DeErricka Green | Managing Editor
Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian spoke to N.C. State faculty and students Monday evening, on his experience with activism, the Civil Rights Movement and the direction he sees social justice taking now.
“Social Justice: the Movement Then and Now” celebrated the third year of the Living Legends series hosted by the African American Cultural Center and Africana Studies Program. “The series aims to honor African-American pioneers in North Carolina, and their commitment to impacting future generations,” said Darryl Lester, Assistant Director of the African American Cultural Center. In 2011, the series documented the lives of Herman and Iyaluua Ferguson, founding members of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), as well as other North Carolina pioneers. Last year, legends from St. Agnes Hospital were interviewed, telling the story of the only hospital in the area that served Black patients.
“90 years young,” as he refers to himself, Vivian is a living legend of the Civil Rights Movement, author, and close friend and lieutenant of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He has a history with social justice that spans 70 years, participating in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across the country. “We were looking for a means to get racism off our backs, to be fully accepted by society,” said Vivian. The Civil Rights Movement, according to the activist, provided the strategy necessary to support the moral and spiritual vision of African-Americans at the time.
Vivian spoke on his relationship with Dr. King, remarking that he “never minded sharing the leadership amongst all of us.” He also stressed the importance of college students getting involved with the movement and the power education has to combat racially charged violence.
“College students were especially important to the movement. They represented educated youth from towns and cities all across the South. Being educated will end violence,” said Vivian.
His BASIC (Black Action Strategies and Information Center) Race Awareness Seminar is just one of the ways in which Vivian has focused on the power of education in social justice. The University has hosted the workshops in previous years. This two-day seminar first began in 1975, aimed at the elimination of racism on campus. It required participants to engage in an intense, candid assessment of their individual and collective racial attitudes and has since graduated over 1,000 participants.
Today, Vivian still conducts workshops through the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. In August, President Obama named Vivian as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the country. Throughout his work he continues to promote knowledge of social issues and strategy within the African-American community. “Back then, we were fighting to be able to act fully human and to know what being fully human meant. Today, we still have work to do.”
Oct 17 2013
Biggest Movie Releases of the Season
DeVonte Keith | Staff Writer
Along with the State Fair and pumpkin pie, fall brings about a number of box office movie hits. Here are some of the new and upcoming releases that might pique your interest!
Just in time for cuffing season, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt directs, writes, and stars in the romantic-comedy Don Jon. In the movie, Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is seemingly an all-American playboy. What’s different about Jon however, is his guilty pleasure of Internet lust. Things change for the computer casanova when however, when he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johnannsen). Released on Sept. 27, the film, which features Scarlett Johannsen, Rob Brown, Channing Tatum and Megan Good, has received positive reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and the Sundance Film Festival.
Recently released in theaters was science fiction thriller Gravity. In the film, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as Dr. Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski, who are preparing to service the Hubble Space Telescope. During their preparations, they find out that because of dangerous floating debris they should abort the mission. They decide however to go on with it. Gravity is shown in IMAX 3D as well as other theaters. Not only has the film received praise from film critics such as Mark Zoller Seitz from RogerEbert.com who gave the film a perfect four stars, but filmmakers James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino have both said it was one of the best space films they have ever seen.
12 Years A Slave
Coming to theaters October 18th is “12 Years a Slave.” The film is based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northrop. The film chronicles the life of Solomon Northrop as he goes from being a free black man to a slave. Northrop was lured from New York to Washington D.C. where he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. During this time Northrop reveals his true history to only one of his masters. The film stars Chiwetel Ejifor and features Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, and Quvenzhane Wallis. Director Steve McQueen won the Hollywood Film Festival award for Breakthrough Directing for the film as well as the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
One of the most highly anticipated films of 2013 is “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” The film is based on the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. The film shows Nelson Mandela in his early childhood all the way up to his South African presidency. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is said to be the most accurate biopic film on Mandela. The film stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and is set to release November 29th.
Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
Only 20 percent of African-American applicants were admitted into the University for fall 2013. Members of the African-American Student Advisory Council will meet with Chancellor Woodson today to discuss the alarming data from the office of Institutional Equality and Diversity and University Planning and Analysis.
Marshall Anthony, AASAC Chair, hopes that today’s meeting with the Chancellor will not only shed light on the dismal rate, but also spawn the creation of an action plan for improvement.
“African-American students already represent only 6.8 percent of the N.C. State community, so we really need to make sure this does not become a trend in the future,” said Anthony. “We need to make sure that the University recognizes that this as a problem.”
According to the same data, 35 percent of Hispanic applicants were accepted for fall 2013, while 59.3 percent of Asian applicants and 53 percent of white applicants were accepted to the university.
Assistant Vice-Provost of Student Diversity, Dr. Tracey Ray, shared these percentages with the African-American Student Advisory Council during a presentation on Oct. 4. According to Ray, this year’s acceptance rate for African-American students is particularly alarming considering that in previous years, the acceptance rate has consistently remained closer to 50 percent.
Just as acceptance rates for African-American students has hit an all-time low, so too has their overall enrollment dropped drastically. During the fall semester of 2003, African-American students accounted for 9.8 percent of the student population. Ten years later that percentage has dropped to 6.8 percent.
Still, the graduation and retention rates of African-American students at N.C. State have remained strong. In the past decade, graduation rates have risen from 47 percent to 65 percent. The retention rate for first year students has remained at or above 90 percent.
Although these rates appear to be somewhat of a silver lining, Ray says African-American students should still be concerned. “While the yield is important, that acceptance rate needs to take some scrutiny,” said Ray.
According to the N.C. State Office of Undergraduate Admissions website, among the factors considered during the admissions process are an applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA) and extracurricular involvements.
The University website also states that, “As a research-extensive land-grant university, we [N.C. State] not only embrace diversity, but we believe it is central to the academic purpose of the institution.” It also boasts that “Undergraduate Admissions ensures that the best and brightest at N.C. State hail from all over the world and from all walks of life.”
Though he appreciates the University’s commitment to diversity, Anthony wants to see more of that commitment reflected throughout the university. “If we [N.C. State] are going to preach the message that we embrace diversity, we need to make sure that we fully do that on all spectrums,” said Anthony.
Amanda McKnight | Staff Writer
Unless you are completely cut off from social media during you the week you know that Thursday nights at 10pm are dedicated to ABC’s hit Drama, Scandal. With its third season return Scandal averaged 10.5 million views and a record 712,877 tweets making it the most tweeted about show on Thursday night.
Scandal follows the shows main character Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, a lawyer that owns a “fixing” firm. Olivia Pope and Associates are the people in Washington, DC, where politicians, celebrities, and socialites go when they need a “scandal” fixed. But anyone who watches the show knows that as of late it has been Pope and her friends that have needed the real fixing in their lives. Pope is having an on and off affair with the married President of the United States, and her associates all have backgrounds full of deceit and mystery. Scandal follows the ins and outs of the corruption, lies, and secrets that connect all of the characters in the show.
There has not been a show on a major network with a Black female lead in 30 years. Scandal is an anomaly that seemed to come out of nowhere. It has many people who do not watch the show wondering why everyone is obsessed.
Scandal has turned into a very social media driven show. Fans get on Twitter around 9:55pm to check in and be ready for the episode. Being on Twitter during Scandal is like watching a show in your living room with 100s of friends. Then after the show is over you can pop over to Instagram and see fan made memes and people posting funny pictures with moments from the episode.
Part of that draw also comes from the fact that the entire Scandal cast tweets while the show is airing. If you follow the actors and tweet them you may get a tweet back and again that creates a community because they are just as involved in the story as the viewers.
If you ask any true “gladiator,” as Scandal fans call themselves, they will go on and on about the plot of the show, who they love and hate on the show, but most importantly what they think will happen next. The chance to guess and try to figure the next move for Pope and her friends seems to be what keeps people coming back.
The show’s creator Shonda Rhimes and her writing team keep viewers coming back for more every week. Rhimes is a powerhouse in television creating multiple shows for ABC, including Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. Rhimes is a Black female writer that puts together diverse actors and makes them multidimensional rather than fulfilling stereotypes. Scandal is very popular with many in the Black community and with women and that is in part because Rhimes has created a strong female character that may not always make the best decisions, but is not a caricature of a Black woman. She lives her life as most of us do, not defining ourselves by skin color.