Ever since I was the unseasoned age of 13, I knew I was destined to be a collegiate student. My Grandmother was the cause of my drive and willingness to prepare and embrace the reality of society. College was always a goal. It never mattered if it was Cornell, N.Y.U, or even a school with a low graduation rate there was nothing to stop me. My foot was on the gas without any recognition that there was a brake next to me. I wasn’t only doing it for me though; it was also the consideration of such black iconic figures like Lucille Minnie Paul Crew which was a daughter of a slave plantation worker, a black activist, and a NAACP secretary in the South Carolina post. When she developed into a young lady she became independent and obtained here high school diploma. She is also my 103 year old Grandmother. She would tell me “Baby this is what I want u to do, never look back because when u turn around u might see something that’s going to make you walk in the wrong direction”. I took what she said and never lived by any other quote since I was 13.
Obtaining your Diploma back in the early 1900’s was much more than an achievement it was a milestone. That’s why I had so much respect and inspiration for this lady. Even though she was no Coretta Scott King, Maya Angelou, or famous actor Ruby Dee. She was just important because in that century African Americans never even dreamed of finishing school. They were only focused on pleasing and tending to the needs of the superior which was the white population. I remember how she sat me down right after I was dropped off from Rikers Island. She was crying and never in my life had I endured a feeling like that without any one saying one word. Seeing an elder woman cry and you’re the cause of it is like an unexplainable feeling that’s too overwhelming to describe. You’re feeling so guilty and remorseful that these traits engrave your personality forever and you never forget what you have done. It felt like I let her down and I was making her sicker than what she already was. My Grandmother has been through things that my generation wouldn’t even think of like being forced for sex, working 16 hours every day for no definite paycheck, and seeing her mother beaten while her father just watched because of fear. She’s my drive, my motivation, and my love. I have no plans of NOT obtaining my degree, I wouldn’t care if I lost a limb. “IM NOT STOPPING FOR NOBODY”.
As I got older I started seeing quotes by famous black activist that was much like my Grandmothers. Malcolm X “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” has a connection to what my Grandmother preached to me that night. This gave me more inspiration to show society that my generation is much more than what our physical appearance represents. I know we can wear our pants a little too low, and our hats a little too big but we have vivid and creative minds.
Wow. This is a great price.
I can't believe your grandmother live to be 103 years old and was also an activist.
It must be nice to have such an idol and inspiration to look up to, a drive to motivate you through school and life.
i enjoyed reading this piece. I felt alot of ambition and determination in it through his choice of words and voice. It also encouraged me to step my game up and work harder in school to obtain my goals.