Greta de Jong, professor of history, was co-awarded the 2017 Willie Lee Rose Prize for her book You Can't Eat Freedom: Southerners and Social Justice after the Civil Rights Movement.
De Jong's book examines struggles for racial and economic justice in southern plantation communities after the 1960s. The award, which is sponsored by the Southern Association for Women Historians, highlights the "best book of the year on any topic in southern history written by a woman (or women)."
The recognition holds significant value for de Jong, who was inspired by Willie Lee Rose's work.
"Willie Lee Rose's book Rehearsal for Reconstruction (1964) was one of the first books I read as a graduate student after coming to the United States to study for a PhD in the 1990s," de Jong said. "I loved Rose's book and I have tried to model my own scholarship on hers, so this award feels very special to me."
De Jong is currently on sabbatical in Boston conducting research for her next book, which examines the tensions that emerged around notions of family, community and justice in the era of school segregation.