When the Great Depression erupted, Mississippi had not yet recovered from the boll weevil or the Flood of 1927. Its land suffered from depleted forests and soil. Plus, the state had yet to confront the racial caste systems imprisoning poor whites, African Americans and other minorities. Nevertheless, innovative Mississippians managed to keep their businesses and services open. Meanwhile, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs fostered economic stimulation within the state. Author Richelle Putnam also highlights the state’s spiritual and cultural giants, who rose from the nation’s poorest state to create a lasting footprint of determination, pride and hope during the Depression era.
Richelle Putnam is a Mississippi Arts Commission Teaching Artist/Roster Artist, a Mississippi Humanities Speaker and a 2014 MAC Literary Arts Fellowship recipient. Her YA biography, The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty (The History Press, 2014), received the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal. Putnam is also the author of Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History (The History Press, 2011) and coauthor of Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi (Arcadia Publishing, 2013). The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office commissioned Richelle to write the history on the nine counties for the 2017 Mississippi bicentennial anniversary. Her literary work has been published in Pif magazine, the Copperfield Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and several bestselling anthologies. Her freelance articles can be found in Town & Gown magazine, Mississippi magazine, eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI, Parents & Kids, Well Being, Portico and Social South.