Mae Bertha Carter

Mae Bertha Carter was a sharecropper and mother of 13 who promised herself that her children would not pick cotton, but get the education she was denied. The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 called for the desegregation of all public schools, which enabled the Carters to be the first to integrate the Drew County Schools. After enrolling their children, they were startled by gunshots in the middle of the night. Their decision also led to the loss of jobs and their home. At the all-white schools, the Carter kids were tormented and shunned by the other students. Undeterred, they all graduated and went on to get college degrees. Mae Bertha Carter was an active NAACP member and leader in the Head Start program. She is featured in Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders and has an essay in Pieces from the Past written by Constance Curry.