Have you ever picked cotton? I mean, really picked cotton. For those of you who never picked cotton, picking cotton is hard on the body and it is hard on the soul. I grew up listening to cotton picking stories from my mother, father and grandparents and the one thing they all agreed on was that cotton picking takes a lot out of you. You are bent over long hours at a time and depending on who you are working for you may get a small break in between (which was extremely rare). Think about the hundreds of thousands of Black men, women and children who did that back breaking work for years day after day despite all of their many aches and pains. Just that thought alone brings tears to my eyes and if I allow my mind to think too long about it, that very thought will disturb my soul. Like many Black Americans living in the Deep South, once the cotton fields dried up and there was no huge need for cotton pickers in the fields, many went on to work in the mills. For some, leaving cotton behind in the fields was only a dream because once the mills starting rolling in, the cotton mills came rolling in behind them. Sedelia, the main character in Poka City Blues, worked in the cotton fields and in the cotton mill like so many others, but she never lost sight of who she was. Poka City Blues is a heartbreaking story about triumphing over trials while living in the Deep South. If you are looking for an inspirational story that will have you in tears from laughing and crying, this is it.