Some of who know me personally are aware that I just took on a new professional role, and until I find my new groove, times to even contemplate writing will be very far and few in between. With that being said………….
A couple of weeks ago, a good brother from Morehouse started a facebook group/page with the intention of letting students and alumni from Howard and Morehouse talk a little trash prior to the Capitol Classic at RFK in DC next month. As a two-time HBCU graduate, I have met my share of fellow HBCU alumni (from childhood to adulthood), so I saw it as a good way to talk smack with some of my boys.
Just some quick history for my non-HBCU readers who may not know any better: Howard University and Morehouse College (both founded in 1867) on an annual basis, since I was a kid, swap between #2 and #3 for best HBCU, with Morehouse’s fellow AUC tenant, Spelman, ranking #1. So, to say the least, there is a LOT of pride between these schools.
Talk went from a variety of sports related topics (from Howard’s piss poor record in 2010 to how Morehouse got shut out the last time the two schools faced each other). Of course it evolved into a history lesson from both sides (such as how two of HU’s presidents were Morehouse grads and how some of Atlanta’s recent mayors were HU grads). The problem came in when, as more folks began to join the page, including alumni from Spelman and other out-of-scope institutions of higher learning, the page began to lose focus and folks began to take the page a tad bit too personally. I won’t go into specific examples, but suffice it to say, it got ign’ant in there.
Now, me, I didn’t worry about having to take anything personally (given that I didn’t throw anything out there personally), but some folks on both sides got went IN to the point where there was an authentic sense of anger, arrogance, hatred, and
offline hollering superiority that began to imbrue the page to the point where me and some of my boys who were initially part of the group either left the group altogether or just fell back and stopped contributing.
As I observed some of this, I began to think about my interactions with the variety of black folks over my life, I began to recall how the collective WE have looked for opportunities to self-uplift at the expense of leaving each other by the side of the road. I think back to Spring ’98 when I had my choice of Howard, Morehouse, and Hampton as the schools I would attend outside of Cali. I had my reasons for choosing Howard over the other 2 aforementioned institutions, and to this day I would take nothing for my choice and for my journey, but my choice was never about one school being superior. Given that I was a first generation college graduate, a “legacy” or “pedigree” wasn’t there for me to default to (in regards to school or the organization I pledged).
For my HBCU alum who are reading this, please keep this in mind: for as much as we subtly put each other down, there are some of US within the African Diaspora who went to PWI’s that have similar conversations about how inferior Howard, Morehouse, Spelman, FAMU, and Hampton graduates are to Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Northwestern black graduates. Case in point, a friend of mine from high school got a full ride to Spelman and she had to choose between that and paying to go to an Ivy League school. For some reason, she chose the Ivy League school because she, in her words “did not want to become a pretentious bitch with a sub-par degree.” Yeah, WOW, but that was her way of thinking based on, at the time, what she was taught and who she interacted with (FYI she has since retracted that statement, LOL).
Here’s the bottom line: As I have grown and matured in this short life of mine, I have come to realize two things.
- God’s Will has placed me in this lane of life for a reason, and I do not look down on anyone who is, by American’s societal standards, worse than me, nor do I hold my head down around those who are allegedly better than me.
- No matter what you do, what you accomplish, whether you get it the right way or not, there’s always going to be one person, or a legion of folks, that will NEVER grant you immunity or safety to live your life in peace nor accept you for who you are (just ask the current President of the United States).
With that in mind, despite where you have been, where you are going (or think you’re going), do your best to build up those around you, because you never know where your blessing is coming from. You could be a Howard graduate and your spouse went to Cheyney, or you could be an umemployed Morehouse Kappa who reaches out to a North Carolina A&T Que and he gets you not only back working again, but in the job that takes your career to the next level. YOU NEVER KNOW!! The man who was a big influence on my musical gift was himself a graduate of Morehouse. In fact, he was my youth choir director back in the day (God rest his soul), but most of you would know him from doing the solo to start this movie.
Life is too short to be on that bull, so do right by your blessings and your network.