BHM: Reba Ross Hollingsworth shares her stories of womanhood, getting an education

DOVER, Del. – Ms. Reba Ross Hollingsworth may look like your average lady, but she has many stories to tell.

The Delaware native grew up in Milford and had big plans to get her education, but she faced obstacles because of the color of her skin.

Despite this, Ross Hollingsworth was determined, so she ended up at Booker T. Washington School in Dover.

“I could walk from my house to the school, but when I got to the door, my skin was a little bit too brown to go inside,” Ross Hollingsworth said.

“I had to find another way to finish high school, and there was only one high school in the state of Delaware where Black students could start in junior high,” Ross Hollingsworth added.

To her, an education was the golden ticket to opportunities.

After graduating high school, and later college as second in her class, Ross Hollingsworth knew it was time to take her father’s teachings, and her knowledge from university, and venture out, to experience all the world had to offer.

“He would tell us things like, ‘It’s a great big world out there, so you should get out there to see it,’ so consequently, I have driven to 48 of the 50 states and have cruised to the other two. How many people, Black or white, have been to all 48 of the states? More or less the 50,” Ross Hollingsworth asked.

Now, in her later years, and fully equipped with nine decades worth of life experiences, Ross Hollingsworth spreads her knowledge to the community, giving lectures on the campus she learned on, and broadening the viewpoints of the younger generation.

“I’ve lived long enough to experience things that I can share with people,” Ross Hollingsworth said. “I try to be an educator, to educate people, because there’s so many things that people do not know, even about themselves.”

“They form their negative opinions on their lack of knowledge, so I just try to educate and help them understand that there’s a big wide world out there,” Ross Hollingsworth added.

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