Black History month begins in just a few days. I don’t usually buy into the ideology of giving special recognition to people or groups according to government assigned dates on a calendar. I prefer to educate myself about people and events on a regular basis. Regardless, I wanted to share some information about an amazing individual, whom I believe is among the greatest thinkers in American history, Thomas Sowell.
I came across Thomas Sowell’s story on YouTube. This one hour documentary by Jason Riley is fascinating and inspiring. I encourage you to check it out for yourself:
Watch “Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World – Full Video” on YouTube
Thomas Sowell (pronounced ‘soul’), is an American economist, syndicated columnist, writer and social theorist.
He is often described as a black conservative for his old-fashioned assessments of economic theories, encouraging hard work and self-sufficiency.
I regret it has taken me until very recently to discover one of the greatest intellectual minds of our modern times. The man is an inspiration and prime example of success achievable by Americans, from all walks of life, in a land where people have the freedom and opportunities to make their dreams and goals a reality.
At 91 years of age, Mr. Sowell’s mind is sharp and he absolutely has a finger on the pulse the current social and political issues, in a time of ever increasingly overflowing with “dumbed down” perspectives, a lapse from critical thinking and personal responsibility.
Thomas Sowell was born on June 30, 1930 in Gastonia, North Carolina. With his father already dead shortly before his birth, his mother, a housemaid, could not support her five children, and sent him to a great-aunt and her two grown-up daughters who adopted and raised him.
During the Great Migration of African-Americans, a nine-year-old Sowell relocated with his family from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Harlem, New York City. There, he made it into the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, and subsequently became the first in his family to study beyond the sixth grade.
His academic career was disrupted at the age of 17 due to financial difficulties, following which did a number of jobs, including a job as a delivery man for Western Union.
In 1951, during the Korean War, he was drafted into the military, but thanks to his photography skills, was trained as a Marine Corps photographer instead of being sent to Korea.
After two years of military service, he got a civil service job in Washington, DC and at the same time took night classes at Howard University, a historically black college. He earned high scores on the College Board exams and gained admission into Harvard University with recommendation from two professors.
After graduating magna cum laude in 1958, he completed his Master’s degree from Columbia University the next year. In 1968, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from University of Chicago, under George Stigler, for his dissertation ‘Say’s Law and the General Glut Controversy’.
Mr. Sowell’s life long journey of success is impressive. From humble beginnings to be coming one of the era’s greatest economist, a political philosopher, a columnist, prolific author, photographer, and winner of multiple awards for his work.
People today could learn so much from this incredible American.
A favorite quote of Thomas Sowell’s
“There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men.”