Maxine Beck: Enjoying the achievements of Spelman, Morehouse and celebrating a local author | Free

I really enjoyed the recent television collaboration of Spelman and Morehouse graduates and Ralph Lauren.

What an unlikely arrangement.

James Jeter, a Morehouse graduate and Director of Design and Special Projects for Ralph Lauren, and Dara Douglas, a Spelman graduate and Director of Inspirational Content for Ralph Lauren, had complete control of the project.

The arrangement is reported as the first of its kind. It showed how minorities could look as dignified as any other race.

The models, male and female, wore beautiful and stylish clothes that were often worn by the Ivy League “WASP” of the 60s.

Male models wore ties, dress shirts, dress pants, dress jackets and/or vests, or well-designed suits.

Women wore simple but elegant pencil dresses or simple white pencil skirts and tops.

It was a pleasure to see young college kids dressed as if they were proud of themselves and their status in society.

I know, I do believe, the world is in a different realm, but I still believe that college students owe it to their parents, ancestors, and society to behave in a positive manner worthy of being called “model”.

I remember when I was in ninth grade in the 1960s and Mrs. Hutto, a student from Talladega College, was boarding at Westside High School.

She impressed the whole class. I was so impressed that I swore to myself on the spot that I would eventually graduate from Talladega College.

Mme Hutto was tall, slim, beautiful, well dressed, seemed reserved and always smelled of a sweet perfume.

During this time, dress codes and decent behavior were requirements at Talladega College. The students were silent and walked with their heads held high.

Again, I know the standards have changed, but it was really uplifting to see Lauren’s project.

According to Maslow, we all need decency (one of our seven basic needs).

Speaking of more pride

On April 30, classmates, family and friends from Talladega County Central High School gathered at the Sheila Ashe Garrett Event Center to socialize and support Pamela Grace Lawson (aka P. Grace Lawson).

Earlier today, Pamela hosted a book signing in Birmingham.

Pamela is the author of Rise of the Ravenisha, her first novel.

The book recounts that Queen Idia sold her friends and fellow warriors, an ancient African tribe known as the Ravenisha, into slavery for nefarious reasons.

Decades and decades later, the older Ravenisha generation foresaw that it was time to break free from slavery.

Teddy is the leader of the new generation of Ravenisha. The warriors needed to be fed before going into action. But will Teddy be able to overcome her own problems and fulfill her mission to lead the warriors into a new world order or will she condemn Ravenisha to slavery for eternity?

The women are imprisoned in Ravenswood, Alabama.

Rogue Ravenisha, the sequel, will be available soon.

Pamela graduated from Talladega County Central High and earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

She lives in Northern California with Ferg and Nikos, her fur babies.

During the gathering, the classmates appeared as “One big happy family.”

Although they attended different elementary schools, they met at Talladega County Central High School (formerly the Talladega County Training School) and over the years became a family.

Desiree Sewell said she was one of three white students in her class. However, she credits making her a better person by knowing how to do more than just survive with people of different races.

The room was filled with tables surrounded by classmates, family members and supporters who enjoyed a light but tasty meal, lively conversation, bubbly and miniature Deidre C. Butler cupcakes.

Several of the classmates are still local while others enjoyed a quick trip home for the rally.

Considering the current violence in so many schools and the incredible behavior of so many students, it was so wonderful to see that the graduates of Talladega County Central High School are still full of pride and dignity.

What a wonderful legacy!

Her classmates from 1982, 1983 and 1984 enjoying the evening, with Pamela, were Candace Lawson, Selina Nolen, Annie Eaton, Dorothy Perry, Star Garrett, Myra Cross, Arlesia Oden, Rebecca Stockdale, Desiree Sewell, Reba Hale, Stephanie Ashley , Bernard Keith, Clifford Cross, Hilton Stockdale and Pervis Reynolds.

Ravenisha can be purchased through Amazon (paperback or Kindle) or on

Lola R. McClure