Joe William Trotter Jr.

Joe William Trotter Jr., is Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, Carnegie Mellon University, and author of Coal, Class, and Color: Blacks in Southern West Virginia.

Listed in: Ohio and Regional · African American Studies · Appalachian Studies · Sociology · Memoir




Keeping Heart · A Memoir of Family Struggle, Race, and Medicine
By Otis Trotter · Introduction by Joe William Trotter Jr.

Organized around the life histories, medical struggles, and recollections of Otis Trotter and his thirteen siblings, Keeping Heart is a personal account of an African American family’s journey north during the second Great Migration.

“The saga of Otis Trotter and his siblings is an inspiration for anyone with an ounce of empathy. Raised by a widowed mother, they were forced to overcome the debilitating legacy of racial, economic, and political oppression to achieve meaningful, prosperous lives. In many ways their history could serve as a metaphor for African American history. The ‘Trotter Fourteen’ seized control of their destinies through initiative, intelligence, dogged persistence, and by taking care of one another. The Trotter family’s courageous struggle to succeed against improbable odds will uplift the spirit of everyone who reads this book.”

Ronald L. Lewis, Robbins Chair and Professor of History Emeritus, West Virginia University