Black firefighter follows in the footsteps of his father

April 14, 2014

By: Meredith Zielke

Dekalb Walcott III and Dekalb Walcott Jr. (Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)

For more than three decades Dekalb Walcott Jr was one of the few African Americans in the Chicago Fire Department.

His son, Dekalb Walcott III, always dreamed of following in his footsteps.

"A lot of young black people didn’t really get the pleasure of growing up with a father," Dekalb Walcott III said. "You know, I’m from Chicago where we had the Bulls back in the ’90s and Michael Jordan was famous. 

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.

"Everybody wanted to be like Mike, but for me, myself, I wanted Dekalb Walcott Jr. — that was my Michael Jordan.”

To hear more about their family history and the importance of father figures in the black community, click on the audio above.

Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.