". . .Mears's book is lively and informative throughout and colorful in spots for presenting newly-discovered material bringing to life bustling and innovative communities." --Midwest Book Review
After the Civil War ended in 1865, many freed slaves in central Texas began new lives in or near the capital city. At least fifteen freedmen communities formed in Austin proper and nearby rural settlements, but most, for various reasons, had disappeared by 1928--when the city implemented a master plan that encouraged blacks to move into a single, racially-segregated section of town.
Covering the births and deaths of these communities, And Grace Will Lead Me Home also illuminates what life was like for African Americans who lived there. Michelle M. Mears's careful combing of archival sources fleshes out life's amenities as well as the essentials of life for freedmen and their families.
Michelle M. Mears, university archivist at the University of North Texas, has been researching African American history in the Austin area for many years and has published articles on the subject. A native of Austin, Texas, she has held archivist and librarian positions with Scott and White Hospital in Temple, the Texas Historical Commission in Austin, and the Research Medical Library at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.