Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black

Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black


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The compelling memoir of a civil rights leader's journey from the Jim Crow-era South to the Washington beltway

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611173376
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 05/13/2014
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

James E. Clyburn has represented South Carolina's sixth district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993, and he currently serves as assistant Democratic leader of the House. He has been married to the former Emily England since June 1961, and they have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. The Congressman and his wife live in Columbia, South Carolina.

Alfre Woodard is an Emmy Award-winning actress.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Foreword Alfre Woodard xi

Preface xiii

Chronology xvii

Part 1 Blessed by Experiences

1 Conversations with a Former President 3

2 Courting the Superdelegates 12

Part 2 A Blessed Beginning

3 Inherited Values 21

4 A World without Blinders 32

5 The Young Clyburns 45

Part 3 Finding My Way

6 Into the Streets 61

7 Back to the Basics 71

Part 4 The Charleston Shuffle

8 Two Steps to the West 81

9 Two Steps to the East 88

10 Two Steps Forward 101

11 One Step to the Rear 112

Part 5 Making History

12 Trailblazer 121

13 MythBuster 126

Part 6 A Racial Arbiter

14 The Chester Controversy 137

15 The Citadel Confrontation 139

16 The Conway Crisis 142

17 The Confederate Battle Flag 147

Part 7 Coming to Grips with Reality

18 A Day of Reckoning 163

19 Reaffirming My Goals 174

Part 8 The Dream Realized

20 Deciding to Run for Congress 179

21 Adventures in Campaigning 186

22 Primary Election Day, 1992 195

23 General Election, 1992 206

Part 9 Mr. Clyburn Goes to Washington

24 Arriving in Congress 217

25 Playing Hardball Clinton Style 226

26 My First Bill 232

27 Building Friendships 241

Part 10 Treading and Toiling

28 Wandering in the Wilderness 253

29 Principles above Politics 257

30 Service above Self 265

Part 11 The Age of Obama

31 3-VDay: Victory, Validation, Vindication 281

32 Barack and Me 289

33 Reforming Health Care 295

34 Reducing the Deficit 305

Part 12 Blessed by the Past

35 Genuinely Southern 319

36 Proudly Black 325

Epilogue 335

Index 339

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The remarkable life, career, and growing legacy of James Clyburn is a story that had to be told and is best told by he who lived it. The upward climb from obscurity to leadership positions in South Carolina and the United States Congress is inspiring and motivation to dream both long and large. The achievements are the more inspiring because Jim Clyburn achieved success as a State Official and National Leader coming from a State which still embraces and endorses the Confederacy, therefore racism. Mr. Clyburn, please keep up the good work and we pray much your strength!"--John H. Adams, 87th Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church

"Teddy Roosevelt famously praised 'the man in the arena.' Jim Clyburn's inspirational memoir clearly shows the achievements of a man who has lived his life battling in the arena--a master

politician and leading figure in the civil rights movement in South Carolina, reflecting on his life and motivations."

-- Former U.S. senator Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings

"Jim Clyburn's book Blessed Experiences has captured not just the history of this tireless leader's more-than-four decades in public service, but also a sense of the times. His professional life, which stretches from the Civil Rights Act to his current leadership position in the U.S. Congress, reflects the progress of the nation. While Jim has broken many barriers as the most significant African American member of Congress, his true success comes from his approach to collaboration on the national issues, as well as his ability to understand the needs of the constituency that he represents."--Warren Buffett

"A remarkable chronicle of a remarkable life, Blessed Experiences provides a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the Jim Crow South on the eve of its extinction and of a man dedicated to bringing its oppression and injustice to an end. James Clyburn helps us remember our all-too-recent past and the struggles and sacrifices he and so many others endured to build a better world for us all."--Drew Gilpin Faust, President and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University

"Blessed Experience: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black" by Congressman James Clyburn is a revelation. This candid autobiography not only charts Clyburn's improbable rise to senior leadership positions in the House of Representatives but also powerfully illuminates America's struggle to free itself from the despair and discrimination that accompanied Jim Crow segregation. Clyburn's words make clear how central the role of local and grass roots activism was in the struggle to find racial justice in places like South Carolina, and helps us better understand the origins of Clyburn's lifelong commitment to help America became a country where fairness and equality trump bigotry and hopelessness. "--Lonnie G. Bunch, Founding Director, Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

"There are few people with more character and integrity, or who have lived a more interesting and dynamic life, than Jim Clyburn. He has great insight, and it's been my honor to serve with him."--Vice President Joe Biden

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Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story about what it meant to stay in the South during the Civil Rights Revolution.