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Goat CastleA True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South$
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Karen L. Cox

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635033

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635033.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Longing for Home

Longing for Home

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter Eleven Longing for Home
Source:
Goat Castle
Author(s):

Karen L. Cox

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635033.003.0012

The chapter follows Emily Burns from the Adams County Jail to the state penitentiary better known as Parchman. It describes what life was like for women at the prison by using prison blues songs written and sung by the women there in the 1930s. The songs were recorded in the prison sewing room where Emily/Sister learned this new skill. Mississippi governors held mercy courts at the prison from time to time and Emily begged for mercy and freedom. Two governors rejected her pleas, but Governor Paul B. Johnson believed her and granted a suspension of her sentence at this Christmastime mercy court and she was free to leave Parchman after serving 8 years of hard labor.

Keywords:   Emily/Sister, Parchman, Female prisoners, Prison blues, Mercy court, Governor Paul B. Johnson

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