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Black Salvage Spotlight: Ke'Shawn Forbes

A couple of months ago, we ran a piece on the relevance of historically black colleges and universities. With all the disproportionately negative press these schools receive, it’s important that positives stories, like the one I am about to bring you, get out. With that said; I present to you our first ever Black Salvage Spotlight- allow me to introduce to Mr. Ke’Shawn Forbes.

Here’s a snapshot of Forbes- He’s a junior, majoring in Social Work at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, and currently has a 3.1 grade point average. Outside his studies he mentors, tutors and serves as a host for different university events. Did I mention he’s in school on a “full ride” through academic scholarships.

Forbes has a nickname, “Flexxa”, which is Caribbean, he tells the Black Salvage. “down there you get a nickname for what your good at. It comes from flexibility and being multiple places at once- and being a people magnet.”

People magnet is an understatement, given that Forbes just won the election for 2008-2009 Mr. Morgan, “It hasn’t even hit me yet. It probably will at the inauguration but I’m still surprised.” Forbes has spent the last several weeks campaigning for the prestigious role alone- no one else bothered running against him. “I had no competition” he said. “I was the only one at the interest meeting.” And that Forbes didn’t run against anyone certainly does not take anything away from his victory; just to begin the process, He needed to collect 800 signatures- and received well over 900. He also mentioned that even with no competition, he wanted people to vote for him anyway, because, as he puts it, “I owe [them] something. [Their] vote means I owe a great term.”

Votes and numbers aside, it’s not popularity alone that has put Forbes where he is. In all actuality, Forbes’ sociability as well as hard work have propelled him to his current position. “Things just eventually come to me. Good opportunities come from hard work. Sociability is my passion.”

Getting to know people is something Forbes has long taken seriously through his collegiate career. “I got to know administration and even the person who puts drinks in the vending machine. . . don’t take for granted what people do.” And Forbes’ love of those around him has given him another admirable quality- a genuine concern for those at risk for suicide. Forbes told the Black Salvage he always asks people ‘[are] you good?’ or ‘you alright?’. “They’ll come back to me later”, he went on, “and tell me it cheered them up or they appreciated me taking time out to speak to them.” In my own experience, it’s seldom that a younger person actively tries to pursue those at risk for suicide or those with low self esteem. Forbes’ genuinely altruistic nature is surely a rarity.

As my conversation with Forbes continued, we discussed his post-graduation plans. As already mentioned, Forbes is a social work major. He expressed interest in continuing mentoring and serving as a guidance counselor at either a middle or high school, but wouldn’t mind remaining at Morgan and added, “I’ll be where the Lord puts me.”

Another point of conversation with Forbes was of his thoughts on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. “It’s influential to see a positive black man,” he said. Forbes was also in attendance several weeks ago at the 1st Mariner Arena for to see Barack Obama speak. He also added that “Obama has proven himself and will work for all people” but also that whoever ends up winning must build America back up.

Even more influential than Obama is Forbes’ mother, who remains at home in New York as head nurse at Brooklyn’s Brookdale Hospital. She has served for more than 20 years and is on the verge of her retirement. “I wouldn’t be here without her.” He also reminisced on not being able to afford college at one point and his mom letting him know that he might possibly have to come back home. Forbes told her he would take care of it, ended up on a full scholarship. A testament to his mother’s hard work is the fact that he is apart of a family of “go-getters”. His younger sister is attending Temple University and his older brother, whom Forbes says makes school look easy, is currently in Columbia's law program.

By the end of my conversation with Forbes, I realized that I wasn’t talking to a “successful black man” but rather, “a successful man”. In my opinion, he’s only at the beginning of a life long career being of great service to those around him. Mr. Morgan, Ke’Shawn Forbes, will represent Morgan State University later this year at the HBCU Pageant in Missouri. "Morgan State students are going to remember the 08-09 school year," Forbes said in closing.

-Prodigy Maestro

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  1. WOW! I didn't know that there was only one person running for Mr. Morgan. Morgan's spirit really does slum...

  2. Sounds like a great person to be representing Morgan.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. After reading this spotlight I'm enlighten not only by Mr. Forbes but also by yours writing skills. Mr. Forbes was brought to life to me by yours words. For the first time Mr. Morgan is not just a title but a real person with high standards. Thank you for bring him to life. Keep up the good work.

  5. Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the TV de LCD, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

  6. This spotlight article exemplifies
    the character and drive of a positive young man with goals.Whether it's Mr. Morgan's genuine concern for his peers, or his humble approach to his rapid success-we all can take a chapter out of his book.I know that he will continue to be an inspiration' and I for one am looking forward to his reign as Mr.Morgan.

  7. I may have been more interested if Mr. Flexxa was as humble in person as he is perceived in this article...

  8. Response to "Morganite"May 03, 2008 12:40 PM

    Granted, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Still, I feel it is highly disrespectful to make that comment about Mr. Forbes and his "percieved" humilty.

    Having entered his confidence for a short period of time, I can attest that he is indeed a wonderful person. Many times he has conversed with me the struggles of being judged as "cocky" and such by those who take little time to get to know him.

    In all honesty, when I first met him, I thought he was simply absorbed in himself. He speaks of all he has accomplished and gives himself much praise. Still one question left to ask yourself is "Doesn't he have the authority to?" Not to mention, he's simply a comical character. Most of his jokes are about his greatness. They take time to get used to but, he's a human being. His worth is the same as yours.

    He has made it through many endeavors which, to some, may be insignificant but no one has the right to judge the validity of anyone else's struggles.

    Since Morganite was able to share thier opinion, I'd like to offer mine: Ke'Shawn Forbes is a wonderful person admired by most and misunderstood by many.

    I'd like all who read this and the comment above mine to take time to get to know Mr. Forbes personally and refrain from judging him. From my experience, he is open to meeting new people and making friends.

    Not only that, but if one does feel a certain way about him, he takes constructive criticism very well.

    Attacking Ke'Shawn's character seems a sign of immaturity in my eyes, as does passing jugdement and not signing your real name to it. I leave my anonymity here to represent all those who care for Forbes, not to conceal myself. Merely to share my words with all others who feel the same.

  9. Greetings All,

    I would Like To Formally Thank All of the comments made to this well put together article. Morganite, my question to you is ... What about me in person does not exemplify humble? I treat everyone as an equal and never undermined anyone's individualism nor their difference in personality's. Please feel free to respond here or contact me on Facebook or email. Also it would be nice if you revealed yourself so that your comment can have some more validity.

    Thank You
    Mr. Morgan State University 08-09
    Ke'Shawn Forbes

  10. It's about time we see a BLACK MAN IN POWER. But yet that's not enough for us we still see the need to throw bricks and stones..But it's all good. I dont know Ke'Shawn only what people have said and thus far it's positive. He has the motivation and drive to better hisself while taking Morgan with him. So more power to you hun. To Morganite it sounds as if you have some personal issues with this young man...Please get over it and show luv. To Ke'Shawn keep doing your thing hun. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for Morgan for the new school year. Big Up!! Bless

  11. Ke'Shawn i dont know you that well personally,in time maybe i will. But from the way you carry yourself, this article, and the encouters i have had with you, i will say that i am proud to say that you represent not only me as a student but morgan state university as well. Continue doing the things that are positive in order to secure your success.
    In regards to the statement made earlier on, i will disagree and say that in my eyes you come of as being humble, but in others eyes you may not. for instance the person "morganite". Make sure people dont mistake your confidence for cockyness. A wise person said "an opinion in regards to your character shouldnt change you, instead it should make you think, to why they have that opinion."

  12. Carl Forbes, Jr.May 15, 2008 4:09 PM

    This is a well put together article about a well put together young man. You may think I'm a bit biased because I'm his older brother, but I know him as well as anyone else. Ke'Shawn may come off to some as cocky and conceited, but when he sets his mind to something, he's going to do it. That may seem as him being cocky, but it's actually motivation and drive to succeed. Please get the chance to know him personally before you make judgmental comments through an anonymous post. This article highlighted his accomplishments and desire to represent MSU to the best of his ability. It's sad that some people can't take the time out to congratulate him and provide constructive criticism, but feel the need to post negative, non-constructive forms of criticism. Maybe you could provide tips for Ke'Shawn to come off as more humble to you, but then again no one knows who you are because of your anonymity. Ke'Shawn, keep doing your thing and just say "Big up to all my haters." "When people stop talking about you, then that means you're doing something wrong."

  13. These are the types of stories that need to be shown more, Black people are often showed in a negative light.

    Check out my post I think you will enjoy it.

  14. Amiable dispatch and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you seeking your information.

  15. Hi
    Very nice and intrestingss story.

  16. awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks

  17. awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. peace maria

  18. @ Maria

    You, along with many others who have persuaded me to not only finally create a Twitter, but also start updating the site again regularly!

    Hope to hear from you again in the future!


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