Effie Burt, the sixth of 12 children, grew from a muted childhood into vocal womanhood within the borders of Lafayette County. Forced to leave high school before graduation due to a pregnancy, Burt moved to Iowa to finish her education and would go on to earn a degree in police science. She worked at John Deere for 27 years, while also fighting civil rights violations in court time and time again. She eventually returned to Oxford to take care of her mother.
Now in her 60s and a renowned blues and jazz singer who has performed for notable officials and politicians – including President Barack Obama, Burt recounts her experience as an activist during some of Mississippi’s desegregation efforts and discusses her hopes for the future.