This is the acceptance speech that Loveland-born Lawrence (Larry) Edwin Hamilton Jr. gave when he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni and inducted into the Loveland Schools Foundation Hall of Fame on September 21. Hamilton was introduced by his son Lawrence Hamilton III.

James Baldwin wrote, “History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.”  

Larry Hamilton

I thank my son for the beautiful introduction and his divinely appointed role as a father and teacher in service to the community as well as the inspiration in part for an inclusive historical heritage. His oldest son is named Omavi which means the Highest gift from GOD and Asali his youngest son’s name means one who honors the ancestors.  I recognize the presence of my uncle the Rev. Ralph Hamilton, the last survivor of the children of Esther Hannon Hamilton who was surrounded by a family of distinguished teachers and preachers and finally I am blessed to have my living history making and loving mother Mary F. Greene Hamilton the oldest surviving elder at a soon to be 94 years young. It is her biological legacy, by way of her mitochondrial DNA that give me historical connection to the Nubians of the Nile Valley and southern Egypt. 

 Larry Hamilton, a native of Loveland, Ohio, is a retired teacher of African American History, World Studies and Current Events from Piqua, OH.

Larry graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Education in 1971 from Central State University where he was a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society and President of Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

He earned a Masters Degree in Education from Wright State University in 1979

When I received the letter from Linda Slusher notifying me of my selection to the Loveland Schools Foundation Hall of Fame, I was humbled that I would be considered and wrote her back that If the LORD is willing I intend to come in recognition of the sacrifice and struggle on behalf of those whose shoulders I have stood upon and who have made a way for me to honor them in Doing the RIGHT Thing.

Every morning, after I arise and stumble toward the kitchen for my morning cup of coffee, I then sit and turn on my computer and the screensaver is a picture of my great grandmother Cynthia Ann Ross Hannon, whose family had moved to Loveland by 1890 but she returned to Kentucky after attending Berea College to teach black children at the Colored School in Gallatin County, perhaps because she wouldn’t have been allowed to teach in Loveland.

Linda, I thank you personally and the members of the Loveland Schools Foundation collectively for this surprising recognition and opportunity to promote The RIGHT Concept.

RIGHT stands for Recognizing Individual Greatness in Historical Testament.

RIGHT stands for Recognizing Individual Greatness in Historical Testament.  This concept was given to me as an epiphany on the early Sunday morning of Jan. 23, of 2005 and employs a biblical standard that embodies the concern over the historical bias in naming patterns and the contemporary artificial barriers limiting the expansion of ownership identity of public properties, to the least among us.  RIGHT seeks to re-evaluate the standards of heroism and societal acceptance of those who may have been deemed not to be valued or worthy of having their names adorn public facilities.   RIGHT advocates a proactive effort in naming public properties that is more reflective of the diversity within the community and that acknowledges from a historical perspective the merit of greater inclusion with regards to race, gender, ethnic and national origin in expanding ownership identity.

The declining prospects for saving the Loveland Predestinarian Baptist Church falls within the parameter of Doing the RIGHT Thing.

The declining prospects for saving the Loveland Predestinarian Baptist Church falls within the parameter of Doing the RIGHT Thing. My personal remembrances and the family legacy associated with that church,  that I had attended as a child, and my father before me, and His mother before him, my grandma Esther, who had been my Sunday School teacher.  Her mother Cynthia the teacher later married John W. Hannon who would pastor the Loveland church for nearly fifty years.  Cynthia’s, mother was Lucy Sams Ross who was born a slave in Kentucky and had weathered many storms of life in the form of personal losses, social indignities and political denials, but her faith was her refuge and shortly after migrating to Ohio she became a founding member of the Loveland Predestinarian Baptist Church in 1892.  http://www.lovelandmagazine.com/2012/07/a-historic-review-of-chest-street-church.html 

In the release of Book III of Lucy’s Story the cover painted by wife Linda, depicts two women-one white and one black (Helen Medert & Mary Sidney Wells) two ‘prayer warriors’ during the 1913 Loveland Flood. My great uncle Dee Ross, the son of Lucy and brother to Cynthia, was a hero of that 1913 flood story in Loveland but I believe, he went unrecognized for his heroism due to his skin color, but I am committed to telling his story and OUR Story while ‘keeping the faith’ and doing the RIGHT thing. 

I have gifted my fellow inductees with a copy of Book II of Lucy’s Story Between Two Suns: The Berean Experience and I wish to donate a copy of Book III of Lucy’s Story to the Loveland High School Library as a donation by Linda Slusher.

As I prepare to take my seat, I’ll close and ask your consideration of a brief poem titled:

YOUR ANCESTORS

If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row.

Would you be proud of them? Or don’t you really know.

Strange discoveries are often made, climbing the family tree.

Sometimes one is found in line who shocks the progeny.

If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row.

Perhaps there might be one or two you wouldn’t care to know.

Now turn the question right about and take another view.

When you shall meet your ancestors, will they be proud of you?

(Author unknown)


Follow this LINK to hear Lawrence Hamilton III introducing his father.


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