Faces of the Great Migration: Henrietta Dotson-Williams — ‘My whole fight has been to bring people together because we’re not’ – News – Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Henrietta Dotson-Williams, 77, was 6 years old when her family boarded a train to Chicago in 1946, leaving her hometown of Vaiden, Mississippi, behind.

She chuckled at the memory of being excited for the roughly eight-hour train ride because they’d packed a “feast” of fried chicken, fruit and pound cake.

“I didn’t realize we were in the rear of the train. I was just happy to be riding anywhere,” she recalled, her smile fading slightly. “Not until later did I realize why.”

In the South, Dotson-Williams’ father and grandfather were sharecroppers, farming land that belonged to someone else and taking a portion of the yield. Dotson-Williams said in her father’s case, half of what was harvested went to the…

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