Monday, March 24, 2014 thehilltoponline.com
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Retool Your School
Vote for Howard in the Home Depot Retool Your School competition at www.retoolyourschool.com. The University is competing with other HBCUs for awards ranging $10,000 -$50,000. Awards go to the schools that receive the most online votes/social media activity.
The Hilltop Workshops How to Build a Meaningful, Sustainable Career Thursday, March 27 at 2:30 C.B. Powell Building, Screening Room West The Anatomy of a Story: Turning a Good Idea Into a Great Piece Thursday, March 27 at 3:45 C.B. Powell Building, Screening Room West
The Associated Press reports that as the March 31 deadline to sign up for HealthCare.gov looms, millions of Americans remain uninsured.
In the News: Editor’s Picks
“The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe Is A Scientific Anomaly” (via NPR) • “Africans Are Helping Themselves—Fuel Their Innovation, Not Your Own” (via The Root)
CAMPUS..............................p.2 LIFE & STYLE.......................p.8 SPORTS...............................p.9 OPINIONS........................p.10
Vol. 98 No.14 est. 1924
Howard University Hosts DC Premiere of “WHITE GOLD” Rachel Mann HU Communications Specialist White Gold, a documentary exposing the negative impact of the modern-day ivory trade in Africa, will make its way to Washington, DC, on Thursday, March 27, in the Digital Auditorium of Howard University’s Blackburn Student Center at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. This event is part of the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org. The event is sponsored by Howard’s Office of Sustainability in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a part of the HU-EPA Memorandum of Understanding. Narrated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White Gold shows how the demand for ivory is threatening elephant populations in Africa, destabilizing the region and even helping to fund terrorism. “White Gold is a frontline exposé of the modern day ivory trade – its ef-
fect on African countries and wider regional stability, its potential to fund terrorism and its global reach. Produced by professionals from the conservation, filmmaking and security fields, the film illustrates the awe-inspiring complexity, beauty and emotional intelligence of the elephant, Africa’s most majestic and iconic wild animal.” Following the screening, filmmakers Arne Glimcher and Ian Saunders will be on hand to discuss the film. Glimcher is a producer and director of several motion pictures including Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies and The Mambo Kings. He is chairman of the Board of Directors for the African Environmental Film Foundation, a non-profit organization which, since its launch in 1998, has produced more than 20 educational films about environmental issues in Africa, including White Gold. Saunders is a professional African wildlife manager, ecologist, security/intelligence advisor and was a soldier in the British Army. He is vice president of the African Environmental Film Foundation.
Howard University to Offer Free Kidney Screenings for National Kidney Month Monica Y. Queen Senior Communications and Marketing Specialist Howard University Hospital will host the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) annual “March is Kidney Month” free kidney check-up event on Wednesday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Freedman’s Hall, located off of the main lobby of Howard University Hospital. One in three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease due to rapidly rising rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. In the Washington area, there are approximately 700,000 people affected by kidney disease, nearly 6,000 on dialysis and 1,500 waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant.
of kidney disease and kidney failure,” said Dr. Constance Mere, nephrologist at Howard University Hospital and NKF board member. “This places a huge burden on our physical, emotional and financial well-being.” The kidney health check event will include risk surveys, body mass index (BMI) measurements, blood pressure checks, free educational materials and an opportunity to speak with a healthcare professional. Anyone who is at risk, including those with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure, is encouraged to attend. For more information or to register, call 202-244-7900, x20.
“Not only are African Americans more likely to be designated with chronic kidney disease at an early age, but we are more likely to be diagnosed with the advanced stage
Snow Days Could Halt Summer Plans Kennedi Fuller Contributing Writer With the Howard student population being 80 percent out-of-state, naturally, several students have already made summer plans and travel arrangements. However, just last week, with less than half of the semester left, Howard University Interim President Wayne Frederick made an announcement that could cause students to put their summer plans on pause and face economic repercussions due to expensive plane tickets. This isn’t the first time DC has had a harsh winter. The East Coast has been known to face frequent snow storms and severe weather conditions. This could happen next year, and in the event that it does the university should be ready to handle it. “As a result of the unusually large number of closures due to weather, the Provost will consult with the Deans and faculty to asses if extra
sessions are needed,” says Frederick in an email sent to students, faculty, and staff . Planning ahead and enforcing policies pertaining to the cancellation of class due to weather, could set the stage for success in the years to come. While a handful of students were pleased to hear this news in the hopes of receiving extra time to pick up where they may have slacked, many students see no need to change the school calendar. “We’ve had the syllabus all year. There’s no reason that the snow days should stop a student from studying class material when we’ve known about it all semester long,” says Loick St. Louis, a freshman biology major from Elmont,NY. “It’s not like we do anything but sit in our dorms on snow days anyway. If anything these snow days were an advantage.” Similarly, Adedamola Sokoya, a
senior political science major from Prince George’s County, MD, sees no value in slapping on extra days of classes to the semester. “I don’t think it will have an effect on grades because at the end of the day, three extra classes won’t get you an A if you didn’t already earn it,” says Sokoya. With that being said, students aren’t the only ones compromising. Many professors have had to revise their syllabi several times, causing them to alter assignment due dates and hand out make-up assignments, just to keep their students academically on track. Matthew Holmes, a sophomore sports management major from Richmond, shares similar sentiments. “One of my teachers even started to make our class more online based because we’ve had so many snow days,” says Holmes, sophomore sports management major.
But Steve Francis, a sports medicine major from Northidge, CA, welcomes the extra days. “Truthfully, these snow days have caused us to cram information, which is not conducive to a successful learning environment” says Francis “I came to Howard to get the full experience. A full education. Extending the semester is something that needs to happen.” One professor shared his opinion: “The school year is scheduled according to hours. If we extend all that we have to offer to our students in those given hours then our job is not done,” says Dr. Clement Akassi, Spanish professor. “Our students deserve a full education.” In other actions, the university Office of Special Awards is giving work study students who were unable to work during the University closures an opportunity to make up for lost wages.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
The Hilltop Newspaper Glynn Hill
Editor-in-Chief Dominique Diggs Chief Managing Editor Indigo Silva Multimedia Editor Emmy Victor Campus Editor Keneisha Deas Metro Editor Maya Cade Life & Style Editor Khari Arnold Sports Editor Daniel White Opinions Editor Quantrel Hedrick Copy Chief Lindsey Ferguson Copy Editor Tasia Hawkins Staff Writer Jourdan Henry Staff Writer Siniyah Smith Staff Writer Erin Van Dunk Staff Writer Shannen Hill Staff Writer Precious Osagie-Erese Staff Writer Nile Kendall Staff Writer Steven Hall Columnist Marc Rivers Columnist Rachel Cumberbatch Photo Editor Disa Robb Editorial Assistant Jasmine Nealy Editorial Assistant Karrie Leonard Editorial Assistant Katie Downs Cartoonist The Hilltop encourages its readers to share their opinions with the newspaper through letters to the editor or perspectives. All letters should include a complete address and telephone number and should be sent electronically to email@example.com. All inquiries for advertisements should be sent directly to The Hilltop Business office at: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com nationaladvertising2thehilltoponline.com
Howard University Professor Anna Allen Wins U.S. Department of Defense Research Grant Rachel Mann HU Communications Specialist Howard University Department of Biology assistant professor Anna K. Allen, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $450,444 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to fund the acquisition of a spinning disc fluorescent confocal microscope. The grant was awarded under the DoD’s Research and Education Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and MinorityServing Institutions (HBCU/MI). The grant, titled “Acquisition of a Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope to Enhance Research and Training in the STEM Fields at Howard University,” will enhance the technical and instructional capabilities of the department as well as help to increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. “We’re very fortunate to receive this grant,” said Dr. Allen, principal investigator on the project. “This next generation imaging capability will revolutionize both the instructional training as well as research that faculty at Howard University and other local colleges and universities can accomplish.” Allen and a team of researchers will utilize the new imaging system to tackle a variety of biological issues. These include identifying new components of the cell cycle as well as better understanding neurons in mental health disorders such as depression and drug abuse in order to design more effective therapeutic drugs.
Anna K. Allen Photo courtesy of HU News Room
genetics courses, while other faculty will utilize it in molecular biology and immunology courses. In 2009 and again in 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked Howard University as the top producer of African-American bachelor’s degree recipients who subsequently earned science and engineering doctoral degrees in the United States. On average, more freshmen enroll in biology at Howard than in any other major. The Research and Education Program for HBCU/MI enhances research programs and capabilities in scientific and engineering disciplines critical to the national security functions of the DoD. It encourages greater participation by HBCU/ MIs in DoD research and education programs and activities; increases the number of graduates, including underrepresented minorities, in the STEM fields and encourages research and educational collaboration with other institutions of higher education.
The spinning disc confocal system will also allow the department to incorporate live cell imaging into its undergraduate and graduate courses. Allen plans to use the system in her developmental biology and
A Legacy to Remember Alexis Porter Contributing Writer Thurgood Marshall, Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen and Toni Morrison. All names that immediately come to mind when we think of notable Howard University alum. Often times the name Amiri Baraka, a writer of works depicting the black experience in America, never even leaves the lips of the current generation. On Saturday, March 22nd, the Browsing Room in Founders Library was packed wall to wall with individuals attending a symposium and commemorative program celebrating the life and work of the late Amiri Baraka. Friends, family members, professors, activists and students listened in on panels highlighting Baraka’s influence on the black arts movement during his lifetime and its affects present day. Our own Dr. Carr, PhD spoke on Baraka’s political ark. “Unfortunately, I did not know who Amiri Baraka was prior to going to the symposium. However, after attending the event I learned a lot and realized how influential he was in the black arts movement,” said freshman Victoria James. “The amount of people who showed up to the presentation speaks volumes to how important he was. The symposium was very interesting and was important to have because it built a bridge to the past for the younger generation who do not know important figures in our history,” she added. Born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 7, 1934, Amiri Baraka is known as one of Black America’s most outspoken political writers, thinkers, and activists. He was active in both the Black Nationalist and Black Power movements but helped to forge meaningful coalitions between moderate and radical factions within the African American and world communities. The FBI feared Baraka, identifying him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the Pan-African movement in the United States.” He used his writings, including poems, plays, novels, and essays among other works of art, as a weapon against racism and advocated scientific socialism with
his revolutionary motivated poems. “When I examine his [Baraka’s] movement, the effectiveness of what he said stands out to me. The thing that makes what he says effective is not just what he says but his efficient application of varying patterns of expressions and voice. The use of crescendos, diminuendos and syncopations made whatever he said significantly more profound,” freshman Marcel Louis said. Before passing away at the age of 79 on January 9, 2014, Baraka published 27 books of poetry, drama, music and literary criticism, political analysis and commentary, social justice theory, biography, and autobiography. He leaves behind a strong legacy, keynote speaker Eleanor Traylor referring to him as a “black genius” and other panelists commenting on his strong ties to Howard University where he frequently lectured, read, and performed on Howard’s campus and designated the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) as the repository of his archival papers and memorabilia. The celebration didn’t stop there after the symposium ended, but continued in Cramton Auditorium that evening where he was honored through live poetry, music, drama commentary, and multimedia presentations. Sounds of the trombone, bass, piano and guitar illuminated the stage as Craig Harris and his band preformed scenes from Keep Your Razor Sharp, a musical celebrating Baraka’s Blues People. A.B. Spellman, a close friend of Baraka’s and classmate at Howard University, was just one of the many people who recited a poem as tribute. “His legacy is so important. So many things that he talked about over the course of his five decades of writing are still relevant today,” said Dana Williams PhD, who moderated the symposium’s panel discussions. “I hope the audiences reengages Baraka. Not only do they remember him and celebrate his life and honor his legacy but that they look to him to find answers to some of the same problems and challenges we have today,” she said.
Deloitte Global CIO Larry Quinlan Featured in School of Business Executive Lecture Series
Rachel Mann HU Communications Specialist
The Howard University School of Business will host Mr. Larry Quinlan, principal, Deloitte LLP as the keynote speaker for the next session of their Executive Lecture Series on Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 11:00 AM in the School of Business Auditorium. This event is open to all students, administration, faculty and staff.
Mr. Quinlan, the Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Deloitte, will share his experiences leading a worldwide technology organization as well as highlight the skills and traits associated with being a 21st Century Leader. In addition to chairing the Deloitte Global CIO Council, Mr. Quinlan serves or has recently served on the boards of: NPower, BDPA Education & Technology Fund, the Executive Leadership Foundation,
the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NY), the Nashville Technology Council, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Society. About Mr. Quinlan Larry holds an MBA from Baruch College, City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies. Mr. Quinlan has been widely quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal and InformationWeek and has spoken at major
events. He has been honored by institutions and publications including American Foundation for the University of The West Indies (Vice Chancellor’s Award), CARAH (Outstanding Corporate Contribution to Corporate America), CIO Magazine (2012 CIO 100 Award), Computerworld (2007 Premier 100 IT Leader), Black MBA Magazine (2005 Top 50 Under 50), and the Harlem YMCA (2000 Industry Achiever).
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Emmy Victor, Campus Editor
Marlon Wayans Speaks about Howard University and “A Haunted House 2”
Maya Cade Life & Style Editor Marlon Wayans, best known for his movies “White Chicks”, “Don’t Be A Menace…”, and the Scary Movie franchise is returning to the silver screen after his 2013 movie “A Haunted House.” Though noted as a ‘critical fumble’, “A Haunted House” was a commercial success, making over 20 times as much as its production cost of under 3 million. “A Haunted House 2” as Wayans describes, is picking up exactly where “A Haunted House” stopped off. “Malcolm has left Keisha and finds a new girlfriend and moves in. The new girlfriend has two kids and not
only is the house haunted but the daughter has a possessed body and the son has an imaginary friend, there’s this little possesed doll following me around… and there’s just a lot going on,” Wayans stated. Wayans -- who has a multifaceted stake in the industry as an actor, comedian, and writer -- rose to prominence as a member of one of the only black entertainment ‘dynasties’. He has made a name for himself on his own two feet and is steadily keeping up with the times with various ventures such as the release of whatthefunny.com. Often dubbed as an ‘urban funny or die’, whatthefunny.com encompases his talents along with a team of upcom-
ing comedians that release a series of short original sketches. Whatthefunny.com also transcends shorter sketches to the popular “Vine” app. But this forty-one-year-old funnyman also has other upcoming projects in the works. Later this year, he is set to be the host of a TBS competition series entitled “Funniest Wins.’’ The winner will receive a cash prize and also a chance to star in a video on Wayans’ “What The Funny” website. Wayans, who spent over three years at the Mecca, jokes that his most valuable lesson while at Howard was ‘don’t trust your friends, negros ain’t sh**’.’
“No but really,” Wayans later asserts, “my GPA was a 1.6 after my first year at Howard but I had a 4.0 in partying. The next two semesters I applied myself because I wasn’t happy with that and my brothers started making me pay for my own school. I ended up getting a 3.6 GPA my last year. I learned to apply myself, it’s amazing what you can get out of life when you apply yourself.” This comedian, who has put in the effort to prove he’s not just ‘another member of the Wayans family’ time and time again, has advice for any Howard student who believes they want to become an actor or comedian.
“Don’t be an actor or comedian,” Wayne states, “be a force of nature. Be a writer or producer. Be a director, be a filmmaker. Get on YouTube and do your sketches. You grind everyday and you work hard. Hit every stage you can possibly hit and go to auditions as well. But if you become a writer or producer you’ll be sitting on the other side of auditions as well. That’s where you want to sit…. And don’t give up! You only fail when you quit trying.” “A Haunted House 2” is scheduled to be released on April 18.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
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Metro Cherry Blossom
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Keneisha Deas, Metro Editor
Erin VanDunk Staﬀ Writer
On Friday, April 11, 2014, Jumpstart at Howard University will be hosting “Jumpstart for a Day” on campus to provide schools that do not have partnerships with Jumpstart with the opportunity to experience three hours of non-traditional programs and learning activities. This will be the 10th year Jumpstart is hosting the program, engaging students, teachers, parents, and principals. Jumpstart helps promote the public-private relationship between the Howard University community and the District of Columbia Public School system.
Shannen Hill Staﬀ Writer
SW and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Nothing says springtime in D.C. quite like the annual cherry blossom festival. Each year, D.C. celebrates the blooming of the trees that transforms the city into a spring beauty, so here’s your guide to the cherry blossom festivities.
Step into Spring with JOY!: (March 20, 2014 – April 15, 2014) This is for my people who like to get a little exercise in. The Joy of Motion Dance Center is offering one free class per person when you register with the code CherryBlossomFest14. There are different classes each day at 1333 H St. NE and 5207 Wisconsin Ave NW. For more information, visit www.joyofmotion.org.
Tidal Basin Paddle Boats: (March 20, 2014 – April 13, 2014) One of the most popular cherry blossom events during the festival is paddle boating at the Tidal Basin Boathouse. You’ll get to view the Japanese Cherry Trees on the waters of the Jefferson Memorial. They are currently offering free online reservations for paddleboats between 10 a.m. and noon. Hourly rentals are $14 for a two-passenger boat, and $22 for a four-passenger boat. Community Art Show: (March 20, 2014 – April 24, 2014) This event is friendly to your college student wallets, as it is free and open to the public. Located at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th St. NW, you will be able to see artwork by K-12 D.C. students. The gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday Noon- 4 p.m. Japanese Exhibitions and Events: (March 20, 2014 – April 13, 2014) As the cherry blossom trees are a gift from Japan, there are plenty of exhibitions with Japanese art and culture. This is free as well, and there are even programs for the kids if you want to bring a little mentee. These exhibitions are located at the Smithsonian: FREERSACKLER Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave,
Cherry Blast: Art and Music Dance Party: (March 29, 2014) Now this event will cost you $15 and is for people 21 and over. Full visual and performance art, along with a bunch of different DJ’s, it is the festival’s signature event. It will be at the Blind Whino, 734 1st St. SW and will be from 7 p.m. to midnight. For more information about this event, call (877) 44 – BLOOM or visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. Tours Lastly, you have you go on a cherry blossom tour to see the thousands of cherry blossom trees in the District. There are so many tours, that they all wouldn’t be able to fit on the page. On the low, you can even make your own tour by just walking around D.C. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org to find out about any information about tours or any of the above events.
Jumpstart Set to Host ‘Day’ on Campus You have probably seen undergraduate students walking around campus in their red t-shirts. They are the proud volunteers for Jumpstart DC at Howard University.
via ﬂickr.com, The Cyberian Post
Not only will Jumpstart for a Day offer curricula covering traditional subjects, there will also be stations that introduce different themes such as dentistry, hygiene, and fire safety. The day is meant to increase awareness about Jumpstart and gather support from the campus community, including donations to help provide materials for the children. The 50 volunteers at Howard Uni-
versity are from all over the country and provide a wide variety of urban backgrounds, as well as majors with most volunteers of freshmen or sophomore classification. Volunteers are required to make a 300 hour commitment for the school year, with two hour sessions twice a week. However, the reward of watching the children develop and achieve is supplemented by the opportunity for a scholarship following the completion of the 300 hour commitment. Most volunteers for Jumpstart are not necessarily striving to become educators, they simply love working with children. It is important to the leaders of the Howard University Jumpstart partnership to not only ensure great programs and curricula for the children, but to teach the volunteers how to become better parents for their future children. Jumpstart is a nonprofit organization funded by Americorp that focuses on early education. The organization recruits and trains college students to provide children, between the ages of 3-5 from lowincome families, the skills needed to be ready for kindergarten. Every university in the District of Columbia, with the exception of Gallaudet University, has a branch of Jumpstart with undergraduate student volunteers contributing to the cause.
Howard University is 1 of 5 historically black colleges and universities that participate in Jumpstart, the other 4 being University of District Columbia (UDC), Clark University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. Howard University is currently partnered with four schools, two public schools and two public charter schools, serving the largest population of pre-kindergarten African-American students other than UDC. The goals of the Washington DC region of Jumpstart go beyond just partnering with those that are easily accessed by foot or by metro. The organization hopes to bring people from across [that river – insert what river] that may never participate in activities or feel included in the District of Columbia community. Many people in Southeast DC have never crossed the bridge to see many of the iconic Washington DC attractions such as the White House or National Mall, so it is important to Jumpstart to reach out to these people and close that gap. Jumpstart has been helping pre-K children prepare for educational achievement since 1993. Jumpstart for a Day is just one of the many efforts volunteers make to continue their mission of school success, family involvement, and service.
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THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
HOWARD UNIVERSITY DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE OF RESIDENCE LIFE
Positions in University Residence Halls Qualifications: Must be a full-time validated graduate student. Provide documentation of
Satifactory Academic Progress through submission of an official academic transcript(s). Provide three letters of reference that are relevant to the qualifications of the position. Additionally, must have one year of relevant residential living experience in a college/university setting. Must have supervised and administered programs directly to students. Must have a 3.0 GPA as a new graduate student and a cumulative 3.2 GPA as a continuing graduate student at the time of appointment.
Criteria: Successful candidates must show evidence of leadership and management experience.
Effectiveness in oral and written communication. The ability to function effectively within, and contribute positively to, a diverse multi-ethnic, multi-cultural student population within the Department of Residence Life. Must have the ability to provide personalized outreach to students in a way that fosters development of core academic competencies. Monitor and manage a dynamic learning community.
"We Need Good People Interested In Promoting Student Learning And Personal Development While Strengthening Their Leadership Skills." Secure application online at www.howard.edu/residencelife complete and submit to the: Office of Residence Life 2401 4th Street, NW Washington, DC 20059
Due: April 7, 2014 Before 5pm!!! Interviews will be held on: April 8 thru 11, 2014
APPLY NOW 6
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
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There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Make the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course a part of your Howard University program. This challenging 4-week paid leadership development and training experience gives you skills that put you ahead of your peers after college. You’ll also be on the fast track toward becoming an Army Officer after graduation. When you complete the course, you may be eligible for a two-year scholarship. For more information visit goarmy.com/rotc/leadership
For more information contact Howard University ROTC at Douglass Hall by calling 202-806-6784 or visit the website at http://coas.howard.edu/armyrotc ©2008. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Maya Cade, L&S Editor
Hollywood’s “Black Plague” Marc Rivers Columnist
“Divergent,” the latest in young adult novel adaptations, shares with a vast majority of science fiction films a rather startling and unexplained plot thread. It isn’t the totalitarian government or the chosen white savior (though both can be found here). It seems the one thing almost any film set in our future can agree on is that some inexplicable plague will arise that only targets minorities, devastating races of the darker variety. Sometimes it leaves no survivors, as some of the popular films in the 1950s depicted. But lately filmmakers have been more optimistic, predicting a scant amount of survivors, or perhaps just one. Moviegoers often call this lone survivor the “token black character,” a role Zoe Kravitz takes over in “Divergent” and, coincidentally, her father Lenny Kravitz also embodies in the more popular “Hunger Games” series. But now that term comes off as insulting; such a role now reads as noble and tragic. Naturally, no filmmaker seems to agree on precisely when this terrible disease will strike: “The Hunger Games” is estimated to take place thousands of years into the future, “Divergent” is described as set in the “near future,” while Steven Spielberg’s infinitely superior “Minority Report” from 2002 takes place in the closer-than-you-think future of 2054. That film was set in Washington, D.C., often fondly referred to as the “chocolate city,” though clearly no longer in that universe; one can count the number of black people in the film on one hand. In all these films, the plague must have happened long before the events of the film, and like slavery, it is evidently a tragedy that most of society would rather never be mentioned ever again. No one seems to make note of the lack of black people walking around, and in not one interview has a director mentioned it. Do these filmmakers know something we don’t? Have they gotten together with the world’s leading scientists and discovered a possible strain of bacteria just waiting to decimate the minority population? Perhaps it’s something more sinister; wishful thinking on their part. And yet, both of those possibilities are somehow a lot less troubling than this: that Hollywood
Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley in a scene from “Divergent”.
Photo via tumblr.com, diamondgirlblog
“How can you think about traveling to another solar system or alien life if you have a problem getting a job or eating on Earth? African-American dreams are more reality-based, and that’s why I think our films have to do with our daily environment more so than alien or science fiction environments.”
just doesn’t want to hire black or hispanic actors, that they are simply not acknowledging all moviegoing audiences or the increasing minority population in America. After all, according to pew research, the non Hispanic white population will become a minority by 2050, four years before Spielberg’s vision of a largely Hispanic and black-less D.C. White audiences should be aware of this discrepancy as well, right? Apparently not, according to studies done by researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Toronto Scarborough. These studies, labeled the “Race Empathy Gap,” revealed a level of comfort and mental stimulation when whites watch actors who look like them on screen that drops considerably when watching nonwhite actors. It is likely that black and hispanic moviegoers don’t have as severe a reaction watching white actors because white actors have dominated the movie screens since the very first motion pictures. Anna Everett, a film scholar and professor at University of Southern California, notes that whites don’t often take notice when blacks or minorities are in films.
clusion, it will have different meanings for them,” Everett explains in her study on race in the cinema. What may some of those meanings be? Perhaps that blacks occupy a different world than the ones they’re used to. For many white viewers, the world of a minority is one of concrete and asphalt, the “hood” or the court (of law or basketball, and when it’s the former, we’re seldom the ones in suits). Space ships and large chrome spaces isn’t the milieu whites grant us or even imagine us in. So it should then fall on the working black filmmakers to send us up in space. But sadly few seem willing to pick up that torch. While these black filmmakers will likely take their kids to see something like “Divergent” or the upcoming “Captain America” film, they will be busy making serious dramas about the African-American experience. Needless to say, no one should begrudge them for that. Films like “Pariah,” “Medicine for Melancholy,” and “Fruitvale Station” are smart and soulful documents of what it can mean to be black in America. But these stories are grounded. If our name isn’t Zoe Saldana, we are rarely allowed to take off.
“Even if Whites recognize the ex-
Kevin Grevioux, an AfricanAmerican writer of graphic novels and Howard alum, took note of this in an interview with the movie blog “Indiewire”: “How can you think about traveling to another solar system or alien life if you have a problem getting a job or eating on Earth? African-American dreams are more reality-based, and that’s why I think our films have to do with our daily environment more so than alien or science fiction environments.” Biggie’s album “Life After Death” may have been released in 1997, but white people have always known that the sky’s the limit. For black people, not so much. In his 2012 novel “Telegraph Avenue,” Jewish writer Michael Chabon makes a powerfully perceptive analogy between the African-American experience and the nature of terraforming, changing a planet’s atmosphere and environment, and pantropy, which he defined as “the alteration of the human form and mind to allow survival, even prosperity, on a harsh, unforgiving world.” In his observation, he notes how some black people went for the “epic tragedy” of terraforming. One thinks of great, fallen leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, who gave their lives to
change this world. However, much like Chabon’s black, female protagonist, most black people opted for pantropy, adapting and even thriving on an antagonistic world. The implication is that, since being brought here as slaves, blacks were like aliens in America, living in a world strange, foreign, and unforgiving to the unassimilated. If America itself has been for the black race a punishing and alien environment, navigating other alien worlds on film must be almost beyond the imagination of today’s black filmmakers, and certainly beyond that of white filmmakers. But does all this even matter? It has been decided that the lack of minorities in the sci-fi landscape is simply the result of a nameless, merciless plague, a “Black Plague” you can call it, that all of Hollywood has decided will inevitably strike. In a way, this can be seen as some sympathy on their part. Perhaps they have finally internalized the pain and misery that has befallen black people for so long and are only predicting that it can only get worse from here. Better to believe that, isn’t it? Better to believe their future doesn’t include our existence than to believe that they refuse to acknowledge our existence today.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Khari Arnold, Sports Editor a fire that occurred shortly after midnight last Wednesday. The team gathered at Cook Hall at 9:00 a.m., and split up by offense and defense.
Honors & Awards
From there, the offense headed to Meridian Hill Hall and started the move-out process, gathering all the student’s possessions out of the room with boxes and bins and wearing dust masks for safety purposes. The team helped clear out rooms expeditiously to prevent students from being on the floor for long periods of time.
Photo courtesy of Gary Harrell
Football Team Assists After Recent Dorm Fire Khari Arnold Sports Editor
The Howard University football team spent their weekly practice indoors and off the field this past Saturday as the team currently undergoes spring training. But the highly touted players weren’t taking orders from Head Coach Gary Harrell, rather staff members from the Howard University Department of Residence Life as the Bison volunteered their services for the former occupants of the fourth floor of Meridian Hill
Hall who were forced to move out of the building after a recent fire. “We really just wanted to help out our student body and our fellow classmates,” said wide receiver Rodney “DJ” Tyson. “That was a real tough situation as far as the fire goes, and we just wanted to help out.” Former residents of Meridian Hill Hall were relocated to different dorms across campus, including the Plaza Towers West, Bethune-Annex, Carver and Slowe Halls, after
“It was all teamwork,” quarterback Greg McGhee said. “Guys have played football for so long, we were able to translate working in a team off the field. Everybody communicated to get the job done.” With crates and luggage being transported in U-Haul’s, the defense began by helping students unload and move the numerous belongings into the new rooms that each resident was assigned to and will occupy for the remainder of the semester. Both groups then rotated and stayed to help the victims until 8:00 p.m. “We’re all Bison,” said safety Julien David. “Athlete or not, we must take care of one another so when we saw what happened to the students in Meridian, we had to extended a hand for help.”
Men’s Basketball The postseason play of freshman James Daniel earned him a spot on the 2014 MEAC All Tournament team. Daniel’s effort in the regular season earned him MEAC Rookie of the Year honors after he led the conference in scoring and ranked first among all freshmen in the NCAA. He becomes the first freshman in school history to be named to the all-tournament team and the third to be named MEAC Rookie of the Year. Men’s Tennis Freshman Ismael Kaouache was named the MEAC Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week. Kaouache earned the Bison’s only singles victory in a recent 5-2 loss to North Carolina Central. Women’s Soccer Several Lady Bison were recently honored by CollegeSportsMadness.com for their individual efforts this past season. Forward Carmez Suarez received the Freshman of the Year award, and junior goalkeeper Kyra Dickinson won Defensive Player of the Year honors. Both players were named 2013 Independent All-Conference selections. Freshman midfielder Nia Walcott was also named to the first team, while freshman forward Zion Clarke, senior midfielder Sydney Ross and junior defender Treschelle Gibson-Serrette were selected to the second team. Bowling Junior Alexzandria Johnson was named to the 2014 All-MEAC Second Team. Johnson, along with junior Chantal Mitchell and freshman Enijah Smith-Joe were selected as MEAC All-Academic honorees for maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average this school year.
Photo via Lawrence Johnson
Women’s Basketball Former Howard standout Andrea Gardner-Williams has been officially inducted into the 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. During her career at Howard from 1999-2002, Gardner-Williams earned the MEAC Rookie of the Year award and became a two-time MEAC Player of the Year before being drafted into the WNBA by the Utah Starzz (now the San Antonio Silver Stars) in the second round.
Lady Bison Fall to LIU Brooklyn in Uphill Battle Nychol Stephens Contributing Writer The women’s lacrosse team faced off against the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds Friday night in Brooklyn as both teams looked for their first wins of the season. The Lady Bison put up a dynamic fight, but fell to the Blackbirds 20-9 in the long run. Junior midfielder Jaymie Cox netted a season-high five goals for the Lady
Bison, three of which came late in the first half. Cox was also the only Bison to score in the first half. Led by freshman midfielder Mary McQueen, the Blackbirds encountered a 6-0 run within the first nine minutes of the game. Howard went into halftime down by 10 goals at 13-3 and rather than waving the white flag, the Lady Bison rallied deep within and played
their best lacrosse of the season in the second half. Freshman Tianna Clark came out of halftime fired up and scored a pair of goals for the Lady Bison, her first two of the season. Senior attacker Cynithia Smalls contributed a pair of goals for Howard as well and dominated the draw controls the entire second half.
Attackers Asyiah Frank and Taylor Spencer did not score, but maintained offensive possessions as both the freshmen Lady Bison came up with several ground balls and second opportunity shot rebounds. Junior goalie Candice Ross stepped up and played low defense the entire game for the Lady Bison, causing several of the Blackbirds’ offensive turnovers.
With the Lady Bison short a few players for Friday’s matchup, their valiant effort in the second half did not go unnoticed as the Howard fans offered them a standing ovation as they walked off the field. The Lady Bison look to grab their first victory of the season on Saturday, March 29 against Central Connecticut State University at 1:00 p.m. in New Britain, Conn.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Daniel White , Opinions Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Losing Touch: Break the Glass Screen
Taylor Carr Contributing Writer “Put the phone down. I’m talking to you!” I’m sure many of us have heard this from one adult or another when they are trying to get your attention. Everyone is constantly wrapped up phone calls, incoming emails, Instagram and video games. Recent app store favorite Flappy Bird, was released March 24, 2013 before creator Dong Nguyen took it from the market. He broke the news to everyone via Twitter: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore. It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it
anymore. I also don’t sell ‘Flappy Bird’. Please don’t ask. And I still make games.” Nguyen quickly realized that ‘Flappy Bird’, a fairly difficult game, was literally consuming people and had become harmful. Flappy Bird wasn’t the first game to conquer mind’s all over the world. Before ‘Flappy Bird’ it was ‘Candy Crush’ and before that it was ‘Words with Friends’. There’s a laundry list of games that have America, and the world, so wrapped up in their smartphones. And quite honestly, it’s unfortunate. Perpetual contact: the need and
want to always be connected. That’s how I would describe this generation; connected. Just about everyone has a smartphone, laptop, tablet or an Ipod. These devices allow us to be connected wherever we go. We are constantly checking our phones to check text messages, Instagram posts or play a new game we just downloaded. We come into class, take out our laptops, put in our headphones and browse the Internet or walk in the room, sit down and pull out our phones. There is nothing wrong with checking your phone or surfing the Web. But when they begin to become our daily distraction, technology becomes a problem. We’ve be-
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come so dependent on our devices that our personal communication skills have become stagnant. To sit down and go to lunch with someone is becoming more and more foreign. Why go to lunch and talk with your friend when you can text them, right? Wrong. Not only are we losing touch with our verbal skills, we don’t want to talk. We’d rather meet someone online, preferring to Instadirect and text them, than call, talk or meet up with them. But being able to hold a conversation will always be necessary. For example, if you apply for a job more than likely you are going to apply online, but advancing into the
application process there’s going to be an interview. The ability to express yourself verbally is a must, especially during an interview. We need to be aware of how often we use our devices. By no means am I suggesting that you get rid of the your technology, but to use them your advantage. There needs to be a balance in our ability to communicate with and without technology. Although we love our phones and or games, like ‘Flappy Bird,’ we have to remember, we control the device and we can’t let it control us. Technology is a tool not a crutch.
THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Not all students spend spring break on the beach. When you imagine your college experience, think of how the Coast Guard can add to it. Open to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges, the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) is putting students everywhere on the path to success. Once enrolled, CSPI will cover up to two years of your tuition, fees and textbooks, along with a monthly salary of approximately $2,200. The best part is having a guaranteed job the moment you graduate. With exceptional benefits and the promise of a meaningful career, CSPI is giving you the tools to succeed and a college experience unlike any other. Visit GoCoastGuard.com/CSPI to learn more.
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THE HILLTOP | MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014