A Memoir of Success beyond Segregation
Published by: Indiana University Press
A remarkable, personal glimpse of Black student life at Indiana University in the early 1960s.
In 1961, a skinny African American boy from Indianapolis arrived at Indiana University Bloomington determined to become a doctor. For the next three years, Lester Thompson kept a detailed, intimate diary of his journey to graduation. In Lucky Medicine, Lester returns to his long-ago journal and, with honesty, humor, and a healthy dose of rueful self-reflection, shares stories from his college years at Indiana University.
Fascinating glimpses emerge of Black Greek life at the time, including the building of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity house and the successes, struggles, and social lives of its members. Lester's student years were driven by hard work, but also bustled with fun and drama. He recalls his time studying at the university library, falling in and out of love many times, becoming friends with fellow fraternity brother Booker T. Jones, a truly memorable invitation extended to meet with George Wallace, and an epic, no-holds-barred brawl with limestone cutters at the 24-Hour Grill.
Lucky Medicine offers a closeup, unforgettable look at IU student life just before the sweeping social changes of the 1960s, when students of color accounted for less than 2 percent of the Indiana University's student body.
Part One: Before
1. L.L. Goodman
2. (Dis) Integration
3. My Son Is Going to Be a Doctor
4. A Family Crises Changes the Paradigm
5. My Personal Goal
6. The End of the Dream?
7. Moving On Up, Sort of
9. Why Am I So Fortunate?
10. A Sixteen-Year-Old Boy's Dream
11. Junior Vaudeville
12. Saying Goodbye and a Glimpse of My Future
Part Two: Year One, 1961-1962
13. Your Mama Doesn't Live Here Anymore
14. Okay, It's Show Time!
15. What's Your Name? Where Are You From?
16. What's a Greek?
17. A Peek at What Lies Ahead
18. The Cleavers or the Bunkers?
19. Ray Charles
20. A New Low
21. Something Really Special
22. I'm Terribly Aware of Her Presence
23. It's My Turn or Is It?
24. What In the World Was That About?
25. Let's Try This Again
26. Be Careful What You Ask For
27. Welcome to the World of the Black Working Class
Part Three: Year Two, 1962-1963
30. The Unanticipated Price of Brotherhood
31. Life As an Active Becomes Real
32. The Elusive 3.0 GPA
33. Here Come the Sammies
34. Joy and Sorrow Interlaced
35. The Horn Sounded and the Walls Came Tumbling Down
36. Second Verse Same as the First?
37. With Power Comes Responsibility
38. The Challenge of the Dream
Part Four: Year Three, 1963-1964
39. If We Cannot Make Our Sun Stand Still, Yet We Will Make Him Run
41. September 19th
42. The Big Hurt
43. The End of Camelot
44. Hooray! I'm In!
45. The 24 Hour Grill
47. The Storm Becomes a Hurricane
48. The Last Dance
49. Branching Out
50. Little George
51. The Music Man from Memphis
52. Something Completely Different
53. It's All over but the Shouting
Part Five: After
Sometimes, change can come with a big ka-BOOM. Other times, it sneaks in the back door and sits quietly. That mixture's what you get with this unique memoir, Lucky Medicine.~Indianapolis Recorder
From his father's dream of Lester becoming a doctor, this memoir serves as an inspiration for any young medical student to capture their dream. Certain to become a noted source, Lucky Medicine gives us a ground-breaking looking into a mid-western, African American youngster's unlikely journey to become a doctor.~Booker T. Jones, Grammy Award Winner, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee