Morehouse Representatives Feature on “Wake Up Belize”

Photo by Andy Harris

By: Auzzy Byrdsell, MT Secretary

The last thing Morehouse College students and faculty expected over the course of their Belize study abroad experience was an appearance under the studio lights and in front of television cameras.  The December 12, 2022 appearance on  “Wake Up Belize”  included discussions on Deion Sanders, Black leadership, and more. The unexpected content helped guide a very informative and intriguing segment.

Among the television guests were Ron Thomas, department chair of Morehouse’s recently expanded Journalism in Sports, Culture, and Social Justice major,  and Morehouse students Ralph Presley and myself. The morning segment was led by Evan Mose Hyde.

Presley, a senior finance major from Los Angeles, talked about being on his first trip abroad as he showed immense curiosity and gratitude for the African diaspora. 

 “We’re still supporting anybody who wants to promote and push forward the movement – push forward Black intellectuals in a higher light and more recognition for the work that we do, Presley said.

He was able to do so from his experience expressing the prestige of Morehouse with local Belizeans.

The most passionate portion of the segment discusses the synthesis of our experience in Belize during the trip. We unpacked cultural differences and similarities between Black Americans and Black Belizeans. 

As Hyde picks our brains on cultural disconnects, Presley meets him with a glaring optimism.

“As soon as I got here I felt embraced, I felt loved and I felt like I was at home with my people,” Presley said.

He continued to explain there was no disconnect of love and appreciation, but rather a lack of communication that we need between each other. 

We often had views opposing Hyde’s on different topics he posed questions to us. However, our shared curiosity and respect led us to have great synthesis and understanding of ideas.

Following the live segment the entire study abroad group joined the Amandala newspaper staff in their newsroom, located in a neighboring building. The Amandala newspaper is the leading news publication in Belize, founded in 1969. 

Students were given an opportunity to learn more about the publication and its impact on the Belizean media. 

This allowed discussions outside of the news and journalism. A plethora of topics like reparations, gentrification, and unity sparked contemplation. There was an overwhelming presence of knowledge and passion that left everyone inspired to learn and do more.  

This opportunity for Morehouse is a step forward in cementing our international footprint, allowing another outreach opportunity that doubles as a way for students abroad to learn and embrace us. 

I was astonished by the knowledge that our Belizean peers had about Morehouse, our history, and the work in which we specialize. There is immense talent, curiosity, and determination in Belize that deserves to have a place here at Morehouse. 

The college must continue reaching out to Black talent abroad. Hopefully, segments like this drive more young men internationally to look to Morehouse as a place of higher education.