My Journey: A Postal and Unique American Experience

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9781612540948: My Journey: A Postal and Unique American Experience

The American dream unfolds before your eyes as you read this compelling saga of a bright, young black man who left the hills of West Virginia because he dreamed of a better life. In Wheeling, West Virginia, Bill Burrus knew that racism and discrimination would plague his life forever because of the color of his skin, so he ventured to Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of twenty-one. From there, Bill takes you on a phenomenal journey from his first day as a postal employee through his gradual rise to becoming the first African American ever elected by the membership as the president of an international labor union. It is a journey that took him all over the world and gave him power and influence reserved for the highest offices in the land. Becoming president of the American Postal Workers Union did not occur overnight; this journey with Bill takes you through his trials and tribulations, along with the post office and national union politics that got him to the presidency. Bill Burrus is honest, forthright, and even self-criticizing as he chronicles details inside the American Postal Workers Union, where you can see both accomplishments and failures. My Journey is candid. --Louis 'Lou' Stokes, Congressman, Retired

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About the Author:

William Burrus was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, to parents William H. and Gertrude Burrus. He began his postal career as a clerk in February 1958, and in the years that followed became interested in union affairs. After gaining membership in the National Postal Union, he began his ascension through the leadership ranks, fighting to improve conditions for postal employees. In 1981, Burrus was elected as the executive vice president of the American Postal Workers Union, the second-ranking officer in the 280,000 member union. In 2000, he was elected president of the union and became the first African American elected by the membership to the presidency of a major union. He served as president for ten years before announcing his retirement after a fifty-three-year career as a postal employee and elected union official. Burrus has been married three times. He has two daughters with his first wife, Claudette Vincent, and two daughters with his second wife, Janice Reid. He married his current wife and soul mate, Ethelda Harkins, in 1985. They are most proud of their ability to communicate and the two homes they designed and built that reflect their mutual love.

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Bill Burrus
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