Jodi SkipperSep 9, 2022
Behind the Big House
Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage in the U.S. South
University of Iowa Press 2022
When residents and tourists visit sites of slavery, whose stories are told? All too often the lives of slaveowners are centered, obscuring the lives of enslaved people. Behind the Big House: Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage in the U.S. South (U Iowa Press, 2022) gives readers a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to interpret the difficult history of slavery in the U.S. South. The book explores Jodi Skipper’s eight-year collaboration with the Behind the Big House program, a community-based model used at local historic sites to address slavery in the collective narrative of U.S. history and culture.
In laying out her experiences through an autoethnographic approach, Skipper seeks to help other activist scholars of color negotiate the nuances of place, the academic public sphere, and its ambiguous systems of reward, recognition, and evaluation.
Brandon T. Jett, professor of history at Florida SouthWestern State College, creator of the Lynching in LaBelle Digital History Project, and author of Race, Crime, and Policing in the Jim Crow South (LSU Press, 202) Twitter: @DrBrandonJett1