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!

Glamour or scam? Teens’ use of substances in media

Kailah Lee | Staff Writer

Chances are, if you watch any film or series today, you will see someone using some sort of controlled substance. Whether that be a group of friends comforted by a bottle of booze, smoking cigarettes, or puffing on some “Zaza,” these instances are almost impossible to miss. 

Partaking in substance abuse is justified with older crowds because these actions are understood as adult behaviors. After 21, a person surpasses legal thresholds and is considered grown enough to decide what they should or should not put into their body–illegal or not. 

However, the issue is not adults participating in adult activities on TV. It is the media portraying normalcy in substance abuse among minors.

One might argue that producers are trying to capture the verisimilitude of a high school student. A television show may highlight the reality of events that could potentially happen at a high school party, but are these instances a sample of truth or an extreme? 

In the award-winning HBO hit series “Euphoria,” the story centers on the life of a teenager struggling with a narcotics addiction as well as other teenage turmoil. Although the show reveals the horror and sadness of substance abuse, there is a sense of glamour weaved into the idea of underage drinking and drug use. Scenes of pill-popping are embellished with glitter, neon lights and music.

“Not going to lie, seeing people smoking weed, hearing the music create the vibe and feeling of relaxation made me more curious to try it,” Hampton University student Jamaija Rhoades said. “It looked cool, if I’m being honest.” 

Psychologist Birgit Wolz told the Chicago Tribune that “many films transmit ideas through emotion rather than intellect. … Watching movies can open doors that otherwise might stay closed.”

Substance use usually is painted with the idea of a stressor. An alcoholic beverage can be associated with relief or a lavish event. Marijuana can be associated with a way to unwind and bond with peers. Being compelled to try drugs or engage in drinking is more than seeing the act. It’s also about the aesthetic. 

“Production companies have a way of making it all look beautiful and acceptable while the actors are not even teens,” Hampton alumnus Tyler McColley said.

Media companies cast older actors and actresses to play younger roles because employing minors is a greater liability. Minors have restrictions with hours and content.

According to Screenrant, older actresses and actors ensure that “all potential romances be legal.”

So, it’s OK for an adult to play a teen and assimilate illegal behavior, although that reality is taboo?

That just seems misleading.

HBO said “Euphoria” is actually for adults despite the content circling around teens. Still, the show is viewed more by teenagers than adults. Not to mention, the actress who plays Rue, the main character of “Euphoria,” is Zendaya, who was once a Disney star building her fanbase at a young age.

“Euphoria” is one of many examples of this phenomenon of substance abuse portrayal. There are an abundance of contradictions in the media. One minute there is a commercial demeaning nicotine use among teens, and in the next instance, a hit show is making the act look cool.

An older woman, Natane Herrera, thinks that “the media appeals to a younger audience because they’re looking for potential buy-ins. … With people my age, there’s no point in trying to sell us.”

We’ll never honestly know the media’s intentions. Maybe it’s a subliminal act of business. Perhaps the media is trying to push an image, or maybe it’s just to entertain.

“The media knows what it is doing,” said Amanda Jones, a writer from Charlotte, North Carolina, “and it will target those susceptible to its narrative.” 

The death of the modern movie theater

Ryland Staples | Staff Writer

Streaming has become everyone’s favorite pastime. We can all admit that since the pandemic started in March 2020, the number of shows and movies we stream on various streaming services has gone up. With the increasing numbers of streaming services going up, more and more money is being put toward different streaming platforms. With the recent announcement of Paramount+ and Discovery+, there are even more choices for people to make. 

I remember walking past my local movie theater recently, and it was a depressing sight. All of the doors were locked, and the inside was dark; it looked like nobody had visited since the pandemic started. I was kind of crestfallen. This was my movie theater, the one that I had gone to for most of my life. There were still posters from movies that were slated to come out last year, like Wonder Woman 1984, the new Fast and the Furious, Scooby-Doo and the Minions movie. Since then, all of those movies have been released on various streaming channels, mainly on HBO Max.  

This theater is the place I saw Avengers all the way back in 2012, where I had my first date, where I have all of these memories from growing up and it’s all boarded up. I know this is just a part of the long path to growing up. You see the businesses that you went to when you were younger close down and get replaced by new ones. But this isn’t Blockbuster or Hollywood Video being shut down by Redbox and Netflix. This is the entire movie theater industry as a whole grinding to a standstill. 

I still remember the last movie I saw before we went into lockdown. I had just gotten off my internship at WAVY 10/FOX 43, Spring Break had started and I was planning to drive back home the next morning. My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising had just been released in American movie theaters earlier that week, so I decided to see it right after I got off work. I went to see it, and it was all right, nothing to write home about, but I didn’t regret seeing it. 

Three weeks after that happened, the world shut down, and life changed as we know it. Since then, I haven’t been back to a movie theater, and that probably goes for a lot of people as well. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have relied on streaming services to watch new movies, as well as social media to talk about it with our friends. Which is fine. I’m not trying to say that talking about new movies like the new Justice League or Godzilla vs. Kong. 

What I am saying is that because of people feeling less safe being close to other people due to the pandemic, then there won’t be any more memorable moments at the movie theater. Take Avengers: Endgame or Infinity War. If those movies came out during the pandemic, I feel like it wouldn’t have felt the same. 

Now I am not saying that streaming services are inadequate. Quite the opposite, I think they’re great. But I also believe that you should not just wholly take movie theaters out of the picture.

Kinky chaos: Natural hair community split at the ends

Kailah Lee | Staff Writer

I hate to admit it, but the natural hair community has become toxic. The natural hair movement started as a way for women and men of color to get to know their complicated coils a little better. People were finally understanding their crowns, finding the right products and bonding with like-haired people. However, while the movement transgressed into a community of hair love and self-appreciation, it quickly made room for natural hair discrimination, otherwise known as texturism.

From loose curls to coils and kinky follicles, hair texture has always been a larger part of a Black women’s identity. Black hair is a sensitive topic, but that’s a part of the reason the natural hair community became louder and more prevalent. Natural hair was no longer this social taboo or mystery. However, the natural hair movement stirred away from uplifting all natural hair types and more to idolizing a bouncier, looser curl.

Textured or afro hair—type 4 hair (4b/4c)—has a bad reputation for some, including some Black women.

“I just hate nappy hair. Some people can pull it off, but it won’t be me,” said Evelyn Williams, a hairstylist from Richmond, Virginia. 

Some sisters feel that their textured natural hair makes them less valuable.

“I feel less beautiful wearing my unmanipulated natural hair,” said Ebony Jackson, a natural hair advocate. 

However, when examining how natural hair products are marketed, it’s usually represented with imagery of bigger, looser curls—type 3 hair. 

In an article with HuffPost, Afronomenal, a 22-year-old from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, reiterates that “A lot of the natural hair companies are really showing you this image of bouncy 3c/4a curls and never type 4 hair,” and thus women buy these products because they “had been sold this idea that this product would make their hair look a certain type of way.” 

This perspective is unfair because hair products are not magic potions. Type 4 hair can exist without a curl pattern. There is such a thing as straight 4c hair. There’s just too much emphasis placed on having defined curls instead of the diversity of natural hair. 

“Honestly, we should focus on the health of the hair rather than the curl type…damaged and neglected hair should be how society sees a healthy textured woman,” said Bernice Jones, a Virginia resident.

Through years of societal manipulations, type 4 hair is looked at by some as unprofessional, unkempt and unattractive. 

Mayowa Osinubi, a filmmaker, natural hair advocate and host of the YouTube channel “Mayowa’s World,” talks about getting “dragged” by the natural hair community for putting textured 4c hair on display. Osinubi was called “dirty “and “ugly,” all for taking a picture with natural, type 4 hair.

“I feel like I’m not considered a natural hair person because I don’t fit the image people were hoping to see,” Osinubi said.

The natural hair community has been contradicting itself over the years, and the stigmas placed on type 4 hair have divided the people even more.

What started as a way to unify Black hair mutated into a monster allowing underlying feelings of colorism and texturism to thrive.

“I love all my natural hair sisters, but I have more love for my sisters with the comb-breaking, bicep burning, job losing—thick, thin, dirty and unkempt nappy hair white women used to make us shave… I ain’t a part of a community selling me solutions in a bottle…I am for me, and my healthy, ugly hair,” poet Krystal Davis said. “All of our progress happens within us, not from natural hair companies owned by white families.”

Hampton’s Student Recruitment Team Holds Their Annual Intake Week

Vashti Dorman | Staff Writer

Photo byHampton University Student Recruitment Team

From March 25-30, the Hampton University Student Recruitment Team (SRT) held their intake week virtually with the fresh, inviting theme of “Bridgerton,” a popular Netflix show that was recently released and quickly took social media by storm. The week started with a teaser video announcing the commencement of the week and the subject for each proceeding event. 

“Whoever edited that video did an outstanding job because I thought I was seeing an ad for the actual show,” said Briana Previlon, a third-year political science major from Boston, Massachusetts. 

SRTis a student organization that assists with the recruitment of high school students from the Hampton Roads area and around the country. The organization hosts annual events such as Highschool Day, Open House and Honors Visitation weekend, which allows prospective students to get a glimpse of Hampton University. The Student Recruitment Team also gives tours throughout the year to students and families interested in seeing the campus and learning more about what programs Hampton has to offer. 

With much buzz created around the Bridgerton themed promotional video, many Hampton Students were revved up to attend the Student Recruitment Team’s events. 

“I saw the flyers all down my timeline, plus I love the show Bridgerton,” said Cheri Manning, a third-year psychology major from Rochester, New York. “I was definitely excited after seeing the theme.” 

The first event held was the “SR Tea Party” which was a meeting for all students interested in getting more information on SRT and how to apply for membership. Many fresh Hampton faces joined the zoom call, seeming excited and dressed to impress in business professional attire. 

The subsequent events took place the following week on Monday, March 29, with their A Family Affair, interactive game night. This event was for current SRT members and students interested in joining SRT to bond through different games and activities. 

On Tuesday, March 30, SRT held an event titled The Royal Ball. The event included a speed dating activity designed for prospective members to get to know each of the SRT team members personally. 

SRT developed a system that allows current team members to connect to current high school students by text message and email. Each member was assigned a mentee who could ask them any questions about attending Hampton, applying, scholarships, etc. This new initiative is called Pirate Talks. This allowed many SRT members to stay involved in the recruitment process while being virtual. 

“The Student Recruitment Team to me is a welcoming and accepting family organization that helps prospective students find that one-of-a-kind college experience,” said Raven Harper, a third-year journalism major, marketing minor from Houston, Texas. “Whether that’s at Hampton or not, we get to give back to the community by helping them decide what’s best for them and what to look for in a college/university; them coming to Hampton is the bonus.” 

Hampton University SGA Elections: The Race Begins for Fall 2021

 Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

March 23 marked the beginning of Hampton University’s annual SGA Elections. Coordinated by Hampton University’s Office of  Student Activities in conjunction with the Student Government Association (SGA), candidates from across the university filled in their applications to run for class and SGA office positions. 

This year, SGA positions such as SGA President, SGA Vice-President and Representative to the Board of Trustees are available to current candidates. In addition to SGA positions, student leadership positions are also available for the rising senior, junior and sophomore classes. 

According to the Assistant Director of Student Activities, Kristina Janes, the voting period will officially begin on Friday, April 9,  from 9 AM Eastern Time to 4 PM Eastern Time.  During this window, students can vote for leadership positions within SGA, as well as for whom they want for leadership positions within their respective class. Before the voting window opens up, Hampton students will receive an email with instructions on how to vote via a Blackboard link. This link is also to be distributed through both the Student Activities and SGA Instagram accounts.

Due to the nature of remote learning, in-person campaigns and the spreading of fliers throughout the school is impossible, so how can one still effectively campaign and spread their name throughout the school?

According to Janes, candidates can post fliers on their respective social media accounts, which can only be reposted by members of their campaign team, which is submitted along with their application. These posts can be fliers but can also be videos or other forms of media. In addition to social media posts, candidates are also able to hold up to one social campaign event via remote meeting mediums such as Instagram Live or Zoom. However, to hold these events officially, candidates must inform HU Student Activities before making the event public. This allows a Hampton University official to attend the event and ensure that the proceedings are held to a standard and that the campaign remains fair. 

“I suggest creating an appealing and concise flyer that talks about why you’re running, what your vision and goals are, and when voting is,” says Hampton University Student Senator Gabriel Lewis. 

When asked how to effectively campaign during a period in which in-person campaign tactics cannot be utilized, Lewis was quick to offer his suggestions.

“Have a group of friends as a part of your campaign, willing to spread your flyers and promotional material and ensure your name gets out there. Also, use your one campaign event towards the end of the campaign period to make sure voters know your name and face and get the chance to meet you before the voting period so that you are still fresh on their minds on Election Day. Also, make sure you get everything approved by Hampton University, and that you follow up with them to ensure your material gets approved quickly,” said Lewis. 

With April 9 just over the horizon, there is still time for candidates to spread their name and make sure that they are in the minds of every voter come Election Day.  As for voters, make sure you get out there and vote for your chosen candidate!

Cymmone Yancey, CEO of C.N.D.Y Aesthetics, on Being a Student Entrepreneur

Nicole Pechacek | Staff Writer

Photo by Martine Yancy

Cymmone Yancey is a student entrepreneur who has experienced a lot of success with her brand, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics. On her Instagram, she has amassed over 1,000 followers and rose to prominence despite the pandemic. In this Q&A, Yancy discusses how she started her business and grown her brand. 

NP: How did you come about starting your business, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics?

CY: I guess it’s unconventional in a way. I’ve always had an affinity for business and finance and I wanted to find a way to create a business. One, to gain experience so that I could continue to establish a greater business later on in life, and two, as a means to kind of bring self-fulfillment. Every day is kind of boring, and don’t get me wrong I love my major, but having something that I can call mine that brings happiness to other people in the same way it brings happiness to me is different. Being able to start something like that is something I really wanted to do.

NP: What made you want to go into the beauty industry?

CY: You’ll note in my store that there’s not a wide range of beauty products. We’re going to expand our market soon, but I focused my interests on the areas of beauty I was truly interested in, so our biggest market right now is lipgloss and lashes. Anyone that knows me knows I love lip gloss. I may not be a ‘super get-up every day slap makeup on my face and hit the town’ kind of person, but you’ll rarely find me going out the house without a balm lip gloss on.

NP: So you’ve always had an affinity for beauty products?

CY: Yeah, I have. There’s a sort of humbleness that comes with beauty products. You are beautiful, so you don’t need the products, but it’s something you like, something you enjoy. It’s something you want to incorporate into your daily routine. I’m not going to sell anything I wouldn’t wear myself. Having a source for that is something I find important, especially for our demographic and age group.

NP: Do you make any of your products? If not, do you plan to?

CY: All of the products currently in my store are sourced from individual providers. I am working on lip-gloss products of my own. I’m not going to put them on the market until I feel they’re the best they can be, and right now I don’t feel that they are.

NP: Do you feel like your business has been successful? Do you feel like it needs improvement?

CY: I feel like anyone who says their business doesn’t require improvement is full of it. I honestly have a lot of room for growth. It picked up during the pandemic. I didn’t start funneling a lot of resources into my website until January. I do want to improve, but as of right now, I’ve had over 20 sales in the last two months, all of which were substantial orders, so I think I’m doing pretty good. 

NP: How do you advertise off-campus?

CY: One of the biggest things I like to do is experiment with marketing. So what I’ve found is if you build your social media platform in the right way. Your business will thrive without outside network influence, and that’s what I wanted to establish first and then bring that influence in. I feel as though currently, I’ve established my market. I have a good feel for the type of audience I’ve been attracting, and all of my customers have been people I do not know. They have solely come to my page through the marketing campaigns I’ve put out there. You don’t need to spend money on a photographer for those. I’ve taken pictures with my phone. The cutouts I’ve done with basic software on my computer. I plug in a picture, hit a button, and it’s done. That way I’m not wasting money on elaborate marketing campaigns.

NP: Do you have any general business tips you could give to fellow students?

CY: I think the number one thing is patience. There are a lot of people who say they want to start a new business because they want money, but they don’t want to work for it which is completely the wrong mentality. I’m a full-time student. I have a part-time job as a software engineer for Home Depot. There’s no need for me to even own a business. My career is substantial, so the money isn’t what I’m after. I’m after the experience. 

Follow C.N.D.Y Aesthetics @cndy.aesthetics on Instagram to catch deals and see what Cymmone has in her store next. Visit her website.

Virginia Becomes the 4th State to Ban Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Jourdyn Grandison | Staff Writer

An increasing number of states in the country are prohibiting animal-tested cosmetics. Virginia is the latest to join the list that already includes California, Nevada, and Illinois. 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed the Humane Cosmetics Act into law on March 16, formally prohibiting cosmetics manufacturers from “conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing [within the state]” and selling animal-tested products. The law will go in effect in January of 2022. 

This isn’t the first time the Virginia legislature has taken steps to ban animal research in favor of humane alternatives. In 2018, Virginia State Senator Jennifer Boysko’s bill was signed into law, prohibiting state research facilities from using animals to test cosmetics and household goods when a valid alternative test method is available.

Several other states, including New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and New York, may also pass similar laws in the future, according to ABC News. The rise in state-specific anti-animal testing legislation is expected to be part of a more significant state-by-state effort.

“This is a great move for Virginia because this can spark a national change in the cosmetics industry,” said Sierra Williams, a senior economics major. “Brands have already begun shifting to being cruelty-free, so maybe Virginia’s ban may be what pushes for a more environmentally conscious society.” 

The Humane Cosmetics Act’s passing is the second time in recent years that Virginia legislators have been at the forefront of national legislation for animal testing. Virginia Congressman, Jim Moran, sponsored the first federal Humane Cosmetics Act in 2013. Moran’s successor, Congressman Don Beyer, has championed the law with bipartisan support.

Monica Engebretson, Head of Public Affairs of the North American division of Cruelty-Free International believes that Virginia’s law will help pass the law at a federal level.

“We are delighted that Virginia has continued to be a national leader in ending animal testing for cosmetics,” said Engebretson. “This is a significant step not just for Virginia but for the entire US, as history has shown that state activity leads to changes at the federal level.”

NHL gets deal with ESPN

Aliyu Saadu | Staff Writer

AP Photo by Nam Y. Huh

ESPN and the NHL announced a seven-year television deal March 10. The new deal will have 100 regular-season games per year on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu. Twenty-five games will be on ABC, ESPN and ESPN +, and Hulu will add 75 ESPN-produced exclusive games to the streaming services starting in the fall.   

The network will air an early-round playoff series and one conference final each year. It also will air four Stanley Cup Final series on ABC during the seven-year deal.  

This deal in the U.S. is huge. More people will watch the NHL more than ever. More people will talk about it on “SportsCenter” and other platforms in the U.S.  The ratings will go up. Casual fans will be more interested in the sport.  

Fans in the U.S. will see superstars such as Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews and others on ESPN during the season. I believe the league will be covered a lot more than ever on ESPN. The network provides the NHL the possibility of increasing its exposure not just because games will be aired, but also via the strength of ESPN sports talk shows such as “First Take” and “Around the Horn.”

 NBCSN is a channel that is hard to find and, according to the Daily Mountain Eagle, is in 80.1 million homes. ESPN is in 83.1 million homes. That 3 million makes a difference in how many more people will be able to watch the NHL on ESPN as opposed to NBCSN.

This deal means so much to the sport of hockey. For the first time in a long time, hockey has an opportunity to become recognized and respected as a top four major professional sport in North America. Sports analysts such as Max Kellerman have publicly stated the NHL is not a top four major sport.  

The sports will be supported by the ESPN family of networks, ESPN+, ESPN.com and NHL.TV. These platforms will generate more fans than the league has had. More people will want to play hockey in the U.S. Social media outlets will buzz more about McDavid than they ever have since McDavid has been in the league. 

The thing about ESPN is that if your sport is not part of the rights on ESPN, they do not cover you as much. The NHL learned that for 17 years when the league was not part of ESPN’s sports. The league finally will be able to have highlights nightly on more platforms more often.  According to statista, since NBC acquired the rights in 2005-06, the Stanley Cup Final ratings have averaged less than a 4.0. The Stanley Cup Final this past year between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars averaged a 1.2 rating, lowest since 2007. When ABC airs the Stanley Cup Final next year, the ratings will go up.  

This was the best decision the league has made in its history. For the NHL to be on ESPN again makes the league accessible to the younger generation. The league will relish this partnership with ESPN.