February 1 marked the beginning of Black History Month; and, the theme for 2015 is a “Century of Black Life, History and Culture.”
On this Freedom Friday and for the remaining three Fridays in February, I choose to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing and celebrating my Hubby and BFF (Best Friend Forever) for all that he has endured, overcome and accomplished during his lifetime.
I am grateful to have this blog platform to tell HIS STORY, HIS HISTORY and IN HIS OWN WORDS by sharing excerpts from HIS published memoirs, “The Son of A Sharecropper Achieves the American Dream.”
“I am a 70-year-old black male who was born in Mississippi in 1941 to an 18-year-old unwed mother with one child. I did not know my biological father until I was 15-years-old. I grew up in dire poverty in the pre-Civil Rights south, chopping and picking cotton for ten hours a day, eight months of the year. I was a high school dropout and had my first child, out-of-wedlock, at the tender age of 17. One year later, I married my beautiful childhood sweetheart and by the age 26 I was the father of four children. By age 33, I had obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I overcame my difficult beginnings to become the successful person I am today.
My story and my family’s story is about being black in this country — an honest story about how much progress we have made but also about how much progress we still need to make. I faced many hardships and struggles as a poor black boy growing up in 1950s Mississippi. But my struggles and hardships didn’t end when I moved to the north and began my professional career in business and government service. While I was no longer chopping and picking cotton ten hours a day, I was still in many ways treated like a second class citizen. This book, then, is a cautionary tale for black people about attitudes that have not changed fast enough and the progress we still need to achieve.
At the same time this is not a memoir about an angry black man. Rather, it is a story of hope and perseverance — about how I overcame tremendous odds to achieve success and the American Dream. Despite the problems I describe, I’ve had many more victories, and I am thankful to my family, friends, colleagues and county for the opportunities and achievements that have blessed my life.”
James C. Thomas, December 2012
In next Friday’s post, I will share HIS STORY about HIS CHILDHOOD.
8 thoughts on “Freedom Friday – Black History Month: Part 1”
I really appreciate that you are sharing your husband’s story and look forward to reading each of you posts about him this month. I just found his book on amazon and ordered it!
What a tribute to your husband–to share his amazing story with the world!
His book is in the national library database, WorldCat. The book cover, in color, is included in the record.
So looking forward to reading your next Freedom Friday Post. This was great!
I had tears in my eyes reading your husband’s story from his youth. Thank you for sharing. I hope we all learn a thing or two about perseverance, struggle, and the triumph in succeeding! I can’t wait to read next week’s post! ❤
Thank you for sharing your husband’s story. He is indeed a gracious and triumphant man. I look forward to reading more. Since I moved to the Mississippi Delta in 1947 and was living there in the 50’s I’m wondering where in Mississippi he was living then.
how wonderful to know that such a special woman, you, whom I am so proud to call “friend”, is married to such a special man. I can’t wait to read the next installment of his story! thank you to both of you for being so gracious to share what you have done so far.