Derrick C. Gilmore reminds youth of their true value, 1 ounce at a time

Derrick C. Gilmore reminds youth of their true value, 1 ounce at a time
Photo courtesy of Derrick C. Gilmore

For many decades, Derrick C. Gilmore has worked in higher education striving to make a difference in the lives of Black youth. He is a member of the executive committee for the United Negro College Fund/Southern Regional Education Board on HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions Initiative. Gilmore also serves as the executive vice president at Stillman College, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

For Father’s Day, rolling out is recognizing great men like Derrick C. Gilmore in our Father Coach Club series.

What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
Many youths question their value in society. I adopted a practice of keeping an ounce of silver in my pocket and giving them to young people I encounter. I do this to denounce media reports and statistics that devalue their existence and remind them they are precious gems, conduits of energy and light, worthy of the toll. Stop measuring your value based on gender, race, and markets. Be and do you!

From a father’s perspective, what two books would you recommend every child read?
To negate the voids caused by the absence of a father in my rearing, I found solace and purpose from two books. Native Son by Richard Wright, brought truth to the “painful and unwarrantable nakedness” that my experience bore. While Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man provided the courage to reject doubt, and embrace hope. Hope that the darkness of my experience birth light so my son and others may run free towards their dreams and aspirations.

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