Singularity Free

Recently,  a historical narrative of American Baptist College was featured alongside other HBCU’s in the Singularity Free blog. See an excerpt from the  blog below: 

While American Baptist has consistently been a small college, they have historically demonstrated outsized passion for and commitment to the pursuit of justice.  During the Civil Rights movement, American Baptist College was the epicenter of activism, inspiring students and local residents to work to dismantle the oppressive and discriminatory laws and practices of the time.  American Baptist College was not merely a detached, conceptual source of inspiration, but rather demonstrated its tangible impact by serving as a central organizing entity for marches, sit-ins, training, and all manner of activist undertakings.  The college has produced a litany of impactful and notable leaders, all toiling tirelessly to advance the cause of justice, equity and equality.  One such example is Dr. Bernard Lafayette, who helped lead and organize the Nashville sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and the march on Selma.  He was brutally beaten or arrested 27 times for his unrelenting, non-violent attempts to demand justice.  American Baptist College also produced long-time activist C.T. Vivian, who led 5000 protestors to confront Nashville Mayor Ben West, who subsequently and publicly admitted to the moral and ethical deficiency of racial discrimination.  Vivian contributed to numerous social justice campaigns and started a college preparatory program called Vision, which eventually became Upward Bound.  One of the college’s most notable alumni is Congressman John Lewis, who is known for his active engagement in Congress, as well as for his innumerable contributions to the Civil Rights movement and the battle for human justice overall.

Over the years many have asked how an institution so small in number managed to initiate and implement actions that have had such an enormous impact on American society.  The reasons are many, but can be summarized by remarks of the college President, Dr. Forrest Harris:

“We re-light the flame that GOD brought to promise when GOD created every person in GOD’s own image.  And that light ought never be suppressed or made not to glow simply because there are not enough resources and a commitment to help those students come into their brilliance. That’s what American Baptist College does.  We light the flame that lasts forever in the lives of people, who light that flame in their communities; and their communities light that flame in a city, and a city ought to light that flame for the nation.”

American Baptist College lights that flame by ensuring that every employee is invested in the students.  Professors don’t assess students’ worth or potential by the circumstances or choices that have characterized their lives.  Instead, they realize that those very circumstances and choices led them to the doorstep of American Baptist College, and there is a responsibility to pour strength, love, confidence, and compassion into each student.  The embers of success exist in every student, and we thank American Baptist College for their indefatigable efforts to fan the transformative flames that impact the world.

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