White Man’s Heaven

$21.95 $16.46

The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894-1909
Kimberly Harper
978-1-55728-984-1 (paper)
August 2012


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White Man’s Heaven is the first book to investigate the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kimberly Harper shows how an established tradition of extralegal violence and the rapid political, economic, and social change of the New South era combined to create an environment that resulted in interracial violence. Even though some whites tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice, many African Americans fled the Ozarks, leaving only a resilient few behind and forever changing the racial composition of the region.

Kimberly Harper lives in the Missouri Ozarks.

2011 Missouri Humanities Award – Distinguished Achievement in Literature

“An invaluable work . . . supports and importantly expands on recent studies of sundown towns and racial cleansing.”

Journal of Southern History


“Well-written and creatively researched . . . movingly documents ‘a dark mark upon the land yet to be removed.’”

Journal of American History


“Does crucial work in bringing attention to a long-neglected but important aspect of southern Ozarks and Missouri history.”

Missouri Historical Review


“Essential reading for anyone who lives in the southern Ozarks.”

Arkansas Historical Quarterly


“A cogent and illuminating contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on lynching.”

American Historical Review


“This is required reading for understanding an important but oftentimes unacknowledged phenomenon in U.S. history.”


Adopted at: Missouri State University
Course: HIST 375 The Ozarks in American History
Course Description: The Ozarks as an historic American region. Historical geography of the Ozarks. The Old Ozarks Frontier; the Modern Ozarks; the Cosmopolitan Ozarks; the New Ozarks Frontier. Relation of the Ozarks to major themes in U.S. History.
Professor: Brooks Blevins
Term: Fall 2020