In the Name of Mississippi

How do you want me to tell you this story? I could tell it my mama’s way, hiding the truth of it so you’ll feel more comfortable. Louise McClintock Owen could declare in all honesty, “I love my family,” while her peckerwood kin hooted and hollered in the background. Her own mama—my grandmother, if you want to call her that—nicknamed my daddy, “Mr. Bojangles,” because he was lean and lanky, his joints popping with pent-up anger. The man never sang a note in his life, but he was black, so that was enough for Grandmaw McClintock. Mama’s family, following in Grandmaw’s muddy footprints, allowed that I was, “Boo-Boo,” as in: sister Louise done made a boo-boo.

 

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