This book is about my best friend from high school, Katrina Floyd, who lives in Dillon, SC. I wanted to honor her by writing a book for her because of the friendship that we have. I believe that this book will encourage her to know that she has value in life, and it can be a sense of accomplishment!
On June 24, 1979, De’Angela Haynes was born to unwed, teenage parents – the late Bertha Mae Haynes (nicknamed “Pig”) of Marion, S.C. and Oliver Taylor of Columbia, S.C.
By the age of 19, her mother had already miscarried twins and given birth to Haynes’ older sister, Donna. She would later give birth to another daughter. “Pig’s” father, who was raising her, died when she was only four years old. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army. Her mother, Martha Evans-Haynes, died when she was a young adult. She was reared by a family who were not biologically related to her but who would be instrumental in not only raising her, but also two of her children. Haynes was one of those children.
The family lived in a trailer park and project housing in Marion, but it was the stick-built home on Jackson Street where the blended family lived the greater part of Haynes’ childhood. Her modest upbringing would serve as the impetus to the success Haynes would realize later in her life.
Growing up in a rural community, she gained an appreciation for the interconnectedness of communities, especially the church. At an early age, Haynes knew God placed a call on her life. It was in the pews of Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church where she was first introduced to the word of God and first became aware of His spirit. There she also sang on the Sunbeam Choir. At the age of fifteen, Haynes said her life was changed forever. She joined the gospel choir and later the Black History Choir at Marion High School under the direction of Michael Blue. In this class, she learned the history of gospel music and also began to discover many other gifts she possessed – an artist, athlete, writer, musician and more importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.
It was also at an early age that Haynes realized her leadership ability. Her “Flipping Foxes” coach at Easterling Primary School, who later became Marion High School varsity women’s basketball coach, Tim Perkins, would be very instrumental in her life, even as she played basketball in high school. She received several All-State and regional honors and MVP awards. In her senior year, she was chosen as one of the North-South All-Star Players.
It was First Sgt. Irish Stackhouse who helped Haynes hone her leadership skills by allowing her to be a squad leader, platoon leader, drill team commander, and later battalion commander for the JROTC program at Marion High School. She was well-respected by her classmates, teachers and other staff members. Many of them were drawn to her because of her kindness, respect and love for people.
Her Uncle Harold Grant, who was also a U.S. Army veteran, encouraged Haynes to pursue her interests. When she lived on Jackson Street, he built Haynes’ first basketball goal out of a rim from an old bicycle tire and nailed it to a tree. Then, one Christmas she was given an authentic basketball goal, which was placed on a tree in the backyard near the chicken coop. After the family moved into a brick home on Mill Street, there were several basketball goals raised for her because he realized how much she loved the sport. Her Uncle Harold would even challenge her concerning her techniques of shooting jump shots, free throws and layups.
His encouragement and that of so many others drove her to excel. She earned the bachelor’s degree from Francis Marion University in 2006. Haynes received the master’s degree in human resources in 2009 and will earn the master’s degree in information technology from Webster University in 2010.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream to work with children, Haynes is now a librarian with The Drs. Bruce & Lee Library in Florence. In this role, she coordinates functions related to reference services, including the review of existing services, analysis and development of new services, search and retrieval on behalf of patrons and assisting patrons with self-guided research.
A distinguished children’s advocate, Haynes works in the children’s book mobile and is a youth leader at her church, The Door of Hope Christian Church in Marion.
Today, she encourages people of all ages to follow their dreams no matter how great.