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What King and I Have in Common

By Roderick Diamond III

The King was only a mere man.

You know how you look at your favorite athlete, celebrity, musician, or public figure in a different way than anybody else on the planet. They are put on a higher pedestal in society and seen as unable to do no wrong regardless of their actions.

You saw it with O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, heck, even Donald Trump, although everything he does is horrible. These are just examples of people we sometimes get confused with as gods on earth, but the flesh and blood in their bodies are just the same as yours and mine.

At the end of the day, these individuals cannot be viewed as super human; just that they had superhuman moments.  While interning at the Center for Human and Civil Rights Museum my sophomore year, I was able to look at Martin Luther King Jr. in a light that most people are not able to.

When talking about the life and legacy of King, oftentimes we are overwhelmed by the actions of the man but not the man himself. So, at times while researching different items dealing with King, I gained a sense of commonality with him.

It was hard enough having one similarity with Martin in attending Morehouse, which is an achievement within itself. For example, looking at King’s notes for his many courses at Morehouse, I began to see myself in him.

Besides the beautiful cursive writing, I could see his struggle trying to understand the course content. The scratching out of words, the endless lines of notes, reminded me of being in class.

Before he became the trail blazer we know today, he was taught everything he knew.

King was an involved student on campus just like most of us. He was a part of this very publication and while he was here, he wrote the column “The Purpose of Education.” He also won the annual oratorical contest twice while he attended Morehouse.

 

Another thing I realized during my internship was we do not acknowledge King’s weaknesses as much as his strengths. King was a borderline C average student at Morehouse. Before coming to Morehouse I had no knowledge of that, and with my grades in high school, I did not foresee myself getting into this institution.

He had to learn and be exposed to the similar academic environment that men of Morehouse today experience. Although he attended school here during a very different time period, the late 1940s, it had the same mission. “The mission of Morehouse College is to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.”

I spoke of only a small sample of what King’s life was like at Morehouse, but I had the privilege to watch King through these personal items. I watched a prince turn into a King. I watched him grow into his crown just as legendary alumnus Howard Thurman said.

Thankfully, being a part of this internship and this experience gave me reassurance. Reassurance that I belong at this institution and admitting me was not a mistake. Reassurance that I have the potential to be somebody after witnessing how King matriculated through Morehouse.

I gained a deeper appreciation for the institution named Morehouse and the man named King, who was only a mere man.

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