Culture

Morris Brown College Alum Tells How School Can Be Saved

Sun., Sep. 16, 2012 10:40 AM EDT
by Terry Shropshire

In light of the many reports of Morris Brown College’s impending demise, one proud and accomplished alum stands ready to fight for her alma mater and implores her colleagues to join her in the efforts to save the cherished, but beleaguered historically black college in Atlanta.

According to the report provided by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Morris Brown is “more than $30 million in debt to at least 200 creditors. The debt includes $13 million in bonds issued in 1996 through the Fulton County Development Authority, payment on which creditors are moving to get via foreclosure,” the AJC writes.

Melva Robertson, a 2001 graduate of Morris Brown College, who also procured her masters in professional writing from Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta, admonishes her fellow alums — who may feel the situation is hopeless — to rise up and help resuscitate the school from the brink of total economic collapse.

Melva Robertson, right, wants other alum to join her in her quest to save her beloved Morris Brown College

Here is part of what Robertson had to say, as printed in the AJC:

As a Morris Brown College alum and former Marching Wolverine, whenever I hear someone ask the question, “What are we gonna do?” I automatically recite the chant that we (the MBC Band) would recite every week before we began our halftime show.

Seconds before the show began, right before the Drum Major called us to attention, a random band member would yell, “What we gone’ do?” Instantly, the entire band would yell, “Pick up your feet, play your part, drive, drive, drive.”

Next they yelled, “How?” We yelled, “Together!” They’d yell, “When?” We replied, “Now!” At that point the drum major would call us to “attention” because we were now focused and ready to begin.

That’s been a tradition for years at Morris Brown, but it was more than just a dramatic band ritual to begin a halftime show. It reemphasized a culture that was instilled into generations of Morris Brown students.

Morris Brown is a school that teaches students the value of hard work. We were taught that no matter the situation, if we are tenacious and motivated, we will be successful. Never give up. This is why the school won’t just “close its doors” as so many have suggested. To do so directly contradicts the principles of Morris Brown College.

People always ask, “what are we gonna do,” regarding MBC. My suggestion: “Pick up our feet, play our part, and drive, drive, drive.”

Pick Up Our Feet: In the band that means that you can’t drag your feet. You must be precise. The formations and sound aren’t clear if you are not standing tall, marching high, and moving with confidence.

The same holds true now. We must communicate with pride and confidence that MBC will recuperate. We must prove that Morris Brown is not closing and will fight until our goals are achieved.

Read the remainder of Robertson’s impassioned plea, as well as how to save Morris Brown College, at the AJC.

 

 

 

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