W. Ralph Eubanks

Selected Works

The Land the Internet Era Forgot
Traveling the highways of America's least connected state

The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South
A powerful story about race and identity through the lens of one American family across three generations.

Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past
A gripping memoir of coming of age in Mississippi in the Civil Rights era, and a startling look at the once secret files of the State Sovereignty Commission. Like the renowned classics Praying for Sheetrock and North Toward Home, Ever Is a Long Time captures the spirit and feel of a small Southern town divided by racism and violence in the midst of the Civil Rights era. Part personal journey, part social and political history, this extraordinary book reveals the burden of Southern history and how that burden is carried even today in the hearts and minds of those who lived through the worst of it.

Eudora Welty's Jackson: "The Help" in Context
In its first weekend, The Help grossed $2.5 million. But I recommend Eudora Welty's "Where Is the Voice Coming From?", featured in The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty to show the full picture of a racially charged decade.

Color Lines
How DNA Ancestry Testing Can Turn Our Notions of Race and Ethnicity Upside Down

Michigan's National Poets
As a young man, I believed all the great poets were dead poets. I even took a train across Ireland to pay homage to the long dead Yeats, but every day as a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the late 1970s I encountered living poets. In fact, three of those poets now stand among the giants; each was or became U.S. Poet Laureate.

Escaping the Summer Heat in a Bookmobile
As a child, commentator W. Ralph Eubanks could always count on the air conditioned library on wheels. It helped transform him into a lifelong reader and eventually a writer.

Healing the Past
A Doctor's Search for His Twin Brother

Affirmative Action and After
Now is the time to reconsider a policy that must eventually change. But simply replacing race with class isnít the solution.

At Ole Miss, a Valedictory to the Old South
On the eve of the 2008 Presidential Debates at Ole Miss, the author's reflections on how Ole Miss and the South have changed

George Washington's Slaves
Why the flags at Mount Vernon flew at half mast on Sarah Johnson's death

Fathers and Sons
Richard Wright's final novel is a prescient look at the price of racial progress.

Whiteness Falls
Gentrification threatens to destroy the spirit of a Black neighborhood in Atlanta

Mississippi Yearning
Washington Post review of Doug Marlette's Magic Time

Still Learning From Dad
The author's reflection on thirty years of dreaming about the father he lost.

DNA is Only One Way to Spell Identity
Genetic testing suggests that white and black Americans have more in common than they suspect. Will this change our perceptions of race?

Separate But Unequal
An personal look at the impact of post-September 11 security precautions on the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Before He Had His "Dream," King Wrote a Letter
We must never forget King's dream; but let us also not forget the nightmares he struggled with before and after. And he captured those in the eloquent letter he wrote to eight Alabama clergymen from a Birmingham jail, a mere four months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

A Trip Back Home for a Lesson in Justice
An examination of the impact of an arrest in the Freedom Summer murders of 1964, 40 years later. Published January 10, 2005, in the Chicago Tribune

Are We Putting Reading and Democracy at Risk?
A look at the National Endowment for the Arts "Reading at Risk" survey, Published July 19, 2004 in the Chicago Tribune

I Know What He Means
In December 2002 Trent Lott proclaimed "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." While many were trying to discern what Trent Lott really meant, this article analyzed Lott's statement through the lens of the South of the Civil-Rights Era.

Selected Works

Traveling the highways of America's least connected state
When a writer took a DNA ancestry test, his notions of ethnicity were turned upside down.
A Son Relishes Counsel That Comes in Dreams
Has Capitol Hill, barricaded and fenced off, lost its small-town appeal?
A summer trip to Mississippi provides the author and his children a look at Freedom Summer 1964
Fewer of us are reading, and our leaders may have scared even more people away from the pastime.
A look at race and identity through three generations of one American Family
A gripping memoir of coming of age in Mississippi in the Civil Rights era.
Eudora Welty's "Where is the Voice Coming From?" helps show a full picture of Mississippi in 1963.
Four U.S. Poets Laureate have taught at the University of Michigan. The author shares his memories of three of them.
A look back at the joys of summer reading on an old bookmobile
Now is the time to reconsider a policy that must eventually change. But simply replacing race with class isnít the solution.
A look at the changing mind of the South
A Look at the Meaning of Racial Labels
A look at the significance of Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail
An analysis of the comments made by Trent Lott at Strom Thurmondís Birthday Party in 2002.
A Review of Abraham Verghese's "Cutting for Stone"
A review of Scott Casper's "Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon"
A Review of Richard Wright's A Father's Law
A review of Nathan McCall's "Them: A Novel
A Review of Doug Marlette's Magic Time