"We Cannot Walk Alone:" Images and History of the African-American Community.
Lafayette County, Mississippi. An "Open Doors Exhibition." April through August 2003.






Arts & Crafts



Belma Mitchell Family
History by Mary Etta Mitchell Martin

"My name is Mary Etta Mitchell Martin, the grand-daughter of Belma Mitchell and Cynthia Morgan who were married by 'jumping the broom,' an African custom in the late 1800's...Both were born in Lafayette County near the southwest corner of Thacker Height Community. Belma, the son of a slave, begat six sons: Henry, Berkley, Olonzo, Johnny, Hosea & child 6; and five daughters: Rosa, Addie, Narciss, Tennessee (Tinmie) and Odessa...A large family of children was desired for economic reasons--to help with farm work. The children were taught by their parents since there was very little formal training in schools. The children were carried to church in wagon regularly each first Lords day of the month: it was there they were reinforced to be honest, and respectful and to love everybody.

My father, Berkley Mitchell, the second son of Belma and Cynthia Mitchell, had three wives: Sally Carethers, Millia Hewlett and Mama [Miller]...Sally Carethers bore him 5 sons:

Belma Mitchell, page two
Belma Mitchell, page three

Return to Families & Individuals


University of Mississippi Libraries

Special Collections

Open Doors

Civil Rights Exhibitions