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Finding Strength in Legacy: The Story of Sadie May

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

As I sit on this plane, waiting for takeoff to Seoul, South Korea, my mind keeps returning to my late Grandma, Sadie May. Her incredible life journey has always been my go-to source of inspiration, especially when I'm up against challenges that feel overwhelming. Grandma was born in 1932 to a sharecropper in rural Mississippi—a time and place where the deck was stacked against her from the start. She grew up without what we now consider basic necessities, like running water and electricity. And if that wasn't enough, she was a Black woman navigating life in the Jim Crow South.


But Grandma was a force of nature. She married my grandfather, initially finding stability with him. He was a pulpwood specialist who later became a truck driver. However, it wasn't long before it became painfully clear that his priorities lay elsewhere—with liquor, gambling, and other women. Faced with this grim reality, Grandma made a life-altering decision: she would leave him and take on the role of breadwinner, even though she had never worked outside the home.


With a steely resolve, Grandma took a job and started attending night classes at Jackson State University. Balancing work, raising her nine children, and pursuing her education must have been an emotional and psychological tightrope walk. But she did it. She earned her degree in education and became a teacher, proving that resilience and determination can overcome even the most daunting obstacles.


Her story isn't just a tale of survival; it's a testament to what can be achieved with grit, focus, and an unshakeable belief in oneself. If Grandma could defy the odds in such a spectacular way, then what's stopping me—or any of us—from facing our own challenges, no matter how insurmountable they may seem? She remains my guiding star, reminding me that with enough perseverance, dedication, and self-belief, nothing is truly impossible.


I hope Grandma's story resonates with you and inspires you to chase after your own big dreams.


What are you willing to endure to turn those dreams into reality?


Until next time,


Darrian




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