In the young life of Essie Mae, she had a rough childhood. She went through beatings from her cousin, George Lee, and was blamed for burning down her house. Finally Essie Mae got the nerve to stand up for herself and her baby sister, Adline as her parents were coming in from their work. Her dad put a stop to the mistreatment by having her and her sister watched by their Uncle Ed. One day while Essie Mae's parents were having an argument, she noticed that her mothers belly was getting bigger and bigger and her mom kept crying more and more. Then her mother had a baby, Junior, while the kids were out with their Uncle Ed. Her uncle took her to meet her other two uncles and she was stunned to learn that they were white. She was confused by this but when she asked her mom, Toosweet, about it her mom would not give her an answer one way or the other. Once her mom had the baby, her father started staying out late more often. Toosweet found out that her dad was seeing a woman named Florence. Not long after this, her mother was left to support her and her siblings when her father left. Her mother ended up having to move in with family until she could obtain a better paying job in the city. As her childhood went on she started school and was very good at her studies. When she was in the fourth grade, her mom started seeing a soldier named Raymond. Not too long after this, her mother got pregnant and had James. Her mother and Raymond had a rocky relationship. When James was born, Raymond's mother came and took the baby to raise because she said that raising four children was too much of a burden for a single parent to handle. Raymond went back to the service for a while but then when he came back he and Toosweet had another baby. Raymond's brothers helped him build a new house for them to live in and they brought James back to live with them. During this time Essie Mae was working for the Claiborne family and she was... [continues]
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