The Women of Haywood, Their Lives, Our Legacy, a new book about four professional African American women in Haywood County, Tennessee, is set for release August 12. A celebration and reception will be held from 3 - 5 p.m., at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville.
Almost 20 years in the making, the collection of four oral history interviews is interspersed with essays from area scholars and reflections from local residents. This is the seventh book by Haywood County native Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson.
The book is based on interviews with Susie Ella Taylor Ashworth, Nola Walker Bond, Mayme Dell Rives Bowles Dotson and Eva James Davis Rawls. Bond Hopson interviewed these ladies while a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University in the 90s,
“These women used their lives and talents to make us and the world better," says Bond Hopson. "This book simply tries to chronicle how and what made them great. I think their stories will tickle and bless your heart.”
Nola Walker Bond, an activist/teacher/businesswoman, was killed in a traffic accident in 1998 and Eva Rawls, one of the first African American registered nurses in Brownsville, died earlier this year. Mayme Dotson, who taught first-grade at the Douglass Elementary School for 43 years, lives in Nashville and Susie Ashworth, who retired after 58 years as a beautician, lives in Brownsville.
The book’s foreword was written by Brownsville businesswoman Cynthia Rawls Bond and features essays from Dr. Dorothy Granberry, Dr. Norma J. Burgess and Dr. Jo Zanice Bond, all scholars with Haywood County ties. Other contributors include Elma Bond Rogers, Greta V. Sanders, Laura Pruiett Smith, Dorothy Mann Bond, Louvern Tucker, John Ashworth, Dr. Thomas Averyheart and John M. and Barbara Bond. The book is self-published by Touched By Grace Publications and profits will stay in Haywood County to benefit scholarships, women’s empowerment and historic preservation.
During the reception, Bond Hopson will be signing copies and there will also be an opportunity for guests to make videotaped tributes. The book is approximately 160 pages and will be available in paperback ($24.95) and limited edition hardback ($34.95).