I was so excited to attend Spelman & Morehouse College’s Homecoming this year, celebrating 5 years as an alumna of Spelman. I know most colleges have homecomings complete with football games and other celebratory activities. But, there is something really special about an HBCU homecoming, specifically the SpelHouse homecoming.
It isn’t just the normal homecoming events that are the draw for me because I haven’t been to the football game since I was a freshman, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the Homecoming parade (it’s way too early in the morning), and truth be told I’m a bit of an introvert, so I normally skip events with large crowds of people.
But, coming back to Spelman and Morehouse and witnessing the amount of success and accomplishments my classmates have achieved was so inspiring for me to see. Just five years after graduating we are doctors, lawyers, school leaders, consultants, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
We reconnected and caught up: reminiscing over our freshman hall dorms, remembering when we took the party buses to the club, listened to old Atlanta music that was popular in 2006. And we just were who we are: authentically, unapologetically, black and excellent.
As I stood in the midst of my first homecoming I’ve experienced as a real adult with my 7 year old daughter (that I had in the summer of my sophomore year at Spelman), as an attorney, while being surrounded by a sea of black professionals that assumedly all graduated from SpelHouse who have attained levels of success that equals mine or (which is probably more likely to be the case) far surpasses my own, I felt humbled and grateful to be apart of such an amazing community and to have gone to a school that was created for me. To have experienced a curriculum that was designed for African American women who will become change makers, was a true blessing for me. I feel so much pride to belong to a tribe of excellent black women with traditions of convocation, white dresses and flesh toned stockings and what it means to be a Spelman Woman. Of being a black woman committed to service.
I have no clue how my daughter felt being at homecoming because Black American success is normal to her. My mother is a lawyer and my father is a retired police detective. Her uncle and aunt are both college graduates. She saw me graduate from college, and then law school. She also held the bible for me as I was sworn in as an attorney.
I hope she felt the exceptionality of that moment; of being in a sea of black people and not expecting anything bad to happen. I hope she felt safe and I hope she feels like she belonged there.
The slogan of Spelman College is a choice to change the world. All young women who enter from urban, suburban, rural or international environments, are, too, are expected to change the world.
And to us, there’s nothing exceptional about being black and excellent, because it’s expected of us from day one… and that is just one reason I love going home, to SpelHouse Homecoming.
I can’t wait to celebrate my 10year!
by: Yasmine-Imani McMorrin