The Graduating Class of 2010

On May 9, 2010, Hampton Univeristy graduates, family, friends, and people from all over the world gathered in the stadium of the “REAL HU” for an experience of a lifetime .  The 2010 Commencement was not only special because I was a graduate but also because our honorary speak was President Barack Obama.  It was one of the greatest days of my life to achieve one of the milestones that I have lived up to and have my very own black president give me the recognition that I deserved.  Graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Public Relations, I held my diploma high as a marched acrossed the stage with gratitude as the crowd looked on with respect.

It is not everyday that the President of this free world agrees to speak to a Historically Black College so I am proud that my alma mater had that honor.  Although secret service put us through many stipulations, it was worth every penny to stand there in the blazing sun in my uniform black and stockings to hear the commencement speech. Below you can view what was the best day of my life!

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Mexico Art and Anya

With jazz as her inspiration, Anya Sippen, draws a picture of her life.  I met her in my creative writing class this semester and was immediately pulled into her creative talent.  Not only is she an excellent writer but her ability to put sound, rythmn, and music into a visual piece of art is what makes her stand out. 

Anya is an North Carolina native who originally became an art Major at Hampton University.  The lack of expression the curriculum limited her to enabled her to change her major to Broadcast Journalism but she still aspiring and continuing to be an artist.

“I’m not really into alot of music but I like to listen to old school Jazz,” says Anya of her passion for the art of Jazz artists like Nina Simone, her favorite.  She does her artwork on cardboard canvases using oil pastels and acrylic paints.

Anya carries her passion with jazz not only into her art but also through the school radio station 88.1 fridays from 1-2 pm  “Mary Helen’s Lunchtime Concert”.  I’ve learned from being in class with her that she is crafting her memoir from experiences in Mexico.  I knew that summer meant alot to her just by the surrounding photographs and culture that she uniquely displayed in her room as memories.

(Talking about her journal filled with a plethora of pictures, maps, and writing from her summer in Mexico)

(Nina Simone)

Anya’s freedom of expression requires no techniques (pure talent) and is an example of the many talented artists that I come across through my lifetime.  She hopes to one day get her memoir published as well as her art displayed in galleries.  Please lookout for her!

Afro Chic’s Pick of the Week: ReKaste

ReKaSte

There has been alot of buzz on Hampton University’s campus this year, and the group ReKaste has a lot to blame for it.   Performing at Hampton Idol and the Haiti Relief Benefit concert, I had the opportunity to hear with my own ears.  The group members; Allen “StevieVisionz” Hargrove, Kyle “D.J. Kal” Lawrence, Leavil “Recipe” Armstrong, are music techonology majors hailing from New York City.  They were able to collaborate and produce eccentuating vibes right on the campus of HU.

Along with “Throw it Up”, Rekaste’s single entitled “Something Special” which is my pick, is a very smooth cross from alternative and hip hop, with lyrics that have your mind, body, and soul at ease.  It happens to be on my “feel good” playlist cause it’s fitting for the mood.  Check it out here!

Rekaste has been making moves in the community as well. They will be at Blurr in Newport News, Va. March 31, 2010 performing with other artists. Be sure to get your tickets for this event go to their website www.rekaste.com where you can find more information on how to follow them on twitter and access to their latest music releases.

HU Brings Relief to Haiti

Hampton University’s Music Department sponsored the Haiti Relief Benefit concert that was held in Ogden Hall last night and it was SPECTACULAR…there were 12 acts that showcased their talent and appreciation through dance, instruments, and musical selections. 

Student Artists like Euro P. Gold, Duke, Earth Gang, ReKaste graced the stage and sung selections that had the audience either rockin or engaging in a praise session.  I was especially suprised to find the few gospel groups UNISUN and Praise Him Ministries come forth to really rock the crowd with their amazing voices.

The performaces that really stood out to me were of the dance group Oracle (I haven’t seen them peform in awhile), Frequency with the voice of Chelsea, and Stacey Reid who was on the Saxaphone setting the tempo for the rest of the evening. Not to mention, Miss HU did her own lil hip roll tribute to Haiti.

 

The concert was a great success and I really believe that regardless of $3 from my pocket going for a good cause, It was nice to come out and celebrate life with such talented students that I go to school with.

Miss Hampton University Pulls the Race Card

many have asked for days now how I felt about Miss Hampton Univesity of 2009-2010, and your answers is this.

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yes, she’s white and she represents Hampton University….

I was amongst the very few people that attended the Miss Hampton Univeristy pagaent on friday, October 9th, 2009 and when they announced the winner to be Nikole Churchill, I didn’t scream. I didn’t cuss. Nor did I storm out, but stood there in complete shock  but not disbelief.  I knew in the back of my mind when seeing the contestants earlier in the week that this pagaent was going to make history, one way or the other.

While many are blaming her, I am blaming the judges and whoever is under this committee into picking Miss Hampton.  Honestly, I feel that her presence in pagaentry was not in comparison to the other contestant that graces the stage with her.  Yes, she is a student of Hampton University on the Virginia Beach Campus, but I have not seen her at all on this campus.  No campus involvement, no community service, no organizations on this campus. I mean, she’s a senior like me, she could’ve at least attended a few senior socials or something.  But the fact of the matter is, she is NOT the representation of Hampton University. Regardless if the title has nothing to do with representing just the next step to Miss Virginia, it is not fair to the other contestants that have been involved for numerous years with their school and have already engrossed themselves in its rich culture.

Now for the race part. You can’t hide it, no one can.  And let’s not compare this to Obama, because Obama is black and he is in the opressed race, which is like myself.  Nikole will never know how it feels to be black and writing a letter to President Obama about racial issue that she recieved from a black institution shows no relation. Yeah, I feel sorry for her. But what did she expect? Get over it. As a black woman I will always be overlooked when I’m going against a white women cause everyone plays the race card, and not to mention that I have nappy hair tops it off, HU will not approve LoL but anyways, HBCU’s are the only institutions that are privately funded and designed for African-Americans to seek an opportunity to feel comfortable in their own skin and to get an education that we deserve, equal and fair.  By a white woman, taking the crown is pretty much a slap in our faces.  I am not suprised that she won because leave it Hampton University to always want to “diversify’ and uphold an image that steers faaaaaaaar away from black. If you can’t go bright, then go WHITE. (comic relief: laugh, thanks.)

Black people can’t ever just have what was ours, our music, our culture, and now even our schools.  Were still oppressed and Hampton University’s new “Diversity Political Move” doesn’t help either.

Have You Been Thinking about your Health?

n1226100082_30048776_9137Michelle Reese, a native from Hyttesville, Maryland,  got upclose and personal with me about the Health Care crisis going on in America today.  Michelle is a Senior, Nursing Major, attending Hampton University in Hampton, VA.  When choosing her major upon entering college in 2006, she gave great consideration and thought to Americans.

 “I have deep concerns for people and I choose nursing because Patient Care is the most important in our hospitals.” 

Ever since Michelle was little she was very compassionate about helping people and science so choosing the Nursing program at Hampton Univesity was the best choice for her.

What do you do to stay fit?

Michelle has taken it upon herself to stay fit while living on campus in many ways. She says, “I really feel like the state that were in now is a landslide, people arent going to get fresh food and healthy foods because it is too expensive. So it’s so tempting to run to McDonalds rather than to go to Wal-Mart and buy groceries, especially in a dorm.”   To make sure that she doesnt fall victim to many diseases amongst Americans she watches what she eats, goes to the gym, and has learned moderation with her portion-control.

How do you feel the Healthcare Reform will help/not help America?

Michelle feels that everyone should have healthcare insurance and that it should be made affordable to all Americans.  “Ever since the shock of the recession, I feel that co-payments have gotten really expensive.” She explains that because its not affordable anymore its causing secondary healthcare problems; putting people in the hole with issues that can be prevented just by a doctor’s visit.

Michelle wants the Healthcare Reform to play close attention to Children.  She feels that alot of small children should be automotically given healthcare so that they can get their immunizations the basic check-ups so that health problems will be less existent when they reach a certain age.  “There are alot of prevention methods that the governement can take account for so that these problems will not be a continuous concern for our country.”

What about healthcare insurance after you graduate?

By going into the nursing field, Michelle has already prepared herself to have health coverage.  Upon graduation, she plans to join the board at the Washington Hospital Center, in D.C. where she will get full health insurance. 

 “I plan to make a smooth transition off my dad’s insurance into my career so the issue with losing coverage when I graduate should not be effective to me.”

Many students on Hampton University’s Campus have been focused on graduation plans but very few know exactly what they are going to do when they get caught off from their parents insurance.  Whether its find a job that pays for you are try to get into grad school leaves question marks in the minds of many college students today.

So What are YOU going to do?