He Was Expelled after He Refused to Cut His Afro. 57 Years Later, He Got His Degree


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It's been almost 60 years since Otis Taylor was denied his high school diploma for refusing to cut off his afro.

But the 74-year-old blues musician and multi-instrumentalist finally got to take the stage at his belated graduation ceremony in May after finally receiving his diploma from Manual High School in Denver, Colo., last month, the Denver Post reports.

Taylor tells NPR people have asked him, "Would you do it if you had the chance to do it over again?" "Hell yes I'd do it over again," he says.

"It was sort of like it was the beginning of the counterculture, where The Beatles came out there growing their hair.

But the schools [had] a real big counterculture battle with these kids growing their hair."

Taylorwho says he never felt like his father forgave him for not getting his diplomasays he was embarrassed when other people at the graduation ceremony read two paragraphs about him.

"I just felt silly, because there's other people in there," he says.

"And I think there was a woman graduating with a year-and-a-half-year-old little boy in her arms.

To me, she must have had to work really hard to get there."

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