Editor notes: Oliver is the first of six women stories that will be told each day.
“My father said, even if you have to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper.” One of the Insider’s 2009 phenomenal women shares her inherited attitude toward life, with all its ups and downs.
Born in Alabama, at a critical time during the civil rights movement, Marie Oliver witnessed a series of events that, today, seem like ancient history. From the bombing of southern black churches to the marching of Doctor Martin Luther King, Oliver is a strong testimony to what perseverance, in the face of adversity, can bring about. With motivation as a critical tool, Oliver applied her father’s many words of wisdom as she sought out the few opportunities minorities were left with, in her time. “He always told us to reach for the moon; if we didn’t meet the moon, at least we’d be up there with the stars.” A living declaration to a life dedicated to reaching upwards, Oliver goes on to share what the fruits of her labor have brought about.