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My Remembers: A Black Sharecropper's Recollections of the Depression

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

In 1929, near Plano, Texas, fifteen-and-a-half-pound Eddie Stimpson, Jr., was born to a nineteen-year-old father and a fifteen-year-old mother. The boy, his two sisters, and his mother all grew up together, living lives void of luxuries, but full of country pleasures.

The details of ordinary family life and community survival include descriptions of cooking, farming, gambling, visiting, playing, doctoring, hunting, bootlegging, and picking cotton, as well as going to school, to church, to funerals, to weddings, to Juneteenth celebrations. Using simple folk speech and spelling patterns, Sarge good-naturedly reveals what life was like for a black family during the Depression.

This book will be of extraordinary value to folklorists, historians, sociologists, and anyone who enjoys good storytelling.

This exhibit spotlights pages of the book and the entire book can be borrowed from the Plano Public Library or Purchased on Amazon.

Exhibit & Activities:

  1. Draw a picture of your favorite story told by Sarge in this book.

  2. How old was Eddie Stimpson when he came to Plano?

  3. How did Eddie Stimpson earn the name "Sarge"?

  4. Are there any experiences you share with Sarge?

  5. When did the Depression take place?

  6. What led to the Depression?

  7. What type of work does a sharecropper do?

  8. What was something special that Sarge remembers his dad doing for his mother?

  9. Who is Ruth?

  10. Who is Bessie Lee?

  11. What kind of games did Sarge play in the winter when he couldn't go outside?

  12. Do you know how to play any of the games Sarge mentioned?

  13. What is rag ball? Which sport does it remind you of?

  14. Why did Sarge want to write this book?

  15. What can we learn from Sarge?


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