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This article was published online on February 11, 2021.
you were born on July 9, 1964, in Greenwood, Mississippi, delivered into the cradle of white supremacy. Listening to the stories of terror and hope woven into the story of your birth used to frighten me. The year before you entered the world, white supremacists were blocking food aid to Greenwood, trying to starve Black sharecroppers who were demanding their civil rights. You were carried home in the middle of Freedom Summer, right down the street from where Fannie Lou Hamer led a movement that included your neighbors and cousins to demand self-determination. You suckled and wailed, oblivious to your membership in the final group of Black babies born under Jim Crow. There were many such children, born just on the wrong edge of the fight for freedom. But only one of them was my mama...