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History Review    



Robeson County, North Carolina
Images of America series
by K. Blake Tyner
Arcadia, 2003
Trade paper, $ 19.99 (128 pages)
ISBN: 0-7385-1523-X
  The Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing is a great venue for historical societies and local historians to present an entertaining slice of their area through pictures, without overwhelming the reader with in depth historical text. I have yet to read one and not be left with the desire to explore the region with a trip or more reading. That is how Blake Tyner's Robeson County left me.

Blake Tyner started this book as an independent study project for his history major at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke. He dug into his rich collection of family photos, then expanded to visiting other families in the county as well as historical museums with material for his research. So many community photos are lost as families die out without seeing the value of these captured moments of history. Tyner's project was a major step in preserving pictorial history as well as the oral history collected in his visits.

Robeson County, located in eastern North Carolina, is the largest county in the state. Created in 1787, the county was already inhabited by the Lumbee tribe, the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River. The white settlers, many of Scottish heritage, and the African American community make up the other two races in the county. Fort Bragg is located there.

The book is broken down in to eight chapters: home life and family; work life; religious life; education; government; military; Robeson County citizens; and social and community events.

Many see these books as exciting as watching the neighbor's vacation movies; however, the photographs can create a voyeuristic journey into the architecture, fashion, day life, and values of a community. Robeson County leaves me wanting -- to learn more about "The Lowery War," the Lumbee tribe, and the "State of Robeson."


Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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