PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the longest-serving city council member in Phoenix history, Calvin C. Goode has a lengthy list of accomplishments. But to Joshua Goode, he's a grandfather.

"He was hilarious," Joshua said. "He was one of those people who always just found a way to make you feel that comfort."

Often referred to as the "conscience of the council," the man Phoenicians saw in public for decades was truly the same person at home, Joshua says.

"He always looked you in the eye. Always willing to ask about your life and what you got going on, and what you want to accomplish," he added.

Calvin C. Goode

Calvin C. Goode died last month.

When hackers with racial slurs interrupted Goode’s virtual memorial ceremony this week, the actual behavior didn't necessarily surprise Joshua. It's something he's witnessed and experienced. The timing, though, was surprising and a reminder of the crucial work that still needs to be done so no one is ostracized because of the color of their skin. Joshua is inspired to continue Calvin's legacy by spreading love and educating youth.

"His life's work and legacy even in the grave is threatening to some people," Joshua said. "And it has spoken volumes about his influence and the things that he was able to accomplish in the community that somebody felt that much hatred towards him because he was changing things."

As the community honors Calvin's big life, Joshua has heard stories about all of the small ways his grandfather helped others, which has been eye-opening. One example is when Calvin paid for lunch for a group of high schoolers just because.

Calvin C. Goode and fam

Calvin C. Goode loved his family.

"It wasn't just us he shared his love for," Joshua said. "It was the community and everybody that he was around."

Both of Joshua's grandparents, Calvin and Georgie Goode, were passionate education advocates who fought for change, including equity and quality resources for inner-city areas and children of color in particular. As a middle school English and social studies teacher and a father to his own two young kids, he's already intent on following in their footsteps.

"There are so many different stories that are important to the fabric of our country that kind of get edged out and smudged out," Joshua said. "And so bringing those things to the forefront and saying, 'this existed. These people changed the world.'"

It's not just textbook lessons, though. Joshua also hopes to pass along the importance of tolerance to his students and children and how to be the best human they can be in the community.

Calvin C. Calvin and grandson

Both of Joshua's grandparents, Calvin and Georgie Goode, were passionate education advocates.

"My son's young, but I still try to do it as much as I possibly can to start him off and just know that he's worth living," Joshua said. "He's worth existing. His Black skin isn't going to change anything about who he is."

The life of Calvin C. Goode  

Born in rural Depew, Oklahoma in 1927, Goode’s family moved to Arizona when he was ten months old. His family settled in a homestead near Gila Bend where they worked in agricultural fields picking cotton.

He graduated from Carver High School in 1945, the only school in Arizona built exclusively for African-American students. Goode then obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Arizona State University.

Read more about his life here.

 

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you