Billie Rossie Tonos’s family immigrated from Lebanon and opened a store in Clarksdale. In this episode, she recounts how her parents then moved to Shaw and opened their own business with help from the Lebanese community.
During the Great Depression, many small business owners struggled to keep their doors opened. Tonos recalls her parent’s resourcefulness during that difficult time.
As the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Tonos’s mother was proud to be an American citizen. She describes her mother’s fierce patriotism when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Being part of the Delta Lebanese community gave Billie Tonos a sense of belonging and fellowship. She remembers how there was always room at the table for family and friends, especially during the holidays.
This episode of Mississippi Moments was researched by Hayley Hasik and produced by Ross Walton, with narration by Bill Ellison.