The Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South and the Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History at The University of Alabama are proud to announce the winner of the Sixth Biennial Summersell Deep South Book Prize for the best book on the history of the American South: Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana (UNC, 2019) by Sophie White, Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Voices of the Enslaved is a richly-layered account of enslaved peoples’ experiences in 18th century French Louisiana. Through the extensive use of legal testimony, White recovers the inner and often intimate lives of individuals assumed lost to history. In the process, she offers a thoughtful meditation on how archival silences are opportunities to reconfigure historical methods and assumptions about our study of the past. Creatively conceived and masterfully written, Whites’ book promises to stand as a seminal study in the history of slavery and the American South.
The winner was chosen by the Summersell Deep South Book Prize Committee: Kari Frederickson, John Giggie, and Lesley Gordon; the award includes a cash prize and an invitation to deliver an address about the book at The University of Alabama.
Titles that received Honorable Mention for the 2022 prize competition are:
- To Poison a Nation: The Murder of Robert Charles and the Rise of Jim Crow Policing (New Press, 2021), by Andrew Baker.
- Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance (Harvard, 2021), by Mia Bay.
- A War State All Over: Alabama Politics and the Confederate Cause (University of Alabama Press, 2020) by Ben H. Severance.