There comes a time in the course of human events and adventure that eventually, you feel the pull to come home. When people ask me where I’m from or where I call home, I’ve gotten in the habit of asking them if they want the short version or the long version. A part of the long version always contains a chapter on Tougaloo College and this year marks a special homecoming, especially for those who like numbers.
2019 marks the Sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of Tougaloo College. That means 150 years ago the place I called home for four of my most formidable years was established in 1869.
2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Gamma Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. This is the chapter into which I was initiated during my matriculation through Tougaloo College 20 years ago.
While this might not be true for everyone, there’s a little piece of home for me in a lot of different places and spaces. I think that’s one of the reasons that I can find my way in so many places and scenarios. But on the flip side, feeling home everywhere can also on some occasions feel like an inability to belong to any one place for an extended period of time.
This weekend, it’s nice to feel the familiar comfort of feeling right at home. I retraced my steps to the first place I truly called mine that wasn’t under my parents’ roof. I remembered how proud I felt that I’d earned my scholarship so my parents didn’t have to pay for my education. I can also appreciate the irony that my old room now serves as a Financial Aid office.
It’s nice to come back and see familiar faces, though each time I come back I see fewer and fewer along with the fading memory of friendly ghosts like the Annex.
It’s Founders’ Week at the ‘Loo, y’all. And this means something special to a lot of people who have been in and out of my life for over 20 years. It truly is good to be home.
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.