"Leave now, or die!" From the heart of the Midwest to the Deep South, from the mountains of North Carolina to the Texas frontier, words like these have echoed through more than a century of American history. The call heralded not a tornado or a hurricane, but a very unnatural disaster: a manmade wave of racial cleansing that purged black populations from counties across the nation.
We have long known about horrific episodes of lynching in the South, but the story of widespread racial cleansing above and below the Mason-Dixon Line has remained almost entirely unknown. Time after time, in the period between Reconstruction and the 1920s, whites banded together to drive out the blacks in their midst. They burned and killed indiscriminately and drove thousands from their homes, sweeping entire counties clear of blacks to make them racially "pure". The expulsions were swift; in many cases, it took no more than 24 hours to eliminate an entire African-American population. Shockingly, these areas remain virtually all-white to this day.
Based on nearly a decade of painstaking research in archives and census records, Buried in the Bitter Waters provides irrefutable evidence that racial cleansing occurred again and again on American soil, and fundamentally reshaped the geography of race.
"In the tradition of muckraking journalism and detective history, Elliot Jaspin employs the modern term 'cleansing' to uncover a hideous and veiled part of America's racial past....This book forces a moral confrontation with the truth that the past matters, however innocently we prefer to live in the present. With engaging prose and dogged research, Jaspin reveals America's home-grown pogroms." (David W. Blight, Professor of American History, Yale University)
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a compelling read with a disappointing conclusion
An Extremely Eye Opening Publication
The performance was outstanding. I enjoyed listening to every single page!
I was previously aware that a few (Rosewood, Forsyth County) communities of African Americans had been forcibly removed, but I had no idea that it was such a common event across the US. This book will make you feel as if you were there when the evictions took place. You will understand the emotions of those being removed. Most of all you will learn how the author fought hard for the property rights of those who lost land illegally during these evictions.
I highly recommend this book not only for the student of history but also for anyone who is concerned about race relations in the past and present.