Who Was Sonya Carson…


On November 6, 2017 Baltimore Fox reported the death of Dr. Ben Carson’s mother, Sonya Carson.

Everyone knows the name of Dr. Ben Carson, the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump Administration, but they don’t know the woman behind the amazing man!


We have often heard many stories from Ben Carson about his mother, as he incorporates them in many of his public speeches often. The day before Ben Carson was to announce his bid for the Presidency Ben Carson found out that his mother Sonya Carson who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 was dying. Because of this news, his Rally was postponed.


Sonya Copeland Carson was raised in Tennessee and was 1 of 24 siblings. According to an article written by History’s Women Sonya Carson was a very religious woman and allowed her faith to be her strength. Her motto in life was quoted to be “Learn to do your best and God will do the rest”, to motivate her children as they grew into adulthood. She is said to have been a woman with only a third grade education.

She was raised in numerous foster homes. At age 13 she married Robert Carson who is reported to have been 15 years her elder, saving her from a lifetime of abuse and poverty that she faced. The marriage did not last as her husband’s attentions drifted after she had the children. She often experienced depression and anxiety being faced with the life as a single mother.


As reported by an article written by Biography Sonya Carson was a very strong woman and very influential in her son Ben Carson’s life and career path! They had a very poor family; they did not come from wealth. When Ben was years old, Sonya Carson began the life of a single mother and moved her 3 children to Boston to live with her sister then later moved back to Detroit.

Ben Carson notes in his autobiography that his mother was very frugal when it came to the families expenses. She often would by their clothes from Goodwill and patch the clothing herself. They would also go around to the local farmers in there are and offer to work picking vegetables in exchange for food. Sonya Carson often worked 2 to 3 jobs just to make ends meet for her family, most of them as a Domestic Worker. Sonya Carson also instilled in her children that they could go as far as they wanted to in this life, and taught her boys that anything is possible.


Ben Carson (second from right) and his brother Curtis (left)

Bustle goes on to say that because of her upbringing and history, Sonya became very passionate about her children’s education. When Ben Carson as a young boy came home with bad grades, she instituted a strict regulation of television in the home, and would not allow playtime until they finished all of their schoolwork. She also had them read two books a week, write book reports on them, and turn them into her to follow-up on! Although many have reported that she was not able to read.

Her dedication to their education paid off in the long run as both boys graduated college! Ben Carson turned out to be a top Neurosurgeon and Curtis Carson a very successful Engineer! She told the Detroit Free Press in 1988, “Nobody was born to be a failure”.


On November 6th Ben Carson made the announcement on his Facebook Public Figure Page about the passing of his mother, and with it he incorporated a poem which his mother often fell back on when he and his bother would make excuses as children.

Ben Carson

Sonya Carson reminds me of someone I know very well! I myself grew up with a Great Grandmother who instilled the same wisdom and values that Sonya Carson did with her children. My own Great Grandmother also came from a poor and abusive background, was very frugal, and was diagnosed a few years ago with Alzheimer’s. She too had very little education and she learned to read and write by becoming a Teacher’s Aide while my sister and I were in school.

She also worked many domestic jobs, and numerous jobs to make ends meet. She made most of our clothing until we made it to Junior High School, and after that we often shopped in Thrift Stores and received Hand-Me-Downs. She just turned 100 last September, and I don’t know how much longer I have with her on this earth.
What I can tell you is….
I wish there were more people like both of these beautiful women in this world!
Rest In Peace Ms. Sonya Copeland Carson……


Copyright 2017 The Last Civil Right – All Rights Reserved



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