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The World According to Fannie Davis

My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers

By Bridgett M. Davis
Narrated by Bridgett M. Davis / 10 hours 14 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The World According to Fannie Davis

“I listened to this and it was read by the author herself. She did a fantastic job conveying her book and atmosphere. Fannie Davis was an amazing woman. She was smart, savvy and so generous. She loved her children and made sure that her daughter felt no food or housing insecurity despite the risks of her business running numbers. What the author did especially well was to incorporate history (African American migration, redlining neighborhoods, mortgage scams, history of Detroit, and the lottery) and how it effected her family. Bridgett Davis truly written a memoir about her mother that honors her legacy and does it justice.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books

As seen on the TODAY SHOW
A singular memoir highlighting "the outstanding humanity of black America" that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s (James McBride)


In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee borrowed $100 from her brother to run a Numbers racket out of her home. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis' mother.

Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, granddaughter of slaves, Fannie ran her numbers business for 34 years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."

A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" to provide a prosperous life for her family -- and how those sacrifices resonate over time.

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