Two Historical Accounts on Race Win Lillian Smith Book Awards

Two white history professors are the recipients of the 2010 Lillian Smith Book Awards given out by the Southern Regional Council, the University of Georgia Libraries, and the DeKalb County Public Library. Lillian Smith, author of the 1944 book Strange Fruit, was considered one of the more progressive southern writers on issues of race. The Lillian Smith Book Awards are given to authors of books who “carry on Smith’s legacy of elucidating the condition of racial and social equity and proposing a vision of justice and human understanding.”

This year’s winners are Amy Louise Wood, a professor of history at Illinois State University, and Charles W. Eagles, the William F. Winter Professor of History at the University of Mississippi. Professor Wood’s award-winning book is titled Lynching and Spectacle, Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940. (See review on page 94 of the Autumn 2009 print issue of JBHE.) Professor Eagles’ book, The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss, was excerpted in the Autumn 2009 print issue of JBHE. Both books were published by the University of North Carolina Press.