Friday, February 10, 2017

Lunch at the Library with Thom Gossom Jr.

Who knew of the social isolation and great cultural divide
 experienced by Auburn University's first black athletes?

Heroes on the field but loners on the campus?

Certainly not me! But I was there during some of those years 
and discovered Thursday that I even graduated Auburn on the same day
 as Thom Gossom Jr. At AU, he was a walk-on football player 
who achieved scholarship status and made first string.
 And he became the first black athlete to graduate that university,
 a feat he attributes to his parents' insistence for a solid undergraduate education.
As February's featured author at Selma's Lunch at the Library series, Gossom
 reminisced about his days as a reluctant pioneer of integration in the New South.
 He went on to a brief career in the NFL followed by public relations, acting
  and writing. The Birmingham native appeared in such television shows
 as "Boston Legal," "In the Heat of the Night" and "NYPD Blue." 
There were also a few films. 

But yesterday, his amiable personality connected with a full house
 as he mostly focused on football and how he finally made amends
 with the emotions that threatened to throw him off course during his his younger
 years. Gossom signed copies of  his autobiography,
 "Walk-On" along with his "Slice of Life" short story collections. 



William Kendall said...

A wonderful portrait of him, and bravo too!

Tanya Breese said...

that would have been interesting to listen to! he has a very nice face/smile! great portrait!