Middle Georgia and the Approach of Modernity

Essays on Race, Culture and Daily Life, 1885–1945


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About the Book

By eve of the 20th century, Middle Georgia was a rural region transitioning from the aftermath of the Reconstruction Era into the modern age. This collection of new essays describes the lives of the common people of the day. A grisly mass murder underscored issues of race, class and poverty. African Americans struggled for self-betterment against the rise of Jim Crow. Women striving to overcome gender barriers found a hero in a pioneering Georgian female pilot. The government worked to protect communities from the influenza pandemic of 1918. Fighting boll weevils and declining cotton prices, farmers diversified crops and developed of a national pimento pepper industry.

About the Author(s)

Fred R. van Hartesveldt taught history for forty years, mostly at Fort Valley State University, before retiring in 2014. During his career he published six books and more than a dozen scholarly articles. He lives in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Fred R. van Hartesveldt

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 195
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6690-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3192-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Fred R. van Hartesveldt 1
The Woolfolk Murders, 1887: Adjusting One Race Myth (Chrissy Lutz) 7
Otis ­O’Neal, the Ham and Egg Show and Georgia’s African American Farmers: The First Two Decades (1915–1935) (Dawn J. ­Herd-Clark and Kyle Harris) 22
Pestilence in the Mid State: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919 in Middle Georgia (Fred R. van Hartesveldt) 43
“Georgia on My Mind”: Jean Toomer’s Portrait of Middle Georgia Women in Cane (Washella Turner Simmons) 56
Packing Peppers at Pomona: The Pimiento Pepper Industry in Middle Georgia, 1911–1955 (Helen L. Brackett) 78
One Hundred Dozen Eggs: Margaret Toomer and the Ham and Egg Show (Dawn J. ­Herd-Clark and Kymara D. Sneed) 94
Becoming a Middle Georgia Writer: Rethinking the Influence of Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell on Flannery ­O’Connor (Marshall Bruce Gentry) 105
Flying High in Griffin: Charlotte Frye Takes to the Skies (Helen L. Brackett) 121
Pine Mountain Valley: A New Deal Experiment in Community Building (Kathryn W. Kemp) 142
With Us, Not for Us: A History of Library Services to African Americans in Macon, Georgia, 1881–1970 (Shaundra Walker) 163
About the Contributors 181
Index 183