Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @FoodIsMyClassroom here with a tribute to my mother on this day, December 3rd. It’s her birthday!🎂
This tribute was a interview I had with my mother about her life while growing up, in college, and through the Civil Rights era. We also discuss her favorite restaurant The Busy Bee Cafe, life after having kids, retirement plans, enjoying grandkids, and the future.
1. The beginning
Born in 1951 in Taliaferro County, GA.
2. Birth and Adoptive parents
l lived with my birth mother until I was 18 months old. Then, I was adopted by Mary and Wade Long. We lived in Crawfordville, GA.
3. Sold at courthouse
None of us were for sale or sold! However, my birth mother had us standing on the courthouse square letting people know we could be adopted.
4. Growing up (only child/Elizabeth best friend/givinglife to Christ)
My adopted mother had 3 birth children. However, I was raised up by myself due to their age. My adopted parents were old enough to be my grandparents. My closest friend during my childhood was Elizabeth. I met her when she came to live with her great aunt. After her aunt died, she spent her senior year in our home. We both attended and joined Friendship Baptist Church. I joined when I was 12 years old.
5. Siblings (biological/adoptive family)
My biological mother had 7 children (six girls and one boy) including me, my biological father had 4 biological children (2 boys and 2 girls, including me and 4 step children), and my adoptive parents raised 2 boys and 2 girls, including me and a grandson.
I played 4 years of first string Varsity basketball, as a power forward, in high school and ran track, where I injured my knee jumping hurdles.
7. Upward Bound
I attended the Upward Bound Program at Morris Brown College for 4 years. The students attend classes taught by college professors on Saturdays during high school and lived on campus during the summer. Most of the kids lived in metro Atlanta, but my classmates and I were bused to and from Morris Brown College. We took the usual core classes taken in high schools and were taking many interesting trips around Atlanta and out of the state of Georgia.
8. Civil Rights/Going to jail
I was very active in the civil rights demonstration in 1960’s in Taliaferro County. I was arrested for trying to go in the front of the only restaurant in Crawfordville, GA. Black people had to eat in the back of the restaurant in booths in the kitchen. My mother could sign me out if I admitted that I broke the law. I refused! Thus, the judge gave me and an adult lady 10 years in jail in Crawfordville, but more people were in jail in surrounding counties. I was 13 years old.
During this time, my family would house civil rights activist. Two White Civil Rights Workers were living in our home named – Judy & Candi. In retaliation, the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) burned our home to the ground! Thankfully the was no one home.
The public school system was using county, state and federal funds to bus white children out of the county to prevent them from having to attend school with black children. We protested against this by laying on the ground in front of the buses. The Georgia State Troopers were there to keep us from stopping the buses. They were hitting us and twisting our arms behind our back. In the end, the court ruled that black kids must be allowed to attend school with the surrounding kids too. I went to school in Warren County. It was the second worse experience of my childhood. The white children and teachers treated us like we were the scum of the earth. The white kids were destroying my classwork and homework, but the teachers refused to let me give her my work directly. Thus, I repeated 9th grade back in the all black school in Crawfordville the next school term.
9. Morris Brown /Magnum Cum Laude and the AU Center
I attended Morris Brown College from August 1969 to December 1973. I majored in Social studies with a minor in education and graduated magnum cume laude in May 1974.
10. Busy Bee Cafe
I ate in the Canopy Castle Restaurant on Hunter Street (now Martin Luther King Drive) regularly while attending college. Busy Bee Café was next door and basically served the same food but cost more. Thus, I seldom ate Busy Bee Café until I graduated from college. When I bought my home in 1978, I started having Busy Bee Café cater my Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meals if not going out of town. The décor and menu have basically remained the same until now, but the prices have gone up drastically. We still use them to cater many holiday meals and special events.
11. Teaching temporarily
I was substitute teacher for high schools for Atlanta Public Schools for one year.
12. Federal government years
I worked as a Program Specialist for the Federal Government from 1974 until retirement.
13. Having kids
The greatest experiences of my life were the birth my two children. Sheldon was born in 1980 and Adriena was born in 1983. I was not lonely any more. My children brought great joy to my life. Sheldon is a police officer and Adriena is an elementary school teacher and entrepreneur. I am very proud of them.
14. Having grandkids
My son gave me four grandchildren; three girls and one boy. My children are wonderful, but my grandchildren are special.
I enjoyed my life as a child through high school. Now that I am I retired, I have peace in my life again. I enjoy being retired.
16. What’s next for you?
I do not have any plans for the future. I live one day at a time. No more schedules, deadlines or stress! Now, I just want to get my house in order and live my life so my soul will be saved. However, I am still praying that I live long enough to see more grandchildren before I die. God’s will be done!
Happy Birthday Mom 🥳😘
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning about my wonderful mother 🥰
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📸 and 📽 by Adriena Long