Book revised and completely rewritten.
The sneer becomes a term of endearment for Sue Ann Taylor as she protects her best friend Liz Bess, an African American girl who lives at the end of the gully path, from bully Booger Hudson. Set in Mississippi during the turbulent era of the 1950's and 60's, the story follows the lives of the two friends from their pre-adolescent years to their college years. Book 1, WHERE THE GULLY PATH BEGINS, tells Sue Ann's story from eleven years of age when she fought to maintain her friendship with Liz Bess, to Sue Ann's entrance in college.
Book II, WHERE THE GULLY PATH ENDS, tells of Sue Ann's love story with Tate Douglas, a COFO worker from the North, and covers the violent summer of 1964. Liz Bess, now Elizabeth, returns to Mississippi from the North, to become a freedom fighter for her people and comes face to face with racist violence and death. Through the turmoil, Sue Ann is reminded of the words of Cagalee, Elizabeth's grandmother, on her deathbed:
Love ain't black, and love ain't white; it just is.
“COFO is transferring me to Paxton to run a new Freedom School that’s opening there.”
“I guess we’re over, huh? It’s just as well. I have to go back to the “W” at the end of this month anyway. I’ll do my student teaching spring semester.”
Trying to be nonchalant about the whole conversation didn’t work. My heart was breaking. Tate was my first real love, a forbidden love at that. But then maybe that was what was so mesmeric about the whole thing with its secret meeting place, stolen kisses, and provocative, though casual to onlookers, glances when accidentally meeting in Bartonville.
“Over? No way. I love you, Sue Ann.” Tate held me tight in his arms, rubbing his chin against my head. “I can’t think about us being over. We’ll find a way to see each other. Besides, Paxton is closer to Columbus than Bartonville is.”
“Don’t make promises you might not be able to keep. Your parents want you to go back to college this fall, and I can’t blame them. They must be terrified with you in the middle of this. Eventually, they will convince you.”