In 1997, a movie version of my memoir, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, aired on The Family Channel. And while the film covers only a fraction of the book, it was still a thrill to see the actors playing the roles of my family members and me.
The film was never released commercially on DVD and seemed all but forgotten. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that BET network was broadcasting my story – and lots of people on Facebook are talking about it. I caught the film version last weekend as a movie premiere on BET, which makes me think that it might be broadcast again, so you should check the schedules.
Of course, Hollywood likes to focus on the conflict, so the movie was more about the struggles between my father and my older sister, Jeanette and less about what made the book a bestseller: how my father and mother overcame incredible obstacles to build a better life for their daughters.
It’s fun to watch but if you really want the whole story, I hope you’ll read the book.
And if you want to know what happens after that book ends, please keep an eye out for my next memoir, Something to Prove, scheduled to be published in December.
– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH