With today came the first of three graduation ceremonies I'll be attending this weekend: Black Grad!
Formally named "African American Celebratory", Black Grad is a special convocation where all graduating black students can come together and celebrate each other, in the company of our mentors, faculty members, friends, and family. Oftentimes students have a hard time adjusting to being at predominantly white institutions such as MSU, and only 56% of us manage to graduate within 6 years (this year we've bumped that up to 58%). And since the university at large won't take the time to recognize our shine unless it's convenient for them, we have to recognize ourselves as a people! Lift ourselves up, you know? So the theme of this year's Black Grad was "Spartans Will: Greater than 56", to encourage ourselves and show everybody that we made it! And that we have phenomenal potential, despite all the statistics that might indicate otherwise.
Now of course we didn't start on time, but once things got rolling it was hype! MSU Auditorium was bursting with energy. The band was jammin, and everyone looked so well put-together and just ready to set out into the world! I was looking around, and even though I hardly knew any of the fellow graduates around me, I felt so proud of us all. And just so honored to be part of this community. So beautiful and vibrant! I felt like I was surrounded by untapped, unfathomable, unpredictable greatness! Especially my JMC peeps and a few other folks I've gotten to know along the way.
Congrats to my fellow young, gifted, and black brothas and sistas! And a huge thank you to African American Celebratory for giving us the opportunity to have this time and space to be amongst our own. May this be just the beginning for all of us!
(6 down, 2 to go...)