#MyBlackHistory: My Parents Decided To Go Back To College 30 Years Later. Here’s How My Story Inspired Them.

Charles Cole III::

I attended more than 10 schools before the fifth grade and I had an attitude problem in each and every classroom.

I was born in Chicago to young, drug-addicted parents that had a penchant for moving and staying in and out of jail. I moved from Chicago to Paducah, Kentucky to stay with my grandmother and then back to Chicago and then back to Paducah, you get the point: I moved a lot. Which also meant I transferred schools a lot. I was always the new kid trying to catch up on coursework, make new friends, all the while knowing that I wouldn’t be at that school for long.

When my grandmother passed, my father rounded me and my siblings up, and we moved to Oakland, where my father’s sister lived. At the time, my mother was in jail, so the rest of us hopped on a Greyhound and took the three-and-a-half day bus ride to the Bay. My mother eventually joined us.

Despite the move to Oakland, my parents would continue to struggle with drugs, and as a result we lived in several shelters.