We asked history professor Carey Latimore some questions to get to know him better
by Susie P. Gonzalez
If you walk past the office door of Carey Latimore, associate professor and chair of history at Trinity University, you just might hear the soft sounds of R&B or some raucous rap. You might also learn what his secret dream profession might be. To discover more, keep reading.
How do you motivate your students?
I am blessed to have the opportunity to teach African American history at Trinity. Although I would love to think it’s just me that motivates my students, in reality I believe most of the motivation comes from the subject matter. On my end, I think that “keeping it real” in the classroom helps motivate students. I want students to see me as a real person who is open and honest in the classroom. Moreover, I also believe in trying to break down fears that students may have about speaking about race. I find this helps students ask difficult questions and it motivates them to engage in the difficult dialogues that we need.
What is your preclass ritual?
I generally preview the material for class the night before. I also might quickly review the material before class. The main ritual I have before class is trying to get my mind prepared, with some musical inspiration. My favorite genres are R&B, soul, late 80/90s rap, and Gospel. So if you stop by my office before class that might be what you hear.
How did you get involved in your area of expertise?
I guess I was really born into it. Being black in America certainly puts you in an environment where you should want to know more about your past. My parents taught me a lot about my ancestors and black history, but I always wanted to know more. Because I grew up on a farm in rural Virginia we did not have a lot of access to records or other sources that could fill that void. It was not really until college, however, that I really got into African American history. When I was in college, I had more access to the state archives and I could finally take courses that kind of put me on that track to my career today.
What is your favorite aspect of teaching? Least favorite?
My favorite aspect is the relationship with students. To see them work through difficult topics continues to inspire me. The opportunity to be a part of their growth is the greatest blessing that any professor could have.
My least favorite is grading. It is all part of the territory. Also when I’m at home grading papers my dog, Snipes, always wants to play.
Who inspires you?
I am a Christian. I find inspiration in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
What is your favorite color?
I have to say two: black and purple
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Although I know this may sound crazy to some but I have always secretly wanted to be a truck driver. I knew a lot of truck drivers growing up and I loved the huge rigs. My father owned a fiberglass repair shop and he used to do body work on some of them when they were damaged. When they were in our yard, I would sit in the tractor trailers at the wheel and imagine driving across the country. I imagine that was a dream of many of the youth where I grew up. Traveling the country, hanging out at truck stops and hearing the stories, and using a CB radio. Wow—just wow.
Where would you like to retire?
My wife and I would like to retire in the U.S. and in the Philippines. My wife, Almie, is from the province of Samar in the Philippines. It's an amazing place and very close to Tacloban City. Maybe we could spend half of the year there and the other half here in San Antonio or where I grew up in Virginia.