The Road from Money takes you on a journey to the small town of Money, Mississippi; just after the turn of the 20th century. It is the story of Estella Reynolds, a young Negro girl, growing up in America’s deep South. You follow her life as she faces racism, segregation, exploitation, brutality and poverty. You watch as she finds the joy of family life, battles to get a good education, finds her first love and above all tries to figure out why things are the way they are. You enter a time after World War I and before the start of World War II. A time when automobiles were new and planes had just taken to the sky. The story is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, a flood, Prohibition; and a time when Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were President. The story also highlights the strengths of a people and many of America's weaknesses.
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Excerpt from The Road from Money
Author, Sylvester Boyd Jr.
He Shot Her!
Estella was shocked for the second time that day. How could this happen? And why? It was always the same answer....because the South was just that way. So what if it was just another Negro dead in the South. Once again, tears streamed down her face, as her grandfather and brother boarded the wagon. In silence, Paul turned the wagon around, and together the family rode on back to Money. The only sound came from Julia, who kept sighing, “Why, dear Lord? Why?”
Four days later it happened to be Sunday. It was also going to be the day of Mandy’s funeral. Paul had taken his sister’s body to the undertaker the night she was shot. Now the family dressed and ate quietly. Julia stood at the kitchen window, looking out to see a grey cloudy sky, “Sometimes I think some people have no feelings,” she said in a soft voice.
Paul answered, “They can take someone’s life, like it ain’t nothin’!”
“Lord have mercy....when will all this stop,” Julia asked with tears in her eyes. Estella knew there was nothing else to say.
“Y’all better be getting ready; Reverend Lockwood goin’ to start the service early today,” Paul told them.
As the family rode to the church, Estella continued to think about how Mandy had been killed. As the family filed into the church, Paul added, “I don’t want to go in...but I got to.”
Standing at the coffin, Julia said, “She look so peaceful.”
A few minutes later everyone took a seat in the pews near the front of the church, as Reverend Lockwood walked past the coffin and up to the pulpit, saying, “Let the service begin.” Everyone was shocked—there was a big smile on his face.
“I know you think this smile on my face is out of place on such a sad day. But today is not a day to be sad. It is a day to be glad. Our Sister Mandy is at peace. I am smiling because she ain’t goin’ to pick cotton in the hot sun no mo! She ain’t goin to be disrespected no mo! She ain’t goin’ to be poor no mo! She ain’t goin to say ...yes ma’am and yes sir, no mo because of the color of someone’s skin no mo! She ain’t goin’ to see no mo Negroes hanging from a tree! If only our world would be a place of peace, love, respect, and understanding. ‘cause Sister Mandy is in a place of peace and love!”
Everyone nodded, knowing the reverend was right, and suddenly Paul and his family felt at peace too. The reverend motioned for the choir to sing another hymn as the coffin was carried out the church’s front doors and to the small cemetery behind the church. As the four men gently lowered the coffin into the ground, the reverend said a prayer. Just as he finished, the sun came from behind the clouds, filling the sky with light. Pointing to the sky, Reverend Lockwood said, “Sister Mandy just got a new home!”