All We Had Was Each Other

All We Had Was Each Other

The Black Community of Madison, Indiana
Don Wallis, Don Wallis, Darlene Hine
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/22/1998
Format: Hardback 8 color illus., 26 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-33428-2
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A remarkable, poignant collection." —Choice

This oral history of black Madison is an invaluable primary document for students, general readers, and scholars. Interestingly it illuminates the white side of Madison as much as it reveals about what transpired in the black community." —Darlene Clark Hine, from the Foreword

Twenty Black residents of a small Ohio River town here tell the stories of their lives. Madison, though in the North, had its cultural roots in the south, and for most of the twentieth century the town was strictly segregated. In their own words, Black men and women of Madison describe the deprivations of discrimination in their hometown: what it meant, personally and culturally, to be denied opportunities for participation in the educational, economic, political, and social life of the white community. And they describe how they created a community of their own, strong and viable, self-sustaining and mutually supportive of its members.

Author Bio

Don Wallis, a native of Madison, Indiana, is a writer, teacher, and editor of a country newspaper in Vevay, Indiana. He is the author of Harlan Hubbard and the River: A Visionary Life and editor of Payne Hollow Journal, Shantyboat Journal, and Oyo: An Ohio River Anthology.

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Table of Contents

I. All We Had Was Each Other

Elsie Perry Payne: We Belonged to the Community
Jim Lewis: Everybody Was My Family
John Coleman: Measures of Success
Pat Cosby: Grateful For My Blackness

II. The Struggle Makes You Strong
Evan Guess: Together in Strength
Betty Inskeep: Self Respect
Will Cosby: Hard Times and Good Times
Bill Guess: The Meaning of the Broadway School
Norval Johnson: The Story of My Life
Bernard Jenkins: They Needed Me, So I Stayed Home
Harriet Wells: Civil Rights
Frank Inskeep: Together We Did Some Good

III. The Nurturing Community

Chorus of Voices: Reverend Gaines Was Everything to Us
Carol Cosby Guess: The Community Made Me What I Am
Charles O’Banion: My Home
Grace Humes and John Humes: The Community Would Correct You
Norman O’Banion: Homemade Games
Mary Stewart, Sue Livers, Karen Douglas: Everybody’s Children
Allen Watson: Progress
Denise Carter: The Struggle Goes On