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I was more Hotep-adjacent. Hidden beneath my public-Ivy education and functional relationship with my parents lurked a man who would disappear down YouTube click holes of Tariq Nasheed, Professor Griff, ZaZa Ali and, of course, Dr. Umar Johnson. I comfortably conflated the performance of Hotepness with the actual work of black nationalism.

Or, at least, I did until I actually had a chance to see Johnson speak live at a Black History Month panel. That’s when I, like an alcoholic, drug addict or R. Kelly fan, had my moment of clarity and realized that my Hotepness had to stop. There is no space for men like Johnson in any real fight for black liberation, and the sooner black folk collectively kick them to the curb, the better.

Hotep, Black Nationalism, Dr Umar Johnson, The Root, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Elena Scotti/The Root/GMG

Morgan State University (commonly referred to as MSU, Morgan State, or Morgan) is a public research university and historically black college (HBCU) in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Morgan is Maryland’s designated public urban university and the largest HBCU in Maryland. In 1890 the university, formerly known as the “Centenary Biblical Institute”, changed its name to Morgan College to honor Reverend Lyttleton Morgan, the first chairman of its Board of Trustees who had donated land to the college. It became a university in 1975. MSU is a member of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Although a public institution, MSU is not a part of the University System of Maryland; the school opted out and possesses its own governing Board of Regents. MSU offers baccalaureate degrees in 45 fields, master’s degrees in 35 fields, doctoral degrees in 15 fields, and online programs in 9 fields through its twelve colleges, schools, and institutes. (Wikipedia).