Below is an Introduction Bio:
I grew up in Acadia Parish near Richard and Church Point with French speaking parents. My Cajun sharecropper father made a verbal bargain with a landlord to provide farm labor for a one/third share of profits from the crops. "I will not speak French at school," was my first grade lesson. If I forgot, I felt the shame of whacks from the ruler on my fingertips. Eighteen years a sharecropper's daughter, I worked tediously side by side with Mama and Daddy picking cotton and digging sweet potatoes. It was1948/1949 when I watched (South Louisiana Membership Corporation) SLEMCO 's crew erect poles, lines, and transformers to connect electricity to our house. Education was my key out of the cotton fields. I graduated fifth in my class then married a Cajun boy in Eunice where we raised four children.
Retiring as an Asst Vice President of a bank, I enrolled in a 2009-2010 ULL writing class. I wrote my sharecropper stories during those four semesters. The essays, intended for my children, were the basis of my 2014-2016 manuscript. The completed works took me more than two years of perseverance, writing four days a week, and divine alignment. Getting published stretched two more years.
My book, A Cajun Girls Sharecropping Years, published by University Press of Mississippi made its' debut on July 14, 2018, in Lafayette at the Barnes & Noble Book Store. On April 4, 2019, the Louisiana Endowments for Humanities (LEH) awarded the Bright Light's Award to A Cajun Girls Sharecropping Years which took place a University of Louisiana Student Union
Viola Fontenot, Author
A Cajun Girl's Sharecropping Years
“2019 Book of the Year Award
LEH (Louisiana Endowment for Humanities)