If you live in Atlanta then the topic of homosexual men on the Morehouse campus is nothing new to you. However, what many aren’t aware is that a more brazen and flamboyant subculture is emerging on the campus which is drawing extreme controversy.
The conservative college, where Dr. Martin Luther King earned his degree, made headlines recently over their decision to curb this issue. Gender benders who rock make-up, Marc Jacobs tote bags, sky-high heels and Beyonce – Style hair weaves were getting so out of control that the Morehouse faculty had to initiate a zero tolerance for anything that is deemed to not to express professional, and gender defining roles amongst its students.
Naturally angry, certain students began to protest, however Morehouse stands firm on their new policy of banning handbags, high heels, du-rags, sagging pants and men wearing anything that is determined to be female. Diamond, pictured above shares his story on his decision to leave Morehouse after the policy was made official.
While some may thing the topic itself is outlandish, a lot of people side with self-expression, which is what this is – no matter how much we don’t understand.
Anyway, Vibe magazine explores this topic with a well-written article. Here’s a little bit of it:
Diamond Martin Poulin, 20, teetering in strappy sandals with three-inch heels, steps into an eclectic clothing boutique in Little Five Points, a quaint cluster of shops and restaurants two and a half miles outside of downtown Atlanta. “Ooooh,” squeals Diamond. “What about this?” Holding up a white floor-skimming skirt with an eyelet hem, he swoons. The proprietor of the store looks up at Diamond, does a double take, and immediately picks up the cordless phone at the register. “There’s a man in here with heels on!” she whispers loudly into the phone. Diamond raises his eyebrows and continues browsing the racks. He shrugs when asked if the comment bothers him. “Isn’t it true?” he says, chuckling. “There is a man in here with heels on.”
Nibbling on sushi later that day, Diamond explains why he left after one year at Morehouse. A bastion for producing leaders in politics, community service and medicine, Morehouse College has long been viewed as the ultimate HBCU for young Black men, who are conferred with the mystique of being “Men of Morehouse.” Established in 1867 in Augusta, Georgia, as the Augusta Institute, the school counts such luminaries as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Atlanta’s first Black mayor, Maynard H. Jackson, Jr.; financier Reginald E. Davis; School Daze writer/director Spike Lee; the late Keith “Guru” Elam of Gang Starr; and the late Def Jam exec Shakir Stewart among its graduates.
“Morehouse wasn’t ready for me,” says Diamond, who has the word “unbreakable” tattooed on his collarbone and the acronym C.R.E.A.M (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me” coined by rap group Wu Tang Clan) wrapped around his right wrist. “I’m about freedom of expression. I’m about being whomever you truly are inside. I came to Morehouse because of all the historical leaders that attended and impacted the world so heavily. You know, I really wanted to follow in their footsteps. I don’t think Morehouse believes that someone like me—someone who wears heels and dresses—can uphold that reputation. But they’re wrong.”
“We respect the identity and choices of all young men at Morehouse,” Dr. Bynum said via email. “However, the Morehouse leadership development model sets a certain standard of how we expect young men to dress, and this attire does not fit within the model. Our proper attire policy expresses that standard.” [Read More]
Very interesting. I remain mixed on this issue. As a private school, I totally understand, and agree that Morehouse can run its school as it sees fit, and if you don’t like it then you’re welcome to achieve a post secondary education elsewhere. However, at the same time I also understand the importance of holding onto self expression when you’re young and finding your way.
This topic remains heated, but what say you on this?
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