One of many first jobs Rose Highland-Sharpe ever had was at Belk division retailer within the cosmetics part at College Mall in Chapel Hill.
Flori Roberts and Style Truthful have been among the greatest identify model make-up traces within the late Seventies, and Highland-Sharpe had purchasers coming each week to get their faces made up and to inform her all about their private issues.
“That is what I used to be advised I used to be good at, listening to folks’s issues,” stated Highland-Sharpe, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. “I may assist remedy different folks’s issues.”
She noticed an individual’s face as a canvass and inherently knew what colours matched finest with which pores and skin tone or tips on how to prep the pores and skin earlier than making use of basis. To her, making folks be ok with themselves on the skin was simply as necessary about how they felt on the within.
These moments have been solely markers of what the remainder of her profession would appear to be. Since 1985, Highland-Sharpe has made a reputation for herself in her Moore County group via storytelling, service and activism.
A Jill of all trades
You could possibly say Highland-Sharpe, 63, is a girl of many skills.
Within the early Eighties, Highland-Sharpe graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a level in psychology. She had plans of coming into the psychological well being subject and giving again to her group.
After graduating, Highland-Sharpe moved to Greensboro and have become a psychological well being day program coordinator and social employee. Then, she labored as an grownup fundamental training teacher, a group school recruiter, a take a look at administrator at Sandhills Neighborhood Faculty, and at an area jail serving to inmates with their psychological well being points.
As slightly lady, Highland-Sharpe had desires of changing into a disc jockey and radio host to assist folks via leisure and along with her communication abilities.
“I’ve made many firsts as a Black lady in a number of careers together with radio, TV and in psychological well being,” Highland-Sharpe stated. “I’ve been blessed with quite a few awards for group service.”
A few of these awards embody the 2006 Taylortown Police Division’s Citizen’s Certificates of Advantage, the Sandhills Neighborhood Faculty Neighborhood Service Award in 2014 and a Humanitarian Award in 2018.
Highland-Sharpe credit her roots in rural Taylortown for her ambition and coronary heart for folks.
A city of about 700 folks, Taylortown borders Pinehurst and is a traditionally African American group. The founder, Demus Taylor, was a descendant of enslaved Africans and constructed the city within the early 1900s to offer a group for these working in close by cities.
“The group had a college, companies, and loving households which produced academics, navy leaders, medical doctors, nurses, pastors, enterprise homeowners, hospitality professionals, and lots of college-educated folks,” Highland-Sharpe stated. “Many Black individuals who weren’t academics, nurses and railroad porters, labored for the rich, white households in Pinehurst or for Pinehurst Resorts.”
Rising up throughout the period of segregation, Highland-Sharpe remembers her mom and different ladies she knew working within the houses of rich white households as maids or caregivers. She stated, “you didn’t go within the entrance door of the rich household, you entered the again door.”
Faculties started to combine when Highland-Sharpe was in elementary college and she or he started to see extra Black residents change into principals and enterprise homeowners. She was one of many first Black college students from Moore County to attend a predominately white college.
Her mom and father, Flossie and Richard Highland, have been clever, hardworking individuals who have been additionally politically and civically lively. Her mom helped folks register to vote and her father would take them to polling websites. They have been two of the folks Highland-Sharpe regarded as much as.
A lot of Highland-Sharpe’s members of the family have been additionally recognized to be gifted orators, and she or he thinks the present was handed on to her.
At Pinecrest Excessive College within the Seventies, she was one of many each day hosts of a information present for her college. Her first style of working in radio and tv.
“I wished to be like a woman I heard on a Durham station each Sunday morning,” Highland-Sharpe stated. “And I obtained to be her.”
The speak of the city
Highland-Sharpe’s journey in radio and tv has been lengthy and fulfilling.
At 18 years outdated, Highland-Sharpe obtained extra radio coaching at North Carolina A&T State College. She obtained her license in radio in 1985 and hosted for the WNAA 90.1 FM station on the college till 1989.
Within the early Nineties, Highland-Sharpe moved on to internet hosting in Lexington for the WLXN-AM/WWGL-FM station as a information host and enjoying totally different genres of music. Then, she landed in Southern Pines internet hosting for the WEEB/990 AM station as a gospel music program director. Her earliest break in tv was for the WBFT TV 46 group in Sanford.
By 1996, Highland-Sharpe was producing her personal TV present.
For “City Speak” on WYBE-TV, Spectrum Cable 3 in Southern Pines, Highland-Sharpe would interview residents to function their inspirational tales, focus on points taking place within the Black group, or share companies from native nonprofits that assist folks in want. She wished to function all of the “unsung heroes” of the group.
She was acknowledged by the Moore County NAACP in 2017 as the primary Black particular person to host their very own TV present in Southern Pines.
“My favourite factor as a radio announcer is offering inspirational music, prayer, sermons and optimistic group bulletins to all in want of encouragement,” Highland-Sharpe stated. Some her proudest clips are on her YouTube and Fb pages, to which she nonetheless uploads. “The occasions are good, however I like interviewing folks one on one.”
Highland-Sharpe’s older brother Richard Highland has all the time recognized her to be “entertaining.”
“I needed to babysit her, nevertheless it wasn’t a lot babysitting,” Highland stated with amusing. “What she would do is take all her dolls out, and she or he had a ton of them, teddy bears and stuff, and line all of them up and she or he’d both get on the piano or act like she was in a classroom and train to all of them day. There wasn’t a lot I needed to do different than simply watch her.”
Highland, a resident of Charlotte, stated his little sister started enjoying piano when she was three years outdated, and would study from their mom who performed for the choir at church. Highland-Sharpe would ultimately take piano classes and play for her personal church later in life.
“She (mom) would take her within the choir stand and put her beside her whereas she was enjoying piano,” Highland stated. “After church one Sunday, and we will not determine how she obtained up there, however she climbed on the stool and simply began enjoying songs she heard my mom play in church. She’s all the time been musically inclined.”
In 1987, Highland-Sharpe married John Sharpe who additionally liked to sing and communicate. They have been married for about six years and remained buddies till his dying.
Of all of the issues she has completed, she is most happy with her son, John “JonJon” Sharpe, 31, a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, and her granddaughter.
“He by no means missed a day at school from kindergarten to twelfth grade, besides someday resulting from a head harm,” Highland-Sharpe stated of his accomplishments. “He accomplished superior placement and academically gifted programs, and obtained quite a few awards for his music vocals, JROTC management, monitor/subject, Cub/Boy Scouts and lecturers.”
Her granddaughter reminds her numerous herself due to her skills
“I’ve a beautiful granddaughter in first grade who’s a singer, self-trained trendy ballet dancer, gown designer, and good pupil with thought-provoking opinions,” Highland-Sharpe stated.
She nonetheless stays lively with youth teams via her church and in Southern Pines and Taylortown. Certainly one of her good buddies O’Linda Watkins-McSurley, the department president of the Moore County NAACP, referred to as her a “nice lady.”
“We go approach again,” Watkins-McSurley stated. “We take a look at the ethical problems with our younger folks. We’re very youth-oriented and ensure we train our younger folks social justice.”
In reference to their church buildings and with the NAACP, Watkins-McSurley and Highland-Sharpe have mentored and helped native youth get grants or scholarships for college and assist them get sources. A few of the children they’ve helped via the years have nonetheless saved in contact.
“They name us and test on us and see how we’re doing, and that is a superb feeling,” stated Watkins-McSurley. “It makes us really feel that we did one thing proper.”
‘Do what you’re keen on doing’
There may be by no means a day when Highland-Sharpe just isn’t considering of studying or making an attempt one thing new creatively.
In 2014, Highland-Sharpe accomplished her graduate research and earned a level in Theological Research from Liberty College and have become an ordained minister. A lot of her buddies name her “Reverend Sharpe.”
Now, she provides sermons and writes weblog posts with a Christian angle and shares them on-line. She is planning to host a brand new section of her present on Fb and YouTube. With COVID-19 an element, Highland-Sharpe does a lot of her interviews over Zoom.
“It is numerous hours of labor, folks do not know. It is not like magic,” Highland-Sharpe stated, “I do not do that for cash or fame. Whenever you love one thing that you simply do, you do it for nothing. You do what you’re keen on doing and you will be completely satisfied the remainder of your life.”
Highland-Sharpe took poetry courses in school and has saved the drafts. She hopes to someday publish her personal ebook, persevering with her love for storytelling. She recalled entertaining her childhood buddies with performances and telling tales and jokes to maintain them laughing.
“The Bible stated your items will make room for you and put you earlier than nice males,” stated Highland-Sharpe, paraphrasing a scripture from Proverbs. “I hope I can try this for the remainder of my days.”
Employees author Kristen Johnson could be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3570.
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