Freedom Friday – Black History Month: Part 1

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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 STORYHIS 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

  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!

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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! ❤

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  4. 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.

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  5. dear Yvonne,

    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.

    much love,

    Karen

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  6. Pingback: Freedom Friday – Black History Month: Part 3 | SeasonedSistah2

  7. Pingback: Freedom Friday – Black History Month: Part 4 | SeasonedSistah2

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