one who embraces the brilliance of our intersections, authentically sensitive to the ills of our world, and positioned to resist the temptation to sit idly by. To be human is to see adversity not as a burden but a possibility; injustice as an extreme and not a normality; and service as an obligation not a privilege. So as long as the world owes us nothing, We yet devote our humanity to a greater cause. This is the power of humanity. Some of us cave to the pressure. Others rise. The men and women featured in this issue have overcome in their own right in the pursuit of noble feats â€“some homeless, some without the comfort of family, some with but a dollar and a dream, all bleeding and fighting for something higher, greater.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Our futures are controlled by our passion. That has been the driving force behind the sustained progression of our beloved organization. With the absence of a communication school, The Maroon Tiger provides a practicum for students who are fully invested in intersectional creative production. Write. Document. Create. – our three tenets that have led us to become more than a newspaper, but a student media group. Here, a student has the opportunity to work with fellow creatives in producing newspapers, multimedia stories, mix tapes, magazines and understand the process of media management and business relations. Our partnership with the Journalism and Sports Program prepares students’ writing and journalistic skills, allowing us to train 21st-century journalists that beget immense scholarship and internship opportunities. However, aside from our structure, the primary mission of our organization is to simply tell a story and aim to inspire others and evoke change. There is something similar to MOTY’s 100-plus featured individuals and MT; they, too, control their futures by their passion. They have labored tirelessly to produce a vision and to transform their institutions and community with their unique gifts. When we set on this journey to create this year’s MOTY, we wanted to challenge ourselves—tell more stories, inspire more individuals. The new format of our Man of the Year edition allows us to fully highlight one individual from each section while also staying true to our format of celebrating the successes of multiple individuals. Our two, yes two, Men of the Year juxtapose to each other, providing a holistic approach to what we believe is the quintessential image of a MT Man of the Year and Morehouse Man. The production has been a very long journey and the MT team exerted all of its energy into ensuring that the legacy of this magazine, first introduced in 2010, will endure while simultaneously transcend. We are proud of these individuals and celebrate their various contributions. We are also proud to offer you this experience. We hope you enjoy and that it inspires you to wear your own crown unabashedly.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Until Next Time, Darren Martin Editor-in-Chief
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MATTHEW “FLEA” GARRETT GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN TO INSPIRE CHANGE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
t first sight, one is likely to think one of three things: 1. this guy gets dressed in the dark, 2. his look is…unique, or 3. Genius! On a mission to defy the prescriptive laws of mainstream fashion and restore what he feels is an overall lack of individuality among consumers, Matthew Garrett is knocking down the barriers that keep people confined and unexpressive. Identifying his personal style as “a mash-up between Will Smith and Carton Banks—‘Wilton Smanks’,” Garrett uses his matchless collection of bold, signature pieces to sway his peers towards extraordinary dress as a means to express. Matthew Garrett a.k.a. “Flea” a.k.a. “Matty Gee” has perhaps one of the most obnoxiously alluring personas possibly imaginable, nicknaming everyone he comes in contact with as if he has known them for ages. The youngest of three boys and elder to a younger sister born to Kurt and Myra Garrett in Raleigh, North Carolina, his foundation is set in family-inspired praxis. His brothers Harris and Brian showed him the art of cool when it came to dressing while he credits his sister Andrea for pushing him to mix-and-match as he pleases. His mother taught him to be conservative when appropriate but rambunctious when it permits, and his dad instilled in him the entrepreneurial mindset he came to employ through his love for clothes. For Garrett, fashion works as a set of utensils for people to use to create works of art on their bodies. Style is the unique method by which people make decisions to wear the clothes, accessories, shoes, and fragrances they choose. Style goes deeper than outer appearance; it aesthetically defines the eminence of one’s inner self, separating the tools from the artist and organically divulging beauty. Citing the “dependently-independent individualistic”
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BY: FANON BROWN
customs of his hometown where he was acquainted with Morehouse students Donovan Whitaker and Charles Brooks as fellow sources of creativity, “Flea” advantageously utilizes the arbitrary stylishness he learned to master in high school in his daily interactions to make people remember him. With hopes to help perpetuate movement towards a more emphatic sense of style in the AUC and beyond, Matthew Garrett is currently in the process of launching his collaborative clothing and lifestyle brand, Attia Flea & Company. Specializing in valiant patterns and textures with complimentary tonal colors, the company is actively undergoing developmental reconstruction on its website and blog, while Garrett and his partner Athanasius Attia are designing new pieces for their upcoming collection. Aiming to soar above the clouds of imaginable success as did his idols Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., their first piece was the Apple Henley Crewneck released last spring and is still flaunted through the AUC by patient customers awaiting the return of “Flea’s Fly.” FB: What are some of your favorite dress styles, shops, and web sites? MG: I do not have a favorite style; I literally LOVE every type of dress as long as the fit is nice and the clothes look good on me. From baggy cargo pants to slim pink chinos, Henley crewnecks to round collar dress shirts, bucket hats and fitteds, down to the miss-match socks, I love every possible combination exploited the right way through style. Like many greats have said it before, “it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.” FB: Okay, you don’t want to give away your secrets. I get it. MG: (Laughs) Though I would love to keep these gems to myself, I will
give you all a few. Atlanta has a great thrift-shop scene. Value Village, Buffalo Exchange, and Rag-O-Rama each have a wide selection of pieces with affordable prices. I especially love the colors and cuts of Ralph Lauren, Zara, H&M, Pendleton, and Patagonia. And some of my favorite fashion sites are jackthreads.com, streetetiquette.com, and thedotflea.com. FB: That last one has a ring. Where is ‘TheDotFlea’ in five years? MG: I hope that through my work, my collaborative clothing line Attia Flea & Co. will gain international recognition as a timeless brand. I would like to get involved in the buying and planning facets of fashion merchandising as well as consulting and styling. In all actuality, I hope to be involved in and master every facet of the fashion industry as well as other industries. There is not a single person or thing holding me back from accomplishing greatness in anything I see possible. FB: What advice do you have for others about being well-dressed and stylish? MG: The most important piece of advice I could give is to do what YOU think is cool. A unique individual is exactly what you are, and when you completely embody that notion, everything falls into place. Do not be afraid of patterns but try not to have too much going on at the same time. Mind your textures to add depth and variation to your outfits. Accessorize with hats, necklaces, bracelets, rings, sunglasses, scarfs, gloves, watches, handkerchiefs and pocket squares, pins and buttons. Never be afraid to try different things; individuality is where it’s at! FB: Wise words from one FLEA brother. MG: No doubt G, love to all.
F A S H I O N F R E N Z Y : STYLE ON-THE-GO
B Y: FA N O N B R O W N
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
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In order to properly and most effectively demonstrate the art of Sartorial Excellence, one must be fully committed to manifesting the principles of effective communication and maintaining decent representation at all times, setting the standard for a well-suited societal decorum. Once that commitment is established, the individual is therefore endowed with the duty to serve as a beacon of unwavering sophistication and grace and to be an exemplary citizen so that all those who bear witness may see what they should aspire to be. Fulfillment of this duty warrants gratuitous recognition for the efforts of individuals who uphold the standards of this sartorially excellent society. It is to great avail that Audtrell Williams, Nduka Vernon, Travon Jackson, and Kaelan Sharperson are presented as this year’s most outstanding examples of Sartorial Excellence here in the AUC. Audtrell Williams: Audtrell Williams, an 18-year-old Political Science major from Los Angeles says that style comes naturally to him. With an exclusive street-chic signature look inspired by the work of stylists like Ugo Mozie, Mr. Williams is an eccentric chameleon who can blend well into any style-setting while remaining uniquely scaled to his own unique expression. Aspiring to attend Law School and become the Mayor of Detroit, Michigan one day, Audtrell strives to stand out as an individual as he was taught by his grandmother who stressed to him that with exceptional fashion sense, he can take on any task. “Trell’s Tip-off ”: “Being able to exude confidence has given me another voice, one that I can express through getting dressed. If you would like to become a better dressed individual, you should reach out to people that you think dress well. Remember, learning how to dress can be a process, but you can get better by seeking help and practicing.” Nduka Vernon: Nduka M. Vernon is a product of ridicule transformed into reward. A Biology major minoring in Spanish, 18-year-old “Duke” hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina but representing Collins, Mississippi, and credits his brother’s mocking his style as a child for his impressive transformation as a young man of well-dressed caliber. Working towards becoming a self-employed physician at his own practice one day, Mr. Vernon draws inspiration from trendy styles he sees on social media, citing The Brooklyn Circus, Men’s Fashion Post, and cultural icon Pharrell as top sources for their vintage meets varsity meets designer feel he gravitates towards. “Duke’s Dissuasion”: “Your ability to
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dress well should never overshadow who you are as a person. Fashion is an extension of your personality intertwined with a sense of selfawareness that evidences itself in your choice of clothing and sense of style.” Travon Jackson: Travon Jackson describes his style as “transcendent,” grounding his sense of fashion dually in the functionality and quality of design of his garment choices. An Urban Studies and Economics double major hailing from New York, 20-year-old “Troy” draws his distinction between fashion and style with the purpose of a particular piece of clothing, with fashion representing the creative, experimental aspect of dressing and style the vantage of personal expression. Already slated to work as an employee for BMO Capital Markets banking group following graduation, Jackson is currently branding a self-funded clothing collection under his own design label, 12180, which is currently in production in Chicago. He expects to release the six-to-eight piece collection next Fall. “Troy’s #TRILL Teaching”: “Observing different styles in practice is how most of my inspiration is found, like how the grammatical precision of C.S. Lewis can inform the precision of my outfits—the length of my jacket sleeves or insulating rubber soles on my shoes. Being well-dressed and stylish cannot be achieved by following a formula. This is about how you feel that your actions combine with your clothes to reflect who you are. In every way, being welldressed requires knowledge of others and self. Kaelan Sharperson: Showcasing a style he coins as “profoundly versatile” is 21-year-old senior Kaelan Sharperson. A Business Marketing major from Columbia, South Carolina where style is not prevalent, Sharperson centers his life around fashion as a means for speaking without saying a word. Mr. “StyledbyDready” aspires to become a mogul in the world of fashion as a stylist and designer, already having interned with Maison Martin Margiela in Paris last Summer and launching his own brand, Sharper Sons on www.sharpersons.com. “StyledbyDready’s Steer”: Fashion is for everyone. Style is for the chosen. Your style is your show of respect for those around you, so carry yourself well and always remember your presence speaks for you before you part your lips.”
Trailblazing Terrain: NEW TO THE GAME, MOREHOUSE’S RUGBY TEAM IS CHANGING THE MAKE-UP OF HBCU ATHLETICS BY: ROBERT DOUGLAS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CABRAL CLEMENTS
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In a year where athletic competition has been hit and miss, the Rugby Team has emerged as a force to be reckoned with among athletic teams and clubs on campus. Conceived nearly a year ago, the idea of the team is partly the brainchild of Junior Computer Science Major Stephen O’Reilly-Pol. Since its founding, the team has competed across the south and has achieved a number of key victories in their quest to become a powerhouse among new and upcoming Rugby Teams. We sat down with the team’s founder and coach to talk about the team’s successes and his own story as an aspiring professional coach. Stephen O’Reilly-Pol | Junior| Washington, DC Founder, Morehouse Rugby Club MT: What brought you to want to start the rugby team? SOP: I started in high school. I was really good it. So it dawned on me that I wanted to give other people the opportunity to compete. I found others that were interested and as it turned out there was a good group of people that wanted to participate. MT: What is the training like? SOP: Training is pretty intense. There is a lot of running. Contact makes the sport demanding. But I will say there is a place for everybody. There is a spot on the team for everybody we just require that teammates are disciplined and motivated. MT: Since beginning, what has the competition been like? SOP: We have competed in six tournaments since our inception. We have already competed in the National Qualifying Tournament for the Atlanta Area Rugby Teams. We are also competing this weekend
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for an opportunity to qualify for the national tournament. MT: How has the administration responded to your team’s aspirations? SOP: There has been positive feedback. We have received good support from RIF in Archer Hall and from the Office of Student Life. Some of the negative feedback has been geared towards those who don’t see the success in our team. MT: Who are some rugby players that inspire you? SOP: My coaches from high school have inspired me. Also the South African Rugby team, it was just I understanding the history they have endured in order to achieve the victories they have –it was truly inspiring. MT: What does it mean to be a juggernaut? SOP: Stephen O’Reilly-Pol: “It signifies someone or something that is a great power and able to knock down the obstacles set forth in front of it.” MT: What does it mean to be a leader? SOP: “A leader is someone who is not afraid to do what he feels is right. If a mistake is made a leader is able to take credit for the bad and the good. I also feel a leader is someone who not only mentors but helps the people around him or her self to make more leaders.” MT: Advice to the next generation of Spelhouse students? SOP: “To show the new generation to be your self. There has become a mold that people are trying to be put in to. There needs to be individuality and true leaders, not ones that just take the face without doing any of the work.”
GAME CHANGERS: ATHLETES CHANGING THE GAME ON AND OFF THE FIELD BY: ROBERT DOUGLAS
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Jelani Watkins Junior| Atlanta, GA Coach and Swimmer, Morehouse Tiger Sharks RD: What does it mean to be a juggernaut? JW: “In the case of the Man of the Year Award Category, being a juggernaut implies that one has the quality of being an unstoppable force in the field of athletics. This is a quality that, I do embody, with the support of my Tigersharks swim team members.” RD: What do you think sets you apart? JW: “One of the strengths that I believe I have is consistently and successfully highlighting the importance of the ideologies of teamwork with the swim team members that I work with. In doing so, I make sure to make the qualities that would make me stand out above others are taught to the members of my team so that we all may stand out above others.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CABRAL CLEMENTS
RD: What is your advice to students in the AUC?: JW: “I would advise that they stay in shape, keep God first, family second, academics third, and make everything else come later. Also, I would advise they come and try out with the Tigersharks Swim Program.” Kelli C. Daniels Junior | Griffin, GA Cheerleader, Morehouse College RD: What does it mean to be a juggernaut? KD: “A juggernaut is a powerful and overwhelming force that crushes and destroys any and everything in its way! I make it my point to never let anything stop my drive in reaching my goals!” RD: What does it mean to be a leader?
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KD: “I am a firm believer in taking advantage of every opportunity that is offered. No leader is perfect; however, embracing all the knowledge you can to help you be the best of the best is important in order to be a great leader. As a woman of Spelman, I am charged to change the world through my academics and my service to the community.” RD: Advice to the next generation of Spelhouse students? KD: “In everything you put your mind too, give it your all. If it’s worth having, it’s worth working for. Recognize that you all are Kings and Queens, unique and full of purpose, therefore be yourself. Love yourself endlessly and be an example for others on Campus!” Jalen Patton Senior | Houston, TX Captain and President, Morehouse Soccer Club RD: What does it mean to be a juggernaut? JP: “Being a juggernaut means that you are a powerful force that must be contained. It means that whatever you do, your opponent must try finding a way to stop you. However, that becomes very difficult because of the many skills that you have. I am able to play any position on the field, while helping my teammates become better players. Regardless of where I am on the field, my skills allow me to help every other player on my team.” RD: What does it mean to be a leader? JP: “To be leader means you have the ability to change the thoughts of those around you. You are able to impact the people around you to make this world a better place.” RD: Advice to next generation of Spelhouse students? JP: “I would advise them to follow
their passion. With a strong passion, you are able to do any and everything you set your mind to. At the same time, I would say that it is ok to not know what the next chapter in their life brings. Go through each day knowing that with everything that you do, you have given your all. Temitayo Agoro Sophomore | Fort Worth, TX Track and Field, Co-Founder, Morehouse Student Athlete Committee (MSAC) RD: What does it mean to be a juggernaut? TA: “As an individual whose purpose is to influence others by being a positive role model, I would be able to fulfill to the fullest the principles being a juggernaut requires, to better the people and the reputation of the student body. Having an outgoing personality allows me to create great relationships, which will make me a great representative of Morehouse College.” RD: What does it mean to be a leader? TA: “We came together as players and I decided I would rise to the top and lead the team. I would lead the pathway to victory and try my best every time I touched the field or track. I became successful by replacing my predecessors and by leading my teams to victories. Overcoming the loss of graduating seniors and stepping up is an example the definition of success. “ RD: Advice to next generation of Spelhouse students? TA: “Come to college with the mindset to work hard and accomplish goals, but don’t forget to enjoy the college experience and remember the purpose of life, which is to be diligent, positive, and righteous. Seek perfection even though it does not exist and keep God first.”
AMON RA: ‘JUST MY MUSIC & MY SKATEBOARD’
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
BY: MORIBA CUMMINGS
Music and skateboarding – in the contemporary landscape of the “cool kids” era of hip hop, this pairing has conjoined almost as seamlessly as soap and water. With conscious rappers Kid Cudi and Lupe Fiasco spearheading this paradigm of “music-boarding” in the 2000s, many aspiring rappers have ditched the pseudo-gangsta method to success. Morehouse’s finest, Amon-ra Cunningham, does it well, all while simultaneously normalizing sensitivity in current-day hip-hop. “A lot of hip-hop culture is heavily influenced by skateboarding. So it’s like the two worlds collided,” he said. This “collision” shares a double meaning for the San Diego native as one of physical form practically birthed his now budding music career. “I actually broke my heel skateboarding,” said Amon, while chuckling in reminiscence. “I was out skating with some friends and I just landed weird, and felt like a nail went through my heel.” Following the traumatic incident, and after weeks of helpless complacency, he decided to tackle an underlying passion that he had never intended to pursue: music. The tunes that initially infiltrated his musical aesthetic may serve as a shock to some, due to their unconventional association with the hip hop genre. “I was always into music,” he said. “But I wouldn’t really listen to rap music at the time because my mom was kind of strict. So I listened to a bunch of older stuff like Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly & the Family Stone, a lot of James Brown and some older Michael
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Jackson.” This “old soul” that was cultivated through his luxe taste for the classics translated into his current sound both aesthetically and rhythmically. The bluesy tones of Brown and the snappy rhythms of Jackson all lent to his individual sound that boasts an air of sensitivity and ease that is often missed in today’s conventionally “hyper-masculine” hip hop circuit. “When I make my music, I hear a lot of old things [that] I used to hear,” he said. Not to misconstrue his vintage taste for “high browness,” the junior business marketing major shared an extensive list of his present-day
inspirations who have vastly contributed to the “cool and calm” wave of new faces. They included Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar. While he described Drizzy as one who will be listened to “10, 15, and even 20 years from now,” don’t expect 16 bars of profanity, a-la “Worst Behavior,” as Amon’s raps follow one mandatory criterion: no cursing. “I don’t curse in my music,” he said. “I’m sure, as I get older, I’ll expand, but it won’t be anything vulgar. That’s just not really me.” Knowing who he is both as an artist and an evolving being ring true to his individual testament. Adding to the gradual growth of heterogeneousness of origin in hip hop, Amon embraces his
middle-class upbringing, relating that struggle is not exclusive to the downtrodden and project residents. “I grew up in a suburban neighborhood,” he said. “The suburbs aren’t that different from the hood in that there are just a lot of similar situations.” Expounding on his point, the conscious rapper discussed the broadcasted sense of community that is often found in underprivileged housing facilities, as opposed to the unsocial atmosphere of suburban life. “You don’t really see the family connection [in the suburbs]. They can have all this money, and not even talk to each other,” he said. “But in Black neighborhoods, you really see people out all the time doing things together.” This camaraderie has further inspired his artistic growth, elevating to new heights since his 2011 entry into Morehouse College. He holds his main audience of the AUC in such high regard that he hopes to leave a legacy of inspiration once his matriculation is complete. “I want people to say, ‘He was that dude,’ and ‘His music really inspired and helped me to get through college,’ basically,” he said. From laying in a hospital bed wondering what’s next, to shamelessly winning the junior talent show during his sophomore year, Amon has proven to the masses that he means business; as long as he has his music, and his skateboard, he’s unstoppable.
Landon Spratling ’14
Major/Minor: Music (voice emphasis) Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fl. Artistic Expression: Vocal performance and theatre.
Major/Minor: Business Administration (finance emphasis) Hometown: Miami, Fl. Artistic Expression: Dance.
MC: How is this art relevant to your future goals post-Morehouse? XD: My aspirations post-Morehouse include pursuing a Master’s Degree in classical vocal performance. My ultimate goals are to join either an opera or theatre company and eventually work on both production and performance ends.
MC: Describe your art form in more detail. LS: Many only see me as a dancer because that is what I do on campus. I am known to perform well thought-out skits that tell a story, which has earned me titles, but I am really into creative art … some might call it junkyard art. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
MC: What/Who has ultimately inspired you to pursue this vocal performance? XD: My father, Nira Durden, and my grandparents, Williejo and Steven Durden, are my greatest inspirations. I am the first in my family to complete a degree with no interruption.
MC: How would you like to be remembered as an artist? LS: I would like to be known as an artist who made the best out of nothing.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Xavier Durden ’14
Anwar Johnson ’15
Lauren Hamilton ’15
Michele Pierson ’15
Major/Minor: Philosophy Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa. Artistic Expression: Spoken Word.
Major/Minor: Drama (dance emphasis) Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fl. Artistic Expression: Dance.
MC: How is spoken word relevant to your post-undergrad goals? AJ: Extremely relevant! The more I grow as a man and aspiring psychotherapist/life counselor, the deeper my artistic abilities delve as well. I’m a very holistic person – a hippie even – so the methods I’d use with potential patients would verily involve a lot of reflection and meditation.
MC: How is dance relevant to your future goals post-Spelman? LH: At Morehouse, I choreograph for the Miss Maroon & White pageant and Coronation, as well as other events on campus. I’ve also danced professionally outside of the aUC. Upon graduation, I will be moving to New York City to begin my career as a professional dancer/choreographer.
Major/Minor: Studio Art/Art History double major Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa. Artistic Expression: Painting and Drawing.
MC: What/Who has ultimately inspired you to pursue spoken word? AJ: At the end of the day, I have to thank Allah ultimately for having such a path destined for me. Whether it was meeting my phenomenal mentors, people telling me that my conveyances saved their lives, or just understanding that ink and paper is way more transcendent than what most people believe it to be all comes back to God’s will for me.
MC: Describe your artistic aesthetic in three words. LH: Feminine, lyric, and effortless.
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MC: How would you like to be remembered as an artist? MP: I really don’t care how I’m remembered as an artist as long as I’m remembered as a person who wasn’t influenced by negativity and remained passionate about doing what makes me happy. MC: What/Who has ultimately inspired you to pursue painting and drawing? MP: I am inspired by coincidence because I believe that everything happens for a reason.
How One Man is changing a Generation of Activism
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CABRAL CLEMENTS
BY: Kevin Colclough Take the “D” out of the words, “Dope Dealer” and in its place substitute, “H” which then becomes “Hope Dealer”, and that’s what you get with Morehouse Senior Political Science major Corey Hardiman. Born and raised in the Roseland section of Chicago, one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city, he came to Morehouse in 2010 with a vision of not only bettering himself, but the city of Chicago in the process. Hardiman first began his quest by earning the coveted Gates Millennium Scholarship, a scholarship provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides students with strong academic achievement and strong leadership skills the opportunity to attend the college or university of their choice for free for up to ten years. Raised by a single mother and his grandmother, he credits his father’s occupation as a drug dealer as the source of inspiration, using the slogan, “My father was a dope dealer, and I am a hope dealer” to inspire others. The slogan and source of inspiration by Hardiman led to him headlining an alternative Spring Break trip with other Morehouse students to Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood. The trip would garner local and national attention for the work they would do to engage a community
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ravaged by violence and despair. They brought hope. The trip entitled, “E.N.O.U.G.H. Chicago” was created to show the youth of Chicago positive Black men who look like them that have achieved both academic and personal success and give them the hope that they can one day be in the shoes of the Morehouse students in front of them. The acronym, “E.N.O.U.G.H” stands for Expanding Neighborhood Opportunities Through Unity, Growth, and Hope. Hardiman’s goal is for “E.N.O.U.G.H” to become a program to prepare the youth to have their voices heard. Still, the work hasn’t stopped there. In Georgia, Hardiman was among a group of students arrested at the Georgia Capital in Downtown Atlanta in protest of expanding Medicaid in a state with among the highest population of uninsured citizens. “When your passion eliminates your fear, there is nothing that can stop you,” Hardiman said, quoting words he says drives his ambition to make a lasting impact. Upon graduation this May at Morehouse, Corey Hardiman will run for City Council in his hometown of Chicago, hoping to change the city one vote at a time.
The The Activists: Activists: AA Chat Chat with with Revolutionaries Revolutionaries By Kevin Colclough
When it comes to the preservation and future development of the greater AUC community, there’s one man at the forefront of the student charge and that man is transfer junior Will Chandler. Chandler originally attended Bakersfield College in California and transferred to Morehouse in 2012 and was introduced to the world of urban planning and getting civically engaged with the AUC community. Chandler is the president of the AUC Neighborhood Association, an executive member of various neighborhood boards, and a part of the Student Dining Services Board. Most recently, he was elected SGA Vice President. We sat down with Chandler to understand the roots of his passion for community development and to learn what’s going on in the AUC community. MT: What inspired you to become an active student? WC: Knowing that no matter where I am in life, I can give back wherever and whenever given the opportunity to serve. MT: Who inspires you?
WC: Darnell Holcomb, Fred Prince, and my Father.
lectual underpinnings of Hip-Hop, and where it stands in terms of becoming an annual event.
MT: Where do you see the AUC in ten years? WC: I see the campuses and the neighborhood of the AUC becoming a top destination for growing families, students, and young professionals. Hopefully by then the AUC will have better resources to foster greater community development and grow small businesses.
MT: What is the purpose of the “AUC Hip Hop Revolution” and what sparked the idea? MH: “The AUC Hip Hop Revolution’s purpose was to dispel the negative stereotypes of hip-hop and to bring awareness of hip-hop to the campuses of the AUC. The idea was sparked by the recent backlash rappers faced for stating racy things in their lyrics.”
MT: What can be done to change the AUC? WC: A lot. Contributing to the betterment of the community can change lives. In 10 years, the AUC will be well developed, but that all needs to be done with the help of those in the community and in public offices. You may have seen posts on social media and flyers around campus about the “AUC Hip Hop Revolution”, but had no true idea of its inception or creator. The creator of the, “AUC Hip Hop Revolution” is Morehouse sophomore Michaelangelo Hayes. We took some time to talk to him about what sparked the revolution, the intel-
MT: When did the event take place? MH: “The AUC Hip Hop Revolution took place February 17th through February 22nd” MT: What events were going throughout the revolution? MH: “There was a Hip Hump Wednesday on the campus of Morehouse, a talent show on Morehouse’s campus, and a hip-hop themed market Friday on Spelman’s campus.” MT: Were any hip-hop artists involved? MH: “Cyhi the Prince of G.O.O.D Music’s
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management team called me and was interested in participating in the event. I actually turned him down because I felt like his music did not showcase the style of hip-hop that sparked the revolution.” MT: Will the,”AUC Hip Hop Revolution” be an annual event? MH: “Yes; the goal is for the AUC Hip Hop Revolution to become an annual event, like the winter version of homecoming.” MT: If there was one word to describe the cause of the revolution, what would it be? MH: “Complacency, complacency sparked the revolution.” MT: What went into making the event become a reality? MH: “We got approval from the SGA at the very last minute and for the most part relied on the help of volunteers and myself.” MT: When it is all said and done, what do you want the true legacy of the “AUC Hip Hop Revolution” to be? MH: “I want the legacy of the revolution to be
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the source that tackled the negative view that mainstream hip hop had in the AUC and to show to many what hip hop is.”AUC student activism isn’t limited to Morehouse College. Spelman boasts some student activists as well. Graduating Senior and psychology major La Ricca Young is one of Spelman’s most outspoken activists and has been fighting for social justice for many years. Originally born and raised in Long Beach, California, La Ricca has been a strong force in the fight for the LGBTQ community at Spelman College. In this interview you will learn more about La Ricca’s fight for equality at Spelman, how she became involved with activism, and who inspires her to be active each and every day. MT: What inspired you to become a student activist? LY: Being pissed off and frustrated with the bull crap and people being complacent and wanting to be a part of the solution. There was a need for activism in the LGBTQ community. MT: How long have you been involved? LY: I’ve been on the frontline so to speak since jun-
ior year, but joined organizations my freshman year. Also note that the Afrikete is not only for LGBTQ students but also allies as well. MT: Who inspires you? LY: The students who I work most closely with. They motivate me each and every day to become better and more active in the community. MT: What is one thing that you would tell your Freshmen self now being a graduating senior who has experience the trials and tribulations of college? LY: I would tell myself to stand strong in the skin I’m in MT: What is Afrikete’s mission? LY: The mission is to be the leader of LGBTQ inclusion on Spelman’s campus while also providing a safe place for all students.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Ken greenwood
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JAMAL LEWIS
Thabiti Stephens, senior Atlanta native at Morehouse College, is no stranger to interviews considering magazines like Black Enterprise and news sources like Fox News have interviewed him in the past. His company, Steps by Stephens, is not only a shoe company, but has a subsidiary non-profit component that provides meals to children in the Atlanta area. His merchandise is sold exclusively online. Stephens and his roommate handle the customs, logistics, finances, and all others aspects of Steps by Stephens. “Entrepreneurship is taking it upon yourself to provide a need for somebody under your own will,” Stephens said. Throughout his high school education at Grady High School, he had a passion for entrepreneurship and won many business plan-writing competitions. While he was unsure what he wanted to pursue, he was certain that he would start a business. He goes on to explain that the Monday after graduating high school, he concluded that he wanted to make shoes. He began taking some of his shoes apart to get a grasp of the parts to a shoe. His friends at Grady High School prompted the non-profit element to Steps by Stephens. He explained that the student body consisted of a mix of economic backgrounds. One if his friends would bring lunches that were provided by the school in
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order to help feed his family. Another friend drove to school in a Bentley. Having friends of different means gave him first-hand experience of existing economic disparities. It is for this reason and more that he was adamant about having a non-profit program to aid his own community. His empathy for his friend and his community is apparent. He recalls learning about Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, two men with entrepreneurial spirits, in tenth grade. He was amazed and inspired by their ability to innovate. While many students prepared their bags the summer before attending Morehouse College, Stephens, with his experiences formulating a business plan, did just that. He constructed a business plan as well as contacted shoe manufacturers in order to find someone willing to assist someone fresh out of high school. His next step involved raising the funds for his venture. His emphasis on self-reliance stems from his mother. Even so, he expresses that his both resilient and difficult on himself. He is inspired by the work of Alexander Wang because he relishes in the minimalism, classic style, and cross over appeals. These are three aspects he makes sure to include his own design. His next steps involve adding and expanding his collection. “Someone has to be number one, so it might as well be you”, Stephens said.
By: Kadijah Ndoye
Malik Sapp Malik Sapp, a senior Finance major from Silver Spring, Maryland, describes entrepreneurship as a grind, a hustle, the inspiration and willingness to make your dreams come true. He goes on to explain that people are often fearful of chasing their dreams. They would rather take simpler routes. After holding many jobs, he came to the realization that he wanted to be his own business. In his freshman year, much to his parent’s discontent, he made the impulsive decision to purchase a camera. Since then, he has used resilience, perseverance, and his passion for the craft to teach himself through YouTube, trial and error, as well as other sources. Atlanta is a profitable area for his line of work. What sets him apart from other video directors is his command of both business and video directing. He has been offered a position working on the Neighborhood Awards associated with the Steve Harvey Foundation. He uses the mottos, “party hard, grind harder” and “hard work is the remedy to all your ailments”, as reminders of the importance of work ethic.
Lauren Hawkins defines entrepreneurship as the use of “self-employment to your passion”. Leaux’s Clothing, an online thrifting boutique she is currently building. While there will be a business side, she intends to include a non-profit section focused on improving financial literacy in the African American community by collaborating with Operation Hope. As a free spirit, she is adamant on defining her own unique style by avoiding mainstream markets and opting for digging and discovering at thrift stores. “If I see something that needs to be done, I do it”, Hawkins said. Interestingly enough, she does not look to many designers in the fashion world, but admires the wherewithal and ambition of people like June Ambrose. Hawkins follows June Ambrose on several social media platforms as a source of motivation. She is a firm believer in setting up her life to get what she wants. Recently, she was accepted to the Center for Teaching and Learning and China where she will be charged with instructing English to Chinese students.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MICHAEL MARTIN
Pictured: Marvin Medley (middle), Malik Sapp (right)
I met Marvin Medley, a charismatic business major with a passion for film from Charlotte, NC, in Upper Manley. From the onset, his charisma, lightheartedness, and fresh take on life were apparent in the interview. Throughout the interview, I wondered why he looked so familiar. It quickly dawned on me that he took part in the Morehouse Men Says video on YouTube. His company, AyoMarv Films and Marketing, grew as his passions grew. He encourages the production of good music rather than existing as a profiteer. It all “started from my monumental fail,” Medley said. After he realized that rapping was not his forte, he wanted to create a connection between great musical artists and the public. He has had opportunities to work with the likes of Lil’ Boosie, Webbie, and Paul Wall. There is no putting Ayo Marv Films and Marketing in a box as he extends his expertise to upcoming artists, businesses, and other clientele.
Karon Smith has been involved in business from the moment he was a young boy growing up in Chicago. The sophomore Economics major explained how our style of dress provides insight in to people’s personalities. His boutique, Raggs Boutique located in Chicago is home to styles catered to men looking for uniqueness in their wardrobe. His eclectic store is a meeting ground for upcoming brands all across the country. “When you feel you look good, you breathe differently”, he said. His boutique puts him in a position to create and grow. As a businessman, he says that his business is a representation of himself. “I carry myself a certain way and talk a certain way,” he said. He concerns himself, not with turning a profit by selling every daywear, but allowing people to express their individuality through the clothing. The next step for Karon is to open a Raggs Boutique here in Atlanta, GA.
Diamond Sands, a senior Studio Art major at Spelman College, from Atlanta Georgia defines entrepreneurship as the talent to define an inherent problem and provide a service that solves the problem. She expresses that while it maybe easy to find problem or brainstorm services that are necessary, it takes a true visionary to implement solutions. Her business, Luxurious Virgin Hair, otherwise known as Luxvi Hair, has been in effect for three years. Within this timespan, she has managed to add to her clientele consisting of people across the United States. In her first year, she accumulated $30,000 at the age of 19. Her passion for hair has existed from the time she began styling hair in 10th grade. She came up with the concept for Luxurious Virgin Hair in the summer of her first year at Spelman College. She heard whispers about virgin hair before its growing popularity. Sands began doing research when she wondered how beauty supply owners went about receiving and selling merchandise. After leaving college, she intends to start a hair boutique with a close circle of hair stylists and make-up artists she knows. In addition, she hopes to open an art gallery catered to artists on the rise as well as college students. She understands few galleries that satisfy this need. As a Studio Art major, she feels the opening of an art gallery is a way to give back to a promising youth art community. “The only person who has control over what happens in your life is you. Life is going to keep happening so you may as well go through it gracefully”, Sands said.
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BONNER IN BELIZE: ON A MISSION TO SERVE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MARTAVIUS LEONARD
BY: SAHIM WALLACE
or Morehouse, service doesn’t stop at the boundaries of “I learned about the background of Belize, and the the West End or Atlanta for that matter. In fact, for many general concept of life. Their school lacked many resources, yet students, service doesn’t stop at the boundaries of the the students were still very happy” United States. Where disparities exist, there is service to be -Kevin Coker done. This was the thinking behind the 2014 Morehouse ColCivic Engagement: lege Bonner Service Project to Dangriga, Belize. The members of this team, Martavius Leonard ’14, Last December, eleven Bonner members went abroad Ephesian Poinsette ‘14 focused on helping the Bonner Team to do a week of community service at a local grade school. The learn about civic engagement in the community. They organmembers were divided into five teams, and throughout the ized meetings with the Mayor and the Minister of Education week, they worked on projects relating to the theme of selfto give the members opportunities to ask questions and better actualization. Every day, each team had a planned activity that understand the Garafuna culture. focused on helping the students better understand their aspira “I learned about the importance of outside factors in tions, culture, and identity. The project the progression of a community, and the “ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WERE RE- importance of civic engagement. This proved to be a great success, leaving both the students and the Bonner Mem- ALLY HEARTWARMING WAS TO HEAR was evident when the students reflected THE WORDS OF THE PRINCIPAL IN THE on the changes they would make as bers with a rewarding experience. For INTERVIEW. WHEN SHE NOTED THAT many of the Bonner members, much prime minister” was learned from working and building THIS WAS THE MOST RESPONSIVE THE -Martavius Leonard STUDENTS HAD EVER BEEN, I REALLY relationships with the students in the FELT LIKE WE MADE AN IMPACT.” team projects. Creative Writing: The members of this team, Reginald - EPHESIAN Hutchins ’15 and Malcolm Pickette ‘15 The Teams POINSETTE helped the students write a poem about Arts & Crafts: where they are from, and where they The members of this team, Daniel West ’15, Anthony would like to be in the future. One of the objectives was for the Harris ’15 and Reshard McElrath ’15, helped students create a students to discover themselves, and talk openly about their totem pole and family crest. Later in the week they practiced experiences. One of the ways the team accomplished this was and performed a dance to a popular song in Belize. One of the by sharing their own dreams and aspirations. objectives was to help the students better understand the pride “I thought it was interesting to hear where they could in their origins. see themselves. Many of them chose jobs like grocery store “The students enjoyed doing simple things with family, clerk, plumber, and carpenter. The most ambitious aspiration such as eating, playing sports, and spending time. They did not was to be a flight attendant”. have the luxuries that kids in the United States have” -Reginald Hutchins -Anthony Harris Media: Public Speaking: The members of this team, Jerrel Baker 15’ and Morris The members of this team, Donnell Williamson ’15 Randall 15’ were responsible for documenting all the events and Kevin Coker ’15 helped students write about the changes throughout the week. They captured videos of activities and they would make if they were Prime Minister. One of the conducted interviews throughout the week that were later put learning outcomes was to effectively communicate ideas about into a slideshow movie. politics, and properly write a speech.
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GLOBETROTTERS Whether it is community service, studying abroad, or a break from “Hotlanta”, traveling abroad is no new thing to students in the Atlanta University Center. As they always say, it’s very necessary get out the AUC every now and again. But for Matthew Ellis, Brittany “Reeci” Botts and Bouchra Danielkbir, getting out meant traveling far beyond the AUC, to countries with very different cultures and customs. More importantly, they came back with a new perspective of life, and way approaching their aspirations. Matthew Ellis, a senior Business Administration major at Morehouse College has traveled to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. One of his favorite experiences abroad was working on a community service project at a grade school in Thailand. The school had been severely damaged by a flood, and the objective of the community service team was to work with the students at Rajamangala University to help rebuild the school. He notes “The students ranged from ages 5-12. They took us in as their older brothers despite the big difference of skin color”. He further notes that he also engaged in recreational activities including soccer, enjoyed fel-
lowship with the students and had an amazing time tasting common foods in the culture. Another experience Ellis highlighted was in Singapore. One of the biggest differences in culture was the strict values the government upheld in the city. For example, it was illegal to chew gum or speak ill of the King of Thailand. These experiences helped change his outlook on life because it exposed him to an unfamiliar environment, which forced him to be more independent and cautious of his actions. Last semester, Bouchra Danielkebir, a junior International Development major, with a minor in French at Spelman College, traveled to the University of Jordan, in Amman, for a semester abroad. Aside from studying abroad being a major requirement for all international studies majors at Spelman, Danelkebir felt this experience was a step in the right direction towards her career plans in Foreign Service. It also gave her an opportunity to improve her command of Levantine Arabic and to understand diplomacy from the lens of another country. Danielkbir noted that she surprisingly experienced a culture shock while in Jordan. She explained that because she grew up in an Arab-Muslim household, she figured
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DARREN MARTIN
BY: SAHIM WALLACE
she would be somewhat familiar with their customs. However, she came to realize that she underestimated how much her parents assimilated into Western culture, and how her lifestyle differed from students in Jordan. When asked about what Americans could learn from the Jordan culture she explained “There’s much to learn from studying abroad in a country like Jordan. For example, not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. There are Christian Arabs, and Jewish Arabs as well”. Danielkbir also noted her favorite destination: “My favorite destination in Jordan was the Dead Sea. The water is so salty! It’s impossible to swim! I sat Indian-style in the water and just soaked in the sun”. Donald Hayes is a Junior Religion major at Morehouse College, and has traveled to West Africa and Japan. After his freshman year, Hayes was invited by the Dean Carter, the Dean of King’s Chapel, to travel to Nagasaki and Hiroshima to study world peace and commemorate the lives lost in the atomic bombing. Later in his Morehouse career, he was also afforded the opportunity to travel to West Africa through the MPAGE program. One of Haye’s most noteworthy experiences abroad was in a city hall building in Nagasaki, Japan. While touring the facility, he had noticed that people were asking him to take pictures with them. As the amount of requests increased, he noticed that these individuals also wanted to rub his belly. It turns out that the people had mistaken Hayes for Buddha, and from then on was referred to as the “Black Buddha”. Hayes is most appreciative of his experiences abroad because it has helped him in preparation for future work in religious institutions. He notes “My experiences abroad have given me a global perspective of people and humanity. Despite variations and differences, we are all tied
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together as one spirit”. Thus far, Reeci Botts, a junior Sociology and Anthropology major at Spelman College, has done her fair share when it comes to engaging in international activities. Her trips abroad include traveling to Bahamas in spring 2013 with the Spelman Independent Scholars Program, traveling to South Africa for research on the effects of Apartheid, traveling to Paris for research on African populations and studying abroad in Accra Ghana. For Reeci, going to Ghana was a dream come true because she has always desired to travel to West Africa to connect with her ancestry. One of her favorite experiences was teaching her Peace + Love Spoken word activism class to middle school students. She explained that the children lived in one of the most unsanitary and impoverished neighborhoods in the area, yet “Their spirits were still beautiful, genuine, and pure”. Like Danielkbir, Botts was also surprised to experience a culture shock. Botts noted “I expected to be embraced as a black woman by my sisters and brothers who shared the same ancestry. To my surprise, the Ghanians I interacted with perceived me as an American despite how much I tried to convince them I am African”. The trip to Ghana was life changing for Reeci, and she describes many of her perspectives in her poem “African Amnesia” (http://africanakaleidoscopes.com/2014/03/17/ african-amnesia/). In the poem, she talks about the disconnect that exists between many Ghanaians and African Americans as a result of the lack of knowledge about historical events that link both cultures. She dedicated the poem to every African who told her that she was no African. As a result of the trip, Botts has gained profound insight into her understanding of her identity and the African Diaspora.
THE MAD SCIENTIST: YALE-BOUND SCIENTIST IS ON A MISSION TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE FIELD BY: TIFFANY PENNAMON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CYDNEY FISHER
Scientist: (noun) A person who conducts scientific research or investigation; an expert in or student of science, especially one or more of the natural or physical sciences. Anthony Scruse embodies the roles of a scientist, scholar, leader, and much more. Not only is he a leader in the classroom and laboratory, he has been a member of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team (Morehouse Academic Team), the Atlanta University Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, and is also a tutor. As a second time selection for the Scientists category, Scruse continues to prove his excellence and dedication to the field. This Springfield, Ohio native says his love for science really took off in high school. “I had a really good Chemistry teacher and she’s the one who inspired me to really get into the field to see what all I could learn just from the details and nuances of the subject.” Surprisingly, when Scruse first applied to Morehouse College, he declared a Music major—playing the trumpet and receiving a music scholarship. It wasn’t until the fall of his freshman year that he changed his major to Chemistry. He says, “I chose Chemistry because of the versatility of the field. You can go into a lot of different fields in Chemistry; you can go into law or medicine, or academia which is where I plan to go. It was just a really well-rounded major and it was one of my favorite subjects, so I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” One particular experience Scruse says made a difference in his matriculation in the field was his organic chemistry research at Brown University. “We were doing a troubleshooting experiment—we were working on it all day—and we finally figured out what was going wrong and that was the ‘epiphany’ ‘aha’ moment that I had that made me realize this is what I want to do.” At Morehouse, one professor that has made a difference in this STEM major’s life is Dr. Bryan Lawrence. Scruse says, “I aspire to be like him. He’s just so knowledgeable about organic chemistry. There’s been very few questions that I ask him that he doesn’t know the answer to or can show me directly where to find the answer. He’s also a really great research mentor and he’s really just someone I would like to be like when I’m a professional in my field.” Most research, however, is completed outside of the academic year for Scruse. “I’ve done a couple of summer internships in synthetic organic chemistry. Previously, I’ve worked on projects that work with synthesizing antibiotics and other projects where we’ve worked on synthesizing enzyme inhibitors.” Currently, Scruse is completing research with Dr. Lawrence in the Chemistry department where they work on synthesizing
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natural products and molecules. From the different internships, research programs, and classes that Scruse has taken, one may see why he loves Chemistry—it is indeed so much variety. When asked, Scruse said that one of his favorite classes was a class he took at Spelman College called Toxicology. “It sort of tied Chemistry, Biology, and medicine all together and it showed how different concepts of Chemistry can really apply to those fields and how poisons and different things work.” In the Chemistry department, Scruse admits that some classes are hard and that he prefers the experimental side of Chemistry over theoretical based concepts. His perseverance, willingness to ask questions, and accountability to talk to the professor made the difference in order to understand the class and understand the material. STEM majors also claim to be the busiest of them all, but most manage to enjoy the college experience while developing into the future scientists of the world. How does an emerging scientist balance research, class, and a social life? “I have a really tight group of friends so if we’re not hanging together socially, we’re usually studying together,” Scruse reveals. In order to get to where he is today, Scruse says his curiosity and drive to find the answer to any questions follow him each and every day. “Those are traits that good scientists have. They’re always asking questions, looking for the answers…so that’s what makes me successful in the sciences,” he assures. This young Black scientist is on a path to revolutionize the whole field; in a few years, you will find him winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for designing molecules that inhibit phosphatase enzymes that cause diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans. “I hope to have trained many African Americans in science whether they want to go into science—the academic path or the industrial path. I want to increase the number of African Americans who are in professional fields that require the sciences,” Scruse says. And this is Anthony Scruse. A man of Morehouse, a friend, a leader, and a scientist.
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Revolutionizing the world: Down to a Science BY: Tiffany Pennamon
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CYDNEY FISHER
Science—the study of life, energy, motion, and everything else around us. The men and women that work in the sciences are often found in research laboratories, hospitals, and behind the scenes. Oftentimes, they are not given the credit that they deserve. Here is a tribute to the Black Scientists the world so readily needs. Meet Andrew LaPelusa, a junior Biology major from Los Angeles, California. Andrew’s humility and work ethic are characteristics that contribute to his success. He says, “One thing that I come from in my family is resilience.” Andrew states that he doesn’t feel as smart as some of his peers and assures, “I’m going to work just as hard to try to be equivalent at least and try to make up for what my fallacies may be.” Despite this fact, he has already participated in research programs at the University of California, San Diego and SMDEP at Columbia University. Just like the men, Dené Voisin is holding her own. Voisin, a junior Biology major from Siparia, Trinidad and Tobago has always felt comfortable in fields like Chemistry and Biology. As a woman in a male dominated field, she says proudly, “Being a woman in the sciences has actually been an empowering experience for me. With programs such as ASPIRE and Behavioral Research Advancements in Neuroscience (BRAIN) under her belt, this future Behavioral Neuroscientist is more than ready to pave the way for more young women in the sciences. Another Trinidad and Tobago native, Obasi Etienne, has his eyes set on making a difference in his home community. In order to close the health disparity gap and end medical negligence in Trinidad and Tobago, Etienne, a junior Biology major, Neuroscience Minor Pre-Med, plans to set up his own practice. Currently, he is working with Dr. Haftel, Assistant Professor of Biology at Morehouse, to investigate a novel method of insulin administration and whether or not the nervous physiological changes that his
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lab has observed can be reversed or prevented via this method. Scientists rarely work alone and Demarcus Crews, a senior Chemistry major, credits a part of his success and future dreams to his professor, Dr. Bryan Lawrence. “He runs the lab I work in, we exchange ideas, and he’s made sure I’ve gotten to everywhere I wanted to be,” Crews admits. Crews has done research at Harvard University and his primary focus is on synthetic Chemistry. He has participated in the D3 program at Morehouse—a distributive drug discovery program that creates and tests if certain molecules are a potential fit for drug and prescription purposes. Chevaz Thomas didn’t know he was going to be a Biology major until he got to Morehouse. This junior from Brooklyn, New York states “as a physician, every time you go into work, your goal is to make sure somebody lives, to uplift or help someone, and to make their quality of life or their quality of day better for that moment of time that you’re interacting with them. That’s really why I chose Biology.” Thomas acknowledges his Morehouse mentors, classes, his trip to Honduras, and his and research shadowing experiences—such as at Massachusetts General Hospital—for shaping him into the developing scientist and physician he intends to become. All of the scientists in the category have one goal in common: to make a lasting positive impact on the world. To summarize why these scientists are so dedicated to their field, LaPelusa advises to “Do all things with love,” and Crews concludes, “It’s not about what you want to do, it’s about what you have to do.”
Heavyweights in the fight: The Intellectual Journey of Morehouseâ€™s Most Elite Thinkers BY: Maya Whitfield
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
big tournaments that all of the big-name schools are
to its legacy of being the “bastion of higher education
think about one example of a dysfunctional family it
“There is a debate personality… If you can
attending are plane rides away. We set forth a tentative
for black males” and the “Harvard for African-Ameri-
would be a debate team,” says debate team representa-
schedule at the beginning of the year, but then it all
tive and varsity debater sophomore Rodje Malcolm. He’s
depends on the money that the president’s going to ap-
Malcolm recognizes and is unapologetic about his
speaking about the unique temperament that is crucial
prove for us, say a couple weeks before the tournament.”
loftiness when it comes to academics. His words about
for debaters to succeed. “If you enter a situation without
thick skin you feel intimidated to express your opinions,
Newby, on going the extra mile to getting them to as
the difficulty in engaging in logical banter and discourse
or a graver problem is that you don’t have strong opin-
many opportunities as possible. The irony of being an
ions and you simply want to go with the tide. To me that
unfailingly, nationally-renowned and world traveling
is the difference between debate and public speaking.”
championship winning team that can’t compete at a
Indeed, Malcolm’s words are not said in vain. His
significant number of competitions because of their
comment comes at the tail end of a non-stop hour long
financial burden is not lost on anyone on the team.
conversation, filled with dynamic discussions about
“I think it’s silly that we pour so much money into
topics as light as reminiscing over favorite wins to as
wholly unsuccessful football teams and wholly unsuc-
heavy as male reproductive rights. In a whirlwind of
cessful basketball teams while we have a national
arguments and debate jargon discombobulating to the
championship winning debate team that has to beg for
untrained ear, one of the few things Malcolm and his
money,” Waddell said.
fellow varsity team members agreed on was that they
don’t agree on much.
somber turn as disdain toward much of their obstacles
Along with Malcolm, sophomore Rami Blair and
is directed toward the administration and its lack of
juniors Emanuel Waddell and Curtis O’Neal round out
the conversation. It’s a balmy Wednesday evening, and
in lieu of the ruckus of Hump Wednesday happening
provides, you know this year we were given quite a bit
outside we were seated quiet and still indoor. No one
to travel internationally,” Malcolm said. “But, I think it’s
because administrators don’t focus on academics first.”
is dressed in anything particularly flashy—a sweatshirt
woefully inadequate and it’s indicative of a lack of em-
here, jeans and Sperry’s there—and at first impres-
phasis on the important academic exercises. Now, I’m
trails Morehouse Debate has blazed in spite of all the
sion their demeanors are relaxed and agreeable. For
not saying we have lots of resources to throw around,
hindrances that could easily hold them back. The
a split second I almost allowed their modest bearings
but… From where I stand I don’t think that administra-
team talks about their international experiences with
to overshadow their vibrant reality of being a top-tier,
tion has committed enough resources or energy in this
a fondness that proves their genuine love for what
internationally known debate team.
direction to really put their money where their mouth
they do. O’Neal, for example, attributed his interest in
is about making Morehouse relevant and an intellectual
international political economy to debates he heard at a
you’re any better than me,” Waddell said. “We’re a
tournament in India, which was also his first time out of
national championship winning team, so regardless of
where you come from or what you study, we’re going to
support into the debate program will have a positive af-
beat you. That’s just our attitude walking into the room.”
fect on HBCU culture. Malcolm believes that the debate
team can reverse some of the declining enrollment at
to the playoff rounds in debate or in the tournament,
“Just because you’re Harvard doesn’t mean
The confidence they have in their craft is
The team commends their coach, Kenneth
The mood of the conversation takes a
“It’s commendable what support the school
The team also believes that putting more
with his peers: “It’s painful.”
“There’s a difference between a property
with buildings that offers classes and an education institution, and that difference is in the academic and intellectual culture,” Malcolm said.
Blair is also worried that the academic apa-
thy that’s plaguing the campus. “We have students taking gen ed. courses and these students are disengaged, disinterested, and they’re going through Morehouse involved in so many activities that at the end of the day academics are subordinated at the expense of, say, CASA, SGA or community service,” Blair said. “We’re a college first, and we need to remember that, and I think we have some of the best professors who are doing pioneering research, we have world-renowned scholars here, but I place a lot of the blame on the administration What is ultimately remarkable is the
“I felt as if even though I didn’t make it
I feel as if I got so much information off of different
undeniable and justified. Within the short span of their
HBCUs due to the fact that many people don’t think
college careers, along with the help of their coach and
they’re relevant bastions of intellectual activity. “Having
their teammates who came before them, Morehouse
the image of an intellectual black male engaging in the
Varsity Debate has taken local, national, and worldwide
discourse of critical issues is the image that we need to
competitions by storm.
be cultivating and really emphasizing as a contrast bal-
However, the team’s consistent success starkly juxta-
ance to what is a negative image within popular media
poses with the lack of institutional support. When asked
and really within general popular culture.”
about any financial obstacles they might have faced, all
four debaters concurrently bust into a fit of bitter, sar-
house really has the most successful HBCU debate
donic laughter. “I think we live with financial obstacles
program currently, Blair said.” We have a significant
as a team,” Waddell said.
amount of wins, and a lot of times we really are the only
According to the team, Morehouse Debate doesn’t have
students of color participating in debate tournaments.
a budget because they’re technically not even written
So, when we’re going to tournaments in the north or to
in the books. This is a struggle the program has had to
national tournaments… we’re representing more than
deal with for the past several years, especially since on
just Morehouse College—we’re representing African-
average the team usually spends anywhere between ten
Americans, we’re representing minorities.”
and thirteen thousand dollars a year.
Blair also points out how their issue with
It’s clear that every team member’s genuine passion
funding correlates with a lack of prioritization of aca-
for debate is so fundamental to who they are that it
themes of the past few years for the team has been
demics on campus. Malcolm, Blair, Waddell, and O’Neal
overrides all feelings of contempt. The trophies and the
funding,” Blair said. “We’re trying to find the best op-
were all in harmonious agreement that the intellectual
awards aren’t just a reflection that they’re good at what
portunities, but the best opportunities aren’t necessarily
activity at Morehouse is woefully lacking. Waddell, for
they do; it shows that they love what they do, and that’s
within a two to three hour drive of Atlanta. All of the
instance, doesn’t believe that the institution is living up
what guarantees prosperity.
“One of the main issues, one of the main
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“This is a disputed comment, but More-
cultures and perspectives,” O’Neal said. “I think what it essentially does is it makes you grow as a person in an instant. From there I just knew that I had to go outside of the country again and interact with these people because iron sharpens iron. If you want to become the best you have to go up against the best.”
The debate team’s sheer, effortless brilliance
is remarkable to be in the presence of. While it’s easy to write them off as arrogant, their unabashed honesty about the world around them seems fresh amidst our generation of shallow appearances, feigned depth, and unfocused priorities. They are essence of the oftenmisused word “deep”—Through a different set of eyes they see the world, say what they want to say when they want to say it, and always back it up with sharp logic.
BY: MAYA WHITFIELD
Erudite persons are easily written off as disconnected from their surroundings, unaware of the realities of the world and social interactions. Ayanna Spencer, Curtis Hooks, and Casey Phanor, however, poke holes in this stereotype that falls upon so many scholarly personalities. All of them are well rounded as a result of utilizing their smarts in different areas of their lives—Spencer took a break from working Spelman’s Social Justice Fair to meet with me, Phanor talked about being a RA and his talent in breakdancing, and
Hooks opened up about his personal experiences and how they influenced the path he’s on to become a clinical psychologist. Each of their individual self-awareness is as heightened as their astuteness: They all take their scholarship very seriously while at the same time not letting it completely encompass the rest of their identity. The following three AUC students truly personify where intelligence, drive for social change, and experiences as a young African-American student all intersect.
Sophomore History Major from Orlando, Florida Favorite book/author: Toni Morrison, but mainly reads a lot of non-fiction 40
On how being a black man has influenced his intellectual pursuits: “Being accepted as a UNCF Mellon-Mays scholar has definitely made me focus on my experience as a black male. My research topic is doing a comparative analysis of the works of a black philosopher and also pre-colonial African history. I chose to do research in the works of a philosopher and compare them to ancient history of blacks and their cosmology and their understanding of themselves, just to correlate a understanding of being black and what it means generally so that I could forge my own understanding of what it means to be black.”
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
How he believes empathy and intellect are not mutually exclusive: “For my standards of an intellectual, I’d say you have to be willing to understand people and be willing to not be so biased or so centrist in your thoughts or your feelings but be able to critically look at things and analyze them from both sides. Not be so… opinionated on things, not be so ethnocentric, and not be so narcissistic. I mean I know we all have an ego, but at the same time we have to respect other people’s thoughts and feelings and emotions… you have to respect someone else’s opinion for what it is.”
On feeling an obligation and purpose to use her intelligence outside of the classroom: “As a labor organizer and activist, for me I can’t sit in a room and only read books and write about things because there’s reality happening outside the gates of Spelman. At the end of the day I’m really interested in social movements but also just like survival. I said growing up in a working class family, both of my parents sacrificed a lot for my brother and I to get the education that we wanted, so seeing that struggle lets me know that I’m still part of that. You know because sometimes we try to make that distinction between a college student and the West End community for instance. But this is our community, for me there is no distinction—this is my community, and I feel I’m obligated to serve and if I’m someone that has been blessed with a particular intellectual capacity then I need to use it for that.” How Spelman has contributed to her personal and academic growth: “I have to admit that Spelman has politicized me in a way that I don’t think any other campus would have. Really I think part of that is I came to Spelman thinking it was like this haven for black women, the greatest intellectual space on earth, and then coming and getting to actually see a lot of those contradictions with respectability politics, with some homophobia Spelman has, resistance to social justice but also embracing a choice to change the world—seeing all of that really pushed me beyond just thinking about social justice, just thinking about words in a book, but to really recognize that I should do something about it. So I think I became a more conscious person and I think it just broadened my understanding of the way the world works.”
Junior Philosophy Major from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Favorite book/author: Fiction—“Beloved” by Toni Morrison / non-fiction—“Discipline and Punish” by Michel Foucault
On his future plans to give back to the mental health arena in his community: “I’m interested in clinical psychology and I’ll be attending Ole Miss in the fall for a PhD program. I’m interested in maybe one day working in a hospital with underserved populations that don’t get the proper treatments for mental healthcare because the field is so dominated by, I’d say, the white majority. So putting more treatments that are culturally competent, I’d like to be an influence in that way to my community. I guess being black and being a psychology major has kind of just inspired me to give back to my community because I know we face a lot of problems.”
Senior Psychology Major from Cincinnati, Ohio Favorite book/author: NONE
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How being openly gay has affected his experience at Morehouse: “Being an openly gay man at Morehouse, it’s been an exciting time at because I’ve been able to be myself and I’ve been able to learn. This is a place where I’ve been able to learn how to be more open, and to teach people how to do that and how to be comfortable in your own skin can be inspiring to a lot of people. That’s one way I’ve been able to make change in other people’s lives, and to help people overcome those problems that they’re facing or fears they might have.”
COMING H O M E
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
A U T H O R : J A R E D LO G G I N S M A N A G I N G E D I TO R J A R E D . LO G G I N S @ YA H O O . C O M
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Kenneth Pass was homeless in Atlanta during the summer of 2011 when he met two homeless men â€“both gay, high school dropouts, and HIV-positive. The encounter would change the course of his life forever. The moment would illuminate a sheer courageousness and selflessness that roots back to home in the country foothills of North Carolina and extends to the presentday where he has taken the world by storm as a radical black queer activist fighting for the health equity of people of color.
I wanted to do was get home,” Kenneth (Kenny) Pass insisted, staring off with a deep gaze as he reflected on his childhood – the anger, the confusion, the abuse, the faintly vague memories of his mother, the small yet impactful subtleties of country life in North Carolina, the summer he spent homeless in Atlanta. His pathway homeward appeared to be at an impasse, but eventually it led him to a life of service and the reclaiming of his identity. “It was never my intention to be homeless,” he said. “Nobody wants to be homeless, yet here I was. And I had to get away. I had to make sure this never happened again.” That summer would turn out to be a tumultuous though transformative time for him. He was driven to near tears in the initial interview when he described the single most pivotal moment on his quest for the health equity of people of color. He met, during this summer, two gay black men who were high school dropouts and living with HIV. “In this moment, it became vital for me to do something about the societal determinates for young gay men of color and the structural issues at play. The two boys were no older than 18 and 19. It hit me hard. But even in this dark moment, I was thinking about how I could think bigger and larger about what I could do.” Kenny’s journey goes back to his childhood in North Carolina and to a symbolic light he says was nurtured by his grandmother. He recalled his grandmother’s subtle read of him that seemed to indicate there was something “different” about the Kenneth Pass born in the ol’ country foothills of Chapel Hill, NC. “There was a light in this boy,” she would say. Indeed, she was right.. Today’s Kenny certainly has the presence of a man who has come fully
into his whole self. That wasn’t always the case. “I was naïve and unknowingly queer,” he said.. “I was confused about myself and about who and what I wanted to be.” But it was the twinkle of a light -- recognized, embraced, and nurtured by his grandmother -- that allowed him to unguardedly embrace his own personal liberation.That became the foundation for the feminist sensibilities he would embrace down the road. “She saw a light in me,” he said. “And she helped it to grow. I credit her with my radical feminism, my fierceness. ” The unwavering glow grew even as he lost her to a heart attack at the age of 10. It was a light that shone through moments of sexual abuse, depression, and the struggle to claim his queer identity. “I finally released the shame and weight of being sexually abused about two years ago,” he said, recalling the pain and helplessness he says he felt at the time. “The feeling seemed to always be present and it was because I allowed it to. It wasn’t until I realized I had to claim victory for myself that my outlook changed.” An audacious spirit of resilience followed him as he sojourned to Morehouse in the fall of 2010. The spaces he claimed and celebrated over the last four years became a source of hope for a community of students on campus that have fought hard to have their spaces recognized and dignified by the college. “It’s always been about me wanting to claim my space,” he said. “It was vital for me and for us to define ourselves for ourselves.” The ability to engage in selfclaiming and remaking for him and his peers has shown itself in myriad ways. Last year, he was among a group of students, along with the sexuality and gender diverse organization SafeSpace, responsible for the introduction of an LGBT Studies class at Morehouse – the first of its kind at an HBCU. He led ef-
forts in 2012 to initiate the Bayard Rustin Scholars Program, a program designed to educate students on how to combat structural inequalities and injustices. Last year, he was among an elite pool of students nationally to present groundbreaking research on HIV at Harvard before a conference of his peers. The fight hasn’t been easy but it has been worth it, he admits, speaking openly about the work he and his peers exerted to usher in institutional progress for gay students on campus. “There are these nuances within this space,” he said. “This space is where I call home and it has shaped me into who I am today. It’s continuing to grow and we have to keep making it happen.” Over the years, he has come to appreciate the work the college has done to fully embrace him and his peers. “They can do more,” he said. “The administration has to continue coming up with solutions to embracing queer students. They should start with dismantling the Appropriate Attire Policy. They should engage in listening and town halls and the amazing programs hosted around these sets of issues almost weekly.” Although he will walk across the stage in May without Phi Beta Kappa distinction, he insisted on explaining that scholarship isn’t about a grade on paper. “I got a D in history,” he admitted, again insisting that it is important for students to claim their successes for themselves. “And I’m not embarrassed about it. I think there is something to be said about hard work and scholarship when students that don’t have a perfect academic track record are still able to get into the top schools in the country.” Kenny is set to spend his summer working at New York University’s Department of Population Health, where he will be working with gay men in public housing. In the fall, he is set to begin studying at Columbia University in New York at the School of Public Health.
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Kenneth Pass’s politics is unabashedly radical. Informed by the likes of Essex Hemphill, James Baldwin, and his grandmother, he has found a way to add an intellectual flair to his groundbreaking activist work. These are more than quotes. They are declarations of his humanity and profound words that have informed the way he views himself and the world around him. Whether engaging in a book or sitting across his grandmother’s lap, these are but a few wise words he credits with shaping his life. 1. “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within,” James Baldwin. 2. “I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect,” June Jordan. 3. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive,” Audre Lorde. 4. “We will not go away with our issues of sexuality. We are coming home. It is not enough to tell us that one was a brilliant poet, scientist, educator, or rebel. Whom did he love? It makes a difference. I can’t become a whole man simply on what is fed to me: watered-down versions of Black life in America. I need the ass-splitting truth to be told, so I will have something pure to emulate, a reason to remain loyal,” Essex Hemphill. 5. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down,” Toni Morrison. 6. “Listen--when it comes down to dealing with people, be it a friend, a man, even family, watch what they bring to the table and I ain’t talking about money. I am talking about happiness, laughter, gossip, strife, jealousy and bitterness and you also watch what they are taking from the table when they leave. And if it is your happiness and your sanity then tell them to eat somewhere else,” my Grandmother, Mary ‘Menner’ Pearl King.
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AHMAD BARBER P
WOMEN OF THE YEAR: RELENTLESS CHARACTER & BEAUTY THAT ENDURES BY: DAWNN ANDERSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
The individuals chosen to represent the 2014 Women of the Year category are unique in their personality, academia, and life ambitions. Each person has overcome adversity whether battling depression, self-doubt, even homelessness, while paving her road to success. From a series of candid conversations a story emerges: highlighting each woman’s plight, accomplishments, and contributions to Morehouse College. Junior Anthropology and International Studies major Taylor Ulmer has made a name for herself as a scholar activist. Inspired by Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence, Ulmer aspires to be a sociology professor. “I am drawn to sociology because it gives you a conscious framework and opens up your mind to understand what is really going on.” As a Bonner Scholar, Ulmer started a scholarship for Girls Going Global, which educates girls about cultures through immersion workshops. She volunteers at Kipp Strive Academy and started a mentoring program for Black male youth, My Brother’s Keeper. Modestly she said, “It is not about affirmation, but really helping these children.” The Chicago native was recently awarded one of Spelman’s most coveted positions: 1st Attendant to Miss Spelman for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ulmer says, “It is amazing to have been honored and to see that my work has been recognized.” A quirky and confident Chiante Singletary refers to herself as a “60-year old rebel”. The junior History and Comparative Women’s Studies major/Spanish minor said, “An AUC of the 1960’s is one that stuck together through adversity. We have to rally for brothers and sisters in the community that need us.” The South Carolinian has advocated for women who are victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. As Chief Justice of SSGA and Resident Advisor, Singletary created a space to discuss intimate violence with students and residents. Referring to the bond she shares with her Morehouse brother Matt, “He has definitely been one of my biggest inspirations and has kept me grounded. They [Morehouse brothers] encouraged me to seek counseling for what happened to me [as a victim]. In the same way I am there for them and their growth.” These sentiments inspired Singletary to participate in The Body Issue. Senior Art History major Stephanie Goodall says she bared it all for The Body Issue to promote a diverse conversation about body image. “Growing up I didn’t see myself in many aspects of body positivity. Getting older I had to learn to be that image for myself.” She continued to search for other sources of support before realizing self-worth is the most important. “We all have the same thing but it’s a matter of how it’s packaged.” To apply this concept to everyday life she warns audiences, “Don’t mock a painting that you haven’t experi-
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enced.” Goodall’s long-term goal is to become a curator, shining light on artists who expose intersectionality through and tackling elitism within the industry. Goodall plans on taking a year off after graduation before pursuing a curatorial master’s degree from Goldsmith’s College at the University of London. “For me, this is a time of exploration and self-discovery.” With a concentration in Entertainment and Public Relations, junior Psychology major Desiree Booker describes herself as hard working and driven. She serves on the board of Operation Understanding, which encourages Black and Jewish youth to travel, “We work to settle cultural barriers between the groups and send them on trips to draw on common ground between the two cultures.” As a mentor to 2nd grade boys, the newly inducted member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Philadelphia native says, “I want to develop talents in the arts because not every kid is able to express themselves intellectually.” Contrary to popular belief, Booker left Spelman as a rising sophomore to enlist in the military after being unable to finance her education and was relieved after sustaining an injury. She persevered to secure her future upon returning to Spelman. After graduation Booker wants to open an entertainment public relations firm entitled Myrikals Happen, LLC Where Dreams Fuel the Mission. With a concentration in Urban Studies and Public Administration, senior Political Science major Shanteal Lake boldly declares, “I am a work in progress…defined by my life experiences.” The Spelman SGA president was an inquisitive child, passionate about challenging the norms, and tradition. “My freshman year at Spelman I made a list on a yellow legal pad and it was called $40,000 problems.” After losing the race for Student Trustee Lake said “I wanted to be a part of the community not just in a professional sense but a personal sense, and is proud of her most influential position to date. “Being a Resident Advisor helped to sustain my love for Spelman. When you have used up all of your reserved energy and have to find a little bit more to give to someone else. A sister has to be sacrificial.” Senior Theatre Arts major Marissa Layton says, “I am one of the goofiest and geekiest people you will probably ever meet.” The dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is noted for her acting, leadership and service. The Clark Atlanta student chartered G.U.I.D.E.S- goal-oriented, unique individuals, delivering empowerment to students and organized a festival as 2nd Attendant to Ms. Junior. “We served 150 children in our metro Atlanta community and a pay it forward movement in the AUC.” Driven by her “genuine and uplifting
experiences” Layton fought for the crown of Miss Maroon & White during Spring 2013. “Of course it was heartbreaking after not placing, but the fact that I cannot walk on Morehouse to this day without someone calling me their queen honestly makes it all worth while.” Layton has served as a support system. “I have convinced people not to drop out... even sacrificed my grades to stay up all night and help a student.” Sophomore Biology/Pre-Med major Justice Echols says, “Everyone would describe me as very sisterly, bubbly and kind. In class they would say that I am determined and focused.” She minors in Asian studies with a concentration in Japanese. Hailing from Detroit, Echols says she is currently looking at M.D./ PhD programs with the intent of conducting research on a larger scale. “My focus is increasing the physical activity amongst adolescents and minority populations. I want to accomplish being the first African-American orthopedic surgeon in the NFL.” Echols is currently conducting research with Dr. Rosalind Gregory-Bass on the biophysical parameters imbalance for collegeaged women, to examine how certain factors like wearing heels can affect one’s balance. As an Honors student and Spelman Ambassador Echols has served as a mentor to young girls, promoting education and Spelman’s mission. She also serves as Miss Grand Pi on the Ms. Kappa Alpha Psi court. The pageant has served as a means of personal uplift, “It has made me so much more confident. I thank them for giving me that.” Senior Psychology major Samantha Grant wishes to pursue a doctorate in psychology after graduation, catering to underserved communities specifically adolescents and women of color. The Baltimore native is a member of PEPers- Spelman’s mental health organization. Grant says she was, “dismissed from Spelman after being diagnosed with major depression and anxiety” after losing her friend Beverly in a tragic suicide attempt. “I know I haven’t completely rid myself of it, but I will never be this low again,” as she points to the ground. Grant says that she wants to debunk the stigma of mental health in the black college community. As high school student Grant didn’t question authority and instead conformed to the way things were. “I know more about who I am now at the core.” Grant wears great pride as a member of the LGBTQ community and has worked diligently as a member of AFREKETE to address homophobia and improve the way Spelman engages in conversation about samesex relationships. She served as one of the core event planners for a revolutionary SpelHouse Pride Week of 2014. “Know that we are here and you cannot ignore us.”
A CONVERSATION WITH B R E A N N A W I L K E R S O N BY: DAWNN ANDERSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
“When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.” – Audre Lorde Women of the Year are leaders in their own right, trendsetters, and walking lights of inspiration in a community where students come from a variety of different experiences and struggles –they are survivors too. For Breanna Wilkerson, survival has been a matter of defining her own life and embracing the lived experiences that have shaped her existence. The Junior Comparative Women’s Studies Major from San Antonio, Texas saw her own struggles as a light of inspiration to other’s that continue to endure life’s toils and snares. DA: If a friend, confidant, and professor were consulted about your overall character, how would they define you? BW: I think my friends know me as being very humble. I really don’t embody myself off of things that I do, but more on who I am, and what I am contributing to other people. I don’t know if I would say strong [in regards to a confidant] because sometimes resilience can hide and mask true pain and experiences. Since I am a Comparative Women’s study major, I always have a feminist lens or critical race theory… I am always thinking about whose voice is not at the table. This is what I do just to thrive and be. DA: Has there been one particular cause that you have rallied behind during your time at Spelman? If so, what has it been? BW: I definitely will not take all the credit for it but I can say the group I affiliate myself with, co-drafted a petition for the movement against misogyny [and playing misogynist music] on Spelman’s campus. I am not afraid to say this is
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what I stand for and this is what I don’t believe in… I am not for the degradation of women and I feel at a women’s college it would have been common sense, but obviously that’s not the case because there was a lot of backlash from Morehouse students and Spelman students… This was very like black feminist thought versus the norm. DA: What was the motivating factor for you in creating the ban? BW: It was written out of discontent with misogyny in general…I have friends and sisters who were violated at Market Friday. A vendor actually said something very inappropriate to my friend and it was very sexist in reference to a song that was playing. When you have that music “Beat her like a dog, treat her like a dog, beat her like a dog, pass her to my dog” playing, even though a group is strolling to it and having fun, a young man thought it was okay… My doctrine would be if we truly are our sister’s keeper, if one of us is hurting, we are all hurting. DA: Aside from being a Social Justice Fellow, you serve as the Chapter Founder of GlobeMed at Spelman. Can you tell me about your contribution to the program’s genesis? BW:(Fall of 2013) My academic advisor Dr. Wade in the Sociology department… we have a really close relationship and he knows that I am very interested in public and global health. I noticed here in the AUC everyone has a movement but I didn’t see the intellectual activism in a lot of the initiatives that I was seeing. I also knew that there was really no space for a social justice grassroots movement in health. And so…Globe Med is a student led non-profit national organization. Each university teams up with another grassroots health organization around
the world in an underserved community. Through that partnership, they create a health project. DA: What sparked your interest in Public Health? BW: I truly believe that health is a human right, despite your race or place in America. You deserve the right to health. My mother passed away from HIV/AIDS when I was 14. I don’t know my father so she was everything that I had and didn’t make the most money but worked a 9 to 5 to keep on the lights. And ironically my mother’s older sister passed away from HIV/AIDS too, one year almost exactly to the day that my mother passed away. Because of the stigma they didn’t tell each other. I went into the foster care system before moving in with my grandma and serving as a caregiver to her while in high school. I wound up getting my pharmacy tech license in high school but couldn’t work full time. I just knew there was something else for me. DA: After losing your mother at a young age and struggling to monetarily support yourself at Spelman, how do you tackle adversity? What is Breanna’s formula for success? BW: I do have a lot of faith but I am not this perfect being. There is beauty in flaws and beauty in not knowing how to deal. One thing I can say, I am able to give everything to the people I love even when I have nothing. Just having people around me through the good, bad, and ugly. DA: What do you hope Spelman and Morehouse students will remember you for? BW: Being unapologetic. Just being myself, using my narrative as a foundation although my story says that I have no foundation…it says I should be broken.
A NEW ERA BY: DARREN MARTIN
There is nothing like your first year of college. The
and cousin to perform talent shows for her. We never
shameless ignorance, the unwavering ambition and
had any songs written so they would typically be
Zephyrinus ‘ZJ’ Okonkwo
the unskakeable pride fill your spirit each day. With
freestyles about random things such as going to Wal-
the excitement of New Student Orientation gone,
Mart and buying yogurt. Following my passion while
new students have had approximately two semesters
at Morehouse actually hasn’t been a problem, within
to adapt to the Morehouse culture and it is without a
this year I’ve performed at SXSW and on April 18th
MT: How has your first year experience been thus
doubt that our selected The Future recipients embody
I’ll be opening up for Doggy Simmons
far? ZO: My first year at Morehouse College was exactly
the characteristics necessary to carry the torch for MT: You were a part of the LLC Hall via that
that an experience. I feel like I’ve grown up more
received national notability online and even television,
in one school year, when it comes to learning about
how was that experience? Did you expect it to be
myself and other people, than my entire life. But it’s
received so well?
been very fun and very live, and I wouldn’t trade this
Asbury Park, Nj.
freshman at Morehouse for a freshman year at any JP: It was an honor to be apart of the LLC
Maroon Tiger: Describe first year experience at
Hall anthem. Seeing that I began in White Hall
MT: Who inspires you the most on Morehouse Col-
(1-9-8-Deuce), I was skeptical about my relationship
Jean-Michael Paraison: My first year of More-
with brothers in LLC when White Hall was closed and
ZO: The most inspirational person to me at
house was a learning experience filled with success
we moved in, the anthem was like a rite of passage
Morehouse College is my mentor Joe Dillon. He has
and failures that allowed me to mature as an indi-
when I was asked to be apart of it. I always had con-
achieved goals at the college that I want to achieve,
vidual and a leader.
fidence it would do well because it was fun to create,
and he’s going on to work for JP Morgan – a company
MT: You’re a rapper, correct? What brought you to
there was never a dull moment during the recording
that I know I’d have no problem working for.
rapping and are you still as involved with music now
process so I feel it was bound to do well.
MT: You were currently election Junior Board Trus-
that you’re at Morehouse?
MT: Where do you see yourself in the next three
tee, how did that big SGA win feel? What was going
JP: I was brought to rapping at the age of 3 by my
through your mind during election season?
grandmother who once had a karaoke machine in her
JP: I see myself signed to a major label or at least per-
ZO: Winning Junior Board Trustee was definitely
room. She would always ask me, my younger brother
forming at venues as a recognized independent artist.
my biggest accomplishment freshman year and the
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JALEN LAW
years to come.
feeling was euphoric. It was amazing to
with my life. So I took advantage of the
to implement programs in reform
hear my name called as Junior Board
Los Angeles, Ca.
scarce opportunity that was available
schools across the state to help them
Trustee Elect on the Kilgore steps. With
to me. My dedication to success has
transition to post-secondary institutions.
granted me the opportunity to graduate
Prior to that, the Commission funded
all the dedication and stress I put forth during my campaign, the fact that it
MT: What was your inspiration for
top of my class (high school) with a
several organizations for the purpose
was rewarded with the position mad me
enrolling at Morehouse College?
cumulative GPA of a 3.9, High Honor
of providing scholarships for minori-
feel amazing. During election season, I
TG: My inspiration for enrolling at
Roll, and become a Gates Millennium
ties, trips to the Capitol, and a better
was actually extremely nervous. When
Morehouse College was of many. One
Scholar. Here at the college it has
understanding of Dr. King’s philosophy
they announced that I was in the run-
was that my mentor encouraged me to
granted me the opportunity to obtain
on education. It was a humbling feeling
off, I wasn’t even at school; I was on the
apply here because she believed that
a 4.0 GPA.
and experience to be appointed to this
Spring Symposium trip to Hilton Head
Morehouse was great for me. Also,
MT: Where do you see yourself in the
position and be able to serve with busi-
Island in South Carolina, and I heard
after applying and getting accepted, I
next 3 years?
ness, state, political, and former Civil
from a friend that not only I’m in the
met a woman by the name of Vannessa
TG: In the next 3 years I see myself a
run-off, but the person I ran against got
Howard whom took me in as her own
Senior at Morehouse College. I would
MT: You were the only freshman to
more votes than me in the first election.
and diligently worked to find scholar-
be looking to graduate and receiving
compete in the Otis Moss Oratorical
So I was pretty nervous about me still
ships and grants to come to Morehouse.
my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I
Contest, how did you feel presenting in
winning the position, but through
This took me by surprise and caused
would also be looking to attend a
front of a large crowd and how did you
God’s grace I won.
me to want me to come to the institu-
graduates program in the field of
MT: How are you preparing for the
tion furthermore. She had a son that
SM: For me, presenting in the Otis
upcoming year in your new title? Is the
recently graduated from the college and
future a little frightening or exciting?
one who was a rising sophomore. The
tament to my ability, rather my faith. I
ZO: In preparation for my new title as
final reason that caused me to enroll at
believe firmly that “at the very moment
Junior Board Trustee, I’ve had several
the college was that I received the funds
Rocky Mountain, N. Car.
of commitment the entire universe
meetings with the Michael Gatewood,
to attend morehouse as I was a recent
former Senior Board Trustee, and Os-
recipient of the Gates Millennium
MT: What is one of your proudest
and commitment, all things become
hea Johnson, former Junior Board Trus-
possible. I prepared for the Otis Moss
tee. I’ve also been revisiting Robert’s
MT: How has your background pre-
SM: My proudest accomplishment is
Oratorical Contest by putting my faith
Rule for Order just so I know how to
pared you to do well here?
being able to serve as big brother to this
in the One who says that “all things are
conduct myself in these meetings. The
TG: I come from a single-parent
young boy at my church. At my church,
possible to him that believes.” Let me
future for me is honestly pretty exciting.
household and grew up in the heart of
I served as the Youth Department presi-
not forget about my great brothers and
I’ve taken on some big roles and I feel
South Central Los Angeles, one of the
dent and a tutor. I remember when I
friends that supported me.
like I can handle them. Though every-
most poverty-stricken, gang infested,
first met the young boy his 2nd grade
MT: Is public speaking a trade that you
one makes mistakes, I know won’t make
and underrepresented cities/ communi-
teacher had suggested that he repeat his
want to continue throughout college
too many mistakes that will remove me
ties in America. While my mother has
grade. After several months of encour-
and your career?
from my position.
been unemployed most of my life, my
aging and working alongside him, he
SM: Public speaking involves one’s
family and I relied heavily on govern-
finished with numerous accolades and
voice. It is with my voice that I can
ment assistance. The neighborhood as
was performing above his grade level. I
speak against the odds that have
I stated earlier was plagued by gangs,
realize that numerous people have done
already been stacked against me. It is
violence, death, etc. When it came
the same for me and that was a mo-
with my voice that I clarify who I am
to succeeding, the odds were stacked
ment where I expressed my gratitude
and who I’m not. Public speaking for
MT: What would you tell yourself if
against my favor. I knew that I was the
me is not something that I have to be
you could time travel back a year?
last opportunity for my family to escape
MT: Serving as a commissioner for
put in the spotlight to do, rather it is
LW: Ready yourself, you’re going to
this “hell-like” lifestyle. Being conscious
the state of North Carolina, what were
something that I use to ensure that my
experience the best time of your life!
of this, I dedicated most of my time to
your job descriptions? How did it feel
voice, be it a whisper or prepared ora-
MT: Who on campus inspires you
my studies in hopes that I can one day
being the youngest commissioner in
tion, is heard.
become successful enough to relieve
MT: Where do you see yourself in the
LW: Joe Carlos, Assistant Director of
them from this burden. In addition, I
SM: As a commissioner for the state
next 3 years and how do you plan to
Admissions & Recruitment
struggled everyday to survive living in
of North Carolina, my role entailed
MT: Where do you see yourself in the
my community. Furthermore, in order
working to promote, among the people
SM: I firmly believe that everything
next 3 years, how do you plan to get
to lift the financial burden my mother
of NC, an awareness and appreciation
happens in divine order. Everything
faced I worked every summer of my
of the life and work of Dr. Martin Lu-
happens according to God’s will, not
LW: I see myself a proud graduat-
high school career. My background has
ther King, Jr. This is done by funding
mine. So, in the next 3 years I hope to
ing senior, headed to law school, and
given me the mindset that, opportunity
local and state organizations through
be in a place of humility and a position
getting ready for my Army officer com-
is always nearby you just have to you
grants and other means of funding. In
to be able to receive what God has
mission, with absolutely fond memories
just have to be conscious of them. You
addition, this commission engages in
prepared for me. I hope to remain true
of my Morehouse experience. I plan on
then must look at your surroundings
social organizations and social issues.
to myself and not get lost in the crowd.
getting there with hard work, faith, and
and lifestyle and ask yourself, ‘are you
Recently, the North Carolina MLK
I also hope to be able to exceed my own
the help of good people.
okay with life how it is?’ I was not okay
Jr. Commission began attempting
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Moss Oratorical Contest was not a tes-
conspires for your success.” With faith
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JALEN LAW
A NEW RENAISSANCE: Writing History One Story At A Time BY: Nebiyu Fitta
Timothy Tukes is not afraid of a challenge. As a writer, Tukes saw a need for Morehouse students to increase their language skills and soon began to create history from within the walls of Graves Hall. Using his voice as a hall council member, Tukes got to work on executing the inaugural Morehouse College Writer’s Conference. The Graves Hall Residence Hall Association (RHA) Academic Affairs Committee, chaired by Tukes himself, hosted the conference. “Next year we’re probably looking towards having a creative writing aspect of it,” Tukes said as he looks towards the future. He calls the Writer’s Conference his “baby,” and explains that he has plans to make the event annual. Ambitious would be a microcosmic adjective for Tukes, it seems. Writing is nothing new for Tukes and he plans to escalate his talents in the near future. “I have interests in publishing a book,” Tukes said. When a conversation with a publisher revealed to Tukes the importance of having a readership, he chose to pursue journalism. “Initially I didn’t like it at all.” Nonetheless, Tukes believes it will give him the following he needs to turn his dreams into a reality. A slim kid from Covington, Georgia, Tukes admits he hasn’t always been this comfortable with so many eyes on him. “I was more reclusive,” Tukes said of his childhood years. Since being at Morehouse he says he has seen much growth, thanks in no small part to the opportuni-
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ties he has had this year. In November, Tukes went to the Human Rights Campaign’s Leadership and Career Summit and paid a visit to the White House in February for the Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day. “I plan a lot of things,” Tukes said. “But I did not plan anything that happened this year, anything that’s been so miraculous. I did not plan to have anything published by Black Enterprise in March.” He slips that in slyly, part of Tukes’ quiet boastfulness. In addition to majoring in English, Tukes is also minoring in Spanish and French. He believes it will help his journalism reach a wider audience. “Mandela said once, ‘If you talk to a man in his secondary language you talk to his brain. If you talk to a man in his first language you speak to his heart. So in journalism, I want to speak different languages so that I can get the real story, candidly.” Clearly, Tukes takes writing very seriously. Of the status of his book Tukes said, “It’s in the works.” Some would question the haste of publishing a book in one’s early ages, a question Tukes combatted with “I’ve always been a writer. I have always written stories. I’ve always written something, so I just want to get it published before I graduate from Morehouse.” As we wait in anticipation for the book’s release, he hopes to strengthen his relationship with Black Enterprise and other media outlets such as MUSED Magazine and Elixher magazine.
This group of sophomores represents the New Guard of Morehouse and Spelman. They are halfway through the journey and are making their mark in a variety of different ways. Khalia Braxton is an International Studies major from Brooklyn, New York. Some of her involvement includes serving as the 2013-2014 Co- Social Chair for the Sophomore Class Council, the 2013 Vice President for the Event Envoys, and a co-founder and wardrobe
stylist for Glam Squad, an organization that use its expertise to guide young woman on ways to represent themselves in professional and social settings. SW: How have you defined yourself ? KB: I am colorful. I am also a young, tenacious woman who is ambitious, articulate and ready to make whatever I put my hands on pop. I march to the beat of my own drum, which is often off beat SW: What changes would you like to see in the
AUC and black community? KB: Sometimes a simple “you got this” is needed. As a mentor in the Spelman College Big Sister Mentor program, I am the push that my “little sisters” need. SW: Choose a quote describes your plans or outlook for the upcoming years at Spelman KB: Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. -Unknown
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
BY: Sahim Wallace
Darius Atkins is a political science major from Chicago Illinois. Some of his involvement includes attending Harvard University’s Public Policy and Leadership Conference, serving a Class President, and leading the successful launch of the “2016 Wears Pink Campaign”. SW: What factors or experiences have contributed to your personal growth? DA: Serving in the capacity of president has challenged me to go beyond what is expected. Being a leader amongst leaders has a way of bringing the best out of a person. SW: In what ways have you maintained your mental, spiritual and physical health? DA: Maintaining my physical, spiritual, and mental health has been essential to my progress. I have a very simple regimen: Prayer, Reflect, Read, and Exercise. I talk to my grandmother who is still my greatest source of inspiration. SW: Choose a quote that describes your plans or outlook for the upcoming years. DA: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” -Dr. Seuss Maura Washington is a Comparative Womens studies major from Chicago Illinois. Some of her involvement includes being a founding member of Project House Homeless Outreach Service Initiative, the Event Coordinator for ’13-14 and being research assistant to Dr. Ayoka Chenzira in the Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College. SW: In what ways have you grown since entering college? MW: Being surrounded by such equally if not more intelligent, inspiring, and driven people and continuing a legacy of some of the world’s top movers and shakers has really influenced and increased my desire for involvement. SW: What changes would you like to see in the AUC and black community? MW: The AUC as a whole is a very unique place; there are many good and bad aspects of it. I would love to see less flexing, less gossiping, and cliques and more working TOGETHER to help one another accomplish goals. People are always in competition and don’t realize the power of working together. Bummah Ndeh is a Business Administration major from Silver Springs Maryland. Some of his involvement includes serving as a mentor for the Bayard Rustin Scholars Program, treasurer of Safe Space alliance for gender and sexuality and Campus Ambassador for Out for Undergrad, an organization that provides professional networking and learning opportunities for LGBT students.
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SW: What changes would you like to see in the AUC and black community? BN: I would like to see us expand our ideas of identity. I think we are making progress at showing our appreciation for diversity and intersectionality in gender, sexuality, and expression. SW: Choose a song that describes your plans or outlook for the upcoming years BN: -India Arie “Break The Shell” Child it’s time to break the shell Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself You cannot fly until you break the shell. This song reflects my realization that I must first “break my shell” before I am able to pursue my passion and calling. Thomas Cox is an Economic Major, Sociology minor from Atlanta Georgia. Some of his involvement includes Project House, NSO, CASA, and being a freshman stroll coach. SW: What growth do you look forward to seeing in the upcoming years in college? TC: In the future I see myself continuing to grow on all levels and developing the brand of Trey Cox while affecting people’s lives for the better. I feel everyone should want to leave a footprint where they have walked and that is exactly what I plan to do. SW: In what ways have you maintained your mental, spiritual and physical health? TC: I’m very health conscious I would say so I eat pretty healthy and workout daily to stay in shape. I maintain my spiritual health by attending my home church Cascade United Methodist Church and meditation, this allows me to block out everything that is going on and just relax. Tunde Smith is a Sophomore Biology Major from Washington, DC. In addition to serving as the Vice President on the Sophomore Class Council, he has held posts at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Health as a Research Assistant. He is currently a Hopps Scholar, conducting biology research in preparation for medical school. SW: How have you defined yourself ? Has this definition changed since entering college? TS: I have defined myself as someone who has influence and is well connected. My first year I was more of a connect to the girls at Spelman because of my Mr. Freshman title, but now I am doing more to become more involved at Morehouse. SW: In what ways have you grown since entering college? How has this new outlook influ-
enced your involvement and personal goals? TS: I’ve matured in every aspect of my life just by interacting with the most talented, educated, and diverse group of men I’ve ever encountered. I’ve learned how to dress professionally and still look stylish, how to set goals and create plans to achieve them, how to talk to women without being awkward, but above all I’ve learned that I still have so much to learn. This new outlook makes developing myself into the man I wish to be, as well as helping others to do the same, a bigger priority. SW: Choose a quote that describes your plans or outlook for the upcoming years at Morehouse College. TS: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” - George Bernard Shaw Simeon Lyons is a Sophomore Political Science Major from Palm Springs, FL. Before running for Vice President of the Morehouse SGA this spring, he was a member of the SGA where he has been responsible for building a number of key connections with the administration and students. He hopes to use his passion for service to run for elected office one day. SW: In what ways have you grown since entering college? How has this new outlook influenced your involvement and personal goals? SL: Since coming to Morehouse I’ve learned more and more about who I am as a person. Whether it’s how I deal with people or what I want to do in life I’ve learned but still learning who Simeon Thomas Lyons really is. Because of that I have narrowed my interests to being an RA and member of SGA where I am involved with the student body firsthand where I can best advocate on their behalf. SW: How have you defined yourself ? Has this definition changed since entering college? SL: I’ve defined my self as someone who is very outgoing and is serving not for himself but for others. I want people to know that behind my smile and goofy laugh that I’m here to lead us to the next level. SW: What growth do you look forward to seeing in the upcoming years in college? SL: Being SGA president...I feel as if this has been seen as just a title and not much has been done with it. If elected I would ensure that the student body has restored faith in this organization and campus as a whole. SW: Choose a song that describes your plans or outlook for the upcoming years at Morehouse College. SL: Who Gon Stop Me by Kanye Weat and Jay Z.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
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Since the time of its release, Drake’s song has many embracing the popular lyric “Started from the bottom now we here”. However, the implications of this are more than just a catchy statement; it’s a reminder to some individuals that life may afford you many opportunities, especially when having gone beyond the bottom, to having nothing. Today Jamal and Jarvis Garner are but a few months from completing what will be their second year at Morehouse College, but nine years ago, things might have not seemed that promising. Jamal and Jarvis were born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and when Hurricane Katrina hit, it seemed as though they had hit rock bottom. “Hurricane Katrina was the major turning point in my life because it altered my growth and maturity,” Jamal acknowledged. “It compelled me to, ‘Put away childish things’.” After the storm hit the brothers were forced to relocate to Texas. “Some may not know that people were literally waking up not knowing where their next meal or place of shelter would come from,” Jamal admitted. While in the process of relocating, many victims of the storm did not receive adequate resources. Jarvis said that one of biggest disappointments was to see that many people of color in the impoverished areas received little attention. Additionally, the ones that did receive attention were shown in the media, and stereotyped as poor and uneducated. As Jamal and Jarvis look back, they were very grateful that they had their faith in God and family support. They stuck it out through the storm and whether they knew it or not, things would get better. “One of the things the storm taught me was to always be humble,” Jarvis said, Jamal agreed. Many events in the storm unintentionally influenced their aspirations and career desires. Jarvis is majoring in biology and eventually wants to go to Medical School. He’s involved in organizations such as Phi Delta Epsilon, and
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the Health Careers Pre-dental Society. Jarvis hopes that by working in this field, he can help and give the necessary resources to individuals in communities of color, especially in the event of a disastrous event such as Katrina. Jamal on the other hand is an English major, and is a future member of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta. He desires to go to Law School and “fight for those who don’t have a voice” he insisted. During the storm, the government and emergency assistance agencies did not hear many people, and thus some did not fare well. Jamal wants to ensure that people of color can always be heard and uplifted through justice. This is one as his passions, and as he describes, “I discovered my purpose through plights”. The Garner brothers are undoubtedly proud to be a product of the New Orleans community, and have a desire to be great. They have brought many of their values and experiences with them to Morehouse, and realize that more is expected of them. Their relationship as identical twin brothers at Morehouse College is certainly one like no other. Jamal and Jarvis Garner are two of a kind, with many things in common including optimism, energy, and DNA. Yet, they are still distinct individuals, with different goals, ambitions, and even style of clothing. They feel their time here has thus far been a “microcosm of the Morehouse experience” because their relationship is a true representation of brotherhood. Their experiences almost a decade ago by no means defines them, however, it has had an undeniable impact on their life. When going from living without a house, to attending Morehouse, it is almost inevitable to dream big and live with purpose; and for two Hurricane Katrina survivors and aspiring community leaders, not even the sky is the limit.
WEATHERING THE STORM: HOW THEY ARE MAKING IT THROUGH—SUCCESSFULLY BY: MAROON TIGER STAFF MEMBERS
and let God. I always want to be superman, try and do everything, but it is just not possible. There is not enough time in the day, nor energy to do so. I now know to commit myself to the things I love. Malik Ray is business administration major with a concentration in marketing from Philadelphia, Pa. he is responsible for multiple productions on campus including the Miss Sophomore Pageant, Miss RHA Pageant as well as The Colored Museum. He is also a prestigious T. Howard Diversity in Media Fellow—we call him: The Producer. MT: What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? MR: My proudest accomplishment would be becoming an RA. For me, there really is no greater satisfaction than to impact someone else’s life in a positive and productive way. To be able to witness the growth of these young men since their matriculation into the college until now is simply amazing. MT: Now established, what advice do you have for (Morehouse OR Spelman) underclassmen on their own journeys? MR: Be yourself ! Why? Everyone else is taken. HA! No seriously, we do a lot of admiring at Spelhouse. Everyone’s seen someone at some point and solemnly thought: “I want to do/be that.” It really is not about that at all. By all means, be inspired. Louis Dancer is a business administration major with a concentration in marketing from St. Louis, Mo. Dancer is the vice-president of the Morehouse NAACP, social media director for the Morehouse SGA and a J.C. Penny Executive Intern. MT: Now established, what advice do you have
for (Morehouse OR Spelman) underclassmen on their own journeys? LD: START EARLY. When you enter the gates of Morehouse College, hit the ground running. It is important to enjoy your college experience but it is crucial to ensure that you have a professional plan for post-graduation purposes. A GPA is important but connections are imperative. MT: What legacy do you want to leave in the AUC? LD: Residual impact. If I am able to influence one individual positively, and then they execute the same or better action with another individual….then I have done my job. MT: What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? LD: Freshman year I constantly struggled to receive internship offers and it became very discouraging to see others receive their opportunities. Now I am a junior and I am proud to say that I have received three internship offers in the sales and marketing field, and increasing. Joshua Manley-Lee is a Mathematics major from Pittsburgh, Pa. he is a track star, scholar, and Intern at J.P. Morgan Chase. We call him: The Brains MT: What do you want the world to know about Joshua? JML: That Joshua Manley is on a journey trying to understand his purpose, his vocation in life, not so much monetary wise but more so how can what he’s been through impact the universe? MT: Where do you see yourself in seven years? JML: Hopefully, three years with Deloitte, graduate degree from Harvard – an MBA from Harvard – or a financial engineering degree from Tepper School of Business [Carnegie Mellon]. That’s the
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
THE ESTABLISHMENT The – (art.) used to indicate a person or thing that has already been mentioned or seen or is clearly understood from the situation Establishment – (n) a group of social, economic and political leaders that form a ruling class (Merriam-Webster) A commitment to attend Morehouse or Spelman College is no small feat. You commit yourself to the challenge of being a well-balanced student: knowing how to excel in the classroom and professionally while maintaining a social life and even greater social conscious. For some, this challenge proves impossible, for others like The Establishment, the challenge has been met with diligence, poise and progression. These individuals have created their legacy in the AUC already, and with a year left in their tenure, they all are striving to not only be the best—but train the best as well. We asked The Establishment their secrets to successfully navigating through the AUC, here is what they said: Jonathan Thibeaux is a junior biology major from Lafayette, La. He serves as the Campus Alliance for Student Activities (CASA) co-chairman. We call him: The Renaissance man. MT:What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? JT: I would definitely have to say making co-chair for CASA was my greatest accomplishment yet. Before I came to Morehouse College, I looked up all the organizations that made the most impact and allowed for an enjoyable experience. CASA was that organization. MT: What helps you find balance in your academic and extracurricular pursuits? JT: This year, I have definitely learned to let go
five-year plan. LOL Oshea Johnson is a Sociology major from Washington, D.C. he currently serves as the Junior Board Trustee for Morehouse College, Treasurer of the Morehouse Sociological Association (MSA). He has interned at the National Institute of Health and will be working at the Center for Disease Control and project IMHOTEMP. Johnson will serve as the Senior Board Trustee during his upcoming senior year. MT: Now established, what advice do you have for (Morehouse OR Spelman) underclassmen on their own journeys? OJ: The serious challenges you face and how you respond to those circumstances will reveal the man you are. You know who you are! And never forget no matter how grand your accomplishments or how low your downfalls may be. MT: What are you plans for the future (ie. graduate school, career.)? OJ: After Graduation, I plan to be accepted into PhD programs at University of Michigan, Columbia University, Georgetown University, and/ or Berkley. I will ear my Master’s in Health Services Administration and the PhD is up in the air but I know for sure that I want to do research in health or health disparities. After I establish myself in the health care field, my ultimate goal is to go into policy for hospital management at the White House. Jermaine Blakely is a junior biology major from Butler, Al. He is the co-founder of Project House, a student-led community service organization, current RA in the LLC Residence Hall, member Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. We call him: The Busy Bee MT: What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? JB: My journey through Morehouse College has been like a puzzle where each piece has come together so perfectly, as if my path has been divinely designed for my uniqueness to be embraced by the
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world. Each part of my experience has unveiled an everlasting fulfillment with both direction and purpose. I am proud of my ability to uphold academic excellence to its highest standards. Maintaining a 4.00 GPA my first two years assured me that hard work does not go in vain and that anything is possible. MT: What legacy do you want to leave in the AUC? JB: I want to inspire individuals to be servants of the community. Through my actions as a trailblazer for change, I want to influence students to cultivate attributes of confidence, respect, and ethical behavior with a commitment to social justice by helping those less fortunate. As a resident advisor, I aspire to uplift my residents to be their best self. Being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, I want to leave a legacy that represents a distinguished gentleman who is passionate about scholarship, fellowship, and the love for all mankind. I am in hope that Project House Homeless Outreach Organization will continue to have a direct impact on the community. I would be happy to know that I had a positive effect on at least one person and changed his or her life for the better. Danielle Moody is a junior english major from O’Fallon, Il. She has served two successful presidencies as the Freshman and Sophomore class president and is currently the vice president of Spelman’s Student Government Association. Danielle is a Ron H. Brown Scholar and has participated in the law program in which she interned with the Queens District Attorney’s office. She plans to pursue law at a prestigious law school. We call her: The Leader MT: What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? DM: When I was Sophomore Class President, the class council facilitated Transfer Student Mixers. The mixers were opportunities for transfers to express their needs, concerns, and ideas while getting to know their class leaders. We documented all of the information for the academic deans so
they could be better informed about the transfer experience. To my knowledge, no council before us ever implemented such a program. Thankfully, the events ran smoothly both semesters. MT: Now established, what advice do you have for (Morehouse OR Spelman) underclassmen on their own journeys? DM: Never try to mimic anyone else’s path. Your journey is uniquely yours. Nandi Edouard is a junior psychology major from Marietta, Ga. She attends Spelman College and currently serves as the Peer Education Programers (PEPers) President. This program has grown tremendously throughout the AUC under her leadership. MT: What accomplishment are you most proud of and how did you navigate through tough times throughout its journey? NE: The accomplishment I am most proud of is updating and restarting a dead organization. PEPers has been around since the 1980s but fell short in 2011. Thanks to my E-board and I’s hard work we recreated the logo and mission and recruited a 75 person membership. Mental health is a topic that does not get talked about in today’s society and especially in the AUC. I’m so proud of my PEPers for helping me implement and create an amazing Mental Health Awareness Week to spread the word that receiving help is okay! I would also say that I am proud that I was able to maintain an organization of 75 Spelman Women and still maintain my academic and social life. MT: Now established, what advice do you have for (Morehouse OR Spelman) underclassmen on their own journeys? NE: “Fight for what you want” would be the advice for any underclassmen. If you want something done, either fight your way through to do it, or find someone and have them help you fight to get it done. PEPers wouldn’t have been an organization if I didn’t force myself into offices and fight for those in need.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
A STORM TO BE RECKONED WITH BY: Jared Loggins Life is a matter of perspective – suffer through the storm or dance in the rain. Battered by a series of personal storms, Jerrel Baker has taken his 3.98 GPA and a number of recent accomplishments including his selection as a Pickering Fellow and prospective intern with a high-profile consulting firm in Washington, DC as indicators of his storm-like presence. He made a point during the beginning of the interview to point out his relief to have lost his 4.0 last semester because of the humanity it gave him. “People were treating me like a robot,” he said. “And they acted as if my GPA was the only thing about me. I even recall my advisor telling me I looked human again after seeing that I had lost it. I was so much more than that 4.0 at the time.” Still, overcoming adversity is but one way to describe the 21 yearold Detroit-born son of a waitress and a father who has been incarcerated for most of his life. A series of circumstances have not defined him, however. “In recognizing my social position, education has been an escape,” he said. “It’s the only thing that I can say I have had control of. I can control my grades but I cannot control some of the situations I have been in. But I have remained resilient nonetheless. My mother calls me her miracle child. I’m the youngest of four and the only one to go to college. She [my mother] gave her all. So I just want to give my family opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.” Difficult circumstances aren’t new to him either. He admitted that being born nearly 2 months prema-
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ture was symbolic for him. “Something should be wrong,” he admits. “And miraculously, nothing is. It makes me appreciative of life as a whole and the endless opportunities I have been given.” A volunteer and issue-based coordinator with the Bonner Office of Community Service, Baker saw a necessity to get involved early on. The spirit of service stems from his own experiences as a young kid having skipped from elementary and middle schools in Detroit and Atlanta. “I’ve been confined to a space my whole life,” he admitted. “I want to see the world. I want to go into a space and give to the world whatever it is that I can give and I have the opportunity to do that based off of my lived experiences alone.” Stability would come. After moving to Atlanta, Baker came to high school and became a force to be reckoned with as a student in the International Baccalaureate Program and 4.0 + scholar. The success would be riddled with disappointments when he received a denial letter from Columbia University. “I thought that everything I worked for was for nothing,” he said. “I wanted to go to an Ivy League school because my dad, who was imprisoned at the time, told me it was the best option.” The denial would not be the end. He would be accepted to all but 4 of the 38 schools he applied to. After a UGA visit he describes as “uncomfortable,” Baker made the hour-long drive back to Morehouse College. The energy was palpable, he said.
“I somewhat demanded him [the admissions officer] to pull up my application,” Baker said. He admitted in the interview that he was upset that he was given no money to attend after having spent his four years of high school perfecting his academic record. “Five hours later I received an email,” he said. “The admissions counselor informed me that the committee re-reviewed over my application. They awarded me a full scholarship.” From that day, he knew that he must not only continue to excel academically, but also in service to the institution, and its surrounding community, who invested in his collegiate pursuits. Earlier last semester, he was among a group of students involved with Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit where he was active in being a voice for development and engagement in the West End Community. In January, he traveled to Belize with a group of students to lend a helping hand to an impoverished community and traveled to Haiti in March to do the same. “I want to keep working,” he said. “Even in my worst, the sun is still rising. And that keeps me going. Ten years ago, I would have never imagined being here with so many opportunities to pour my life into others. I’ve been able to see two different countries in the span of five months. That’s unreal to me.” As a Pickering Fellow, he will complete Morehouse next year and begin graduate studies and a fiveyear stint as a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State where he wants to work on issues of international development.
ALL THE CROWN’S MEN: BY: James Parker
PHOTOGRAPHY BY:DARREN MARTIN
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titan is a person “of very great strength, intellect, or importance,” according to MerriamWebster’s online dictionary. Synonyms for “titan” include; Korde Inniss, Brian Young, Martavius Leonard, Tywan Bishop, Seth Brown, Winston Roberts, and Ryan Rucker. While at Morehouse, the aforementioned titans have personified each part of Webster’s definition in very different ways. Specifically, senior Korde Inniss has been training to be a real-life hero through his leadership in the Air Force ROTC program. Inniss worked his way up to earn the rank of Operations Group Commander, but his journey is even more inspiring than his position. Lacking an on-campus Air Force program or reliable transportation, Inniss ran from Morehouse to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) at 5 am every morning. Along the way, he said local residents in the West End community would cheer for him, and eventually other ROTC members took notice and joined his runs. Similarly, senior Brian Young refused to give up when faced with adversity. Young currently serves as a marketing representative for two major entertainment companies; Sony Music Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, LLC. He was denied the Sony position four times because he did not have adequate experience. After his first rejection, Young organized his own internship program. He contacted Maybach Music Group (MMG), a record label founded by Rick Ross, and created an position for himself. His work with MMG eventually led to his current positions which have allowed him to work for artists including J. Cole, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Shakira, Elle Varner, Adele, and ASAP Rocky. Senior Winston Roberts also worked his way to the top. During his sophomore year, Roberts was elected president of his residence hall, but his hard-work led to a major promotion within months. “I would volunteer to do small things that no one else wanted to do,” said Roberts. “The RD [resident director] of the hall noticed the extra work I was doing and offered me another student’s position as an RA [resident assistant].” Roberts went on to become the lead RA as well as a Google Ambassador, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Mr. Sigma Gamma Rho. During his quest to become the president of the senior class, Ryan Rucker led the right way. Rucker said that too many people are not willing to serve so they miss a lot of opportunities. “As a titan or a warrior, sometimes your only job is to make sure you
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have the other soldiers’ backs,” said Rucker. He has supported his fellow brothers all throughout his time at Morehouse and is now reaping the benefits of his service. In addition to being Senior Class President, Rucker is currently an intern for the world’s largest management consulting firm, Deloitte Consulting, and will work for them full-time after graduation. Senior Martavius Leonard also fought to get to a major corporation. Without any prior interest in finance, Leonard ended up speaking with a representative from a banking firm while at a career fair. Within months he was flown to London, England for an internship. Simply because he was prepared and open to various opportunities, Leonard has progressed on the job and at school. He is a member of the Bonner Scholars Program, Student Government Association, and the Morehouse Business Association (MBA), and will soon enter his role as an operations analyst for the multibillion-dollar investment firm Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (Goldman Sachs). Senior Tywan Bishop’s greatest trait as a titan has been his awareness. To become the co-chair of the Campus Alliance for Student Activities (CASA), executive board member of the MBA, full-time marketing analyst for JP Morgan Chase, and the director of teens for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, Bishop had to know the right people to help him get there. By making and maintaining the proper connections, he became aware of numerous opportunities and the individuals in charge of them. Since senior Seth Brown capitalized on every chance he had to succeed, he is leaving college without any regrets. Brown said that an opportunity of a lifetime such as Morehouse must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity. While a student, Brown honed his faith in God and his public speaking skills to become the Otis Moss Jr. Oratorical Contest winner, a presenter at Candle in the Dark Galas, and the lead Vanguard Scholars Instructor. However, most importantly, he used his voice to encourage and uplift men of Morehouse while standing on the stage of the MLK chapel and on the sidewalks of Brown Street. For optimum success, perspective titans should seek to couple Brown’s faith with Bishop’s awareness, initiative like Leonard, Rucker’s integrity, Roberts’ humility, perseverance like Young’s, and Inniss’ determination.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY:DARREN MARTIN
THE BOOK OF JERO: BY: James Parker
During New Student Orientation, an upperclassman told Jeroson Williams that he was not a Man of Morehouse because he did not have any credit hours yet. This particular upperclassmen went on to claim that Williams would not be respected until he proved himself “a worthy scholar.” After this experience, Williams said he worked to become a man of worth and a man mother Morehouse would be proud of. As president of the Psi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Williams set out to not only represent this organization well but the entire college too. “The fact that he came into the chapter much younger than most others meant he had a lot to prove as far as leadership and he definitely lived up to the expectations – and exceeded them,” Logan Battle said, who is the line president for the newest group to join the Psi Chapter. Williams said that administrators often ask Greek organizations to attend and host events, adding that several faculty members have the cell phone numbers of all the fraternity presidents for this reason. In addition to ceremonial duties, Williams also serves as a mentor for younger brothers “on the yard.” Knowing that his behavior affects the perception of the fraternity, Williams has worked tirelessly to uphold the name and reputation of the organization. “He makes sure we stay true to our cause [and] maintains the excitement and energy,” Battle said. One of the many causes Williams has embraced is service. While at Morehouse he created Project West End, a community service organization that transformed the entire Atlanta University Center (AUC). Williams used social media sites to make volunteering popular and fun by having students post pictures and statuses depicting their service. Eventually, more students were motivated to get involved and the organization quickly expanded. “Project West End taught me that it is possible to change the culture of the AUC,” Williams said. In another high ranking position on campus, Williams has improved the institution by meeting with perspective donors and high-profile visitors. As a presidential ambassador with the Office of Institutional
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Advancement, Williams met dignitaries such as Jeffrey R. Immelt, the CEO of General Electric (GE), and introduced Andrew Young, the former congressman and U.S. Ambassador. He also enhanced the college as the chairman of the Student Government Association’s Student Welfare & Concerns Committee. “I know that in doing research in the future it’s likely that I’ll be the only black person in the lab,” said Williams. He was saddened yet motivated by this realization, so he wants to ensure that all of his brothers will be successful. He also served as a research mentee for the John H. Hopps Jr. Defense Research Scholars Program. William advised all Men of Morehouse to remain “hungry and focused.” He said that blocking out distractions and wanting to be great as much as they want to breathe will be the key to students’ success. Williams also encourages networking within and outside of Morehouse and wishes that he would have learned the importance of this lesson even sooner than he did. For students who seek to accomplish as much as Williams, his professor, research mentor, and fellow fraternity member recommends confidence. “He was not afraid to speak up and participate,” said assistant professor of Biology Dr. Gregory Ford. “I think coming into this learning environment, confidence is important for early achievement and gathering academic momentum for moving forward.” Dr. Jeffrey Handy, who manages the Hopps research program, suggests that others should also emulate Williams’ maturity. “He is a natural leader: very well-organized and committed to uplifting mankind through service,” said Handy. “He plans, thinks, and acts based on long term objectives, instead of being short-sighted and acting in pursuit of immediate gratification.” Williams is on track to graduate with honors in May but his long term goal is to conduct neuroscience research after medical school. He is considering attending graduate programs at Yale, Baylor, and Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall.
THE GENTLE GIANT
Temi Okotieuro ‘14
Anthony J. Simonton ’14
Major/Minor: History Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major/Minor: Political Science Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Okotieuro is a Senior history major and is the outgoing Vice President of the Morehouse SGA. Upon entering the gates of Morehouse College, he desired to take part in uplifting the Morehouse community. He thought running for SGA would be “a good way to traverse this Morehouse landscape,” Okotieuro said. His role as SGA Vice President, he says, has instilled a sense of leadership and duty that have given him new insights as a growing leader and aspiring creative. “Effective leadership requires a combination of charisma and allowing work ethic to speak for itself,” he said. “Some people walk in the rain, and some people just get rained on.” Okotieuro plans to attend NYU Tisch School of the Arts for directing and screen writing where he hopes to create artistic work that transcends generations, color barriers, and time.
Simonton never foresaw running for SGA President when he was a Freshman. He describes coveting the role of presidentelect as surreal. “In a way, I guess I always wanted to be president”, Simonton said. But after losing a campaign for Junior Board Trustee during his freshman year, he says he felt a bitterness. “It forced me to reevaluate some things,” he said. Even so, his resilience has afforded him opportunities to work in the State Department in China and in various capacities in the community. He credits Rudyard Kipling’s famous words as inspiring to him as a leader. “If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch…”
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
BY: Kadijah Ndoye
DETROIT’S CREATIVE GENIUS
THE EDUCATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE
Benjamin Howard ’14
Corey Reed ’14
Joseph Dillon ’14
Major/Minor: Business Administration Hometown: Detroit, MI.
Major/Minor: English Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Major/Minor: Business Administration Hometown: Maryland
“Detroit is a soulful place”, Howard says of his hometown. He credits Detroit ‘s economy with his desire to aide small businesses in the future. Being a creative has granted him the opportunity to forge his passions with a professional career. Inspired by the work of Pharrell Williams, Howard sees his positivity as an important ingredient for living in one’s passion. “His [Pharell’s] work exudes a happiness, a joy,” he said. Ultimately, he wants to pursue an advertising career. He will be taking on an art direction position at Team Detroit, an advertising firm. His dream is to eventually transform the African American brand in the media. “We have to do better in terms of our own representation in the media,” he said. “And I want to help lead that effort.”
As a child, Reed watched his mother, a lifelong educator help students get to where they needed to be. He was inspired to do the same. A former president of the Morehouse Education Association, he saw education and the lack of diversity among teachers in the classroom as an opening to jumpstart his dreams. While he would like to teach at an HBCU, he too sees a multitude of academic institutions where black male professors are underrepresented. “I want to diversify the academy,” he said. “I believe I have been put on this Earth to help people reach their maximum potential, to help people understand what they are capable of.”
Perhaps you have seen Joseph Dillon grace the cover of a Morehouse Admissions pamphlet. “You are a little piece of leather, but you are well put together,” Dillon said, quoting his father’s advice to him. Standing at five foot four and a half, he explains that he wants to remove focus from his height and draw the room with his personality, knowledge, and charisma. “When the audience finds you to be an authority, physical appearances matter less and less.” In addition to law firm internships and stints at Price Water Cooper, Dillon has also mentored a number of young people in Atlanta through the Talented Tenth Mentoring Program. “If you are an involved and active student and polished student…individuals who can really help, mentor you,” said Dillon. He went on to explain that Morehouse College is the kind of institution where various types of students will benefit.
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A RISING STAR:
On personal struggle, conservative politics, and the next GOP superstar
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Kadijah Ndoye and MT Staff contributed to parts of this story
Past bouts with depression, suicide attempts, and self-inflicted bodily harm hasn’t stopped the political aficionado and humble son from Texas from being a force to be reckoned with on the campus of Morehouse. It is about being a voice, he says. And for the past four years, Mark Smith has used his capacities as an RA, member of SGA, mental health advocate, and young policy mind to serve others in ways that fuse a love for life with a passion for service. “It was first about finding my voice,” Smith says of his own growth. “And it’s a hard process. But I have found it in certain areas, still working in other areas. There are those who look up to me and I have a responsibility to look out in any way that I can.” Dealing with his own personal battles weren’t the only sources of tension for him. Smith, a political conservative, has taken stances throughout his tenure that have unboundedly juxtaposed him against the relatively liberal climate at Morehouse. “I came into Morehouse on the fence, politically,” Smith, now the Political Director of the Morehouse College Republicans says. “But as I sat in classes and heard positions on a variety of issues it dawned on me that I stood against the norm. So I started challenging certain positions and speaking up for my own values.” The positions Smith would take are the groundings for a path that would prove to be revolutionary at an institution [and community] that overwhelmingly stood behind Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2013 Presidential Elections. Smith is but a handful of students who openly identify as conservative. He also credits Morehouse with giving him a framework in which to see how his values fit within a larger conversation. “I would have never learned how social institutions affect minorities [without Morehouse]”, Smith said. Earlier this year, Smith was one of those chiefly responsible for the re-chartering of the Morehouse College Repub-
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licans, a move that garnered national attention including a public endorsement from the Republican National Committee. The organization’s recent notable achievements seem endless –inviting Herman Cain to fundraise and speak to a group of students, sponsoring and supporting the visit of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, and most recently the establishment of a nonpartisan scholarship aimed to aide students in their academic pursuits. The rising-star powers have not been limited to his work within the GOP. Smith made gigantic waves around campus last year when he ran for SGA President –it was a campaign he says was all about service. And he credits his experiences, despite his loss, to the power of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. “Public service is a trust, it isn’t a podium or a pulpit”, Smith said, quoting Calvin Coolidge, a man he has come to admire as his favorite President. “He [Coolidge] worked more than he spent talking. He wasn’t excited about the politics of things; he just wanted to get things done. He understood what it meant to be a friend of communities –organizations, local businesses, nonprofits, and just people. That’s always been my mindset.” The journey is not over. Smith, who currently works in the Office of the Governor of Georgia, has received offers to work on several state and national campaigns and nationally recognized bipartisan think tanks. Regarding his continued development, the personal journey is an ongoing process. The next few years, he says, will be aimed at taking in as much as he can about the policymaking process. “I want to get a grasp of it myself ”, Smith said. “It is important to offer alternatives to the status quo and I have to be in a position to do just that.”
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ovember 13, 1999, at 6:33 p.m. was the day that Michael Taylor was forced to ascend into manhood, bearing the weight of a then drug-addicted mother and the burden of being an influence for his younger brother who, too, was now fatherless. Taylor was the man-of-the-house now and his entire family legacy depended on his success, depended on every future move that he made, depended on his perspective. It was a weight that he could not avoid, even if he was only 8 years old. Taylor’s father died from nasal cancer, a rarity among African-American males. As a result, Taylor spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Little Rock, Ark., finding the balance between being a man and simultaneously wrestling with the journey toward becoming one. “Be a man,” Taylor said, reflecting on the phrase his father repeated during his battle with cancer. “That was a blessing and a curse because I grew up a little too fast. I have seen and done a lot that I didn’t have to.” Taylor’s idea of a man was skewed. Does he follow his father’s path as a well-known drug dealer or does he follow the example of a family man that he was familiar with for only five years of his life? What makes a man? What is a man? The hard life questions that Taylor had to ask himself years before puberty and the trip-ups he encountered toward understanding the phenomena of “manhood” were a precursor to expected failure. However, for him, they were a prelude to success. Taylor’s Childhood After his father was released from prison, Taylor, then 3 years old, could not imagine that only five years later he would experiencd solitude and pain. His father’s death had an immense impact on his growth into a man – every life lesson necessary to raise a suitable gentleman had to be learned from the male figures in his neighborhood. “I had to just pick from different men,” Taylor said about finding role models. “I am a very personable person … so your dad didn’t have to ‘yes or no’ me. I would take every opportunity that I could to learn from him, whether that is cutting grass or changing a tire. Anything that I could not do with my father, I would use the men in the neighborhood around me to teach me.” Attaching himself onto others proved to be necessary but inconsistent, thus leading Taylor into a life of anger, untimely freedom, constant moving, and expulsions from school. By the time Taylor was 13, he was experiencing a life that some 30-year-olds could not fathom. After his mother escaped an abusive relationship, they began the process of relocation and Michael explains why the memory of this move will resonate with him forever. As Taylor, his stepfather and his brother got ready to return the U-Haul they had used, his mother handed him $100 and Michael couldn’t figure out why. “I knew something was wrong,” Taylor said. “I’ve always been inquisitive. “We take the U-Haul [and then return] to the new house and my mother was nowhere to be found. My mother was gone for two years.” Taylor and his brother were taken into their grandmother’s custody after their mother’s disappearance. Taylor says that thousands of thoughts were running through his mind at the age of 13, but one phrase summed up all emotions.
“Nobody loves me,” Taylor said. “My daddy is dead, my mother is on drugs. I don’t know where she is, my grandmother is verbally abusive … so I kind of felt alone.” Yet, through this solitude Taylor found comfort in knowing that his pain was temporary. “I also knew that I wanted better for myself,” he said. “Even in the midst of all of the mess, I knew that one day I could rise above it … this is my life; my ball, my court.” The Transition However, Taylor continued to battle with his premature independence and with his mother being in prison for a majority of his high school years. Taylor found himself a part of a community gang. “I was running with a local street gang and taking pictures and someone posted them to Facebook … I go to school and was called to the principal’s office,” Taylor said. “She said, ‘You have been caught up in gang activity and you cannot go to school here anymore.’ ” A newfound relationship with a teacher saved him from expulsion and changed the course of his life forever. Joel Wright and the entire Wright family embraced Taylor and his mission for a better life, changed Taylor’s wardrobe (courtesy of Wright’s father) and, in time, changed his image. “I enrolled into all Advanced Placement courses my sophomore year and changed my image in general,” Taylor said. “I went from the bully, the son of the local community addict, to Prom King, Mr. Long High School.” However, Taylor’s life was not yet on a smooth path. The next few years would present a new set of dilemmas including his mentor moving to another city, a lapse in discipline that led to a brief altercation with the law, and the resurrection of a relationship with his mother. The one consistent factor in his life was the desire to exist in happiness and peace. To do that, Taylor knew he needed to go to college. The Transcendence The one place that could save him was a small college in Atlanta, Ga., named Morehouse. The uncle of Taylor’s ex-girlfriend recommended it to him, so he applied, and current Associate Dean Terrance Dixon counseled him. But Taylor admits that he had never paid attention to Morehouse and did not know that it was an all-male school until he was one exit away from its surrounding neighborhood. Taylor, not yet informed of a Morehouse Mystique or its legacy, was placed into Graves Hall – an experience that he says has impacted his growth for the better. Adapting to the culture of Morehouse from the culture of Little Rock was a shocking challenge, but he appreciates his transformation. “I came to Morehouse and at the end of my first semester I had a 3.6,” Taylor said. “A professor said, ‘That’s one of Morehouse’s top students there,’ and I said, ‘OK, I can get used to this.’ But at first, I wasn’t adapting to Morehouse at all.” At Morehouse, Taylor developed his passion for assisting others and politics as a plan for his professional life began to emerge. Taylor had gone from an accused criminal in the courthouse to a student working at the State House. Before working as a legislative aide for the Office of Representative Demetrius Douglas of
Henry County, Taylor was an intern at the Medical Association of Georgia in their Governmental Relations department. His love for helping others became a life of advocacy through lobbying; his main interests are healthcare and education reform. He also has been thoroughly involved on campus. Taylor is the Political Action Chairman for the Morehouse College NAACP, the organization that partnered with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., to bring Mayor Kasim Reed to the campus this year. Additionally, Taylor holds membership in the Morehouse Pre-Law Association, Morehouse Business Association and was a part of the Morehouse Presidential Ambassadors cohort. Taylor believes that the only mantra that could sum up his time at Morehouse is “Don’t resent the process, because without the process there is no product,” he said. “I’ve been stretched since my time here at Morehouse. It has been a very trying time for me.” He was not immune to the perpetual battles of college life. Taylor was meant to graduate in May 2013, but due to financial struggles and sustained family dilemmas, Taylor was forced to stay at Morehouse another year. “It was very hard coming back for a fifth year,” Taylor said. “But it was something that I knew that I had to finish. I knew that if I didn’t finish, people back home would definitely think that they could [quit] because ‘If Mike is the chosen one and he couldn’t finish, then I can’t finish.’ ” Taylor believes his fifth year is a blessing because it has allowed him to give back more than he did in the past. “I had been heavily involved on campus, but I didn’t think I had done enough,” Taylor said. “The first event I planned when I was a fifth year was a program with Congressman Cedric Richman ... and that triggered it.” Taylor strongly advocates students being represented and respected in the political atmosphere and hopes to increase student-voter representation. “I believe that the AUC is a large voting bloc and that no politician should be able to come to this city without coming to see Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta.” Taylor’s life experiences have bruised and battered him, but he was never broken – just polished. His mother is now drug-free and their relationship is strengthened each day. He represents the Morehouse student who is sometimes underrepresented: the fifth-year student plagued by financial and family struggles, the student who has been surviving on his own for a majority of his life, the boy who created a mosaic from the pieces of his life and became a man. Taylor shares none of this to attract sympathy, but instead hopes to inspire that one young man who shares similar experiences. “I just want to give room to other people who are less fortunate than me,” Taylor said. “I have been through a lot and exposed to a lot and I just feel like there’s nothing that I cannot handle.” After graduation, Taylor will join Twelve Oaks consulting company, a political lobbying firm, and will be heavily involved in the election campaigns of Representative Douglas and Pota Coston, a candidate for the Fayette County Commission.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
AUTHOR: DARREN MARTIN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DARRENMARTIN884@GMAIL.COM
Prologue: This story represents the hard truth of a young boy who grew into a man while laden with doubt and possible defeat. And yet, the hard truth produces hope, too.
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BY:TIMOTHY TIMOTHYP. P.TUKES TUKES BY:
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHRUSTOPHER BROUGHTON
REFLECTING ON ON THE THE REFLECTING FRANKLIN ERA ERA FRANKLIN
The five-year Franklin Era distinguished itself with unforgettable obstacles and opportunities. From Vibe Magazine’s 2010 article “The Mean Girls of Morehouse” to the installment of The Five Wells, President Robert M. Franklin ‘75 proved himself to be not only tenacious, but also innovative. His time as the 10th president of Morehouse College began in 2007, and until its end in 2012, Franklin was credited with annually graduating roughly 500 new Morehouse Men. These Morehouse Men have the privilege of holding the unique moniker Franklin’s Men, and the class of 2014 is no different. This year’s graduating class marks the penultimate class of Franklin’s Men, and with that honor comes both nostalgia and hope. Inadvertently setting the standard for his future men, Chicago native Franklin worked assiduously during his undergraduate years at the College. He received his Bachelor of Arts and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse in 1975. He later attended Harvard Divinity School, where he received his Master of Divinity in 1978, and the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1985. Moreover, his scholarship and work in academia have brought him numerous honorary degrees. By embodying his standards through his own academics, Franklin unintentionally set the precedent for the Franklin Men to come. Beyond his scholarship, Franklin leaves a legacy at Da ‘House. Franklin worked strategically on perfecting the Morehouse Man’s image. He strived to not simply graduate Morehouse Men, but rather Morehouse Men with a global social conscience — modern day Renaissance Men. These Renaissance Men were to embody the five expectations of Mother Morehouse and Franklin: well-read, welltraveled, well-spoken, well-dressed, and well-balanced. These new expectations were met with both reception and rejection. His legacy of producing Morehouse Men of this caliber is something that Franklin is proud of and hopes will aid his men for years to come. “The Five Wells will live on in the hearts and minds of Franklin men as an internal guide to living lives of meaning and social
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transformation,” Franklin said. In addition to social changes, Franklin administered fiscal changes during his tenure. Alongside fundraisers and new administration staff, Franklin worked to increase both alumni giving and corporate donors for Morehouse College. Franklin noted that he is as proud of his other successes as he is with his institutional social campaigns. “We’re proud to have generated an expanded base of donors, reenergized alumni, earned reaffirmation of accreditation, and received new national awards and honors such as being named the #1 Best College for the Social Good in Washington Monthly in 2010, and other notable achievements amidst a tragically difficult economy,” Franklin said. The beneficiaries of Franklin’s administration, the men of the Class of 2014, revel in the success of Franklin’s work, too. Some members of the Class of 2014, like graduating seniors Ephesian Poinsette and Stephen A. Green, have unique relationships with Franklin. “My relationship with Dr. Franklin is extremely special and unique,” Green said. “I view him as a pastor, shepherd, mentor, and model for scholarship and ministry.” The adjustment from Franklin to new president Dr. John S. Wilson has been difficult. Initially, many upperclassmen resented Wilson for his social aloofness, but collectively, upperclassmen and freshmen applaud Wilson for his pursuits for Capital Preeminence. “I think people have a difficult time adjusting to change,” Green noted. For faculty and students at Morehouse, change begets hope. The transition from one administration to the next welcomes good fortune, success and unmarked possibilities. The graduating men of 2014 should respectfully survey both Franklin and Wilson for who they are individually. Although their points of focus differ, both presidents stand for excellence, especially in their administrations. From Franklin to Wilson, Morehouse does not need the last of Franklin’s Men nor the beginning of Wilson’s Men. Rather, Morehouse needs a continuance of Morehouse Men who are ready and willing to empathize, and who aim to revolutionize the world with the light and love within.
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THANK YOU PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CABRAL CLEMENTS AND MICHAEL MARTIN
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Each year, our campus queens serve Morehouse students by offering a variety of different service initiatives and programs that bring awareness to an array of issues. That tradition continued this year with the selection of Jasmine Walker, Timmie Mackie, and Khalilah Young as the 20132014 Miss Maroon and White Court. The Maroon Tiger Staff would like to take the time to wish them the best of luck as they move to lifeâ€™s next journey.
I T TA K E S A V I L L AGE The Maroon Tigerâ€™s 2014 Falculty of the Year
Associate Professor of History
Dr. Andrew Douglas
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CYDNEY FISHER
Associate Professor of Political Science Chair, Sophia Lecture Series Advisor, Pi Sigma Alpha National Honors Society
Resident Advisor, Hubert Hall
Dean, Office of Student Life 84
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Prof. Rubina Malik
Professor of Business Marketing Advisor, Golden Key Honors Society
Director, Journalism and Sports Program Advisor, The Maroon Tiger
Resident Director, Brazeal Hall Coordinator, iWearPink
Vice President, Division of Student Services Advisor, Honda All-Star Team THE POWER ISSUE
JOURNALISM AND SPORTS PROGRAM FALL 2014 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ENG 258 - Basic News Writing Learn what is newsworthy, discuss and debate current events, be introduced to social media. Students write news, sports, crime and feature stories and hear guest lecturers. Covering an Atlanta Hawks NBA game is a course highlight. Prerequisite: C or above in 101-102, or 103, or professor’s permission. MWF 10-10:50 a.m. – CRN#42267 – Mr. Ron Thomas ENG 368 - Advanced News Writing: Crafting the Complex Article Expand on basic journalism skills by exploring different story forms and topics. Two focuses will be critiquing the arts (movies, plays, exhibits) and learning about black journalism pioneers. Course includes at least one off-campus group assignment. Prerequisite: C or above in ENG 258, or professor’s permission. MWF 3-3:50 p.m. – CRN#42269 – Mr. Thomas ENG 378 - Sports Reporting Students specialize in the craft of sports writing, discuss coverage of hot topics in sports, report on live events, learn about short-term and long-term effects of injuries, create articles about black sports pioneers, and interview sports figures and reporters. Prerequisite: C or above in ENG 258, or professor’s permission. MWF 12-12:50 p.m.– CRN#42268 – Mr. Thomas ENG 388 - New Media Technology Students learn various forms of content delivery including: audio, photo, video and text through podcasting with SoundCloud, photo and video blogging on WordPress, and use social networking applications like Twitter and Facebook. Various software applications introduce the class to basic video editing, and students can earn a certificate in digital media skills from the prestigious Poynter Journalism Institute. Prerequisite: C or above in ENG 258, or professor’s permission. M 4-6:30 p.m. – CRN#42270 – Mr. Omar Harbison (For more information, contact journalism director Mr. Thomas at Ron.Thomas@morehouse. edu, 404-681-5529, or in Brawley 103R.)
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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE 2014 GRAD AND INTERSHIP ACCEPTANCES Reshard McElrath
Morehouse College ’15 Breakthrough Atlanta
Morehouse ‘14 Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Morehouse ‘14 Twelve Oaks Consulting Firm
Spelman College ‘15 Philadelphia Museum of Art Museum Studies Internship Cleveland Museum of Art Director’s Fellowship
Daniel West Morhouse College ‘15 Morehouse College Accepted summer internship with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) through their Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program to research African American educational achievement
Matthew Ellis Morehouse College ‘14 Directors of Health Promotion and Education Internship Program
Casey Phanor Morehouse College ‘16 UNCF/ Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Leadership Alliance at the University Of Chicago
Anthony Scruse Morehouse College, ‘14 Accepted to chemistry PhD programs at the following schools: Yale University, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Plans to accept the offer from Yale.
Tayler Ulmer Spelman College ‘15 Leadership Alliance at Brown University summer 2013 Harvard University 2014 summer research assistant
Lonnie A. Washington, Jr. Morehouse College ‘17 Summer Program: London School of Economics & Political Science (School of Government and Public Policy)
Jasmine Cornell Spelman College ‘14 Program Instructor at For Love of Children
Mark Smith Morehouse ‘14 Current Internship at Governors office Pending Policy Fellowship at Governors office of GA
Tywan Bishop Morehouse College ‘14 J.P. Morgan , New York City
Chi-Ante Singletary Spelman College ‘15 UNCF/Walton Education Reform& The Clinton Foundation
Nandi Edouard Spelman ‘15 Ramapo For Children Youth Villages Wediko Children’s Services
Jeroson Williams Morehouse College ‘14 Graduate Research Programs: Baylor School of Medicine , Yale School of Medicine , Virginia Common UnionSchool of Medicine , Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Jalen Patton Morehouse College ‘14 Software Developer at General Motors
Timothy P. Tukes Morehouse College ‘17 Freelance Contributor, Black Enterprise Staff Writer, MUSED Magazine Online Atlanta Correspondent, YourMusicMyWorld.
com Contributor, CollegeData.com
Southwest Center of the Performing Arts, Intern
Lauren Deon Hawkins
Michaelangelo Hayes Morehouse College ’16 International Rescue Committee for Refugees in Atlanta, GA; Youth Department Specialist
Spelman College ‘14 Given an offer to teach English in China with the Center for Teaching & Learning in China which will begin in August.
Morehouse College ‘14 Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York Yale Divinity School
Morehouse College ‘15 Ronald H. Brown Summer Law School Prep Program
Darrius Atkins Morehouse College ‘16 Kalidescope Foundation, Chicago, IL. Goldman Sachs- Private Wealth Management Department, Atlanta, GA. ACCEPTED: Goldman Sachs
Malik Ray Morehouse College ‘15 Uncommon Schools, Summer Teaching Fellowship BET Inc. Global Marketing Department The Saks Fifth Avenue Company Retail Buyer Group (accepted)
Korde Inniss Morehouse College ‘14 Intelligence Officer US Air Force Curtis N. Hooks Morehouse College 2014 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) - Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Dené Voisin
Spelman ‘15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) EXceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) research program and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at Columbia University, New York
Jelani Watkins Morehouse College Junior, Class of 2015 Spalding Woods Swim Club, Head Coach
Stephen A. Green
Stephen O’Reilly-Pol Morehouse ‘15 Summer chef shadowing program
Andrew La’ Pelusa Morehouse College ‘15 Will be attending the Army’s Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC); the centerpiece of the US Army’s Reserve Officer Training Course.
Travon Jackson Morehouse College ‘15 BMO Capital Markets Public Finance and Infrastructure Banking Group Analyst
Dale Austin Johnson Morehouse College Class of ‘16 Signed an Artist Management Deal with a Entertainment Production Company in Los Angeles Internship at Columbia Records Internship at United Nations Headquarters in New York City
Kelli Daniels Spelman College, Class of ‘15 Sales Intern at Decatur Territory State Farm Insurance Company Volunteer Marketing Rep for Pro Camps and the Atlanta Falcons Marissa Layton Clark Atlanta University ‘14 Working with Atlanta Models and Talent in television and film
Morehouse College ‘15 (offered) National Civil Rights Museum Research Analyst Intern for the Mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee Internship on City Councilman (of Memphis, TN) Lee Harris Campaign for State Senator.
Obasi Etienne Morehouse College, ‘15 Interning with the Atlantis Project
Morehouse College ‘14 CEO and Founder of Ayo Marv Films and Marketing LLC Company has been featured on Sprite POUR.com, TheTodayBrief. com, cocacolacompany.com, Soon to be seen on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta
Darren Martin Morehouse ‘15 Google Bold Internship, People Operations Analyst Senior Resident Assistant, Center for Talented Youth International Radio and Television Society Fellow (Accepted) The New York Times Digital Marketing Strategist (Accepted)
Jared Loggins Morehouse ‘15 Morehouse School of Medicine, Health Policy Intern Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Program, Fellow Accepted offer to research at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA
Daniel Primous Morehouse College ‘14 2014 Teach For America Corps Member Secondary English Teacher at University of Chicago Charter School –Woodlawn Campus (Accepted) Jamal Lewis Morehouse College ‘14 The New School for Public Engagement Masters of Arts program in Media Studies
F ee li n’ Th e B eat : Upcoming Concerts/Music Festivals Summer 2014 B Y :
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Tupac Takes Broadway: What can top Tupac’s Coachella Holograph performance? A Tupac Broadway stint! Starting June 19, 2014 fans and critics alike will be able to experience Holler If Ya Hear Me, the world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics. According to the Broadyway offices, the musical “blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope.” The Musical is set to run at the Palace Theater, 1564 Broadway, New York, NY10036. Tickets are available online at broadway.com U P C O M I N G
Lana Del Rey: 5/1/2014 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA 92 90
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Lady Gaga: 5/6/2014 Phillips Arena Atlanta, GA THE POWER ISSUE
Future & Rico Love:
5/8/2014 Center Stage Atlanta, GA
5/25/2014 Concord Music Hall Chicago, IL
Governors Ball :
6/03/2014 Irving Plaza New York, New York
6/06 - 08/2014 Randallâ€™s Island, New York Set list includes over 40+ other performers
BIRTHDAY BASH: 6/14/2014 Phillips Arena Atlanta, GA THE POWER ISSUE
I AM LIGHT Jamal Lewis New Media Director ,The Maroon Tiger
What makes you free? Myriad possibilities: Living boldly, colorfully, and courageously; Loving fiercely, intentionally, personally and intimately; Caring for myself (as a political act of warfare), self determination, and ratchet feminisms; creating, reading, doing what I love, being at peace with myself and who I am—personally yet politically, culturally, and spiritually; living fearlessly and unapologetically in the now and just by simply knowing that I AM FREE! From where does your creative spirit derive? My creative spirit derives from living—which is my greatest accomplishment and a radical act of resistance. I would also state that it comes from being in community with loving, beautiful, resilient, creative folk. The aforementioned has taught me how to be resourceful, how to make something out of nothing, and how to imagine new visions beyond boxes and limitation.
#Hashtag of the year? Why? #WeAreComingHome14 (the official hashtag of SpelHouse Pride Week 2014) is my most favorite hashtag of the year because it captures the pinnacle of my work as a black queer organizer and activist on this campus. Pride Week at Morehouse was more than just a week to celebrate for me. It was a re-affirmation that I, too, am Morehouse, that my (that our!!!!) subjectivities matter, that Morehouse is indeed home for me, my visions, and my talents. It’s just so amazing Morehouse has transformed my life by me trying to change it—or rather make it a place that I can confidently call home. We are home! We’ve been here! And we ain’t going nowhere!
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
What are you planning to do over the course of the next few years? Over the next few years, I just want to create! Post Morehouse, I will be pursuing my Masters of Arts at The New School for Public Engagement. While there I plan to finish working on my first film—No Fats, No Femmes—which will make a debut in Spring 2016; and also research and realize a multimedia, hybrid thesis project exploring how new media has revolutionized storytelling, and how it helps us to re-imagine the creation of virtual and actual ‘safe spaces’ to build community and progress social justice movements. In addition the aforementioned, I also plan to continue writing, doing social justice work and whatever else the universe makes available to me WELL.
Best Behavior Cabral Clements Tiger TV Executive Producer ,The Maroon Tiger What makes you free? The ability to Do makes me free. Do you believe you can ever reach “the crown”? Whenever I’m close to reaching the crown, it will be raised just far enough for me to work that much harder to reach; Constant and continual progress. Why The Maroon Tiger? I didn’t choose MT. MT chose me. It was destiny. What are you planning to do over the course of the next few years? The Next few years are going to be interesting. They will likely consist of continental development of my crafts within the spaces of filmmaking, business development, and media production. Also, I see myself graduating from Morehouse College, that’s important. Favorite food to eat while spending late nights in the newsroom?
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Late nights, staring at a computer, probably with Adobe Premiere Pro open, eating grapes, crackers, and hummus. #Hashtag of the year? Why? #FoodPorn . . Cause, I get hungry. Headline of the year? “Happy New Year??” . . I guess that means, We Made It?
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Creative Kid on the Corner Michael Martin Associate New Media Director ,The Maroon Tiger From where does your creative spirit derive? As a child, I had a huge imagination. I was always building forts out of cardboard boxes, pretending I was a Power Ranger, or planning how I was going to save the world from an alien invasion. I grew older and the imagination evolved into creative energy. I started to write stories, creating my own universe where nothing made sense and everything was perfectly out of order. Over the years, my creativity has found its home in the arts. Music, design, photography, videography, film & television, etc all inspire me and I have dabbled a bit in all of them. I know that I was given this gift of creativity for a reason and I’m excited to see what life has in store for me. What does it mean to be a journalist? It takes a special creative hand to be a great journalist because journalism is a form of story-telling. Journalism is the bridge between the public and the celebrity. It’s our job to artfully tell the story of the celebrity in a way that’s true to ourselves, true to the public, and true to the celebrity all at the same time.
#Hashtag of the year? Why?
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Bring the powerful stories to life only on www.youtube.com/themaroontiger
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AHMAD BARBER
Celebrate Ourselves, For Ourselves
Jared Loggins Managing Editor, The Maroon Tiger
Claiming and celebrating our identities, to me, is among the most important social and political projects we can engage in as students and leaders. In this sense, I see this year’s Man of the Year Magazine as a celebration of our commonalities, our differences, our struggles, our successes, and our intersections. If you have not been paying attention over the last few weeks, there has been a kinda huge public debate between two public intellectuals and writers, New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait and The Atlantic’s Ta Nehisi Coates, over the legitimacy of claims that many internal issues African Americans face rest on some internally derived pathology. Of course, I strongly oppose that view, by and large. But there is a larger point to be made. We have to celebrate
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ourselves. And we must be allowed to speak for ourselves in the spaces we occupy. Our lives are enough and our successes are worthy of celebration. By the way, if you have not read or heard about this public debate, you’re asleep at the wheel. So I take it has an important responsibility for me as a writer and as a human being to curate this important moment in time and to laude the experiences that make us all brilliant in our own right. To those featured, thank you for your contributions. To the larger community, continue to support the efforts of writers in curating human experiences and projects like the ones The Maroon Tiger has presented over the years.
“We have not come this far alone” - Henry Louis Gates
Congratulations to the class of 2014