Your morning Inspiration Via: @blkpowermoves
When Larry Thornton became one of six students to integrate Goodwyn Middle School in 1967, he was hardly a star student.
He said he couldn’t even imagine the man he would some day become.
The self-made author and entrepreneur went from making $5 an hour painting signs at Coca-Cola to becoming the first Black owner of a McDonald’s franchise in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1992. He also became the first Black member of the board of directors for Coca-Cola’s Bottling Company United, Inc. in 2003.
Now, his book, “Why Not Win?” has informed the curriculum for a nonprofit institute aimed at preparing students, industry executives and employees to succeed in leadership roles, Zillah Fluker, a spokeswoman for the Why Not Win institute, said. The institute has used the book’s revenue to fund its programming and to donate $3,000 to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and almost $1,000 to the Tom Joyner Foundation for scholarships.
It’s the kind of success Thornton said in a recent phone interview with Atlanta Black Star that he didn’t think was possible as a boy.
He was a child during a time when it was normal for his mom to warn him: “Watch out for the chain gang. Watch out for the Klan.” He still remembers receiving the news on April 4, 1968, that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed. Thornton was 12 years old.
He said coming to school the next day was tough, but he remembers exiting the school bus and seeing a crowd unlike any other day. The mass of parents and onlookers were waiting to see how the six Black kids responded to King’s death. #larrystylinson
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