“Learn About” Questions
- What is an Eagle Scout? What is required to become one?
- What is the Washington Post?
- What’s the story of how this African American neighborhood came to have so many “professional models” for the Green Siblings?
“Learn From” Questions
- Who were some of the professional models for me in my life?
- When I was little, did anyone take one of my toys as seriously as Treopia’s mom took her doll, Bertha? If so, what is my memory of it and how did it feel?
- What did my neighborhood communicate to me about what I would be when I would grow up?
Growing up in Little Rock was a beautiful experience. Our neighbor across the street diagonally was the Boy Scout leader at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and my brother Ernest was a member of the Boy Scout troop and ultimately became an Eagle Scout. And he has done things even now in later years with the National Scout. In fact, he was given an award several years ago at the National Scout Conference as an outstanding person. The neighbor, I mentioned the neighbor next door who was my classmate, who became dean. His sister became a teacher in St. Louis. The neighbor next door to them was a nurse and these were people that, as a little girl, I can remember, even two years old. I had a doll named Bertha and I told my mother it was Bertha’s birthday. So she told me to take Bertha out for a walk so I walked past Nurse Alexander’s house and up to Mrs. Cook’s house on the corner and came back. And when I came back, mother had baked a birthday cake for Bertha so we had a birthday party for my doll. But the neighbor across the street on the other corner was a brick mason and I didn’t realize that, now that my brother and I talk about it, he was a contractor and he built his house and one summer my brother worked with him and it was an interesting experience for him. But he evidently was an excellent brick mason. On the corner on the same block but at the next corner was a doctor, Dr. Robinson. Across the street from them was the Powell’s grocery store owned by the Powell family. So it was a neighborhood and then going down another block, the principal of one of the elementary schools whose son ultimately worked for the Washington Post and in fact, his son was the bureau chief for one of the eastern countries and when he passed, the owner of the Washington Post had a luncheon, invited his mother, and I attended the luncheon in her conference room. So it was a neighborhood that provided just extraordinary experiences. It was interesting, I always say ‘it’s a small world’. One of the deans at the college at Bowie where I’m working now, we were in a meeting and I mentioned being from Little Rock. And he said, my best friend when I was in Pittsburgh lived in Little Rock. So we were in this meeting with the President, very, you know, very important meeting. So we were passing notes to each other. I shouldn’t tell that. But he gave me the name of his friend who was our neighbor across the street and while we were sitting in the meeting, he took a picture of me and texted his friend and sent it and his friend said, yep, yep, that’s me. But it was that kind of neighborhood, the kind that everybody took care of everybody. And even going a few blocks, those were in the days when a young girl could walk three or four blocks and everybody was looking out for her. I would walk to my aunt’s house, which was four blocks away, and the corner before her house, a judge lived on one corner and a lawyer, Hibbler, lived on the other corner. And the dean of girls at the high school lived on another corner. So I think we had the privilege of growing up in neighborhoods where there were many professional models, which meant that you knew you were gonna grow up to be a something. Because everybody around you was a something. And yet, these were people that were caring people. I don’t know of anybody who was pompous about what they did. As my mother used to say, what you do is not who you are. And that’s something I try to remember and I think all of us have lived by that.