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Pigs’ Feet and A Satin Dress

(by June P. Middleton)

My mother, Geraldine Bernice Abbott Middleton, was born in 1918, five months before World War I ended and five decades before Black women could vote. She attended the historic Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., the first public high school in the United States for Black children, which developed generations of high-achievers, including W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate (from Harvard) and a founder of the NAACP; superstar entertainer Jennifer Hudson; and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Although my mom looked like a beautiful, fragile doll, she played basketball on the all-girls team there.