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Our Faces Our Words by Lillian Smith

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Lillian Smith (1897-1966) was a writer who grew up in a middle-class Florida family that moved when she was a teenager to their second home in the North Georgia Mountains when her father's business failed. After studying music and spending some time in China, she returned home and became the director of her family's summer camp. Soon she and Paul Snelling, another Georgia native who worked at the camp became closeted lovers. Together they edited a literary magazine that changed its name three times. In 1944 her novel, Strange Fruit, that took its name from the practice of lynching, became a best seller. The U. S. Postal Service banned it as being too controversial until Eleanor Roosevelt convinced her husband to reverse their ruling. In 1949 she published Killers of the Dream, a collection of anti-racism essays that established her as essentially the only prominent white native Southerner, living in the South, publicly advocating complete equality for African-Americans. This book, illustrated with photographs, is her reflections upon the civil rights movement.