White Man’s Heaven Now Available in Paperback & E-Book Format

One of the best books to come out on Joplin history is now available in paperback and electronic book format. White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper, chronicles the 1903 Joplin lynching of Thomas Gilyard and ensuing race riot, among similar events in other Southwest Missouri cities. In addition to outstanding reviews, White Man’s Heaven recently won the Missouri Humanities Award for Distinguished Achievement in Non-Fiction.

You can now pick up White Man’s Heaven in Paperback from such places as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble online.

In addition, an e-book version is available at GooglePlay and and iTunes.

Cover of White Man's Heaven by Kimberly Harper

Joplin Lynching featured in Missouri Historical Review

The Missouri Historical Review, an award winning scholarly publication of the State Historical Society of Missouri, just published its January quarterly edition. Prominently featured in this edition is an article covering the 1903 Joplin lynching. The article is an adaptation of the chapters about the lynching from the book White Man’s Heaven by Kimberly Harper. If you are a member of the State Historical Society, you will receive a copy of the Missouri Historical Review in the mail. If not, you can find a copy to read at the Joplin Public Library on their current magazine shelves. Unfortunately, the library has not yet bought a copy of the book, which is definitely recommended, even if you get the chance to read the article in the Review.

White Man’s Heaven Released!

Cover of White Man's Heaven by Kimberly Harper

White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper, has been released more than a month early!

As previously covered here on Historic Joplin, White Man’s Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, is a non-fiction account of a string of violent episodes that occurred through Southwest Missouri and Harrison, Arkansas, between 1894 – 1909.  Two chapters of the book are dedicated to the lynching of Thomas Gilyard that occurred in Joplin in April, 1903, which should be of interest to any who have a passion for Joplin’s past, both bright and dark.

Buy a copy soon, as Amazon.com only has 5 copies left as of 8/30!  You can also purchase copies from the University of Arkansas Press and Barnes & Noble.  

White Man’s Heaven Website Live

A couple weeks ago, we announced the publication of White Man’s Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894 – 1906, by Kimberly Harper.  Since that time, the official website for White Man’s Heaven has gone live.  In the future, you can check there for all the latest news and developments concerning the book.  Check it out at the following address: www.whitemansheaven.com .

White Man’s Heaven

Cover to White Man's Heaven by Kimberly Harper

White Man's Heaven by Kimberly Harper

Interested in reading about local history? A new book this fall will offer the first comprehensive examination of five interconnected episodes of racial violence in the Ozarks.  We like it already because its cover art features the work of Joplin’s famed resident, Thomas Hart Benton.  Here are the details:

“Drawing on court records, newspaper accounts, penitentiary records, letters, and diaries, “White Man’s Heaven” is the first book to investigate the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Kimberly Harper explores events in the towns of Monett, Pierce City, Joplin, and Springfield, Missouri, and Harrison, Arkansas, to show how post–Civil War vigilantism, an established tradition of extralegal violence, and the rapid political, economic, and social change of the New South era combined to create an environment that resulted in interracial violence. Even though some whites, especially in Joplin and Springfield, tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice, many African Americans fled the Ozarks, leaving only a resilient few behind and forever changing the racial composition of the region.”

The book has received high praise from noted scholars Edward Ayers, Fitzhugh Brundage, and Brooks Blevins.

“Kimberly Harper has written a powerful, deeply researched, and persuasive account of the driving of entire communities of African Americans from their homes. These stories of the Ozarks speak of a larger tale of violence and subjugation we must understand if we are to understand the history of this country.”
Edward L. Ayers, President, University of Richmond, and author of The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction

“An uncommonly sophisticated piece of local history that demonstrates why local / micro history is so valuable.”
W. Fitzhugh Brundage, William B. Umstead Professor, University of North Carolina, and author of Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880–1930

“A valuable contribution to the study of American race relations and the Ozarks.”
Brooks Blevins, Noel Boyd Associate Professor of Ozarks Studies, Missouri State University, and author of Arkansas / Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State

Keep an eye out for it in the fall. If you want to pre-order, you can purchase it on Amazon.com or through the University of Arkansas Press.   At the time of the book’s release, we’ll offer  more comprehensive coverage.

UPDATE:  Check out the White Man’s Heaven website at www.WhiteMansHeaven.com.