*This article was contributed by the A&T Register and is the first in our new section, Campus Connections, which will seek to provide Nubian Message Readers with a sense of what is happening on Historically Black campuses*
Brie-Anne Robinson| Staff Writer The A&T Register
Rock, rock, holly rock, everybody wanna holly rock,” screamed fans as Sheila E. and Family chanted as the band rocked the house with their soul-stirring performance to her critically acclaimed song “Holly Rock!”Fans filled Harrison Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 as Sheila E. and The E. Family launched this year’s Lyceum series.N.C. A&T Cold Steel drumline opened the show with a riveting, impelling percussion tribute to Sheila E. as they filled the aisles of the auditorium with excitement.The drumline came together all in fun hyping up the audience and gaining participation and building anticipation for the nights event. The opening performance evoked an emotional moment for the legendary female percussionist, as she had never been honored in that manner before throughout her career, she said.
“A&T University. The most amazing time of my entire career. U welcomed us in a way we will never 4get! Indescribable,” tweeted Sheila E after her performance.
WNAA-FM, the broadcast voice of N.C. A&T, has officially declared Oct. 17 “Sheila E. & The E. Family at A&T Day.”
The Lyceum series focuses on bringing the most provocative, culturally diverse programming to not only the university, but neighboring communities as well.
“This was my opportunity to actually introduce to NC A&T students and the general public Latin music and the impact that it has globally on all types of genres of music,” explained Ezinma Murphy, a Lyceum series committee member.
“My goal was to expose students to global music and expose cultural diversity in performing arts,” she said.
In previous years, the Lyceum series has had a number of events put in place for students and the A&T community but decided to downsize this year with two great performances, not due to budget cuts but they want to focus on sharing more unique quality programming.
“It’s hard to bring top rate programming without having the means to attain it,” stated Gregory Horton, co-chair of the Lyceum series.
“In order to keep the momentum up from the students and the community, you can’t bring anybody. I realized this generation knew who Sheila E. was mostly from their parents and past generations, as well as her smash hit ‘Glamorous Life.” he said.
He expressed how surprised he was to see all 450 student tickets sell out first as this years series was able to gain the attention of our Latino community and surrounding neighbors through television and radio advertising.
Sheila E. and her band took the stage in full force with soul-stirring performances that brought the audience to their feet. It is clear to see that performing arts comes center stage when it involves Sheila E. and the Family.
“I feel that we have lost the arts within the school lately because of cut backs and things that is going on in the world. I think it’s so important for young people to get involved in anything that is artistic, whether its dance or acting. Whatever that art might be, it not only helps the student, but it is something that every school should have,” said Pete Escovedo, legendary percussionist who is also Sheila E’s father.
“It keeps you healthy and brings a lot of smiles on people’s faces!” expressed brother Juan Escovedo.
The E Family have not always relished in the luxuries that the music industry has offered. They had to endure hardships along the way as well.
“At the beginning when I started performing with pops on our first record in the 70s, people said that even a father and daughter team couldn’t make it and for us not to do the record,” Sheila E. said. Because of our love for music, pops encouraged me to continue moving forward because this is what we have chosen for our career and we continue to fight because of our love for music.”
It was a special moment for both Sheila E. and her band as much as it was for the fans as her father and brother joined her on stage to show fans where all her expertise came from.
With Juan Escovedo on the congas, and Pete Escovedo on the Remo roto tom drum, they made the audience jump to their feet with their skills and Latin-soul inspired music.
N.C. A&T later tweeted, “We are glad that you and your family enjoyed yourselves. You are welcome back in Aggieland anytime!”
Sheila E. later retweeted, “U will be in our hearts 4ever! We will be back. God Bless.”
The E Family not only believes in the essence of performing arts among youth today, but also feel it is important for young people to participate in this year’s election.
“I believe voting is extremely important. We believe in our president. I think that he believes in our country and it’s from the heart. That I appreciate,” said Pete Escovedo.
“I think young people should look to the future and not at what somebody says they’re going to do because it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right now and that’s what our president stands on. I think that young people should realize that if they vote for Obama, your future looks more secure than anyone else talking right now,” he said.
Sheila E. and the Family released their latest album Now & Forever in 2011. The album is a timeless musical journey through Jazz, Latin, Hip Hop, and Pop sounds to special features from Raphael Saadiq, George Duke, Joss Stone, Gloria Estefan, and many more. The E Family represents versatility and talent that is able to cross many barriers and inspire others to do the same. They strive to bring back performing arts by setting an example for others before them.
The Lyceum series continues to promote cultural diversity in performing arts and plans to bring the Russian Ballet to our A&T community in the spring.
Christopher Lynn | Staff Writer
Social networking outlets are at an all-time high in popularity in the African-American community right now. The one currently sweeping the nation is called “Instagram.” Instagram is a photo-sharing social network that launched about two years ago. In September of this year, it was reported that Instagram had about 100 million users. Now, with every new social networking site, there is always an upward popularity climb, a peak, and a downward spiral. It’s safe to say that Instagram is just beginning it’s downward spiral.
If there’s one thing we as black people do is stay up with trends and brag about what we have. Instagram is the perfect enabler for both. While on Twitter users can say, “I just cooked some spaghetti. It was love,” on Instagram pictures tell more of a Ramen Noodle and ketchup struggle story.
On Twitter, one can say, “Me and my girls steppin’ out tonight.” On Instagram users can use the above caption, but post a picture that reveals, “Me and my girls dressing up like ‘the YMCA Village People, thinking we’re cute.”
Party promoters have also taken advantage of the Instagram phenomena. Now instead of simply tweeting, “This party is turnt up,” they can Instagram a photo that shows four to five dudes sitting on a couch, sharing a bottle of Mr. Boston. I could go on & on with the examples, but I think you get the idea.
Above all else, Instagram is an outlet for low budget “models” with low self-esteem. A major difference between Instagram “models” and real models are that real models do not take their own pictures, nor do they pay photographers to do so.
Also, saying “No Filter” doesn’t count when you look like you just dove face first into the MAC counter at Crabtree.
As a person wielding a penis, taking a daily “selfie,” or self-portrait constitutes as suspect. Waking up in the morning, taking a picture with those half-squint eyes, trying to look good is not the move, no matter how many “likes” it gets. Also, if you’re a “sneakerhead,” please stop rotating the same five to seven pairs of sneakers. Taking pictures of your only nugget of “loud” just screams out to me, “I overpaid for some mid-grade, sprayed with Windex & lemon juice to stunt for Instagram.” But above all else, I need for my fellow brethren to stop falling into the thirst traps. No explanation or punchline needed for this one.
To everyone digitizing their ignorance, I welcome you to the Haute Seat.
Oct 23 2012
DeErricka Green | Staff Writer
A billboard that has been spotted in African American, Hispanic and low income neighborhoods of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, as well as parts of Pennsylvania reads, “Voter fraud is a felony! Up to 3 1/2 yrs and $10,000 fine.”
Voter fraud is essentially as rare as being struck by lightning, or witnessing a UFO, but voter suppression is everywhere during this election- from threatening Obama-supporters with unemployment, to the disposal of voter registration forms and representatives only registering Republicans to vote. It seems we can now add billboards to this list.
Texas mass media company Clear Channel, owns this and other billboards, over half of which have been seen in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The company renounces the message, claiming they are not responsible for the language. In fine print near the bottom, it states that the billboards were anonymously funded “by a private family foundation.”
The, seemingly, strategic placement of these ads, along with their aggressive language has stirred protest and commentary. City councilwoman, Phyllis Cleveland, voiced her disapproval in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“When you have the words ‘felony,’ ‘voter,’ and ‘fine’ all the same message, and by placing it where it is, the only message that you are intending to send is that this is a threat to you if you vote,” she remarked. “It’s just a blatant attempt to keep people in this community, particularly black people and poor people, from voting.”
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton has also weighed in on this event on his MSNBC talk show PoliticsNation, saying, “Voter fraud barely exists in these states. In Wisconsin, 23 cases [of voter fraud] out of 11 million votes cast have been reported since 2005. In Ohio, only five cases out of 14 million votes casts have been reported since 2004. We know what they’re up to, and we won’t let them.”
What is the incentive behind placing billboards in low income, historically democratic neighborhoods of color? Given, “voter fraud” sounds like a menacing threat; it only appears this way to those uninformed of their voting rights. Not only have the excess of voter-ID laws which could have disenfranchised millions of citizens mainly been struck down, evidence shows that is voter fraud rare, it is extremely difficult to commit.
Therefore, though these ads seem a peculiar way of spending election money, they work as a perfect cover-up for the GOP’s attempts at voter suppression.
Whatever “private family foundation” paid for these billboards knew his or her audience, and is all too happy to disenfranchise it. If the citizens of these neighborhoods do not realize how much of a difference they can make on Election Day, these billboards make it quite clear that someone in a “private family foundation” does.
The areas in which these advertisements are found not only seem to target minority neighborhoods, they are specifically found in swing states: Wisconsin, Ohio, and the border area between Pennsylvania and Ohio.
These areas are, arguably, the most crucial to the election because no single party has overwhelming support in securing Electoral College votes.
Moreover, Ohio is of course the swing state of swing states, the one upon which Romney’s hopes of victory essentially lie.
In 2008, President Obama won Ohio by just over 200,000 votes. He won the area that includes Cleveland by nearly 250,000 votes. His victory in Ohio may have been the most politically significant, given that no Republican has ever won the Electoral College without claiming the Buckeye State. It’s been slated that Ohio is, by far, the most likely state to swing this year’s election.
This fact on its own might suggest a motivation behind the billboards, and it’s no surprise. One effort at suppression- an attempt to close early voting in Ohio the weekend before election- was shut down by the Supreme Court this week.
Generally, when someone is unwilli ng to put their real name on their work that tells you all you need to know about their motives. It would appear that some conservatives will go as low as to blatantly intimidate voters with misinformation, and then cannot even admit it openly.
For this “private family foundation,” in the words of Al Sharpton, we say we know what you’re up to, and we won’t let you.
Oct 23 2012
Robert Marshall | Staff Writer
Celibacy is one of those terms that is often used and misused, misinterpreted and miscommunicated. For some it is simply abstaining from sex until marriage, while for others it is a temporary decision; just waiting for someone who “feels right.” There remains another small faction, though, to which celibacy bears a different meaning. It is an action of showing allegiance to their religion or God; it is taking the time to build meaningful relationships and holding off on the physical until some predetermined point, often marriage.
In a recent interview with Global Grind, Devon Franklin, Senior Vice President of Colombia Pictures, spoke about his decision to become celibate, and how that commitment lasted for more than ten years until his recent marriage to actress, Meagan Good. Franklin who is also a preacher said that he couldn’t speak on living one lifestyle and actually be living another. He had to make the difficult decision to stop in accordance to God’s will.
Franklin is just 33-years-old which would mean he was around my age, 22-23 years old, when he made the decision to give up one of life’s great pleasures, in exchange for a life he found more fitting for a man of God. Being 22-years-old, it may be hard to imagine giving up sex, but it is a trend I have seen emerging among my peers, especially among the female population.
In my conversations, the role of sex has changed from simple physical pleasure to a more meaningful emotional connection. The goal is no longer just “Chasing O-s.” The fun is fleeting and it is becoming something much more powerful, a form of expression.