Mary Ellen Noone’s great-grandmother, Pinky Powell, grew up on a plantation in Lowndes County, Alabama, in the early 1900’s.

In a chilling story told to her years earlier by her Mama Pinky, Mary Ellen recounts the severe consequences her great-grandmother endured simply for wearing nail polish into a local general store.

Mary Ellen’s story is one in a series of real-life stories presented by StoryCorps and Upworthy reminding us #WhoWeAre—everyday Americans speaking to our best selves.

Click here to listen to Mary Ellen’s original StoryCorps interview.

StoryCorps and Upworthy, the mission-driven media company that reaches more than 200 million people each month, have joined forces to launch #WhoWeAre, a campaign to share the stories of everyday Americans, build compassion, and offer hope to a divided nation. #WhoWeAre calls on Americans to reach across perceived divides and listen to one another.
Click here to learn more about the campaign.