My maternal grandmother, Ernestine Wright Hatchett was born on January 1, 1926 in Grays, Arkansas to Oscar and Nona Wright. Being the youngest girl in the family afforded her the opportunity to attend a private high school, Cotton Plant Academy. She went on to attend Shorter College in Little Rock after she graduated high school. She married her husband, Gus Hatchett, in 1951 and started a family in Newport. She worked in the food industry as a cook and kitchen manager. She was a member of Morning Star Baptist Church and St. Mary’s Chapter No. 410 of Eastern Star (Prince Hall Affiliation).
When I look in the mirror, I sometimes see my MaDear looking back at me. This is the side of my family that I look the most like, the nose the hair, and the glasses for sure. She had a quiet confidence about her. She didn’t have to say much to get her point across. I get my love of food from MaDear, especially seafood. She gave me first taste of shrimp, and I haven’t looked back since. She was always in the kitchen cooking something, never afraid of trying out new recipes. She treated everyone like family. Most of her friends we called Aunt/Uncle. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized we weren’t actually related to most of the people in Newport. Growing up with MaDear, I thought I knew everything there was to know about her. But I was so wrong, I have learned so much about her life because of my research. I am so thankful for this journey and all that I will continue to learn about the grandparent I think I’m most like.