Hubby: The Author

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When Hubby told me He planned to write a book, I absent-mindedly replied, “great idea.”   But, silently, I thought, “this will never happen.”   Though, I knew Hubby had a story to tell, I doubted whether He would be able to –

  • set aside the time required to write a book.
  • limit or end relationships with the “circle of people” He had devoted so much time to since retiring?
  •  understand the “circle of people” would continue to live their lives and survive, maybe even thrive, without His input support, feedback, comments and/or encouragement.

To my surprise, Hubby laid off:

  • MSNBC News (Alex, Andrea, Tamron, Krystal, Toure, Ari, Chris, Al, Rachel, Lawrence, Chris, Steve, Ed, and Melissa)
  • Basketball Games
  • Football Games

But, the one “circle relationship” He remained loyal to, His idol, Tiger Woods.  Every time Tiger plays, Hubby retreats, hibernates, and focuses on watching the game of golf.  After the last 18th Hole is played, He reappears and comes back to Me and our life together.

Underestimating Hubby, after fifty-three years of our “up close and personal relationship, was a BIG MISTAKE.   I, of all people should have known Hubby would write and publish His book of memoirs.  Why, because he said so.  And, when He sets a goal – it happens.

 

Meet The Author

The Son of A Sharecropper Achieves the American Dream

by James C. Thomas

 Introduction

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.  My parents were sharecroppers.  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 17-year-old-childhood sweetheart and by 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.

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This year my wife Yvonne and I celebrated our 52nd anniversary.  Thanks to a lot of hard work and God’s blessings, I now live in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, and have a winter home in a gated community in Orlando, Florida.  I live in a beautiful house, have a large collection of African-American art, and mementos, drive a luxury car, and am not without resources and material comforts.  I am surrounded by treasured books by William Faulkner, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, W.E. B. DuBois, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Marcus Garvey, and numerous other authors who have written about the African-American experience in America.  I am truly blessed with a rich network of friends going back to elementary school including my best friend, my loving wife Yvonne.  I have four children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all blessed with good health and sound minds, and pursuing outstanding careers.

My story and my family’s story is about being black in this country – an honest story about how much progress has been made, but also about how much progress needs to be achieved.  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 ways treated like a second-class citizen.  This book, then, is a cautionary tale about attitudes that have not changed fast enough and the progress that still needs to be made.

At the same time this is not a memoir by 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 country for the opportunities and achievements that have blessed my life.

I hope you enjoy this book.  May it inspire you to tell your own story.  (James C. Thomas, Orlando, FL, August 1, 2012)

To My Hubby On Your First Book

Kudos, Congratulations, Hats Off, Well Done, Great Job, Outstanding, Superb, Tremendous, Exceptional

We Are A Seasoned Couple

Dedicated to Living Life to Its Fullest

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Uwakwe: Overcame The Odds

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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Employment and Training Institute recently released a report entitled,  “Wisconsin Mass Incarceration of African-American Males: Workforce Challenges for 2013” stated:  “two-thirds of the county’s incarcerated African-American men came from 6 zip codes in Milwaukee.”

Uwakwe Omegbu grew up in one of those zip codes with the highest concentration of released and incarcerated ex-offenders.”   But, he Overcame the Odds.

  • He set a goal.
  • He worked to reach the goal.
  • He met the goal

Uwakwe Accomplished His Mission

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on May 19, 2013 earning a Bachelors of Science Degree with a:

  • Major in Mechanical Engineering; and
  • Minor in Computer Science

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I first met Uwakwe when he was a 13-years-old middle school student.  We hired him to work in our family owned medical practice  through a Youth Outreach Program.   Working on Saturday mornings picking up paper around our large parking lot, Uwakwe showed up every Saturday whether rain, sleet, or snow to do his job.

By his sophomore year in high school, he had worked his way up to office related tasks and assisting with maintaining our network of computers and servers.

Once in college, internships and trainee opportunities opened up new doors for Uwakwe related to his long-term professional goals.

  • Internship, Web/Graphic Design, Prism Technical
  • Research Assistant, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Research Assistant, Nanotechnology, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Internship, Business Process and Technology, S.C. Johnson

Throughout the college years, Uwakwe was always available to help with special projects and assignments at our medical facility.

When I asked Uwakwe how he Overcame the Odds, he quickly answered:

  • Having Faith in God
  • Family Support
  • Extracurricular Activities

I am extremely grateful to have been a part of this outstanding young man’s life from his middle school days to college graduation.

Congratulations Uwakwe Omegbu you, undeniably, Overcame the Odds.