Lyn Stafford

Lyn Stafford

Lyn Stafford grew up in Birmingham among great aunts and uncles whose stories—including tales about the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and World Wars I and II—inspired her to “love Southern history and spend time in musty archives trying to solve history’s puzzles.” Her research into the murder of her great grandfather in a mine—along with the mystery of how her best friend lost her hand in a dynamite blast—led her to focus on Margaret, a small mining community in St. Clair County, just north of Birmingham, which was established in 1908 as a residential community for people who worked at the Alabama Fuel and Iron Company’s steel plant and in the St. Clair coal mines. What Stafford discovered about Margaret inspired her to write a book, The Road to Margaret: A Story of Hope and Survival in the Industrial South. The book opens in frontier America in the 1800s and chronicles the lives of two very different families—a Black Native American family and the author’s own white immigrant family—who all lived through the bombings, murders, and racial discrimination during the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.

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