Family is Everything to KTAs

By Kennedi Jackson

Family will always support you, even when no one else does.

That was the key message for top communications scholars Friday during the induction ceremony into Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA) at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Your family "has the biggest part in getting you here," said Dr. Michael DiBari, a photography and visual arts professor who also teaches Senior Capstone.

DeBari was the keynote speaker at the induction into the nation's premier honor society.

The society invites only the top ten percent of junior and seniors. Some family members attended to support students.

"If I could impart anything, it's to remember your family and do good work," said DiBari who was inducted into KTA as a graduate student.

Dibari spoke of his own personal experience with winning a high school wrestling competition, and the significance of having your family recognize your achievements.

After the speech, students were presented with their certificates, pins, membership cards and honor cords, then said the KTA pledge in unison.

Afterward, students swarmed for pictures with their friends while cake was cut in the back of the room. Students said they were pleased to have an extra distinction on their resumes.

The atmosphere in the room was as expected of students receiving such an honorable distinction. Smiles could be seen all around the room. There was a small turnout of family and friends, but the ones who did come definitely made it known that they were there. They whooped when names were called to show how proud they were.

Kappa Tau Alpha is the college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communications. Members are selected based on these qualifications. It is the seventh national honor society, founded at the University of Missouri in 1910. Their symbol is the key, a symbol for knowledge and communication. The organization continues on with new members here at our home by the sea, leading journalistic excellence for years to come.

Project HBCU Goes to Baltimore

By Jala Tucker

Two Hampton university students traveled to Baltimore Friday, April 12 to inspire private high school students to attend a Historically Black College/University (HBCU).

During workshops at Roland Park Country School, an all-girls school in the north of the city, Jada Graham and Jala Tucker explained the value of an HBCU education and helped students with the personal statements on their applications.

About 25 students attended the workshop and said they wanted to apply to Morgan State, and Hampton, but most chose Howard, one of the top two highest-rated HBCUs in the country. About 10 students made progress on their applications.

"Even if we just make an impact on one student, I know we are doing something good," Graham said.

The workshop was part of a nonprofit, Project HBCU, created by Graham and Tucker, which specializes in giving students advice on college admissions.

The two entrepreneurs want students to understand their potential for higher education and hope to inspire them to travel outside of their comfort zones. Several students complained about the lack of opportunity in a small market like Baltimore.

The top reasons to go to an HBCU include "not having to be the voice for all Black people," Tucker told the students.

According to Tucker, typically, when black students go to Predominantly White Institutions, they are seen as the spokesperson for black people, since there are not as many black students to share their experiences. At an HBCU, students can freely have their voice without having the burden of representing the entire black community, the two explained.

A personal statement is the first step and one of the most critical parts of a college application.

"Show admissions who you really are in your personal statement," Tucker told them. "Make them want you at their school,"

Gamal Codner Tells Hampton Students how to be Successful Entrepreneurs

By Olivia Johnson

Hampton, VA--Entrepreneurial skills and networking are vital to today's students, a self-made millionaire and life coach told Hampton University students Friday. Gamal Codner, who flipped three start-up companies into a six-figure income, told students how to do what he did.

"Failing is good; if you never failed before, you won't know what not to do," said Codner, a Florida State alumnus.

Codner became an entrepreneur in college when he created a website similar to Instagram and Facebook where students could post and comment on the site about parties in the area. The website became so popular that major companies such as McDonalds began to ask Codner for his help.

After missing out on an opportunity to sign a contract with Gatorade to further expand his business, Codner began social media marketing his own businesses and businesses he contracted with. In his first month he made $107,000.

"You don't have to be the best; you just have to be different," Codner told the engaged students, who were jumping at the opportunity to ask questions.

Like the students, Codner is a young African American who wants to be an independent business man. Growing up poor, he never imagined the positions he would attain.

Now, Codner wants to give back to his community by creating a scholarship fund for young black students looking to start a business. An application form is available on his website,

Brains aren't everything when it comes to success in business, Codner said.

"Some of the richest people I know are dumb," Codner said. "It's average people who are rich, normal, every day people. You have to maximize on every opportunity."

A Painful Overcast on Legacy Park

By Sydney N. Shuler

The placement of a bronze George H. W. Bush statue in Legacy Park at Hampton University stirred up controversy with students, alumni and national leaders in the black community, some of whom said they were outraged by the inclusion of a figure known for encouraging fear using aggressive black stereotypes during his presidential campaign.

President William H. Harvey, a longtime friend of Bush, has defended the choice stating that Bush's policies directly benefited historically black colleges and universities and brought $40 million in scholarships, faculty research grants and other beneficial programs at Hampton.

"I found him to be an extraordinary man of love, values, principles, standards, honesty, compassion, loyalty, camaraderie, and character," Harvey wrote in a 2018 op-ed for The Daily Press in Newport News.

Some black leaders are outraged by the choice, one is even seeking a public rebuke while others are circulating a petition advocating for the removal of the statue.

Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., a black Democratic representative of the First District of Missouri, and his father William Lacy Clay, Sr., who also served in the GOP and helped found the Congressional Black Caucus, are commissioning the CBC to publicly oppose the new statue.

The backlash since the ribbon-cutting ceremony Hampton University's new Legacy Park, a waterfront garden featuring eleven statues of Hampton University supporters, has included current students and the alumni association.

Bush "is not one that you can hold up as someone who believed in equal justice for all,"Clay Sr. said in a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He steadfastly and vigorously opposed any specific proposal to ameliorate the inequitable, bigoted treatment of black citizens."

Clay Jr. believe Bush's appointment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in order to replace the Civil Rights champion, Thurgood Marshall, was harmful to the black community and went goes against equal rights representation, according to an article by Chuck Raasch in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

During the 1988 election against Michael Dukakis, Bush supporters created the Willie Horton attack ad. William R. Horton is a black American convicted felon in Massachusetts who was imprisoned while Dukakis was governor. Horton was a recipient of Dukakis' "weekend pass" policy. The harsh mugshot and dapper photos of George H.W. Bush and Dukakis, historians believe, played into the black stereotypes of criminal behavior that ignites fears in whites.

The Hampton University Alumni Association posted a petition protesting the George H.W. Bush statue to the HU Board of Trustees and to Dr. Harvey on

"It is an absolute embarrassment, that the institution that produced Booker T. Washington, Mary Jackson, Alberta King, and thousands of others that have stood on their shoulders," the petition reads, "that the Board of Trustees and ultimately the university's long-term president, William R. Harvey somehow found it morally acceptable to memorialize this man on our beautiful campus."

The petition recalls the on-campus protests following the announcement of Bush as the commencement speaker in 1991.

"It's no wonder why his visit to a Hampton University ... a historically BLACK university, was protested by the student body, faculty and staff resources collectively," the petition reads.

"He has some good things and some bad things as well," Edwards said. "His legacy should be remembered for being instrumental in getting the United Negro College Fund started. I don't think people know the history."

One of the good things that Edwards was referring to, as well as one of the reasons for honoring the 41st president is his significant involvement in propelling the UNCF to where it is today. After being recruited to lead UNCF fundraising drives at Yale University, Bush went on to become the UNCF chairman of Texas. He also donated partial proceeds from his autobiography to UNCF. While president, he signed Executive Order 12677, which created a Presidential Advisory Board on HBCUs, a group created to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by advising the president & U.S. Secretary of Education.

And, there were students who were torn between the good things Bush did for African Americans and the bad, like increasing funding for HBCUs while continuing the war on drugs which incarcerated Black Americans at an alarming rate.

Bush founded the Yale chapter of the UNCF and was a long time ambassador for HBCUs. He worked to improve the recruitment of graduate and undergraduate HBCU students for part-time and summer federal positions and increased HBCU funding.. HBCUs received a total of $776 million in 1989 and $894 million 1990, an increase of $118 million, right after his election.

Still, Edwards acknowledged the darker side of his legacy. "George Bush did not stop that War on Drugs, he kept it going," he said. Some current students spoke out to local news media about their opposition to the statues and said the administration should have explained the choice. Statues included Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Taft, and several local figures important to the history or support of the university including founder Samuel Chapman Armstrong and President Harvey.

"Some of the statues were definitely deserving, but when you have someone like George H. W. Bush who was honorable, do not get me wrong, but as far as the other people up there and what they mean to the campus, I think that students and alumni deserve an explanation."

"First of all, I believe that the chief reason for [Legacy Park] is promotion of learning," Dr. Harvey said in an article by Brandi Howliet in The Hampton Script, "I want students to research these figures. Be thankful."

The Hampton Players bring a musical classic to Little Theater

By Asia Rollins

HAMPTON, VA-- When the audience first saw Sophomore Nesia Banks, she was wearing a black corset and long dark tulle skirt. The Wicked Witch of the West was yelling at the flying monkeys who were aiding in her evil plans. It was the best thing about The Wiz, said one very biased audience member.? "My favorite part of the shows was seeing my daughter perform," said Irena Banks. "I grew up in the '70s and watched the movie all the time as a kid, so it was nice seeing everything come together."

The Wiz, a musical from the 1970s based on The Wizard of Oz, was the latest production of The Hampton Players, the University's theater department. The show premiered March 20 and ran through the 24th.

Hampton's version of The Wiz added modern dance moves from the past few years, modern slang and added modern musical touches, while remaining the same musical that holds a special memory in the hearts of audience members.

"It's fun, it's funny and they make relevant references," said student usher Addison Adams. "We got to see them opening night and seeing them improve with each show has been a cool experience."

The musical tells the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in the context of 1970s African-American culture. It is a household classic in African-American families. Audience members seemed excited to see the story come to life.? Part of modernizing the show included costuming the Tin Man in a silver sweatsuit paired with tennis shoes. Cast and crew members have prepared a show with complicated sound, lighting and costume changes. They pulled it off without any noticeable errors. That let the audience, especially the proud mother Irena Banks, focus on the acting and singing.

"My favorite song was "No Bad News," so I kind of just emulate what I've already seen," said Wicked Witch Nesiah Banks. "If people come and remember my character's name and what I did, that makes it even more humbling, but I just want people to enjoy the show."

Defamation of a New Legacy

By Kobie Polk

The somber mood was enhanced Monday by the overcast sky and misty rain as a group of Hampton University students saw – most for the first time – the bent and twisted glasses on the bronze statue of Rosa Parks.

Parks' statue was vandalized about a week after it had been unveiled on Founder's Day. After it was repaired, police say, it was vandalized a second time.

"Honestly, it's a shame," said David Glover, Chief of Hampton University police. Glover said the department was trying to figure out who did it and why. If it was because, as rumored, students were unhappy over the amount of money spent on the park – given the amount of unfinished projects and problems on campus – Glover said that was a mistake.

"If that's the case, I get the message, but I don't agree with how they did it," he said during an interview.

The statue was one of 11 representing notable figures, most African American, who contributed to the history of the university. Legacy Park, with its central fountain and landscaping, sits on the waterfront near the founder's mansion and Memorial Chapel overlooking the James River.

During the first vandalism, Park's glasses were bent downward in the middle and her nose was scratched. Police believe this happened during a celebration commemorating the last 100 days before the seniors graduate. A photograph circulated on Twitter, prompting alumni, employees and students to ask the question: Who would do this?

Hampton University custodian Herbert Hodge went to see the statue when he heard. He recalled growing up during the Civil Rights movement.

"It was a time when blacks couldn't go to certain places," Hodge said, describing the importance of what Rosa Parks did when she refused to give up her seat, launching the movement that brought an end to legal segregation.

Seeing her statue defaced left him nearly speechless.

"I just don't understand," he finally said. Like others, Hodge believes a student damaged the statue.

"We can't blame anyone but ourselves," he said.

Students agreed.

"Honestly, it's appalling," said Alexandria King, a sophomore English major. "I don't understand what the purpose would be. It's just stupid."

Campus police are questioning students and have obtained footage of the incident, police said. Even if justice is served, Hampton University family members like Hodge and King believe it will not undo the pain.

"It hurt me," said Hodge. "We go to a black school and it hurt me."

1619-2019: SANKOFA!

On March 30 at 5 p.m., the Peninsula Fine Arts Center presents "Imagine Isabella," a live performance representing the spirit of an Angolan Slave girl from 400 years ago and a panel discussion of the exhibit of sculptures called "Cash Crop," which closes March 31.

By Lea Luellen

Hampton VA-- Sankofa is a Ghanaian word meaning "look to your past to guide your future." The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News is asking visitors to do just that. "African Art: Power and Identity," which opened January 18 and runs through April 28, includes sculptures, paintings, textiles, masks, and jewelry. The central exhibit, "Cash Crop," by sculptor and artist Stephen Hayes, reveals the power of the African Diaspora, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and its lingering effects over the past 400 years. ."

Hayes is a mixed media creator from Durham, North Carolina and a professor at Duke University where he teaches Art, Art History, and Visual Studies.

Though the statues have been called "graphic" by some, Hayes said the images represent a reality viewers need to grapple with

"The question is, what's too graphic for learning? It's about the transporting of people as goods and commodity and connecting it back to today and how we outsource our goods from one place to another, asking the question of who or what is the next cash crop. It's bringing a light to a past, and a light to a present," said Hayes during an interview after opening night at the fine arts center.

"Cash Crop" includes 15 life-sized statues that represent the estimated 15 million slaves brought to the colonies during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The statues are bound with shackles from their necks to their feet. Their backs are each attached to a wooden board, which shows how bodies were packed during the slave journey, representing the treatment of slaves as goods and commodities instead of human beings. All 15 statues are connected to a large wooden pallet.

"The pallet represents today and how our goods come from these third world countries. The slave ship plan reminds me of a sweat shop in a third world country. If you take the roof off, it looks like they packed people inside with just enough room to produce as many goods as possible," said Hayes in an interview with The Guilfordian, the student newspaper for Guilford College.

Hampton students who attended the opening said they were affected by the exhibit.

"The piece itself showed years of progress from the entry as property to the current state as prosperous. I was emotionally involved by just looking at the chained necks of the made me feel like me, myself was in captivity," said Josiah-Belfon Valentine, a Hampton University student.

During the opening, Hayes wore locks past his shoulders with a T-shirt saying, "There is a King in all of us." He related his work to America today, to symbolize the evolution of slavery from 400 years ago to 2019.

"You see, this is what art is about, creating a rush of emotion in individuals that causes us to think and feel," said Julianna Sarr, owner of Elixir Art Gallery in Hampton, VA.

Sarr is a multimedia artist who will be Using Hayes' Cash Crop as a backdrop for her first performance art piece, "Imagine Isabella" at the arts center on March 31st. After the interactive performance art piece, a live panel will discuss the effects of African enslavement and diaspora on America today.

Hayes has been touring the 15-piece ensemble since 2010. Its permanent home is the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. It will be on loan to the Peninsula Fine Arts Center until March 31st.

The larger exhibit that includes Hayes' work, entitled African Art: Power & Identity, is part of a region-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans. About twenty arrived at Point Comfort near Jamestown in 1619.

Mango Mangeaux owners expand with venue and boutique hotel

By Alexus Baldwin

HAMPTON,VA--The owners of the avant garde restaurant, Mango Mangeaux, have expanded their business in Phoebus with a new event space called "Simply Panache."

The entrepreneurial trio – Lakesha Brown, Tanecia Willis and Nzinga Teule-Hekima – had been running events out of their award-winning restaurant on East Mellen Street, but were having to close early and were concerned about the impact on regular customers.

The new event space is directly across the street.

"Our goal is for our guests to have an entertaining experience. We don't provide just food. It is an experience that our customers get and it is one of a kind," said Danielle Goodman, event manager.

The new venue can seat up to 100 people seated or up to 150 at standing events such as cocktail parties. The decor and furnishings are white, but color can easily be added with furniture or decorations. A stage is also available for rental.

The venue attracts mainly wedding receptions, art shows and fashion shows.

The menu will be similar to the restaurant's, including the "House Favorites" Quiche Florentine, Chesapeake Benedict and Magnolia Shrimp and Grits. It will also include one of their best sellers, gumbo with seafood, sausage and chicken.

"I attended a wedding reception, and it felt really good to have comfort food that makes me feel like I am back at home in New Orleans," said Anthony Johnson, a guest having lunch at Mango Mangeaux.

The owners first hit the national scene on Shark Tank with their mango preserves. It can be spread on toast, croissants and bagels or paired with red wine vinegar and olive oil. The chefs combine it with another one of their products "Jammin Ginger Party Mix" to make their signature dish "Mango Ginger Shrimp."

"It was literally the best food I have had since visiting from my home in Georgia," said Kelly Wright after lunch at the restaurant.

Event Manager Johnson says the new venue serves the same quality of food and customers have been pleased with the choices and services.

Why Don’t Men’s and Women’s Basketball Receive the Same Support?

By Whitney Bronson

MEAC champions. Multiple NCAA tournament appearances. One Division II NCAA tournament championship. The Hampton University women's basketball team has been a top contender in Division I basketball since joining the MEAC in 1995.

The men's basketball team has multiple NCAA tournament appearances, conference tournament championships and regular season championships. Both teams made it to the 2018 MEAC championship with a record of 21-4 in the conference. But one important factor stands out in a big way: the number of fans.

Nearly twice as many people attend men's basketball games. The women's team barely averaged 2,600 spectators for its 11 home games in the 2017-2018 season. Meanwhile, the men's team averaged 4,205. Overall, the average attendance at all (home and away) women's games is 1,696, while attendance at men's games averages 3,530 for all games.

The reasons are complicated, say those involved, including the way the games are marketed and advertised, differences in the way the teams play, scheduling of home games and – perhaps most concerning – gender bias.

Marketing and advertising appears to be handled equitably, with an equal amount of public relations time spent on both men's and women's team.

Both are advertised throughout the city of Hampton, on campus and on print and online platforms.

"We try to as the athletic marketing team to make it more equal because they are equally as good," said junior Marshall Bennett. "The women's team has more conference championships than the men."

Even Bennett said he is concerned about attendance.

"We don't understand why the people don't come to see the women as much as the men."

Some fans say they enjoy both teams equally, but others say they prefer men's games because they are more aggressive, faster-paced and more dramatic, both on and off the court. The fans respond more enthusiastically at the men's games.

Lizzie Allen is an avid basketball fan who loves both teams. She has been to all of the men's and women's games this year.

"I played ball in high school, so it's kind of my way of staying connected," said Allen. They're both good teams, so it's actually entertaining to watch."

But other students go to men's games more because they say there is more action and it is more entertaining. Men can run faster, jump higher, and have more strength. These traits make the game more interesting, some say.

"Men and women are not valued the same in this country but that's a bigger issue," said Allen.

This is where the conversation gets complicated. Gender bias appears to be part of the answer to uneven attendance.

"Students go to men's games because of preference," said senior guard K'Lynn Willis. "The preference is always men's over women's and if people prefer the NBA over the WNBA, they'll go to an NBA game."

One big difference is the use of dunking. In women's professional and college games, dunking is extremely rare. But the crowds seem to enjoy dunking from their enthusiastic reactions.

"A lot of people just want to see men's over women's because of athleticism. Women are more fundamentally sound, but athletically wise it's more appealing to see men dunk than a woman shoot," Willis said.

Scheduling may also hurt attendance at women's games. During the 2017-2018 season, there were more double headers for men's and women's basketball games. This means that on certain days, the women's team will play first and the men's team will play after. The women's game is never scheduled in the prime time on those days.

The women's games usually start around 4:00-5:00 p.m. and the men's games around 6:00-7:00 p.m. The early start time may hurt attendance by students who have afternoon classes, and people who are working or just getting off work. The on-campus cafeteria also does not open until 5:30 p.m. for dinner, making some fans choose between hunger and the game. Staying for both takes more than four hours, which may be too much of a commitment for some fans.

Scheduling will change once the transition to the Big South conference is complete. There will be far fewer double-headers. Only three are scheduled for the 2018-2019 season. In addition, the women will play more games in the evening and on Saturdays. This scheduling change could help increase attendance at women's basketball games.

The men's basketball players enthusiastically support the women's teams and attend games whenever possible. They feel as though they learn more by watching women's basketball and support their counterparts in the basketball program.

One of the men's players enjoys watching the women play and tries to attend as many home games as he can.

"I actually learn from watching women's basketball," said senior guard Lysander Bracey. "Women have more fundamentals than men's basketball. Supporting them is important and we should all do that."

One theory of why people support men's basketball more is tradition. Men's basketball has been around longer and has developed a larger following. Hampton's women's team was formed in 1975 and men's team in 1967. The same parallel exists in professional basketball, where the NBA has a 50-year head start.

"We're all doing the same thing. Putting in all this time and doing all this work. I think there has to be more support for the women," Bracy said. "It's unfair."

Viewership could also be increased by changing the rules and regulations of women's basketball to make it more entertaining. For instance, the rims could be lowered so that taller women players could dunk. It's a controversial topic because some women players find the idea insulting.

"We're constantly being compared to men. We have people excelling at a ten-foot rim and now you're asking us to lower the rim so we can continually be compared ..." said Los Angeles Sparks player Nneka Ogwumike, during an interview with The Undefeated. "... now someone like me, who has done what she's done, has to relearn the game ...."

Some people believe that just having the conversation will help create a change.

"I just feel like more women athletes at every level needs to speak on it," said junior guard Ashley Bates. "The more people speak on it the more it is seen."

The Revamping of True Branding

By Lindsay Keener

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA - Brand757, the student-run public relations company operating through the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, has a problem. How does a company sell itself when it only has the promise of the future?

With no recent portfolio to show clients, Brand757 is re-organizing and selling itself on the skills of current student staff including writing, photography, video, social media management and lots of creativity.

A large portion of the rebranding will include forming teams and attracting new clients to build that much-needed portfolio.

Ironically, the top client of Brand757 is Brand757 because it needs an overhaul, said Michael Watkins, executive director (pictured above right). The second client is Scripps Comm Week in April. Events will include a Scripps Ball fundraiser. Brand757 will be responsible for programming and marketing.

Next semester, the agency plans to do pro bono work for some clients to add to the portfolio.

Most of the 20-some members are new, attracted by the idea of getting expeirence working at a student-run agnecy.

"Public relations has always been of great interest to me. Knowing that I'll get real world experience while I'm in college is amazing," said Taylor Harris, a third year strategic communications major from St. Louis, Missouri.

Brand757 has applied to be an official organization of Hampton University. That way students in other majors can join.

"The goal is to really open up Brand757 to other majors so that the club itself can tap into other resources," said Professor Reynolds, the agency's academic advisor.

Brand757 made its debut in 2015 with a public announcement on the Scripps website, but then lost momentum.Watkins said the problem was the small number of members.

The original announcement promised "full account teams, providing large and small businesses a full range of PR and brand services, such as media relations, collateral development, publicity, communications planning, social media, graphic design, web design, and event planning."

Today, students are taking Brand757 back to its roots.

"There's so much we have to work on as an organization," Watkins said. "We were on hiatus. Because of that we have to recreate who we are. We can't reach clients if we aren't established on campus."

After solidifying the agency as an official campus organization, executives are hoping Hampton University students across campus will see its value.

"Students who are majoring in other fields can grow their resumes and knowledge base," Reynolds said.

Brand757 members hope the new structure and expanded membership will help the company get new clients.

"Those would include IT companies, the Scripps Howard website and running WHOV's social platform," Reynolds said.

Those who join Brand757 must be willing to work their way up.

"The organization is structured around positions," Reynolds said. "Freshman and sophomores are in a shadow period, learning the ropes so they can reach the higher positions by the end of their academic career."

Then, Reynolds said, they must be willing to pass their wisdom along. The goal, Reynolds said, is for students to teach the incoming members to ensure the organization has longevity.

"You are creating your legacy within this organization and how it is going to be known across this campus, "Reynolds said.

Brand757 is on its way to becoming a stable organization in the Hampton Roads community. With solutions in place, agency members are confident they will make up for lost time. They are sold on Brand757.

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