Meet 'Mr. Head-of-the-Class' Chris Sumlin

BE Modern Man: Meet ‘Mr. Head-of-the-Class’ Chris Sumlin

Modern Man
(Image: Jaylen Poland of Poland Photography)

Name: Chris Sumlin

Age: 22

Profession: Student Author

One Word That Describes You: Ambitious

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

Being mentioned in the same category of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction is truly a humbly experience. It is great to be part of an initiative that is interested in showcasing black men in such a positive light. I just hope that I can do the kinds of work that lives up to the mission and intention of the BEMM 100 and make younger black men proud.

What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?

Not long after my admittance into Morehouse, I began to notice the necessity of turning my struggle into success. During my sophomore year, my family faced some hardships, and it became very difficult for us to raise the $47,000 to attend Morehouse. My family worked so hard collectively to make sure that I could attend Morehouse, and I saw them struggle to make it happen. Witnessing that struggle inspired me to give this collegiate journey 150%. As a result of working my absolute hardest, I was able to make the Dean’s List at Morehouse, publish a self-help book, and solidify internships consecutively every summer. Rather than using my struggle as an excuse, I choose to allow it to fuel my success.

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?

An important quality that I look for when I’m building a relationship with others is authenticity. The philosophy that governs my life and work is, “If it’s pure and authentic, it will resonate with others.” In a world where there are lots of people pretending to be someone they are not, I aim to be a man of integrity and authenticity. I expect everyone I engage with to hold these principles dear to their hearts as well.

What are some immediate projects you are working on?

Currently, I am a student at Morehouse College majoring in cinema, television, and emerging media studies (CTEMS) with the aspiration of working in television. This summer I have the great honor of interning with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in New York City. In the fall, I will return to Morehouse to continue my studies as a CTEMS student, while working with Turner in talent acquisitions.

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