CANCELLED: Book Talk with Kristen Green, author of 'The Devil's Half Acre'

May 15
University of Richmond, Boatwright Memorial Library, Seminar Room 1

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule this event soon.

Join the Friends of Boatwright Memorial Library for a talk by Richmond writer Kristen Green, author of The Devil’s Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail, scheduled for release on April 12, 2022.

This in-person event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Boatwright Memorial Library, supported by the University Library and School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

About the Book

Devil's Half Acre cover

The Devil’s Half Acre draws on Green’s years of research to tell the story of young Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman who blazed a path of liberation for thousands.

Born in 1832, Mary Lumpkin was forced to have the children of a brutal slave trader and live at his Richmond slave jail, known by enslaved people as the “Devil’s Half Acre.” In this destitute setting, she not only freed herself and her children — she managed to create something monumental. When Mary Lumpkin inherited the jail after his death, she transformed it into “God’s Half Acre,” a school where Black students could fulfill their dreams. It still exists today as Virginia Union University, one of America’s first Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A sweeping narrative of a life in the margins of the American slave trade, The Devil’s Half Acre brings Mary Lumpkin into the light. This is the story of the resilience of a woman on the path to freedom, her historic contributions, and her enduring legacy.

About the Author

Kristen Green headshot

Kristen Green is a reporter and the author of the New York Times bestseller Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County, which received the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction and the People’s Choice Award. She has worked as a journalist for two decades for newspapers including the Boston Globe, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She holds a master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and lives in Richmond. She recently penned an article about writing The Devil’s Half Acre for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.