One Child’s Journey from a Segregated School Bus to a PhD at Northern Arizona University.
How did Junebug rise above Jim Crow and achieve success on his own terms?
I don’t really want to be the first person to speak in class, but I also don’t want to clam up when the teacher asks me a direct question. “What the poem says,” I say, “About colored people being America, too. Like, my daddy– he fought overseas, but when he came back here, nothing had changed or was better. He always says colored folks love America but America don’t love them back.”
JuneBug’s Journey: How He Earned Four Degrees After Attending Poorly Funded Schools in Rural Mississippi.
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About Dr. Wilson Edward Reed
JUNEBUG/Wilson Edward Reed struggled with depression and anxiety for years dealing with the loss of his mother Willie Bea Reed. From the age of 14 in 1964, until he left Mississippi for Seattle in 1969, he slept with the light on, hoping she would return and spare him from the loneliness, self-doubt, and panic attacks that he endured as he adjusted to living at the segregated YMCA, worked at the Kentucky Fried Chicken as a fry cook, and attended the segregated Rosa Temple High School and Utica Junior College. It was not until he mustered the courage to say goodbye to Mississippi and take the 2,600-mile bus ride to Seattle that he found true freedom.
JUNEBUG was written to show the world that with determination, courage and a solid support system, all of us can overcome hardship and find opportunities to rise beyond our limitations.
JUNEBUG allows the author to share a fictionalized account of a world that does not exist in its historical form today. However, Jim Crow like conditions still exist in our prison system, health care system and some Southern states.
To achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King we must muster the courage to share our precious resources and see the human worth of every person.
JUNEBUG sought a place to call home, all the while signifying kindness, courage and compassion– qualities necessary throughout the world today.