Separation: Separation is the culmination of a person from a world of drudgery and despair to pursue a higher calling.
To understand one's journey you must first understand one's past. Marshall was named after a small town in Texas where his great grandfather, Hugh Massengale, was the son of a slave. Realizing the limited opportunities for African Americans in Marshall, Hugh's son, Joe, decided to embark on a hero's journey of his own. Like many blacks during that time he migrated west to Los Angeles. Though only having been educated through the 4th grade, Joe was able to raise a house full of boys and send Marshall's father Randy to Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. It was there that Randy and Kit Massengale met and eventually moved to Mill Creek, Washington to raise three biracial children including Marshall Hugh Massengale. In 2007, when Marshall was attending O'Dea High School in Seattle, Joe published the book Six Lessons for Six Sons, a story of accomplishment, fearlessness, and ultimately the legacy his grandson would go on to fulfill. The stage has been set for Marshall to journey further than his namesake could have ever imagined 150 years ago in that little town in Texas.
Having crossed over into the new realm, the hero encounters a series of tests. Each task prepares the hero to pursue the ultimate goal. These trials show the hero as moving from childish behaviors to self-reliance. This is his personal evolution from personal limitations to unrealized potential.
Growing up as one of few mixed race kids in the suburban area of Mill Creek gave Marshall a unique outlook on racism and classism. Despite both his parents having advanced degrees, classmates would often chastise Marshall for being "smart for a black person" as well as attribute his athletic success to genetics instead of the countless hours of practice. Hoping to escape such small-minded perspectives, Marshall applied for admittance into O'dea High School, a prestigious private institution known for academic and athletic success in downtown Seattle. There he encountered a whole new trial: escaping the lobster pot. At O'Dea Marshall experienced for the first time people of the same ethnic background speaking disparagingly of the pursuit of academic achievement because it "wasn't black enough". Discouraged by these self-imposed limitations, Marshall began attending Black Student Union groups, reading literature on the subject of inequality, and using Hip-Hop music as an outlet. Eventually his studies and athletic achievements lead him to Carnegie Mellon University, where he became the first person to ever play both Basketball and Football. Known for its theater program, it was at Carnegie Mellon that Marshall decided to interfuse Hip-Hop and activism in hopes of bridging the chasm between classes and races. Equipped with the ability to maneuver in both the suburban and urban community as well as the academic and athletic worlds, Marshall headed back to the PNW to share the ultimate boon with his people.
On closure of the quest, the hero generally sets off for home to bring the knowledge of his adventure to others. The hero may take refuge in his immortal bliss accompanied by the Goddess – free from the burdens of ordinary life.
Upon his return, Marshall hosted events at the Vera Project and Pacific Science Center, combining a multitude of disciplines and creating a positive outlet for the community to participate in. Now Marshall is working on creating a full scale multidiscipline Hip-Opera production that will bring the ultimate boon to not only his own community, but hopefully the world. Become a Patron Saint of Marshall's and be an integral part of the next big thing!