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Weaving the historical and the personal

By Dana Goldman | Emory Report | Nov. 25, 2012

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"My Father's Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War" is Lawrence Jackson's latest book. Emory Photo/Video.

These days, the personal, the professional and historical are interwoven for Emory's Lawrence P. Jackson. And the professor of English and African American Studies has spent the last handful of years to make that possible. He's been working to connect genealogical research to historical records about the lives of the people of the farming land of Pennsylvania County, Va. In an age of abundant knowledge about extraordinary slave narratives and the people behind them, what, he wondered, can we know about the ordinary slaves who were also the forebears of many of our friends and family?

The result is the historical memoir "My Father's Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War" (University of Chicago Press, 2012). In the book, Jackson reveals how his family's own story unfolds, sharing the ways that it speaks to the African American experience in Virginia in the time from before the Civil War through Reconstruction. 

Listen to Lawrence Jackson discuss the genesis for his new book, “My Father's Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War":