Hudson presents new book to students

A south Louisiana native, Donovan Hudson, lectured on topics covered in his soon to be published book, “Breathing Life into the Dream: The Odyssey of an African American Family in the Transitional South.” Inspired by written memoirs from his father, Hudson further researched his own family history, which turned into a story he had to share.

“When we study history and read about the lives of extraordinary people, we feel so far removed,” said Hudson, “we’re not well grounded in appreciating that they were as human as we are and that what they did is not beyond our capabilities.”

Hudson was at the feet of the civil rights movement in the south. He remembers being shushed by his mother when Dr. King gave a speech in Opelousas, Louisiana. He was one of the first four black children to go to a then segregated, all white, catholic school. As he was growing up, he felt that he was just as aware as anyone about civil rights history. But as he began to read more of his father’s written memoirs, he realized that he didn’t know anything about civil rights history.

His family has a deep heritage in south Louisiana dating back to the late 1800s. Both his parents came from a landed family, which meant they were landowners. At that time in history, being black landowners was uncommon. His father, having good grades and previous experience playing football, was recruited by Grambling State University. His mother became the housekeeper and childcare for the wife of the Grambling football coach.

Hudson believes that there are plenty of situations where someone from a higher institution, academically related or not, reached out to help an individual. He firmly believes that many people wouldn’t be where they are today if someone had not reached out during this period of segregation in our state. Had his own father not received that call from the Grambling football coach, his parents might not have met.

He urges people to do research about their own family history. “You will find that there is great strength and character right in your own home,” said Hudson. “If we dig around and ask a few questions about our own lineage, only then will we discover these forgotten stories.”

“History lives and breaths, it’s real,” said Hudson. “People who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it in ignorance.”