In this video segment from the PBS series Finding Your Roots, Ruth Simmons shares what life was like growing up in Grapeland, Texas, as the daughter of sharecroppers. Simmons’s family moved to Houston in the early 1950s. She says her family’s move to Houston was life-changing. Children were required to attend school in Houston; had the Simmons family stayed in Grapeland, Ruth would have been expected to quit school and help her family in the field.
Learn more about Finding Your Roots.