A Postal and Unique American Experience “MY JOURNEY” by William Burrus
The American dream unfolds before your eyes as you read this compelling saga of a bright young black man who left the hills of West Virginia because he dreamed of a better life. Bill Burrus takes you on a phenomenal journey from his first day as a postal employee through his gradual rise to becoming the first African American ever elected by the membership as the president of an international labor union. It is a fantastic journey that includes thorns and roses and reveals the many facets of his personality. His journey takes him all around the world – gave him power and influence reserved only for those holding the highest offices in the land. Burrus acknowledges that his contributions were built on the foundation of various labor leaders upon which he built his strength over the years. He mentions each of them throughout the narrative and freely admits the influences and efforts of others that led to his success. Many served as role models and mentors helping to lift him up in his climb to the top. As John Donne said, “No man is an island.” The events of time defined his place of existence, influencing his reactions to the world. Burrus’ ascension through the unions’ political structure involved the support of others, but there were rivals at each step of his journey. He includes in his memoir details about fellow union officers, supporters and detractors who shaped his perspective of aggressive union representation. “My Journey” is a must read for those students of postal history who are interested in the events that shaped the American Postal Workers Union and today’s postal workplace.