The Devil’s Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail
by Kristen Green
Publication Date: Apr 12, 2022
List Price: $30.00
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Imprint: Seal Press
Publisher: Seal Press
Parent Company: Seal Press
The inspiring true story of an enslaved woman who liberated an infamous slave jail and transformed it into one of the nation’s first HBCUs.
In The Devil’s Half Acre, New York Times bestselling author Kristen Green draws on years of research to tell the extraordinary and little-known story of young Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman who blazed a path of liberation for thousands. She was forced to have the children of a brutal slave trader and live on the premises of his slave jail, known as the “Devil’s Half Acre.” When she inherited the jail after the death of her slaveholder, she transformed it into “God’s Half Acre,” a school where Black men could fulfill their dreams. It still exists today as Virginia Union University, one of America’s first Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
A sweeping narrative of a life in the margins of the American slave trade, The Devil’s Half Acre brings Mary Lumpkin into the light. This is the story of the resilience of a woman on the path to freedom, her historic contributions, and her enduring legacy.
“Rescued from the horror of slavery and the neglect of history, Mary Lumpkin’s life story in The Devil’s Half Acre is one of tenacity, endurance, courage, and achievement.” —Margot Lee Shetterly, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Hidden Figures