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On January 14, 1952 in Demoplis, Alabama, my mother (Ella M. Jones) delivered me into a world where your food was always fried and everyone we knew was Black and a Baptist. I was Lucky number "4" of 9 children, five girls and four boys.
We children didn't know it, but we were not wealthy. The world that my parents built for us was secure as any palace, so filled with warmth and affection.
The four-bedroom dwelling, with a covered front porch was located in the west section of town, about two blocks from St. Peters Baptist Church.
Our Sunday started early. It was a day of rest from work, but not from activity. After one of my mother's unforgettable breakfasts, we would all walk to church for morning services. We were a family who deeply believed that all of our strength comes from the Lord. I feel that it is my religious belief, which has helped to shape my personality as it is today.
My parents instilled in us to trust your instincts, to be patient and to strive for the highest educational goals possible. They continually told us to always put God first and he will lead the way. My structural educational experience began in 1959 when I entered first grade at Faunsdale Elementary School. There were no pre-schools or kindergarten classes. After my first grade year, my parents moved to Uniontown, Alabama where I attended Uniontown Elementary School from second to seventh grade.
I enrolled in Robert C. Hatch High School in the fall of 1966. While attending this school, I was introduced to my first physical education class. The class was well organized and so exciting. The teacher was really innovative and a true motivator. I knew from that experience I wanted to study and teach physical education. I was graduated from high school in May 1971.
In the fall of 1971, I was accepted into Alabama State University. Those years were challenging and rewarding. I majored in Physical Education and Health, with a minor in English. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1974. In August 1974, I began teaching physical education in the Miami-Dade County Public School System. In September 2001, I earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Union Institute University.
I am presently living in Montgomery, Alabama and is in the process of writing books.
Christine J. Dial-Benton, Ph.D.