On the Land of My Father

A Farm Upbringing in Segregated Mississippi


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About the Book

This book evokes a time and place that is central to the American experience, a past to be remembered. This simple and direct narrative of family values and connections to the land is full of description. Land ownership bonded a black family to its white neighbors in segregated southern Mississippi in the 1940s. The author’s father and brothers served in segregated armed forces to protect their country, and returned home to a segregated society. Working the land gave its workers identity, pride, and a feeling of competence. Education provided independence and freedom, and religion was the glue that held the family together.

About the Author(s)

Bevelyn Charlene Exposé is a retired ICU registered nurse. She lives in Sumrall, Mississippi.

Bibliographic Details

Bevelyn Charlene Exposé
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7850-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1352-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi

Preface  1

Chapter 1

On Papa’s Farm, in Mama’s Kitchen  9

Chapter 2

Our Own Coloring Book  48

Chapter 3

Brothers and Sisters  68

Chapter 4

Horse and Buggy Courtship  97

Chapter 5

Church-­Going  109

Chapter 6

School Days  127

Chapter 7

The Family  160

Epilogue: Full Circle  197

Index  201

Book Reviews & Awards

“I have read with pleasure Bevelyn Exposé’s autobiography, On the Land of My Father, and I am delighted to give her project my wholehearted endorsement. Ms. Exposé writes with grace, clarity, and a touch of magic that exposes verities of black life in Mississippi that are not common knowledge”—George I. Shirley, The University of Michigan; “Bevelyn Exposé’s clear-eyed account of growing up in segregated Mississippi during the 1940s and 1950s gives voice to experiences and contributions rarely acknowledged in the records of 20th century American history.”—Cherylene Lee, playwright; “Warm, personal account of growing up on a pre-integration cotton farm in South Mississippi. Insightful, revealing, and heartwarming demonstration of determination, achievement, and perseverance.”—Sebe Dale, Jr., attorney.