- Voice From The Civil Rights Era (2004)
- Dancing With Granny: Selective Memories of Mississippi (2001)
- Deadly Road to Democracy (co-authored with her husband, Mark Yves Regis) (1998)
By Jennifer Williams (SHS)
Frankye V. Regis was born in a small town in Mississippi near the Pocahontas area. She was born at 5 p. m. on a Sunday and delivered by a midwife into a family of seven brothers and sisters. She was raised in a sharecropper shack and had to struggle with no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and no air conditioning. Growing up she had to deal with inferior schooling that failed to equip her with the education needed to succeed in life although she was good in English and enjoyed reading. Frankye’s grandmother played a big role in her childhood. While growing up, Frankye often felt alone, but her grandmother helped her to learn to turn to God with her problems and was able to teach her life long morals. Her memoir Dancing With Granny: Selective Memories of Mississippi (2001) is the story of her growing up with her grandmother.
After graduating from high school, Frankye left home and went to a community college. There she became a writer and was expected to write critical new stories about school issues. After that she enrolled in a four-year university where she majored in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism.
Frankye Regis has been described as a poet, artist, freelance writer and editor. She worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times after finishing college. Later she began working for the Cox Newspapers in Washington D. C. When Frankye left there, she went to Ohio and worked for Dayton Daily News. She then decided to get married and moved to Connecticut where her husband worked. While there, she became the staff writer at the New Haven Register. She worked there until she took maternal leave for the birth of a son named Marc Yves Regis II. Frankye has also co-authored a book with her husband Marc Yves Regis I and also edited a book of his poetry called Haiti Through My Eyes (Regis).
A Review of Dancing with Granny
by Jennifer Williams
Frankye Regis wrote a book entitled Dancing with Granny: Selective Memories of Mississippi which is based on her childhood and tells the story of her growing up in the deep South. It is about an African American girl being raised during the time when racism in the post Jim Crow Law era was prevalent. She grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s in a Pocahontas area called “The Pines.” Regis returned to Moon Lake, near Lula, Mississippi, with her husband and three-month-old for a a baptism in the lake where she herself had once been baptized. Memories began to return of her childhood and the book is the result.
Dancing with Granny is a memoir with poems at the beginning of each chapter. At the beginning of the book, Regis writes a letter to “The Great State of Mississippi” criticizing it for a job poorly done and the disappointment she feels toward the state. She goes on to challenge Mississippi to “Never be last again” because she says that it does not ever feel good coming in last place.
I think this book encourages everyone to bring out the best in themselves and others. It also helps the reader realize just how lucky he is. The book demonstrates that no matter what race or background a person is from he or she can get through the struggles and succeed in life. Frankye Regis is definitely the person to prove this point. I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially for those people interested in their country’s (and the state of Mississippi’s) history. Considering that I am from Mississippi, it is really neat to learn about the struggles and every day difficulties people faced due to the segregation enforced by the Jim Crow Laws. It is a fascinating book.
- Episcopal News Service article written by Frankye Regis.
- Article “Going Home” by Regis in the Hartford Courant. 2000
- Memories of Mississippi, by Owen McNally. Hartford Courant, 2001.
- Regis, Frankye. Dancing with Granny.Hartford, Conneciticut. Down Home Publishing.2000.
- O’Bryan, Susan.“Regis’ book is eye-opening read.”The Clarion-Ledger. June 24,2002.2G
- Rosenkratz, Vicki.“Frankye Regis recalls life in the South in Dancing with Granny.”Newington LIFE. July 01.14.