Guest speaker commends community at GMS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Greenville Middle School students were visited by a Birmingham educator and minister during Black History Month.

He sang the praises of the community.

"Greenville is a very nice, warm community," said Marciese Beasley, principal of George Washington Carver School in Birmingham. "I have met many friends here today."

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Beasley, before he spoke to approximately 300 students, complimented the people of Greenville.

"The people here are so hospitable, warm and friendly-the students are all well-mannered, and the community greets visitors warmly," he said.

Beasley also praised those responsible for the well-behaved students.

Dr. Murphy, her staff, and the whole community of parents are to be commended for their efforts-they have done far more than normal in regard to the students."

Citing demographics, Beasley spoke of the school in comparison to the community.

"Although demographically speaking, Greenville is 66-percent of African-American orientation, the staff does not quite reflect that same ratio; they have overcome that difference to the extent that their system works without flaw," he said. "The superintendent and school board should be commended for having such great vision in the making such an excellent school."

Beasley first told the students that he was a father of four children.

"I have an eight-year old daughter, a six-year-old daughter, and a set of twin four-year-old sons," he said, "and I am also a minister."

Beasley spoke to the students about history.

"I don't want to talk to you about Black History or White History, but rather about you creating your own historyyou make either a good name or a bad one for yourself," Beasley said. "I want you to write yourselves a good rep'-remember, good or bad, your teachers and parents are writing their own stories. They cannot write yours, you must write it yourself."

Beasley gave the students some suggestions to carry with them.

"Maintain self-control and discipline-tell yourself I want to be a person of self-control' everyday," Beasley said.

Reflecting on his own upbringing, Beasley talked of determination.

"I grew up in poverty, determined to not have children until I could do so without poverty, just as God gave me the free will to do so, responsibly.

"It's all about order, doing things the right way-not because it's told, but because it's right," he said.

Beasley told the students they made their own choices everyday.

"You must take responsibility for yourself, and all of your actions," he said. "Don't listen to anything trashy-long ago I realized that garbage in equaled garbage out."

Beasley said at the age of 12, he was already telling himself things that would still be important to him today.

"I don't pay people to feed me trashy things into my eyes and ears-I'm not a trash can-God did not create me to be a trash bin," Beasley said.

Beasley said that looking all around himself when he was growing up gave him valuable lessons.

"Only a fool lets drugs or alcohol into his system-I am not a fool, so I set high standards for myself-you should too!"

Beasley then said some words of encouragement to the students.

"All of you will one day be leaders in the community and in your homes, but you've got to be a good leader! Don't wait on someone to bring you something, you take something of yourself to them instead."

Beasley said that he started what would become his vocation in life at an early age.

"I started out tutoring my peers that needed help with their school work, even at such times as Spring Break'-I decided as a young teenager to serve others."

He then told the students not to be blinded by discrimination.

"You can love all people. Don't love people just because they are rich, and don't love people because they look like you, but rather, love them because they are people," Beasley said.

In closing, Beasley summed up the importance of attitude.

"Your attitude determines your altitude. A bad attitude will hinder your altitude in life.

"Life will be determined by the relationships you have with your parents, teachers and peers-make them all good relationships."