I love to read but there are very few books that I have read more than once. Usually, once I read a story I have no desire to go back and re-read it. That is not the case, however, with the true story The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, a book that highlights the importance of fathers and hard work. I first read this book many years ago and fell in love with it! A couple of years ago, I re-read this inspiring story for a second time. Recently it came to mind again, because of all the talk around Black lives in America. I thought given the times we are in, that many of you may be interested in picking up a copy of this book for yourselves and giving it a read too.
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters is a true story of a Black father (In the 1950s) who worked as a laborer, his wife who worked cleaning homes and their six daughters. The father, Donald Thornton, had a dream for his six daughters. He wanted them all to grow up to be doctors. Donald and his wife set out to make this dream happen. Throughout the girls’ childhoods, their father was strict but loving. He taught them to work hard, never give up, and to dream big dreams! Along the way, this family forms a professional band, builds a home, and achieves many other great accomplishments. If you are looking for a book about beating the odds, determination and the importance of fathers, this is the book for you!
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters was written by one of Donald’s six girls, Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton, who does indeed grow up to be a doctor. Here is the description of the book as found on Amazon:
“…Donald Thornton told his six daughters. “But I’m not always gonna be around to look after you, and no man’s gonna come along and offer to take care of you because you ain’t light-skinned. That’s why you gotta be able to look after yourselves. And for that you gotta be smart.”The Ditchdigger’s Daughters is an inspiring portrait by a loving daughter of a father whose pervasive common sense, folk wisdom, and untutored but right-on insights gave his children their road map to a better life. It is the story of a man who dared to dream that his black daughters would someday become doctors—and who guided them to achieve the seemingly impossible goals he set for them.
From the tenements of East Harlem to the footlights of the Apollo Theatre to the halls of an Ivy League medical school, Dr. Yvonne Thornton has written a family biography that is as moving as it is inspiring. Here is the story of a poor black father and his unimaginable dream of seeing all six of his daughters become doctors; of the wisdom and guidance that gave his girls the strength to keep striving; and of the remarkable way that each one of them transcended race, color, and gender to fulfill the promise of the American Dream.”
If you think you might like to read this book, you can click on the link below.
Finally, I have been having a number of discussions lately about what could truly help Black America, and one area of concern I continue to hear over and over again is the lack of fathers in Black homes and the welfare system, and how both of these affect their community. I think there is really something to this and the discussion deserves more attention. Donald Thornton, had such a huge impact on his daughters as do most fathers in the home. I wonder how all of us, could help to make a positive change in this regard? Here is a short 2-minute video about the topic. You can click on the link below.
I hope the video gets you thinking, as it did me. I also hope you pick up a copy of this incredible book. I promise you, it will be worth your time!