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Picture of Lerone Bennett
Morehouse College
Distinguished Alumnus:
Lerone Bennett

Growing up in brutally segregated Jackson, Miss., Lerone Bennett understood one thing about the successful black men he knew: "Most of the black men I saw who carried themselves like men or acted like men were Morehouse men." Although he knew nothing about Morehouse, he told his mother that if he didn't go there, he wouldn't go anywhere.

The rest is history -- literally. Bennett went on to Morehouse, graduating in 1949. Immediately after graduating, he began documenting the history of African Americans, first as a newspaper reporter and then as an editor for Jet and Ebony magazines. Now the executive editor for Ebony, Bennett has written 10 books, including, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America.

"The great mission of Morehouse in 1945, when I came here, was to make young African American men believe in themselves, despite an unfavorable societal environment, and to let them know they could do anything they wanted to do," he said. "The mission has expanded to include a culturally diverse student population, but it hasn't changed."

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