"Halie" Jackson grew up in poverty on the levees of New Orleans. But every Sunday young Mahalia sang proudly in the church choir, the youngest member at age five! She left school after eighth grade and worked as a maid to help support her family. However, her passion for singing her special brand of music known as "gospel" never waned.
Montrew Dunham is the author of James Whitcomb Riley, Young Poet and Langston Hughes, Young Black Poet. He lives in Downers Grove, Illinois.