Jesmyn Ward on Poverty and Racism in Mississippi

How Poverty and Racism Persist in Mississippi

The National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward reflects on choosing to raise her children in her home state, and how the forces that Martin Luther King Jr. fought against still shape its destiny.

By Jesmyn Ward

I how poor my family was until my maternal grandmother told me a story about sackcloth dresses and beans. I was in my 20s, and we were sitting in her kitchen, the tickle of cool air from the window air-conditioning unit barely on us, when she told me that while she was a child, her mother made dresses for her and her siblings from sackcloth, and that she was always disappointed because the sacks with pretty patterns were taken by the time she was given the opportunity to choose. Read more at The Atlantic.

Book Clubs favorite Jesmyn Ward’s latest award winning novel Sing, Unburied, Sing is on our Books in the Bag List.