Hampton University Traditions

 Nia White | Staff Writer

Hampton University has had many traditions in the past 153 years. Some of these traditions have stayed the same and others have evolved to fit current society. Some of the traditions for freshmen have changed since 1966, with the requirements for men and women being different.

  One of the unique continued Hampton traditions is curfew for the freshman students. 

“Female freshmen had to be in the dorm at night by 9:00pm during the week and 11:00 pm on the weekends” Carey Shorter, Class of 1970 said.

“My most memorable moment at Hampton is running back from Holland with my friends to meet curfew in pre-college. It was our first Holland and we totally forgot that we had a curfew ( a lot of people forgot) so we literally had about 5 minutes to get from Holland [Hall] to Moton. There were so many people running around campus trying to get back to their dorms. Although we were cutting it close it was so fun cutting it close with a bunch of peers,” said Nicole Lowery, a current junior.

  The Freshman dorms are a rich part of Hampton culture because of the relationships that are built there.

“I lived in Davidson Hall and we were known as the Davidson Divas. Freshman dorms were known to have unique names and represented proudly even until today,” said Jenisha Henneghan, an alumni of the Class of 2000. “There was also a Freshman Step Show between the dorms and we represented with custom shirts.”  

  “I enjoyed my freshman dorm, Kennedy Honors Hall  and it was really my RA’s that’s made me enjoy Kennedy so much. They were so full of life and wanted to get to know me, it was great knowing that the upperclassmen wanted to know who I was,” Lowery said.

  The curfew is a mandated rule and is applied to all incoming freshmen. However, freshmen used to be subject to other forms of initiation into the “Hampton Family.”  

  When Carey Shorter ‘70 was a freshman, he recalls when freshman had to wear beanies. 

“Freshmen had to wear beanie caps during the first 2 weeks of classes. After the beanie requirement was met, freshmen were members of the Hampton family,” said Shorter.

  Another important part of Hampton tradition is attire. Some of the attire of Hampton students has changed over the time.  

“When attending a class we could not wear shorts or t-shirts, women had to wear dresses,” Shorter said.

  In more recent years Hampton business attire has only been required for certain events.

“During our freshman year we were also taught Ogden attire.  Everyone knew that meant dress business or business casual. No sneakers or jeans were allowed for certain events such as guest speakers or Convocation. You would be sent to change if you were not dressed appropriately,” Henneghan ‘00  said.

The Hampton attire has taught students how to prepare for the workforce.

  “The Hampton culture is business [professional], we are the standard of excellence; so I wasn’t  surprised we had to dress up a lot. I actually dress up a lot in business clothes because most of the settings I was going into required that, but I also think it prepares us for the real world,” Lowery said.

  There are also attendance requirements for students across all classifications. “[We] had to attend ¾ of a class , and maintain a 2.0 average. Minimum hours to be a full time student was 12 hours,” Shorter said. Attendance requirements also included events outside of class.

Although some may not like or agree with certain Hampton traditions, they have certainly  prepared students for their lives beyond their home by the sea. 

“I worked for IBM as a Technical writer, then went into the army for 3 years.  I then attended the University of New Mexico and took computer science courses. After receiving my masters, I returned to IBM as an electrical engineer,” Shorter said.

  “After graduating from Hampton, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University for Graduate School and received a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree,” Henneghan said.

  “Hampton has prepared me for my career.  Even though we complained about the dress code and Ogden Attire, I am appreciative of that guidance. Hampton prepared us to know how to dress for all occasions, Henneghan said.

Although some traditions might seem a bit tedious, there is a purpose for all of it. Nicole Lowery said it best, “As African American people, we are often looked down upon or sought out to be less successful, but when we dress like it, talk like it, walk like it and act like it there is no way that people won’t see how we’ve been groomed for what the professional world is throwing at us.”  

Voices of Black Literature: Margaret Daramola

Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Margaret Daramola

Black literature keeps Black thought alive. It conveys the experiences that Africans and African-Americans have undergone from the past until now. Their words, taking multiple forms in books, poetry, and songs, tell stories that will live on forever and never be forgotten. Although threatened when they raised their voices, the truth behind what it means to be Black was much more important.

A Hampton University sophomore is making an impact with her poetry and recently released book, A Pathway through Survival.  Margaret Daramola, an English major from Switzerland, released a collection of poems written during different points of her life.  It took her two years to finish writing her book.

“I took my time with each poem. I wanted the collection to be raw and relatable. I wanted my readers to find language for their suppressed feelings; those overwhelming emotions that they experience, yet know how to describe,” Daramola remarked.

Daramola began writing as a way to express herself. 

“I was going through an emotional turmoil when I first decided to start writing a book. I knew that things would eventually get better, because they always have. But this time, I just had to document my journey,” said Daramola.

Being an extrovert, there were some things that she needed to handle privately, and poetry was the best way to do this. She’s influenced by a broad spectrum of poets, including Titilope Sonugua. 

“For certain poets, I actually admire their slam poetry more than their writtens ones,” she said.  

Daramola highlighted the differences between slam poetry and written poetry, and why she loves both.

“Slam poetry is visual. It allows people to see emotions that are written on the page,” Daramola explained. “Written poetry conveys those emotions just through the page, and that takes a lot of practice.”

Following the publishing of her book, Maragarat’s next plan is to make it available in other languages. An audiobook is also on the way for those who would like to listen to it on the go. 

Maya Angelou, a poet whose works of art remain timeless, is among those that have made contributions to Black literature. After enduring a traumatic rape, Angelou lost her voice to only find it again. Her voice came back stronger, and her mouth filled with a message she wanted the world to hear. Angelou began publishing her collections of poems in volumes, some of them including Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (1971), And Still I Rise (1978), Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987), and I Shall Not Be Moved (1990). Her other most famous poems include I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Still I rise.  Although Angelou died in 2014, readers will always have something to cling to and read the impactful words she left behind. 

One of the greatest songstresses in African-American history was Billie Holiday. Holiday used her sultry sound to inform her listeners on the injustice that black folk had to endure. Known for her track “Strange Fruit,” which ranked number 4 on the pop charts in 1939, according to Billboard. “Strange Fruit” was both a hit and a hindrance to Holiday’s career.  The poem-turned-song was a reminder of Holiday’s father’s death, and the lynchings that continued in the South. 

According to Eudie Pak, an LA based freelance writer for Biography, states that this anthem was problematic. Activists embraced her top-charting record while others rejected it, bringing Holiday enemies that would haunt her until death. Harry Anslinger, the appointed commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, emphatically tried to pin her for selling heroin. He deemed this as payback for Holiday’s refusal to stop singing the “song of the century”  Strange fruit. He and his men even ordered doctors to neglect treating Holiday’s medical needs in the hospital as she was battling cirrhosis. Her story is tragic, but her legacy lives on through the songs she sang. Her truth that she dared to share was a sign of bravery, and fans always remember her for that.

Class of 2021: Our Story

Shirmarie Starks | Staff Writer

It is crazy to think that the beloved Ogre Phi Ogre 17 class will be graduating on May 9, 2021. For Ahmaad Edmund, a senior political science major, leadership studies minor from Louisville, KY,  one word to describe his experience at Hampton is, “INCOMPARABLE!” As our time at our beloved institution comes to an end, we reflect on our time we spent as Hampton University students, and the lessons we learned while here. From nine graduating seniors, here are their stories:

Freshman Year

For most of them, their journey started on August 25, 2017 when they were inducted in Ogden Hall and were officially Hamptonians. They arrived bright-eyed and ready to have the glorious Hampton experience! Coming in, some advice that Brooke Beebe, a senior kinesiology pre-med major from Detroit, MI, wishes she would have received is that “Preparation is key, and to not procrastinate on assignments or studying. And to also, step out of your comfort zone by getting involved on campus!”

From the first Holland (shoutout to the lucky ones who made it inside), to the first (and last for a while) 12-2, to the first homecoming, and finally getting off of curfew after homecoming, the first semester at Hampton was great! Second semester arrived, and as they continued their studies, they also had more fun. 

They celebrated freshman week and administration allowed for the return of 12-2’s! Ogre 17 was the first class to participate in the fashion show, no one knew what to expect. Representing the south (a.k.a. SOUFSIDE), Gabe Sanders, a senior sports management major from Atlanta, GA, says, “The fashion show wasn’t anything how I expected it to be, but I ended up having a great time and meeting some great people throughout the event. I’m glad I had a chance to step outside my comfort zone and make some great memories.” 

Sophomore Year

After a summer break filled with travel, internships and plenty of rest, sophomore year came, and they were back and better! They knew how to navigate campus and a large portion of the class moved off campus. They especially loved that they had NO curfew. But, not even three weeks on campus, all had to evacuate for what was best described as the “Hurrication.” 

After coming back, they attended more classes and prepared for what would soon be known as HUCHELLA. 

“My favorite memory from sophomore year would definitely have to be homecoming,” said senior biology pre-med from Charles County, MD, Tyler Alves. “From the carnival to the block party, to the Lil Baby concert, to the off-campus parties, to the homecoming game and tailgate, all of it was so much fun! HUCHELLA was definitely a time to remember.”

Second semester came around, and many of our classmates joined Greek-lettered organizations. They all celebrated Springfest, and had a great time at  SOJU ball wearing their all-white outfits! One main thing that Joshua Cook, a senior arts major from Chicago, IL, wishes he would have done differently during sophomore year was starting to sell his artwork earlier. Check him out on Instagram @joshovango.  Despite this, it was yet another great year for the Ogre class!

Junior Year

Junior year started with more off-campus apartments, Labor Day beach festivities, the Chris Brown Indigo tour, and the Chicago HUxHU Classic. Ogres celebrated their third homecoming with the PepsiCo x ESSENCE Tailgate Takeover where celebrities like DJ Envy (Hampton alumnus ’99) and Kash Doll came to party. Seleata McDonald, a senior psychology pre-med major from Madison, WI, says that her favorite event from junior year was the 100 Days celebration. 

“I love the camaraderie of Hampton holidays! Everyone, no matter their classification or social status, is just out having a great time together,” says McDonald.

Just a few weeks later from 100 Days on March 12, 2020, students received the news that they would be transitioning to remote learning, and need to immediately leave campus due to COVID-19.

Lessons

After receiving the news that we would remain online for the 2020-2021 academic school year, students were devastated. The entire Hampton University experience was cut short, and they would miss out on all of the senior class traditions. Despite this, the class of 2021 continued to excel and have fun virtually.  Now that they have (almost) completed our time at Hampton, they reflected on the valuable lessons that they have learned.

“Because our students are so successful, it can sometimes make you feel as though you are behind, but in reality, you are not; it is God’s timing!” said Angel Hobbs, a 4th year in the 5 year MBA program from Chesterfield, VA. “Do not compare yourself because what is for you, is for you. Your time is coming.”

“Closed mouths do not get fed,” is a saying that Rose Nguyen, a senior electrical engineering major from Buffalo, NY,  always knew growing up, but she actually applied it while being a student at Hampton. Understanding that she was responsible for herself and her future, Rose learned that she needed to speak up more when opportunities presented themselves.

Even Cliff Dwyer, a fall 2019 Hampton transfer and senior business management major from Jamaica, learned a lesson during his short time here. 

“It’s very important to be persistent in going after what you want,” said Dwyer. Though challenges and roadblocks arose, Dwyer was able to push through and reach the goals he set for himself. “Have hope, and when something is discouraging, or seems impossible, remember that you will breakthrough eventually if you stay persistent.”

The Ogre Phi Ogre 17 class of 2021 has stories that are filled with wins, failures, laughter, sadness, applause, regrets and plenty of lifelong lessons. 

As our time comes to an end, we will remember the time we spent at Hampton University, and we will truly  “let our lives do the singing!” 

Congratulations Class of 2021, you did it!

How Can You be a Better Woman?

Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

Women are powerful. They are life-givers, agents of change, and when banded together, an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. 

However, many women have expressed that when issues arise such as lack of self-esteem and being compared to other women, it can be a major roadblock to self actualization. Another woman’s successes does not diminish your own. It must become a habit to celebrate one another instead of internalizing another’s victories as your defeat or inadequacy. Here are four ways to become the best woman you can be.

Stop living in fear

It’s so easy to hold back the real version of yourself to appease others. Trends are constantly circulating with people prepared to follow them. Step up and stand out! Be the person you envision yourself being, even if it’s uncomfortable. Go against the grain and break out of the monolithic mold society places on women. A second opinion is not always needed for the outfit you may consider wearing or the business you desire to start. The fear of being unliked, inadequate or dismissed should no longer be a thought. Don’t hold back any longer, and walk forth with confidence in your purpose. 

Former Miss Black Teen US Ambassador, Ciara White-Sparks, explained the doubts she had with confidence in pageantry, and how she overcame them.

“In order to be a winner, you have to think like a winner,” said White-Sparks. “When I go on stage, I don’t think about the competition. I think about, ‘I’ve already won this title. I’m just going to show the judges why they gave me this and know I’m going to execute it well.’”

Don’t compare yourself to other women 

Comparison is the thief of joy. It often leads to feelings of inadequacy and disappointment within oneself. Also, don’t see another woman as “better” than you. Don’t think that you have to become her just to feel good about yourself. Instead, be inspired by her, celebrate her victories with her, and see how that dose of inspiration causes you to evolve into the woman you aspire to be. Oftentimes, people notice qualities of others, wishing they had them. The truth is, you can have those qualities. In fact, you might already have them. You just have to find it. 

Practice body positivity 

Women are often burdened with the idea of having to be a certain shape or size that equates to beauty. Women have been conditioned to think that being skinny is what makes a body beautiful. However, it’s when an individual embraces the skin they are in that true beauty emanates. Therefore, love your body for what it is. Protect it and handle it with love, because it is a temple. 

Eva Davis, a senior molecular biology major and current Miss Phi Beta Sigma, shares a few practical ways to show your body more love.

“Try to find one thing you love about yourself every day and why,” said Davis. “Avoid face altering filters that will leave you questioning your true beauty.”

Practice self-love 

Self-love looks different for everyone because we all carry our own definitions of it. Therefore, fuel yourself with the activities and thoughts that drive your happiness. Do what you love, and love what you do. Do not feel the need to hold onto toxic relationships that are not worth your time. You are worth more. Invest in yourself and friendships that add value to your life. Finally, be sure to pour love into yourself in the same way that is done for others. Pouring out love can be difficult when it is done from an empty cup. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Nia White | Staff Writer

A current dilemma that faces many Americans today is whether or not to get vaccinated and which vaccine they should take. Currently there are three different types: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Janseen/Johnson & Johnson. 

For Hampton students, vaccination is required for students to return to campus for the fall semester. Each of the vaccines’ goals is to “build protection” against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says “COVID-19 vaccines build immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without actually getting sick. It takes a few weeks for the vaccine to build the immunity, so it is possible to get the virus right after receiving the vaccination.” As with any vaccine, side effects are possible. Common side effects of all vaccines at the site of the shot are pain, redness, and swelling. The vaccines also include other side effects such as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.”

  With three vaccines currently being used by the American public, each vaccine has a different method of treatment. “The Moderna vaccine is a mRNA vaccine, which produces a protein that the immune system recognizes does not belong and is prevented from replicating,” said the Mayo Clinic. According to the CDC, “the vaccination process includes two shots, 28 days apart.” The vaccine is recommended for anyone age 18 and older; however, it is not recommended for those that have had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, specifically polyethylene glycol. 

  “The Pfizer-BioNTech is also a mRNA vaccine, that consists of two shots, 21 days apart,” said the Mayo Clinic. “This vaccine is recommended for anyone age 16 or older, but is not recommended for anyone who has had a severe or immediate allergic reaction,” said the CDC.   

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which means the weakened virus is inserted into cells and the immune system responds by creating antibodies to fight the virus.” “The J&J/Janssen vaccine only requires one shot,” says the  CDC.” The J&J/ Janssen vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 and older, but not for people who are allergic to polysorbate, which is found in the vaccine. 

While there are some differences between the vaccines all essentially prevent the same thing, which is the severity and spread of COVID-19.

Allergy Season Remedies

Brooklyn Young | Staff Writer

Spring is here! Which also means that allergy season is too. The pollen during this season can be bothersome and impose on outdoor activities. Not to worry, we have some home remedies that can alleviate those itchy eyes and running noses. 

Steam

If you’re anything like Jetaun Carpenter from Chicago, you might prefer in-home practices like steaming. You can use steam as a decongestant in a plethora of ways. 

  • Pair steam with essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint
  • Pair steaming water with citruses like lemon and/or oranges 
  • Taking steaming showers with eucalyptus plant 
  • Steam from mint or green tea with apple cider vinegar
  • Humidifiers 

Whether you want to steam in the shower or sit at your table and inhale it, breathing in hot steam helps to clear the passages by moistening and breaking up mucus. “I typically boil a pot of water, put in lemon and oranges and sometimes add a little mint oil and rest my head over the steam,” said Jetaun Carpenter. “This is what gets me through allergy season.” 

Honey 

A little honey a day, keeps the allergies away. Eating honey every day can improve your immunity to pollen. Many people use honey in their tea, but some eat it raw. This remedy can also be used on the go by packing honey in plastic bags or purchasing pre packaged. 

Cold compression 

Some allergy flare ups come with itchy eyes. Using a cold towel for compression can reduce irritation and inflammation. 

Clean home

Seems simple but maintaining a clean house can reduce the severity of allergies. Regularly dust bookcases, desks, fans, top of your headboard and other places where pollen hides. Changing your linen routinely is also very beneficial, as bacteria and allergens can build up. 

Taking care of the body

It all starts with a clean and stress-free body. Detoxing and avoiding foods that provide the body with little-to-no nutrients, like alcohol and fried foods, help improve your body’s ability to fight off allergies. Ensure that you are taking the proper vitamins like Vitamin C, along with apple cider vinegar, probiotics and turmeric.

These remedies will help for milder cases of allergies. If you experience difficulty relieving your allergies, try contacting your doctor or your local health foods store. 

A Photo is Worth A Thousand Words

Kennedy P. Buck | Staff Writer

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford once said that, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Photographers do their absolute best to not only capture the best shot, but also capture the best possible message of the subject. Photographers rely on their lens to tell a story and hopefully the viewers can interpret it in the best way possible.

What happens when these photographers are no longer able to continue taking photos of the things that matter to them? When the country went on a worldwide lockdown, a lot of photographers no longer had access to spaces to produce concepts for photos and even lost access to shooting subjects due to new social distance regulations.

Three Hampton University students: Jordin Wright, Olivia Mitchell and Mikayla Roberts shared how they kept their passion alive within their own photography and what they hope people leave with after seeing their photos.

Q: Who or what has inspired you to keep pursuing photography even while this world is on a pause?

Jordin: “If I didn’t have the support from my friends and family, I would just be a girl with a dream. I can grow my business and my craft because of the support system around me. The few photographers in the Charlotte, NC area also push me to be better. I’m learning so much everyday and can’t wait to bring my photography to Hampton U.”

Q: What do you want people to leave with after seeing some of your work?

Mikayla: “I want my audience to see life without the fluff. I do my best to keep my photos as raw as possible because I believe that too much editing can create a euphoric sense of the subject, and although that is the goal for certain photo shoots, I generally try to stay away from that.”

Q: How have you kept your passion alive while in quarantine?

Olivia: “I continue to think of different photo shoots and some of them I have been able to execute while others are still in the works. I am in no rush to post them either, I’m just happy I can continue doing something I love. The encouragement from my peers from the HerCampus team also pushes me to stay active and to continue being active even if we are unable to be on campus. But one thing I always do is take photos on my phone. Anytime I am somewhere, whether it is a restaurant or an outing with my friends, I always snap a picture.”

Make sure to keep up with Jordin, Olivia, and Mikayla as they continue making their marks through their photos!

Jordin Wright is a Freshman Journalism major from Peekskill, NY.  @flap.photography

Mikayla Roberst is a Sophomore Journalism major, Sociology minor from Marietta, GA. @_m4media

Olivia Mitchell is a Junior Biology Pre-Med major from Bowie, Maryland. @livslenshu

Photo By: Jordin Wright         

Photo By: Olivia Mitchell

Photo of Mikayla Roberts

Highlighting Content Creators at Hampton University

 Brooklyn Young | Staff Writers

Hampton University has always been well-known for its trendsetters and innovators. Many Hamptonians still uphold that reputation by using their creativity to not only influence others but also create change in their communities.  Hamptonians have used their creativity to start their own brands and create impactful content. Some of your favorite YouTube vloggers, fashion designers and original magazine creators got their start at Hampton. Here is a glimpse of some entrepreneurs from Ogre, Quintessence and Onyx classes. 

Accent Films

Don’t forget the accent mark.

Accent Films started off as your typical college YouTube vlog in 2018. As time progressed, Bria Dickerson, better known as Bria DéShaun, has made her mark on Hampton’s campus by commemorating social moments as “the student body’s historian,” and creating promo videos. The meaning behind the accent is to “put emphasis on your purpose [and] put an accent on your wildest dreams,” said Dickerson. This brand allows the inner creative in Dickerson to be depicted visually and expose her authenticity in various projects. Accent Films is also a direct reflection of her journey as an individual and as an entrepreneur. 

“You can be carefree in who you are and do it without hesitation,” said Dickerson. 

Recently, Accent Films collaborated with the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP) for its 20th anniversary of the Black History Extravaganza (BHX) by creating a short film, “Tales of an HBCU.” You can stream this on SLP’s YouTube channel now. 

Dickerson is a junior, journalism major with a minor in leadership studies and cinema studies from Bear, Delaware. 

COVRT 

With encouragement from friends and family, Trajan Baker, a sophomore architecture major from Winston-Salem, created his fashion brand Crafted Vision, which is now known as COVRT. At COVRT, you can have it your way with his unique clothing customizations. Baker hand paints jeans, jackets, shoes, hats and just about any clothing item you can think of. The brand is symbolic to self-discovery and revealing the artist within everyone.

 “My acronym for artist is a rare talented individual seeking truth,” said Baker. 

The relationship between Baker and his clientele are most meaningful and seeing them wear his designs makes him extremely proud. On average, it takes between 10 to 20 hours for Baker to make a single piece. Right now, COVRT is creating a graphic sweatshirt line and painting series. Baker is looking forward to where his brand will go and hoping to be a featured brand in a Hampton event like Springfest. Trajan Baker is a sophomore, architecture major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

EPOK

Dictionary.com defines epoch (EPOK) as “the beginning of a distinctive period in history of something.” This Virginia and New York based brand began with two fashion-forward individuals making t-shirts in a bedroom in the Harbor Apartments for fun. Austin Johnson, a senior marketing major from Hampton, Virginia and Jarrett Dines, a senior strategic communications major from Queens, New York constantly strive to take chances and continue going after new avenues to gain even more exposure for their brand.

“Buying into a concept; you are in your Epok,” said Johnson. “Each piece is personal.”

 Opening doors and creating better access to resources for the next entrepreneur is the ultimate goal for Johnson and Dines. 

“Jarrett and I knew we were gonna make history, this is just the beginning,” said Johnson. 

Over the past two years, EPOK has had pop-up shops in New York and Virginia, countless photoshoots and has even shipped orders to London. For these entrepreneurs, they see no limits. 

For more information on their next event(s), an interactive pop-up shop and new releases, visit their website, https://epok.store/

Austin Johnson is a senior, marketing major from Hampton, Virginia. Jarrett Dines is a senior, strategic communications major from Queens, New York. 

Reign the Magazine

Editor-in-Chief and journalism student, Tasha Smith, a junior from Baltimore, launched the first issue of Reign the Magazine on January 1, 2021. The magazine was created to exhibit Black content, including fashion, beauty, culture and music. Smith’s goal is to create an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone involved feels comfortable showcasing their creativity. 

“I want to create a community that celebrates Black joy and creativity,” said Smith. 

Smith was inspired by lifestyle journalist Elaine Welteroth. 

“I have read her book ad nauseum,” Smith said. 

Since the Black youth is so impressionable, Smith mainly targets this demographic. 

“I am sick of feeling like I have to ‘skate around’ my Blackness for white people,” said Smith.  Knowing the importance of unapologetically loving and accepting your Blackness is the Magazine’s endgame. 

Currently, Reign the Magazine is working on the March issue, which is the first style issue, featuring a young stylist. A new issue drops on the first of each month, so be sure to get yours March 1!

Threadz Boutique

The reputation of inimitability and uniqueness that boutiques possess has always enticed Taylor Robertson, a third-year, five-year MBA major from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.  That attraction and passion for fashion design created Threadz Boutique! Threadz Boutique seemed out of reach for Robertson, but with the encouragement from her mom, it became a brand. 

“I just got started,” said Robertson. 

Growing up with both parents being entrepreneurs, Robertson tapped into her entrepreneurial side. Robertson enjoys that she is able to deeply portray herself in her craft and offer rare clothing to women ages 17 to 40. 

“Everything that I have is something that I would pick up in a store and have to buy,” said Robertson. 

If you want to stand out and tap into your uniqueness, be on the lookout for new drops over at shopthreadzboutique.com

1868 The Brand

Fashionista, Inaya Henderson, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, decided to put a twist on traditional university paraphernalia by launching 1868 The Brand. Representing the year that Hampton University was founded, 1868 The Brand also looks to connect the Hampton University community through apparel and accessories.  

“It’s a line that encapsulates the essence of Hampton and transforms it into the form of fashion,” said Henderson. 

With 1868, Henderson intends to show the world that Hampton is more than what you see on the surface, but that Hampton is full of creativity and innovation.  

1868 is intended to be a classic everyday wear, whether you’re going on a Target run or on a trip, 1868 is made for it all. Currently, 1868 is working on rugs, household items, sweatsuits, workout gear, skateboards for each class and a potential collaboration with another HBCU. The newest drop is expected for summer 2021 to kick-off the summer vibes, so keep an eye out! 

For anyone scared to start their business, just look at these young entrepreneurs making it happen. It is all about believing in yourself and simply taking that first step!

Women’s History Month: Hampton Female Alumni Feature

Nia White | Staff Writer

As Hampton University has flourished for 153 years, it has helped to produce an extensive group of alumni. With graduates in a wide variety of fields and positions, Hampton University has made its impact on the surrounding community, country and world.

  The education at Hampton has allowed many alumni to advance in their field, because of the access to higher education. While many alumni have made progress in their specific field, now is a time to celebrate female alumni.  

The national observance of Women’s History Month is celebrated every year during the month of March. This month is reserved for highlighting the achievements of women making strides in their respective fields both in the present and past.  

A Hampton alumni who is flourishing in her career is Felicia Blow. She graduated in 1988 and is currently serving as Chair-Elect for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The position of Chair-Elect is one of the highest in the company and it incompeses many different roles.   

“PRSA is the world’s largest organization of communications, public relations, and strategic marketing practitioners,” Blow said. “I lead efforts with Strategic Planning and our National Leader Rally. I also work closely with other members of the executive team in carrying out the mission and vision for the organization. 2022 will mark the 75th anniversary of PRSA and in that regard, I am serving as Co-Chair of the Task Force to lead the anniversary efforts,” Blow said.

During her time at Hampton, Blow majored in Mass Media Arts, which led her to her current position. “Hampton instilled in me a pride of authorship, a determination of spirit, and the insight to never give up when pursuing your passion,” Blow said.

Another flourishing Hampton alumni is Dr. Helen Stiff-Williams, Class of 1973, former Division Chief and Superintendent of Instruction in the Virginia Department of Education. 

Her position required “experience in educational leadership,” Stiff-Williams said. As well as experience she received at Hampton, including “leadership experiences for recognition and expectations for high achievement.” 

Throughout her time as division chief and superintendent, she “provided leadership in the conceptualization of the “Virginia common core standards” that were the precursors to the current Virginia Standards of Learning,” Stiff-Williams said. 

  For current Hampton students, Blow also shares advice regarding how to be successful.

“Work hard, never shy away from something because it’s difficult. I was once told “What is easy is seldom excellent.” So don’t take the easy way out. Continue to learn…advance your knowledge…don’t stop learning, take classes, and improve your skills.” 

Highlighting entrepreneurial efforts of Hampton students

Brooklyn Young | Staff Writer

Hampton University has always been well-known for its trendsetters and innovators. Many Hamptonians still uphold that reputation by using their creativity to not only influence others but also create change in their communities.  Hamptonians have used their creativity to start their own brands and create impactful content. Some of your favorite YouTube vloggers, fashion designers and original magazine creators got their start at Hampton. Here is a glimpse of some entrepreneurs from Ogre, Quintessence and Onyx classes. 

Accent Films

Don’t forget the accent mark.

Accent Films started off as your typical college YouTube vlog in 2018. As time progressed, Bria Dickerson, better known as Bria DéShaun, has made her mark on Hampton’s campus by commemorating social moments as “the student body’s historian,” and creating promo videos. The meaning behind the accent is to “put emphasis on your purpose [and] put an accent on your wildest dreams,” said Dickerson. This brand allows the inner creative in Dickerson to be depicted visually and expose her authenticity in various projects. Accent Films is also a direct reflection of her journey as an individual and as an entrepreneur. 

“You can be carefree in who you are and do it without hesitation,” said Dickerson. 

Recently, Accent Films collaborated with the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP) for its 20th anniversary of the Black History Extravaganza (BHX) by creating a short film, “Tales of an HBCU.” You can stream this on SLP’s YouTube channel now. 

Dickerson is a junior, journalism major with a minor in leadership studies and cinema studies from Bear, Delaware. 

COVRT 

With encouragement from friends and family, Trajan Baker, a sophomore architecture major from Winston-Salem, created his fashion brand Crafted Vision, which is now known as COVRT. At COVRT, you can have it your way with his unique clothing customizations. Baker hand paints jeans, jackets, shoes, hats and just about any clothing item you can think of. The brand is symbolic to self-discovery and revealing the artist within everyone.

 “My acronym for artist is a rare talented individual seeking truth,” said Baker. 

The relationship between Baker and his clientele are most meaningful and seeing them wear his designs makes him extremely proud. On average, it takes between 10 to 20 hours for Baker to make a single piece. Right now, COVRT is creating a graphic sweatshirt line and painting series. Baker is looking forward to where his brand will go and hoping to be a featured brand in a Hampton event like Springfest. Trajan Baker is a sophomore, architecture major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

EPOK

Dictionary.com defines epoch (EPOK) as “the beginning of a distinctive period in history of something.” This Virginia and New York based brand began with two fashion-forward individuals making T-shirts in a bedroom in the Harbor Apartments for fun. Austin Johnson, a senior marketing major from Hampton, Virginia, and Jarrett Dines, a senior strategic communication major from Queens, New York, constantly strive to take chances and continue going after new avenues to gain even more exposure for their brand.

“Buying into a concept; you are in your Epok,” said Johnson. “Each piece is personal.”

 Opening doors and creating better access to resources for the next entrepreneur is the ultimate goal for Johnson and Dines. 

“Jarrett and I knew we were gonna make history, this is just the beginning,” said Johnson. 

Over the past two years, EPOK has had pop-up shops in New York and Virginia, countless photoshoots and has even shipped orders to London. For these entrepreneurs, they see no limits. 

For more information on their next event(s), an interactive pop-up shop and new releases, visit their website.

Austin Johnson is a senior, marketing major from Hampton, Virginia. Jarrett Dines is a senior, strategic communications major from Queens, New York. 

Reign the Magazine

Editor-in-Chief and journalism student Tasha Smith, a junior from Baltimore, launched the first issue of Reign the Magazine on January 1, 2021. The magazine was created to exhibit Black content, including fashion, beauty, culture and music. Smith’s goal is to create an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone involved feels comfortable showcasing their creativity. 

“I want to create a community that celebrates Black joy and creativity,” said Smith. 

Smith was inspired by lifestyle journalist Elaine Welteroth. 

“I have read her book ad nauseam,” Smith said. 

Since the Black youth is so impressionable, Smith mainly targets this demographic. 

“I am sick of feeling like I have to ‘skate around’ my Blackness for white people,” said Smith.  Knowing the importance of unapologetically loving and accepting your Blackness is the Magazine’s endgame. 

Currently, Reign the Magazine is working on the March issue, which is the first style issue, featuring a young stylist. A new issue drops on the first of each month, so be sure to get yours March 1!

Threadz Boutique

The reputation of inimitability and uniqueness that boutiques possess has always enticed Taylor Robertson, a third-year, five-year MBA major from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.  That attraction and passion for fashion design created Threadz Boutique! Threadz Boutique seemed out of reach for Robertson, but with the encouragement from her mom, it became a brand. 

“I just got started,” said Robertson. 

Growing up with both parents being entrepreneurs, Robertson tapped into her entrepreneurial side. Robertson enjoys that she is able to deeply portray herself in her craft and offer rare clothing to women ages 17 to 40. 

“Everything that I have is something that I would pick up in a store and have to buy,” said Robertson. 

If you want to stand out and tap into your uniqueness, be on the lookout for new drops over at shopthreadzboutique.com

1868 The Brand

Fashionista, Inaya Henderson, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, decided to put a twist on traditional university paraphernalia by launching 1868 The Brand. Representing the year that Hampton University was founded, 1868 The Brand also looks to connect the Hampton University community through apparel and accessories.  

“It’s a line that encapsulates the essence of Hampton and transforms it into the form of fashion,” said Henderson. 

With 1868, Henderson intends to show the world that Hampton is more than what you see on the surface, but that Hampton is full of creativity and innovation.  

1868 is intended to be a classic everyday wear, whether you’re going on a Target run or on a trip, 1868 is made for it all. Currently, 1868 is working on rugs, household items, sweatsuits, workout gear, skateboards for each class and a potential collaboration with another HBCU. The newest drop is expected for summer 2021 to kick-off the summer vibes, so keep an eye out! 

For anyone scared to start their business, just look at these young entrepreneurs making it happen. It is all about believing in yourself and simply taking that first step!