FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Poverty and hardship were commonplace for Alford Douglas. So was prejudice.
“From the Caribbean to the United States” is Douglas’s memoir (published by iUniverse), an inspiring story about his struggles, and a hard, honest look at racism in the U.S. The great-grandson of a slave, Douglas tells his journey from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S., about the love from his parents, especially his mother who taught him and his siblings to withstand the worst of the ridicule and demeaning treatment he received, and to be good citizens of the world.
“Much of the hardships I have experienced were too painful to write about. Most times when I recall them, I cry. I learned not to respond to every demeaning or hurtful remark thrown at me. Tempers create more hurtful words and fights. Through harsh words, one can lose his life,” Douglas said.
Douglas said he understands what immigrants and refugees to the U.S. experience when there is no one to advise, guide or lead them. “They are used and ridiculed,” he said. “I have experienced lots of it. I learned and overcame.” Perhaps others can learn in “From the Caribbean to the United States” how to overcome as well, or how to empathize with others to help them overcome.
About the Author, Alford Douglas
Alford Douglas was born in Trinidad and Tobago, but Douglas’s great-grandfather, Thomas Washington, was a slave in the U.S. He was born in Arkansas and enlisted with the US Colored Troops in Little Rock at age 19. He fought in the Civil War.
After the war, he and some others were shipped to the islands for fear that they would be killed for fighting for the north. Alford and his descendants are proud of him and of themselves as American citizens, and of keeping the hope of the slaves alive.
From almost nothing, America allowed Douglas to dream and live the American dream, though his life was not as big as his dreams were. He is now retired — and happy. This is his first book.