Stanley Nelson Lauded for Work Preserving Records of Violence Against Civil Rights WorkersHistorians in the News
tags: civil rights, historic preservation, Southern history
Stanley Nelson, noted author and former newspaper editor, is the winner of the 2023 Historic Preservation Award presented by the Natchez Historical Society, announced NHS President Maria Bowser at a recent board meeting.
The award honors individuals or organizations who have made a significant contribution to historic preservation or the study of history within the Natchez area.
Nelson said he is honored to be the recipient of the award.
“To understand who we are, we need to know who we were,” Nelson said. “That’s what I’ve tried to communicate, and I think that is among the goals of the Natchez Historical Society.”
Nelson was the longtime editor of Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, La. In 2011, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his local reporting to unravel a 1964 civil rights-era murder in Ferriday, as well as related unsolved murders.
Nelson now works with Professional-in-Residence Chris Drew on the Louisiana State University Manship School’s racial and criminal justice reporting programs.
Drawing on his work in community journalism, Nelson wrote two books on cold cases related to civil rights and the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana and Mississippi. His first book, “Devils Walking: Klan Murders Along the Mississippi River in the 1960s” (2016, LSU Press), exposes the rise in Louisiana and Mississippi of an underground Klan terrorist cell known as the Silver Dollar Group whose members carried silver dollars as a sign of unity.
His latest book, “Klan of Devils: The Murder of a Black Louisiana Deputy Sheriff” (2021, LSU Press), details the Klan attack on two Black deputies in Washington Parish, Louisiana, in 1965, resulting in the death of Deputy Oneal Moore.
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