Today marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and it’s also the official publication date of Sunday Dinner: Coming of Age in the Segregated South. In honor of that, I wrote an essay about Mary Jane Fairfield Hodges Perlina Green Scott, a wonderful woman from my childhood, and a beloved someone I never truly knew because of the terrible strictures of the society we came from.
She was born a slave, on the eve of the Civil War, and she died just before the American Civil Rights Movement. I knew her only as “Aunt Mary.” I wish our parallel but separate lives had allowed me to know her better. But now, at least, I have learned to call her by her proper name—as a restoration of her dignity and show of respect she very much deserved, and never won, for the 96 years of her life.
Thanks to the Nashville Scene for publishing my essay. If you’d like to read it, click here. But more importantly, go out and vote today.