Monthly Archives: September 2015

Georgia executes woman for 1997 killing

Kelly Gissendaner (cq), the only woman on Georgia's death row, eats lunch in her 9-by-12 cell at Metro State Prison in Atlanta, Tuesday, July 6, 2004. The shelving unit at right holds all her possessions. She's photographed through the slot in her cell door through which guards pass Gissendaner her lunch tray and other items throughout the day.  (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bita Honarvar)

Kelly Gissendaner (cq), the only woman on Georgia’s death row, eats lunch in her 9-by-12 cell at Metro State Prison in Atlanta, Tuesday, July 6, 2004. The shelving unit at right holds all her possessions. She’s photographed through the slot in her cell door through which guards pass Gissendaner her lunch tray and other items throughout the day. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bita Honarvar)

Maya J. Boddie | Local & World Editor

Kelly Gissendaner was executed early Wednesday morning for the 1997 killing of her husband, Owen Gissendaner. After being incarcerated for eighteen years, Gissendaner died from lethal injection at 12:21 a.m.

Her lawyers sent multiple requests to the Supreme Court Tuesday night, asking for a stay of execution, according to CNN reports. A plea from Gissendaner’s children and even from Pope Francis did not stop the Georgia Board of Pardon and Parole.

Gissendaner is the first woman to be put to death by the state of Georgia in 70 years. In 1997, she convinced her then boyfriend, to kill her husband. He received life in prison, and will be eligible for parole in 2022, as he testified against Gissendaner.

Those who witnessed the execution told Fox News that she was singing Amazing Grace before she received the lethal injection.

According to BBC, on Tuesday, September 22, the Pope attempted to appeal Gissendaner’s sentence in a letter written by his diplomatic representative in the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. The archbishop wrote that, while not wishing to minimize the gravity of the crime, he implored the board “to commute the sentence to one that would better express both justice and mercy”.

Gissendaner’s lawyers tried to convince the board that she had experienced a transformation in prison, offering support to other inmates as well as showing remorse for her own crime.

Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Flether believed that Gissendaner’s death sentence was disproportionate to the crime that she committed, says BBC, but the Supreme Court decided otherwise.

She was convicted of murder in relation to the 1997 stabbing death of her then-husband, Douglas Gissendaner.

According to the Washington Post’s findings from the Georgia Justice Department, executions of women are rare in this country, as very few people on death row are female. The state of Georgia had not executed a woman since Lena Baker, an African-American woman who was sentenced to death for killing a white man as self-defense in 1945.

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Weekend Recap: “Battle of the Bay” headlines packed sports lineup, Football steals the spotlight but Sailing quietly has successful weekend

(Hampton U Athletics)

(Hampton U Athletics)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

While every active team on campus played this past weekend, all eyes were focused on the Hampton Pirates football team and their “battle” against the Norfolk State Spartans.

Despite inclement weather putting a damper on the festivities and an early interception by Pirates QB David Watford, Hampton played well enough to have a 14-7 lead at halftime.

Unfortunately, they were unable to prevent the Spartans from scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half and ended up falling to NSU, 24-14, in front of a crowd of 6,549 at William “Dick” Price Stadium. The Pirates are now 2-2, 1-3 in MEAC this season and Norfolk State earns their first win (1-3) and are 1-0 in MEAC.

Watford, who threw three interceptions in the game, has been the cog that has kept the Pirates’ offensive machine turning this season and the Spartans, led by All-MEAC senior linebacker Deon King, did their best to stop him.

Watford completed 21 of his 44 pass attempts for 180 yards and had one touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Rayshad Riddick. Watford was sacked twice for a loss of 18 yards.

The ground game helped to keep the Pirates in the game with redshirt senior running back Christopher Dukes scoring one touchdown and adding 40 yards to the Pirates’ 171 total rushing yards.

“You got to credit those guys’ defense,” said head coach Connell Maynor in the post-game press conference, according to WAVY. “Defensive line was getting after our quarterback and making him force some high balls and some bad balls. They just out-played us in the second half.”

Hampton’s defense, which added two sacks of their own to the stat sheet, were unable to stop junior running back and comeback spark plug Gerard Johnson from rushing for a season-high 119 yards and one touchdown. Tyrone Ward led the Pirates defense with nine tackles, while Joshua Thorne added eight tackles – three for a loss.

Norfolk State opened the second half with a 14-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a field goal that cut the Pirates’ lead to 14-10. Hampton’s first possession of the half ended in a three-and-out, before the Spartans scored on the ensuing drive, taking a 17-14 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. Another Hampton interception followed, which Norfolk State turned into a drive that ended with a touchdown that put the Spartans up 24-14, effectively sealing the deal.

“You’ve got to take your hats off to those guys,” said Maynor, according to the Virginian-Pilot. “They went in at halftime and made some adjustments offensively and moved the ball down the field on us.”

The Pirates’ next game will be against the North Carolina A&T Aggies on October 3rd on their home turf at Armstrong Stadium for Parents’ Weekend.

In other news…

  • The Sailing team won first place in the William & Mary Colony Cup that took place September 26th and 27th. This is Hampton’s fourth regatta of the year and their second time placing first. Congrats!

 

  • The Women’s and Men’s Cross Country teams finished 6th and 7th in their respective divisions at the 32nd annual Greensboro Invitational in Greensboro, N.C. on September 26th. Senior Ce’aira Brown added to her career accolades by winning the women’s individual crown. Brown completed the 5K course in 18:36.60 to set the top time. It is her second career individual cross country title.

 

  • The Volleyball team continued their quest for their first win of the season and were unable to earn one in two attempts. On September 25th, they played Morgan State and lost 3-1 (21-25, 29-27, 25-14, 25-19) and, two days later, they took Coppin State to the limit in a thriller but lost 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 16-25, 32-34, 15-8). The defending MEAC champions have undergone several changes but, with the playing field being more balanced in MEAC play, the Lady Pirates will still look to win their third straight title.

In what originally scheduled to be a two-day tournament, the Men’s Golf team competed in the Black College Hall of Fame Invitational in Atlanta, GA on September 25th. Due to the soggy weekend, the invitational was a one-day 18 round tournament that saw Hampton finish in 7th place. Junior T.J. O’Neal finished tied for 3rd place in the individual standings.

Emmy’s 2015: Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba and more

(businessinsider)

(businessinsider)

Aliya Drake | Staff Writer

The 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by actor and comedian Andy Samberg, was a night filled with historic wins, broken winning streaks, and Emmy firsts. Olive Kitteridge, Veep, and Game of Thrones accepted the most wins Sunday night. Viola Davis also made history with her win and powerful acceptance speech.

Viola Davis broke the color barrier Sunday night by being the first African American woman to win Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. This award was her first Emmy nomination and award.

Her compelling acceptance speech began with a quote from Harriet Tubman, “In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies who stretched out their arms to me over that line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how.

I can’t seem to get over that line.” She then went on to explain that opportunity is the boundary between women of color and everyone else.

Thanking fellow actresses Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Megan Good, Halle Berry, Nicole Beharie and Gabrielle Union for taking black women over that line, Davis’ remarkable acting performance has proven to be a huge success.

Uzo Aduba also made history for being the first woman to win an Emmy in both the drama and the comedy categories playing the same character. Brand new Emmy rules re-categorized Orange is the New Black from a comedy series to a drama series.

Game of Thrones won the night’s highest honor, Outstanding Drama Series. Breaking the streak of wins that aren’t in the fantasy genre, and giving more critics a better respect for the show. This award led to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss thanking HBO for believing in dragons. Game of Thrones  also won twelve Emmys, topping any other series in a single year.

Veep had a successful night as well, winning several awards and knocking out a five year winning streak. Modern Family withheld the title Outstanding Comedy Series deeming each of its seasons the best on television.  

She later revealed that Donald Trump was the actual source of the quote. Her humor delighted the audience.

Olive Kitteridge won six Emmy’s including Outstanding Miniseries, and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special.

Frances McDormand won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and said, “We’re all here because of the power of the stories that need to be told. Sometimes that’s enough. Thank you,”

Transparent also had a big night taking home 3 Emmys. The television show puts a comedic spin on the life of a family who discovers their father is transgender. . Jeffrey Tambor proudly received Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series dedicating his win to all those that are transgender. “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for letting us be apart of the change. God bless you.”

Tracy Morgan got a standing ovation as he humbly walked the stage to present the final award of the night. After suffering a traumatic brain injury in June of 2014, Morgan jokingly described his first thoughts waking up from his coma saying he “was just ecstatic to learn I wasn’t the one who messed up.” He gave thanks to his doctors, and beautiful wife for helping him on his recovery road back to feeling like himself.

The 2015 Emmy Awards was a successful show filled with lots of surprises. Racial barriers were broken, first time winners received their award, and a star recovering from life threatening injuries presented an award on stage all in one night. Of course this was not all of the great moments from Sunday’s three-hour show so you’ll have to catch the rerun for more of the 67th annual Emmy’s.

AHS returns with ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’

(American Horror Story press tour)

(American Horror Story press tour)

Joseph Gaither | Staff Writer

One of the most highly anticipated shows of this year is the disturbing, hilarious, and completely creepy, American Horror Story. American Horror Story is a horror television anthology series that is completely unlike shows such as Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and Empire.

This means each season is distinct from the previous and follows a different theme with different characters and settings. The eerie series is on the network FX and airs 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. Last year’s season was entitled “American Horror Story: Freakshow”, whereas this year’s season is “American Horror Story: Hotel”.

There is much excitement about this upcoming season because popstar, Lady Gaga is a cast member on the show

The anticipation for American Horror Story is not to be taken for granted. The series began in 2011 and received such incredible feedback that there was no other choice but to continue the series.

According to deadline.com the previous season of AHS, American Horror Story: Freakshow was the most watched television show on FX network’s “20 year history.” It’s debut brought 10 million viewers. Deadline also says “American Horror Story has had the highest growth trajectory of any show in FX history.”

This is significant because it topped the ratings of the season before it (American Horror Story: Coven) and surpassed it in viewers by 38%. Through a large amount of votes, TV.com gives the show the rating of 8.6/10.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) gives the show an 8.3/10. Since it’s debut in 2011 the show continues to improve and attract more viewers. American Horror Story has won many awards including The Golden Globes, Emmy, GLAAD Media, and Satellite Awards.

AHS not only scares many with its disturbing imagery and somewhat strong dialect. It places attention more on the African American community.

The show has included individuals such as Angela Bassett, Patti Labelle, Morris Chestnut and many other award winning actors to guest star.

These star actors are part of the reason that the show has been so successful. American Horror Story has continuously outdone itself and will continue with this new season. Tune in to the premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel, Wed October 7, at 10 p.m.

Trans Lives Matter too

(washingtonblade)

(washingtonblade)

Kenya Baker | Staff Writer

For many people, the first time seeing a transgendered person was on an episode of Jerry Springer. While portrayed dramatically on TV, the larger transgender community is gaining more attention as everyday Americans try to understand this controversial group.

Brooke Hull, a freshman biology major from Durham, North Carolina defines a transgender person  as “somebody physically born in one gender but emotionally or mentally another gender.”

Her friend Jatori Washington a freshman Psychology major from Bowling Green, Virginia added that the word transgender is used in labeling “someone that identifies as a different gender.”

According to GLAAD.org, the word transgender describes people whose gender differ from the one they were assigned at birth. Gender identity is a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or woman or someone outside of that gender binary.

Due to one’s physical gender not matching the gender they identify with it may cause problems such as depression or body dysmorphic disorder. However, there are certain hormones one can take to help halt and reverse physical gender development.  There are also reassignment surgeries to have male or female body parts removed and remolded

The cost of a reassignment surgery, a very serious step in the transition period that many individuals never reach, ranges from $5,000 to $50,000. In addition, just the cost of hormones alone can be pricey because many health care insurance agencies do not cover the costs of the medications needed to reverse gender differentiation..

Aside from healthcare discriminations, trans men and trans women are four times as likely to experience poverty, twice as likely to experience unemployment and four times as likely for unemployment for those that are of color.

Transgender citizens are also more likely to be victims of assault whether it be physical or sexual, a large majority of the victims being of African American descent. In particular, Trans women of color experience higher rates of murder, homelessness, and incarceration.

During her acceptance speech at the Espy Awards, Caitlyn Jenner highlighted the fact that 41% of transgender people have attempted committing suicide. Of that percentage 45% percent of those people either belong to the Black or Latino community.

Kaneidra Lee, a senior liberal studies major from Pine Bluff, AR believes that these high suicide rates in the at-risk community is due in part to the communities societal perception.

“I feel that because they feel bad about how people perceive them, but also the conflict within themselves, the way they see themselves doesn’t match their minds. We’re doing a disservice by forcing them to look one way instead of accepting their minds too.”

Within the past couple of years social media and television has introduced  us to many trans women and transmen. Some of them include Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner), actress Laverne Cox, model Amiyah Scott, YouTube star Gi Gi Gorgeous, and TV host and author Janet Mock.

Through these strong trailblazing women the transgender community has gained more societal acceptance than ever before. This growth can continue so long as society gives this community a chance.

The more accepting and open the Unites States is to trans women and men, the less lives of young transgender youth will be lost and the more unity will be found nationwide.

Drake and Future come together for a new album

theverge

theverge

Carla Ford | Staff Writer

What A Time To Be Alive is the title of Drake and Future’s newly released collaboration.

When speculation of the two artist coming together for a project surfaced the internet, fans wasted no time preparing for the release. Pictures of the anticipated album cover quickly circulated the internet.

On Sunday September 20 at 6 pm ET, the album started streaming live on the Beats 1 show OVO Sound Radio, a global radio from Apple Music. The album was later released at 8 pm for sale through ITunes for $9.99.

Fans of both artists were able to listen to an interesting contrast as the album was streaming. The first song off the mixtape was Digital Dash concluding the project with the song 30 for 30 Freestyle.

The rumors of the collaboration started when OB O’Brien, a recording artist signed to OVO Sound, posted then deleted an artwork that featured Drake and Future. Since then, both artists were very active on their social media outlets as they posted behind-the-scene pictures in and around the studio together. Drake finally confirmed the project on September 16 via Instagram.

While the majority of the album features the rappers together on the same songs, the last two tracks were done separately.  Jersey was performed by Future and 30 for 30 Freestyle was Drake’s solo contribution.

The album was released through Cash Money Records and Epic Records.. As the music community continues to digest the project, the first week sales are skyrocketing.  The release of this album did not only benefit the fans but it helped bring people over to the Apple side.

The two artist came close to “breaking the internet,” as fans were experiencing difficulty streaming and downloading the album on SpinRilla, a site used for streaming and downloading music.

Fans have their different opinions on the collaboration mixtape. Some are even comparing it to the 2011 platinum collaboration album Watch the Throne. While the two works are completely different and somewhat incomparable both have done and are still doing amazing numbers.

To listen to the newly released and highly anticipated mixtape What a Time to Be Alive. download it now on iTunes!

Drake, we are still waiting for ‘Views from the 6’

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Drake attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on July 6, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Drake attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

James P. Weaver, IV | Contributing Writer

Despite his alleged girlfriend, professional tennis player Serena Williams taking a loss at the U.S. Open, Drake has seen nothing but wins this year.

With his surprise retail mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” going platinum, his features and remixes on some of the hottest songs of this summer, his verbal-hounding of Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill in “back to back” songs, and his highly anticipated album releasing today, Drake has solidified himself as the undisputed champion of 2015.

“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” was released digitally on February 13th, 2015. The shocking release debuted and had instant success. It peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and led to the 6 God charting 14 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously.

With that accomplishment, he tied a record set by the Beatles that stood unmatched for 51 years. The project sold over one million units denoting it a platinum release.

After Drake took the spring with “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and 14 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, he then took the summer with a remix to My Way by the New Jersey rapper-singer, Fetty Wap—and all he had to do was put his mind to it.

He continued to take the summer by joining forces with the Dirty Sprite rapper, Future, in arguably the hottest song of the summer Where Ya At?

Even with the hits continuously pouring in, the highlight of the summer took place when Meek Mill put his “twitter fingers” to use and called out Drake for “supposedly” using a ghostwriter on several songs—including several of the songs from “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” thus starting a beef.

As the allegations began to pick up and fans began to question Drake’s authenticity as an artist, Drake released a song titled “Charged Up” addressing the situation.

Meek Mill wasted no time to respond to “Charged Up” on Twitter, calling it “Baby lotion soft.” After hip-hop connoisseurs and twitter users waited patiently for a song in response to Drake from Meek Mill, Drake delivered an unexpected punch with “Back to Back” which quickly flooded timelines.

While Drake may be “running through the six with his woes,” he is certainly not running or showing any signs of being intimidated by any rapper.

Not only is he is not intimidated by any rapper, he is not afraid to compete or collaborate with the best.

This was proven true just this past Sunday when he and Future collaborated on a mixtape titled “What a Time to Be Alive.”

At the end of “Back to Back,” Drake reassured his fans that he was getting right back his new, highly anticipated album.  

Although the date September 24 was mysteriously posted on the OVO website, no release date has been scheduled for “ Views From the 6”.  

Drake, just know, your fans are waiting.

James Blake takes a stand against the officer who assaulted him

(madison365)

(madison365)

Jaelyn Allen | Staff Writer

Manhattan, NY—Former no. 4 world ranked tennis player James Blake was tackled by a plainclothes police officer outside of the Grand Hyatt Hotel earlier this month during the 2015 U.S. Open. Blake was waiting outside to be taken to the tournament to make a promotional appearance.

The NYPD released a video of Blake being tackled and cuffed by officer James Frascatore, who has been stripped of his gun and badge temporarily while the investigation takes place. Frascatore had mistaken Blake for a credit card fraud suspect the police had been looking for.

“He picked me up and body slammed me and put me on the ground and told me to turn over and shut my mouth and put the cuffs on me,” Blake told ABC’s Good Morning America. “The first words out of my mouth were, ‘I’m going to 100 percent cooperate. I don’t want any incident or whatever,’ just out of reaction from what I’ve seen in the media.”

“At no time did he let me know he was a police officer. He just put the cuffs on me and said, ‘Stand up,’” Blake said. “I asked what was going on and he said, ‘We’ll tell you soon.'”

Blake was seen on surveillance video shaking hands with Frescatore and conversing with another officer minutes after the incident; however, he has called for the officer to be fired for police brutality.

“I don’t think he deserves a badge,” he said.

Frascatore has a past history of using excessive force.  Only being in the NYPD four years, he has been sued at least four times for roughing up suspects.  The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is now investigating him for this incident.

“I want him to know what he did was wrong, and that in my opinion he doesn’t deserve to ever have a badge or gun again because he doesn’t know how to handle that responsibility effectively,” Blake told the Daily News.

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said he apologized to the former tennis star the day after the incident. Mayor Bill de Blasio also apologized. Bratton agreed that the incident should have never happened but insists it had nothing to do with race.

“I don’t believe that race was a factor,” Bratton said. “This rush to put a race tag on it, I’m sorry, that’s not involved in this at all.”

James Blake, who is biracial, told the Daily News, “In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody. … I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s not even close (to being OK). It’s blatantly unnecessary.”

William Bratton has ordered an internal investigation and is trying to figure out how the incident happen and whether or not inappropriate force was used. He also defended reports that the officer did not display a badge, stating that he may have been undercover.

“We agree with the police commissioner that the first story is never the whole story and believe that placing this officer on modified duty is premature and unwarranted,” said President of the New York City police union, Patrick Lynch, to CNN,  “No police officer should ever face punitive action before a complete review of the facts.”

The U.S. Tennis Association showed support for James Blake, calling the incident “troubling.”

“James is the embodiment of a model citizen whose triumphs on and off the court continue to inspire tennis fans and non-fans alike,” the UTSA said. “We will continue to offer our support to James in any way we can as this investigation unfolds.”

Given his past history, Frascatore probably should not have been in the field anyway. The situation raises many questions as to why that type of force would be acceptable anytime. If someone can be tackled for something like credit card fraud, what is the protocol for something more severe?

WNBA Playoffs 2015: ‘Watch Me’ campaign sheds important light on women’s basketball

Joanna Rowell | Staff Writer & Photographer

The WNBA always seems to take a back seat to the NBA.

The WNBA season is already entering the semi-final rounds of its playoff games and the ratings compared to those during the NBA playoff games have been significantly lower. The NBA commissioner has decided that it’s time to do more to bridge the gap, and the WNBA “Watch Me” campaign is taking a step towards that goal.

Commissioner Silver wants to do a better job of portraying the athletes off the court in order to make them more personable and there is progress being made with the new “Watch Me” campaign. The campaign commerical spots feature players like center Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, forward Candace Parker of the LA Sparks and forward Swin Cash of the New York Liberty. The campaign displays players in a different light to draw interest from the audience.

Silver admits that he is not happy with the small amount of progress that the NBA’s sister league has made since its start in 1997. “We thought we would have broken through by now,” said Silver, professing his disappointment. “We thought ratings and attendance would be higher.”

This campaign will make known the work being done by the WNBA professionals to perfect their sport while also showing another side of them. “We’re highlighting the fact that they are great basketball players,” explains WNBA and NBA chief marketing officer, Pam El.

In addition to being superior athletes, mothers, daughters, mentors and friends, these WNBA players have something special about them and, with the WNBA, El is emphasizing that the campaign will also be “talking about their remarkable personal story.”

2015 Miss Hampton Scholarship Pageant contestants took the crowd at Ogden Hall

(Miss Hampton contestants photo: huscript staff)

(Miss Hampton contestants photo: huscript staff)

Amarah Blythe | Staff Writer

The crowd went wild for the 2015 Miss Hampton Scholarship Pageant contestants as they made their grand entrance on Friday, September 26, 2015. The audience was in awe as the contestants modeled their beautiful gowns. The nine contestants performed in several categories: the opening dance, talent, evening wear, swimwear and finally questions. All of these categories led up to the to moment where one lucky woman was crowned “Miss Hampton University”.

The winner of the pageant was Brittany Harper, a senior history major, from Memphis, Tennessee. Harper is the face of the university for the 2015-16 school year. Miss Hampton is a university tradition that has been present for twenty-one years. Every year women compete, but only one walks away with the title and bragging rights.  

“It was a great experience working with all nine contestants. It was rewarding seeing them grow as Hampton women and become more confident in themselves. I’m extremely proud of all of them. To Brittany, I’m so happy for you and this major accomplishment. I know you will do great things and represent our ‘Home by the Sea’ extremely well.” said Whitney Young, a senior, business administration major, from Detroit Michigan and also the director of the this year’s pageant.

The nine contestants all had respective platforms.  

Highlighting the Contestants

Contestant 1 Alexis Perry: a senior psychology major, leadership studies minor from Louisville, Kentucky. Her platform was Embracing Your Crown: Helping young girls in the Hampton Roads community embrace their confidence, resilience, originality, Womanhood and Nobility.

Contestant 2 Alexyss Scott: a senior business management major from Willingboro, New Jersey. Her platform was “The Miss Hampton Initiative:” Encouraging Minds;  you cannot live a positive life with a negative mind.

Contestant 3 (pageant winner) Brittany Harper: a senior history major from Memphis, Tennessee. Her winning platform was The Superwoman Project: encouraging self-esteem, self-confidence and a SUPER future.

Contestant 4 Clarke LeGrand: a senior fourth year, fifth year masters of business and administration major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Her platform was Chad’s Dream: Promoting Leukemia Awareness.

Contestant 5 Kayla Brown: a senior biology major, from St. Louis Missouri. Her career driven platform was Women in Science: Promoting Young African American girls in the sciences.

Contestant 6 Jerlesia Henderson: a senior mathematics major from Norfolk, Virginia. Her empowering platform was Still I Rise: Building Identities while Destroying Insecurities.

Contestant 7 Gizelle Harris: a senior music education major, strategic communications minor from Wendell, North Carolina. Her platform was Love the Skin You’re In: Promoting happy and healthy self-confidence on our campus and in our community.

Contestant 8 Brittany Middleton: a junior biology major, from Atlanta, Georgia.  Her platform was One of A Kind Project: Encourage young women to embrace their uniqueness and share it with the world.

Contestant 9 Ivana Thomas: a senior psychology major, from Durham, North Carolina. Her Platform was The Global Mindshift: embracing differences in our interconnected world.

Kiana Dash, a junior biology major from Rochester, New York said “I thought the contestants last night really brought their ‘A’ game. It was really inspiring to see such beautiful and talented women in an amazing show. Every girl was a star in my eyes.”   

From the dazzling gowns and figure flattering swimsuits to the questionnaires, the audience was anxious to see who was going home with the crown. Based off of the crowd’s reaction swimsuit wear and talent were the audience’s favorite. It’s empowering to see women embrace their bodies and face their fears to perform in front of so many people.

After a brief intermission the contestants graced the stage yet again. The pageant was coming to an end and it was becoming harder to see who would win.

“I felt that all of the contestants did a phenomenal job and presented one of the best pageants I’ve seen here at Hampton,” said Peter Savage, a junior history major from Surry County, Virginia.

Savage expressed that the contestants kept the audience on the edge of their seat throughout the whole pageant.

As the question and answer segment of the pageant ended the audience knew that moment they all have been waiting for was near. Before the winner was announced the audience had a chance to watch a slideshow presentation of the girls throughout their journey. A lot of glimpses were in the presentation, from the late rehearsals to their one on one time with the former Miss Hampton, Joye Parker.

The hosts Valen and “Frenchie” kept smiles on everyone’s face with their jokes, they added a lot of their personal experiences into the comments they made.

Finally, after the multiple segments it was time to crown the new face of Hampton University.  

“…And the 2015-2016 Miss Hampton is… Brittany Harper!” said Valen, the male host. The audience stood, and there was mixed emotion’s throughout the crowd. Brittany’s family ran to the front of the stage to congratulate their new queen. The queen’s court and the former Miss Hampton, Joye Parker crowned Brittany during the surreal moment. Family and friends crowded the stage after the pageant to congratulate all of the contestants.

Harper will now reign as Miss Hampton 2015-16 and will carry on the legacy of Miss Hampton. A week before being crowned Harper expressed she was not leaving Hampton University without at least being a part of the pageant. Now the new queen can say that she not only participated, but won the title of Miss Hampton University before she walked off of Hampton’s campus.