The 1950s and 1960s were decades of great change in America, particularly for the African-American community. The nation was changing technologically, socially, and culturally, the Civil Rights movement was gaining traction, and segregation was on the way out. With "Daddy Said..." author Ann Davis treats readers to a biography of her beloved father that not only captures the man, who was a larger than life figure and a pillar of his community, but also the spirit of that age and the experiences of the author's extended family.
Davis dedicates her work to all the men and women who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, a time she says the old African adage "It takes a village to raise a child" still applied. It was a different time then when communities were not yet atomized, when families could share quiet moments together without being distracted by gadgets or the ceaseless grind of the modern workplace. In her biography, she not only portrays her father but their whole neighborhood and its dynamics. Their community was a mixed one, and the children were the responsibility of all the adults there, forming an extended network of child-rearing where the adults could help each other out and where kids had no shortage of uncles or aunties to serve as models or teachers.
The narrative focuses on Davis' father, Charles Rudolph Rush, Sr., A man who was legendary to those around him, who taught, guided, encouraged, and demonstrated, serving as an example for his six children. He was strict but earned the awe, love, and respect of his family. Davis shows how his values helped shape his children into the people they are today, how he lived with integrity and became an indispensable member of their community. The lessons he taught them were crucial to how they succeeded in life.
By sharing his life, Davis hopes to impart her father's wisdom to readers everywhere. They are timeless lessons that Davis and her siblings still apply in their lives every day. The most important of these is how he taught them to set goals and go about achieving them.
"Believe in yourself and don't let anyone tell you what you can't do," he taught them. With his story, Davis shares an inspiring example of a man who did not let circumstances and challenges stop him from being all he could be, providing for his family, raising his children to become upstanding people with their own contributions to society. Davis also shows that life is not a bed of roses, portraying the adversities they faced back in those times, from a justice system that would not acknowledge how her father's father acted in self-defense against a white man to the workplace hazards her father faced as a coal miner and steel mill worker. The discrimination he encountered when he tried to help other black men find work. Yet these examples show how one can endure the thorns, overcome obstacles, and help make the world a better place in all sorts of ways - all by striving to do one's best while, at the same time, looking out for one another in solidarity with each other's shared struggles.
Davis's biography of her father is a truly inspiring story containing timeless lessons and values that are relevant no matter the time period. Readers can take away invaluable nuggets of wisdom that can help them navigate the adversities and hardships of the modern-day, just as it did for Davis' family during their time.
About the Author
For nearly 40 years, Ann Davis has pursued educational excellence, inspiring students to aim higher and work harder and guiding them to success. She was reared in Charleston, West Virginia, and has traveled the United States and Europe with her family during her husband's military career. Throughout her career and to this day, Davis has been active in politics, serving as a delegate in the national presidential election, being active in social causes, community issues, and more.