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Chapter 2 Excerpt

Mississippi, Arkansas, 1904-1945

Daisy A. Miles was born in Cary, Mississippi on May 1, 1904. Even as a child, she was dignified and very smart. Daisy had a way about her that caused adults to view her as though she were a tiny adult. She took well to church activities and participated in many of their functions. She liked to be punctual and wanted to prove that she was well received in a culture that often rejected both women and people of color.

The Miles-Sharp family was mulatto, a mixture of black and Indian heritage. Based on how they were raised, the family was very close with one another. The family stuck together through difficult times.

Daisy had four sisters; Essie, Matilda, Lillian, Patty; and two brothers; Robert and what the family affectionately had named “Mon”. When Mon was only four years old, he died of heatstroke after playing on one of the hottest days of the year.

The family was devastated with the young lost and so the siblings became closer knit than they had been before.

Daisy’s sister, Essie, although younger than Daisy, was often mistaken as her twin. The resemblance between the two was uncanny with their same complexion and features, and the folks around town were quick to tell them as such.

“Y’all ain’t twins?” was asked with a bafflement that both annoyed and pleased the sisters.

“Nah, sir” or “Nah, ma’am” were their repeated response to the folks that would ask such a proscribed question.

As a teenager, Essie contracted tuberculosis. During the 20’s through the 40’s, TB patients were isolated from their family and were not allowed contact with other people. TJ Miles had refused to build a separate room for the sick young woman, thus she was sent to another state to live with other relatives.

Essie’s illness progressed unfortunately, and was to the point where she had to have her lung removed. Despite the fact that she tired easily, Essie had stayed self-sufficient and had lived a relatively healthy life.

Whereas Essie was her “twin”, Daisy’s sister, Matilda, had been her best friend. The two sisters would do almost everything together. Their bond would sometimes threaten other family members, but Daisy and Matilda would reassure them that their whole family was loved just as equally.

Lillian was a bit of a mystery. She was a homemaker and felt she held responsibility for her other siblings. Her education stopped when she was only in the eighth grade. She later would become a stay at home mother and dutiful wife.

Robert, the only male among many sisters, was regarded as a nice young man with a great sense of humor. He had beautiful, thick hair that some family members enjoyed braiding every once in awhile. He was a sympathetic person who the family appreciated.

The youngest daughter, Patty, was darker than most of her caramel colored siblings, yet she had such a sweet disposition that her skin color became the last trait that defined her. All the Miles relatives were protective of her.

Daisy and her siblings, as they grew older and left home, would often stay in touch with one another even when each of them were hundreds of miles away.

Next Chapter: Chapter 4 Excerpt