top of page
Story Link.gif

Anthony Carter

"Some Reflections on my Early Life"

     My name is Anthony Carter, I am the son of Robert Carter and the grandson of the late Ozie B. Carter.

     Where do I start? My father (Robert Carter) always said, " Things don’t happen to be just because they happen to be, there has to be a fore runner."  I like to acknowledge the " fore runners" in my life.  Without them I would not be where I am today.

     I remember, as a child, living in Charter Oak Terrace, on the south end of Hartford CT. My grandmother, Ozie B. Carter lived with us at that time. I recall her taking me with her, in the evening, to her Bible study meetings. There weren’t a lot of people at the meetings. At times there may have been a total of three people, and that’s counting grandma Ozie and me. But, the meeting went on as if the place was packed. I was just glad to be with her. She continued to take me to Bible lessons and to church with her. I tagged along, I was young and was just happy be going with her. I did not know at the time that this would be the foundation for my spiritual life.


     Grandma Ozie would leave Connecticut before I reached eight years of age; she would go south to Georgia. At the time I didn’t understand why she left, but as I grew older, I gathered the reason may have been a combination of being home sick and making room for our growing family. In either case, I would miss her. I would have the opportunity to see Grandma Ozie again when my sister ( Sandra) and I traveled to Georgia for a two week vacation, during the summer of 1969.


     We stayed with my Uncle Reggie (Reginald Carter) and Aunt Naomi in Butler Georgia. It was a memorable time. I was able to spend time getting to know my cousins, Charlene, Cynthia, Reggie, Kalvin (Ka Ka) and Qwen. My cousin Reggie took me out in the woods hunting. I don’t recall catching anything but I learned a lot. Cynthia and Charlene would take me across the railroad tracks to the little store where we bought soda pop and potato chips. Uncle Reggie took us to Atlanta to see Grandma Ozie. I remember a big family dinner, at what I believe was Aunt Nan’s (Nannie Mae Telfair) house. I remember a lot of food and family. All in all, it was an experience I’ll never forget. I still tease my cousins about that vacation.


     When I look at what is going on in the world today and see children being abused and discarded, I thank God for my parents , Robert and Winifred Carter. I thank them for preparing me for this journey called life. They could never have prepared more for what I’ve experienced. Whether they knew it or not they provided just enough advice, love, and freedom, allowing me to make the life decisions and mistakes that have brought me this far. But they weren’t alone, again, there was grandma Ozie, Aunt Martha, Uncle Loveture and Uncle Velma. I recall Uncle Velma coming by with his patented greeting " What’s happ’nin’ Jackson". I knew he knew my name wasn’t Jackson, but he said that to all of us, as he held out his hand for us to slap him five. Every time he came over he would be clean, dressed sharp. As I got older and able to afford them, I bought myself a pair of Stacey Adam shoes in memory of Uncle Velma. I was saddened to hear of his passing, while I was away in college.


     It was after college that I started my family and began to apply the values instilled during my childhood. I distinctly remember having a discussion with my brother-in- law and his friend regarding Black role models. It was one of those intellectual conversations, where they were out to prove, for themselves why the world was in such disarray. So, they made the observation of how young folk, chose the wrong role models. To prove their point they asked me who were my heroes? I answered, My father and my uncles.  This wasn’t the answer they expected, so needless to say the discussion ended. The point being, I recognized how important my family had been in shaping who I am. Specifically, my parents Robert and Winifred Carter, of whom I’m very proud.


     As I grow older I’m reminded of how invaluable their love, guidance and discipline has been in molding my values and ultimately my character.

     The baton has been passed, I have three sons of my own. I pray that I’ve provided the same nurturing environment for my children as my parents had done for me. I realize the world is changing and at some point we change along with it. But, I also feel that some of those traditional values that my Dad taught me, "respect and responsibility," go a long way.  So, to my parents, this is for you, I love you. To the Oxford family, past and present, Thanks for the memories, those past and yet to come. May God continue to bless this family.

bottom of page