Jones Wins Arkansas Historical Association Book Award

Dr. Kelly Houston Jones ATU
Dr. Kelly Houston Jones

Arkansas Tech University faculty member Dr. Kelly Houston Jones is the winner of the 2022 John William Graves Book Award from the Arkansas Historical Association.

Jones won the award for her book “A Weary Land: Slavery on the Ground in Arkansas.” The 284-page tome is described by publisher University of Georgia Press as “the first book-length study of Arkansas slavery in more than 60 years.”

The description goes on to state that the book “looks at the lives of bonded Black Arkansans, their relationship with the land they farmed and the ways in which they created a new culture for themselves out of what was arguably the harshest phase of American slavery.”

The Graves Award was established in 2015 and is presented biennially for the best book-length historical non-fiction study that focuses on any aspect of the history of race relations in Arkansas or of the history of African Americans in Arkansas. The honor includes a prize of $1,000 and a certificate presented at the annual conference of the Arkansas Historical Association.

Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Master of Arts degree from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

A member of the ATU faculty since 2018, Jones is an assistant professor of history. She has been promoted to associate professor of history effective July 1, 2022.

Jones teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on topics such as Civil War and Reconstruction, Southern women’s history, the history of Arkansas and African American history.

Learn more about “A Weary Land” at

Learn more about the ATU Department of History and Political Science at