Barbara Slater Induction - March 2006

When I think of doing my best to leave a legacy for future generations, I begin to envision a day when my talents can be used once again to raise the level of storytelling for generations.  I am a part of the legendary Tennessee Tigerbelles and the United States Olympic Team.
     It was 1952, when I won my first Gold Medal in Helsinkin, Finland.  I was 15 years young from Chicago's housing projects.  My family was very noble, in that my mother always had my brother and I in the Girls and Boy Scouts, doing good for the community, and learning at home what it means to get along with people to pursue your dreams.  My father, a hard worker taught me precision, skill and the perfectionist attitude.
     One day, while running, a women by the name of Mrs. Holmes, Coach of the Madden Park District stopped me to say, "you're good." "Let me show you how to really be a champion" and she did.
     I was then, Barbara Pearl Jones, and now Barbara Jones Salter, wife of Marcellus Slater, mother of two daughters Tracey Slater Payne and Leslie Slater, with a lineage of 5 grandchildren.  The Guinness Book of World Records records myself as a world's holder in the 440 relay and the youngest female in the world to win a Gold Medal in Track and Field at the age of 15.  This record holds current in 2005.  My history is as follow:
     Þ1955 World Record in the Pan-American  Games
          with a Gold Medal in the 100 Meters and Relay. 
     Þ1956 made the 1956 Olympic Team, however injury 
           prevented me from competing. 
     Þ1958- First International Winner for the Russia
          Games vs America in the 100 Meters and 440
    Þ 1960 - Rome, Italy, World Record holder in the 440  
    Þ1959-Ran in the Pan-American Games
     Today, my life's work has been in Education.  I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee; Master's degree in Education from Indiana University and a Master's Degree in Physical Education from Georgia State University.
     Chicago is my home and Georgia is where I reside.  In 1947, Jesse Owens came to Ida B. Wells's projects to speak and encourage the Madden Park Track Team to do our best and never settle for less,  And, because of this motivation, I have always tried to own up to this powerful empowerment tool. Now, it is my turn to be considered an honor to the world by telling my story.  I'm ready, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
     To conclude, each part of the hurdles as a young girl growing up brought me to where someone though enough of me to see my talents through.  Once again, my mom and dad taught me patience and love.  My Coach taught me discipline and determination.  My family taught me respect and how it is O.K. to give you love continuously and all the ingredients made for a Barbara Jones Salter.
     My Personal philosophy is: I'm not afraid to challenge life even if I have to soar like an eagle for a while alone.  My motto is:  Dare to be Different.  Explore in order to challenge life, and above all, believe in your abilities.