Nadine Dabney, The Matriarch of the Dabney Family

Keith Sanchez

Nadine with books she is currently reading.

            My Grandmother, Nadine Dabney, is a wonderful woman. Growing up in Brooklyn she got into politics at a very young age and always looked to help others and make the world a better place. I had the opportunity to sit down and learn a little bit more about the matriarch of my family.

Q: Can we get to meet the woman behind the face?

A: I was born and grew up in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. I lived with my mother, father and my grandmother. We owned an eight-family house, so my mother’s brothers and sisters came to visit often, and my grandmother would take care of us when my parents went to work.

Q: Can you tell us of your education history and what your goals or life ambition was when you were a student in High School/College?

A: I went to P.S. 129 for elementary school, I went to Junior High School 57 and Wingate High School in the old Crown Heights neighborhood. I tried a semester of college and took some courses. My life ambition in high school was that I wanted to be a hair dresser, but I never followed through with it.

Q: Can you tell us of your job/education experience prior to what you’re doing now?

A: I was very fortunate and very blessed to have good jobs. I did representative work for people. I did direct marketing and advertising. I love advertising. I worked for local politicians in the neighborhood and I am a community coordinator.

Q: What was the most memorable point working with politicians?

A: I learned a lot about the people in the community. I love taking care of people and helping them out. It was very interesting filling out papers for senior citizens and telling them about their rights for housing, healthcare, food stamps and stuff like that. I was able to meet people of all nationalities and backgrounds and as a result, it is much easier for me to connect with and understand people. 

Q: Is this where you thought you’d be 5 or so years ago?

A:  Yes, I am. I am retired and enjoying my retirement.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I’m retired but I’m still active with the community politics. I sit in at board meetings and I’m a community activist.

Q: What kind of advice would you offer a student, who is undecided on his or her career path?

A: I would tell them really think about it; meditate and pray. Make sure that you are doing something that you love. Don’t get a job just get a job. You want a career that you are passionate about that you will wake up every day and love going to work.

Q: How would you describe the state of higher education in America today?

A: It is very important. Everyone needs higher education these days. It’s a new world out there and everyone needs to be able to keep up with the times.

Q: Have you ever travelled outside of the United States? Where, and how does life outside compare to that in the US?

A: I went to the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. It is a lot different depending on how you look at it. Visiting as a tourist, its nice. But, when you go into the mainland, off the resort, some people are less fortunate and really need help. It’s a humbling experience and I count my blessings.

Q: What does the future hold for America?

A: Right now, things need to turn around. I pray to God every day that things change. That all this hate and violence has to stop it has gone on long enough.

Q: Are you interested in politics? What is your take on the state of politics and the future of the American democracy?

A: I am interested politics, I have been since I was a little girl. As far as the state of politics right now and the future it’s different. There are a lot of young adults coming out with new strategies, they have a new way of thinking compared to my generation and they have very strong opinions. As far as the presidential race that is going on right now it is a circus.

Q: How are you responding to the outbreak of the Convid-19 virus? What keeps you going during these trying times?  How can the government better handle the situation?

A: I pray that COVID-19 ends soon and I make sure that I follow all the rules such as social distancing and sanitizing my hands and door knobs around the house. I always wear my mask when I go outside. I have my meetings on ZOOM and I FaceTime my friends. The government can fix this by getting new people in office. From top to bottom.

Q: What are your hobbies or extracurricular activities? How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?

A: I’m a senior citizen so I love going to the casinos. Once this outbreak is over I plan on taking a trip to Atlantic City. I love playing games on my phone. I love reading books. Especially romance books and history books. I like to cook too. I had a good life, I left everything in God’s hands. I thank him for waking me up each day and take it one day at a time. My principles of life are to be happy, be the best person you can, always walk with a smile on your face and be kind and try to help people.

Q: How would you describe yourself to the world?

A: I am a diva senior citizen enjoying my life and I try to help others and make the world a better place.

Nadine Dabney is a kind and gentle soul. She is looking out for people and tries her best to stay active on what is going on in the family and in her community and the world going on around her. I am honored to call her my grandmother.

Categories: Interview, Opinion

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