Friends and neighbors Stacie Marshall and Melvin and Betty Mosley chat over coffee in Marshall’s farmhouse kitchen in Dirt Town Valley, Georgia. Windows frame cattle pastures in every direction as they catch up on family weddings and local farming news. A mass of cheerful daffodils rests on the table between them.
On the surface, this encounter seems like any other between close friends. But a striking history sets their relationship apart—Betty Mosley’s great-great-grandmother was enslaved by Marshall’s great-great-great-grandparents in this community 150 years ago.
Marshall, 43, a mother of three and former campus minister, has been friends with the Mosleys for decades in this largely segregated corner of Northwest Georgia. Her father grew up as best friends with Melvin Mosley, and Melvin was her assistant high school principal.