The Pact

George's mother

Describe George’s mother. How does she positively influence George?

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Our mother, Ella Jenkins Mack, has always been the dominant figure in my life. I was just a toddler when she and my father, George Jenkins, Sr., divorced. (Page 5)

She was a proud woman, and she didn’t like living in public housing. She wanted to make it on her own. Raised on a farm with eight brothers and sisters in Warrenton, South Carolina, she had been taught to fend for herself. She developed a toughness that at times made her seem emotionless, but her determination and consistency stabilized our lives. I never saw life break her down. If she struggled to pay the bills—and I know there must have been times when she did—her children never saw it. When Garland and I did well, she praised us without gushing. And we knew better than to expect a reward for doing what we were expected to do, like cleaning our room or making a good grade on a report card.

By the time I was seven, she had saved enough to move us out of the projects. We moved a block away to High Park Gardens, a private complex with landscaped gardens, grass, and a few trees. (Page 7)


The Pact