This past weekend, I traveled to Washington D.C. with a cohort of 50 Morehouse Men in the second annual Get On The Bus Trip. The Get On The Bus Trip is an initiative started by the Morehouse College Student Government Association to make sure that Morehouse students reach back into other communities and set an example to other young Black students. This year the Get On The Bus group mentored to students at two different high school’s: McKinley Technology High School and Ron Brown College Preparatory School. On Friday morning, all of us arrived at McKinley Tech to share our experiences of how we arrived at Morehouse College. The students at McKinley were eager to listen to our stories of our college experiences, and the high school seniors and juniors were especially interested in hearing about scholarships and our involvement with on-campus organizations. Our time at McKinley was especially important as our SGA president and two other members of our Student Government attended McKinley Tech when they were in high school.
We then headed to Ron Brown Prep School, a newly renovated school specifically made for young Black male students. There we performed an “empowerment ceremony” with emotional spoken word and inspiring showcases of our individual talents. Afterwards we broke into smaller groups to talk with the students more in depth about their identity and their academic journey. In the group I helped moderate, we formed a circle and stepped into it if we identified with a certain phrase. For example, if the lead facilitator said, “I am Black”, we all would step in because that is how we identified. I was touched by this moment during the trip as we all became vulnerable and saw that even though we came from many different backgrounds we still had so much in common. I believe this moment was also powerful for the children because they were able to open up to other Black men, a peaceful moment that for some is a rarity.
We then headed to the Morehouse Living Legends Gala. At the Washington D.C. Convention Center, we were able to meet with notable Morehouse College alumnae. We ate and socialized with them in what was both a fun and informative night. At the event, we were able to see what we should strive for and what we could be in the future. The next day, some of our cohort woke up early and went to the National Mall to see the grand unveiling of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Oprah, Will Smith, former President George Bush, Laura Bush, and Barack Obama as well as other notable men and women, spoke to commemorate this historical occasion. I, along with another Morehouse student, actually were interviewed by the local Atlanta station about the opening of the museum and made it onto the news! Inside the museum we saw a chronicle of the African American experience from the beginning of slavery in the Virginia colonies in the early 1600s to the election of Barack Obama. We also saw exhibits, detailing Black contributions to arts, sports, and pop culture in America. In the evening, we were able to socialize with some students from Howard University. It was fun to see students from another HBCU and share our common experiences. Even though we attend very different institutions, we were still able to bond over our similarities.
As I rode back to Atlanta, after our weekend was over, I reflected on our weekend in the District. On this trip, I was able to bond with people I had never met before and once again felt the strength of the Morehouse brotherhood. I was personally touched by how our personal accounts inspired the younger students. So often we can become consumed in our own personal problems that we forget how we can give back to others. That Friday with the students of McKinley Tech and Ron Brown Prep School was a reminder of how powerful the Morehouse name is and how much potential we have as Morehouse Men to inspire others and change the world.