By Anders J. Hare
These four Black men — Rev. Reggie Tuggle, Dr. Augustus Parker III, Patrick Diamond and Ron Ancrum — didn’t form their writing collective just to tell their individual stories. They wanted to teach readers that no matter where they come from or what their circumstances are, they have the power to accomplish their goals.
Known as the Write Brothers, these men are connected by the values of family, faith, inspiration and wisdom and work together to enlighten readers about the power of hope. They came together in Charlotte where they were motivated to work hand-in-hand after realizing each of them had written a book that inspired people to dream big.
“We all wrote [books] during the pandemic, and it was the first time that any of us became authors,” author and philanthropist, Ancrum said. “Coming together was an opportunity, initially, to share those experiences. Then we realized we have something in common, and that might be an interesting idea coming together and working in a collaborative way.”
The men formed the collective after they read one another’s books casually, and they realized their respective works told tremendous stories of grit and perseverance, despite facing adversity along the way. Ancrum’s book, “Keep On Moving: My Journey in the Fourth Quarter,” details his health struggles. He wrote the book during the two years after his third hospitalization.
“I’ve always talked about how God has always created a path for me,” Ancrum said. “I always found out moving on to my next thing because that’s where he wanted me to be.”
In his book “Mining Diamonds,” Parker shares his wisdom and journey in becoming a father and a physician, focusing on his journey of love, faith, family, and perseverance. Starting as an obstetrician-gynecologist, he was an early adopter of robotic surgery and developed surgical techniques. In the book he also describes how he rose to become a hospital administrator and eventually a senior medical director for an insurance company.
With his work, the Columbus, Ohio, native emphasizes the importance of legacy, pointing to the several physicians in his family, including all of his children. He believes his family is one of the few African American families with four medical doctors spread across two generations.
“I used to be known as Dr. Parker, and now I’m known as Dr. Parker’s father because my real claim to fame is my legacy that all my children are physicians,” he said.
Diamond’s book, “The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art – My Journey from Frogtown, S.C. to the National Gallery,” examines the challenges and feats of gathering a collection of art over nearly 50 years.
Through the experience of writing the book, Diamond and his wife Judy were able to develop strong friendships with many of the artists in the collection. They’ve collected 120 to130 images from 40 to 50 different artists.
“Through the book, I attempt to communicate two important points: the critical relationship and special role that grandmothers play in our lives and the incredible cultural treasures and American history that can be found in African American art,” Diamond said. “By loaning artwork to museums, galleries and art centers, we’re able to help expose children and adults to the significant and historical contributions that African Americans have made to American art and culture.”
Tuggle’s book, “A Journey Through Grace,” focuses on his journey from the depths of poverty to becoming a lauded and inspirational figure in Charlotte. In the book, Tuggle describes living in an attic with his unwed mother for the first nine years of his life in Colorado.
“A Journey Through Grace” recounts the growth of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, N.Y., from 50 members to more than 1,000 members, where Tuggle served as pastor for 38 years. He details his journey from his early adversities through his faith and firm relationship with God.
“God [kept] opening up doors everywhere you looked. When I thought a door was closed, another one would open,” Tuggle said. “It’s that kind of narrative — going through one difficult situation after the other and emerging on the other side. I’m better off than when I entered that moment of ambiguity and was endowed in darkness.”
With each of their unique stories, the Write Brothers are sharing their journeys with the world, reaching out to youth and higher education institutions to reach the next generation of great thinkers and doers.
“I think we can basically share the story about our lives and other people can resonate with it,” Ancrum said. “It’s also about what we’re doing in terms of our gift back to the community. And one of those gifts is to have that opportunity to share these stories, and to share … how we got to where we are, professionally, career-wise and with our families.”