Grandson of slaves: Obama is our Moses





James Presley stands amid chopped cotton, the thick Mississippi mud caked on his well-worn boots. A smile spreads across his face when he talks about voting for Barack Obama and what that might mean for generations to come. His voice picks up a notch. He holds his head up a bit higher."There's a heap of pride in voting for a black man," he says.

At 78, Presley is a legend of the past living in the present and now hopeful for the future. A grandson of slaves, he's one of the few men left in America so closely tied to his slave past, still farming cotton on the same land as his ancestors. He's picked cotton since he was just 6 years old.

He and his wife of 57 years, Eva May, raised 13 children and six grandchildren in a cypress-sided house in the middle of cotton fields in northwestern Mississippi. He was a sharecropper most his life, but rarely qualified for food stamps.

"The important thing in life is to try to live and do the best you can," he says. "We done had it bad. Let us help give our children a better life, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren. Let's try to give them a better life than we had. But anyway, just keep the good work going, is all I say."




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