The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story

The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story - Yvonne S. Thornton

The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story

From the tenements of East Harlem to the halls of an Ivy League medical school, Dr. Thornton has written a family biography that is as moving as it is inspiring.
As resonant now as it ever was, this 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 is ready for a new generation of readers.

"I LOVE YOU BETTER THAN I LOVE LIFE . . ."

"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."

It was the 1950s, and Donald Thornton's words to his six daughters weren't spoken out of despair, but out of the fiercest love. Thornton, a hard-working laborer, had set his heart on an improbable notion: that all his girls would grow up to become doctors. From one of those daughters, Dr. Yvonne Thornton, comes this family biography that is as moving as it is inspiring.

Here is the true story of a determined, wise, and prescient man who dared to dream that his Black daughters would achieve seemingly impossible goals in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Working two full-time jobs--and with the help of his equally remarkable wife, who worked as a cleaning woman--Thornton even formed his bright and talented girls into a rhythm-and-blues band, at the same time ensuring that each one completed her education.

With his common sense and untutored but right-on insights, Thornton gave his daughters the strength to transcend the obstacles of color and gender to fulfill their potential--ultimately guiding them from the tenements of East Harlem to the footlights of the Apollo Theatre--to the halls of an Ivy League medical school.

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From the tenements of East Harlem to the halls of an Ivy League medical school, Dr. Thornton has written a family biography that is as moving as it is inspiring.
As resonant now as it ever was, this 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 is ready for a new generation of readers.

"I LOVE YOU BETTER THAN I LOVE LIFE . . ."

"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."

It was the 1950s, and Donald Thornton's words to his six daughters weren't spoken out of despair, but out of the fiercest love. Thornton, a hard-working laborer, had set his heart on an improbable notion: that all his girls would grow up to become doctors. From one of those daughters, Dr. Yvonne Thornton, comes this family biography that is as moving as it is inspiring.

Here is the true story of a determined, wise, and prescient man who dared to dream that his Black daughters would achieve seemingly impossible goals in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Working two full-time jobs--and with the help of his equally remarkable wife, who worked as a cleaning woman--Thornton even formed his bright and talented girls into a rhythm-and-blues band, at the same time ensuring that each one completed her education.

With his common sense and untutored but right-on insights, Thornton gave his daughters the strength to transcend the obstacles of color and gender to fulfill their potential--ultimately guiding them from the tenements of East Harlem to the footlights of the Apollo Theatre--to the halls of an Ivy League medical school.

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