The interview subject is from Germantown, Pennsylvania, the third of seven children. For the purposes of this report and to preserve her anonymity, we will call her Ms. S. Ms. S's mother did everything she could to keep her family together through difficult financial times. They had to squeeze the entire household into their grandmother's house, and even had to go "junking," sifting through trash to find valuable things people had tossed out. As she reflects, Ms. S bears a lot of joy and pride in her face. She remembers learning how to sew her own prom dress and other worthwhile tools of survival many people neglect to learn now. Although it was a struggle, her family stayed together and because of their love and support for one another, they retained something money cannot buy.

As a black woman, Ms. S was never told that she should prepare herself...
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