• Title: The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story
  • Author: Yvonne S. Thornton Jo Coudert
  • ISBN: 9780615392097
  • Page: 490
  • Format: ebook
  • The Ditchdigger s Daughters A Black Family s Astonishing Success Story The Ditchdigger s Daughters is a loving memoir of how a poor and uneducated black laborer a child of the Great Depression overcame incredible obstacles to give his daughters a better life Dr Thornto
    The Ditchdigger s Daughters is a loving memoir of how a poor and uneducated black laborer, a child of the Great Depression, overcame incredible obstacles to give his daughters a better life Dr Thornton s father fought in World War II as a Navy seaman, second class By age twenty seven he had five children to raise all girls, and no boys He dug ditches for a living whilThe Ditchdigger s Daughters is a loving memoir of how a poor and uneducated black laborer, a child of the Great Depression, overcame incredible obstacles to give his daughters a better life Dr Thornton s father fought in World War II as a Navy seaman, second class By age twenty seven he had five children to raise all girls, and no boys He dug ditches for a living while his wife cleaned houses Together, they formulated a dream that all their daughters would be doctors Fortuitously, his daughters formed a traveling band, The Thornton Sisters , which achieved not only musical success on the college circuit , but earned them college tuition money as well From the tenements of East Harlem to the footlights of the Apollo Theatre to the halls of an Ivy League medical school, Dr Thornton has written a family biography that is a modern Horatio Alger saga The book tells the true story about a black family of all girls that transcends race, color and gender to rekindle our be

    One Reply to “The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story”

    1. If you ever want to give up, please read this book. After reading what this family accomplished after suffering both racial and gender discrimination most of their lives, I know I will be thinking of them anytime I want to complain or feel like I quit without trying.The story reads quickly and is both touching and engaging. I agree with other reviewers that the first part – when the family was together and Mr. Thornton was at the realm - was more interesting but I liked how Dr. Thornton talked [...]

    2. Okay. This is tricky to review. The story is astounding: a black ditchdigger has a goal of all 5 of his daugthers becoming doctors--in the 1950s. Yvonne and her father are amazing people, who deserve a lot of credit for what they did in their lives and are exemplary in lots of ways. However--I really had a problem with the father's SUPER controlling methods. Sometimes I was disturbed as Yvonne praises his parenting techniques and behaviors that seem damaging to me, in lots of ways. I kept thinki [...]

    3. I got to read this book some years back and it was one of the most inspiring books I have read in some time. I wish I had kept it because I probably would have gone the distance now. Nevertheless, it's about a regular laborer who had six daughters, no boys in the plan whatsoever. Yet, he would tell his coworkers that though he wished he had a boy, he still wanted the best for his daughters and told them that they ALL would be doctors. They didn't believe him, but astonishingly, they all became p [...]

    4. I read this as a young girl, and I loved it. I loved how the dad wanted so badly for something better for his daughters. I loved how the girls worked together to get themselves through college. And I love how in the end, each daughter found her passion - whether or not it was being a doctor.

    5. Loved everything about this book . . was so well written and inspirational! It was amazing to read how much strength and determination the family had. . . Loved it!

    6. Inspirational! Exceptional! I had the privilege of hearing this author speak at a recent conference. It is an amazing story of how this woman and her sister's made it from the projects of Long Branch, NJ to medical doctor through the determination of their dad - the ditch digger. It gives me a renewed renewed for physicians particularly many of those that I work with.I highly recommend this book.

    7. This book chronicles the lives of the Thornton family, a black family living in a transitional time in US history. It is very interesting and obviously focuses a lot on racial integration and the monumental issues that black people had to face at the time, but it's not preachy or overbearing in the telling. Just the simple facts of life at the time. As a story, therefore, I really enjoyed it.The reading, however well, it's not good, let's put it like that.Not only does the narrator seem to more [...]

    8. Yvonne Thornton herself objected to the subtitle. I was uncertain about the phrasing too. However, I came to learn that the barriers to success were astonishing. This included barriers such as white supremacists, legalized racism, the cost of schooling, and distractions from career goals. Yvonne and her sisters were in a band called the Thornton Sisters in order to earn money for medical school. During that long journey for Yvonne Thornton to become an OBGYN, she describes her father's many diff [...]

    9. Such a good book! True story of a black family, 5 girls growing up in the 50s and 60s. The uneducated father had the goal for them to all become doctors. The mother had gone to college for 3 years to be a teacher, but didn't have the money to finish. Education was so important to the family. Read to find out what happened.

    10. While I loved the many messages of hope, hard work, kindness, and overcoming adversity, I found it to be a little slow moving for me. I’m glad I read it but it wasn’t captivating.

    11. Book Club choice from Emily, great choice. Inspiring & motivating. The work ethic & stamina of some people are unbelievable. This family truly succeeds in reaching for the stars.

    12. A wonderful book that reads as if Dr. Thornton is sitting across from you, telling her story to you herself.

    13. The Ditchdigger's Daughters was a really great inspirational story! I was entertained, engaged, and motivated to read this book. The story of coming from nothing to elevating past the statistics and failures, which plagued the African American race in the 50's, 60's, and 70's was a wonderful story to read. This book was a page turner for me, and I was so proud of this family's achievements that I caught myself on several occasions swept up in emotions as the family battled circumstance over circ [...]

    14. This really is an incredible story and Dr. Yvonne Thorton certainly didn’t whitewash things so I am really looking forward to discussing it with my book club. Every member of the family was so interesting:Donald ThortonWhat an amazing worker. I just can’t fathom how anyone can work two full-time jobs plus whatever odd jobs he could find, plus build his own home, plus manage his daughter’s music group. When did he ever sleep? He was also a powerful advocate for his family and a great teache [...]

    15. after a few pages in i had to grab my highlighter because there were so many little sayings that i didn't want to forget (i.e. "the only time it makes any sense to get pregnant is when you can tell yourself thet if you died the next day, you've already done most everything you wanted to do" p. 42; I owe you three hots and a cot" p. 44; "when what you got goin' inside your head, that's something nobody can take away from you" p. 35; "pick out a rabbit" p. 19; "never ask of a person what you can't [...]

    16. Absolutely loved this book. Well written with so many anecdotes and inspirational quotes that can apply to my life. Donald Thornton was a special man, blessed with an innate sense of wisdom that came true time and again. Some of my favorites:*Do it with enthusiasm instead of whining. Nothin's gonna come from whining*You waste more time dreading. Whatever ever happens, happens. Just go ahead and do it. *Get the job done.*Everybody says it can't be done until somebody goes ahead and does it.*There [...]

    17. Part memoir, part biography of her father and mother, The Ditchdigger's Daughters is the true story of a black family and their struggle for success. I read Yvonne Thornton's books backwards. A few months ago I read her second memoir, all about her struggles as a black woman in the medical field. In that book she referenced The Ditchdigger's Daughters, and I knew I should probably read that to get the whole story of how Yvonne became Dr. Thornton. It's an interesting story about two parents, wit [...]

    18. I would give the first half of the book four stars and the last half three. This is the true story of a black couple who didn't have an education beyond high school but saw the value in it and were determined that their 5 daughters were going to be doctors. Their father is strict and controlling, but likable and repeated some of the best edicts I've had the pleasure to read. I fluctuated between liking the parenting style and cringing at some of the ways he wouldn't let his daughters have a soci [...]

    19. I keep going back and forth between 4 and 3 1/2 stars. I loved the first 3/4ths of the story the most. There are many great bits of wisdom from her dad that I want to re-read. I only wished that she could have related the story of her own marriage and having children with the same depth that the rest of the story seemed to have. All of the things that I thought should have been most gratifying in her life, like marriage and motherhood, seemed to be skimmed over and rushed through as she perserve [...]

    20. I love to sprinkle a variety of books among my usual fictionme non-fiction and fiction about other cultures is one of my digressions. I thank my friend Char for rating this book 5 stars and leading me to this black non-fiction fabulous book. I wish I had read this before my daughter was bornere is so much wisdom about parenting and families in this story of a family of girls raised to work hard, have fun together and strive for success. WOW! But even if you have no kids to raise it is an amazing [...]

    21. I loved this story! It was an interesting read about an amazing family. This true story was engaging and kept me turning pages. The father was the heart and soul of this family. I don't know how he could have held down a minimum of two 8-hour jobs while building a house, being a father, and managing/traveling with the family band. He is amazing! What a good example of work ethic. I did find him to be controlling and sometimes almost mean, though. He raised amazing and successful women in his dau [...]

    22. Interesting read about the life of an uneducated, yet overly determined black man, and his dreams for his five daughters. Though I didn't always agree with his parenting strategies, and didn't always agree with the views of the Yvonne (one of the daughters and author of the book), their story is a great tribute to the power of hard work, education and the success that follows. There were so many great one-liners in this book, I wish I'd read with a highlighter. Some favorites "once you've got so [...]

    23. I would have given this book 4 1/2 stars.Interesting read about the life of an uneducated, yet overly determined black man, and his dreams for his five daughters. Their story is a great tribute to the power of hard work, education and the success that follows. There were so many great one-liners in this book, I wish I'd read with a highlighter.What an amazing story. Mr. Thornton taught his girls some great life lessons. Not only did I lean a lot from this book, but it was really entertaining as [...]

    24. I suggested this book to a Cleveland Metropolitan School district student that I am mentoring. She had to read "The Pact" for school and I thought this book would resonate more since it's about women. Figured I should read it to and I'm glad I did. The Thornton family defied expectations for years and ended up with accomplished women. However, be aware there was no sparing of the rod and definitely no spoiling of children. Tough love ruled the day and it may put off some people to hear the thing [...]

    25. After reading this incredible story of crazy amounts of struggles and obstacles being thrown every which way and then to see someone navigate through it all and then succeed. Man do I fee like a complete whiny soiled little sh*t. But honestly, puts everything into perspective and makes me want to work that much harder to come out on top because if she can move mountains in here world, I should at least be able to wake up on time to get to work, I mean sheesh. Amazing book and very inspirarrional [...]

    26. This is an inspirational book demonstrating the value of perserverance in pursuing one's dream. The story needs to be read through the lens of the times of the 1950's and the lack of civil rights not only for people of color but women as well. Dr. Thorton's father was no helicopter parent. Although at times he could be considered abusive, his goal for his girls was for them all to become doctors. He worked hard to provide opportunities for his daughters. They, in turn, worked equally hard to ach [...]

    27. This story is amazing. The love a father has for his daughters and what he is willing to sacrifice and do to help them achieve goals and dreams that most do not reach because they don't try.What a tribute Yvonne has given her father and her mother! The book is mainly about the father but later in the book, Yvonne makes the comment that she feels she needs to recognize her mother more. The quiet one in the background who is doing just as much.

    28. I read this book every year to my students - every class period, semester classes, so for about 14 years, have read it literally hundreds of times. I am no sick of it it is not part of a curriculum I HAVE to teach. This book has so many layers, messages, and lessons that i love to share with my students and I figure that a book that can be read and re-read so many times without tiring of the story, characters, and message means this is a keeper!

    29. Not often do I read literature that makes me want to be a better person, that changes the way I view life- this book did both. It was an interesting read right after The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Some very similar parenting skills from exceptionally different cultures. If I ran a book club, I'd pair the two together. Both have the same theme- If you want your children to be exceptional, you have to make them understand, value and love to work.

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