Cover image for The geography of hope : Black exodus from the South after Reconstruction
The geography of hope : Black exodus from the South after Reconstruction
Haskins, James, 1941-2005.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Twenty-First Century Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
137 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Discusses the conditions of African Americans in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, and the migration of many former slaves, led by such men as Benjamin Singleton and Henry Adams, to the West looking for a better life.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.7 4.0 35278.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.2 .H35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



When the North won the Civil War, former slaves rejoiced at the notion of a society in which all people, regardless of color, would enjoy equality. But the reality turned out to be that freedom was just a concept without a means to attain life's basic needs--and the freedpeople remained in circumstances not much different from those of slavery.

Author Notes

Author Jim Haskins was born in Demopolis, Alabama on September 19, 1941. He received a B.A. from Georgetown University in 1960, a B.S. from Alabama State University in 1962, and a M.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1963. After graduation, he became a special education teacher in a public school in Harlem. His first book, Diary of a Harlem School Teacher, was the result of his experience there. He taught at numerous colleges and universities before becoming an English professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1977.

He wrote more than 100 books during his lifetime, ranging from counting books for children to biographies on Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron and Spike Lee. He won numerous awards for his work including the 1976 Coretta Scott King Award for The Story of Stevie Wonder, the 1984 Coretta Scott King Award for Lena Horne, the 1979 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime; and the 1994 Washington Post Children's Book Guide Award. He also won the Carter G. Woodson Award for young adult non-fiction for Black Music in America; The March on Washington; and Carter G. Woodson: The Man Who Put "Black" in American History in 1989, 1994, and 2001, respectively. He died from complications of emphysema on July 6, 2005 at the age of 63.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. This stirring account of slavery, Reconstruction, and the massive emigration of African Americans combines the personal and the political. Haskins writes about individuals who led the migratory movement as well as the party politics that made life in the postwar South dangerous. Although he discusses migrations to the Northeast and attempts at so-called repatriation to Liberia, his focus is on the thousands who chose the hardscrabble West. Handbills and rumors circulating throughout the South raised hopes about a promised land, but migrants soon found a different story. Those who managed to raise the money for the journey found a harsh terrain that challenged their spirit. Over a period of decades, waves of migrants settled there. Haskins' clear, accessible writing, complemented by a simple yet striking page design and illustrations, makes this a good choice for curriculum support or recreational reading. Chronology, bibliography, source notes. --Randy Meyer

Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-This beautifully produced book relates the experiences of former slaves who headed to the Western frontier during and after the Civil War, and of the three men who led them, Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, Henry Adams, and Edwin McCabe. Approximately 20,000 "Exodusters" traveled from the Southern states to the Kansas and Oklahoma territories during this period. Disappointed when the Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction failed to create an environment in which they could live in true freedom, these African Americans hoped to attain property, prosperity, and respect in the new lands. Their little-known story-exciting, dramatic, and ultimately tragic-is a page-turner, thanks to Haskins's clear and lively writing. The author also includes primary-source material such as excerpts from newspaper articles, Senate reports, handbills, and song lyrics. Outstanding typography and black-and-white photographs and reproductions complement the text. Report writers will be grateful for the chronology, bibliography, source notes, and index.-Starr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Black Exodusp. 11
Chapter 2 The Peculiar Institutionp. 17
Chapter 3 Reconstruction--Presidential and Congressionalp. 29
Chapter 4 Reconstruction Endsp. 47
Chapter 5 To Find a Place to Live Freep. 55
Chapter 6 Kansas: The Promised Landp. 61
Chapter 7 The "Singleton Colonies"p. 79
Chapter 8 The Exodusters of 1879p. 87
Chapter 9 Aiding the Exodustersp. 97
Chapter 10 National Reactions to the Exodustersp. 109
Chapter 11 The Continued Search for Freedomp. 119
Chronologyp. 127
Bibliographyp. 130
Source Notesp. 132
Indexp. 135