Overcoming a disability takes lots of faith and determination. Fortunately, James C. Birdsong, Jr. possesses an abundance of both.
Born with a speech impediment, unable to speak until the age of three, enrolled in special education classes and bullied throughout his youth are factors that could have led Birdsong into a pit of deep despair.
But, his strong belief in God combined with commitment to succeed propelled him above his circumstances and placed him on a road to triumph. After completing high school, he graduated from college, now is working on his master’s degree, and also pursuing a career as a gospel singer and songwriter.
Birdsong recounts his journey in his new autobiography, “The Best Is Yet to Come: A Testimony of One Young Man’s Redemption.” Through his book, he hopes to inspire people of all ages and nationalities to maintain their faith in God no matter what hurdles they may face.
“I am truly indeed a living, walking miracle. Being born with a developmental disability that resulted in fine motor delays, prayers went forth for me. A miracle happened and the rest is history,” said Birdsong. “If God did this for me in the redemption process, then I know He can do the same for others.”
In “The Best Is Yet to Come,” Birdsong describes memorable moments and important lessons learned throughout his life. He also gives insight on a wide range of topics such as disability advocacy, handling your parent’s divorce, issues facing today’s young people and the importance of faith.
“One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13 – ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” noted Birdsong. “These words helped me to overcome many obstacles as a child.”
A native of Richmond, CA, Birdsong hails from a family of notable singers, preachers, entertainers and educators.
His cousins include artist Cindy Birdsong of the Supremes, multi-Grammy Award-winner organist/keyboardist Edwin Birdsong and former NBA All-Star Otis Birdsong. His great-uncle, the Rev. Sidney Birdsong, served as pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Los Angeles from 1959, until his passing in 1976.
Encouraged by his family’s achievements, Birdsong aims for his book to be one of many accomplishments he will fulfill in the future. And if doubt enters his mind, he plans to turn to family for reassurance.
“My great-aunt and the matriarch of the Birdsong family, Gladys Birdsong-Murray, will be 93-years-old and still going strong,” he said.
In fact, he recognized many of his great-aunt and other family members during his inaugural book signing in Compton this past September. The honorees included his mother, Belinda Germany-Birdsong of Austell, GA, and relatives Dr. Catherine Birdsong of Compton, Angela Birdsong of Inglewood, Annetta Birdsong-Burrough and Mary Lou Birdsong of Los Angeles, Lee Arthur Fields Sr. of Paramount, Terrence Birdsong of Redlands and Edwin Birdsong of Victorville.
The event included LaCora Stephens as emcee, commendations from L.A.-area elected officials and music by the Rev. Calvin Rhone and Lillian Lilly of the Mississippi Mass Choir.
Birdsong will begin his official book tour in 2018; however, the publication is currently available on Amazon.com. Inviting readers to check it out, he said, “This book has something for everyone, from the young to the old, believers and non-believers, men and women that are dating in a relationship or marriage, and people of all cultures.
“My prayer is that this book will be a blessing to millions of people around the world and I am thankful that God has allowed me to be on this mission to reach out and help others.”
To learn more, visit jamescbirdsongjr.com.