As my mother wrote in her book, she grew up as the granddaughter of slaves; once, my grandfather delivered a whole block of rice by horse-drawn car down a dirt road.
Another writing block she suffered. A family friend told her how difficult it was for her grandson to join his black friends at lunch and sit with them on the benches in the playground.
“Here’s my cure,” my mother responded. “When he goes to school in the morning, every morning, they take him to the park and let him play. Every evening, we have a black fellowship dinner. When they say, ‘Everybody come at 6:30, we’re having dinner,’ we go to the park at 6:45 so he can have his day outside.”
A black man of extraordinary intellect and intelligence is like a tree in the tree-lined Delta. I always liked the way my grandfather spoke and how he wrote as an elder, reminding me I was a colored man.
So, when I ran for the Alabama Legislature this past March, I knew how close I came to reaching out to people like my grandfather before I reached the end of a six-year plan, the day I was sworn in and realized I had one more historic title to be proud of.