If you have seen the movie “Men of Honor” then you know the story of Carl Brashear. The first African American master diver for the U.S. Navy had to overcome a number of obstacle before achieving his greatest success. His son spoke on the Rock Island Arsenal this week. Local 4’s Emily Scarlett takes us Inside the Gates to share his message of perseverance.
It was a day filled with song, laughter, and a powerful message.
As we celebrate the extraordinary African Americans in U.S. history, the Arsenal pays tribute to the first black diver in the U.S. Navy. His son spoke to a room full of people. He says his biggest fear is his father’s legacy turning into a myth.
“If it takes me the rest of my life to speak about my dad, I want to keep his legacy alive,” says Phillip Brashear, son of Carl Brashear.
“The five things that my father overcame: Racism, poverty, illiteracy, physical disability, and drug and alcoholism – he was able to achieve. Those are five things that are still affecting every country in the world today,” says Brashear.
He also says his father’s message of inspiration should be heard during Black History Month, and throughout the year.
“My dad’s story is beyond that. It’s a story of motivation and perseverance, which is 12 months out of every year.”
This is something Brashear says applies to everyone.
“Even though we come up against obstacles and it’s easy to complain, there’s nothing that you can’t achieve. That’s what makes us the greatest country in the world.”