annually by Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the best book written in English on slavery or abolition.