I was born in northern Alabama, my daddy was a Native American (Chickasaw) sharecropper; my mother was emotionally absent, and I was raised by my daddy, an Native American great-grandmother and African-American woman who were great storytellers.
I had no other children to play with so I roamed the countryside alone or sometimes with daddy, and at night I sat at the feet of these two strong-minded women listening to the stories of their lives. During the summer, I lived with daddy’s’ sister; it was at this favorite aunt’s that I would discover a library, and sit among her circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians; many personalities, creative, passionate and some bizarre.
A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was the weekend retreat and filled with these people from a different life than my own, which was a barefoot-county child. This aunt encouraged my imagination; planted the desire to write, a seedling waiting to sprout from the warm southern heart of a child.The harshness that shrouded my life would cause me to withdraw from most of my world; it fills the pages of my writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial from my mother. Today, I live in Southern Wisconsin…far from my southern roots, yet these roots and the people that made up my world in those long ago days continue to influence my writing.
I write and paint daily; my family lives close which is wonderful. I try to be mindful and live in the moment as I continue to blog the last chapter of my life. Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
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