Julia Mood Peterkin’s stories of plantation life and realistic African American characters captured the world’s attention. Born in Laurens County on Halloween in 1880. Her mother died when she was two years old.
After graduating from Converse College, she moved to Calhoun County to become a teacher. In 1903, she married William George "Willy" Peterkin, who was a rich cotton planter. The Lang Syne Plantation employed about 400 African American workers. This community’s culture became a source for Julia’s stories.
The scholar W.E.B. DuBois stated, “She is a Southern white woman, but she has the eye and the ear to see beauty and to know truth." Julia won the Pulitzer Prize for Novel/Literature in 1929 for her third novel Scarlet Sister Mary.
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