Following In Your Father's Footsteps

My college buddy from Detroit is in town this week. We stayed up too late last night talking, just like we used to do when we were back in school at Emory University. My buddy was in Atlanta this weekend to bring his son, who recently received his acceptance letter to Emory, for a visit to our alma mater.

Of all the guys I hung out with regularly in college, he is the only one with a child old enough to graduate from high school this year. My buddy is understated, with a naturally solemn disposition, but last night, he was beaming at two thirty in the morning like it was the middle of the day as he told me about giving his son the tour, where he pointed out to the future freshman the changes made to the campus since the eighties. There was a different heft to his words as they left his mouth now, a deeper level of gravitas than he’d had earlier, as my buddy explained to me how he had described the way things used to be to his son. 


As I listened to my buddy talk, I saw the two of them in my mind’s eye, as if they were on the cover of a Hallmark greeting card, circa 2010. It seems that for African Americans, participating in a middle class father-son rite of passage is starting to become a quintessential part of Americana.

Colleges and universities have always been interested in intergenerational continuity. The level of alumni support from this group is tremendous, if not in the size of gifts and donations, most definitely in the participation level. Twenty six years ago, when my buddy and I were freshmen, colleges like Emory, Duke, Vanderbilt and other selective institutions across the country were in the midst of a seminal transformation, dramatically diversifying the racial composition of their student bodies. More African Americans entered these schools than ever before, with some schools, like Emory, substantially increasing their minority student enrollment.  

And now, many of these same graduates are sending their children to college. As my buddy continued to talk, my mind wandered back to the years I’d spent crisscrossing the very quadrangle his son would soon come to know like the back of his hand. I thought of the unique and talented people, and the way too many pre-med majors I’d met when I got there. I hoped my buddy’s son would feel the same adrenaline rush his father and I had that very first day on campus.  To this small town boy from South Carolina, going to college in such a cloistered environment was the equivalent of Neil Armstrong’s epic walk on the moon.      

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less