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  • Chandlor Henderson

‘A Different House’ recalls college days at Morehouse and the impact of HBCUs in America

“We influence all grammar and fashion. Here’s the question that I’m asking. Where can you learn from Ph.D.’s who are black? No parents? The teachers willingly fill in the gaps. Get ya mind right and keep you on track. We couldn’t learn in their schools, that’s a fact.”

Besides the genesis of their existence, historically black colleges and universities all share another common thread: An undeniable and unapologetic culture of black excellence that has influence modernity.

In his first book in a series, “A Different House: My Morehouse Experience,” author Mikhail Furnace reflects on his unique time at one of the flagships of HBCUs, Morehouse College, a private historically black men's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Ga.

Written entirely in narrative poetry, the book is a cadenced history lesson on HBCUs in general; serves as a nostalgic stimulant for HBCU alumni; and stirs the curiosity of the unacquainted.

Morehouse specific, it is Furnace’s intention to present open-ended moments, where alumni can share with their sons, nephews and grandchildren, the nuances of their respective experiences.

Additionally, the book pays tributes to notable Morehouse alumni from director Spike Lee and Senator Raphael Warnock to baseball great Don Clendenon and others.

There are several layers to “A Different House,” Furnace said. “The first is an appeal to highlight the diverse skill sets of Morehouse men and their impact, whether it is in the arts, politics, social justice, religion, economics or athletics.

Secondly, he intends for this project to serve as a resource for educators as they prepare students for higher education. “If we see the HBCU landscape as fertile ground, our children should be the seeds that populate these lands, nurtured and mentored by alumni, so that these institutions can expand on what the founders created,” he said.

A native of Los Angeles, Furnace began his career as a high school Spanish instructor after graduating from Morehouse. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from California State University. He has also served as an interpreter and college sports official.

As an educator, Furnace noticed there was a death of resources available for black children to gain a broader and more diverse perspective on black history, which led him to write “A Different House.”

“In the end, it is my intention to show how this institution has contributed to educating the type of males who actually strive to make their communities and in turn, America, great,” he said.

Other books in the series will focus on Howard University, Tuskegee, Wilberforce University and a bilingual series written in English and Spanish.

“A Different House: My Morehouse Experience” is available for preorder on April 6 at a discounted rate. Official release date is May 31, 2021. Order your copy at .

For more information, email


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