Becoming Desmond Meade

by H. Scott Fingerhut, Professor and Assistant Director Trial Advocacy Program

No green undergrad, Desmond Meade arrived to FIU pretty well formed, but a bridger in formation, still.

Having weathered a storm or two, he thrust his frame into the sea of legal uncertainty, convinced, no matter memory’s weight, that here he would discover that part of himself yet to become. The warrior poet tooled, now, to pay it forward; to help restore -- to the People more than self -- that which had been wrenched from him: at bottom, realer participation in a realer American dream, the type of real accountability that makes some folks uncomfortable.

But Desmond's shoulders have long been broad, and upon them he carries our weight. Desmond is courage. Resilience. Compassion. Honor. There is iron in his word. And valor in his step. That sweet, mischievous glint in his eye.

A knowing.

That for all he already is, having become, there is still that much more to be.

And as he is our son, we are his sister and brother. Like him, we, too, are stronger at the broken places, striving, as family do, for that fuller cup of justice, each day scraping away at daily indignity, ‘til our wounds debride and the fresh flesh of tomorrow reveals the bridge -- ever there -- beckoning that we rise, gather, and cross, together.

Desmond's is a life’s path, paved of purpose and consequence, borne of principle, that leads to character. A journey we gladly maintain — so that by his example we’ll earn our rest beside him, in the shade of some great, Meadey tree. At liberty, at last, to exhale, bruised and unbeaten, in gratitude, fairness, and peace. An America made more perfect. Better bridged. And free.

H. Scott Fingerhut