The Southern Regional Council, the UGA Libraries and DeKalb County Public Library/Georgia Center for the Book will present 2010 Lillian Smith Book Awards to Amy Louise Wood, author of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940, and Charles W. Eagles, who wrote The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss, on Sept. 5 at 2:30 p.m. during the Decatur Book Festival.
Wood, a history professor at Illinois State University, chronicles the lynching of more than 3,000 African Americans in the 50-year span she studied. Eagles is a professor of history at the University of Mississippi, where he has taught since 1983.
The Lillian Smith Book Awards honor those authors who, through their writing, carry on Smith’s legacy of elucidating the condition of racial and social inequity and proposing a vision of justice and human understanding.
The SRC established the awards shortly after Smith’s death in 1966. Internationally acclaimed as the author of the controversial 1944 novel Strange Fruit, Smith was one of the most liberal and outspoken of mid-20th century Southern writers on issues of social and racial injustice.
After her death, Smith’s family donated the historic collection of her letters and manuscripts to the UGA Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.