An American Dream

An American Dream

by Clarence Adams
     
 

Throughout his life, Clarence Adams exhibited self-reliance, ambition, ingenuity, courage, and a commitment to learning-character traits often equated with the successful pursuit of the American Dream. Unfortunately, for an African American coming of age in the 1930s and 1940s, such attributes counted for little, especially in the South. Adams was a seventeen-year-old… See more details below

Overview

Throughout his life, Clarence Adams exhibited self-reliance, ambition, ingenuity, courage, and a commitment to learning-character traits often equated with the successful pursuit of the American Dream. Unfortunately, for an African American coming of age in the 1930s and 1940s, such attributes counted for little, especially in the South. Adams was a seventeen-year-old high school dropout in 1947 when he fled Memphis to join the U.S. Army. Three years later, after fighting in the Korean War in an all-black artillery unit that he believed to have been sacrificed to save white troops, he was captured by the Chinese. After spending almost three years as a POW, he refused repatriation in 1953, choosing instead the People's Republic of China, where he hoped to find educational and career opportunities not readily available in his own country.

While living in China, Adams earned a university degree, married a Chinese professor of Russian, and worked in Beijing as a translator for the Foreign Languages Press. During the Vietnam War he made a controversial anti-war broadcast over Radio Hanoi, urging black troops not to fight for someone else's political and economic freedoms until they enjoyed these same rights at home. In 1966, having come under suspicion during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, he returned with his wife and two children to the United States, where he was subpoenaed to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to face charges of "disrupting the morale of American fighting forces in Vietnam and inciting revolution in the United States." After these charges were dropped, he and his family struggled to survive economically. Eventually, through sheerperseverance, they were able to fulfill at least part of the American Dream. By the time he died, the family had owned and operated eight Chinese restaurants in his native Memphis.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558495951
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
06/06/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,439,939
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     ix
Preface   Lewis H. Carlson     xi
Introduction   Della Adams     xv
Skippy: The Formative Years     1
U.S. Army Combat Soldier: Korea     23
Captured!     39
Camp 5     46
Turncoat?     65
University Days: Beijing and Wuhan     73
Marriage and Family     84
The Foreign Languages Press, Africans, and the Vietnam Broadcasts     93
Going Home!     105
Recriminations     116
Bootstrapping to the American Dream     129
Postscript   Della Adams     143
Clarence Cecil Adams Time Line     147
Notes     151

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >