A midwife delivered Nancy Stephenson on July 2, 1933, in DeWalt, Texas. She was at least the third generation of her family to be born there. Like her grandmother and aunts, she worked in domestic service for members of the Dew family. By the 1950s, Nancy married another native-born DeWalt resident Sammie Woods (1927-2004). Their son George Wayne was born in 1952 and their daughter Debra Ann in 1954.
Ms. Nancy resided in or near that community for nearly 90 years. As a black woman born under strict racial segregation in a rural community, she experienced limited opportunities. Yet under conditions which might rightly breed resentment and discontent, Ms. Nancy created a life of contentment and grace, which she shared generously with acquaintances of all races.
This exhibit not only celebrates the life of an amazing woman, but also the supporting community of other black residents. Oral history interviews provide first-hand accounts of those who succeeded against all societal odds.