Until a few years ago, I was secretly my father’s speech writer.
I’d written an article for my high school paper about what Rosa Parks meant to me, after her passing. Since I’m Ernie Green’s daughter, I must know everything about Black history, so I was asked last minute to write.
Prior to the Rosa Parks memorial moment, my dad had used professional speech writers.
Imagine, sitting in the church you grew up in, prepared to hear your dad read his brilliant remarks, and you hear your own words! The event was being broadcast worldwide. My dad opened the remarks saying he was reading an excerpt from my article. He quoted the entire thing.
I was sitting behind Oprah and Ted Kennedy. I watched these brilliant people nod their heads in agreement with what I wrote. While the words were attributed to my dad, I sat proudly in those pews.
I have learned so much more about this man over the last 16 years.
Prior to taking this gig as his speech writer I only knew him as dad.
We were close. He was my groom at horse shows. He’s my golf buddy. He was a swim dad. But until I became his speechwriter, I didn’t know my dad as ERNEST GREEN, capital letters, legend, and hero.
The best gift I’ve gotten from writing for my dad is decades from now when I don’t have the privilege of him calling to ask how to use the remote...I'll still hear his voice in my head. I can think like him, I can reason like him, I can capture his voice at a moment's notice.
I’m still his speechwriter, but I was outed--it’s no longer a secret. How I got outed, that's a story for another time...