The 2017 Soul Train Awards impressed once again

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

soul train pic

The annual Soul Train Awards was nothing short of soulful.

Singer-songwriter Erykah Badu hosted the show for the third time as it aired Nov. 26.

Many special guests were in attendance, including Tank, Method Man, Keyshia Cole and Ledisi.

R&B divas Fantasia and Faith Evans went head to head in a soul cypher that also featured Mali Music and Bilal.

The Soul Cypher is something newly added to The Soul Train, with its inspiration stemming from the BET Hip Hop Awards.

With performances from the top R&B artists in the music industry, this awards show was not one to miss.

The legendary Toni Braxton hit the stage with her sister, Tamar Braxton. Toni Braxton also took home the most eminent award of the night, the Soul Train Legend Award.

Tamar Braxton went to Instagram to congratulate her big sister, saying, “My sis, how could any other person EVER be more proud!! @tonibraxton -Williams u are THE LIVING LEGEND! Period!”

The “He Wasn’t Man Enough” singer was photographed sitting next to famous Cash Money Records rapper/producer Bryan “Birdman” Williams, at the awards show, who is rumored to be her longtime partner, according to

She also was photographed receiving her award with a ring on her left hand, stimulating fans’ ideas that Braxton might be making a big announcement in the near future.

Bruno Mars stole the show, winning a total of five awards for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist, Album/Mixtape of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Dance Performance.

He also took home the award for Best Video of the Year.

Even though Mars was up against tons of great artists for these awards, there is no doubt that he deserved every single one he received. From his smooth dance moves to his voice, he is unforgettable.

Solange was also nominated for several awards.

Although Solange only took one award away from this show, she is definitely proving why she deserves “A Seat at the Table.”

One of the most memorable moments from the awards show was when Erykah Badu paid homage to NFL player Colin Kaepernick, an activist for bringing awareness to police brutality.

Badu used The Soul Train Awards as an opportunity to salute Kaepernick by kneeling on one knee.

For information about the awards show, visit


We want more Derrick

Nia Brevard |Contributing Writer


A sprained wrist, back issues, ACL tear and now blurry vision.

With too many injuries occurring, a former Most Valuable Player is stepping back from his team to make a life-changing decision.

Derrick Rose may have to say farewell to the NBA.

Chicago native, Derrick Rose is an eight-year veteran point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While a freshman at the University of Memphis, Rose was drafted by the Chicago Bulls as the 2008 first overall pick.

He then went on to become the youngest player to be awarded NBA MVP in 2011.

Rose was such a highly favored player because of his unique play, being able to execute the perfect layup or the perfect reverse. His game-winning shots always had the crowd going crazy.

Despite his injuries, some still say he will always be one of the greatest.

“Derrick Rose is still a good player because of the print he left on the NBA,” said Chima Osuagwu, a sophomore political science major from Washington, D.C.

“He had his era where he was a threat on the court along with being the youngest MVP in NBA history,”

Looking back, Rose had impressive stats, topping some of today’s best players. According to ESPN statistics, during one of his best seasons, Rose averaged 25 points per game, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds.

Still, no one knows what next to expect from Rose, as he figures out whether to return.

His overall stats this season are at 14 points per game, 1 assist and 2 rebounds, a noticeable differenc for a player of his past caliber.

“Derrick Rose’s career is practically over. His history with injury makes him less and less of a distracted player in the league. His body and his health should be his No. 1 priority, and it wouldn’t make sense to continue to put his body under the constant stress of the NBA lifestyle,” said Mildred Goode, a sophomore biology pre-med major from Bowie, Maryland.

ESPN columnist Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted information that he received from a Cavaliers source.

Several coaches and teammates said they are supporting him from afar, after his recent ankle injury this season, and few still believe he can make a comeback despite the injuries.

Fans of Rose don’t want this to happen. A great basketball player might not be able to play again because of what he loves to do.

Even I want to see Rose on the court again and make a remarkable comeback. But after suffering endless injuries throughout his career, it really shows how quickly life can change.

When Rose decides on what he wants to do, I’m sure all his fans will still support him, no matter the decision.

This is something that will take time, and nothing can speed up his recovery, until he’s ready.

Historic royal engagement excites millenials

Kyra Robinson | Staff Writer


Courtesy of Chelsea Harrison

After breaking the internet with their historic engagement announcement, Great Britain’s Prince Harry and television actress Meghan Markle have set their wedding date to May of next year, according to CNN reporters.

They announced their engagement Nov. 28, and social media went into frenzy, since the love affair was widely considered so untraditional.

Markle is half African-American, half Caucasian and a divorcee — the first to marry into the royal family in 81 years, Fox News reported.

The most recent time America cared so deeply about social affairs in Great Britain was when Prince William married Duchess Kate Middleton, and then people across the United States woke early in the morning to watch the Westminster Abbey wedding take place.

Now, there is more American participation and input because of Markle’s citizenship.

The actress and blogger is mostly known for her role of paralegal Rachel Zane on USA Network’s legal drama Suits. She also has made appearances in films, including Horrible Bosses, Remember Me and Anti-Social.

However, she did not truly become an A-lister until the news broke in 2016 that she was dating Prince Harry. Vanity Fair even reported that she was the most searched woman online in the last year.

Hampton University sophomore Destany Manns is a loyal viewer of Markle’s current show Suits and was ecstatic when she heard of the engagement.

“I’m so happy for her and so excited to see an American woman of color in the British royal family because it’s nice to have that change in tradition,” Manns said happily, adding that she would wake up early to watch their wedding as she also did for the current Cambridge Duke and Duchess.

Markle expressed in an Elle interview last year that she did struggle to get cast because she could never properly fit the roles due to her being “ethnically ambiguous.”

Markle struggled to fit in because she felt “too white” to be black and “too black” to be white.

However, that did not stop African-Americans on social media outlets from celebrating the union between Prince Harry and Markle.

Twitter exploded with calls of “black princess,” and there was general excitement for a woman of color having that opportunity.

“It’s what we really need in the current political climate,” HU sophomore Jordyn Edwards said.

Edwards had no prior knowledge of Markle but became quite invested when the news broke.

“It’s representation that is needed globally for black girls,” Edwards said. “I’m excited to see where this goes.”

Traditional vs. nontraditional: Whose college is better?

Tianna Bradford | Staff Writer


Courtesy of Chelsea Harrison

As we go home for break and we see our family, other cousins and siblings who are also in college, there’s always the debate of whose school is better and has the more leading potential.

I’ve always asked myself what it’d be like if I went to a non-traditional school. If my campus were in the heart of New York or Chicago, would I still have the same school spirit?

I interviewed Kayla Bradford, a junior psychology major at Pace University in Manhattan, New York.

I asked her what it’s like to go to a college where you have no football stadium, no huge cafeteria or your own school building, for that matter.

“It seems as though we have no school spirit, if that makes sense,” she said. “We’re so independent amongst ourselves, we merely act as individuals rather than a unit.”

Their Pleasantville campus in upstate New York holds all of their football and basketball games. A large traditional campus like Hampton is better at holding more students and more social activities.

“You know when I think about it, I barely know anyone on campus,” Bradford said. “We only have three to four buildings that we consider our campus. Sometimes I wish I went to a traditional college.”

As we view Hampton, the Real HU has a lot to offer just like any traditional campus: a large view of Greek life, athletics and even internship opportunities.

I asked a Hampton woman, Pride Harper, a pre-pharmacy major from Newport News, her stance on a traditional campus versus a more urban life campus.

“I feel like life at a traditional campus definitely gives more of the college experience compared to being in more of an urban setting,” Harper said.

Pride thinks she’s more social at a traditional campus compared to a campus in New York, L.A. or Chicago.

But internship opportunities are more prominent at urban campuses than at a traditional campus. Traditional campuses are more far out of from big cities than urban colleges that are wrapped around a district full of opportunity.

“When I think about internship opportunities around me, it seems more difficult to find something in the Hampton area or even sometimes the 757,” Pride said.

No matter how you view it, both schools benefit the two different college students: one who is a social butterfly who enjoys meeting new people and wants the “real” campus feel, while the other enjoys the city scenery and is more to herself and lives for the small campus lifestyle.

Either way, both contribute to the growth of attending students.

Which one would you choose?

Growing criticism on mainstream rap music

Jaelan Leonard | Contributing Writer

Hip-hop/rap music is a global phenomenon that permeates every facet of our society.

Hip-hop doesn’t just influence the mainstream, it is the mainstream. However, its recent decline in sales and growth in criticism have said otherwise.

In a span of more than 40 years, rap music has evolved to fit the cultural aspects of the changing society.

Many individuals use rap music as a form of expression to explain ongoing problems that they are facing.

The internet has changed the music industry to allow for creative musical expression.

It is also a great tool that allows independent musicians to find a global audience without having to have major labels back them up.

According to, the internet has made music more accessible to the public and has also made it difficult for artists to make money in the process.

Hip-hop began in the 1970s and originated in New York City. Back then, hip-hop gave the black and Latino youth an outlet to express themselves.

The development created a movement that influenced how people dress, speak and socialize with peers. “Gangster rap” quickly followed suit and spread like wildfire in the 1980s.

It was marked as the beginning of a “rough era.”

Kayla Key, a senior from Pittsburgh, said, “In my opinion, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of the same kind of beats, and I feel like there’s not a lot of originality.”

In a poll of African-Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year, 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society.
Despite this poll, many young Americans still idolize these upcoming rappers.

Hip-hop/rap music has been blamed for a variety of social injustices.

Studies have shown that there is an attempted link from rap music to teen drug use and increased sexual activity.

Many people believe that the sole purpose of today’s rap music is to make profit, and that the era of lyricism and storytelling is ending.

Also, there’s a criminal aspect that has been related to rap music.

In the ’70s, groups may have rapped about drug-dealing and street violence, but rap stars weren’t the embodiment of criminals themselves.

In today’s era, the most popular and successful rappers boast about murders, dealing drugs and sexualizing women.

“It all depends on the artists that you listen to,” Gabrielle Snipes, a Hampton alumna, said.

“On the trap side, you are definitely going to get rappers who talk about drugs, living in the trap, etc. Other artists discuss awareness on certain [topics] like mental illness.”

Criticism of hip-hop/rap music is nothing new; it has become a part of the culture.

The question is, will society fuel the progression of horrible music or uplift the ones who are trying to make a breakthrough by returning hip-hop to originality?

Libyan slave trade: 700,000 victims and counting

Odyssey Fields | Staff Writer

libya pic

David Ramos | Getty Images

Hidden between walls of North Africa, over 700,000 migrants and refugees have been secretly kidnapped and sold into the horrific system of slavery.

Libya has been under chaos since their dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was overthrown in 2011. In response, uproar struck the impoverished country, leaving millions of people in danger.

According to Brookings Institution (Washington D.C. public policy organization) reports , as the year continued, Libya’s economy plummeted and its resources continued to become limited, with its productive oil reserve declining as well.

Their infrastructure began to deteriorate and the country was put at a standstill full devastation.

In efforts to escape horrific conditions, migrants decided to travel to Europe to improve their living conditions, opening up opportunities for success.

During their attempt, over 700,000 migrants were captured and smuggled into Libya, the main gate to Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, according to Washington Post reports.

And now, The Libya Observer, Libya’s leading online news source, estimated that an average of 150,000 people pass this gate every year, leading traffickers to aim at their refugee targets.

People from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Senegal, Gambia and Sudan have been effortlessly pulled into captivity.

Thousands have been sent to detention centers where they were brutally abused and tortured in unimaginable and inhumane conditions.

Some were starved, forced to labor, women and children were sexually abused., according to CNN reporters. Approximately 25,800 children were smuggled and sold into prostitution.

There have been a total of 34 detention centers discovered in Libya, with many children awaiting to be sold and some even held for ransom.

Tatyanna Sutton, cybersecurity major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland said, “Slavery has truly never ended. Instead it has been normalized.

“I [was sad to hear] slave trades are still occurring today and has been normalized in these third world countries.”

Though it has been hidden, the Libya slave trade has been up and running since 2011 revolution.

“To see that it is happening the way that it is, is definitely a complete shock to me,” Hannah McCall, second year journalism major from Houston, said.

“It’s even more shocking to know how long it has been going on and how it hasn’t been stopped yet!”

Many European and African leaders have begun to step in, ordering that all refugees and migrants be brought back to their native countries.

As efforts to return victims to their homes progress, the United Nations Security Council has started an investigation into the auctions in efforts to immediately put a halt to all detention centers and trades in Libya.

Grizzlies say goodbye to Fizzle

Justin Norris | Staff Writer


The Memphis Grizzlies fired coach David Fizdale after just 19 games into the 2017-2018 season. He coached the Grizzlies to a playoff berth in his first season as a head coach and was in the second year of a four-year, $10.2 million contract.

This season, under Fizdale, the team was in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and had lost 11 of their past 13. The Grizzlies’ firing of Fizdale came on the heels of him benching star center Marc Gasol in the fourth quarter of a 98-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The decision to get rid of the coach has become extremely controversial, and many around the NBA have spoken out in support of Fizdale.

LeBron James, who played for Fizdale while he was an assistant coach in Miami, tweeted, “I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy.”

That sentiment has been echoed by other players and media. On First Take, Stephen A. Smith called the Grizzlies’ decision “a bogus firing. There’s no excuse for it, and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Fizdale’s tenure in Memphis was plagued by various injuries to key rotation players. Franchise point guard Mike Conley has missed the team’s past seven games this season, which obviously coincides with their losing streak.

Small forward Chandler Parsons, who agreed to a four-year, $94 million contract before the start of last season, has been frequently injured since signing with the team. Due to Parsons’ inability to stay on the floor, his contract has been viewed as an albatross for the team.

The Grizzlies were also notorious for using their slow-paced, “Grit and Grind” style of play, while the majority of the NBA embraced a more up-tempo style that emphasized positionless basketball and 3-pointers. The aging roster Fizdale was in charge of was ill-equipped to adapt to the modern NBA due to the dearth of talent at his disposal.

It appears that Fizdale’s rocky relationship with Gasol played a significant role in his dismissal as well.

The Grizzlies’ front office has a track record for firing successful coaches.

Since 2013, the organization has let go of Lionel Hollins, Dave Joerger and Fizdale. Hollins led the team to a 56-26 record and a Western Conference Finals appearance the year before he was let go. Joerger guided the team to three consecutive trips to the postseason.  Fizdale coached an aging roster to a competitive first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs last season.

J.B. Bickerstaff was named interim head coach. Whomever the Grizzlies name as their next head coach will be interesting, because regardless of accomplishments or achievements, the head coach of the Grizzlies seems to have little-to-no job security.


The rivalry renewed: HU vs. HU

Randall Williams | Sports Editor


Twitter | @PeteDPirate

It’s officially that time of the year, rivalry week is upon us. Universities across the entire country face off against their arch nemesis.

One of the matches that is frequently overlooked is Hampton University vs. Howard University.

As you can see, both teams have the exact same “HU” initials. This has sparked a rivalry between the schools.

Ever since Hampton was renamed from “Hampton Institute” to “Hampton University,” bad blood has been boiling between the two schools in reference to who the “real HU” is.

Regarding football, Hampton is undoubtedly the “Real HU.”

The Pirates lead the series 51-41-1, so in order for Howard to catch up, it’s going to take an entire decade.

That streak could start this weekend.

The Bison are second in the MEAC conference with a record of 6-1 in league play and 7-3 overall.

Howard made headlines earlier this year after beating UNLV in the biggest upset in college football history.

A week after that, they only lost to Kent State University by a mere seven points.
Leading this Bison team is Caylin Newton, the little brother of the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback Cam Newton.

Since the loss to the Golden Flashes, Howard has been 6-2, and are currently on a five game win streak.

Meanwhile at Hampton, things haven’t been going so well. Just three weeks ago, the Pirates were under North Carolina A&T in the conference standings with an overall record of 5-2.

Since then, the season seems to have collapsed, as the Pirates have lost three games straight.

Hampton sophomore Kimand Albright says, “It seems like the team just got complacent with where they were. [However,] down the stretch the play-calling has been questionable along with the execution of the plays.”

Albright isn’t the only one that feels that way.

Hampton student Juwan Williams agrees, saying, “The team may need to try new athletes in at different positions to get a better feel of where they stand, maybe even at quarterback.”

Brendan Greene, a player for the Pirates, says, “It’s easy to blame play-calling when we’re losing. Honestly, it comes down to execution.

“We need to come out ready so that we can finish the season strong.”

For Hampton, there isn’t much on the line other than the basics.

If they win, they finish the season with a winning record; if not, they’ll finish 5-6.

On the opposite end, the Bison have higher stakes. If North Carolina A&T loses and the Bison come out on top, they will share the conference championship.

A victory in this game would be Howard’s first time winning the MEAC title since 1993.

Rivalries are always tense, but the energy for this year’s “Battle of the Real HU” will likely be at an all-time high.

What’s wrong with the Cavs?

Justin Norris | Staff Writer


Andres Kudacki | Associated Press


The Cleveland Cavaliers, three-time defending Eastern Conference champions, have gotten off to a lackluster 7-7 record to start the season.

So far, the Cavaliers have lost to supposedly inferior teams such as the Magic, Nets, Pelicans, Knicks, Pacers and Hawks.

It took a 57-point outburst, the second-most of LeBron James’ career, to avoid losing to the Wizards. This is the second-worst start to a season for James, with the worst coming in his rookie season.

Offseason acquisition Dwyane Wade told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “Our first unit, we got to start off better.”

While Wade’s assertion is correct, there are multiple reasons explaining the Cavs’ struggles.

The Cavs are working in several new players to their rotation after trading Kyrie Irving in the summer, and there is always going to be an adjustment period when incorporating so many new players.

To make matters worse, All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas will not return from his hip injury until January.

The Cavs also simply are not making shots: they are making three fewer 3-pointers per game compared to last season.

Cleveland has been wildly inconsistent. The Cavs are averaging 118 points per game in wins and only 103 in losses, while their 3 point field goal percentage is 10 points higher in wins than in losses.

Perhaps the biggest cause of Cleveland’s struggles stems from their lackadaisical defensive play.

The Cavs rank dead last in defensive efficiency.

Their defense was poor last year, but their offense was dynamic enough that it covered up how porous their defense was.

This season, their offense has slipped slightly, and their defense has remained lousy, so the high-scoring games that they would have won last year are losses this year.

A bigger problem is that many of the players they’ve acquired are aging, injury-prone veterans who do not shoot well, which means that they are not a great fix next to James.

While many presume that the Cavs are just coasting until the playoffs, the one troubling aspect is that James’ scoring and rebounding numbers are up, so it is clear he is not mailing in the games so far.

This is the last season before James becomes a free agent.

The Cavaliers’ management must be worried about their slow start and what impact it might have on James’ free-agent decision.

James has made it clear that he will go to whatever team gives him the best chance to win championships.

He has left Cleveland once before, and after fulfilling his promise of delivering a championship to Cleveland, he has every right to leave again.

Diabetes Awareness Month at Hampton

Raven Reaves Jackson | Contributing Writer


While November is known to some college students as GPA awareness month, it is also known to many as Diabetes Awareness month. Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body either does not produce the right amount of insulin, does not produce any insulin or does not properly use the insulin that is produced. Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are the three main types.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when your immune system attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes begins as an insulin resistance, so your body cannot take in insulin efficiently. Moreover, that only makes your pancreas produce more insulin, leading to high blood sugar.

Gestation diabetes occurs when insulin begins to block your hormones during pregnancy.

Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, dry/ itchy skin, blurry vision and excessive thirst and hunger.

The treatments of diabetes vary depending on which type you have. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Since the damage to the pancreas is permanent, patients must take insulin every day to live.

Type 2 diabetes is treated by managing the foods, exercises and medications that control your blood sugar.

“Diabetes affects the way you eat, your mood, and how active you are that day,” said journalism major India Anderson, who has Type 1 juvenile diabetes.

Although there is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes, you can lower your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in several ways. Avoid smoking. Exercise regularly. Control your weight and diet. These simple habits can prevent gestational diabetes.

“Diabetes does not define my life because if you take good care of your body, then you are unstoppable,” said Anderson.

According to the official website of the American Diabetes Association, in the African American community, “13.2 percent aged 20 years or older are diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans are also 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.”

One campus organization recently highlighted the significance of diabetes. The Gamma Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., hosted their 2nd Annual 5K Sweet Sweat Color Run on November 12, 2017.

The Color Run began at 9:30 a.m. At 10 o’clock, vendors arrived and music and games were set up. The additional festivities allowed the Hampton community to take part in the event even if they were not able to participate in the race.

The event was directed by Tia Westmoreland, a graduating senior from Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Diabetes awareness is important because it really affects people’s lives, and a lot of people do not know that it can lead to many other health issues down the line,” said Westmoreland.

The sorority also held a fundraising drive for donations.  All proceeds collected went to the American Diabetes Association.