“Let us join together
With all our might to see that
FAMU moves upwardly and onwardly
For academic excellence with caring.
If any one-Be he or she great or small,
Governor or legislator; administrator or faculty,
Staff or student, Alumni, friend or foe
Endeavor to do anything to keep FAMU from
Moving upwardly and onwardly
Toward achieving true greatness, let his or her
Right hand forget its cunning
And his or her tongue
Cleave to the roof of his mouth; For FAMU must live on! ” – Moses General Miles, FAMU Rattler
Rattlers Vs Snakes
Over the next few weeks, I will be laying the case out for why it is imperative that FAMU retain its current administration. This is the most stable FAMU has been in nearly 15 years. There is a very sinister plan at play and FAMU stands to lose more than just an Engineering School if we don’t act fast. But, we must first separate the Rattlers from the snakes. When the grass has been cut down, and every stone has been turned over, will you know where you stood? Where where you when things became tough? Did you cower over and slither your way to a comfortable safety? Did you jump on Facebook and Twitter and talk about what FAMU needed to do as opposed to asking what you can do? Did you put self in front of the the village? Did you keep FAMU’s best interest in mind? Did you govern with her preservation as the end goal? If you find any of these difficult to answer, it is clear: You are a snake.The recent acts to oust the current President of FAMU is nothing more than the “works” of a few snakes whose actions should be viewed as nothing less than full and complete betrayal to the Rattler Nation.
I got my first check Friday as a school teacher. I quit my last job a month before I actually received my teaching position so this first check was literally right on time as 30 days had elapsed between my last pay day and this one. I budgeted just $100.
But then I started to really think about where that money came from: my very first paycheck as a teacher. I was finally fulfilling a dream I’d chased for 10 years and I thought about all of the skills both tangible and intangible I had been given at FAMU. FAMU opened me up to the majesty of the Black mind. FAMU currently has one of only two-African centered psychology curriculums in the nation that focuses on the experiences of Black people in America. When virtually everyone around me told me that attending a Black school and majoring in Black psychology and Black History would lead to disastrous employment opportunities, FAMU said “Yes.” On Tuesday, I begin my journey as 5th grade math and science teacher at one of only 20 African-Centered schools in the nation.
FAMU not only prepared me for my purpose; She gave me my voice: FAMU saw something in me, made me great, and now I have been blessed with the task of educating Black children from the south side of Chicago. Because of FAMU, I get to earn a pay check by reminding Black children each and every day just how Bad & Black & Black & Bad they truly are. FAMU made me realize that I am more than a teacher – I train future Pharaohs. I upped my pledge to $500.
But then I thought about the time I met Angela Davis and delivered vegetarian soul food to her hotel room – a once-in-a-lifetime experience made possible by FAMU. I thought about the first time I saw the K’s perform “This is a Serious Matter,” and first time I saw the Alphas ape walk (Eric O’Rear put his whole line to shame). I thought about Dick Gregory and Cornel West, and Sistah Souljah, and Michelle Obama and all of the Brilliant Black minds I witnessed speak. I thought about all of the times I spent hours in the Black Archives going through old yearbooks and being blown by the fact that OutKast, Ice Cube, James Brown, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and all of the Black artist that came though FAMU at some time or another. I thought about the time I ran across an old issue of the FAMUan that praised a Nina Simone concert that took place on the eve of Homecoming in 1968. Nina ended her show by proclaiming that every Rattler in the house was indeed, “Young, Gifted, & Black”. Two-thirds of my first paycheck as a teacher is going to FAMU – and I don’t even mind. September’s rent check – in its entirety went to FAMU.
In total, I donated $887 to FAMU. It’s not a lot, but it’s all I had. It would have been a $1,000 but I had to take a few dollars for groceries and laundry; the rest – every single dollar to my name at the moment, belongs to FAMU. I have experienced the uncertainty of where the rent money is coming from…plenty of times. Believe me when I say this, it is an absolute honor to invest into FAMU at this critical time. I have experienced broke before. I have even experienced homelessness. What I have not experienced, nor what I cannot fathom, is a world without FAMU. The Hill made me who I am; The Hill prepared me well for the battle that I have deemed necessary to wage in order to achieve our chief aim as a people: full and complete liberation. When I speak of FAMU having campuses that sprawl thousands of acres and boasting a School of Medicine, a School of Dentistry, A School of Hospitality and an International Hotel, A Film School, and an enrollment of 20,000, I speak from the place of a Rattler who dreams big, works hard, and believe in the vision for FAMU. But dreams aren’t free and school aren’t built on fantasies. Sacrificial giving will get us to where we need to be.
Madame President Mangum is a Rattler. I have never met her, but has been super impressed by what she has done at the helm of an institution whose internal culture is a mess. Rattlers should be reminded that not only was Madame President the most qualified candidate in the last Presidential search, but the quality of applicants was so low and trifling, that a funeral director actually applied to run Our University.
Perhaps FAMUans should be reminded of the list Presidential candidates. Two years laters, after the very public maltreatment of Elmira Mangum, no one will want to run FAMU. But, leave it in the hands of the snakes, they’ll just install one of their own. Anything to keep “The Orange & Green Coon Club” alive and thriving.
If we do not act, then we deserve a funeral director as our president.
If we do not give, then we deserve a funeral director as our president.
If we do not organize, then we deserve a funeral director as our president.
So lets do it. If you can give $1,887, then give it. If you can give $1.00 then give it. But do not tweet, talk, and hold on to your money. Your opinion on FAMU is about as relevant as Donald Trump’s opinon on FAMU when you do not give.
I’ll bring this to a close because we have much to discuss,and we to need to do immediately? Give. Give to the “I Support Magnum” campaign. Give to the FAMU Gospel Choir. Give to whomever you want. Just give. I gave $887 to the Black Male College Explorer’s Program. I am pledging another $1,000 more. I won’t rest until I have given $1,887 to my alma mater. – And then, I’ll give $1,887 more. Now more than ever, I convinced ALUMNI GIVING MATTERS! Every dollar in support of student initiatives. Scholarships, retention programs, travel opportunities, graduate schools: any way we can shape and form and protect the students is our number one priority. Excuse us Howard while FAMU takes its rightful pace as the New and True Black Mecca.
After we give, we will then turn our attention to the snakes. Then, Rattler Nation, We will deal with these snakes and their acts of treason the way a Nation deals with treasonists.
Today, we give as Rattlers.
Tomorrow, we address the snakes.