National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith

Source the Image:

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, photograph by C.M. Stieglitz, 1944.

Who was Lillian Smith?

Writer, social commentator, and traveler, Lillian Smith was an unabashed critic of racial segregation during the brutal era of Jim Crow. Born in Jasper, Florida, in 1897, Smith later moved with her family to Rabun County, Georgia, at seventeen. Smith’s best-known work, Strange Fruit, tells the story of an interracial couple, which, at the time, was a forbidden and controversial theme. Although Smith was often judged by her white peers, she continued to organize interracial conferences and even corresponded with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.

Continue reading about Lillian Smith in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Sample Primary Sources

Primary sources related to this historical topic are available from the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture and life.

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