"We Cannot Walk Alone:" Images and History of the African-American Community.
Lafayette County, Mississippi. An "Open Doors Exhibition." April through August 2003.
Mary Penamon's father left his family when she was 3 years old. Her mother
Emma Bradley Sweeney married a man named
Jones. Said she remembered carrying brush to burn for light to study by.
Coal oil was 10c a gallon you couldn't afford it. About the 15 July when
hoeing was finished they would have two months of school. Then there were
two more months of school in winter. She attended Salem and Burt schools and
a little bit at Spring Hill. She said they walked two miles to school. She
was the oldest of 14. There was a creek to cross, and my grandmama's oldest
boy Johnny Slate carried her across. There were no grades in her day, and
the children stopped school around the sixth grade. She said when they had
lunch they ate tea cake made with sorghum, and when they came from school
they didn't go into the house until they had done their chores. They always
had cows and chickens. They had milk, butter and molasses for breakfast.