Quianne’ Holmes | Staff Writer
Breanna Powell, social work
If you could tell your “freshman self” something what would it be and why? If I could tell Freshman Bre anything, it would be to eliminate the idea that everyone has your best interest at heart because they don’t.
If you could have an overall message for an undergraduate student, what would it be? Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. Because at the end of the day, the only person who needs to be satisfied with what you do is YOU.
Please provide any future plans that you have
I will be returning back to NC State in August to begin the Masters of Social Work program.
Kiarra Hicks, sports management
When you arrived to NC State, what were the goals and expectations that you had for yourself?
I wanted to succeed academically, socially, and spiritually. I wanted to allow myself to step out of my comfort zone and try new things
If you could have an overall message for an undergraduate student, what would it be?
Grades are not everything or the only thing. Do not allow the urge to be a perfectionist to make you physically and mentally sick. It’s all about the experiences. Please treasure every single day on campus and don’t allow the stress of college to overpower you.
Marcus Zeigler, textile technology
If you can describe your NC State experience in one word, what would it be?
Complete, because I have done everything I wanted to do and accomplished alot. I feel like I have nothing left to give to the school or the community but laughs and a good time
If you could have an overall message for an undergraduate student, what would it be?
I would say get involved and figure out who you are. Because everyone is not meant to be greek but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.
Jasmine Cannon, women and gender studies
When you arrived to NC State, what were the goals and expectations that you had for yourself? I honestly just wanted to get acclimated to campus. I had no idea what my potential was.
What is one of your favorite memories at NC State? Pan-Afrikan Week 2015
If you could give the incoming freshmen a piece of advice, what would it be and why? The same advice I would give to my freshman self: Get involved; Meet new people; Learn about yourself; Be brave.
Rupert W. Nacoste, Ph.D. | Guest Columnist
Right now, I am in the toughest part of my “Interdependence and Race” course. Language; that’s the toughest part of the course because that is where there are so many false claims being made that lets group hate live and thrive. Anti-groups slurs; racial slurs, gender slurs, and all that. And here at the end of the semester, I have begun to address the toughest of the toughest part, the use of the racial slur, nigger.
Today, many people recoil from the word, rightly so. But also today, we live in a time when people have fooled themselves into believing if you spell the word with a “…ga” rather than a “…ger” it’s not the same.
For those who don’t know, there have always been whites who have refused to say the word “…nigger.” Not because they believed in the humanity of the enslaved Africans, or more modern day black people. No, aristocratic whites just felt they were too genteel to say talk about blacks in such a raw, clearly hateful way. To get around debasing themselves by being so vulgar, rather than say “nigger” outright, they said “nig-grahs” as in “…those poor, filthy nig-grahs just can’t help themselves. Nig-grahs will always be nig-grahs.”
Did that different pronunciation, did that different spelling, change the meaning of the word? No not at all. Today spelling or saying it as “…nigga” also does not change the original meaning nor the original intent of the word to dehumanize and look down upon. No matter who says it, no matter the skin-color of who says it, and no matter how it is spelled or pronounced, to call anyone a nigger is to look down upon that individual as less than human.
African-American students are always stunned by this part of that lecture. Stunned because they have been lulled into a hazy belief that it is ok for them and their black friends to call each other nigga affectionately; you know, “my nigga.”
After my lecture, I got an email from a black student in the class. That student wrote:
“Hello Dr. Nacoste: After looking over my notes from today’s class period, I have a question for you. You told us that language has history in a group or society and all members carry it around. This made me think of how the n-word is used in the black community. Most black people know the history and roots of the word, but still continue to use it. Some try to justify it by saying ‘nigga’ instead of nigger, however it’s the same concept, right?
So my question is: what are your thoughts, as the expert, on why black people feel that it’s okay to use the word between themselves, but get upset when white people use it? I’ve even seen instances when a Hispanic or Asian say ‘nigga’ and it’s excepted; never when a white person says it.”
I replied by saying: So you have asked a very important question. Although I will address this question in lecture, here is a brief look at what I will say.
One, you are right, it is the SAME concept; somebody is better, more human, than somebody else by race.
Two, black people who use it claim they are taking the power of the word away from whites. Those black people fail to see that the meaning of the word stays the same until, of course, a white person uses it and all hell breaks loose. In that moment it is clear the word still has the same old power of racial put-down.
Three, those black people also fail to see that they are actually using the word the same way; as a racial put-down. To say to another black person, “you are MY nigger” is to say “I OWN you like a slave.” It’s not affectionate, it is dehumanizing of people of your own race and racial history.
That is why the claim of affection fails. And you should ask those black people why they want so badly to use the word anyway. African Americans know the history of the use of the word, so what makes it so attractive that some black people insist on using it? What’s really going on?
In the 60s, to show pride and affection in one another as a racial group, we started calling each other “Brother” and “Sister.” We young black people were also adamant about not calling each other nigger. We also challenged any black person, and anyone else, who tried to get away with using the word nigger to talk to or about our “Brothers and Sisters.”
We began to live what James Brown sang: “Say it loud…I’m black and I’m proud.” You cannot live that calling each other niggers, however you spell it.
Dr. Nacoste is Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology and author of the new book, “Taking on Diversity: How we can move from anxiety to respect.”
Time flies. I can’t believe it’s really the end of the semester and the end of my time at NC State. As I reflect on the past few years, I only have one regret: that I didn’t join the Nubian sooner.
Wednesday night’s in that office became my favorite place on campus. I hope this publication has been as influential for you all as it has been for me. Not only is the Nubian Message a source of news on-campus that might not be covered elsewhere, it is a voice for our community and a way for us, all of us to express ourselves.
We tried to make it a point this semester to do more “Your Voice” segments to better incorporate the community into the paper. We asked for more letters to the editor because we want to hear what everyone has to say. We can’t be the sentinel of the African-American community without hearing all of your voices.
The Nubian Message was where I found myself and my family on campus. We have all put in so much hard work and pulled so many all-nighters to produce a great looking publication and I cannot fully express my gratitude and appreciation for my entire Nubian fam. Thanks for a great semester!
Love you all,
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful school year. I am Stephanie Tate and I will be serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Nubian Message for the 2016-2017 school year. I will be working alongside Anahzsa Jones who will be our Managing Editor. I consider it an honor to be a part of a staff that is so close knit and dedicated.
Since 1992 the Nubian Message has been the voice of the African American community and I hope we can continue to be. We do not intend to change anyone’s worldview but we do intend to encourage critical thinking and ignite productive conversations.
This issue we’ve chosen to honor the black excellence on our campus. Black excellence is not monolithic, it comes in a variety of forms. Our black excellence is what got us to NC State, has kept us at NC State and is definitely newsworthy.
I hope that this issue will allow you to acknowledge the excellence that exists within our community. Next year come back better than ever and we here at the Nubian promise to do the same.
Stay blessed and black,
Stephanie Tate | Managing Editor
What was your biggest accomplishment as SBP?
I’d say my biggest accomplishment was actually being a voice for the students. It’s one thing to hear the conversation and relay it to administration and leave it at that. But it’s something entirely different to be a part of those conversations. I’m glad I’ve been able to feel the pulse of the student body on issues, and then make sure the chancellor and other leaders of the university know how the student body feels, and more importantly, why they feel that way.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced as SBP?
I thought I’d be able to come in on day one and get started on the initiatives I campaigned on and only focus on those select things. But that’s not at all what the position entails. You can be focusing on planning a Blackout for a basketball game, and then get a call about a student death on campus. Just like that, your entire focus shifts and you have to put some things on the back burner. The biggest challenge was trying to accomplish the goals I set out to accomplish, while also addressing very real and very important problems that no one ever imagined would happen.
What do you hope to see from the next SBP and VP?
I hope to see them find their passions and act on them. It’s easy to get caught up in tradition but your best work comes out when you focus on something you truly care about. Ultimately, I hope to get on facebook at some random time next year and read an article from the Technician or Nubian and think “Wow, Paul and Brayndon are really doing big things down there.”
What’s next for you as an individual?
I’m actually heading off to law school next year. I’ll be up in Philly at the University of Pennsylvania. I was born in Goldsboro, NC and Raleigh always seemed like the big city, so I have no idea how I’m going to handle Philadelphia. I’m really looking forward to seeing how I can create change from a new vantage point.
What do you hope to see for NC State as a whole in the future?
I want to be able to come back in 10 or 15 years and think, “Wow, I wish I were a student here today instead of back in 2016.” I’m graduating as a proud alumni who will promote NC State until I run out of breath and I really hope that NC State continues to generate alumni with similar feelings.