A place’s character is found within its people, and the people from in and around Monroe, Louisiana have had plenty to say during the past 100 years. In The Monroeians, author Dr. James O. McHenry presents a comprehensive collection of the life stories of the Monroe area’s Black citizens, creating a wide-ranging and stimulating study of the people who occupied the region during some of the most tumultuous times in American history.
Detailed and formal, these oral southern histories of Black citizens of the Monroe and northeast Louisiana region provide accounts of their life stories and portray their experiences in various aspects, such as living in the segregated south, childhood and family history, work, education, religion, relationships, and movement from one place to another. The stories also include some analyses of the subjects’ character and intimate details about their encounters with events.
The biographies tell a lot about an ethnic people in a general time and place, spanning more than 100 years. The stories included in The Monroeians inspire, encourage, challenge, and give hope. These people helped to cause major changes because they overcame obstacles, took risks, and inadvertently set examples of love, uplift, scholarship, and perseverance.