33 and the Finger

 by Otis Sibley


33 and the Finger by Otis Sibley book cover
Price: £2.69
RRP: £3.00

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33 and the Finger is the autobiographical story of the many challenges the author overcame and the discrimination he faced for being both handicapped and African-American.

Sibley was born with only the little finger on his right hand and the thumb and one finger on his left hand, but at a young age he decided this would never slow him down.

"I not only could do what the others do, I could do it better. Some things I did a different way, but I got the job done."

With the enthusiastic support of his mother and lessons learned from attending a school for handicapped children, Sibley enters life determined to provide for himself. He works a series of jobs and manages to support himself and, soon, his new wife and children.

He finds his calling as an automobile mechanic. But as a disabled African-American, Sibley is paid less than his co-workers. Still, his skills are impressive enough that he frequently trains new mechanics.

He eventually becomes foreman, but the resistance he meets from the white mechanics forces him to resign the position. He then tries to start his own business, but seemingly corrupt banks turn him down. So, after working for thirty-three years, Sibley retires.

The "Finger" of the title refers to how, after working for thirty-three years, Sibley felt he received "the finger that hurts when it is directed at you."

He is upset, but not bitter and says he wrote this book because "You don't fight fire with fire, and you don't fight a wrong with another wrong. I know I won't be the first to cross the finish line, but I want the world to know I finished. I may be the last to finish. But I did finish!"

 

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autobiographybiography