Awesome: Father and son graduate Morehouse together
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
This week a father-son duo are going to do something special and extraordinary: They are going to graduate from Morehouse College together. Dorian Joyner, Sr. will march with his oldest son, Dorian, Jr. fulfilling a promise he made to himself a very long time ago.
Joyner, Sr. started at Morehouse in 1984, but didn’t finish. By the time he was able to return, his son was going to be a freshman. His son was stunned when his dad told him what he was planning to do.
“I said, ‘oh, you’re coming back to visit some of your friends?’” he remembered. “And [Dorian Senior] said ‘no, I’m coming back to be a student.’ I said – can you repeat that?”
The father and son supported one another through their collegiate journey, studying together and achieving their family goals as a unit.
“We used to have a support system. Sometimes he would come to my room to ask about a problem or a class or a professor to take,” he said.
The two Morehouse men are proud of their achievements and say that it has brought them closer together.
“We’re Morehouse brothers,” the two said proudly.
Dorian, Sr. is planning to go to law school to eventually become a judge. His son is planning to travel abroad with the Peace Corps.
relationship is reflective of the kinds of bonds that older Black men must have with younger men, even if we are not related to one another. Intergenerational messages of manhood, dignity, education, pride and self-respect are passed from one generation to the next, and currently, we are in the midst of a lost generation of Black male manhood.
What I love the most about Dorian, Sr.’s decision to go back to school is that he knew that it is never too late to be educated. He also found this situation to be a wonderful opportunity for him to spend time with his son, teaching him the lessons that he will never learn in the classroom. My guess is that because his son spent so much time with his dad, he is going to be a better man because of it, allowing him to be a natural leader for his family and his community. That’s what manhood is all about.
“When I created the “Building Outstanding Men and Boys” family empowerment series, these small victories were exactly what I had in mind. The last 40 years have undermined the collective economic and educational standing of the Black male in America, and in too many cases, the messages being passed to the next generation are nothing short of self-destructive.
When we don’t teach the principles of manhood to men in the next generation, we are weakening our families and ultimately harming our community. Such destructive cycles cannot be allowed to continue, for Black men are meant to be assets to one another, and never liabilities.
In order to send our ship in the right direction, we must highlight stories like this one which show the importance of older and younger Black men working together, listening to one another, and joining forces in order to succeed in a highly competitive world. This is one of the first and most important steps to allowing Black men to reclaim our greatness. I can’t express how proud I am of this family.
Dr. Boyce Watkins co-stars in the Janks Morton Film “Hoodwinked,” starring Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and Dr. Ivory Toldson. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.