Research at the Brisbane Institute

The Brisbane Institute strives to be a vehicle for student research at Morehouse College. With that goal in mind, this page is the online repository for all the research output of students who have collaborated on projects at the Brisbane Institute.


View from the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King on the Legacy of Barack Obama

In January 2016, the Brisbane Institute organized a joint archival research project with Dr. Teri Platt of the political science department at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). The aim of this project was to assess the legacy of the Obama presidency -- its disappointments, achievements, and challenges -- through the analytical lens of Martin Luther King. A group of five undergraduate students -- Rahdaysha Cummings and Karmen Townsend from CAU; Maximillian Sanders, Derek Witherspoon, and Justin Henderson from Morehouse -- spent a week examining writings and speeches from the Marin Luther King Jr. Collection at Morehouse College. The students' research was centered around three questions:

  1. Based on King's writings, how would he assess the foreign policy of the Obama administration?
  2. How would King assess the broader significance, substantive and symbolicy, of the two-time election of a black president?
  3. Does the Obama presidency reveal anything about the persistence of racial inequality and injustice in America?

At the end of a week in the archive, the students presentered their findings in a panel discussion, and they wrote short papers in response to the three prompts stated above. Those short papers can be found in the links below.

View from the Mountaintop 1 by Rahdaysha Cummings

View from the Mountaintop 2 by Derek Witherspoon

View from the Mountaintop 3 by Maximillian Sanders

View from the Mountaintop 4 by Karmen Townsend