American South #1: AUC and Paschal’s

Maddalena Honablue ’23 and Jaden Joseph ’22, share the groups first day with a visit to Atlanta University Center and a delicious southern food culinary experience.

Today we went to visit the Atlanta University Center, which consists of three HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities): Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. Fun fact: Clark Atlanta University used to be two schools, Clark College and Atlanta University. While driving in the vicinity of the three HBCUs, Ms. Hutchinson reminded us of the comment that Mrs. Vivian made on our Zoom call during Sunday’s activities. She told us to be aware of the neighborhoods surrounding the HBCUs’ campuses and how they contrast to the neighborhoods surrounding PWIs (Predominately White Institution). Her comment was made clear to us when we approached the campus. There was an apparent difference in the housing that surrounds the usual college town.

At Spelman we were introduced to Mrs. Joan McCarthy, a former Black Panther in the Illinois division and current professor of theater and the history of the African diaspora at Spelman for 25 years. She told us about the deeply embedded culture within Spelman’s campus. We learned about traditions on campus such as walking through the arch during graduation. It is said that if you walk through the arch before you graduate, you won’t. Also, Spelman alumni would return for the anniversary of their graduation and walk through the arch to introduce or induct that year’s class of graduating students. Even though the campus was quieter than usual, due to Spring break, we were welcomed by the lingering students with warm greetings and big smiles. As we walked through the campus, we saw so many different outlets of representation for black women, such as the notices regarding COVID protocols that had animations of black women.

That evening, we had dinner at Paschal’s, a restaurant that was created by the Paschal brothers, Robert and James. During the Civil Rights Movement, it was the hot spot for some of the most notorious entertainers, politicians, and business people in the black community. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was amazing. This experience was the definition of fine dining. They have a five star rating in our book!

Overall, today was an excellent first day on the American South Trip and we are so excited to experience the rest. Special thanks to: Ms. Hutchinson, the GOAT, Mr. Perry, the lion, DeVante, the bear, and Rachel, the manta ray.

– Maddalena Honablue ’23 and Jaden Joseph ’22