Fisk University / Prose and Poetry

A Prayer for Fisk! My Alma Mater at Homecoming

Beloved son and daughter of Fisk: Professor of Spanish Marcellus Brooks ’64 (1941-2012) and Special Collections Archivist and Great-Granddaughter of Original Jubilee Singer Ella Sheppard Moore, Beth M. Howse ’65 (1943-2012).

O God,

While we relish in the memory of Fisk past, help us to love Fisk in ways that ensure her survival and help her thrive;

Help us love her in ways that support the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness of her current faculty and students, who are at the center of who Fisk is and what she does;

Help us love her in ways that she can feel, in ways that validate her historical mission, present realities and future vision;

Help us put aside the way it was when we were at Fisk so that she can be who and what You, o God, has called her to be today.

God, even if we can not achieve the renown of Dubois, of Franklin, of Hayes, of Baker Motley, Jamison, Giovanni or Johnetta B. Cole, give us the heart of Cravath, of Sheppard Moore, of Mary D. Shane, of “Friend” L.M. Collins, of Marcellus Brooks and of Beth Howse;

Help us to fervently pray that our next president is guided by these same principles;

And God, help us work towards these things each and every day with the knowledge that faith without works is dead.

Amen and ashe.

A 2003 graduate of Fisk University, Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D. is the founder and executive editor of HBCUstory, Inc. a nonprofit advocacy initiative, preserving, presenting and promoting inspiring stories of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community’s past and present, for our future. She teaches in Tennessee State University’s department of history, geography and political science department. Follow her and HBCUstory on Twitter @HBCUstorian and @HBCUstory.

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