THE LITTLE PROFESSOR OF PINEY WOODS by Beth Day

THE LITTLE PROFESSOR OF PINEY WOODS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A stirring story of a life well spent is given immediacy and impetus by a recall of incidents and inclusion of personal associations. In 1909, Missouri born, Northern educated and a Negro, laurence Jones came to Braxton, Mississippi, to help the forgotten people of the backwoods achieve a higher standard of living through a vocational school. As founder and fund raiser, he weathered local suspicion among Negroes and whites, and through his skillful tact and true heart won the support of both. His first load of lumber came from a white saw mill owner, his land from a Negro who had seen something of the world. The story of the birth and growth of the Piney Woods Country Life School is one of excursions North to raise money- with concerns by school quartets; of help and hurt -- Jones faced a war-crazed lynch mob in 1918 and saved his life with a message for which the mob thanked him. There was Dr. Jones' devoted wife whose death left jobs it took six people to fill; John Webster, whose support at a time when Vardaman was rousing people in the name of white supremacy brought the white community in line, one-time students who returned to teach; and most of all, the enduring patience and will of the founder himself. Recognition of Dr. Jones' work came with a ""This is Your Life"" appearance and Jackson Day dinner. Sentiment and grit are ingredients to this account of a great work in brotherhood and education.

Publisher: Messner