Author Lee A. Drake’s New Book, “A Firebell in the Night”, is an Enlightening Exploration of Black life in St. Louis, Missouri in the Mid- to-Late Nineteenth Century

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Author Lee A. Drake’s new book “A Firebell in the Night” is a detailed and fascinating study of Afro-American culture, society, and accomplishments in the early years of the city of St. Louis before, during, and after the Civil War. The essential work of dedicated Negro preachers, educators, and investors, both free and slave, established the foundation of a vibrant society despite the inevitable friction with the city’s white majority.

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Lee A. Drake, a Vietnam veteran with a thirty-four-year career as a high school photography and art teacher in St. Louis County who enjoys golf, riding his Harley, and shooting at the range, has completed his book “A Firebell in the Night”: a historical account of the significant black leaders and substantial issues concerning race, slavery, free blacks, and white culture in the city as it came to terms with its colored population.

When searching for books about black lives in St. Louis, most books start around the 1940’s or 50’s. They reflect the lives of black folks who went to Beaumont, Vashon, Soldan, or other institutions that they were permitted to attend in what was then a segregated St. Louis.

There have been blacks in St. Louis since its inception and founding. They worked on the riverboats, they were draymen, laborers, laundresses, and servants; they helped establish St. Louis. They were slaves and ‘free’. They endured the perils of the Civil War and its aftermath. They were citizens of St. Louis, with their own culture and society that included both ordinary folks and members of the black aristocracy.

Who were the black folks that helped establish St. Louis and its history? There is very little recorded history about them. Where did they live? What did they do for a living? What about their social lives and their interactions with each other and the white residents of St. Louis?

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Lee A. Drake’s well-researched account brings black culture and society in nineteenth-century St. Louis, Missouri to vivid life in this fascinating portrait of a Civil War-era Southern city.

Readers who wish to experience this thought-provoking and enlightening work can purchase“A Firebell in the Night” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble.

For additional information or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708.

About Page Publishing:

Page Publishing is a traditional New York-based full-service publishing house that handles all the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Page Publishing knows that authors need to be free to create - not bogged down with logistics like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes, and the like. Its roster of accomplished authors and publishing professionals allows writers to leave behind these complex and time-consuming issues to focus on their passion: writing and creating. Learn more at

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Nichole Hoffman
Page Publishing
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