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.
- Before Freedom, When I Just Can Remember: Personal Accounts of Slavery in South Carolina edited by Belinda Hurmence
- Black Indian Slave Narratives edited by Patrick Minges
- Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton & Cane Plantations edited by Lynette Ater Tanner
- Cherokee Voices: Early Accounts of Cherokee Life in the East edited by Vicki Rozema
- Far More Terrible for Women: Personal Accounts of Women in Slavery edited by Patrick Minges
- I Was Born in Slavery: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Texas edited by Andrew Waters
- The Jamestown Adventure: Accounts of the Virginia Colony, 1605-1614 edited by Ed Southern
- Mighty Rough Times, I Tell You: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Tennessee edited by Andrea Sutcliffe
- My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery: Personal Accounts of Slavery in North Carolina edited by Belinda Hurmence
- No Man's Yoke on My Shoulders: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Florida edited by Horace Randall Williams
- On Jordan's Stormy Banks: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Georgia edited by Andrew Waters
- Prayin' to Be Set Free: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Mississippi edited by Andrew Waters
- Voices from the American Revolution in the Carolinas edited by Ed Southern
- Voices from St. Simons: Personal Narratives of an Island's Past edited by Stephen Doster
- Voices from the Outer Banks edited by Steven Kirk
- Voices from the Trail of Tears edited by Vicki Rozema
- Voices of Cherokee Women edited by Carolyn Ross Johnston
- We Lived in a Little Cabin in the Yard: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Virginia edited by Belinda Hurmence
- Weren't No Good Times: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Alabama edited by Horace Randall Williams
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.
- Touring South Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites by Daniel W. Barefoot
- Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads (2nd Edition) by Andrea Sutcliffe
- Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads (3rd Edition) by Carolyn Sakowski
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.
- Blackbeard's Cup and Stories of the Outer Banks
- Other Tales of the Outer Banks
- Legends of the Outer Banks and Tar Heel Tidewater
- Outer Banks Mysteries and Seaside Stories
- Outer Banks Tales to Remember
- Pirates, Ghosts, and Coastal Lore