Real Experiences for BHM 2016: Dad's Are Awesome

Since today is my dad's birthday, it seems only right to make him the spotlight for today. My dad was born in 1950 and is the youngest of 5. His senior year in high school ('67-'68) is the year integration began in my hometown of Conway, SC. That year black students were given the choice to attend the all white high school; only 5 people took the risk and my dad was one of those 5. My dad's original high school (the one for Blacks) would become the namesake for Whittemore Park Middle and Conway High School would go on to adapt its colors to add the gold from Whittemore High School. (Had they not built Carolina Forest, I would have attended Whittemore Park and graduated from Conway High). My dad went to South Carolina State University for 2 years, before transferring and graduating from Tennessee State University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. After deciding he didn't like working in a lab, my dad went back to the University of South Carolina (house divided y'all) to get a Masters in Education and began working at a technical college. During his tenure there he was apart of the access & equity committee and oversaw summer programs for "at risk" and low-income children (and me, because I always tagged along). Now that he is retired he still works with a summer food program to provide lunches for non-profit summer camps in the community. Growing up people called me my dad's shadow. I can thank my dad for the ability to wake up at the crack of dawn because I learned early on that if I wanted to follow him all day I had to be up before the sun. While my dad gave/gives a lot to the community, he's still makes time to be a crazy awesome dad. I remember in 6th grade, I really wanted to go on this ski trip the school was offering, but my parents didn't want me to go unless one of them went too. My mom couldn't get off so it was on my dad, but my uncle had gotten super bowl tickets and the trip was super bowl weekend, so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get to go. But my dad said there would be other super bowls, and took me skiing (best trip ever!) My dad is the one that doesn't mind that I called him on Skype to have him watch me drilling holes in boards to tell me why they aren't lining up—and bring me a new set of power tools when he comes to visit. My dad grew up during the civil rights movement, he attended all black schools, he is successful. He taught me 2 things in life: "You always have a choice, just remember you have to live with the consequence of that choice" and "You may have to be 3 times better to get what you deserve, but be 3 times better because you can be." #BlackHistoryMonth2016 #MakeItCount #MyDadIsAwesome #Happy66thBirthdayDad

Photocredit: Studio

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