Guest Column – History: The story of the knowledge of the past
By Hatti Carter
Special to the POST-REGISTER
As I reflect back on Black History and how personal it is to me, it’s who I am, who I would ever hope to be, it’s my life… my legacy. I realize that, but it’s a torch that I have gotten a hold of, or it’s got a hold on me. But in this moment in time, will I let my torch burn bright as possib
le, or will I let it go out before passing it to future generations? And what will my torch consist of – history, culture, education, politics, a profession of some sort? What?
As I sat in a community meeting of the minds this weekend, I found myself in the presence of a lady, 95 years young, to hear her speak passion of being the oldest living graduate of Carver Vocational School. She continues to be very enthusiastic of the memories she has, and how seeing the buildings brings all those moments back.
She rekindled my hope and passion for the neighborhood I grew up in, educated in, and raised my family in. I still live there today. I asked myself how a precious vessel such as she goes unacknowledged.
We should build on those contributions made to our lives, directly or indirectly.
So if you would allow me, as we celebrate the month of February as Black History Month, we also openly acknowledge some of the African-Americans’ shoulders that we stand on today.
It’s many, but I would like to name a few: Ms. Myrtle Moore, oldest living graduate of Carver Vocational School; Willie Ellison, first black from Lockhart to play football for Los Angeles Rams; CA “Butch” Thomas, excelled in education, noted for turning school districts around that were in trouble, and superintendent of Beaumont Schools today; Joe Roland, local businessman, County Commissioner and community servant; the late Kennedy “Kenny” Roland, City Councilman, great humanitarian and community servant, started the first MLK March and Celebration, the first Family Picnic celebrating Juneteenth, District One Pride, and too many things to name; and Mr. Tom Guyton, serving as a School Board Trustee.
As we reflect this month, remember when we die – and we will – all that we have left to others and what we are leaving for others. What kind of contribution or legacy will you leave?