Actor Lamman Rucker Kicked-off FAMU’s Presidential Lecture Series
By Christal Searcy
The stage was set on Feb. 23 at Florida A & M University in the Ronald O. Davis Studio as FAMU President Elmira Mangum launched her presidential lecture series with a master class for theatre students and other majors.
The master class featured actor, educator, activist, and entrepreneur Lamman Rucker. Rucker is known for his roles like Will Brown on TBS sitcom “Meet the Browns” and Troy Jackson in “Why Did I Get Married?” and its sequel “Why Did I Get Married, Too?”
“He supports our core values in this community and at this University,” Mangum said. “Mr. Rucker is an excellent example of what we strive to demonstrate to our students every day. We want our students to graduate with an understanding of how excelling in their respective crafts can and will allow them to use their talents as a platform to positively impact others. The Presidential Lecture Series serves to encourage participants to be engaged in critical thinking, problem-solving, and in honing their skill sets in order to meet the needs of our society.”
Rucker is a spokesperson for several non- profit organizations like Tied to Greatness, Art Creates Life, Green For All, Good Ground- Good Life, A.H.E.A.D., Inc., Inner City Industry, BET’s Rap – It-Up, the Black AIDS Institute, and the Magic Johnson Foundation.
Rucker gave words of encouragement, advice and instructions for the theatre students.
“I want to encourage you and remind you that you’re in an incredible place. This use to be against the law to even have this many Black folks in the same place at one time. One of the reasons why is because when this many people get together and they have their minds in the right place nothing but profound things can happen,” said Rucker.
Theatre students participated in the class asking questions and performing for Rucker and listening to his constructive criticism on their performance.
“ His words spoke to the artist inside of me. It made me realize I’m here for a purpose and it’s not about me. My gifts are not only my gifts they’re gifts to share with the world and I plan to do that. I needed this,” said Martinez Johnson.
Graduating theatre student Johnson was one of the four students who performed for Rucker. Students performed a monologue for Rucker and he advised them on how they could better themselves as actors.
FAMU faculty member Jo Ann Houston shared her thoughts on having Rucker come in and speak to FAMU students.
“It was absolutely fantastic! The whole idea behind the presidential lecture series is to bring in people who are very prominent in their field. People who can encourage, motivate our students, and show them what happens when you have a career of excellence,” said Houston.