Jane Pittman was born sometime before the Civil War. She was a slave from the day she was born. Jane had no parents; her mother died as a result of a beating when Jane was a child, and Jane did not know her father. She lives in the old slave quarters on a plantation outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One day Jane met a Yankee Soldier name Mr.
Brown told Jane that one day she was going to be free, and she would not have to no longer listen to anyone or follow anyone's rules. Jane's slave name was Ticey. Mr. Brown told her she should have another name a name for a real person so Mr.
Brown gave her the name of his daughter Jane after his daughter. Jane's mistress had gotten very upset because the Yankees had given Jane the ideas of freedom one day, and after the Yankees left Jane refused to answer to her slave name Ticey. This caused Jane to be beaten very badly. During her life Jane was an independent, determined, hardworking person who always went head- on toward difficult situations. The older Jane became the wiser she had gotten. Jane had no children of her own, she never was married officially, and she outlived all of her loved ones.
Jane saw first had the terrible effects of social discrimination and hatred. When Jane was more than 100 years old, she made an important stand for the rights of black Americans by drinking from a water fountain that was for " Whites Only" in the courthouse of Bayonne. After freedom had finally arrived the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed Miss Jane was finally free. Later during that time she was married to Joe Pittman without a real ceremony. After the two were married Jane and Joe moved on a ranch near Texas- Louisiana.
There Joe found a job tracking horses. Joe and Jane lived on that ranch for many years, but as the both of them became older Jane became worried about Joe getting hurt in his work. One of Jane's dreams that kept recurring was that her husband would be thrown from a horse. Jane told her husband about the dream, but he did not believe her.
Jane said the horse was a black stallion. Jane continuously tells her husband not to go around nor ride the horse. Jane then takes the situation into her own hands and decides to free the horse herself. But when Joe goes out to recapture the horse he's killed. Even though Jane's husband was killed she never gave up. She was still enjoying life as she got older.
Jane endured the misery and hardships that came her way repeatedly over the years. Yet somehow Jane finds a grace, a certain charm, that makes the most of simple pleasures.