Donald Thornton was a ditchdigger who wanted more for his six daughters, saying:
"I love you better than I love life," he assured his children. "But I'm not always gonna be around to look after you, and no man's gonna come along and offer to take care of you because you ain't light-skinned. That's why you gotta be able to look after yourselves. And for that you gotta be smart."
Donald decided to do the grandest thing he could think of: force them to make a success of their lives. Along with their mother, Tass, he cajoled and inspired the girls to succeed while working two full-time jobs to keep them properly fed and clothed. All six became successful, independent, accomplished women: two of his six daughters became doctors, one became a dentist, one a lawyer, one a nurse, and one a court stenographer.
The Ditchdigger's Daughters is the inspirational story of a family with a strong role model who set family values about all else. Donald's persuasive common sense, folk wisdom and right-on insights gave them the skills they would need to overcome obstacles in their paths to success.