"We Cannot Walk Alone:" Images and History of the African-American Community.
Lafayette County, Mississippi. An "Open Doors Exhibition." April through August 2003.






Arts & Crafts



Taylor Family
Excerpts from transcribed oral history of Tommie Wendell Taylor by  Richard S. Griffin

The union of Mary Avant and Thomas Taylor was in 1889...Mary was born to Mary Ruffin and Fred Avant on the 1st of April in the year 1868. Thomas was born to Marandi and Wiley Taylor sometime during the year 1853. Thomas' parents were born slaves. Thomas was also born a slave, and did not gain his freedom until the year 1865...Mary's parents were born during slavery, yet Mary was born free. Mary's father (Fred Avant) was sold out of Richmond, Virginia before the Civil war. He came to the Taylor, Mississippi area, where he met Margaret Ruffin (Mary's mother). Margaret was from Oxford, Mississippi.

Thomas Taylor's father, Wiley Taylor, was from Baltimore, Maryland. He was sold to someone from Taylor, Mississippi...Wiley lived with a white man, whose last name was Taylor, and as was the custom in those days, when he became a free man he took the name of the white man he had been living with as his own...
Taylor Family, page two
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Mary Avant Taylor. Date and photographer unknown.

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