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The Brotherhood Starts with Us

By Elijah Megginson, Staff Writer

 

“I’m extremely proud of myself for how far I have come [in accomplishing my goals], but support from people who looked like me really would have helped,” says Marquis Stukes, freshman political science major from Brooklyn, New York. 

Stukes is proud of his accomplishments — he knows how much hard work and determination it took to get thus far — but he can’t help but wish that the Black community supported him more. Giving people their props, he states, is seen as “weak and unnecessary” in the community. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only one that feels this way. 

Keaun Dent, an international business major from San Diego, California, expressed the same sentiment, and even went on to say how “weird” it is for Black people to be so “uninvested in Black progression.”

Despite growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I wasn’t accustomed to a supportive Black community. I’ve always felt excluded in some way; my wins weren’t appreciated in the same manner as others. It quickly became apparent to me that I was in competition with every other Black man around me — whether it be in “the streets” or in academic spaces. 

Getting the opportunity to attend Morehouse College was like reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. This was my chance to finally feel uplifted by people who look like me. At an HBCU, I wouldn’t feel as if I was just surviving, but actually living. 

When I first got to Morehouse, I was overwhelmed by the vast amount of passionate and driven Black men around me. I had never seen anything like this before; just being in the space was both eye-opening and life-changing. Morehouse has a stellar reputation for supporting the academic and professional development of Black men — and considering that two other HBCUs are within walking distance, it’s safe to say that the area is overflowing with Black excellence.

Still, despite sitting in classes with those that have accomplished monumental things, I heard the same voices that I’d grown so accustomed to hearing back home, lamenting how unappreciated their fellow brothers made them feel. Morehouse can be a great place for opportunity and encouragement, but sometimes I can’t even help but feel like this only favors a few.  

“It feels like a pick-and-choose type of game,” Stukes said, in regard to who gets praised or not. 

On the other hand, there are students who have garnered immense and rapid support from their brothers. So where is the line between feeling heavily supported and not feeling supported at all?

Hasani Comer, a junior communications major from Atlanta, Georgia, has had mixed feelings about praise and success — not only at Morehouse but in the overall Black community. Comer gained some serious buzz with his new EP, MR THANKSGIVING, but he didn’t always feel the love. 

“I just feel that since I show love and support, it should be returned,” Comer said. “But I learned not to hang that over my head. I just keep going. But it is disappointing.”

“Morehouse College as an institution is somewhere I can be recognized and celebrated for my accomplishments, but I think — regarding the student body — there is work to do to get authentic support from all of my fellow brothers, not just brothers within my friend group or network,” said Lamont Satchel, a freshman political science major from Detroit, Michigan. 

Like Satchel expressed, change doesn’t always have to come from the institution; it can be as easy as sharing someone’s social media. Comer also urged students to go out, take opportunities, and create the change they want.

I don’t take for granted what Morehouse has given me. I’ve both seen and felt the love that my brothers share with one another. Black men are marginalized by far too many systemic forces; the absolute last thing we need is conflict and infighting amongst ourselves. We must continue to strengthen our community by being there for one another.

“Knowing that we’re all trying to get through the process together is comforting, in a way. Some dudes might think it’s corny to check in with their bros, but it’s important,” said Kairo Omar, sophomore Computer Science major from Brooklyn, New York, “The brotherhood starts with you.”

Comments (3)

  • Cynthia

    Salute to you and all the young black man God bless you all this is something that is so beautiful I wish a whole lot of black young men that’s coming up who haven’t got to college yet and still out here feeling the same way that you’re feeling and get a chance to go to college and read this email for all the grown black men how they needs to read this Beautiful message. God bless

    reply
  • Sammy

    “Thug Life – The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody”
    Hate is embedded in our community, it starts with us to reform. Great piece 👏🏿

    reply
  • AntOptics

    Great read, want to read more from this journalist

    reply

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