Undergrad’s visual project aims to encourage today’s history makers
Nia Doaks | Managing Editor
While studying sustainable materials and technology in the College of Natural Resources an innovative student is starting a new tradition to celebrate black history month on campus.
Josh Moore, a senior, recently built a visual board that depicts various black student leaders at NC State.
The wooden, black structure has the words “Who am I? We are black history” in large letters along with the black leaders who are currently featured.
The idea started with the notion that important achievements and milestones aren’t always limited to black leaders of the past. Moore said ambitious students and leaders of today are making their own history here and now.
“I’m really into black history, our history – it’s a very rich history,” said Moore. “No offense to anyone who does black history programs. I’ve had a black history program before. I just felt like we needed something new.”
According to Moore, his inspiration for the board originally came from his childhood.
“I know everyone who went to kindergarten remembers they used to have a Start Students board,” said Moore. “When I made it on the board I was pretty happy and it made me feel pretty good – that’s where the visual part came from.”
Our campuses board is almost at eye level and is located in Talley at the end of the ramp by Talley Market.
In an Instagram post, Moore encourages students to view the board that “commemorates our fellow students who are striving to be strong, new leaders in our community”.
“Whoever is on the board, first of all, congratulations. These students were all voted on by your fellow classmates,” said Moore. “It’s cool to know these leaders have a representation. When people are going around looking for clubs to join, they may be able to gravitate towards the leaders that they see on that board.”
Along with the depiction of student leaders, the board also features a historical black figure quiz with answers visible on the reverse side of the poster.
The board will stay in Talley Student Union for the next two weeks and then will be moved to Witherspoon Student Center. After being moved to Witherspoon, a new group of seven leaders will be displayed on the board, according to Moore.
“I’m really happy with it. I want the board to last a long time. If it doesn’t stay in Witherspoon, it will definitely be back up next February,” said Moore. “This is a tradition that I would want to continue next year.”
Moore offers his gratitude to Suzanne Pierce, who works in Talley and allowed him to display his work, Malik Simpson, a junior studying Biological Sciences, for assisting in the creation of the poster; and Ivana Mbullah, a junior studying Textile Technology, for assisting with the writing and conceptualization of the board.
Moore hopes to have a few more students to depict over the next few weeks.
“If you see yourself as a leader, please contact me. If you see yourself as a leader, I want to see you as a leader,” said Moore. “This makes leaders visible.”
To contact Josh Moore, feel free to email him here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.C. State senior Josh Moore beside the “Who am I? We are black history” poster located at the end of the ramp near Talley Market.
ALFRED ANDERSON | Staff Writer
Grammy Award-winning recording artist Aubrey Graham, known around the world as Drake, set the internet ablaze just before Valentines day weekend with the surprise release of his seventh solo LP entitled If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. The 17 song LP came as a surprise to fans after rumors circulated for months that Graham would be releasing a new mixtape during the first few months of 2015.
Following a trend set by R&B singer Beyoncé in December 2013, the project came without warning but simply as an iTunes link posted via Graham’s official twitter page. Projected to sell over 500,000 digital copies of the album upon the first week of its release, Graham fell just short of that number at 495,000 digital copies sold during the first week of sales.
Nonetheless, with If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late having the largest sales week among Hip-Hop and R&B albums since the surprise release of Beyoncé’s self entitled album (which sold 617,000 copies in its first week of sales), it’s safe to say that Graham has left a memorable impression with his third chart-topping LP, according to Billboard.com.
The LP itself consists of 17 tracks that more than likely, did not make the final cut to appear on his upcoming album entitled Views from the 6 (inspired by the 416 area code of his birthplace of Toronto), which is slated to be released later this year. The most noteworthy tracks that are poised to make some noise on both the radio and club scene are, ‘Energy’, ’10 Bands’ ‘Know Yourself’ and the Lil Wayne assisted ‘Used To”, which along with the rest of the songs on the LP act as odes to his hometown, his affinity for exotic dancers and the trials and tribulations of a Hip-Hop Superstar.
In addition, with the release of this LP, rumors about Graham’s status with his label, Cash Money, came to the forefront as his mentor, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (also known as Lil Wayne) has been engaged in a lawsuit with Cash Money. He’s requesting unpaid royalties or a release from the same label. Graham was signed by Lil Wayne to Young Money, a subsidiary of Cash Money Records and ultimately the Universal Music Group. Lil Wayne, upset with being denied the ability to release his long awaited album, Tha Carter V, lashed out against Cash Money and his mentor Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams, threatening to leave the label and take his Young Money label mates with him.
Throughout, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Graham makes numerous statements that seem to refer to his feelings toward the situation, with one song in particular, entitled: “Now and Forever” seems to directly address his label situation, as Graham appears to be preparing himself to separate from Cash Money Records and not knowing what awaits for him afterwards. To add fuel to the fire, after it had been rumored that this project would be released as a free mixtape, many began to speculate that it was released as a album in order for Graham to complete his four album contract with Cash Money, potentially resulting in his release from the label and the release of Views from the 6 as his first project that is not under the Cash Money umbrella. Furthermore, Graham also takes the opportunity to address his conflicts with the likes of P. Diddy, Tyga and others that has found the Canadian artist in the wrong spotlight.
In all, with the release of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Graham remains one of the most popular and controversial figures in the music industry today. With his ability to compile hit after hit and the bridge the gap between Hip-Hop and R&B, it will be interesting to see where Graham’s career goes from here- from his potential split with Cash Money Records to the release of his next album Views from the 6- Graham is poised to continue to top charts and headlines.
50 Years Later: Malcolm X’s daughter says her father would critique the rhetoric of today’s activists
JESSICA STUBBS | Staff Writer
50 years after the death of her father, Ilyasah Shabazz speculates about where Malcolm X might stand on issues affecting black Americans if he were living today.
What Would Malcolm X Think? is the name of her opinion piece published in the New York Times on Saturday.
Shabazz claims X would be critical of today’s organizing efforts within the black U.S. community.
“Of course, my father would be heartened by the youth-led movement taking place across the nation, and abroad, in response to institutional brutality,” Shabazz writes. ‘And he would appreciate the protesters’ fervor and skillful use of social media to rapidly organize, galvanize and educate. In a sense, his ability to boil down hard truths into strong statements and catchy phrases presaged our era of hashtag activism.”
Shabazz said she believes her father would critique the activists’ rhetoric itself.
“I imagine he would applaud the “Hands Up” gesture for its sheer dramatic effect, but also critique it as rank capitulation that ironically accommodates the very goal of police brutality — to intimidate and immobilize black citizens, forcing them into a defenseless posture if they hope to survive.
She goes on to say she believes her father would share her view of the iconic “hands up don’t shoot” chant, a staple in 2014’s anti-police brutality protests and the “black lives matter” movement.
“He’d agree that “Black Lives Matter,” indeed — but also note that the uniformed police officers who disagree are not likely to be persuaded by a hashtag,” Shabazz said.
Born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska; El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago on February 21, 1965 at age 39. At a speaking event in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, three gunmen charged Malcolm onstage. They shot him 15 times at close range. He was pronounced dead on arrival at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. His assassins, Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15X Johnson, were convicted of first-degree murder in March of 1966. The three men were all members of the Nation of Islam. Family gathered at the Audubon Ballroom, now the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center, to honor the legacy of the late minister.
In 1953, Malcolm changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X because he considered “Little” a slave name and chose the “X” to signify his lost tribal name. In Malcolm received criticism for a comment he made regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “[Kennedy] never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon,” said Malcolm. After the statement, Elijah Muhammad “silenced” (suspended) Malcolm for 90 days. In March 1964, Malcolm terminated his relationship with the Nation of Islam, a black supremacist organization. In the same year, Malcolm made a pilgrimage to Mecca, changing his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. There is no record of the meaning of the name, however there are many theories regarding its origin.
Malcolm was one of eight children. His father, Earl Little was an outspoken baptist minister who followed and supported the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. His mother, Louise Little was a homemaker busy with the children. Continued threats from the Black Legion, a splinter of the Ku-Klux Klan, forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan. In 1929, their Lansing home was burned down. Two years later, Earl’s body was found lying across the town’s trolley tracks. Police ruled both incidents as accidents, but the Littles were certain that members of the Black Legion were responsible. Louise suffered emotional breakdown several years after her husband’s death and was admitted to a mental institution, while her children were split up among various foster homes and orphanages.
After the eighth grade, Malcolm dropped out of school, headed for a life of crime. When twenty-one, he was sentenced to prison for burglary and there he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Muhammad’s thesis that the white man is the devil with whom blacks cannot live had a strong impact on Malcolm. Malcolm was appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad also entrusted him with establishing new mosques in cities such as Detroit, Michigan, and Harlem. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing membership in the Nation from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963.
After his return from Mecca in 1964, Malcolm said he had met “blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers.” He returned to the United States with a new outlook on integration and a new hope for the future. This time when Malcolm spoke, instead of just preaching to African-Americans, he had a message for all races. In March 1964, Malcolm terminated his relationship with the Nation. After Malcolm resigned from the Nation and renounced Elijah Muhammad, relations between the two had become increasingly strained. FBI informants working undercover in the Nation warned officials that Malcolm had been marked for assassination–one undercover officer had even been ordered to help plant a bomb in Malcolm’s car.
After repeated attempts on his life, Malcolm rarely traveled anywhere without bodyguards. On February 14, 1965 the home where Malcolm, Betty, and their four daughters lived in East Elmhurst, New York was firebombed. The family escaped unharmed. One week later, Malcolm was assassinated in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965.
50 years after his assassination, Malcolm is remembered by one of six daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz at the Audubon Ballroom, now the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center. Malcolm was honored in cities all over the United States through events sponsored from various groups to honor and remember the legacy of Malcolm X.
Jillian Smith | Staff Writer
Black news has encompassed a variety of matters within the past couple of years.
In 2012, we lost Trayvon Martin and the man that killed him was acquitted.
Voters’ rights legislation was an ongoing issue throughout 2013 as a limitation on the usable ID threatened to take away the rights of many Americans.
A year later, 2014, was plagued by tragic losses, violent backlash and ever-increasing racial tensions, spilling over into the New Year. While the events mostly occurred on the eastern side of the nation, outrage rippled in waves throughout.
Things like New York’s ¨stop and frisk law,¨ and Alabama’s stop and search law provided means through which racial profiling was essentially legalized.
The most recent event, happening Feb. 20, a Sacramento, CA student was suspended for “willful defiance.¨ Dwayne Powe Jr., says he was just asking another student to borrow a pencil when the teacher told him to leave the class for disrupting.
We know the reasons behind racism, we know racism is not dead and will not die. It is so deeply ingrained in our nations past and present, we have been, until recently, fairly complacent with the progress that has been made so far.
It’s written that we all have equal rights under the law, but equal treatment under these laws has yet to be seen.
So all of this has happened to us, and we’ve reacted, and now we’re wondering: What’s next?
Some of the issues we are facing are so similar to what black Americans had to deal with prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Officers being acquitted after blatantly committing murder, such as the case with Eric Garner, is nothing new to the black community.
However, some issues are completely unique to our time, and those are the issues that obscure the message we want to send.
There are no obvious laws or concrete words to target this time. What we are battling is an ideology.
An ideology that includes stereotypes, prejudices and beliefs that continue to keep black Americans living as second-class citizens.
This is the new battlefield. Trying to combat thoughts and beliefs, however, is proving to be a challenge.
We need to rally around the idea that now, after we have gained legal equality, we need to work on gaining social equality through changing the way we think and relate to each other.
Have you ever looked at someone and assumed something about them (keep it 100!)? That’s what happens everyday to millions of black Americans.
The first step in gaining social equality is admitting to and understanding that everyone makes snap judgments, casts someone in a stereotype or attributes some specific quality to them.
What we need to do now is make sure that these judgments do not guide our decisions and actions. Actively encouraging yourself and others to do this can make a major difference in open mindedness and perspective on other cultures, religions and yes, races.