In 1992, Tony Williamson set out to create a newspaper that would provide Afrikan-American students at N.C. State with an outlet to have their voices heard. Twenty years later, I am proud to say that I have had a stake in helping to keep both that outlet and Tony’s legacy alive.
During the six months that I have spent as editor of this publication, the Nubian Message has managed to secure a special place in my heart. Though there are many sleepless nights, stressful days and countless hours spent preparing this paper each week, it remains for me, a labor of love.
In 1992, the greatest challenge surrounding Tony, the Nubian Message staff and Afrikan-American students at N.C. State was proving to the rest of the campus that there was a need for the Nubian Message, I think the greatest challenge now, lies in proving not only to the greater campus but also the African-American students at this university that there is still, very much a need for the Nubian Message.
When this newspaper was founded, it served as a uniting force for the Afrikan-American students on this campus in their fight against inequality. However, because we are not presented with blatant discrimination and disrespect the way previous Afrikan-American students were, the current Afrikan-American student body of N.C. State has become apathetic toward the Nubian Message and perhaps even worse, the idea of black unity on our campus.
Unlike Tony Williamson and black students on N.C. State’s campus during the early 90s, we passively allow things to happen and when incidents do occur, much like the hate speech found in the Free Expression Tunnel in October, we take a reactive stance, most of the time only expressing our discontent on Facebook and Twitter.
Afrikan-American students have become so comfortable on this campus that the idea of the Nubian Message being dissolved into only a weekly section of the Technician doesn’t even cause them to flinch.
To all of those students, I ask, had it not been for Tony Williamson and the founding Nubian Message staff would your position on this campus be as comfortable?