Where were you born and raised?
Born in Clarksville, Tennessee and raised in Houston, Texas.
What is your occupation?
Life long educator. Principal at Central High School, Kansas City Public Schools (Missouri)
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite memory from childhood is celebrating the holidays of Easter and Christmas with my family. My mother and father's presentation of what those holidays meant to us was truly spectacular. The pomp and circumstance presented through celebration will always be cherished.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a time of celebration. It is that time to acknowledge the black people and their achievements of the past. It is also a time of reflection. Black History is the guide to the future.
What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
I believe the single most important issue facing the Black Community currently is COVID-19. As a people, the black community has been affected in ways that will take us years to recover from this virus. We are affected socially, spiritually and educationally. Students will retrogress and the achievement will grow exponentially.
When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I went to an elementary school that had a diverse teacher and student population. I realized I was black in America as a 5th grader. I have been and will always be a fan of Muhammad Ali. My 5th grade teacher despised him and spoke negatively of him because of his stance on race and equality. From her behavior, I recognized that she had issues with black people and that I was black and she had an issue with me.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
My father (Benjamin Madry, Sr.) who is deceased has been my biggest inspiration! His stories of the protest and sit-ins he participated in as a college student at Tennessee State truly developed my consciousness to stand up. He instilled a mindset of achievement and excellence into my brother (Ben), sister (Dana) and me from the very beginning. He would say, "do your best". However, we knew failure was never an option!
How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I have attended two (2) Historically Black College and University (HBCUs). As an educator, I have always worked in the urban community. Currently, I live in the community I serve and work in many different organizations for community outreach. "I am a role model, not by choice! However, I won't run from the responsibility!" by Anthony Madry