Carl Green, 1992

NO CALL FOR PITYThe ResidentsSharyn Jordan--1993 & 1998Sharyn Jordan Holland, 2001Donald Ray OliverCarl Green, 1992Carl Green, 2001Ruby MonroeFamiliesMark DunfordNext

Carl Green, 1992
Carl Green, 1992

"It's a certain way you
talk to people to make
         them feel like they're         

My father was a kind of violent man. He was a mean man when he got to drinking! He was a good man now when he wasn’t drinking, but when he got to drinking, he would as soon as shoot me as shoot somebody over yonder.

When he was drinking he killed my brother, and I was standing upside of him. Just gunned him down. Just shot him down. This was my next oldest brother. There were four brothers.

My dad was drinking that particular night. We lived in Oxford, but we went to Roxboro. My daddy got to drinking and all the way back home he was drunk. He done run up on a bank and all, he about turned the car over. My brother said, “Daddy, if you are going to drive all over the road, let me and my brothers and sister out. Just let us out, so we’ll walk back home.” He got mad about that, he’d been drinking and all.

He stood us up in line. He said, “I’ll kill every one of you, you belong to me anyway.” Me and my brother standing side by side, the bullet passed by me and hit my brother and killed him just like that. I never got over that.

But, see, to myself, that wasn’t my father at that time. See, if he’d have been his good human sense, he would have never did that. He cried many days after then. I overlooked him, because I know that that weren’t himself.


The job I’m on now at Duke, I been there twenty years. This makes my twentieth year. Every day I’m on my job. I won’t let nothing interfere me with my job!

I’m like this: anything that I get into, I learn how to put a handle on it. I tried drugs. I didn’t let it get out of hand. But I have when I tried cocaine. That’s what cost me. Because you got friends, “Lend me this, lend me that, and I’ll pay you tomorrow. But I learned that after the cocaine’s gone, you can’t get no money and you're out of what you lent them. See, you can’t be too free-hearted with cocaine and with your money. So I learned a lesson behind that. I went broke. But I learned a lesson.


I was listening to them the other night at the shelter when they said, “Vote for this man for this and this.” And one of the guys said, “What they gonna do for the homeless?” So I said we got to try to help ourselves first. You just can’t sit right down and expect as some people do! But if all of us showed that we want help, and need help, people don’t mind helping you.

See, if you came by here and gave me five dollars, ten dollars, when I say I want something to eat, and then you see me sitting out there under the tree with a wine bottle sticking up to my head, you wouldn’t think anything but, “He didn’t need my help, all he wanted is something to drink!” But I’m talking about really helping yourself, and trying to be something. If you help yourself, somebody else will help you, too. For me, I try to help myself and give a little help to somebody else. If I came out of the ditch or the gutter, I would like to be able to show another person that it can be done.

Sometimes it’s the way you talk to people. People don’t care how low they is or how homeless they feel. It’s a certain way you talk to people to make them feel like they’re somebody. But you make a person feel like he ain’t nobody, he’s gonna act like nobody.


My goal is, when I leave out of here again, I want to live a normal life, a Christian life. See, I go to church, and I learn that you feel just as good in living a normal life and a Christian life as being out there on drugs. You feel so much better because you can go where you want to, you can buy what you want to. I had it, but I lost it! I don’t want that. I want to leave a good pattern for my children. I don’t want to lead a life where they say, “My daddy went out in a homeless shelter!”


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