The Homecoming Examples

For the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to Homecoming.

I always tell the story of the first time I fell in love with Morehouse. I never knew anything about it when I grew up. My mother told me to apply to at least five Black colleges in my senior year of high school. I, being hardheaded, got lazy and didn’t really enjoy that prospect anyway and just applied to the only one on the common application, which just happened to be Morehouse College.

I got my acceptance letter with a tuition scholarship and I came here because it was the best offer. I relished in the ride here from San Antonio and I went through the run around that is the first day of NSO. I could care less about Morehouse. I wasn’t looking to make friends or make that big of a statement here. I wanted my degree in English in my four years and to move on to whatever the Lord had next in my life.

Many freshmen always fall in love with the rhetoric they hear at NSO and find most of it to be hype after two or three weeks. I saw through all of that from the outset. Essentially, most people love this place in August and hate it by September. I hated this place in August but I fell in love in October.

Maybe it was how maroon seems to look so good in October. Maybe it was my first real fall coming from a place where we have two seasons: summer and summer light. But I always feel it was seeing the alumni. There’s something inspiring in seeing a group of Black men that did something with their lives. You realize that no matter what problems they faced here, they left this place with lessons learned about themselves, their heritage, and their professions.

From my first homecoming, the centennial homecoming, I fell in love with Morehouse College. I wanted more from my experience and I wanted to be one of the many successful Black men I saw that week in October.

And although I know this, I know that I can be a stronger man when I stand up to diversity. I know I can be stronger when I fight for what I think is wrong. I stick Post-It Notes on problems (by the way, I’m not seeing that many around, support the cause please); I meet officials about grassy areas and tenure procedures; I demand truth from power. There are more lessons one can learn from here than the works of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, partitioning integers, or policy.

The Black men that we endeavor to become learned from more places than the classroom. Let us remember this when we commune with them this week when they all return home. May they see this hearth and remember times good and bad and may we look to them as our futures and symbols of our potential.

And let us all drink together as we cheer our on our Maroon Tigers. If they win, I may just forget about the whole umbrella thing. Someone knows what I’m talking about.

So when that Saturday comes around, let’s keep all this in mind. I could honestly care less about Little Wayne or most of the pageantry or paying for events that I don’t like. Homecoming is more than the events but the actual feeling of coming home. It’s seeing your “family” again.

And it’s a time when for at least one week a year, I’m actually not complaining about being at Morehouse. Some could say this is a welcome change.

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