Clarence Thomas: A Biography

By Andrew Peyton Thomas | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER FOUR
The Strongest Man in the World

Clarence and Myers Thomas would come to call their grandparents "Daddy" and "Aunt Tina." The names were revealing. "Daddy" was the standard Southern word for father, even among adults. This name dispelled any question as to who had filled M.C.'s shoes. "Tina" was short for Christina. The title "aunt"—pronounced, in the black tradition, not like the insect but with the "a" sound in "father"—acknowledged that she was not a grandmother by blood. In fact, it bespoke a certain thoughtful diplomacy and decorum on her part in handling her relationship with the children.

The grandfather who became "the greatest single influence on my life" impressed his will on Clarence as soon as he moved in. There would be no more aimless and unattended wandering of the streets, no more hours frittered away watching the urban hurly-burly and skipping school. Clarence had entered an environment that revolved around work, education and faith, and a household immersed in rules, discipline, labor and learning to an extent remarkable even by the standards of the rigorous decade in which he came of age. His first year in Savannah had been one of almost boundless liberty, a reckless arrangement sanctioned by his parents. The remainder of his years in this city of quaint squares and omnipresent tradition would be just as extreme, but of the opposite quality—order.

The two Thomas boys became, in effect, the littlest employees of Anderson Fuel Company and its affiliate, the Anderson household. Anderson had started his company after striking out on his own and moving to Savannah to earn more money and assert his independence. The bigotry he encountered at the hands of his first employers during this time singed his substantial pride and further reinforced his yearning for self-employment. Anderson told two stories as to why he decided

-65-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Clarence Thomas: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 661

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?