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Samuel Wesley Gathing: A Closer Look is the moving true story of Sam and Beatrice Gathing and the struggles they faced rearing their fourteen children during the era of the Jim Crow laws. These laws meant that both society and the system enforced the damaging view that their children were just stupid black kids. In this climate of institutionalized discrimination, Sam had to maneuver his way through a massive minefield of irrational hatred intended to destroy him and his family. Sam and Beatrice began their life together in December, 1929, in Desoto County, Mississippi, taking the gift of a mule named Rock and a big red cow to start their farm. Over the years, as their family expanded, so did the land that they farmed. Sam learned to live by the rules of the day but was always a true leader to both his family and to his friends. Through all of the challenges that Sam encountered, his faith in God never wavered—he believed that the truth could be found in God’s words and actions, not in the laws that were meant to harm him and his people.

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