Equal Ground

Program 3 • 29 mins


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Free Podcast Available

Join David Freudberg for a stirring, wrenching, and remarkable tale of human endurance, spirit, and strength. Travel back to the era of civil rights in Mississippi as Mae Bertha Carter, a former sharecropper and mother of 13 children, describes her struggle to have her daughters schooled with white children. This inspiring woman fended off gunshots, harassment, and unrelenting hostility to ensure her children would not be sharecroppers and, amazingly, not grow to hate those who opposed them. Her daughters talk emotionally about how they survived daily torment to become successful professionals, the lessons instilled by their parents that still guide them today, and what it meant to play such a significant, yet unknowing role in the changing of a country. Humankind also talks to a white classmate of the Carters and to Connie Curry, the author of a book about Mae Bertha “Silver Rights.” Family, fortitude, and the will of the soul. This is an unforgettable half-hour.


  • What is the life of a sharecropper like?
  • What did it feel like to be the only black children in an all white school during desegregation?
  • What was like to go to school and suffer the hatred bred by generations of racism?
  • How does a family resist the urge to return the hatred that was directed at them?

I didn’t have no hate. Not a day. Hate will destroy you. Hate’ll bring you down.”

—Mae Bertha Carter, former sharecropper


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