As a high school student in Clarke Central's first integrated graduating class in 1970-71, Michael Thurmond was frustrated that his African American Studies class didn't have a text book. One of his teachers challenged "Why don't you write one?" A few years later, Thurmond did just that.
CLICK HERE to listen to Thurmond's story about his childhood, his first book and Athens history filmed by Walter Allen, Jr. of Zebra Publications on March 9, 2013 at the Morton Theatre in Athens, GA.
In what started out to be a 25 page pamphlet to preserve the history of a rapidly disappearing all Black culture during Consolidation, Thurmond's first book, A Story Untold: Men and Women in Athens History came to be.
Mixing lots of humor and fascinating facts, Thurmond takes the audience through Athens history from freeing the slaves to more modern times. When you listen to this archive you'll learn why many churches have the word "grove" in their names, who were the early black politicians during Reconstruction, who were the first dentists, doctors, and preachers, among other things that will add to your knowledge and appreciation of the Athens community.
Thurmond earned his juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In 1986, he was elected to the Georgia General Assembly. He also had a distinguished three terms as Commissioner of the Georgia Labor Department. He is currently the interim Superintendent of DeKalb County School District.
Thurmond is a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government. He helped found the Roosevelt Institute in Warm Spring, Georgia, for young people with developmental challenges. His latest book, Freedom: Georgia's Antislavery Heritage 1733 - 1865, was awarded the Georgia Historical Society's Lila Hawes Award.