328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 14 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5435-5
Published: February 2020
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5436-2
Published: January 2020
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Though Headen left few personal records, Jill D. Snider recreates the life of this extraordinary man through historical detective work in newspapers, business and trade publications, genealogical databases, and scholarly works. Mapping the social networks his family built within the Presbyterian church and other organizations (networks on which Headen often relied), she also reveals the legacy of Carthage's, and the South's, black artisans. Their story shows us that, despite our worship of personal triumph, success is often a communal as well as an individual achievement.
About the Author
Jill D. Snider is a historian and writer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
For more information about Jill D. Snider, visit the Author Page.
"There are no references to Lucean Arthur Headen on Wikipedia; nor did he leave behind significant personal papers. Yet this black inventor and entrepreneur, born in racially segregated North Carolina in 1879 among formerly enslaved artisans, deserves study. Local historian Jill Snyder's biography reconstructs him."--Nature
“Lucean Arthur Headen provides an example of how to use broader historical context to investigate and describe the biographical details of one person’s life. . . . Through this method, Snider has written a history . . . that otherwise may have remained less visible.” --Journal of Southern History
“Exceptional biography…Snider not only recovers Lucean Arthur Headen’s multifaceted life but captures the world around him in vivid detail.” – The Journal of African American History
"This is one of the best black inventor biographies I have read in quite some time. Jill D. Snider deftly unearths the life of Lucean Arthur Headen from sources that can be difficult to find--something that makes writing about African American people of this era challenging. This is an impressive work of history and biography."--Rayvon Fouché, author of Game Changer: The Technoscientific Revolution in Sports
"Forging a diverse coalition of allies, Lucean Arthur Headen learned to thrive as an independent African American inventor, international entrepreneur, and social advocate in an era of Jim Crow segregation, corporate R&D, the Great Depression, and two world wars. Jill Snider’s absorbing biography will help readers understand this remarkable man in the context of his times."--Eric S. Hintz, Smithsonian Institution