Delta Rainbow

The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson

by Sally Palmer Thomason,

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781496806642
  • 9781496806673
  • 9781496806659

Betty Bobo Pearson (b. 1922), a seventh-generation, plantation-born Mississippian, defied her cultural heritage--and caused great personal pain for her parents and herself--when she became an activist in the civil rights movement. Never fearing to break the mold in her search for the "best," in her nineties she remains a strong, effective leader with a fun-loving, generous spirit.

When Betty was eighteen months old, a train smashed into the car her mother was driving, killing Betty's beloved grandfather and severely injuring her grandmother. Thrown onto the engine's cow catcher, Betty lived and did not remember the accident. She did, however, grow up to fulfill her grandmother's prediction: "Betty, God reached down and plucked you from in front of that train because he has something very special he wants you to do with your life."

In 1943, twenty-one-year-old Betty, soon to graduate from the University of Mississippi, received a full tuition scholarship to Columbia Graduate School in New York City. Ecstatic, she rushed home to tell her parents. "ABSOLUTELY NOT. There is no way I'll allow my daughter to live in Yankee Land," her father replied. After fierce argument and much door slamming, Betty could not defy her father. But she had to show him she was her own person. Her nation was at war--so Betty joined the Marines.

After the war, Betty married Bill Pearson and became mistress of Rainbow Plantation in the Delta. In 1955, she attended the Emmett Till trial (accompanied by her close friend and budding civil rights activist Florence Mars) and was shocked by the virulent degree of racism she witnessed there. Seeing her world in a new way, she became a courageous and dedicated supporter of the civil rights movement. Her activities severely fractured her close relationship with her parents. Yet, as a warm friend and bold, persuasive leader, Betty made an indelible mark in her church, in the Delta communities, in the lives of the people she employed, and in her beautiful garden at Rainbow.

  • University Press of Mississippi; June 2016
  • ISBN 9781496806673
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Delta Rainbow
  • Author: Sally Palmer Thomason; Jean Carter Fisher (other)
  • Imprint: University Press of Mississippi
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781496806642
  • 9781496806673
  • 9781496806659

In The Press

"This is the intimate, tell-it-all account of the life and career of one of the most remarkable women whom I have ever known. If Mississippi had had more people of conscience and courage like Betty Bobo Pearson and her friend, Florence Mars, we would have spared ourselves much unnecessary grief in the past, as we struggled with the issue of race. But this intriguing book is not just about race. It is an enlightening and inspiring insight into the character and values of one who was always true to herself and, as a result, to everyone else."

--William Winter

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781496806642
  • 9781496806673
  • 9781496806659