Growing Up Country

by Leslie J. Pollard Sr.


Book Details

The Triumphs and Tragedies of a Black Family in Rural Georgia

In every rural community, the country store is the focal point—a social outlet, a gathering place, a reliable provider. Matt Nelms, the patriarch of the Nelms family, owned a legendary store. Growing Up Country is a collection of stories about his family, from around 1890 to 1960. You’ll meet light-skinned Matt, whose color made him the subject of mistaken identity; firebrand Hattie, whose pride put her family in danger; intellectual Listervelt, who chased a forbidden love; brave Elizabeth, who defied convention to follow her own path of faith. You’ll meet the Whites who came to Matt’s store from Tisdell, as well as neighbors both Black and White whose colorful stories bring rural Georgia to life. From trash-talking checker champions to flawed preachers, from obedient sons and daughters to groundbreaking rebels, from the horrors of Jim Crow to the very beginnings of Civil Rights, this splendid book immerses you in the sights, sounds, laughter, and tears of the authentic Southern experience.


About the Author

Leslie J. Pollard Sr.

Leslie J. Pollard is a retired history professor. He is the author of Complaint to the Lord: Historical Perspectives on the African-American Elderly, published in 1996 by Susquehanna University Press. He and his wife Brenda live in Augusta, Georgia.