Publication Date: June 25, 2024
With over a hundred photos collected by G. Faye Dant, and with an introduction by renowned Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin.
When Mark Twain published Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885, he turned Hannibal, Missouri, into one of the most famous towns in the American imagination. But like Twain’s novel, Hannibal’s idyllic façade often elided the darker racial violence that had marked its past, and it overlooked the history and humanity of the Black residents who have called Hannibal home for generations. Without them, there would be no “America’s hometown.”
In Hannibal’s Invisibles, G. Faye Dant, a Hannibal resident and the executive director of Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center, tells the incredible story of the Black community in this small Missouri town, giving voice to a history that has been marginalized far too long. Hear first-hand accounts from those who survived enslavement, faced racism after emancipation, endured Jim Crow, and contributed to the triumphs of the civil rights movement. These are the stories of Black doctors, entrepreneurs, and teachers who helped uplift the community, and remembrances of the countless individuals who gave richness and meaning to Hannibal’s everyday life. The vintage photographs and historical documents collected here are a celebration of these resilient people who built and sustained this corner of the Midwest, despite the immense obstacles they met at every turn.
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