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home : community : community July 25, 2021

5/20/2021 11:31:00 AM
Mrs. Amanda Bynum celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday May 18, courtesy of Mike Owen
Mrs. Amanda Bynum celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday May 18, 2021.

photo courtesy of Mike Owen

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

To tell you how different times were when she was born 100 years ago, Mrs. Amanda Bynum says she was born on the Graham Plantation.  Ir was, of course, years after slavery had been outlawed in the mid-1800s, but it was in the heart of the Jim Crow era when the relationship of blacks and whites was one of servant and master despite the change in legal status.

Blacks were generally called the n-word; the polite term used by whites was 'colored people.'  Like many African-Americans, she made a good part of her living serving the white family and raising white children as well as her own:  "I raised them white children, too, but not as many as the black ones."  

Life was hard, not just because of prejudice and segregation but in other ways.  As we talked on Wednesday (May 19th), she recalled picking cotton: "It would tear your hands up, and you'd work all day and not make much of nothing."  

She went to school at Tucker's Grove (there was a school for blacks there) but it was only an elementary school, so her formal education ended at the eighth grade.  Tucker's Grove has been an important part of her life--from attending Tucker's Grove Methodist Church to the annual camp meeting.  "I got to where I couldn't go any more, but I loved it!"  

Her favorite food was and still is ham & eggs and grits.  She also enjoyed chitterlings.  "It takes at least two days to get them good clean, but I like mine with a little color left," she laughed.

She lost her husband Thomas in 1992 and has been living where she does now on East Pine Street since 1993.  

Mrs. Bynum had 12 children; only three of them are still living.  She has 58 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 26 great-great grandchildren.

She has always like to read.  Asked about her favorite book, she reponded quickly, "the Bible!"

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