Each summer is filled with students from the Atlanta University Center traveling the world, taking classes to graduate, and gaining work experience through jobs and internships. This summer, the AUC also unfortunately experienced three tragedies.
Rising Spelman College sophomore Tiana Kindred, rising Morehouse College sophomore Khalifah
Muhammad, and rising Morehouse College junior Michael Griffiths all saw their lives come to an end.
Kindred, a computer science major, died on June 19 after she was involved in a car accident. Friends of
Kindred remember her as someone who enjoyed life.
Kenneth Harris, a sophomore business administration major at Morehouse, was Kindred’s
official “Morehouse brother.” Harris said he attempted to call Kindred after seeing a “tweet” asking if
she had actually died.
“I called her and didn’t get an answer,” Harris said. “Then I called one of our mutual friends and I asked
him if he had talked to her recently.”
Harris said that the mutual friend then informed him that Kindred had died earlier that morning.
Muhammad, an English major, died on June 23 after being involved in a car accident with his brother.
Hope Harris, a junior film and drama double major at Spelman, was a very close friend of Muhammad.
“He was my ‘little brother,’ a friend, a business partner…but above all, my inspiration,” Harris said.
Harris was informed of Muhammad’s death by a phone call from mutual friend and Morehouse senior
English major Ezekiel Phillips. Harris said that Muhammad’s death has greatly impacted her.
“His passing has not only made me grateful for the many blessings that I have received in this life,
but [it] has [also] given me a furthered inspiration and motivation…” she said. “It has inspired me to
continue to spread the Light of the Lord, enlighten the masses, and continue to promote peace and love
in my work and actions.”
In addition to being a rising junior biology major at Morehouse, Griffiths was also set to serve as the
2010-2011 world and local news section editor for The Maroon Tiger. Griffiths died in his sleep on June
Former managing editor Kody Melancon remembers Griffiths as an individual who was “committed to
supporting [the] staff in any way that he could.”
“At times when there was very little work for Mike to do, he would always come to me with a list of
things that he could do and this is what I admired most about him,” Melancon said. “He was a key player
in making the 2010 Man of the Year [edition] one of the best editions of The Maroon Tiger.”
These deaths have undoubtedly had a large effect among students of the AUC. Chaina Dobbins, a junior
philosophy major at Spelman said that these deaths show that life can be taken from anyone at anytime.
“I hope [these deaths] will create a spirit of awareness, but also a love for life,” Dobbins said.
Morehouse sophomore economics major Malcolm Pittman feels that these deaths will teach students of
the AUC to appreciate life more.
“It’s always tough to lose a member of the [AUC] family,” Pittman said. “I think the effects of these
deaths will be felt throughout the year and people in the AUC will start to truly appreciate the
experiences that we create together.”