I've started to look at life differently. When you're thanking God for every little you - every meal, every time you wake up, every time you take a sip of water - you can't help but be more thankful for life itself, for the unlikely and miraculous fact that you exist at all.
My sister was like my surrogate mother here, in Washington, with very much of the same persuasions as my mother. Even when friends came from home that I knew were more socially adaptable to the mores of the time, she would always caution me and say, "Be careful if you're going out with so and so because you know such and such a thing could happen. " It was that kind of guardianship, and concern that imprinted me.
My students used to say, one such as Mary O'Neal, that I identified the students by their boyfriend
girlfriend relationship. That was the way I knew them and keep up with them. Mary was the girlfriend of Stokely Carmichael. She later became a fine painter of distinction and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, and later became chairman of the Department of Art at Berkeley.
My parents were not formally educated. Both were cognizant of the importance of education. The teachers and ministers were the role models, and they would say, you should want to be like Miss Gardiner, you should want to be like Mr. Freeman, or be like your dad. Shun the people who don't value education.