The wife and I arrived at The Acadome at Alabama State University before the rest of my family. It was bad enough that we had to get up early in the morning and drive two hours from Atlanta. It was hilarious enough that we got to the campus way before the graduation started. And then, there is the moment where I noticed that there was a huge line waiting to get in. All of this signaled one thing: graduation season was upon us.

Alabama State University – The Adventure

Since me and the wife got there early, we were given the responsibility of finding enough seats for everyone. Luckily, we made it quite close to the graduation stage. Also, we duct taped half a row of seats just for clearance purposes. One of the older ladies swore what we did was ignorant. I agreed. I also felt that it was ingenious, resourceful, and impulsive. It also got the job done: it make sure we found the seats we needed.

Alabama State University - Mia Lashaun Harris

Eventually, the Acadome became packed with loved ones, family members, and classmates. The estimated number of graduates were 700 (I could be wrong). Either people were wearing their Sunday’s Best or matching tee-shirts notating who they were supporting. All ages, creeds, races, sexualities, and tax brackets represented within a commune of passage rites. And the passage that everyone was there to celebrate was that of the path to the real world.

Alabama State University – The Graduation Show

Before these students of life entered into the realm of alumni, there was the message presented by Steve Harvey. Using a message was mostly autobiographical, shamefully honest, and attractively religious, Harvey laid out some life lessons for the students to use. He pointed out three main things: they should strive for greatness instead of success, many thing will happen through grace, and to never go against the life they imagine for themselves. As Harvey put it: “next time you see the preview, you should watch it: you may just be the star in the movie”.

Alabama State University - Mia Larshaun Harris

As I watched my niece walk across the stage to receive her degree, all the memories of her struggle hit me. Her youthful dealings with seizures. Her “interesting” relationship between her mom and dad. Her life growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama. Becoming a mother twice while on her journey for greatness. The death of my father. This young lady has seen and dealt with a lot in her short life.

Alabama State University – The Epilogue

This is why graduation is so important. It isn’t about that day of celebration. It is about all of the situations that led to that day of accomplishment. So much has went into making sure that these young leaders. Before we celebrate the achievement, there has to be reverence given to the journey. And it is the journey that truly evolves a person.

Shout out to Mia Lanisha LarShaun Harris. You did it, homie!!!

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!