The Pearl of East Texas
William D. Albright
Outskirts Press (2015)
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/15)
“The Pearl of East Texas” by William D. Albright is a thorough remembrance of the life of Mattie Pearl Albright, the author’s mother, as well a vivid history of life back in the early 20th century. Living in the south after the Civil War when the Jim Crow Laws were in full effect, left a permanent mark on the Albright family. They stood strong during the time when racial persecution was still a powerful force in America.
The book’s early pages tell of the history of the Albright family, and Shreveport, Louisiana. The author was born in 1949 after his parents were beginning to think they would not ever become parents. His brother was born a couple years later, after some heartbreaking pregnancies and death. Mattie Pearl was very strict, and kept her boys in line by teaching them a lesson whenever they misbehaved.
Mattie Pearl Albright was very active in the communities where she lived. They lived in Los Angeles for a while, and she was the managing treasurer for the credit union she and her husband started through their church. She also served as the secretary for her church, so she was a busy woman. In 1974, the Albright family relocated to Frankston, TX, because William Albright, Sr.’s health was not good, after recovering from a near death health scare in Los Angeles. They wanted to move to a place with a slower lifestyle. After living in east Texas a while, Mattie Pearl became more and more involved in the community. She was elected Mayor Pro Tem of Berryville, where she fulfilled the duties of the Mayor when he was away traveling. She had a strong mind for business, and was as asset to the community. Mattie Pearl did many things for the community, and she was recognized for her hard work and dedication.
“The Pearl of East Texas” by William D. Albright shares many historical events from a fresh perspective that was very interesting to me. I enjoyed reading about the history of this fabulous family along with the general history of the America, and the communities where they lived. I learned a lot reading this book.