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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS
Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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STORYTELLER LOCATION YEAR TOOK PLACE TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN HOW YOU HEARD
my mother aunts and uncles are the tellers of the story Leland and Greenville Mississippi 1930s my family is originally from mississippi and louisisana and arkansas I heard the story after viewing a photo of a woman in slave garments

After viewing a photograph of my great grandmother Mattie Blackman standing on the porch of what is now known as a shotgun house, in Leland Mississippi, I asked my mother, aunts and uncles who the old lady was that was sitting in the chair. And they told me that her name was Susie Fisher, and that she was the mother of my great grandmother. She was a former slave who was born in 1855 and died sometime in the early 1940's. I am not sure in which city in Mississippi that she was born, but I looked into the census records of 1870 and found only one person by the name who may have been her and that woman was living in Tchula, Holmes Mississippi at that time. It is both amazing and heartwarming for me to be able to view a part of my history in that photo. I was also told by my mother and aunts and uncles that Susie was a seamstress and that she made clothing for the family until her hand was bitten by a hog while attending to the feeding of them sometime in the early thirties. And even though she could no longer sew, she still had good aim. This was told by my uncle who laughed when he would tell this story about misbehaving. Thinking that he could get away with it because Susie was to old to run after him, she proved him wrong by throwing some object at him and striking him with perfect precision.

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Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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