CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A black entrepreneur in Charleston is honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Junior with his efforts within his community.
C. Anthony Parker’s dream was owning a business from a young age. That’s now is a reality. He owns two car detailing shops – one in Elk City and one in downtown Charleston.
“At the age of 17, I started a lawn care service and from there I decided I wanted to go into the car business because I purchased a van from the local auto auction. That gave me the idea of owning and operating and buying and selling cars,” C. Anthony Parker, Owner of Elk City Auto Spa said.
Parker often reflects on the odds that were stacked against him, but still he found the strength to overcome.
“Failing first grade, considered mentally challenged, didn’t graduate high school and never went to college. Statistically, I should have been a failure, but I’ve always wanted to be successful,” Parker said.
One of Parker’s employees, Jay Canada, considers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an inspiration.
“Most of my life, I mean ever since I learned about black history I definitely looked up to,” Canada said.
Parker does too.
“I’m able to be a black African American business owner here in Charleston, West Virginia because of him and the civil rights and the things that he’s done throughout the years and ongoing because his legacy is still living,” Parker said.
The legacy will continue to live on through people like Parker who uphold the dream.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” Parker said.
Parker says he wants to encourage more young African Americans to start businesses because he knows it’s possible.