In This Issue: A nonprofit organization discusses issues black women face in the 21st century. Check out the full story on thefamuanonline.com
Kevina Fullwood speaks about the recent scandal surrounding Lil Wayne’s lyric referring to Emmett Till.
News ....... 1, 3 Calendar .... 2 Lifestyles .... 4 Opinions ..... 5 Special......... 6
Keturah Martin was dissappointed on Senior Night. To read more, check out thefamuanonline.com
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
FAMU remembers Trayvon Martin at vigil Amber Mackie Staff Writer The Tallahassee chapter of the Dream Defenders held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night at the Eternal Flame in remembrance of Trayvon Martin. Tuesday marked a year since the African-American teen was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. This shooting caused controversy worldwide. A small crowd of students, local officials and members of the Dream Defenders gathered to reflect on the past year since Martin was murdered Steven Pargett, the North Florida regional director of the Dream Defenders, felt that the vigil was a potent moment for young people to remember and still fight for change. “Today is about remembering Trayvon Martin,” Pargett said. “He’s an icon and representation of young black males everywhere.
Things have to change, and young people need to start doing something.” The vigil included poetry, hymns and prayer. The Dream Defenders also provided attendees with a lit candle that represented the memory of Martin. Chuck Hobbs, a local attorney, was also in attendance. Hobbs led a march to the Capitol three weeks after the media blaze had begun regarding Martin’s death. Hobbs was not happy with the slow progress of the case and demanded to meet with Gov. Rick Scott. Scott met with the Dream Defenders and other locals who were enraged by Martin’s case, and he reassured them that he would take action. Ten days later, Scott appointed State Attorney Angela Corey to take on the case. After she was MARTIN, see page 3
A candlelight vigil was held at the Eternal Flame in honor of Trayvon Martin.
Amber Mackie/The FAMUan
Former linebacker performs well at NFL Scouting Quintin Gee Correspondent
This year, about 330 of the top collegiate football players received invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine – including former Florida A&M linebacker Brandon Hepburn. “I’m very excited and well prepared,” Hepburn said. “I’m ready to represent my team, my school, my coaches and my family.” Hepburn walked onto the football team in 2008 and was redshirted, which gave him an extra year of eligibility. In 2009, he was used scarcely on special teams. Hepburn continued to work, eventually earning himself a scholarship. The Pomona, N.Y., native graduated in spring 2012 with a degree in biochemistry. According to an article from NCCAA.org on the “faces of the NCAA” published in December, Hepburn found a way to successfully kill certain cancer cells in rats. In addition to pursuing a career in the NFL, Hepburn has earned credits toward his master’s and plans to obtain his degree. He said he will complete his master’s program
“wherever the Lord takes me.” In his senior season, Hepburn led the team with 86 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, seven pass deflections, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Brandon Denmark, a fellow linebacker and junior criminal justice student from Tallahassee, said Hepburn is very energetic. “He has a high motor,” Denmark said. “Whenever I touched the field, I knew he was someone I could depend on to play [hard] each play.” However, it’s more than just his play on the field that sets Hepburn apart. He has strong religious convictions and is the leader of the FAMU’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a member of the Collegiate Ministry Advisory Council and has volunteered at a local homeless shelter. “A small group [from my church] and I evangelized downtown, offering the word of the Lord, meals, snacks and useful toiletries to those who had less,” Hepburn said. Denmark added that Hepburn’s religion moves him to do the right thing. “He’s not afraid to be different or to be LINEBACKER, see page 3
Courtesy of FAMU Sports Information Brandon Hepburn earned his degree in biochemistry in spring 2012. In his final season for the Rattlers, he led the team with 86 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
‘Study Buddy’ pill said to improve student performance Ellen Robinson Correspondent
An over-the-counter pill said to improve student study habits has recently made its way to Florida A&M’s bookstore. The pill is called Study Buddy and was created by Tyler Johansen, president of Brainiac Supplements LLC. According to Johansen, it helps with memory, concentration, focus, mental clarity and much more. Study Buddy is made of natural ingredients, such as Vitamin D3, Ginkgo biloba leaf powder and zinc. Johansen believes students would benefit from this product. “Anybody who needs to improve mental performance should take this,” Johansen
said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80. The ingredients are to better your well being and health.” Shatera Peace, a first-year pharmacy student from Baltimore, didn’t even know such pills were being sold. “I have heard of over-the-counter study drugs,” Peace said. “I did not know the bookstore was selling them. It’s quite shocking.” Considered a nutritional supplement and not a pharmaceutical, the Study Buddy pill is legal and in compliance with the Dietary Health and Supplement Education Act, which regulates dietary supplements.
Johansen said Study Buddy has no side effects. He also believes there is nothing dangerous about the pill, and it is recommended by doctors because of its safety. Due to the caffeine in the pill, however, Johansen said if someone is sensitive to caffeine or takes it with energy drinks, he or she could experience a rapid heartbeat. But some students prefer not to take any type of study pill. Daria Atkinson, a firstyear pharmacy student from New Orleans, would like to rely on herself when it comes to school. “If you’re in school, you shouldn’t have to
take a medicine that would spark your desire to want to learn or to help you remember things for the exam,” Atkinson said. “It’s like you’re cheating yourself out an education and wasting your time and money.” Mundedrick Bertrand, a third-year occupational therapy student, believes just the opposite. “I think if it would help you use your brain to its full potential, then use it,” Bertrand said. “There are no side effects, so I don’t see a problem.”
Arkansas governor vetoes 20week abortion bill
BP executive testifies at Gulf oil spill trial
Justices affirm stay for Florida trooper’s killer
Temporary ban on Fla. welfare drug testing upheld
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a ban on most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into a pregnancy, setting up an override fight with a Republicancontrolled Legislature that has been pushing for more restrictions on the
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A highranking BP executive testified Tuesday that the London-based oil giant and its contractors share the responsibility for preventing blowouts like the one that killed 11 workers and spawned the nation’s worst offshore oil spill in 2010.
STARKE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court refused to lift a stay of execution for a South Florida drug trafficker convicted of killing a state trooper with a pipe bomb, its decision issued hours before the inmate was set to die by lethal injection Tuesday.
(AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a temporary ban on a law requiring drug testing of Florida’s welfare recipients, prompting Gov. Rick Scott to say he’ll now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
2 Calendar Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | www.thefamuanonline.com
Announcements February 27 FAMU’s Chapter of Model United Nations will host an interest meeting at 6 p.m. in the Gore Education Complex. For more information, contact Widler Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Office of Student Activities will host “Relationships 101,” a Rattler First Program in Lee Hall at 6 p.m.
Classifieds March 1 FAMU’s Essential Theatre presents “Deal With The Devil and Other Reasons To Riot.” The play will be in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre. For more information, visit the Charles Winter Wood Theatre box office. The Office of Student Activities sponsors “Consino Royal” at 6 p.m. in Gaither Gym. March 2 The Office of Student Activities will host “A Day of Service” on the Set starting at 8 a.m.
March 4 The Foster-Tanner Art Gallery will host a silent auction in the FosterTanner Complex from 6-8 p.m. March 5 The Foster-Tanner Art Gallery is sponsoring a reception in celebration of their new exhibit. The reception will begin at 6 p.m.
information, contact Jeremie Johnson at 334-414-1768. March 7 The ladies of Eternal Legendary Queens Inc. (E.L.Q.) will host an informational meeting. The room and time is TBA. If you have any questions, or if you’re interested, please contact elq1999@gmail. com.
March 6 Innovation Matters will have a meeting at 7 p.m. in the School of Business and Industry’s East Wing in room 420. For more
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Exhibit incorporates technology to teach black history
AP Photo/LBJ Presidential Library, Yoichi Okamoto
Paige Moore Correspondent The cutting ceremony began promptly at 6 p.m. on Monday in the Black Archives Research Center and Museum. As the director of the Black Archives, Elizabeth Dawson cut the large blue ribbon. Students, professors, JPMorgan Chase & Co. representatives and other individuals in Tallahassee entered the new King Center Imaging Project. The project displays a collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s documents, photographs and speeches for guests to watch. The documents have been digitized with the ability to be viewed on Apple MacBooks and iPads. King’s speeches can also be displayed on flat screens for visitors in a viewing section. Dawson explained that the imaging booth is for all students and will grab attention with the high-tech features that display King’s life. “The entire project was for our students and our community,” Dawson said. “What we wanted to do was give them access to these historical documents and to encourage them on whatever their interests, whatever their age, whatever the backgrounds, to engage in archival research digitalization products and to encourage them.” The imaging booth allows students to sit down and watch speeches and marches organized by King. Tanesha Bryan, a senior history student
from St. Petersburg, Fla., feels this will bring students closer to black history. “The King Center will be very influential because a lot of students don’t know their black history, and coming from King in the civil rights [movement], I feel like it has the most impact on how we live as integration progress[es],” Bryan said. One of the most viewed areas of the imaging booth was the dream wall, where students write their dreams down and are able to post them on the wall. Tnijah Smith, a senior political science/pre-law student from Heidelberg, Germany, was drawn to this portion of the exhibit. “I think the dream wall is an effective way to see everyone’s dreams and aspirations,” Smith said. “You can get ideas and learn other goals of others, and it’s a great way to network. I actually met someone that has the same dream to teach children in life like me.” Florida A&M is one of the few schools elected to have the project. JP Morgan, a partner with FAMU, is one of the sponsors of the exhibit. According to Dawson, the King Center Imaging Project will bring a great deal of exposure to the university. “It’s about networking and providing service to our campus and encouraging intellectuals of all forms,” Dawson said.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | www.thefamuanonline.com
School of Allied Health welcomes physical therapy director Amber Mackie Staff Writer The School of Allied Health Sciences has a new physical therapy director. Dawn Brown-Cross has come to Florida A&M after spending 16 years at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Brown-Cross is a native of Jamaica and relocated to New Jersey in 1974. She received her bachelor’s in physical therapy at then Kean College, her master’s at the University of South Florida and her doctor of education degree at Nova Southeastern specializing in instructional technology and distance education. Courtney Bolton, a graduate doctor of physical therapy candidate from Beaumont, Miss., is happy with her arrival. “I am very pleased Dr. Brown-Cross has come to join the DPT (doctor of physical therapy) program at FAMU,” Bolton said. “Her time with us will be a rewarding experience for us all due to her experience and knowledge in physical therapy.” In 2010, Brown-Cross served as the director of the entry-level doctor of physical therapy program at Nova. As a result of her leadership, both of Nova’s physical therapy programs were accredited for ten years. With accreditation coming up to expand FAMU’s physical therapy program, Brown-Cross is determined to make this process successful. “My focus for these first few months is going to be solely on learning how this school operates so I am able to put together a self-study proposal that will go to our accrediting body,” she said. Her main goal is to make students more successful on their licensing examination, and she also plans to make changes to the curriculum.
Linebacker, from page 1 what God wants him to be,” Denmark said. Head coach Earl Holmes, another former Rattler linebacker, was part of the 1996 NFL Scouting Combine. Holmes was drafted 126th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the ’96 draft. He went on to record 958 total tackles, 89 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in his 10-year career. Holmes, who was the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator when Hepburn played, had nothing but praise for him. “He was a coordinator on the field,” Holmes said. “He knew his job and could line 10 other guys up and make sure they knew their job.” If an audible were made, Holmes said, Hepburn would make the correct read and do a great job disguising it. “His knowledge of the game is a 9.5,” Holmes said. “The
Special to The FAMUan Dawn Brown-Cross was recently hired as the director of physical therapy in the School of Allied Health Sciences. She plans to help doctor of physical therapy students become more successful on their licensing exams.
“I want the regional agency of accreditation to look at our program from our perspective before they come on site to actually see for themselves,” Brown-Cross said. Outside of working toward change as the new physical therapy director, Brown-Cross actively contributes to the physical therapy profession. She’s served on the Florida Physical Therapy Association’s (FPTA’s) board of directors as a Florida Assembly representative and as chair and a member of various committees at the chapter level. Brown-Cross has been heavily involved in FPTA activities and committees that inform and enforce the multicultural agenda of the professional organization. She is committed to improving diversity within the profession. “The opportunity to work with students of color is very
important to me,” she said. “I have a history of working to promote cultural diversity, so that is a driving force behind why I’m here at FAMU.” Brown-Cross has also taught various courses in the classroom, including research methodology, wound care, business management, clinical skills, neurology and prosthetics and orthotics. She also used technology in instructing physical therapy students who were at an entry-level to Ph.D. Bernard Smothers, a FAMU physical therapy professor, has high expectations for Brown-Cross. “I’ve been working with her since the beginning of February, and she seems enthusiastic and hardworking, determined to get a firm grasp on things and do her job,” Smothers said. “I think that she has a lot to bring to the program.”
only reason I can’t give him a 10 is because he’s not ready to be a [coach] yet.” According to FAMU Sports Information, Casey Printers, a transfer student-athlete from Texas Christian University was the last Rattler to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2002. Former FAMU wide receivers Kevin Elliott and Brian Tyms are the most recent Rattlers to play in the NFL. Tyms had high praise for Hepburn. “He’s a great dude,” Tyms said. “Real religious, lives strictly by the Bible, great friend and competitor. I would go to war with him in a hail storm.” Leading up the combine, Hepburn trained in Miami at the Bommarito Performance Systems facility, which trains NFL prospects for the combine and their Pro Days. “I’m down here with a lot of great talent out of the state of Florida and across the country,” Hepburn said. “But I’m focused on what I’m doing and putting it all together when
it counts.” Many NFL athletes have trained at Bommarito Performance Systems, including four-time Pro-Bowler Frank Gore, 2011 NFL Rushing Leader Maurice Jones-Drew and former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne. Hepburn showcased his abilities at the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday, bench pressing 225 pounds 21 times and earning a “Top Performer” ranking for his 124-inch broad jump, according to NFL.com. “I performed to the best of my abilities, and I did my best to glorify God on a grand stage,” Hepburn said. “I am looking to improve for my Pro Day.” Holmes said he wasn’t surprised by Hepburn’s performance. “I’m proud of him,” Holmes said. “The sky’s the limit for this kid. Will I be surprised when they call his name on draft day? Of course not.”
Martin, from page 1
Special to The FAMUan from Justice for Trayvon Florida residents demanded change from Gov. Rick Scott. Zimmerman was later charged with Martin’s death.
appointed, George Zimmerman was charged. “I believe that all of our efforts last year were just a small part in trying to lead to criminal charges being pressed against George Zimmerman,” Hobbs said. “If we continue to join together and let our voices be heard, we can affect change, just like we did last year with Gov. Scott.” Hobbs is also a supporter of the Dream Defenders. “I have always appreciated this group, and I value the fact that these are students who are taking international issues very seriously,” he said. Although there was a small turnout at the vigil, the few students who did attend seemed to appreciate the reflections of Martin provided by the Dream Defenders. “You don’t really hear a lot about the case anymore, so for them to let us know that there is actually progress being made means a lot,” said Dafton Connell, a second-year psychology student from West Palm Beach, Fla. On March 5, the first day of legislative session, the Dream Defenders will be at the Capitol addressing community issue varying from immigration policies to the “stand your ground law” at 9 a.m.
Oasis hosts screening and discussion for black women Alicia Jarman Correspondent The Oasis Center for Women & Girls held a film screening and discussion at the Black Archives Research Center and Museum on Sunday. Attendees viewed short films and discussed the relationship between historical contemporary issues and the intersection of race and gender in the U.S. Haley Cutler, executive director of Oasis, welcomed and informed guests of the organization’s mission. “We are a nonprofit organization in Tallahassee whose mission is improving the lives of women and girls through celebration and support,” Cutler said. The short film “Black is Black Ain’t It,” focused on subjects such as hair, beauty and sexuality. Yolanda Fairell, a sociology professor at Tallahassee Community College, facilitated the discussion. She spoke about the struggles black women face in a white society. “Black women that white society deems
beautiful have to give into white standards of beauty, like straight hair and fair skin,” Fairell said. After the screening, guests began a discussion. Cheryl Moore, a Tallahassee resident, had strong opinions. “I believe everyone needs to find their selfvalue,” Moore said. “Once that happens, nobody’s opinion matters.” Hip-hop artists, their suggestive lyrics and the effects music has on young black men were also discussed. “Lyrics such as those lead the black male to glorify having sexual intercourse with a lot of different women,” Moore said. According to Cutler, important issues concerning the well being of AfricanAmerican females will be discussed at a public hearing Thursday at Workforce Plus. “In this hearing, some issues that will be discussed are violence against women, women-friendly workplace policies and African-American girls being expelled more frequently,” Cutler said. For information on the hearing, call 850222-2747.
Courtesy of Docurama
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | www.thefamuanonline.com
Teen’s death ignites ‘Dream Era’
Editor-in-Chief: email@example.com Angie Meus Managing Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez Copy Desk Chief: email@example.com Nolan McCaskill Copy Editor: Asia Johnson Copy Editor: Donovan Harrell News Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez Lifestyles Editor: email@example.com Domonique Davis Amber Mackie/The FAMUan Dream Defenders organized a candlelight vigil for Trayvon Martin to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.
Jabari Mickels Correspondent We are at the end of an era of compromise and complacency. We have no more time for armchair activists and social media pundits. We do not live in a post-racial society. One black man elected to our highest office does not negate the fact that black and brown youth are in a state of emergency. For children are our society’s canaries in a mine. It’s time to stop pretending that our canaries aren’t dying. It’s time for us to make decisions about our own lives. We’ve decided that we have worth. On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman on his way home from a convenience store in Sanford, Fla. Martin, a 17-year-old boy, was seen as inherently dangerous, a criminal, a secondclass citizen, by virtue of being black. He was ultimately shot for being somewhere Zimmerman deemed inappropriate. In 1787, 226 years ago, at the Philadelphia Convention, our founding fathers formally decided that the life of a black person was not equivalent to that of a white person in America. In fact, our Constitution claimed that we, who were already enslaved and abused, were 3/5 of a white whole and called it a compromise. Surely, not a compromise on which we agreed. The founders of this nation set a precedent, one that continuously manifests itself in our society. So much so that on Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman decided to shoot and kill Trayvon as he walked home, Florida was all but ready to send Zimmerman on his way. As a result, we began to awaken and gain a new consciousness. We took to the streets; we protested. At the beginning, we stood together and decided that this was not justice. Out of this turmoil arose the Dream Defenders and we’ve been building ever since. We’ve been building because we are living in a state of emergency. As young people in college, we sometimes miss how an event, such as Martin’s murder, affects our communities. We look over how injustices like this affect us indirectly. In Florida last year, according to the Southern
Amber Mackie/The FAMUan Dream Defenders organized a candlelight vigil for Trayvon Martin to mark the one year anniversary of his death.
Poverty Law Center (SPLC), there were over 58,000 children arrested. That is 40 percent higher than the national average. The majority, 53 percent, were arrested for misdemeanors. For more than 20,000 of the children arrested for misdemeanors, it was their first offense. As Dream Defenders, we are working to drastically drop these numbers in the near future. When we arrest or criminalize our children, we are only setting them up to walk a path of destruction. We can no longer allow the past mind state of this state to bring our children into the juvenile systems. Zimmerman’s mind state when murdering Martin was one that parallels with the mind state of the elitists who believe we were only 3/5 man. In public schooling, our battles for justice continues. Black and brown youth are labeled as “less than” from the moment they enter the classroom. Schools are less concerned with seeing these students prosper, but with pushing them to self-educate in the world. What was once a visit to the principal’s or counselor’s
office in our parents’ day is now a degrading ride in the back of a police car. Shoving in hallways (battery), taking something from a classmate’s book bag (theft or robbery), or being a class clown (disorderly conduct) are all grounds for arrest in Florida schools. And even though African-American children make up approximately 23 percent of Florida’s youth population, the SPLC statistics show that we represent 39 percent of all children arrested, 46 percent of all children arrested from schools, and 52 percent of all children sent to juvenile prison. Black students are two to three times more likely to be suspended, expelled, or arrested than white students for the same conduct. It’s not because black kids behave worse than other students. You would think that after 266 years black youth would stop being unfairly treated like criminals and second-class citizens. As Malcolm X said, “The odds are against us, but what do we care about odds?” We have decided that we are ignoring precedent. We’ve decided that we are whole. We will no longer be second-class citizens in the country that was built on our backs. It’s time that we remember how we felt a year ago today. It’s time we remember how we felt when voter suppression laws swept this state. It is time we remember that no human is illegal. It is time that we stand our ground and demand that our kids be taught rather than dismissed and senselessly killed. It is time we stop reacting and start building. No more Trayvon Martins, no more Jordan Davises, no more Rodrigo Diazes, and no more Emmett Tills. We welcome you to the Dream Era; it’s only just begun. Join us on March 5, the first day of the legislative session, on the steps of the Old Capitol of Florida, where we will deliver the real “State of the State address.” The Dream Era, an era will be propelled by black and brown youth who spent their formative years criminalized, marginalized, tossed aside and forgotten. We’ve found beauty in the dark; we found strength in our struggle, and determination through despair. Now we’re ready to set new precedents.
Poetry Corner: ‘Our Darkest Hour’ To the assimilation ships With the signs Water hoses And rocks To the large ghettos With the sirens of cops To the ambulances that ride around my block To the men who shoot my boys without fear And yell self-defense when the court case is near. Do you know where I come from? A ship sailed me away from my homeland Forced me into assimilation Without warning My past is cut like the tax dollars to feed the homeless I might as well remain nameless
Because now I’m shameful to my own people I’m unidentified Culture cut off And now I’m see-through But don’t worry No one will ever see me there again And if I ever go back I don’t fit in I want to communicate But on this ship and on this land I was taught not to I sing trying to heal the wounds of the white peoples’ whips But as usually they tell me I have no breaks And I must get back to work Or they will take me children away
Opinions writer neede
The way they treated us then is the same way they treat us now I look for the North Star Feeling like I’ll never be free Take me away officer now I will put on my black face and bow down Bow down, so you could calm down Original gangster pulled the wool over our eyes You’ve made our lives a living disguise But I’ve made an escape to spread the truth to all your lies I will not become the generation of Malcolm’s last name But I will be I will be Reborn like a King.
Precious Dorch-Robinson Correspondent
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The black vs. African-American debate Classifying a minority in America Bridgett Pittman Staff Writer The terms “black” and “African-American” often play a role in how some people of color define themselves. According to Darius Young, an associate history professor, black and African-American are completely different classifications. “I identify as African-American,” he said. “We’re dealing with a race issue compared to an ethnic issue.” Young believes race is used to categorize people. “It is a social construct,” he said. “Race is used as a tool to really divide and is based solely off a person’s skin color.” Although he views himself as African-American, Young said he doesn’t shy away from calling himself black. Blacks born to natives of America aren’t the only people affected by this subject. Carmen Welsh, a third-year psychology student from Jacksonville,
Fla., was born in America to Panamanian parents, one of whom is considered Afro-Panamanian. “I identify myself as Hispanic,” Welsh said. “Though I’m not a native-born of Panama, both of my parents have raised me in the culture.” In addition to embracing her Hispanic heritage, Welsh said her mother has instilled in her that she was still considered black in America because of her features. “My mother, since we were young, always taught us that we were black,” Welsh said. “She let us know that yes, we are Spanish, but you are of color.” When it comes to self-identity among blacks, Young feels it is important to embrace the term African-American and the history that comes along with it. “I think when we begin to talk about AfricanAmericans, it gives us an opportunity, in particular, to have a place of origin,” Young said. “So we have to look to this entire continent and really understand the history. I think it’s important that we embrace that term for historical reasons.”
Lil Wayne’s unexpected lyrics strike a cord with Till’s family, community Kevina Fullwood Correspondent If Lil Wayne had no worries, he has some now. Once again, rapper Lil Wayne has done something that earned him bad publicity. On Future’s “Karate Chop Remix,” Lil Wayne compared a rough sex act to the historical beating and killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Has the cough syrup that Lil Wayne admitted to drinking in a short film directed by Lee Harris finally clouded his judgment? Lil Wayne’s timing could not have been worse. It’s Black History Month. Emmett Till’s death was a driving force for the civil rights movement. In a song about producing and distributing drugs, Lil Wayne said “I ’ma beat the p---y up like Emmett Till.” Not only were Wayne’s lyrics disgraceful to the historical event of Till’s death, it was demeaning to women. Why would anyone want to mutilate a woman’s “pink passion” to the point of no recognition? “Everybody knows what he said was wrong,” said, Timothy Orange, a Florida State graduate from Miami. “It’s disrespectful to everything black people fought for.” In a two page open letter, Till’s family expressed how hurt and appalled they were about the lyrics. They also insisted that Lil Wayne use the power of his celebrity status and his tongue more responsibly. In a phone interview from Chicago, the cousin of Emmett Till and founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation explained how it destroyed her to hear Wayne compare a woman’s anatomy, the gateway of life to the ugly face of death. “I am angry but not surprised,” said Nefetari Dennard, a secondyear graphic design student from Tallahassee. “Lil Wayne and his empire, Young Money is a modernday minstrel show.”
“Lil Wayne represents a group of people that don’t care,” said Andre Dawson, a senior criminal justice student, from Harlem, NY. “I don’t think what Wayne said was okay but to avoid being sucked into that, I’d rather laugh than get emotionally upset.” Epic Records and LA Reid pulled the lyrics from the unauthorized remix that was leaked online. Future spoke out and “apologized” about the lyrics. However, Lil Wayne has yet to apologize. I find this non-existent apology a bit disturbing when he was able to apologize about saying, “F-- LeBron James” during a 99 Jamz radio interview. For the students who may not know, Emmett Till was an AfricanAmerican boy who was savagely beat to death in Mississippi in 1955. His death was carried out by a group of white men that heard he had whistled at a white woman who worked at a local store. The accounts of what happened changed many times from him simply whistling at the woman to him physically touching the woman and saying derogatory things to the woman. The group of men that were accused and charged with his murder were released. After referring to himself as a “martian” in a past song, maybe Lil Wayne does not associate himself with the African-American race, or any earthly race. Is the black community so lost in the material world, that we have forgotten our bloody history? Has it gone so far that we find humor in the injustices, shackles, and tears of our ancestors? Of course, the continuous radio plays and downloading of Wayne’s music will answer that question. Honestly, I’m not shocked at Wayne’s choice of lyrics. Wayne has finally run out of things to rap about. He has mastered saying the same thing multiple ways. Needless to say, that does not justify Wayne’s need to think before he raps.
Courtesy: AP Photo, File/Gerald Herbert AP Photo, File Rapper Lil Wayne referenced Emmett Till Emmett Till, a 14-year-old, was beaten in a new song, which offended members of and killed in 1955 as a result of a hate Till’s family. crime.
However, Jay Brown, a public health doctoral student from Marquis, St. Andrews, Grenada, disagreed. “I feel like African-American is a bad term itself,” Brown said. “I prefer people just stick with blacks if they want to talk about that specific race because African-American doesn’t really catch the race.” He used the nationality of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife as an example. “John Kerry’s wife, her parents are from Mozambique,” Brown said. “She would be closer to an African-American than a lot of the people that they call African-American.” Brown feels the confusion in self-identity is sourced from a misunderstanding of the differences between ethnicity, race and nationality. “Nationality is where you’re from,” he said. “Race is used to describe biological characteristics, which is why we are considered black. Now the ethnicity itself is more cultural. It’s more of what you believe in and how you were raised.”
Globetrotters block out bullying in Leon County Terene Williams Correspondent
Slick Willie Shaw, a forward for the Globetrotters, spoke to the Greg McCray Boys & Girls Club members about the action, bravery and compassion of preventing bullying. “It was fantastic,” Shaw said. “One of the great things about being a Harlem Globetrotter is the opportunity to present important programs like the ABC’s of Bullying Prevention and make a difference in kids’ lives.” As part of the Harlem Globetrotters’ anti-bullying awareness program, Shaw prompted the club members to give examples of how to implement the ABC program and what kids should do when they witness bullying on the playground. “He has a personality that makes it easy for young people to relate to him while maintaining his position as a role model for them,” said Jaimee Spector, the Boys & Girls Club communications director. “The idea that I thought was most impressive was when one of the club members mentioned that a victim should simply walk away from a bullying situation.” TraDarious Cox, a junior staff member at the club, couldn’t stop thinking about how tall Shaw is. “He had to duck when he came in the door,” Cox said.
“The kids were quiet and paid attention to what he was saying. It was fun. Even I was participating.” The ABCs of Bullying Prevention program came from a partnership with the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Every year, the nonprofit organization hosts its Do the Write Thing Challenge, in which 60,000 middle school students write essays about violence in their lives. “We are grateful for the chance to reach these kids early in their lives and let them know that bullying is not cool,” Shaw said. “A lot of them are surprised to know that even some Harlem Globetrotters were bullied when they were kids.” Shaw said students were more attentive when they heard fellow Globetrotters were once bullied. He said he could tell that the talk was more impactful when students learned they used the same tools to overcome bullying. “It was a disguised learning activity for the kids,” said Charles Smith, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Bend. “The kids were clapping, chanting and learning at the same time. It was very informational and interactive.” The Boys & Girls Club of Big Bend is one of 300 schools and youth centers that the Harlem Globetrotters will visit.
Courtesy: The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend Slick Wilie Shaw speaks to kids at a local Boys & Girls Club.