Thaddeus H. Spratlen is professor emeritus of marketing, Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, where he received tenure in 1972. His academic career extends from 1961, when he was the first African American male hired at Western Washington University, Bellingham. He has held faculty appointments at UCLA; UC, Berkeley; and Howard University. His research and teaching interests cover a wide range of topics related to racial, economic, and social aspects of marketing, business, and society. He is the founding faculty director of the Consulting and Business Development Center at the UW and coauthor of the book Business Consulting in a Multicultural America.

Title by Thaddeus H. Spratlen

  • by Thaddeus H. Spratlen

    Journey Up from Down South describes what struggle, resilience, hope, and family life look like for African Americans who achieve far beyond the circumstances of their birth. The author, his wife of sixty years, and many around them were successful in “lifting as they climbed” over the course of their lives.
    The author’s journey in this memoir is organized around migration from the Jim Crow South to the North and West for better opportunities. Together, the author and his wife moved from Depression-era poverty, through undergraduate and graduate degrees, and into the mainstream of higher education—battling discriminatory practices during their rise.
    Through the lens of his family, the author brings to bear his research skills to describe some of the most important issues affecting Black Americans from Reconstruction to the present.

    “We turned those obstacles into opportunities.
    We persevered and won. Our story had a good ending.
    But to keep it real, our journey will be continued by others.
    In the end, readers are reminded of the harsh realities
    and restrictions of how racism still makes
    ‘living while Black’ a problem.”