Mr. T aged 9, 1961
- Meet My Father
and My Mother
Let me introduce you to my father first, the man behind the man. You can call him the Reverend Nathaniel Buddy Tureaud, Sr., because my father is a minister…
Being the son of a minister was not easy. They say that the preacher’s children are the worst in the neighborhood, but we were not that bad. My father would definitely keep us in line…he was a proud man and he wanted to be proud of his children so he raised us with discipline…My father did not believe in sparing the rod…
My father was a junkman also; he would go into the white folks’ neighborhood and get their throwaways…My father came around so much with that smile and big ‘Thank you’ on his lips, that those whites really started to like him…Sometimes they would even invite my father and brothers to stay for dinner…You should have seen my father, how cool he was. He played his hand like a riverboat gambler and I think he should have won an Academy Award for best actor because he was simply outstanding…he truly was at his best. My father used to tell me, ‘Son, sometimes it takes a lie to get by’, and I believe him…
As we began to grow older, my father got a lot more respect, or perhaps I should say a lot more people feared him. People used to call him ‘The man with the sons’. You see, by then my seven brothers had got bigger, with nice size, too. People knew that if they messed with my father, they would have to tangle with his eight sons…
I want to talk about my mother – I mean the heart, body and soul of my mother…I want to talk about her hands, feet and her knees, because those parts are all very special to me. It was her feet that carried her across town to do domestic work for the white folks…my mother had to get down on her hands and knees to scrub floors, toilets and wash dirty, stinky diapers. She used her feet to walk against my sickness when my body was ill…It was my mother who walked the floor with me, on her feet all night long; then she would get down on her knees and pray some more. My mother walked until my fever came down or left my body completely. I am just trying to tell you how I feel about my mother…
I will just say that my mother was God-sent. Behind every great man, there is a mother, You’ve just met the mother behind Mr. T.
Next time – Living in the Ghetto
Mr. T's real name - Lawrence Tureaud!!
Bonus pic – Mr. T meets Nancy Reagan.
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