HOBSON CITY — Education made Dr. David Satcher.
From being the 16th surgeon general of the United States to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Anniston native has served and helped many people over the years. But he recognizes that education made all his accomplishments possible.
“I was very fortunate that I had teachers who made up their minds to take their jobs seriously,” Satcher said.
Satcher was the guest speaker for the annual Hobson City Black History Month event Saturday. More than 100 people attended the event in a building on the former campus of the Calhoun County Training School — now Hobson City Town Hall — where Satcher graduated from high school in 1959. Satcher used the site to highlight the importance of education in his life and the need for more of it to further enrich black communities.
In keeping with the theme of education, the event also featured a segment honoring various former teachers of the training school, which closed in 1972 following integration.
“Black Americans have shaped what we are as Americans and continue to do so, and so we salute the former teachers of the Calhoun County Training School,” Fred Wilson, Calhoun County commissioner, said at the event.
Satcher said he was fortunate to attend the training school and quoted several men who highly regarded education, like Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president of South Africa who died in 2013.
“Mandela believed that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,” Satcher said.
Satcher noted that education also plays an important role in improving health. More education leads to less violent lives and higher incomes, which in turn leads to better health outcomes, he said.
“If we want healthier communities, we need more education, more income and better jobs,” Satcher said.
Satcher said it was time for the younger generations of black communities across the country to make education more of a priority in their lives.
“We need our children to make up their minds that they’re going to be competitive, get better grades and make better communities,” Satcher said.
Staff Writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.