Church Mothers: Mrs. Easter L. Sharp

In honor of Mother's Day, we are celebrating a group of women in the Mississippi Delta who anchor their communities as only a mother can.

Story by Alysia Burton Steele
Mrs. Easter L. Sharp
Photo: Alysia Burton Steele

Shaw, MS
Age: 74

Matriarch of: 2 children, 1 stepdaughter, 3 grandchildren, and 13 great-grands

"When I was coming up, a lot of things I didn't do because I was shy or didn't learn to do. I tried to live my life through my children, I made sure they learned to do things that I wanted to do and didn't do. I don't like to talk about it. Simple things like, you know, everybody could ride a bike. I never rode a bike, so I made sure both of them rode a bike. My daughter didn't have any problem but my son said, 'I don't wanna do it.' I just had to keep after him. I took them to swimming. I never learned to swim but wanted them to swim. My daughter can swim but my son can't. When the instructor looked around, he, my son, was sitting on the floor of the pool, underneath the water. It just frightened him so, and when he got home and we put him into the bathtub he was shaking just getting into the bathtub. So then his grandma said, 'Don't you take that baby back there.' I felt like I should have taken him back, but my sister-in-law said, 'No, don't you take that child back.' He's not afraid of the water. He'll go out there and wade in the water, but he never learned to actually swim. I just didn't want them to be shy like I was. I thought I was too shy. When you get older you don't like to go out and start things, but when you start young, you learn a lot at a certain age, and other folk don't say to you, 'You just now learning how to do that?' A lot of things I could have done, I guess, but I just couldn't lend myself to get up there and learn how to ride a bike."