Jamie w/ Dress, Pigeon Hill, 1988

“That was my favorite dress—it was the only dress I had. It was not a happy childhood because of all the partying and fighting when dad was with Terry. That’s where I learned to pretend. It was so chaotic and bad that if anyone was around I’d smile. I’d say everything was perfect when it wasn’t. Terry would beat me if I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night—she’d beat me if I wet the bed.”

Jamie in Greene County, 2013

“Many of the people I grew up with are gone or putting their kids through the hell they went through. Even though we don’t have much, it’s all ours. We worked hard—we earned it. For me there’s no more hiding, no more pretending. I was pregnant at 15 and I remember thinking about my daughter, ‘Jasmine will never have to hide her feelings.’ My kids learned to speak their minds. I’m very proud. Proud of my kids. Proud of who I am.”