I asked Dr. Woody Carter,
“If you had the ear of the youth, given your expertise, what would you tell them?”
OG Told Me:
“The one thing I would tell young people: Learn how to meditate. Make it a discipline.”
“we’re all instruments- out of tune; if you we’re to tune a violin- you’d have to use a tool to move those wooden pegs on the side of the object. Meditation is the process of bringing you in tune with yourself. In order to be in tune- you have to be open; receptive to be tuned.”
Dr. Woody Carter, has been the Executive Director of the Bay Area Black United Fund since 1997. In a brief interview at a coffee shop near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, Dr. Carter told me about the history of his organization, his educational background, and his experience with love.
Baba Carter, 68 and still paying student loans, said he will finally pay off his remaining debt of 5, 000 dollar this upcoming Fall.
Dr. Carter holds four college degrees, including one from the Howard University. Fitting, for that’s where his mother and father met, it’s the same place he was born, and happens to be the college I attended.
Dr. Carter told me about his most recent degree: doctorate in theological narratives; using stories to study the intergenerational connection within African Americans. He cited studying the Bible, Amiri Baraka’s work, and W.E.B. DuBois’ writings; among other stories. He drove the same point home that W.E.B. DuBois touched on in the book, “The Souls of Black Folks”, stating that we are both African and American, and those polar opposite entities have created an unresolved spiritual dilemma within us as a people.
Mr. Carter spoke about politics, religion, working in Oakland, growing up in New York, and freedom rides through the South. He told me about his degrees and his enlightenment through meditation; but nothing compared to his love story…
At his 5th wife’s memorial service in November of 2011, he told the story of how he and her, a beautiful lady by the name of Jennifer, fell in love…
He told me that same story during our interview at the cafe…
After four prior marriages, he wasn’t interested in finding another wife, but the lady he had been spending time with had begun to feel a certain way…
“I want to get married” said Jennifer.
Woody responded with a line that he’d been telling himself over and over in preparation to defend himself from falling in love again,
“I’ve been married 4 times…uh … doesn’t that tell you something?”
He said his line, and she didn’t even acknowledge it, she just kept on about wanting to get married. She waited for thirty minutes until she brought it up again…
“And about your prior marriages: those other women just knocked the kinks out… I’m going to get the best years out of you.”
They were married 11 years. Dr. Carter told me,
“I knew she was the one because at that point, I didn’t have an answer, I just there sat quietly.hahaha…”
(Meditating. Open to being tuned… I thought to myself. )
Dr. Carter autographed a copy of his book, “Theology for a Violent Age”, we shook hands, and parted ways…
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