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Otis Taylor didn’t finish high school because of his hair. After 57 years, he finally got his diploma.

When Otis Taylor was 17 and a senior at Denver High School, he was told to “cut your hair or quit.” So Taylor left and became a famous blues artist. After more than half a century, he finally got his long-awaited diploma.

A clipping from the Denver Post shows 14-year-old Otis Taylor with a banjo.

Otis Taylor


Taylor, now 74, was born in Chicago and raised in Denver, Colorado. By the time he entered Manual High School in the ’60s, Racism Attending public schools was not uncommon, and there were no laws preventing officials from making decisions based on their own or other black students’ hair. Only in recent years has this happened. crown law, It stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” which bans discrimination based on hairstyle and texture, and is moving forward in states and legislatures.

then he said CBS News Coloradohe had a “James Brown haircut.”

“You can do a lot on the top, but the sides had to be clean,” he said. “Entire school districts were blaming people who didn’t look the way they wanted them to look.”

And he wasn’t going to give up his freedom of style, so when the authorities presented him with an ultimatum, he left with a mission to “think about how to do my music.” .

“I remember thinking that day, ‘Oh, I quit school!'” he recalls.

So he ventured to California where his father lived. Years later, after traveling to London, he reportedly signed with Blue Horizon Records. website. However, he soon returned to Boulder and has played music intermittently ever since, winning coveted fellowships, awards and a devoted following.

And last week, he finally got his high school diploma, recognition that has been out of reach for decades.

“Today is the day to correct the mistakes of the past,” said Awongtay Anderson, vice president of the Denver School Board, at the commencement ceremony. “I know what Otis and others went through is no longer happening in Colorado.”

And while it was a happy opportunity for Taylor to get her diploma, her life was so good that she didn’t need to regret or dwell on what happened decades ago. No, he told CBS Colorado.

“That mistake happened a long time ago. As a black man in America, I’m going to deal with it,” he said. “My kids are off to college. My wife loves me. I’ve been married for 37 years. How can I regret it?”

So what happens next for Taylor? He provided the tip on the band’s Facebook page.

“Now that I have my diploma, I may be able to get into Berklee School of Music.” [sic]. ”

Otis Taylor2.jpg
More than half a century after being kicked out of school because of his hair, Otis Taylor finally received his high school diploma.

CBS


Summarize this content to 100 words

When Otis Taylor was 17 and a senior at Denver High School, he was told to “cut your hair or quit.” So Taylor left and became a famous blues artist. After more than half a century, he finally got his long-awaited diploma.

A clipping from the Denver Post shows 14-year-old Otis Taylor with a banjo.

Otis Taylor

Taylor, now 74, was born in Chicago and raised in Denver, Colorado. By the time he entered Manual High School in the ’60s, Racism Attending public schools was not uncommon, and there were no laws preventing officials from making decisions based on their own or other black students’ hair. Only in recent years has this happened. crown law, It stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” which bans discrimination based on hairstyle and texture, and is moving forward in states and legislatures. then he said CBS News Coloradohe had a “James Brown haircut.”

“You can do a lot on the top, but the sides had to be clean,” he said. “Entire school districts were blaming people who didn’t look the way they wanted them to look.” And he wasn’t going to give up his freedom of style, so when the authorities presented him with an ultimatum, he left with a mission to “think about how to do my music.” .

“I remember thinking that day, ‘Oh, I quit school!'” he recalls. So he ventured to California where his father lived. Years later, after traveling to London, he reportedly signed with Blue Horizon Records. website. However, he soon returned to Boulder and has played music intermittently ever since, winning coveted fellowships, awards and a devoted following. And last week, he finally got his high school diploma, recognition that has been out of reach for decades. “Today is the day to correct the mistakes of the past,” said Awongtay Anderson, vice president of the Denver School Board, at the commencement ceremony. “I know what Otis and others went through is no longer happening in Colorado.”

And while it was a happy opportunity for Taylor to get her diploma, her life was so good that she didn’t need to regret or dwell on what happened decades ago. No, he told CBS Colorado. “That mistake happened a long time ago. As a black man in America, I’m going to deal with it,” he said. “My kids are off to college. My wife loves me. I’ve been married for 37 years. How can I regret it?”So what happens next for Taylor? He provided the tip on the band’s Facebook page. “Now that I have my diploma, I may be able to get into Berklee School of Music.” [sic]. ”

More than half a century after being kicked out of school because of his hair, Otis Taylor finally received his high school diploma.

CBS

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Lee Cohen

Li Cohen is a social media producer and trending content writer for CBS News.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/otis-taylor-musician-colorado-wasnt-allowed-to-graduate-high-school-because-of-hair-he-finally-got-his-diploma/ Otis Taylor didn’t finish high school because of his hair. After 57 years, he finally got his diploma.

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