Roots of the Enigma

O.C., Barry, and Gerteal Carter

The Beginning

When O.C. Carter impregnated Gerteal Theola Green, my life began again. My parents regulated my life, as I raised myself. In today's climate, the authorities would have put my parents in jail for child neglect! But what they would not have known is that Barry was an old soul born again, and that he knew what was proper and what wasn't. My parents were very proud of me, they took me everywhere to show off Barry. This photo was one of the many we took together. Mother and I were very close; maybe too close. I watched everything she did, for Gerteal was mainly a housewife. And from her routines, I learned all the skills of a domestic. There was no tutoring; I just learned from observation.

We were Sooners, from Oklahoma; who moved to Detroit, Michigan in the early 1940's to work in the auto plants. Barry was born in El Reno, Oklahoma; Gerteal in Green Brier, Arkansas, and O.C. in Paris, Texas. A lot of Black Sooners came to Detroit for the same reason, so they tended to band together. Eventually a club was formed; called to no suprise, The Oklahoma Club. My parents were not highly educated in a formal sense. Gerteal finished high school, and O.C. (a.k.a. Carter) made it to the 8th grade. Barry was the first of his lineage to attend and graduate from college.

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