The African Odyssey: The African Heritage in World History and Human Biologica and Cultural History: From Prehistoric Times: 4.5 Billion Years Ago and the Earliest Civilizations: 5,000 Years Ago to the 21st Century (2014)
[The following will have to be condensed for the final publication of the book – a detailed account of my biographical information including family, education, work, and civil rights participations.]
In Memoriam Mater – Dedicated to my mother, Vennie Carroll Carter, whose tireless labor as a maid and whose firm unrelenting belief in the value of an education and her support, despite blue-collar Buckeye Steel Mill family opposition, enabled her son, myself, to become the first in the family to achieve a college degree.
To the Memory of my Mother Vennie Carroll Carter, whose father, my maternal grandfather, Peter Carroll, though born a slave, and six years old when slavery ended, as an adult joined the early 20th century “Great Negro Migration North” to escape the bond’s of a Georgia sharecropper’s existence leaving Georgia with his 10 children, that includ my mother, – at midnight with all the house lights on to avoid being detected – and settled his family in Columbus, Ohio in 1917.
Also dedicated to my Grandmother Rosa Peters Carter because it had been my playing with the keys on the keyboard of her old Woodstock typewriter that had led to high school typing and shorthand and Army Judge Advocate General Corps Court Stenographer Military School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana and at a military training school ov in Lengries, Germany and facilitated university research and the writing and publishing of this history textbook.
Also to my dear Aunt Mae Carroll Williams who spent her younger years in Montana where she married Roy Williams, who, after my mother married my father Gustavus Carter, a Wilberforce University Industrial Arts graduate and an automobile mechanic who had shared a house with Uncle Joe, Joseph Carroll, a World War I veteran, who worked with Uncle Roy at the GM Ford Plant in Detroit, Michigan, and whose memory she later mourned playing her favorite 1930s/1940s radio hit singer Kate Smith and her western songs and theme song: “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,That’s the Day I’ll Be Coming Back to You” and particularly her subscription to the Detroit Times that enabled me to spread the Sunday edition on the floor early every Sunday morning and increase my reading and comprehension skills by following “Uncle Ben’s” reading of the comics to youngsters like me (my favorite comic section being the “Katzenjammer Kids”! which then led to my being Number 1 in the Spelling Bees in the 2nd and 3rd Grade, Berry Elementary School on Detroit’s Eastside near East Grand Boulevard causing one of my teachers without telling me, inviting my mother to the school to watch me win another Spelling Bee! Later in life tears came tomy eyes as I recall this single mom’s disshelved and worn winter coat she was wearing as she watched. It must have made an impression on Mom as to my potential because when my Columbus, Ohio, Southside Bucke Steel Factory-working uncles suggested and demanded that I began adding to the total Tears family income when I graduated from high school, she held out and won for my attending Ohio State University instead. Tragically, my intense roots in fundamentalist Baptist Christian teachings and dogma as a young Sunday School teacher got in the way of the learning process because I was trying to read “God and the Bible” into every word of the college textbooks even the French grammar resulting in failing grades. It was only after a stint in the Army overseas and receiving further education and “Ph.D. in the “University of Life” aided by my placement among other Black brothers who grew up on the streets of Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, when they and I were drafted into the Army when I had left Columbus, Ohio and was working at the Detroit Tank Arsenal when a telegram of acceptance into Columbia University was forwarded to me by my mother and I returned home, packed my bags, and boarded the train for New York City. Lonely tours of duty walking guard duty in Germany and meditating and thinking about the past had led to my applying to Columbia University after previously being accepted into military training school for miliatary court stenography training and being very much impressed and influenced by the teaching of a Columbia University white graduate student teaching an English required course in the Army military school at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana to which I had applied after my Army basic training atAfte Camp Atterbury, Alabama with those Black brothers, as I mentioned before,from the inner city, ghetto “hoods” of Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago, who were shipped south to Dothan and Enterprise, Alabama for basic training before shipment overseas. After I receivd my Bachelor of Scienc degreefrom Columbia, and was enolled in a Ph.D. in Political Science at Ohio State University it was abruptly cut short when without other means of paying or thefees, the Ohio Department of outh Servic “waiver of fees” graduate education expenss were cut off by the Department’s Administratio without stating any cause, as departmental institutional regulations required. There was a later Ohio Civil Service Commission and Ohio District, Court of Appeals, to the U.S. Supreme Court with legal charges filed by me, actingas my own attorney, for issues involved in that “university fees removal” and related “academic freedom with regarding to the teaching of Black History and Culture in the Ohio Department of Youth Services institutional schools” that seemingly was settled by a granting of a return to work with full pay by a State Personnel Board in 1985, chaired by C L. McLin from Dayton, after my having been fired and having to use my State of Ohio retirement funds to hire an attorney after having already earlier filed those aforementioned charges when acting as my own attorney!
While my mother was still living in the 1970s, back in Columbus, Ohio, after I had started teaching on arrival back from graduate studies in California, we together we watched Alex Haley’s national television series: “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” At one intensely emotional episode my mother had cried out in an anguished tone of voice: “I wish I had had an education”! My stammered response was don’t worry about it Mom, you did the best you could with what you had!
Thinking back retrospectivey to the slave mothers who had done the same thing, I was sure that I said the right thing. Education was among the strongest motivating factors in the lives of our African American foreparents and post World War II black single parents, despite the history of discriminatory state and federal laws, black codes, and the later recorded “strict apartheid institutional racist legislation” that followed the partial emancipation of those African slaves, and the reconsruction and the “segregation era from 1896 to 1954, that is a part of the authentic, actual and real – “not made up,” “politically correct,” or “feel good” American history, African and African American history.
This book is also dedicated to all the other African American foreparents who after being freed from slavery had zealously pursued the goal of an education for themselves and their family as well as the many parents and single parents who followed their example after the 1950s and 1960s “Civil Rights Movement,” who then sought to achieve for their children what the strict institutionalized segregation, “southern former Confederate states ‘Dixie U.S. Congress’-led” American socio-economic system had deprived and prevented them from attaining.
Those childen had watched those dedicated single parents struggle and sacrifice, and endure hardships, as did my mother, to make sure that their offspring achieved that goal of education during their (the parents’) lifetime – which I did – becoming the first in my family to get a college education, becoming a member of Eta Chapter, New York City, and becomin an undergraduate national officer, Eastern Assistant Vice President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity while a student at Columbia, University, 1956-1959, and riding a Columbus, Ohio Greyhound bus for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Equality – and the later 1983 commemoration march;
and after taking graduate courses at Howard University and George Washington University, Washington, D.C., San Francisco State College, San Francisco, University of California, Berkley,in Berkeley, California, where during the early 1960s I was a dormitory counselor during the “Free Speech campus movement, before attending California State University, and volunteering to serve as with the Los Angeles A.C.L.U. collecting testimonies of Watts residents on police actions and brutality during the 1965 Watts riots or uprisings before becoming a history teacher in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 and,before retirement, with other public school teachers testifying on behalf of teaching African-American history and culture in the Ohio public schools before an Ohio Senate Education Hearing Committee before the passage of an compromised Ohio Multicultural Education Senate Bill in 1973
this following citywide black student protests and demonstrations for the teaching of African-American history in the Columbus public schools, in 1976 and being hired by the Columbus Board of Education, while still teaching fulltime at the Ohio Department of Youth Services, to teach a citywide (interested elementary, junior and senior high school students and the general public – 8 years old including older interested citizens and parents and grandparents 25 to 80 years old, with classes regularly attended by a black nationalist Columbus group led by Nommo X, who later helped to establish an African book store on Livingston Avenue in Columbus and I last heard was attending Capital University!) –
my teaching this Black History and Culture course after public school hours at a predominantly, or rather then, all-black, eastside Columbus Junior High School. [see my Ohio State University Masters thesis: “Domestic Colonialism in Ohio with a Special Emphasis on Education in Columbus, Ohio (1976) with copies then in the downtown Columbus, Ohio Fourth Street Main Library and in the Main Library and on microfiche at the Ohio State University Library]
afterwards being the first to initiate and establish the annual observance of February Black History Month in the institutional schools and after 33 years of teaching history at three of the the Ohio Department of Youth Services institutional schools: Buckeye Youth Center, Columbus; Circleville, Ohio, and Delaware, Ohio. [see Marquis Who’s Who in the World, 1993-1994 and Marquis Who’s Who in Education in America, 2000 -2006-2007; 2009 Edition Columbia University Directory, and 2011 Edition Ohio State University Directory]
Further Family History:
The eldest son of my grandfather, Peter Carroll was Homer Carroll, who was the first of the brothers, my uncles, to work at blue collar jobs at the far southside Buckeye Steel Casting Company. The next eldest son,Joseph Carroll, a World War I army veteran, obtained employment at the GM Ford Automobile Plant in Detroit, Michigan, and Norman Carroll, the youngest of the sons, managed to move to a job in the U.S. Post Office in Columbus, Ohio.
[See “Family Photographs”]
To the best of my recollection,my grandmother’s next eldest son, Luther Carroll married Darcus Harshaw (her father, the head of the southern Georgia, Harshaw family, who settled the Harshaw family in Blacklick, Ohio*** ) their children, son: William (Bill), Clarence, and C. J., (his daughter Barbara Jean Carroll, moved to Washington, D.C.) and Luther Carroll’s son, Aaron (children, son Joseph, Marysville, Ohio), and Luther Carroll’s daughters were Rita and Lillian, Carroll;
My grandmother’s daughter, my Aunt, Mae (Mary) Carroll Williams (her husband was Roy Williams who moved from Montana to Detroit and later after his death to Columbus, Ohio), and my grandmother’s daughter, Vennie Carroll Carter and Gustavus Carter (son of William and Rosa Carter), moved with their son, Harold L Carter; to Detroit when I was in elementary school
My grandmother’s daughter, Eliza (Carroll) Harshaw and her husband, Robert (Bob) Harshaw (his father settled their family in Blacklick, Ohio. “Uncle “Bob” Harshaw’s brother, Napoleon Harshaw and wife, Louella, and their children, son, Luther, and one of the daughters, Betty), and Uncle Bob Harshaw’sson, Alton (and his son: Alton, Jr., wife, Christine, and daughter, Sheila Harshaw, who became an Administrator of the Columbus, Ohio Welfare Department); and
My grandmother’s daughter, Mattie (Carroll) Mizelle, her son, Melvin Mizelle, worked at one of the defense industry plants in Columbus, Ohio, and his wife and children: a son, Spencer (one of his children moved to Chicago), and Melvin’s daughters: Adrienne and Jo Ann Mizelle remained Columbus, Ohio; Mattie’s son: Rufus Mizelle, was a World War II veteran;;
My grandmother’s son, Julius Carroll and his wife and childre: sons, David and Peter,and his daughter Tonie; and my grandmother’s son, Selman Carroll and wife Dorothy Carroll, and his son, Norman, and daughters, Myra and Gladys; and my grandmother’s youngest son, Norman and wife Mildred Carroll, children: son, David (Florida), daughters, Terry (moved to California), and Francis Carroll (moved to Michigan after attending Bowling Green University)..
My grandmother’s brothers: Nineveh Carroll and family (Columbus, Ohio) and his or his brother’s daughter, Letha Carroll, choirmember of the southside Columbus, Hosack Baptist Church, where I received my first baptism, and her sons, Raymond, restaurant owner in Columbus, Ohio, and James, his brother; and Sam Carroll and family,(Manor Drive, Columbus, Ohio); before participating in catechism classes and becoming a member of Eastside Columbus, Ohio St Philip’s Church and Ohio State University, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, while a Ph.D. candidate after returning from college in 1960), and last but not least, grandmother’s brothers in Georgia and a brother who moved to Buffalo, New York.
*** I still recall the memorable and drama filled moments during the Carroll/Harshaw families’ annual southern-style “hog-killing” time reunion gathering at the patriarchal head of the Harshaw family’s farm in Blacklick, Ohio, just outside Columbus where my cousins Aaron Carroll, Melvin Mizelle, Alton Harshaw, and their buddy Felton, yet in in their late teens, engaged in dare-devil dives from the elevated borders of the nearby creek while the other older family members tended the preparation and outdoor “roasting” of the various familiar “soulfood” parts of the family-raised members of the pig or hog family !.
I was also taken to visit the all-black community settled alongside Colubus near what is now called Bexley in what was then before Freeway highway destruction and the building of homes for World War II veterans was called “Hanford Village,” where my paternal grandparents William and Rosa Carter raised their two sons, my father, Gustavus and my uncle, William Carter, then with a fresh,cold water well for family drinking purposes in the backyard of their house, Grandmother Carter’s organ and old Woodstock typewriter that I spent hour playing with, (which no doubt led to my taking typing and shorthand courses in high school which village just down the street had a town hall where their locally elected council members met. That early typing experience further led to high school courses and military training school at Fort Benamin Harrison, Indiana and, when shipped overseas, in Lengriess, Germany; and before honorable discharged from the U.S. Army and return to the United States carrying out the duties and receiving the rank of Sergeant), and certification as a court stenographer or court reporter in the Judge Advocate Section of the U.S. Army Fifth Corps, Judge Advocate Corps Division or Section).