Alien in the Delta is a rich life story of an African American in the 1960’s south. Thankful’s small steady triumphs are a life lesson for anyone. His willingness to learn and cross racial barriers is another example of the unspoken threat to the south’s status quo in the 1960’s. I have read extensively about the plight of the African American’s in the south of the USA. The theme of this book is very similar to the themes we see in books like The Help, Cane River and The March. An added bonus is that Thankful made his way in the US military to Germany where he had the chance to live a life that was very different than the south in the 1960’s. It seems this is one of the defining moments of Thankful’s life as he is able to escape the prejudice of the deep south which will help him push for a better life when he returns to the USA and defy marriage laws of the south. I think that Thankful could write his next book in either direction in time. He could write about his parents or children’s lives or the next chapters in his own life.
Thankful Strother born 1943 in Grand Lake, AR., grew up in Eudora AR. Graduated from high school in 1961 and joined the US Air Force. Stationed in Germany for four years, there he learned to speak German and met his wife Barbara. Married forty-seven years, they live in California and have two adult children. He retired in 2003. Thankful Strother had a thirty-five-year career in computers and telecommunications with NCR and AT&T. In his retirement, he has accomplished his goal to write a book about his early life. Alien in the Delta is that book. It is a memoir about growing up poor in a hostile environment in the 1950’s to experience unimaginable success later in life.