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Maxine Beck: Enjoying Spelman, Morehouse grad accomplishments and celebrating a local author


From left, at weekend event at Sheila Ashe Garrett Event Center: Bernard Keith, Selina Nolen, Pamela Lawson and Candace Lawson.


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

What an unlikely arrangement.

James Jeter, Morehouse graduate and director for concept design and special projects for Ralph Lauren, and Dara Douglas, Spelman graduate and director of inspirational content for Ralph Lauren, were given 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 classy clothing that were often worn by the Ivy League "WASP" of the '60s.

The male models wore ties, dress shirts, dress slacks, dress jackets and/or vest, or well-designed suits.

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

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

I know, well 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 way worthy of being called a "role model."

I remember when I was in the ninth grade, in the '60s, and Ms. Hutto, a Talladega College student, interned at Westside High School.

She made an impression on the entire class. I was so impressed that I vowed to myself, then and there, that I would eventually graduate from Talladega College.

Ms. Hutto was tall, slender, nice looking, well dressed, appeared reserved and always smelled of a soft fragrance.

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

Again, I know that the norms have changed, but it sure was uplifting to see the Lauren's project.

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

Speaking further of pride

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

Earlier in the day, Pamela held a book signing in Birmingham.

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

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

Decades and decades later, the Old Generation Ravenisha anticipated that it was time to release themselves from bondage.

Teddy is the leader of the New Generation of Ravenisha. The warriors needed to be nurtured before springing into action. But can Teddy overcome her own issues and fulfill her destination to lead the warriors into a new world order or will she doom the Ravenisha to slavery for eternity?

The women are imprisoned in Ravenswood, Alabama.

Rogue Ravenisha, the sequel, will soon be available.

Pamela is a graduate of Talladega County Central High and received 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 (formerly Talladega County Training School) and through the years became family.

Desiree Sewell told of being one of three white students in her class. However, she attributes the fact with 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, and supporters who enjoyed a light but tasty meal, lively conversation, bubbly and miniature cupcakes by Deidre C. Butler.

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

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

What a wonderful legacy!

Classmates of 1982, 1983, and 1984 enjoying the evening, along 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 at