It is true. In chapter four, “Froze-Up Southern Folks,” the narrator states that his mother, originally from the warm climate of Alabama, thought the cold winters in Flint had the potential to “kill you in a flash.” To keep them warm and alive, she made the narrator and his sister wear a huge number of layers, including t-shirts, jackets, coats, and a pair of snow pants so big that they needed a pair of suspenders to keep them up.
The narrator states that it was particularly embarrassing to wear all those layers to school. The other children would not only tease them for it, but the clothes would take ages to take off. The narrator would even have to help his younger sister to undress. She was so hot underneath it all that he would have to wipe her sweat away with a towel.