The Photo above is One of My Father’s Championship Football Teams back in the early 1950’s in Florida.
Coach Samuel Keith Turner (Chief)
Some real legends have come out of Jerkins High in Perry, Florida. Not only did they excel as players—they excelled as men contributing to the community as fathers, husbands, teachers, principals over schools, business owners, preachers, coaches. Chief/Daddy not only coached them on football—he talked to them about being men. I love what Denzel did with “Remember The Titans” as an actor. His role as the real coach reminds me of Dad. I love what he did with “The Great Debaters” as director. I love what he does with period pieces. It is my goal to get this material in book form, and write a screenplay.
The community was close knit. Black people looked out for each other, worked together well. Made things work—even with little. I love to hear the players tell of how Jerkins did not have a football field.
Well, they had one, but every time you made a tackle, you came up with sandy-spurs all over your body. There was not that much grass on the field. Bleachers were not present—or if they were—not really nothing to really speak of. They had been trying to get funding from school board to get stands and field done. Well, enough of that. Chief said, “Men, we are going to make a field.” And that is just what they did. So instead of PE class and coming to class in shorts and T-shirt, the guys came with jeans and ready to cut down trees—sawing and cutting. They cut trees after football practice too. They even came across a gopher, and killed it, and cooked a gopher stew. The players named the Field “Turner’s Field.” A people will never be free, until they do for self, first. If you got to ask for the means for freedom, you will never get it. We are not children as a people. We are men and women, just like any other group of people. And until we start acting like it, and living like it—we ain’t going nowhere as a people. We are brilliant as a people, once we put our minds on a mission, unite, & get it done.