African-American Stories of Triumph over Adversity: Joy Cometh in the Morning

African-American Stories of Triumph over Adversity: Joy Cometh in the Morning

African-American Stories of Triumph over Adversity: Joy Cometh in the Morning

African-American Stories of Triumph over Adversity: Joy Cometh in the Morning


African-American Stories of Triumph Over Adversity is about ordinary people, born into poverty, violence and abuse, who have forged a path through the dense forest of life. Along the way, they learned to build upon their experiences to create a better way of life for themselves. Their voices are at once personal and political for they speak about the impact of the experience of family, school and community on their emerging self, as well as the psycho-social turmoil created living in a society where the color of one's skin defines one's place in the social order. These are stories of triumph of the human spirit. They are stories of faith, hope, love, strong-will and determination. As one storyteller found, if a person can take the worst thing that could happen to them in life and see that as an event and not their entire life, success will always be on the horizon.


African-American scholars who reflect on concerns or concepts that are educational issues for their community often marvel at the fortitude, the resilience, the focus on possibility that characterize ordinary black folks. We are not talking about the heroes, the leaders, those gifted in extraordinary ways but those ordinary members of the community who make up the race and who are the everyday heroes that signify what it means to be black and proud.

Interest in and pride about African-Americans who have made it despite the barriers, the inordinate surfacing of race in the crooks and crannies of life in the United States, and the struggle for survival was clearly a topic to explore for Geraldine Coleman. She had her share of these same struggles, but she did not see herself as a victim. Characterized by a healthy and clear understanding of who she is and the nature of the society in which she lives, Geri wanted to explore those lives that she knew about in a surface way by giving voice to those who lived them. It is from their voices, the sixteen persons whom we hear telling their life stories, voices which, though personal are also political, that we learn how family, and society and its structure take on meaning in their experiencing of life.

We also are challenged to redefine success. Each of the persons interviewed felt successful in life and all had taken charge of their lives and had their own definition of what it meant to enjoy success.

Joy Cometh in the Morning is a start for African- and Euro- Americans to celebrate blackness and the contribution to our history, our values, our cultures by ordinary African-Americans. Each of us needs to evaluate what it means to be different in our society and what it means to find unity in diversity by seeking out the ordinary and letting those voices be heard.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.