Janice’s Review Blog

Octogenarian shares life filled with faith, love, song

Posted on: September 4, 2012

At the age of 88, Lucimarian Roberts still knows how to tell a great story, and she tells her story to Missy Buchanan in her book, “My Story, My Song.” with reflections from her youngest daughter, Robin Roberts.

Lucimarian Roberts tells her story in "My Story, My Song."

Lucimarian Roberts tells her story in “My Story, My Song.”

Roberts describes how her mother created a loving home for her family even though her father “came and went, depending on his sobriety,…” She describes how men came to take their belongings, how they managed without utilities and how her mother always remained committed to making a loving home.

In second grade, Roberts teacher, Miss Schnegg, took special notice of her and continued to be a part of her life all through her school years. She encouraged Roberts to take college preparatory classes, get good grades, participate in leadership opportunities and look into financial scholarships. Howard University in Washington, D.C. recruited Roberts, and she won the John S. Knight scholarship.

She recalls the years after she was born in 1924 filled with racism, and how race affected some of the singing venues she became involved with even in her own church in Akron, Ohio.  Roberts also tells how she auditioned for a citywide choir, but was not chosen. She told her mother, who seemingly brushed it off, and shortly after the incident, Roberts found that she was selected for the choir. She also found out a year later that her mother went to the high school principal to discuss her concerns over the selection. Her mother didn’t tell Roberts about the conversation because she didn’t want Roberts “to use racism as an excuse for something that had gone wrong in my life.”

Roberts singing and her lessons in dealing with racism came in handy during the 27 moves that she made with her Tuskegee Airman husband Larry. She also knew how to make a happy home wherever they live because of the loving home her mother had provided for her as she grew up.

The Roberts family faced segregation on some air force bases, but they always dealt with it in a positive way and had help from friends and strangers. When they were stationed in Japan, Roberts faced much loneliness as the only black woman on the base. She used her talent and opportunities to teach and became part of the Officers’ Wives Club and played bridge.  

The book contains family photos, excerpts from favorite songs, reflections from her daughter Robin and heartfelt letters from each of her other three children. Roberts shares her love and faith along with her gratitude for all of those people who helped her and her family over the years. She also records a time in history that no one should ever forget. It’s a marvelous book for all to read.

Photo © 2012 Janice Semmel

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