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Obama inaugural: Read the full text of his inaugural speech.

‘Durham’s Finest’ displays stellar student artwork.

Chancellor Search Committee set to submit final names.

Local officers armed and ready for potential attacks.

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Campus Echo

Up in arms about guns

Song of Zimbabwe

“Words are the most important thing in a song, in fact, lyrics are the song, and the harmony, the tune... It’s all flavor to what this person is talking about ... Yes, language is very important in a song. I truly believe in a song it has to touch that next heart.” OLIVER ‘TUKU’ MTUKUDZI ZIMBABWEAN MUSICIAN

Can’t slow King down


With the gun control debate intensifying, Durham is feeling pressure from both the national and local levels. Durham and surrounding areas have gained a reputation for excessive violence. According to the Durham Police Department, there was at least 864 gun related crimes in 2012 with 21 homicides. Last Monday, Mayor Bill Bell — a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — expressed a need for congressional action on tougher gun laws. In the following days, President Obama signed 23 executive orders on gun control that echoed Bell’s sentiments. Obama’s executive order includes measures like national background checks, an increase in law enforcement and tougher punishment for gun trafficking. But it’s proposed legislation that has gun-rights advocates most heated, specifically legislation that would ban military-style assault weapons and highcapacity magazines. Gun-rights advocates argued that the ban is an infringement on their right to bear arms and would increase crime. Brett Webb-Mitchell, visiting associate professor of Language and Literature at N. C. Central University, said civilians don’t need those types of weapons. “Semi-automatic rifles with high capacity bullets and armor vests are clearly a threat to human beings,” said Webb-Mitchell. He said he understands the importance of the Second Amendment, but feels it’s time to have a discussion about it. As for the fear of increasing criminal activity, he said that’s what law enforcement and the military are for. But since support for gun control has grown, many gun-advocates have accused the government of tyranny. Some see the Second Amendment as protection from an overzealous and corrupt U.S. government. Without the means of defending themselves, these people worry the government could abuse its power. But Gail Neely, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said that train of thought is illogical. “The notion that the Second Amendment was implemented to help the people rise against the government is ludicrous,” said Neely. Neely pointed out the need for militias at the time the amendment was ratified. With no standing army, regular gun owners were called upon to protect the nation from foreign enemies.

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Rashawn King PHOTO




The performer visited the Durham music venue Casbah last week for an intimate listening session the night before his sold out performance at Duke University’s Reynolds Theater.

Rashawn King had always dreamed of being on ESPN. He’d do whatever it would take to make it on television, he often told his mother. And fittingly enough, on Christmas Day, that dream came true when ESPN’s Rachael Nichols interviewed King about his long battle with leukemia and his meeting with LeBron James. The interview aired during the halftime show of the Miami Heat/Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game. Chris Hooks, NCCU’s assistant sports information director, pitched the story to ESPN with about 20 emails. Finally, ESPN replied expressing interest. Nichols also got word of the story from another source and expressed interest in interviewing King. King, a walk-on freshman guard for the NCCU basketball team, said he was shocked when he heard Rachael Nichols wanted to meet him. “I mean it’s Rachael Nichols,” King said. “She interviews major, big-time athletes — so me, I just wanted to meet her in

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TOUCHING THAT NEXT HEART — Oliver “Tuku” Ntukudzi travelled from Zimbabwe to speak about his music last week at the Casbah in Durham. The following night he performed at Reynolds Theater.


ome musicians want fame and fortune. But for others, their art has a deeper purpose. Fans of Oliver Mtukudzi — known as “Tuku” — would agree that he’s an artist.


Mtukudzi is a Zimbabwean singer whose music deals with unity and peace. He has a unique musical style that blends traditional South African music and instruments with electronic ele-

ments. With nearly 60 albums to his name, the 60-year-old performer has a diverse audience following with fans from South Africa and the UK to Canada and the U.S.

Eagle for life passes away Brooklyn McMillon was caretaker of NCCU history BY MONIQUE LEWIS ECHO STAFF REPORTER

The “caretaker of N.C. Central University history,” Brooklyn T. McMillon, passed away at his home on Jan. 10 at the age of 97. “Mr. McMillon was a giant who dedicated his life to enriching the University and the Durham community,” said G.K. Butterfield, U.S. Congressman and NCCU alumni, in a statement released on his Web site. “The NCCU community has lost a real treasure. I offer my deepest sympathies to his family during their time of grief.” There was no better source of information about NCCU’s history than McMillon.

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Students struggle while costs rise BY MATT PHILLIPS ECHO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Owing People Money

“Caretaker of NCCU history” Brooklyn McMillon looks at historic documents. ECHO


Go to school. Get your degree. Find a job. Stay out of debt. If you connect those dots, your life becomes a pretty picture. But it’s harder than it looks on paper. That’s because the middle part — get your degree — is becoming too expensive. Unless, in their February meeting, The University of North Carolina Board of Governors refuses to approve the N.C. Central University Board of Trustees' recommendations, undergraduate tuition will increase by $211 this fall at NCCU, and graduate tuition will increase by

$265. There are also assorted fee increases planned totaling $114.06 for undergraduates, and $109.40 for graduate students. While the tuition and fee increases are considered necessary by administration — NCCU has lost $60 million in state appropriated funds over the last decade — they make it far more difficult for low-income students to complete degree programs. More than half of undergraduates enrolled at NCCU qualify for, and receive Federal Pell Grants — interest-free, need-based financial aid for low-income students. It’s a certainty that many

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013


STRUGGLE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 will also take out loans with interest rates as high as 6.8 percent. And some will take parttime jobs too. Kara Robinson, an elementary education senior, wouldn’t make it without her job at a small retail store. She works 20 hours a week, takes a full course load, receives a Pell Grant and takes out some loans. “I’m independent. So, I don’t have my parents to buy a new car, or give a little bit of gas money to drive to town, to go to school,” Robinson said. “Or if I need this and that — I have to work for it, and save up.”

NCCU by the Numbers 2011-1 12 – Fall 2011 – Undergraduate students enrolled 6,416 Undergrads who received financial aid 6,266 Undergrads who received Pell Grants 4,408 Undergrads who received unsubsidized loans 4,928 Amount of financial aid given $92,497,427 Amount of financial aid that was loans $46,680,939 First-time Freshmen enrolled 1,258 Freshmen retention rate for the class of 2011 71.5%

Robinson’s been on that grind — work, school, repeat — for three years. That’s three years of loans, three years of interest and crushing worries about what happens when she graduates come December. “I’m just anxious about getting that first [loan] bill,” Robinson said. College students like Robinson, those low on the economic scale, leave school with debts like seasoned gamblers — they “owe people money,” as Robinson put it. For some students, getting through school in the first place is a superhuman feat. Never mind the debt. Julian Melton graduated in December with a bachelor’s in mass communication from NCCU. While in school, Melton worked at a grocery store, a shipping center and cut hair on the side for extra cash. He squeezed his full course load in somewhere between stocking shelves and sorting packages. Melton didn’t have a choice. The jobs, coupled with financial aid and loans –— he only took out loans during his junior and senior years — paid for school, and allowed him to send money home to his mom. “My mom raised me and my little brother,” Melton said. “My mom is not financially able to support me going to school and take care of the household.” In the 2010-11 academic year, undergraduate students at NCCU took out $46,680,939 in loans, according to a February, 2012 report from the NCCU Office of Research, Evaluation and Planning. Some of those loans are subsidized, which means the interest is paid by the government while students are in school, but 4,928 undergraduate students — more than half the undergraduate student body — took out unsubsidized loans. That means thousands of low-income students are accruing interest on their loans while in school. For them, the “juice” is on. Students like Robinson and Melton aren’t the exception at NCCU. They’re the norm. Diminishing Returns This month, the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions announced their goals for higher education in North Carolina. They expect 32 percent of the state’s population to have bachelor’s degrees or higher by 2018, and by 2025 they plan to increase that number to 37 percent. Those goals have a nice ring to them. They too, look good on paper. But will minority-serving institutions produce more graduates? Or will a larger gap develop between those

Trying to Make It Source: UNC General Administration

“It’s a group of us who have a job, work and get loans, and then there’s another group that is privileged and don’t have to do that.” KARA ROBINSON ELEMENTARY EDUCATION SENIOR

students who can afford school without assistance, and those, like Melton and Robinson, who have to hustle to make it? One indicator whether a university is doing what it’s supposed to — producing graduates — is freshmen retention rate. What percentage of firsttime freshmen return for their sophomore years? Retention rates at the most respected universities in the country hover over 90 percent. That translates to a higher graduation percentage, both at the four-year and six-year marks. In other words, high retention rates signal success and future graduates.They’re also tied to cash. “It’s a look at how we are using the resources of the state,” said Bernice Duffy Johnson, NCCU associate provost and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. At NCCU the 2011 firsttime freshmen retention rate was 71.5 percent, that’s up 3.8 percent from 2010, but it’s far short of NCCU’s 80 percent goal. In 2011, The University of North Carolina-Pembroke had the lowest retention rate in the UNC system at 62.4 percent, but NCCU was the second lowest, according to UNC General Administration statistics. Duffy Johnson said retention is important because those first two years of college determine the likeli-

hood that a given student will graduate. The development of college-level math and writing skills translates into upperdivision course success. “We feel that’s kind of the basis for student success,” Duffy Johnson said, though she added that there are other factors which cause students to drop out before their sophomore years. “Sometimes students drop out because they’re lonely — they don’t make connections.” Duffy Johnson said that University College, established in July 2008, presents the largest potential for increasing retention at NCCU. She also said less successful high school students who gain admittance to NCCU tend to struggle in lower division math, science and English courses. “They have to be really focused, and stay focused to make it,” she said. While retention rate is used as one benchmark for institutional success, it doesn’t tell the whole story — the struggle inside the institution. Administrators at NCCU are challenged to raise retention and graduation rates and simultaneously deal with crippling budget cuts. They are challenged to improve the university, but to do it with less money. The $60 million in cuts NCCU lost during the last decade is a large piece of the pie for an institution where

United Christian Campus Ministry 525 Nelson Street, NCCU Campus

JOIN US! Get involved with Campus Ministries today! Michael D. Page Campus Minister

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61 percent of the total operating budget comes from the state. During a November listening forum, Claudia Hagar, NCCU associate vice chancellor for finance and process improvement, said top-tier research universities depend on the state for less, about 40 percent of their operating budgets. That means state budget cuts are a larger burden for a school like NCCU, where freshmen enrollment continues to increase. Graduation rates at NCCU for first-time freshmen –— four-year and six-year rates — have declined since 200203, when NCCU was hit with a 4 percent state budget reduction. The four-year graduation rate was 23.3 percent in 2002. The following year it dropped to 18.5 percent. By 2007 the rate had dropped to 15 percent. In 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education collected college completion data from across the country. Based on the data, they calculated the average amount students spend to get a degree at their respective colleges. The findings in North Carolina showed that minority-serving institutions aren’t exactly affordable. The three most expensive colleges per degree were Wake Forest University, Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill, where less than 18 percent of students received Pell Grants. The next three most expensive colleges per degree were HBCUs: Elizabeth City State University, NCCU and NC A&T, where more than 50 percent of students received Pell Grants. Elon University placed a close seventh. It was a few hundred dollars cheaper per degree there in 2010, than it was at NC A&T.

Last November, on a weekday afternoon, James Graham, an NCCU English senior, was surfing law school Web sites. It was that time of year when undergraduates start thinking about their impending birth into the “real” world. They hover like locusts over keyboards, jotting down minimum standardized test scores and G.P.A. requirements. But Graham had another important consideration. He was researching the requirements to waive his law school application fees, some with dollar amounts that range into the hundreds, just so he’d be considered for admission. He was one of 57 males accepted into the first cohort of Centennial Scholars Program. The cohort is expected to graduate this May. It’s a program meant to increase retention among first generation, minority male students at NCCU. Jason Dorsette, the program’s director, expects 89 percent of that first cohort to graduate. The concept for success is pretty simple — provide aggressive guidance and a sense of community. “It’s going outside these four walls,” Dorsette said. “It’s giving blood, sweat and tears to get them to buy in.” Graham said the program helped push him when he needed it, and equated it to a “Big Brother” experience. “There are people in the program that’ll push you,” Graham said. “It’s helped me kind of connect, and network more.” Julian Melton has a degree now, but he is still employed at the same places while he looks for work in the communication field. He’ll have to start paying back his loans in five months. Kara Robinson may have trouble with her schedule this semester, and working too many hours could jeopardize her future. “This semester I’ll start student teaching, and that’s my biggest issue I’m facing now,” Robinson said. “Should I keep my job at the store and try to student teach? Or should I quit my job and be broke?” Robinson’s dilemma brings up an important issue. How are students supposed to position themselves for career entry if they can’t take internships? Without relevant work experience, it’s hard for students to make a case for themselves as job candidates. Robinson said she has friends who’ve graduated, but are still working minimum wage jobs. They didn’t graduate ready to enter their chosen profession, and they’ve stalled out. She said that’s part of the divide between students who are forced to work and those who can manage without a job. “Sometimes I feel like they’re separated,” Robinson said. “It’s a group of us who have a job, work and get loans, and then there’s another group that is privileged and don’t have to do that.”

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013



Chancellor search nears end BY JAMAR NEGRON ECHO STAFF REPORTER

We’ll all have a new boss soon. The search for the next chancellor at N.C. Central University is nearing its end. The list that started with 65 applicants has been narrowed to 15, and will be whittled down to three by the end of this week. The remaining candidates will be reviewed by University of North Carolina President Thomas Ross, who has the final say. Reggie McCrimmon, Student Government Association president and search committee member, expressed confidence in the remaining candidates. “The strength of these candidates is great,” McCrimmon said. “The final list will make it very hard to pick a new chancellor.” McCrimmon said the candidates he favors have goals that include

student success, and show the ability to genuinely care and engage with the student body. Students have their own opinions of what a chancellor means to NCCU, and what qualities are important in a leader. Samantha Ross, a third-year law student, said a chancellor should be friendly and trusted to make decisions that are best for NCCU. “[A chancellor] is someone who believes in the mission,” Ross said. LaPorsha Leake, a first-year law student who got her undergraduate degree from NCCU, said the chancellor has a large impact on the institution’s direction. “The Chancellor leads the direction of the school,” Leake said. Leake said “a handson approach” and an “inthe-midst mindset” are important qualities. “A chancellor should be accessible to the student body,” Leake said.


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Neely said talk of a tyrannical government is not about the Second Amendment but is a ploy by NRA lobbyists and extremists to bring in more money from extremists. While the NRA receives much of its money from member fees, the organization also benefits greatly from gun and ammunition manufacturers. According to reports from American research company IBIS World, the gun industry is valued at $12 billion. Neely said increasing fear among the public is a great way to ensure gun sales. While she hopes something will be done about the issue, Neely said it shouldn’t have taken so much violence to spur action. “It just sickens me that this is what it takes to have a sensible, open dialogue,” said Neely, referring to the Sandy Hook massacre in which 20 children and six adults where shot to death. In the past year, over a dozen places were targeted by mass shooters including a Sikh temple, a movie theater, a shopping mall and a spa. Mitchell said the shootings made him question the nation’s level of violence compared to other

countries. He said the senseless violence is not only embedded into our society but is a cause of the changing times. “People are afraid of the changes occurring,” said Mitchell. “We have a black president, marriage equality and women are gaining more rights.” Mitchell said that as a Caucasian male it may seem strange for him to say it, but the fact that most mass shooters and presidential assassins were heterosexual, white men is not a coincidence. “White males are losing their place,” said Mitchell. Mitchell said he backs Obama’s decision to strengthen gun laws, and especially his attention to health and counseling services. The one thing he’s concerned about, however, is the president’s plan to arm resource officers. Mitchell said the mandate could cause more harm than good. As a kid, Mitchell said he worried about passing tests, getting picked on in gym and if it was going to rain or not. He said the one thing he never worried about was whether he was going to be shot. “The loss of innocence, that’s my main concern,” said Mitchell.


CARETAKER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Shortly before his death, he could be found in his first floor office of the James E. Shepard Memorial Library University Archives and Records “collecting, preserving, interpreting and explain-

1915, in Columbia, AL. In 1938, he enrolled at NCCU, which was at the time called North Carolina College for Negroes, where he eventually obtained a master’s degree in health

“This past September made 30 years he had been volunteering. Can you imagine?” ANDRE VANN COORDINATOR OF UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

ing” the rich history and tradition of NCCU. McMillon was a two-time alumnus, former professor from 1946 to 1966, former chair of the Health Education Department, former university registrar and university archivist and historian volunteer from when he retired in 1982 until his death. McMillon witnessed every chancellor, three gymnasiums and three dining halls. He was born Sept. 19,

education, and received an honorary doctorate in 1990. He was the last person hired by NCCU founder Dr. James E. Shepard as a health education instructor and to create a student internship program. “This past September made 30 years that he had been volunteering. Can you imagine? Some people can’t even work 30 years,” said Andre Vann, coordinator of University Archives and instructor of public history.

Brooklyn T. McMillon ECHO


Rome named prez Vice chancellor takes position at Lincoln University BY MATT PHILLIPS ECHO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF




Kevin Rome has landed a new gig. Rome, N.C. Central University vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, will head to Missouri this summer as president of Lincoln University. “I feel really good about the impact I’ve had at NCCU,” Rome said. He came to NCCU from Morehouse College in 2008. Rome was instrumental in establishing the Centennial Scholars and the Annie Day Shepard Scholars Programs — two directives aimed at increasing NCCU retention and graduation rates. Rome said he used a holistic approach to student affairs at NCCU.

“As a student affairs professional I’ve a l w a y s taught, and so for me, if one is passionate or interested in student success, you have to have a multi- Vice f a c e t e d Chancellor a p p r o a c h , ” Kevin he said. Rome Fr a n c e s Graham, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, said Rome helped connect student and academic affairs at NCCU. “His commitment to HBCUs is like no other,” Graham said. “I think the work that he’s done at NCCU has been very good.” In a prepared statement,

Chancellor Becton called Rome a champion for NCCU students. “Vice Chancellor Rome has been a champion and an advocate for our students,” Becton said. “His hard work and leadership at the university shows he is committed to student success.” During his time at NCCU, Rome created the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Student Affairs Assessment Office. “NCCU is poised to be one of the leading HBCUs and institutions in the country,” Rome said. “I hope it continues on that path. All the ingredients are there.” Lincoln University is a public HBCU located in Jefferson City, Mo.


Empower women. That’s the purpose of 100 Black Women, an N.C. Central University organization. According to Christina Moye, president of 100 Black Women, their mission is to increase unity among female leaders at NCCU, promote self-worth, responsibility, education and provide community service. “Some of the many goals are to help the women excel in academics, improve social networking and build self- awareness,” Moye said. 100 Black Women has

members across campus. This year they hosted programs with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., SGA and Miss NCCU. “I have been part of 100 Black Women since my freshman year,” said Courtney Law, vice president. “I chose to join because I wanted to expand my network, and actually get involved with my campus.” The organization stresses self-love, women’s health issues and commitment to community service in Durham. “100 Black Women cannot be defined by one person, but instead a combina-

tion of all the women on NCCU’s campus,” said Uyi Idahor, former president. According to Idahor, the bond that these women leave school with is strong. After her term she was looking for a passionate woman that could put her heart into 100 Black Women. “I was a little intimidated at first to take on such a large responsibility but I was trained by the best,” Moye said. 100 Black Women is also helping to build and increase community by volunteering at John Avery Boys and Girls Club, Durham National Night Out and MLK Million Meals.


A town hall meeting for students in the College of Arts and Sciences will take place on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in University Theater. The meeting will be an informal conversation between Carlton Wilson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and students. Wilson said he hopes the meeting will “encourage interaction between students and faculty in a more collective view.” “Students need a voice and they are the most important voices,” Wilson said. “I’m always concerned with how students feel about the University and things that they would like to see being done differently. “It is vital for students to be involved in meetings like these because their ideas can bring about change and improvements within the university.” The College of Arts and Sciences has 1,700 undergraduate students. Departments include Art, Biology, Chemistry, Global Studies, History, Language and Literature, Mathematics and Physics, Music, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Theatre and Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences. Mass Communication, one of the largest departments, provides the required speech courses for all NCCU students.

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013


Full Text: President Obama’s Inaugural Address

President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address after being sworn-in for a second term as the President of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during his public inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Monday. (Pool photo by Pat Benic/UPI/MCT POOL



Spectators on the National Mall for the inauguration ceremonies Mondayin Washington, D.C. (Gabriel B. Tait/MCT). GABRIEL B. TAIT/MCT

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those

words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and

colleges to train our workers. Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune. Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character. But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ulti-

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mately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together. For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every sin-

gle American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed. We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013


Operation Eagle Swoop WE










23, 2013





Photography and story by Gabriel Aikens

Police officers direct students away from danger in the Jan. 3 terrorist drill.

f you were at N. C. Central University on Jan. 3, and unaware of the drill taking place, it would have surprised you to see ambulances and S.W.A.T. trucks parked at the Alfonso Elder Student Union and “dead bodies” being escorted from Annie Day and Rush Residence Halls. Fortunately, the “dead bodies” were live actors and the emergency vehicles were a part of the largest training exercise ever held on a UNC system campus. Over 250 participants were involved in “Operation Eagle Swoop,” the all-day emergency training exercise that included five S.W.A.T. squads, three Special Response Teams, police from N.C. State


University, N.C. A&T, NCCU and officers from surrounding cities. Although it was a simulation, the event appeared realistic. There were simulated sounds of gunfire. Snipers were crouched near Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College, targeting the entrance and windows of Rush Hall for terrorists. Campus police had their face masks and pistols ready, stealthily entering the side of the dorm while the “terrorists” screamed threats with assault rifles in hand. “Where you think you’re going, Slim? Stay back or we’ll shoot a hostage!” NCCU alumni Edren Bell was one of the hostages, and “being in the action” was an

interesting experience for him. “Normally I’m on the phone behind a desk, telling the officers where to go,” said Bell. “I think people will get a sense of how much training and dedication goes to a crime scene and rescue. It’ll give them insight on how serious it can be.” The event lasted from 9:20 A.M. to 1:30 PM. NCCU Police Sgt. Robert McLaughlin and EMS Evaluator Henry Smith supervised the emergency exercise. “An important goal in the exercise was to get hostages out as safely and quickly as possible,” said Smith. “We also wanted to neutralize the shooters as efficiently as possible to limit deaths.”

The SWAT team takes up its position in front of the Hoey Administration Building.

Trained officers acting as the “terrorists” for the emergency training exercise.

An injured hostage is taken to waiting ambulance.

A member of the SWAT force takes up his position beside the Hoey Administration Building.

Officers lined beside the William Jones Building before cautiously approaching Rush Residence Hall.

An officer directs the action outside the Hoey Administration Building.

Officers escort a hostage from Rush Residence Hall to safety.

Community Director for Residential Life Brie Haupt being stabilized by medics.


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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013



Kids’ art rocks ‘Durham’s Finest’ is a triumph of color and originality “Honestly, all those students whose work made it to this exhibit are winners.” KENNETH RODGERS DIRECTOR OF THE NCCU ART MUSEUM


Durham’s Finest Art Exhibit will end Friday, Jan. 25. The exhibit showcases more than 100 works of art, featuring the talented art students of Durham County schools. With a turnout of more than 600 guests, this year’s Jan. 6 reception was the largest ever in the 27 year history event said Kenneth Rogers, director of the N.C. Central University Art Museum. The idea for the first exhibit was presented by two Durham County schools featuring the art of their own students and has now expanded to over 40 schools in Durham County. As school participation grows the range of art from the students continues to evolve. Winners are as young as first graders and as diverse as the dimensions created through their art. There were 4-D pieces, photography, pastels and plenty of colorful abstracts. The reception, arranged by events coordinator Mary Casey, offered a well organized setting along with musical accompaniments from The String Ensemble from Riverside High. “We were at maximum capacity for this exhibit, everyone really worked together to support these students,” said Rodgers. “It was a great reception, but a lot of work goes into making this production possible, just getting all of the art here on time is a challenge.” According to Rodgers, the process begins with the K-12 art teachers. “The teachers create a problem for the students to solve,” said Rodgers. “This art is the solution to the teacher’s presented problem.” The entire art class is presented with the “problem” and each student as an artist interprets and answers differently. The teachers then choose four students to display their art in the Durham’s Finest Exhibit. “Honestly, all the students whose work made it to this exhibit are winners,” said Rodgers. The art is then judged by a panel of NCCU Arts Department faculty who award their top picks from each school with a blue ribbon. “The panel examines technique, age and the ‘problem’ when judging these works,” said Rogers. “It is often very difficult but there are times when it’s very clear who the winner is.”

“The Illusion” by Jamal Campbell Grade 7 ~ Lucas Middle School

“M & M” by Mikaela Howard Grade 8 ~ Rogers-Herr Middle School

“Rainbow Dream” by Mariah Powers Grade 5 ~ Forest View Elementary

“A View From Home” by Adriana Sanchez Grade 12 ~ Southern High School

“Wanderer” by Gia Smith Grade 12 ~ Northern High School

“2, 3 & 4 Dimensional Art” by Michelle Peralta Grade 5 ~

“Mother & Child” by Jose Ramirez Duran Grade 1 ~ Spring Valley Elementary


Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013







9 UN





Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi at The Casbah in downtown Durham. ALEX SAMPSON/Echo A&E editor

Django off the chain Tarantino’s new film brings the ‘Bad Man’ back

Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) are a dynamic duo in this Old Western tale. COURTESY


Quentin Tarantino has amazed us with adrenaline pumping films such as “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction” and many more. Now, he has done it again with “Django Unchained” in which action, romance and comedy are crammed together. The plot follows freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) and bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) as they search for Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Along the way, they leave a path of bodies in their wake. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the part of a cruel slave owner, Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson acts as his stereotypical “Uncle Tom” houseman, Stephen. The introduction sets the tone for the movie with enslaved males — one of them being Django — trekking across the desert in shackles. The opening theme, “Django,” blends well with



the Old Western atmosphere. The soundtrack is very fitting as a whole and adds suspense to the scenes. Rick Ross’ “100 Black Coffins” reflects the grim and deadly setting of the film with a haunting tune. John Legend, 2Pac and Anthony Hamilton also make an appearance on the soundtrack. Other tracks vary from hip-hop to classical music. Not one to shy away from controversy, Tarantino draws focus to the harsh realities of the time period. In the opening scene, the camera slowly pans to the scarred, bloodied backs of the slaves. Certain characters frequently drop the N-bomb throughout the course of the film. Tarantino successfully balances the blood and gore with dark humor, a signature technique of his. In one scene, the director gives a hilarious and mocking take of the Ku Klux Klan with a group of bumbling bag heads. The name of Candie’s

mansion, Candyland, also provides a bit of ironic, comedic relief. Gun battles and chase scenes keep you on the edge of your seat. The gun battles are what make the film great. The ending shootout between Django and Candie’s men is captured from every angle imaginable. The shots are really fantastic (exaggerated gun wounds included). Each actor gives an authentic performance but the stand-out of the film is a draw between DiCaprio and Jackson. DiCaprio is truly deplorable and realistic as the main villain. His Oscar snub was unfortunate, indeed. Jackson is barely recognizable in this role that strays from his typical tough-as-nails characters. The suspense keeps you guessing. Some scenes are nail-biters. Overall, “Django Unchained” is adrenaline pumping madness throughout.

The session, presented by Duke Performances, was moderated by Duke professor of ethnomusicology Paul Berliner. It also included a question and answer session between Mtukudzi and the audience. The session began with Mtukudzi discussing his journey into the music world. Born in the city of Harare, Mtukudzi had an opportunity that not many other children had. “I am the least educated among my peers, but I was so advantaged because my parents could send me to school,” said Mtukudzi. Though he only went to school to please his parents, Mtukudzi said he was able to gain a better understanding of music through school. When he bought his first guitar, that understanding came in handy. Mtukudzi was able to teach himself the chords by ear. He also decided to imitate the sound from mbira, a traditional sub-Saharan African musical instrument. The mbira, or thumb piano, creates a buzz-like sound by plucking metal strips. “I just adopted the sounds I heard from the mbira,” said Mtukudzi. Mtukudzi said he made plenty of mistakes, but that was how he created a style completely his own — a style that has its own genre known as “Tuku music.” African songs are known for the contrast between their joyful tunes and seri-

ous subject matter. Mtukudzi said that’s how it needs to be done in order to draw in listeners. “It has to be happy to attract you to listen,” said Mtukudzi. But for Mtukudzi, the words are the most important things in a song. He said “lyrics are the song.” Mtukudzi said even with a good beat, the language and effect it has truly makes a good piece. “If you can’t touch the next heart then it’s not a good song,” said Mtukudzi. “The moment someone says it’s a good composition, there’s something wrong with the lyrics.” Mtukudzi said that in an African context, music is meant to “heal the broken heart, is to express, to give life and hope to the people.” And if anyone needs healing, it’s the people of Zimbabwe. In 1987, Robert Mugabe assumed office as the president of Zimbabwe. Initially praised for his success, his dictatorial rule began to cause unrest less than a decade later. Under his regime, the nation has suffered from poverty, violence and famine among other issues. Lovemore Masakadza, a former editor-in-chief with the Campus Echo who now works for the Mecklenburg County Health Department, said he knows the personal value of Tuku music. Masakadza is from Masvingo, a well-known city in Zimbabwe. Masakadza said Mtukudzi is a legend to the people of

Zimababwe. One of the reasons for this, he said, is the musician’s attention to the daily struggles of his audience. Mtukudzi sings about serious issues like domestic violence, civil unrest and feminism. One of his most praised songs deals with HIV/AIDS epidemic. The song, “Todii,” literally translates into “What Shall We Do.” According to an HIV activist in the audience, the song helped lower the rates of the disease in Africa by opening a discussion among people. Masakadza said when people are in terrible situations they turn to his music “to hear that it’ll get better.” “Those songs are messages of hope,” said Masakadza. Of the singer’s long list of songs, Masakadza said his favorite is “Raki” which translates into “Lackey.” The song is about people who believe they’re lucky, not realizing their survival is because of God. Masakadza said he was glad that Mtukudzi came to Durham. He said the visit was able to expose people to a different side to Africa. “When people think of Africa they think of poverty, but we also have good things going on,” he said. Read the lyrics to Todii at See a short clip of Mtukudzi at


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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013



Eagles’ defense too much for Bison Eagles extend their winning streak to five games and are now (4-0) in the MEAC

Junior guard Jeremy Ingram drives to the bucket in traffic against Howard University. BERNATTA PALMER/Echo staff videographer






University men’s basketball team (11-7) expected a competitive basketball game from their conference foes Monday night. But the

Howard University Bison (415) failed to deliver. The Bison shot terribly from the floor in both halves and the Eagles cruised to an

easy 71-36 win, extending their winning streak to five games. “We got a lot of work to do,” Moton said. “We were fortunate tonight we didn’t get their best shot.” “That’s a good team. They are big. And they’re physical. But we did some things early that I guess kind of rattled them and threw them off guard a little bit and mixed up some zones and presses. “We just didn’t want them to get comfortable.” And uncomfortable was how the Bison looked all game. The game got out to a fast pace, but after the first few minutes, it was apparent the Bison didn’t stand a chance against the Eagles’ zone defense. The pressure from that defense suffocated the Bison offense, forcing them to a dismal 25 percent on 13 of 51 shooting. It was the total opposite for the Eagles who finished the first half shooting 70 percent from the floor. They raced out to a 40-15 halftime lead. The missed shots from the

Bison — some of which were air balls — turned into fast breaks for NCCU, which led to high percentage shots. A big reason for those easy fast break points was junior forward Stanton Kidd, who had a team high 12 points and 7 rebounds. His hands were everywhere, disrupting all passing lanes. As a result, he collected 4 steals. The Eagles did however give back 10 turnovers of their own. “We’re still not a championship team yet,” Kidd said. “We’re still building. Rome wasn’t built in one day, so we still got a lot to do.” While four Eagles finished scoring in double figures, only one Bison could manage it. Mike Phillips led the Bison with 12 points on 3 of 14 shooting. The next matchup will be against Coppin State (4-15) on Saturday, followed by Morgan State (5-9) on Monday. These two games have been marked on the calendar since the beginning of the year for Kidd, a

Baltimore native. “This game is real personal for me,” said Kidd, “because I felt like I wasn’t recruited by Coppin (State) when I was in high school.” “I wasn’t recruited by them and Morgan (State) told me I wasn’t good enough to play in the MEAC so both of those games are going to be critical and real personal for me. “It’s no disrespect to the coaching staff that’s there, but we’re going to be OK and get the job done.” The Eagles are second in the MEAC standings with a (4-0) conference record. They trail only the defending MEAC champs, the Norfolk State Spartans, who lead the conference with five wins and zero losses. Moton claims that this is one of the best teams he has coached camaraderie wise, but says how good the Eagles can be remains to be seen. “We got to lay one brick at a time,” Moton said. “What matters is coming in tomorrow, working on the mistakes you made today and getting better.”

Lady Eagles’ stuggles continue BY


With the loss of their leading scorer, redshirt senior Chasidy Williams to injury and a second leading scorer, Amber Neely only averaging 7.6 points per game, one of the main goals for the winless Lady Eagles has been to find another consistent scorer. But that consistent scorer hasn’t been located yet. Monday night, the N.C. Central University women’s

basketball team continued to struggle losing 30-56 to the Lady Bison of Howard (10-7). “Offensively we have to find our niche,” Taylor said. “In ball games we want to average in the 50s. We’re struggling to knock down when we’re getting open shots.” Freshman guard Amber Neely did however reach double figures with 11 points, while adding 4 steals. It took nearly 12 minutes for the Lady Eagles to score their first field goal of the game.

By the time the Lady Eagles scored that field goal, they were already down 19 points. Head coach Vanessa Taylor said she was very disappointed with her team's play in the first half. She stayed in the locker room with her team after the game for more than 10 minutes before talking to the media. “I expected us to come out a little bit more energized with a better understanding of what we’re actually doing at this point of the

season,” Taylor said. “We did not do that tonight. “Certainly at this point in the season our young ladies have worked tremendously hard at getting themselves at a better place offensively and defensively. Tonight we just looked totally out of sync.” The Lady Eagles had the tough task of trying to stop the 4th leading scorer in the nation, Saadia Doyle (22.6 points per game). It was more than tough. Doyle went 10 for 12 from the field, scoring 24 points.

“Saadia Doyle is a special athlete,” said Howard head coach Nicki Reid Geckeler. “I mean she’s one of the top recruits in the country as it relates to scoring, so she is our go-to scorer.” A lot went wrong Monday night. For example, the Lady Eagles had problems getting a shot off before the 35-second shot clock ran out. The Lady Bison forced the Lady Eagles to 23 turnovers on the night, seven of which came from shot clock violations. “We waited to the last sec-

ond to take a shot and rushed them,” junior guard Tenika Neely said. “We just have to get back in the gym and go to work.” Williams' return is uncertain, but Taylor hopes it will be within the next couple of weeks. In the 13 games Williams has played, she is averaging 10.5 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. “We certainly miss her a lot,” Taylor said. “Before she went out, she led the team in scoring and rebounding, so it’s a major loss.”

going out here and helping other people,” Merritt said.

son.” According to Moton, King’s story is God’s purpose, so King can reach out and touch others. King is still taking medication and will be on chemotherapy until Sept. 30. His message for others: “Never give up on your dreams. Work hard for what you want, because when you work hard good things come out of it. Never give up. Always stay positive. Stay positive. And be determined to conquer your goals.”

KING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 person like she wanted to meet me.” According to Nielsen ratings, the game drew more than 9 million viewers. As millions watched his story on Christmas, King’s phone blew up with phone calls, text and Twitter messages. He said he received 206 friend requests on Twitter. He reached the maximum of 5,000 friends on Facebook, 98 friend requests on Instagram, 48 text messages, many phone calls and even doorbell rings. The first to call King was his best friend Johnny Ray Adams screaming that he saw King on television. “At the time I was with my family watching and they did-

n’t believe I knew him, so I called him up in front of them,” Adams said. “I just told him, ‘I hope you make it,’ asking him ‘how did it feel to be on national television?’” Adams and King have been friends since the sixth grade. Adams said although he knew King was special he never expected him to get this far this early. “I felt like it was a blessing because he’s been through a lot,” Adams said. Seeing that struggle firsthand was King’s mother, Michelle Merritt. Merritt explained that it was tough seeing him in the hospital bed, especially when she knew that leukemia has an estimated 60

percent survival rate. “From a mother’s perspective, just seeing and watching your child fight for their life is overwhelming,” Merritt said. “You don’t bury your child, your child buries you.” She prayed and leaned on God and others for strength. For months King struggled, but he battled back and recovered. The brief two and a halfminute segment during halftime brought tears to her eyes Merritt said. “I thought about when we first went in, within a matter of hours he was on every machine he could be on. He was in tubes. He was put on kidney dialysis. He laid in intensive care. He was swelling up. I thought I was

losing my child ... and then I looked at him sitting there while we were watching that piece,” Merritt said pausing. “And I was telling the Lord, ‘Thank you, I’m just thankful.’ That was 2010 and now it’s 2013 and I get to spend more time with my child.’” Merritt said that what’s most special about the ordeal is all the support that her son gets from others. Merritt said even members of U.S. Congress have sent letters of support. King credits his mother for his strength and her keeping him focused. She has illustrated what it means to be a supportive role model, he said. “You can’t think you’re going to make it life without

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After ESPN Today, aside from playing on the basketball team, King gives motivational speeches around the Triangle. He says he has plans to open his own motivational speaking organization and travel the world to encourage kids and adults. Levelle Moton, head coach of the NCCU basketball team, has nothing but high praises for King. “A beautiful kid. He’s probably the most humble spirit, most mature kid that I’ve been around,” Moton said. “He’s down to earth, he’s real. He’s everything that you would want in a per-

ESPN’s full four and a half minute segment of Rashawn King’s story will air on College Gameday on Feb. 9. College Gameday airs from 10 a.m. - 12 pm.

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013

Campus Echo Online

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Follow us @campusecho on Twitter

James Edward Shepard and the History of North Carolina Central University, 1875-1947 Read the introduction

In tribute to NCCU’s Centennial. A portion of funds from book sales will be used to fund merit scholarships in history and journalism and a proposed Shepard Research Center.


James E. Shepard In this tour de force and inspirational account you’ll read about the genealogy of the Shepard family, Shepard’s early years in Raleigh and at Shaw, his trip to Rome to attend the the International Sunday School Association’s international conference. You’ll read about the birth of the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua and its development

into the National Training school in 1915, the Durham State Normal School for Negroes in 1925, N.C. College at Durham in 1947, and NCCU in 1967. You’ll read about war years, Shepard’s role in Republican politics, and the role area businesses, such as N.C. Mutual and the Scarborough Funeral Home, played in the growth of NCCU. And much, much more.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Chapter One ~ The Right Man: The Genealogy, the Genius, the Legacy of James E. Shepard Chapter Two ~The Prodigal Son, 1875-1907 Chapter Three ~ The National Religious Training School and Chautauqua, 1907-1912 Chapter Four ~ On a Fixed Road to Destiny: Education and Politics, 1912-1916 Chapter Five ~ War, Politics, and Race, 1916-1923 Chapter Six ~ The Rise of Durham State Normal and the Ascendancy of North Carolina College, 1923-1930 Chapter Seven ~ North Carolina College and the Great Depression, 1930-1940 (in progress) Chapter Eight ~ World War II and Beyond, 1940-1947 Conclusion

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Henry Lewis Suggs Henry Lewis Suggs is a distinguished and published scholar of American history. His academic concentrations are the American South, African American history, and African American journalism. He earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1976. At Virginia, he was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. His first teaching assignment was at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina. He was WCU's first African American faculty member. An academic scholarship was later named in his honor. He taught at Howard University, Washington, D.C., for a number of years, and was selected for the faculty of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, in August 1983. In 1992 he became the second African American faculty member at Clemson to be promoted to the rank of full professor. At Clemson, he taught American history, the American South, and African American history. In February 1994, he was selected as the first Dupont Endowed Visiting Chair at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Also during his career at Clemson, he was selected for a twelve-week summer fellowship at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1997 he was selected as a W.E.B. Du Bois Scholar at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Suggs retired as Professor Emeritus of American History from Clemson University in 2003. In August 2003, Chancellor James H. Ammons of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, appointed Dr. Suggs scholar in residence at NCCU. His assigned duty was to write the history of NCCU. Dr. Suggs has edited and authored numerous books on African American journalism, and his scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as The Harvard University Business Review, The Journal of Southern History, The American Historical Review, The Journal of Negro History, The Virginia Historical Review, and many others.


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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013


Mo’ guns, mo’ problems T

he year 2012 was certainly an eventful one that managed to be historic for better or worse, depending on your perspective. The re-election of the first African American president excited many and managed to highlight this country’s shifting demographics. This year was also marked by Stefan that Weathers tragedy resulted from mass shootings as a result of the violent culture we now live in. Whether you believe the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, or the most horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut that resulted in the death of 20 children were because of a devaluing of life, mental illness, or the result of other external factors, the conversation that these events spurred was concerning the weapon used for mass murder. Whenever the issue of guns is brought to the forefront, this country spirals into a redundant battle over the “sanctity” of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The proposition of arming teachers or just having armed security has been discussed to combat attempts to regulate guns through the banning of certain high capacity assault rifles and universal background checks. Essentially the rationale is more guns will decrease the

In a country where we severely underpay those who teach our children and poorly fund the educational system that exists, it is comical to entertain the thought of planting armed security in K-12 schools.

number of shooting deaths. There is no such thing as arming the good guys to stop the bad guys. Looking to extinguish a fire by lighting a match is counterintuitive. Arming administrators or teachers is an idea that is almost laughable. Arming principals or teachers only invites trouble rather than prevents it. Suppose a student is called to the principal’s office, and is suspended from school. While in that principal’s office the student takes the gun from the principal and fires it. Who is to blame in that situation? Couldn’t that have been prevented? In that scenario the potential law that allowed the principal to have a weapon also led to their death or injury. Imagine the scenario in reverse as well … in that case the principal prevents the student from getting the gun and instead uses it on the student. What happens then? Is the principal fired, or put in prison? How will the parents react? Doesn’t that present the same “stand your ground” defense Zimmerman used in the alleged murder of Trayvon

Martin? The idea of stationing armed security in every school throughout the United States is costly, impractical, and a dangerous precedent. In a country where we severely underpay those who teach our children and poorly fund the educational system, it is comical to entertain the thought of planting armed security in K-12 schools. Moreover, this type of reaction — it’s not a response — creates a state of fear. Students will not feel that their safety is guaranteed. In addition, it is almost imprisoning the children and teens in the school, which can disrupt learning and create an atmosphere of lower expectations. This will not prevent firearm deaths in the U.S. Where would we draw the line? What other area that was once thought to be safe could possibly be surrounded by hoards of police officers? Those who want to prevent any type of regulation on assault rifles and the enforcement of background checks that flag people on the basis of their mental health, violent criminal background, or drug

abuse continue to dig a hole for themselves. In short, they are losing the argument. This is all the more true when you have commentators and talk radio personalities declaring that African Americans wouldn’t have needed to march in the Civil Rights Movement if they were armed. And yes, the people being referred to are talking about the movement , which practiced non-violent peaceful protest and civil disobedience. Rush Limbaugh was quoted as saying, “If a lot of AfricanAmericans back in the 60s had guns, and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma? I don’t know, I’m just asking.” “If John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, If John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head, on the bridge?” This is disgraceful commentary for sure, but this is why we can’t allow this conversation and response to fade. These are the thoughts of those who are unwilling to discover long-term solutions to shift the irresponsible and inexcusable course we have taken. This is a real battle we’re in people, a battle for the soul of this nation. I may not always be a fan of the way this government and society operates when it comes to the people, but a true RESPONSE, and neither a reaction nor inaction, is needed.

Ink my whole body A

zodiac sign on her lower back. RIP Grandma on his forearm. Stars on her thigh. Only God can judge me written in cursive lettering on his chest. Tattoos are now more a part of today’s socieCiera’ ty than ever before. Tattoos Harris used to be the mark of bikers, hardened criminals and sailors. Nowadays, people from all backgrounds are indulging in what was once frowned upon

by mainstream society. Tattoos are insanely popular, mainly due to celebrities and the media. Tattoos can be illustrations of anything. Some people like to get tattoos in spots that can only be seen while wearing a bathing suit or in the nude, while others proudly display their bodywork on their arms and legs. Some even go as far as tattooing their faces. There are numerous reasons people get tattoos. Some people get tatted to commemorate a family member or friend who has passed away. Some get tattoos to express themselves. Unfortunately,


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people also get tattoos to follow trends — and in 10 years they probably will regret it. Personally speaking, I love tattoos. I have eight of them myself. I’m currently working on a half-sleeve and within the next two months I plan to add an AK-47 to my thigh. I got my first tattoo at 18 during my first semester at NCCU. It’s a symbol of freedom. I was away from my parents and was armed with an $1,100 refund check. I went to Gorilla Ink and lost my tattoo virginity. I continue to ink my body

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because I love the pain. I know it sounds weird, but I really love the feeling of the needle on my skin. One thing I hate is how people with tattoos are sometimes judged by those who are not brave enough to go under the needle. I have a full academic scholarship. I have multiple majors. I plan on getting my Ph.D. and my Juris Doctorate and I’m getting my real estate license this semester. I know people without tattoos who are nowhere near as smart as I am. So don’t judge me by my ink!

drawing by Rashaun Rucker

Question: The Presidential Inauguration cost about $170 million. How do you feel about that? “It was over the top. George Washington had three people present at his inauguration. I don’t think it was intended to be that flamboyant.” – Julius Graham

“The inauguration cost way too much. I hope they didn’t use tax payer money.” –Redeidre Edwards

“That was unnecessary. We have too many social issues in this country to be spending money like that on one day.” –Jaron Allen

Sound Off By Ciera’ Harris

Jan. 23, 2013  
Jan. 23, 2013  

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