'Lonnie, you can get an A'

By Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr.

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DETROIT - Elizabeth Belle Layton Peek was what we call today a "stay-at-home mom." My father, Rev. Vassie L. Peek, Sr. worked two jobs in order for her to do that. His position was that she should be at home for the children (I have two sisters, Patty and Debra, with me being the oldest).

With my parents being from Alabama, my father journeyed to New Jersey to prepare for my mother's arrival. Her southern heritage gave her a deep devotion to education. Back in the 20s and 30s, African Americans were denied access to quality education; therefore she understood the importance of insuring that her children received it.

As a young child, I remember her putting a desk in my room and sharpening all my pencils. She said, "Now you have no excuse for not doing your home work."

As I grew up, she would emphasize the fact that when I become an adult, I will have to compete in a world with all types of individuals; therefore I have to be smarter than them, and education is the key.  

"Get knowledge in your head and no one can take it from you," was her slogan.

She would say, "If you can get a B, you can get an A, and Lonnie you can get an A." In her later years she lived with my wife, Eunice and me. Even then, as I studied in the seminary and prepared for a test, walking out the door, I can still see her sitting at the kitchen table. She would say, "Lonnie you can get an A." And you know, most of my life, nine times out of 10, I did.

My mother gave me confidence and expectation that whatever I attempted I could succeed.

About Rev. Lonnie Peek, Jr.

Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. located in Detroit in 1975. After teaching 2 years in DPS, he went to WSU receiving a Masters of Social Work, an activist on campus he created the Association of Black Students. He is an entrepreneur and serves on such civic boards as New Detroit, Inc, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. With extensive radio background expanding 25 years, he writes a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle. He has been a regular on local/ national television shows dealing with political and social issuesAn ordained minister and seminary graduate, he serves on the executive committee and is the public relations chairman for the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity and is Assistant Pastor at Greater Christ Baptist Church.

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