I was born in rural Shelby County, in East Texas, in the 1940s, a time of rigid segregation. Parking in my hometown of 715 people was segregated by race and I went to a separate school where books and desks were hand-me-downs from the town’s white school. The first new textbook I ever laid hands on was a physics textbook in high school when the school district included physics for the first time and had to buy a sufficient quantity for both schools.
After graduating from high school in 1962, too poor to attend college and refusing to accept the employment available to black people in East Texas at the time, I joined the United States Army to see the world that I’d been introduced to through crinkled pages of old National Geographic magazines.
In the ensuing fifty-plus years, I rose from the poverty of a small farming town to prosperity, from tending the pigs on our small farm to meeting with kings in their palaces and presidents in their state houses.
Thanks to the urging of my daughter, Denise Ray-Wickersham, I have finally put down stories from my life in written form—stories that I bored her and her brother with when they were growing up and her children with during the past few years.
I Believe I Can Touch the Sky: Stories From My Life is not your usual memoir. The focus is not really on me, but on the incidents and events that impacted on me in my life. Short and to the point, much like the novelettes I write, it is a series of stories that stretch back over seven decades. Stories about the famous and infamous, the well-known and the unknown. It is a story of the persistence and patience of a young boy who refused to accept that the pine-covered clay hills were all there was to the world, or that he was limited to what other people said he could do because of the color of his skin.
Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle version on Amazon. Get your copy today:
Hardcover: $15.99 https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Can-Touch-Sky-Stories/dp/B0B2J26KVD/
Paperback: #$7.99 https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Can-Touch-Sky-Stories/dp/B0B2HQ7KLC/
Kindle version: $0.99 https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Can-Touch-Sky-Stories-ebook/dp/B0B2QV1BW1/