Since stepping on the Tiger territory of Savannah State’s campus, the two words that constantly rung through the spring moss on the trees were: “network” and “millennial(s)”. It seemed like everyone on campus, even the ones getting the lecture, were saying things like “You guys are millennials, you should be networking” or “Networking is the only way you millennials will land a worthy job and build your brand. ” All of these lectures and comments proved themselves to be evident especially when we (millennials) are not intentionally networking and land opportunities we didn’t imagine having. Like the lectures were actually WORTH something and got us somewhere. I can personally attest to the success of networking, for it as got me here at the Olmsted Center and even while here I am still networking. Upon coming here I did mention how I wanted to bring some National Park Connections back with me to Savannah, GA for my fellow classmates and I have been diligently working to do so. On Friday of last week (June 30), I went to the African American History floor (something I’ve been wanting to do since I got here) and met with Park Ranger Alan Denton and Sentidra Joseph. My boss Chris let them both know how interested I was in learning about the African American History floor and what they do. So they invited me to a tour later on that day and to a Fredrick Douglass ‘Fourth of July’ speech reading the Monday before the fourth.
I went to shadow the tour around 1:30 pm and was completely blown away by stories and figures I had either never heard of or have but never expounded on their lives. I also saw a new side of Boston (to me), that I had not seen before and did not know held so much black history. I learned of a black Prince Hall Free Mason by the name of George Middleton who lived on the North Slope of Beacon hill in Boston.
He organized the African Benevolent Society in 1796 which helped orphans and widows with financial needs and employment within the black community. He was very respected among blacks and even a few whites. I also had the personal of taking my own personal tour at the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill where it has the old school house and church and was completely astonished. It always amazing me to walk on the same floor, stand in the same place or even touch the same walls that my ancestors and many before me have touched and made. Made from the crux of a revolution and a new time of independence. I literally felt like I could hear the negro spirituals/gospels sung and the teaching of young children. The tour had definitely been the highlight of my week and I was ready for more.
Come Monday I was definitely pumped to attend the speech, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect or who might I add. When I made it to the park I was greeted by Sentidra Joseph and she explained to me how the event was to go: We pass out the packet with the speech which is divided into 53 paragraphs. Audience members then stand in line to read the paragraph according to their placement in line. For example I was number seven, so I read the seventh paragraph.
At the end of the program I spoke with Senditra about her experience as a Park Ranger, she generally let me know that she enjoys it and hopes to see more young adults like myself enter the field. After speaking with Senditra I walked around a bit to see what I could find, and as I’m innocently strolling I couldn’t help but notice a shirt with familiar colors–it was a member of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). I quickly made my way over to them and introduced myself, let them know who I was and my position. I mainly spoke with Joyce Clark, who happens to be the chair of the health committee of the Boston branch of the NAACP. She gave me her card and told me to email her so that I could meet with more members of the Boston chapter, specifically the youth committee. There it was again, I was networking. The very word that used to annoy me by the first syllable, the word repeating like a skipping record, the word that I did not expect to change my life, I was doing. I had been doing it all week and it brought to me many valuable connections I plan on keeping to not only further me but my Tiger family back at Savannah State. I will make a million connections until my university is back to the top of its game and my students peers are satisfied with their HBCU experience. I believe in Sankofa: “Go back and get it” (san – to return; ko – to go; fa – to fetch, to seek and take) . I am gone away from my home (Savannah), catching and receiving information and connections so that I can bring it back to my family.
So I will continue to be the Million (Wo)man Millennial. #TigerFamily #SSU