Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I’ve been at Colgate University for almost three weeks studying Abolitionism and The Underground Railroad.....

This experience has been truly amazing, and all day everyday, I have been thinking God for this opportunity!

There are so many things that I am going to share with you about this experience, but right now I am going to focus on passion.

Over the course of this seminar, we have had three visiting professors: Judith Wellman, Stacey Robertson, and Stanly Harrold.

Me and Dr. Judith Wellman

We spent last Thursday and Friday in Seneca Falls and Rochester with Dr. Wellman, and her passion for history was apparent the minute that she boarded the bus. She literally was bubbling over with excitement and passion for Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Stanton and all of the other people who were involved directly and indirectly with the abolitionist movement in the 1800s.

When we went into the house of Elizabeth Stanton, she excitedly told intimate, fascinating stories about Elizabeth. At Harriet Tubman's house, I literally followed her around, because I wanted to hear every detail that poured naturally from her mouth. Dr. Wellman even walked us through a Quaker cemetary to pay homage to the one unidentified slave who was buried there.

We went to a library at the University of Rochester to look at some primary documents that included a lock of Frederick Douglass’ hair, a letter to William Seward, the first book that Frederick Douglass bought and so on.

Well, there was a letter from a slave owner that stated something like “I won’t spend a nickel on a slave woman,” and Dr. Wellman could not finish the letter, because she was overcome with grief. Now, this is some passion when a person feels grief over a letter that was written over one hundred years ago. Dr. Wellman’s display of compassion caused to me respect her even more knowing that she is passionate and loves my people as much, if not more, than I do.

Dr. Wellman wears passion well!

Dr. Robertson and me!

We sent Monday morning having an interactive lecture led by Dr. Stacey Robertson. Dr. Robertson, just like Dr. Wellman, filled the room with her presence the minute that she walked in. I absolutely admired how her presence demanded respect, and she took control of the room and passionately drove the discussion.

Dr. Robertson’s lectured on her book Hearts Beating for Liberty, and my people, she passionately brought these fierce, women abolitionist of the Old Northwest to life. Listening to hear, I was frantically typing trying to capture as many of her words as possible; I wanted to remember them long after she was gone. She taught this lecture on slavery and brought it home to modern day slavery and gave us suggestions of things that we can do to help end modern day slavery.

She lectured in a manner that was both informative and uplifting, and I thought to myself, "When I go to Austin at the end of the week to present at the Advanced Placement conference, I am going to take the confidence and command of Dr. Robertson and do what I do".

You know, passion also looks very well on Dr. Robertson.

Dr. Harrold and me!

This morning was spent listening to a lecture given by Dr. Stanley Harrold, a professor at South Carolina State, a Historical Black College or University (HBCU). Yep, Dr. Harrold teaches at a HBCU, and he instantly earned my respect for spreading his wealth of knowledge at an HBCU.

Dr. Harrold lectured on his book that I learned quite a bit from Border War, and it was evident that this man knew his stuff. I got the feeling that Dr. Harrold could talk about the fight over slavery all day long and would not get tired.

Now, the bonus is that I was riding through town with a fellow NEH participant, and we saw Dr. Graham, our fearless NEH leader, and Dr. Harrold siting outside of a restaurant. So, of course, we stopped and had quite a lively discussion with Dr. Hodges and Dr. Harold, and know, there is no way that you can talk with these two without talking about slavery if only for a few minutes.

Spending time with these incredible historians over the past few days, it is apparent that they have passion for their subject matter.

I believe that finding things that we are passionate about keeps us alive, and vibrant, and happy. All three of these historian appeared relax, happy, and satisfied. I believe that the peace that was emitting from them came from following their passions and working within their purpose.

My People, We Can All Wear Passion Well.......

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