Glenda Funchess was born in 1954 in Hattiesburg. She was one of the first African American children to attend previously segregated and predominately white schools in Hattiesburg. She was also involved in Freedom Summer. She currently practices law in Hattiesburg.
What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is bestowing blessings upon others and seeing the gratitude in their faces!
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is seeing people distort history for their own selfish reasons and, thereby, mislead the public who do not take initiative to do their own research!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I tend to believe that I can assist in every situation. For example, after visiting Jamaica for the first time in 1998, I have made several trips back to the Island to give new clothes, shoes, toiletries, and school supplies to children there.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Selfishness, arrogantness, rudeness, and thoughtlessness!
What do you hate the most?
I hate that I do not have the money to build homes, schools, clinics and cookie shops throughout the Island of Haiti. Some of the poor children on the Island are eating mud cookies and what a joy it would be to have them enjoy real cookies!
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to play the piano or organ since I love music. I took piano lesson for about one year from the late Mrs. Eloise Hopson as a child, but I never was able to excel in it since I had difficulties reading the Bass Clef notes.
What is your favorite quality in a woman?
Strength and integrity.
What is your favorite quality in a man?
Strength, fearlessness and sensibility.
What is your most-prized possession?
My collection of African-American Art, my collection of books and my framed Invitation to the First Inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.
What is your idea of misery?
Misery is seeing people being discriminated against, abused and misused!
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty, integrity and awareness of problems or issues that confront our people.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
John Shaft, character in the movie “Shaft” from the 1970s (portrayed by Richard Roundtree).
Who are your heroes in real life?
I was blessed to be a participant in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in Hattiesburg and I would have to say everyone who played pivotal roles in the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg during the 1950s and 1960s!
What was the happiest day of your life?
Learning to drive a vehicle and getting my first automobile.
What was the worst day of your life?
Attending Thames Junior High School during the academic school year of 1967/1968 under the Freedom of Choice Desegregation Plan and the racial harassment that I was subjected to for 9 months as the only Black student in classes.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
That I’m an excellent cook.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love history books and perhaps Mamie Till Mobley’s book on the killing of her son, Emmett Till.
What is your greatest regret?
Not taking seriously the words of wisdom from my former piano teacher regarding manuevering through life while in undergraduate school.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully in the arms of Jesus.
If you could have dinner with anyone - dead or alive - who would it be?
Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama.
What words would people use to describe you?
Besides the Pine Belt, where is your favorite place to be?
I love Houston, Texas, where I attended undergraduate school at Texas Southern University, and the rich history of the University where political giants walked like Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and great musicians like Kirk Whalu, and Joe Sample!
What is your motto?
If I can help somebody as I travel this earth, my living will not be in vain.