College Provides Armor

So you’ve managed to make it this far in the obstacle course that was created to deter you from succeeding. My brothers, my fellow black men, you have pissed off the creators of the system: You’re a college student.

Now what?

Are you going to anger the rulers of the world even more? Are you going to keep sprinting, ignoring the shackles on your feet?

I hope that is your reason for being here. But as you may have already noticed, there are enough sharp turns on this campus to scare an Indy 500 competitor.

However, you must stay on course and not waiver in your resolve to succeed. It is no coincidence that there are more of us in jail than in college. We are in a race war against a group of men that has been plotting our annihilation for hundreds of years.

You must use the tools that will be given to you at this great institution to equip yourself with the intellectual means to fight this war. When you get out in the workforce you will be competing against other blacks for entry-level positions.

Moreover, as you start climbing that corporate ladder, affirmative action will be thrown out the door and you will have to compete against white males.

I know you already know all of this. I just wanted to remind you of what you are up against in this competitive society. Yes, the white team has the referees, the fans, the scorekeeper and even some players from the black team on its side. That is why I’m pleading with you to handle your business at FAMU.

Most importantly, make sure you leave FAMU as a man. A boy cherishes the fast cars, the video games and sleeping with multiple partners.

It was Marcus Garvey who said: “Man is the individual who is able to shape his own character, master his own will, direct his own life and shape his own ends.”

Make your 100 million ancestors who died during slavery proud. Make your one million brothers in jail proud. Make the great Imhotep proud.

Ibram Rogers, 21, is senior magazine production journalism student from Manassas, VA

He can be reached at