NO. 2 VOLUME
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2008
The Newspaper Produced by and Published for the Phenomenal Women of Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina
THEBennett BANNER Campus Happenings Bennett College SGA is sponsoring a day of “Civic Engagement” Nov. 4. The day will begin with “Marching to the Polls“ where students will meet on the Chapel steps at 9 a.m. and proceed to Reid Memorial AME Church. The rest of the day will be followed by community service.
Bennett Belles make their way to Morehouse College
By Marissa Lang U-WIRE
International Education Week is Nov. 17--21. The week’s activities will include a Study Abroad panel, Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society inductions, and an international film screening. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will visit Bennett College’s campus Nov. 11--13 for a reaffirmation assessment of accreditation.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SIERRA MORTON
Miss Bennett College 2008-09, Janine Quarles, and Mr. 1873, Johnny McKethan, wave at the crowd during Morehouse College’s Homecoming halftime show. Belles made an annual trip to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. Oct. 24 to support Miss Bennett College and her Royal Court during Morehouse’s Homecoming weekend.
Bennett looks to expand sports program By Myeisha Essex Banner Staff
Bennett administration plans to incorporate soccer, volleyball, softball, and golf into the College’s athletic program due to a survey conducted by Student Affairs. There has been much anticipation on Bennett’s campus for other recreational sports in addition to basketball. According to Associate Provost of Student Affairs, Dr. Stanley Viltz, obstacles include finding coaches, meeting league requirements, and finding local courts for teams to practice, such as a track for track and field. “We want the best for Bennett and sports are a
Candidates propose financial reforms
high priority because of the need for physical activity and recreation for students,” said Viltz. Potential sports teams will start as clubs so administration can see if students are serious about the commitment and practices. If dedication is shown, Student Affairs will take the necessary steps to include Bennett in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). “Sports are very important because they give students confidence and motivation that they can use not only on the court, but also in the classroom,” said basketball team captain Nicole Miller, a sophomore business administration major. Basketball is currently the
“We want the
best for Bennett and sports are a high priority because of the need for physical activity and recreation for students.” -Dr. Stanley Viltz
only sport on campus. The Lady Belles basketball team’s first game is a home game against Roanoke College on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.
“I am very excited for the upcoming session and ready to beat Spelman for the fourth time,” Keley Smith said. Smith is a junior, elementary education major, and has played for Bennett since her freshwoman year. The team is lead by Head Coach John Williams and Assistant Coach Toya Davis. “Basketball season is my favorite time of the school year, because it brings school spirit,” former Bennett basketball player Chenique Bonds said. The Lady Belles basketball season is scheduled to end in February 2009. “We have new players with potential and dedication, and I am confident Bennett will end on top this season,” Miller said.
Students unhappy with financial aid -- its availability, application process and eligibility requirements -- have yet another factor to consider on Election Day. Sens. Barack Obama (DIll.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) both plan to reform the financial aid system but have different priorities. Both presidential candidates want to simplify the system and lower the financial burden on families, but they differ on the specifics. Obama has focused on new plans, including the introduction of a refundable tax credit toward higher education and the elimination of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Meanwhile, McCain is pushing to eliminate the reliance on federal loans and consolidate existing aid programs and applications. A key feature of Obama’s plan is creating a fully refundable tax credit that will ensure the first $4,000 of a college education is “completely free for most Americans,” according to his Web site. The credit would be contingent upon the completion of 100 hours of community service per year. Some students say this requirement would not deter them from participating in the program. “No money is free money,” University of Maryland senior kinesiology major Sarah Easterwood said. “There’s always fine print in everything, but if there really was a chance to do community service to help fund college - I did 100 hours to graduate high school - I would definitely do it. With something like that, you’re giving back to the community. It’s a win-win.”
REFORM continued on Page 8
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‘Talk is Cheap. Free Speech Isn’t’
I am America By Aziza Jackson Banner Editor
With the November election around the corner, it was only right for me to focus this editorial on both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain’s race for president of the Unites States of America. Yes, we youngsters have been encouraged to vote, vote, and vote. The urge for us to go to the voting polls has been heard on the radio, television, the Internet, and in newspapers. However, what is not being emphasized is your civic duty to your communities after Election Day Nov. 4 has come and gone. If you expect your vote to solely speak for you as a political activist, then you are sadly mistaken. It is up to us to continue the fight for racial equality, to ask thought-provoking questions, and to demand that our government take us seriously, because we are the future of America, and we should be treated as such. A Black presidential candidate is closer to the White House than ever imagined. But don’t think for one second that racism and prejudice does not exist in this country. Far too often your skin color determines your character before you even open your mouth. We must continue to push for racial equality and continue the fight for our communities. We must persevere as a people. This election has motivated people to believe in America, and all that it represents. We are witnesses to history in the making. We have lived through the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the devastation of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression. We are currently living in times that we will tell our children and grandchildren about. We must remain conscious in a society that desensitizes us to what is going on in our country and around the world. As the push for change continues, we must push with it and not just be along for the ride. Stay involved and don’t let up. Demand that your elected officials fulfill their promises to their communities. Young people are the new faces and new leaders of America. We must educate ourselves in the areas of economics, politics, and environmental solutions that will enable us to save our planet and its natural resources. The next president of America is an answer but not the only answer. It is up to us to continue the fight for our communities, the fight for America, and the fight for our future. See you at the polls.
The Fall 2008 Bennett Banner Staff Aziza Jackson Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Christina Berkley firstname.lastname@example.org Satoya Bolden email@example.com Ci’Ara Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org Myeisha Essex email@example.com Nezile Mthembu firstname.lastname@example.org Angeline Pearson email@example.com Carmen Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Ratasha Smith email@example.com Sutana Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org Dominique Vinson email@example.com Iymaani Walker firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Yvonne Welbon Faculty Advisor (336) 517-2306 email@example.com The Bennett Banner Office 900 E. Washington St., Box 25 Greensboro, NC 27401 (336) 517-2305 / Shell Hall C-2, firstname.lastname@example.org
International Perspective: BelleSPEAK
Longing to Vote By Nezile Mthembu Banner Staff
I can’t vote. I’m a citizen of the Republic of South Africa. There is a parallel that exists between the then segregated America and the apartheid government that cracked down on black South Africans between the 1950s and 60s. Thousands of black people died fighting for freedom, fighting to get South Africa back from “white supremist rule.” In 1994, black South Africans cast their ballot for the first time, declaring Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. Fifteen years later, I turned 18 years old in the United States. I am now twenty-one. I’ve never had a chance to vote. In May 2009, South Africans will vote for their third president from the African National Congress (ANC). I won’t vote. I will be at Bennett College. South Africa is stringent about South African citizens voting abroad, and I do not meet the criteria guided by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa for voters abroad. When the democratic primaries were in full swing, I de-
cided to join the North Carolina A&T student volunteers, and we encouraged students to vote. With only less than five hours before the polls closed, Barack Obama momentum swept through the state of North Carolina May 7. An Obama representative came to the church I currently attend, Providence Baptist Church, in an effort to encourage the youth to volunteer. We went door to door getting people registered to vote. On Oct. 8, the day after the presidential debates, Barack Obama came to Greensboro with Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden for a rally. I was among thousands of people waiting for Obama. My mind sorted through images of people who fought the fight for freedom, for the right to vote. The apartheid laws, and striking color line that was used to segregate South Africans have dissipated with time, yet its ardent past still grips my mind. I was eager to hear the biracial man’s message of hope, his vision for students in America,
VOTE continued on Page 8
LETTER POLICY: The Banner welcomes brief letters to the editor and guest columns but does not guarantee their publication. The Banner retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted for publication. All submissions become the property of the Banner and will not be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be published. All letters must contain the name of the writer, classification, major or group affiliation, phone number and campus address. The Banner does not accept facsimiles, or e-mails. Address letters to: Aziza Jackson, Editor, The Bennett Banner, Campus Box 25, Shell Hall C-2 Greensboro, NC, 27401 -MISSION STATEMENTThe Bennett Banner is the official student newspaper of Bennett College. The Banner is produced in conjunction with a laboratory class in the Journalism & Media Studies Department. Any full-time Bennett College student is eligible to become a member of the newspaper staff and earn one credit. The Banner is published at least three times each semester during the 2007-08 academic year. Editorials are the opinion of the Banner editor and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire Banner staff. Signed columns and letters to the editor reflect the opinion of the writer and serve as an open forum for the expression of facts or opinions. The newspaper is distributed throughout the campus on a weekday, Monday through Friday, during the fall and spring semesters, except during holidays and college breaks. Publication and distribution dates are subject to change without advance notice.
How will the presidential candidates’ campaign styles affect your vote?
“John McCain’s campaign claims Obama associates himself with terrorists and that he is a Muslim; although he has repeatedly said he is a Christian. This gives a negative message to young Muslim Americans who would like go into politics. Bessie Green// Freshwoman // Cleveland, Ohio// Biology major// “Both campaign styles have been less than honest and sometimes hostile. However, Barack Obama has been less negative, showed more maturity, and he has spoke more about substantive issues, oppose to John McCain who seems to just run negative ads on Barack’s character.” Simone Thomas// Sophomore// Waldorf, Md. Journalism and Media Studies major//
“The candidates’ negative campaign styles do not affect my vote, because I realize that it is a part of politics. I chose my candidate based on how well they handle criticism and their ability to answer questions straight out.” Jessica Aytch// Junior// Durham, N.C.// Social Work major// “The negative campaign McCain and Palin have been running motivates me to vote for Obama even more. They are constantly making false accusations, while Obama has run a noble campaign and presented the American people with new and clear economic and healthcare plans.” Alexis Reese// Senior// Glenn Dale, Md.// Psychology major//
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FEATURED PHOTO STORY
Legacy By Carmen Smith Banner Staff Belles are known for active involvement in social justice movements. The most common are the 1937 boycotts of local theatres for Hollywood’s editing out scenes that illustrated positive, intelligent African-Americans, and the 1960 responses to racial inequalities. These activities helped develop the voter registration campaigns that began in the 1960 election and have continued through today. “Bennett Belles are Voting Belles” is a motto that Rep. Alma Adams
VOTING and Professor of Visual Arts has implemented. As Bennett College students continue to grow as citizens, this empowering past encourages involvement in the upcoming election. Belles’ most famous display of civic duty was when Dr. Willa B. Player was president. She gave leadership to students in talking to faculty and press about the voter registration campaign. She was reported saying “Field studies, community activities, and co-curricular performances provide avenues for (self-development)… Self expression is the emergence of leadership abilities.” Player placed emphases on the Homemaking Institute,
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ON PREVIOUS PAGE: Students sign up to participate in the voter registration campaign of 1960 in the David Jones Student Union. ABOVE: Belles along with faculty carpooled to register voters in the 1960 ‘Operation Doorknock.’
a Home Economics sponsored program that educated Belles on how to be a holistic woman, chaired by Louis Streat. Every year, beginning with the Player presidency the Homemaking Institute had a certain theme. Faculty decided to make the topic in 1960 Voter Registration, which spearheaded “Operation Doorknock.” This was an effort to get Belles involved in the Greensboro community by registering blacks to vote who lived near the College from April 1-22, 1960. It was the largest percentage of voters registered by a single campaign in Greensboro. Students registered 1,478 citizens out of 5,720 of Greensboro’s Black registered voters. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College at the time, helped initiate the event as keynote speakers for the Homemaking Institute. Prominent civic leaders assisted with the experience along with the NAACP and AFL-CIO Committee. Faculty drove Bennett students in groups of three and four to knock on doors and educate Greensboro citizens on voter registration. Bennett’s faculty and students carpooled voters to the polls during the registration drive, boycotted local theatres
and picketed lunch counters to end segregation. Faculty and students earned the Lane Bryant award for promoting “Operation Doorknock.” “Chapels,” currently known as Academic Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES), brought powerful individuals like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet and author Langston Hughes, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to the Bennett College community. In the light of these movements, the College felt it was important for these distinguished guests to speak to the campus because their appearance exhorted social engagement. The College also held workshops to support the effort. In 1960 North Carolina voted 52.1 percent for President John F. Kennedy to 47.9 percent for Richard Nixon. “The election was similar to this one [Obama.] It was the first time that a liberal and catholic was running for office… African-Americans saw this man as someone who was in their corner,” said Dr. Linda Brown ‘61. Brown is Player’s niece and author of “A Long Walk: The story of the presidency of Willa B. Player at Bennett College.” She is also the Willa B. Player PHOTOS COURTESY OF BENNETT ARCHIVES
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Distinguished Professor of Humanities. Player’s efforts and the students’ involvement in the voting campaign garnered respect from those outside of the College. According to “A Long Walk” a graduate of ’63 said, “We went from being a Bennett girl to a Bennett woman. We were no longer a ‘finishing school’… but became contributors to society in our own right.” Even after the voter registration campaign, boycotts and sit-ins continued until a change was made in 1964. Over half of the student body was arrested in protests, including the current Mayor of Greensboro Yvonne Johnson ’64. Bennett and the Guilford County community reenacted the marches of 1937 and 1960, on Oct. 10, 1997. Over 500 students, faculty, staff and community leaders gathered in front of the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel and walked to the National Theatre, Woolworth’s and Kress where the boycotts originally took place, to celebrate the history of Belles demanding an end to racial discrimination and segregation at movie theatres, lunch counters, and in the general public. “This was done to show Bennett’s role in shaping the community,” Adams said. “Belles were the masterminds behind these movements, but men
were the ones who got credit for the sit-ins because they said it wasn’t safe for them [women] to go in. If we don’t record our history then people will try to steal your thunder.” A year later Bennett hosted a program examining the role of Belles in the sit-in demonstrations and the impact King’s Feb. 11, 1958 visit had on the campus. It was co-sponsored by The Division of Humanities and the Lyceum Committee. Dr. Daniel B. Smith, civil-rights historian and scriptwriter of “February One” was a guest panelist along with Adams, Brown, Dr. Millicent E. Brown former professor of history and civil rights historian, and Dr. Ruth Lucier, chair of Lyceum in 1998. The College has effectively contributed to another election season 48 years after the 1960 voter registration campaign. Members of the Bennett community have practiced similar voting efforts. Mesha White, Student Government Association president pushed for 100 percent Belle voter registration. With the help of Adams and various organizations in the Greensboro community, 94 percent of the campus are Guilford County registered voters. “I am extremely proud of my sisters for the large numbers of voter registration,” White said. “It is imperative that Bennett College votes because of our
College leaders and students address a crowd of over 500 at the 1998 Belle reenactment of 1937 and 1960 about the legacy Bennett has had on the commitment to social justice.
past, present, and more importantly our future as women of the 21st century.” Student organizations assisted SGA and Adams’ “Women in Politics” class on voter registration in the Student Union at lunch for a month while SGA also conducted door knocks in each residence hall to register students. Belles also actively completed community service at the Obama for America campaign in downtown Greensboro and canvassed the city to register citizens. The faculty voted on the suspension of classes for the Nov. 4 election date and will use the day as “Civic Engagement.” Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Work and Sociology, Robert Williams was in full support of the vote.
The Guilford County community and Belles “Celebrate 60 years of Student Activism in Pursuit of Social Justice” outside of the Carolina Theatre were the boycotts first began.
“It is a very important election as a whole in historic aspects of Obama and Palin. Citizens should use this day to reflect and do their civic duty,” Williams said. The Faculty Senate sponsored an ACES program Oct. 28 about election 2008 to educate students about voting.
Oct. 30 SGA held a candidates forum that featured eleven local and state candidates, along with a “College Vote” rally that unified all Greensboro college students a day before the election and a March to the Polls to make a stance on the legacy of Bennett students voting.
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FEATURES SPOTLIGHT By Myeisha Essex Banner Staff
The new staff hired in Bennett’s Information Technology Department handles technological needs of students, faculty and staff, due to the high demand for computer assistance on campus. During the summer of 2008, DeQuan Jones and Steve Kimbourgh joined the Bennett staff as Interim Director of Information Technology and Help Desk Manager, respectively. As the newest addition to Bennett’s staff, they run the IT department located in Catchings Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide student free PC repair and anti-virus services. Jones is a native of Charlotte, N.C. and currently resides in Winston-Salem.
ON NEW FACULTY: THE
Jones studied music at the North Carolina School of Arts and received his Cisco Certification for Network Administration from Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem. He runs his own computer consulting and web design business entitled QJ Solutions, which is where Bennett originally contacted him for the position of webmaster in December. As Director of IT, Jones is responsible for overseeing the network infrastructure and providing technical support to the campus. When asked what he likes most about Bennett, Jones said, “It is very exciting to see the sisterhood, because it is often said that our African-American women can’t get along.” Kimbourgh is from Winston-Salem. He attended
Johnson C. Smith University where he studied communications and music. Kimbourgh was contacted through Jones about the open position at Bennett. As Help Desk Manager, Kimbourgh is responsible for managing student services and computer concerns. “I have always had a love for computers, so I enjoy my work here at Bennett,” Kimbourgh said. Currently, the IT department also includes: Webmaster Precious McKoy and Academic Computer Lab Manager John Harrington. They are working on redesigning the network infrastructure and campus-wide wireless solutions. “I am looking forward to making this a more green and self-sufficient campus,”
NEW IT GUYS
DeQuan Jones (left) and Steve Kimbourgh (right)
Jones said. Both men agree that the lack of resources and computer training for students makes it difficult to meet students’ technological needs. “I am currently working with SGA to set up a date when students can learn ba-
sic computer knowledge and receive help with e-mail accounts. Difficulties with email accounts seem to be the number one problem among students,” said Jones. The IT department can be contacted at email@example.com.
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ENTERTAINMENT Bourbon and Bus Travels for Belles By Carmen Smith Banner Staff
The Bennett Players are keeping the campus entertained with an upcoming double production of “Laundry and Bourbon” and “Bus Travels” Nov. 6-9. The first play features three characters who engage in small-town gossip. Tania Christopher, a theatre major, plays the character Hattie and describes this character who is a mother
of three as a “comedian who doesn’t take any mess” She protects and loves her best friend Elizabeth, played by theatre major, Caridad Roman. Beth Ritson, assistant professor of Theater and Speech, will direct the play. Ritson directed Mason Dixon Lines last semester and is hopeful that her second play is fun and the hard work her small cast has put into it will pay off. Ritson said the play shows the curses and blessings of being in a small town.
REFORM continued from Page 1 McCain, on the other hand, looks to reform the federal student loan system, making it a last resort for students and shifting more accountability to the private sector. A spokesman for the Republican National Committee pointed to the platform outlined on McCain’s website, which states a “more effective program” will result from increasing the availability of private sector loans and holding lenders to the “highest standard of integrity.” Edie Irons, a spokeswoman for The Project on Student Debt, an independent think tank that studies financial aid, said that while, ideally, the government should look at expanding programs that do not require students to pay back money, student loans continue to be a reality for more than two-thirds of college students and should be an issue that candidates
consider. “[Private sector loans] are riskier, more expensive loans, and should be used as a last resort,” Irons said. “We don’t anticipate a problem being able to get federal loans, but there needs to be a combination of better advice and counseling, so that as students are making those decisions so they don’t borrow too much and they are able to choose the safest, most affordable options.” Both candidates identify a need to simplify the application process students and families must undergo to obtain financial assistance. Obama’s call to eliminate the FAFSA is a step the Democratic National Committee officials said will simplify the process and encourage more people to apply for aid. McCain does not explicitly mention the overhaul of FAFSA
“Bus Travels” tells the story of two women who converse as they wait on the arrival of their bus. Instructor of Theatre and Speech, Tennille Foust plays Bess, an elderly woman who unexpectedly meets Melanie, a young poet played by theater major Tarshai Peterson. Assistant Professor of Theatre, Steve Willis wrote the play in 1982 while in graduate school at UNCG. His inspiration came from women he knew growing up in his church. Bus Travels was chosen to go on the bill because it was short and complemented Laundry and Bourbon which lasts about an hour. The Theatre department in any of his proposals, but he emphasizes the need for a simpler process, so students aren’t deterred from applying for aid. He aims to consolidate grant and award programs to reduce confusion and the need to fill out multiple, complicated applications. The FAFSA asks 127 questions across five pages, which is more than many federal tax returns. “I’ve always thought the FAFSA was kind of B.S.,” Easterwood said. “My father was a pastor for 20 years, and we have three kids in our family that need to be put through college, and he doesn’t get paid a lot. [My parents have] made a lot of sacrifices so that we could have a childhood and [the FAFSA] bases everything off of numbers that just aren’t accurate.” According to a report published by the Institute for College Access and Success, an estimated 1.5 million low-income students who were likely eligible for Pell Grants did not apply for aid in 2004, an increase of 76 percent from 2000. “Instead of digging through piles of papers, doing calculations with various lines of data, and transferring numbers by hand from a tax form to a worksheet to an application, students and parents could give the Department of Education
produced “Endless Possibilities” in September, a montage of original spoken word poetry, music, dance as well as Readers Theatre performances. Faculty from the theater department welcome student input, in their search for plays to produce. “We look for plays that have many roles for women and consider issues that speak to women,” Willis said. The Bennett Players will produce three plays this semester. Laundry and Bourbon and Bus Travels will premiere Nov. 6 at 7 p.m., Nov. 7-8 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Little Theatre. direct access to needed income information,” the report states. Vice President of the institute, Lauren Asher, said if the Internal Revenue Service is allowed to directly forward data to the Education Department, more students would likely apply for federal aid and it would reduce processing costs paid by colleges. Students, however, remain skeptical of candidates’ proposals. Many students who are forced to take on multiple jobs and loans in both the federal and private sector in order to pay for school are hesitant about the proposed shift in emphasis and think instead, the next president should look at the root of the problem: rising college tuition rates. “The government should do whatever they can to find a way to lower the interest rates on these loans that exist, but also just make college affordable,” said Kevin Mawyer II, a sophomore criminology and criminal justice major. “College students are going to come out thousands of dollars in debt ... that they only have to pay because it’s so expensive to begin with. I honestly don’t understand why the same classes at different institutions cost more just because of the name that gets put on your degree.”
VOTE continued from Page 2 and global citizens. I was a butterfly in a clear jar, caught and captured by the charismatic leader. It is not the sound of freedom songs, nor the chanting of students standing at the Obama rally, that reminds me of the fight fought to gain the right to vote in South Africa. My grandmother does that. My grandmother sits up all night to catch Obama on CNN. I am told she only gets two hours of sleep just before she has to open her tuck shop at 6 a.m. She lives in a shanty township in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and she’s never hesitated to share her overt opinions to anyone who listens. “uObama, this is written in the scriptures somewhere. Someone needs to find it, ngangu uObama bo!” My grandmother sees Obama’s works as a Divine intervention; it’s more than just a presidential election she feels. I’m not an American citizen, I don’t hold the right to vote, but I won’t hold back whilst I’m in the midst of history. I will follow, support and assist in every way possible. These elections are not only important for Americans, but for the world. We need America to take its “rightful” role in the world again. “This is our time, our time to turn the page,” Barack Obama said. I believe that when Obama speaks Abraham Lincoln echoes. J. F. Kennedy stands up. Martin Luther King smiles. Nelson Mandela hums. Ghandi aligns the stars. Dubois inscribes. Ida B. Wells whispers “now.” I still remember, and imagine the pictures of black men lynched, children being hosed by police, a man noosed and burnt to death in the township. There are too many images of this kind in telling the history of our people, black people. I can’t imagine being halted by status as a foreign student or a government issued visa to determine how I will play my part.
The official newspaper of Bennett College for Women. Made by and for the phenomenal women of Bennett College.