Real Voices, Real History™

"A person's voice has always held more power over us than words alone."
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John F. Blair, Publisher's "Real Voices, Real History™" series started with the WPA slave narratives. During the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt employed jobless writers and researchers to capture thousands of voices of former slaves spread throughout the United States. The WPA eventually collected more than two thousand narratives from seventeen states, cataloging them in the Library of Congress as Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the U.S. from Interviews with Former Slaves. Though the WPA performed a major service by collecting these narratives, the stories languished in the Library of Congress for several decades until the 1970s when George Rawick put the narratives into a form that was more accessible to the public, entitled The American Slave: A Composite Biography.

Belinda Hurmence was among the first to realize that many readers were still intimidated by the multivolume sets of slave narratives made available by Rawick. Culling the narratives collected by the WPA and others, she edited her first concise volume of slave narratives, My Folks Don't Want Me To Talk About Slavery, providing insight into the lives of former slaves in North Carolina. Following the positive reaction she received from the public, she published two more volumes of slave narratives from South Carolina and Virginia. Her books have proved perennial bestsellers for John F. Blair, Publisher.

Finding that readers were hungry for that special voice the former slaves provided, John F. Blair, Publisher, started exploring the idea of expanding their line of slave narratives, and of expanding the idea of history told by the individuals who personally experienced it. Since then, John F. Blair, Publisher, has published 12 total volumes of slave narratives, three volumes from the Cherokees, and four other Real Voices, Real History collections. John F. Blair, Publisher, continues to expand the Real Voices, Real History series to this day. 

Touring the Backroads™

John F. Blair, Publisher's "Touring the Backroads™" series includes travel books that literally take you off the beaten path to historic sites and landmarks. Each book takes you off the highways and thoroughfares and onto the backroads, giving directions, suggested routes, and historical details along the way. These books can be read at home, or they make excellent travel companions for those looking for something beyond the norm.

Romantic South™

John F. Blair, Publisher's "Romantic South™" series is much more than just a travel guide to Lover's Lane. These books are the perfect companions to finding something special to do with your special someone— something for every age, budget, and season of the year, from a few stolen moments to long weekend getaways.

Taste of History™

Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott combine great food and recipes with historic locations in this popular series. Each restaurant covered in the series includes two to three recipes from the chef and a description of the historic nature of the location, the ambiance, the service, and the food itself. Location information is also included for each featured restaurant.

Judge Whedbee

For decades, the folk tales of Charles Harry Whedbee have been available wherever you care to look on the Outer Banks. Their popularity has transcended Whedbee's loyal readership among North Carolinians and visitors from the Northeast and the Midwest. Charles Harry Whedbee was an elected judge in his native Greenville, North Carolina, for thirty-plus years, but his favorite place was the Outer Banks, Nags Head in particular. Whedbee was the author of the five folklore collections listed below. He died in 1990. In 2004, the staff of John F. Blair, Publisher, collected 13 of Judge Whedbee's finest stories for the volume titled Pirates, Ghosts, and Coastal Lore. If this is your introduction to Charles Harry Whedbee, you'll soon understand his love for the people and the history of the Outer Banks.

In the Footsteps™

John F. Blair, Publisher's "In the Footsteps™" series focuses on popular historic figures from Daniel Boone to Robert E. Lee, taking the reader to the actual places where history occurred. The series also offers background history for each relevant site and historical event, as well as traveling directions. These books make great armchair reads and are the perfect travel companions.