NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn is working on a history book he calls a “passion project”: The story of the eight Black congressmen who represented South Carolina in the decades immediately following the Civil War.
Little, Brown and Company announced Wednesday that it has a deal with Clyburn for “The First Eight,” which does not yet have a release date. Clyburn, a Democrat first elected to Congress in 1992, is the first Black to represent South Carolina in the House of Representatives since George Washington Murray in the 1890s, when the Jim Crow segregation laws became fully entrenched in the South.
“The lives and legacies of these ‘unique eight’ have been known to me for some time," Clyburn said in statement, "but it is clear to me from my conversations in my home state and around the country, that their contributions and significances are not well known and appreciated nor are the devious and dubious circumstances and conditions that were made legal by state and federal actions that ended Black representation in the South.
“I felt compelled to share their stories and highlight the lessons they teach. This is a passion project for me,” he said.
Clyburn's other books include “Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.”