My Father My Influence
Even though a person is uneducated, they too can find success with the right amount of determination and commitment. Willie C. Blacks, Sr. was a determined and committed man. He never gave up on his dream that he would one day own his own business. He always said he would never rely on government assistance to help him achieve his dream.
Willie C. Blacks, Sr. is my father and he is the person that has had the greatest influence in my life. Like most people, one or both of our parents have had a positive influence in our lives. I am a forty-eight year old woman who still looks up to my father for advice, whom I still call “daddy”. My father holds a fifth grade education, but he never let that hold him back.
My father was born and raised in Philadelphia, Mississippi at a time when segregation was part of the South. From the time he was a little boy he had a determination to make it out of the South and move up North. If he moved up North, he would be able to have more opportunities, he was told. So at the age of 14 he went to his father, my grandfather, and asked if he could leave Mississippi with a painting crew. My grandfather asked him, “are you ready to be a man?” and my father said yes. My father traveled with the painting crew for many years as a youth, learning how to be an independent man.
Although, my father has went back to visit Mississippi several times, he has never moved back. He is now 79 years old. My father traveled to many different cities and finally settled on Milwaukee, WI, where his sister lived. It was here, in Milwaukee, that my father found his first full time job outside of the painting crew. He has told us many stories of his survival but one story that stands out to me is the one he worked for .25 cents a block to shovel. It was during the icy cold frigid winters that Wisconsin is known for, that he would he would shovel sidewalks for store owners and only make .25 cents a block. So as one...