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FEBRUARY 15, 2018

Volume 102, Issue 16

The Hilltop

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Student Voice of Howard University

Black Panther Director Speaks About African Identity At Exclusive Screening By Victoria Jonas, HU News Service

Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler shared how creating the film helped him to discover aspects of his identity that he was previously unaware of. Coogler was part of a panel discussion on Sunday, Feb. 11 at a special screening for the movie at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum IMAX theater. “I remember having the conversation about being black. I wanted to belong to something and find my identity. I wanted something to be proud of. This film is about finding the African side. We are all African,” Coogler said. Currently in America the issue of race and the conversation surrounding identity has been ongoing. Coogler explored his identity while creating Black Panther, a movie that is enriched with African and African-American culture. (Photo/Marvel Entertainment)

During the panel discussion, Coogler said Africans and African-Americans share similar cultural practices; however, African-Americans are often shamed for their culture. For instance, African-Americans enjoying a fruit such as watermelon is considered a negative stereotype. Yet, watermelon stood as a symbol of freedom for freed blacks because they grew, sold and ate it.

“Hollywood underestimates what the audience wants. We need to make movies like this, movies that tell good stories,” Moore said.

The panel discussion was moderated by journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates also included costume designer Ruth Carter and producer Nate Moore. Collectively, the film creators explained what Black Panther represents culturally for Africans and African-Americans. From the wardrobe to the context of issues within the movie, the creators focused on developing a product easily relatable to the audience. The costumes worn in the movie also provided inspiration into African culture . “I was inspired by Afropunk. I pulled influence from several African tribes and made sure to stay true to each tribe,” Carter said.

The theater was filled with excitement as the early viewers waited to see the movie that doesn’t premiere worldwide until Friday. When Black Panther started the theater grew silent and all eyes were pierced to the screen. Throughout the movie, the audience applauded, cheered and laughed. Without giving too many details away, many of the early viewers believed the movie was amazing and definitely a must-see.

Black Panther examines the identity of Africans and African-Americans from various perspectives.

Before the panel conversation, an audience gathered for the advanced screening.

“Black Panther is everything I expected and more. This is the best movie I’ve seen in forever. I will definitely see it again and again,” Senait Weaver, a Howard University biology student said.

Black Companies Want Access to Burgeoning Marijuana Business By Niaja Smith|

The market for marijuana is booming. Seven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. An additional 22 states have made medical use of marijuana lawful. Along with buying marijuana to smoke, customers can now get cannabis-infused candy, cookies, brownies, sodas, and cuisine prepared by specialized marijuana chefs, like Andrea Drummer in Los Angeles. Customers can even get marijuana when they buy art, as they do when purchasing art from District C, created by a group of Gallaudet students. The $60-dollar paintings are delivered to the buyers’ front door along with an eighth of an ounce of cannabis. According to ArcView Group research, revenues from the U.S. marijuana industry are expected to grow to over $21 billion by 2021.

A Look Inside: Newly Installed Obama Portraits NEWS, Page 5

Even as the marijuana market grows, the faces of dispensary operators, growers, cultivators, suppliers and other marijuana-related businesses are overwhelmingly white. According to Amanda Lewis, who covers drug policy at Buzzfeed, African Americans own only about 1 percent of the nation’s more than 3,500 marijuana dispensaries. Getting in the marijuana business is difficult. First, prospective merchants need to lay down the groundwork. That includes preparing a business plan. A business plan will help you find investors by providing them with a clear description of the prospective company’s goals, assets, plans, and projections. See NEWS, Page 4

Wild ‘N Out Production Tour LIFE+STYLE, Page 6

Photo Recap: The Battle of the Real HU CAMPUS, Page 2

Philadelphia Eagles to Skip White House Visit SPORTS, Page 9


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CAMPUS PHOTO RECAP: The Battle of the Real HU (Howard vs. Hampton Basketball Game)

Photos By: Ferami Quadri, Creative Content Staff Photographer | @cubedbyq

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Black Companies Want Access to Burgeoning Marijuana Business (cont. from pg. 1) By Niaja Smith| Next, secure the necessary funding, buy or rent a suitable place, then you can get your permit/ license to open a dispensary. The type of licensing and documentation a marijuana business requires depends on the location of the operation and the sort of marijuana business the owner plans. A company that grows and sells marijuana to retail businesses may require different licensing and permits than one operating a dispensary or a restaurant using marijuana in its cuisine. In Maryland, the application fee is $8,000 and the licensing fee is $80,000. In Texas the application fee is $7,356, the license fee is $488,520 for a two-year period. In Philadelphia, the application fee is $5,000. The licensing fee is $30,000. The major hurdle for black entrepreneurs is money. Chicago lawyer William Koffie took interest in the dispensary industry in 2014 but faced a few hurdles. “I thought the process wasn’t too hard; it just took time and effort,” Koffie said. “You really need to put in the effort to find out the information. In addition, a lot of the information needed is on the internet, just have to type it in Google. “I also did a lot of research with other dispensaries that were operational in California and Colorado. They were more than willing to share information while other places in Illinois seemed a little bit reclusive.” So, what stopped the process for Koffie? “Finances, period,” he said, nothing else. Everything else was in place.

“I think African Americans have organizational issues coupled with the fact that the USA has an agenda against having us succeed.” Most investment groups I went to felt that they were not willing to risk the application fees when they thought the chances of them being approved were slim to none. That was frustrating and I felt that was a ‘nigger complex.’ Regardless whether the system is set up to weed us out, we still need to find ways to overcome those barriers.” George Allen is the co-founder of Comfy Tree, a marijuana consulting company. According to the company’s website, the focus is helping entrepreneurs in emerging markets who are nervous about introducing cannabis into their community. Allen said what most African Americans and Latinos interested in the cannabis industry need is information. “I don’t think minorities are properly informed on what it requires to have a dispensary,” Allen said. “Many people don’t have the proper funding, and it’s not like you can walk into a bank and say, ‘Hey, I need a loan for this amount to open a dispensary.’ “That’s one of the many reasons why we help minorities get the proper funding as well as knowledge on the marijuana industry through virtual classes online stocked with in-depth, interactive training on all subjects of cannabis.” Adam Bierman, co-

founder, and CEO of Madmen, a consulting company for the medical marijuana industry, said the steep hurdle to entering the cannabis businesses is there to ensure those who get in the business know what they’re doing. “The barrier to entry is extremely high,” Bierman told The Root. “Can you demonstrate tens of millions of liquidities? Can you lock up real estate that would allow you to build a grow facility? Can you put together a cannabis-security team? You need to demonstrate to a state that you will be secure and protect that license.” There are efforts to create diversity within the industry. Oakland, Calif., City Councilmember Desley Brooks last year oversaw the passage by the council of the “Equity Permit Program.” The program sets aside half of the medical-cannabis industry permits for people who have lived in the city’s predominantly black East Oakland neighborhood. According to, the program is designed to address the past disparities in the cannabis industry by giving priority to the victims of the war on drugs and minimizing barriers to entry into the industry. In April 2016, none of several black applicants who applied for marijuana licenses were among the 15 companies approved in Maryland to grow marijuana for medical use. The state’s Legislative Black Caucus criticized the lack of racial diversity. In response, the state’s Cannabis Commission hired a consultant seven months later to improve diversity.



FEBRUARY 15, 2018

A Look Inside: Newly Installed Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery Photos By: Hagan Crear, Creative Content Staff Photographer | @hagancrear

Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald


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Students Gain Special Production Experience with Wild ‘N Out Life+Style Reporter Taiyler Mitchell | @taivlersimone

A spontaneous trip to New York went from good to great when students Regardless of the specific concentrations, the experience proved to be useful from the Introduction to Media Production course decided to go on a quick to all of the students in similar ways. It confirmed their interest in the field weekend trip to New York. and solidified their career goals. “I noticed a lot of similarities between Toronto and New York.” said Andrew Tamburro, a Toronto native. “The only difference was Toronto is not as big as New York and everyone seems so rude and angry all the time. People in Toronto will actually say ‘hi’ to you. Toronto is actually a lot cleaner than New York. Times Square was pretty cool, but there wasn’t much of a wow factor. Visiting the set of Wild ‘N Out on my first trip to New York was definitely unreal.” Howard journalism professor, Dr. Frederic Kendrick, extended the offer to his students to visit the set of Wild ‘N Out and by Friday night we were watching the production of the show, taking advice from Nick Cannon and experiencing the party that is the green room. “As a professor and practitioner of journalism and the larger field of communications, I believe it is imperative that each student has as many opportunities as possible to witness and experience the field they profess to desire to enter.” said Kendrick. “If I routinely navigate these circles, then why not invite my students at every opportunity?”

“Stumbling upon such a fun time as well as great professional opportunity was totally unexpected, but that’s the kind of thing I’ve come to love about Howard. Dr. Kendrick is definitely one of the professors who’s always willing to offer their students opportunities and those are the kind of people that make Howard what it is—the reason I came here,” Russell said. “It was an experience I will never forget.

“It was the first time since I’ve been here that I was truly sure of myself and where I’m headed,” Carrington said. Johnson said, “I got my chance to try my hand at live reporting. Nick Cannon was so generous with his time and information. I am truly grateful for him and Dr. Kendrick for this opportunity. We started out as classmates, turned into production crew, and left as close friends.”

As students of the School of Communications, they took advantage of this experience by using their areas of interest to ask questions and to chronicle the experience. Tamburro focused on photography. Kiara Nelson, a sophomore TV and film major, and Ayanna Carrington, a transfer and television and film major, focused on videography. Nelson created a video titled “NYC Vlog // Wild ‘N Out Day 1” on YouTube. Carrington posted the experience on her social media. Chanté Russell, a sophomore journalism major and Rebecca Johnson, a sophomore journalism major, focused on reporting. Russell fielded a feature about the fashion styles behind the show. Johnson will be posting her features on her website, (Photo Courtesy/Taiyler Mitchell)

The Hilltop Staff Jazmin Goodwin, Editor-in-Chief EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT: Almani Jackson, Business Manager Shai Vaz, Assistant Business Manager Brittany Read, Executive Operations Manager Jerry Augustin, Sales Account Executive

Clarice Metzger, Life+Style Editor Lawrence Dow, Sports Editor Brianna Sims, Assistant Sports Editor




CREATIVE DEPARTMENT: Oluwatobi Oladejo, Creative Content Director Tiffany Hunt, Creative Content Assistant Lesley M. Pierrot, Layout Editor


EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT: Kimberly Nnorom, Senior Copy Editor Justin Cohen, Assistant Copy Editor Kesi Felton, News Editor



The Hilltop Newspaper Office 2401 4th Street NW, 62B Washington, D.C. 20059 Phone Number: (202)806-4749

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FEBRUARY 15, 2018


“New Weak.”


By: Devariae “Yae” McDaniels | @YaeTBG







FEBRUARY 15, 2018


Cleveland Cavaliers Acquire New Roster, Hours Before Trade Deadline By: Brianna Sims, Assistant Sports Editor @bri_simsxo

After the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, Feb.8, the Cleveland Cavaliers roster looked unrecognizable. Cleveland traded six players, including prominent names such as Dwyane Wade and newly acquired Isaiah Thomas. Wade was traded to his former team, the Miami Heat and Thomas and Channing Frye found themselves packing to join the Los Angeles Lakers. In return, the Lakers sent Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr.--and a 2018 first-round pick. Additionally, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose departed from the Cavs to the Utah Jazz. Iman Shumpert was traded to the Sacramento Kings, in exchange for George Hill and Rodney Hood. Having lost 12 of their 19 games, the Cavs, visibly frustrated, lacked chemistry, defense, and energy. Though the team appeared to play much better basketball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the eve before the trade deadline in their overtime victory that featured 34 lead changes and a game-winning buzzer beater for Lebron James – change was still inevitable. It’s clear that through the trade the Cavs are aiming for younger, more versatile athletic players who could improve the team’s defensive struggles in the half court and especially in transition. According to ESPN, Channing Frye described the Cavs chemistry issues as struggles that didn’t extend to off the court. “I don’t think it was a chemistry off the court thing because I went and talked to those guys all the time,” said Frye. “I just think on the court, there just wasn’t enough give and take. I don’t think we were built to sacrifice for each other. I think a lot of guys had success in different systems. There wasn’t enough time for them to adjust to doing it a certain way and that happens.”

The new roster appears to give Cleveland a healthier and more athletic team that is better on defense. Defensively, the Lakers had a defensive rating of 100.4 with Clarkson and Nance Jr. on the floor together. Clarkson brings a 32.4 shooting percentage on 3-pointers this season while Nance brings athleticism and versatility. Hood and Hill scored a combined 41 percent from downtown so far this season. Hill is currently averaging 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. When asked about how he felt about the trade, Lebron James emphasized the fact that the league is a business. “It’s not about what the other guys didn’t bring or what these guys bring,” said James, after the Cavs win against the Hawks. “We’re all professionals, and we were happy with the guys that we had, and we’re going to be happy with the guys that we have now.

“That’s the way the league is, it’s a business. There’s no shade on anybody.” In the debut of Cleveland’s new roster, things appeared to be changing for the better, as the Cavaliers secured a 122-99 win against the Boston Celtics. James led the box score with 24 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Clarkson scored 17 points off the bench. While Hood scored 15 points and Nance Jr. orchestrated plays that included an invigorating dunk and an alley-oop. Only time will tell how the new roster can compete in the coming months before the playoffs in April.

Howard’s Women Basketball Team Hoping for a Winning Streak Against the Aggies By: Lawrence Dow, Sports Editor @LJeeeeezy

Prior to Howard’s loss to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Lady Bison were on a three-game winning streak leading by an average of seven points per game. Howard’s three-game winning streak was their third such streak this season. Howard usually follows multiple wins with multiple losses and will look to stop that trend this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Lady Bison will play the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Aggies. The Aggies are the second best team record-wise in the MEAC conference, with a sterling record of 10-1. A fearsome opponent, the Aggies already beat Howard 76-68 in their first matchup of the season. The Aggies will lean on C’Coreia Foy, their leading scorer, averaging 13.2 points per game, to continue to lead them to victory. This matchup will feature two of the highest octane

offenses in the MEAC with the Bison and the Aggies ranking numbers two and one respectively. The Bison are averaging 63.9 points per game and the Aggies are averaging 66.7 points per game. What separates these two teams is their defense; Howard brings up the rear with their third-from-the-bottom defense giving up a significant 72.6 points per game. The Aggies, inversely, are the third-best defensive unit, giving up an average of 59.2 points per game.

NCAA Tournament, they’ll have to start to make some statement wins over their top competition. They could have their first true statement victory this Saturday and this could help them gain the confidence needed for a deep postseason run.

If the Bison want to come away with a win, they will have to turn up their defensive intensity to a level that they have not shown yet this season. They will have to pay attention to their women off the ball and protect the paint at an elite level to overcome the Aggies. Howard does have an offense it can rely on for points, but Howard’s defense will be responsible for either victory or defeat. If Howard wants to make a run in the MEAC or (Photo Courtesy/Howard Athletics)



FEBRUARY 15, 2018

Eagles Players Plan to Skip White House Visit By: Evan Brooks, Sports Reporter @_underratedstar

The Philadelphia Eagles are 2018 Super Bowl champs and, in addition to a trip to Disney World, the team also gets a chance to visit the White House. President Trump has been under intense scrutiny since stepping into office, and some of the Eagles players have already said that they plan to skip this opportunity. This NFL season has been rife with controversy over Trump’s tweets regarding the player protest. “I personally do not anticipate attending that,” said Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. He, along with teammates Torrey Smith and Chris Long, was very clear in their intent to skip the visit to the White House. These are just some of the Eagles players thus far who are planning to skip the meeting. Jenkins has expressed his feelings toward the president on CNN, stating, “My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from. . . . I want to see

changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economic and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities, and I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced. That’s what myself and my peers have been pushing for the last two years, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

(Photo Courtesy/

It is clear that Jenkins and other teammates are not fans of what are the views of those in the White House. These Eagles players also feel as though the president has shown disrespectful behavior towards women and minorities. It is easy to see that there is a clear divide between NFL players and President Trump. Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount has also been wary of visiting the White House. When asked about it, he stated, “I just don’t feel welcome into that house. I’m just gonna leave it at that.” Blount has not officially stated whether or not he will visit, but his statement does not leave a lot to the imagination. The trip to the White House is currently set for April. So far no Philadelphia Eagles players have committed to visiting Donald Trump and it is possible the Eagles may become the first NFL team to skip the White House entirely.


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The Hilltop, February 15, 2018, Volume 102, Issue 16  

The Sixteenth Issue of Howard University's Student Newspaper, The Hilltop 2017-2018

The Hilltop, February 15, 2018, Volume 102, Issue 16  

The Sixteenth Issue of Howard University's Student Newspaper, The Hilltop 2017-2018