Thanks to Margo in Vancouver
A musician who was expelled from a Denver high school over 50 years ago received his diploma. Otis Taylor 17 years old at the time he was kicked out of Manual High School in 1966 because of his hair. This was decades before laws ending racial hair discrimination. Denver Public Schools wanted to right a wrong.
Otis remembers loving shop and art class. He remembers being on the gymnastics team. He remembers the day Kennedy was shot. He doesn't remember that much about the day he was expelled when school administrators gave him an ultimatum: Cut your hair or leave. So he left.
He has been nothing short of impressive since. He's had over a dozen blues albums and the awards to match. But this week, the sound of Pomp and Circumstance played as his old high school presented the 74-year-old with a long overdue honorary diploma.
When asked if he wonders if life would be different had he cut his hair, he says life's been too good to wonder.