With Black Female Leadership Comes New Perspective 

Mikayla Roberts | Staff Writer

Within the past two years, Black women have broken glass ceilings in the media industry more than ever before. Names like Rashida Jones, Channing Dungey and Kim Godwin made headlines as they were announced as the first Black women to lead in their respective roles. 

This surge of minority women stepping into powerful positions has brought a lot of questions about what now. How will these women make a difference in their positions — and will this wave continue? 

“It’s something that we’re still understanding in the moment as a gender, or as women or people that identify as women, earn their way up the ladder but also understand the barriers that we have faced to rising through the ranks and how we present differently,” said Nayyera Haq, the chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of “The World Tonight” on the Black News Channel.

In December 2020, in the heat of a global pandemic and social unrest, Jones made history as the first Black woman to head a national cable news network, becoming the president of MSNBC. 

Jones, a Hampton University graduate, spoke candidly about her plans to emphasize MSNBC’s ability to cover hard news and shift the narrative of being a perspective-heavy network in many interviews after her appointment. 

“With Rashida what we had was an enormously capable television producer and executive who was rising at a time when the nation and the media business were taking a cold, hard look at who we are and what we are doing and who’s making the decisions, and how can those things be changed,” Washington Post editorial board member and longtime MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart said.

The same could be said of Dungey, the former ABC Entertainment president and Netflix executive, who was appointed as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group in October 2020 — when Black Lives Matter protests were in the headlines almost daily. 

“Those of us who are on the executive side of the fence, we need to be better about making sure that within our ranks, we are hiring, supporting and promoting people of color and women, and giving them the opportunity to tell their stories,” Dungey said during an interview with Not Real Art the Podcast.

Godwin, a Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University graduate, was named the first Black woman to head ABC News five months after Dungey was appointed. 

It was reported by Forbes that Godwin’s “considerable experience” was expected to help the network prolong its dominance in the news industry. 

“Kim is an instinctive and admired executive whose unique experiences, strengths and strategic vision made her the ideal choice to lead the outstanding team at ABC News and build on their incredible success,” Peter Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, said to Forbes. “Throughout Kim’s career in global news organizations and local newsrooms, she has distinguished herself as a fierce advocate for excellence, collaboration, inclusion and the vital role of accurate and transparent news reporting.” 

This appeared to be a common response to the newly posed question: What do these women bring to the table?

There were many accounts given by members of the National Association of Black Journalists on the perspective of Black and Brown people finally getting the representation they sought for so long. 

“It’s about damned time and long overdue,” NABJ board member Roland Martin said to The Daily Beast. “The media has been largely defined through the prism of white men and white women. So to bring a different perspective, a different flavor—someone who can bring a different analysis and viewpoint to storylines—is critically important.”

Although these minority women have been in these leadership positions for months now, seasoned media professionals say they are still inspired daily.

Michelle Fisher, host of BNC Go’s “Morning Hype,” expressed feeling a personal freedom in presenting her perspective as a Black woman in media during a virtual panel discussion. 

“I think that [freedom] is certainly something that has impacted my storytelling — just being able to confidently be myself in the stories that I tell and the way that I tell them and how I choose to engage with viewers, too,” she said.

The Hood Librarian: NoName’s Book Club

 Trinity Goppy | Staff Writer

Chicago-born rapper and activist NoName started her book club to uplift the voices of people of color in an online and in real life community after an exchange with a few Twitter fans. After going viral with 5,000 retweets, NoName’s Book Club was born in the summer of 2019.

“It was very spontaneous and impromptu. I didn’t really have a plan, but the feedback has been really crazy,” Noname told Essence. 

Each month, NoName highlights two books written by authors of color.

“I feel like there’s always been a stigma on Black people and reading just because historically, we were boxed out of that process,” she said. “I’m trying to break apart the stereotype that n— don’t read because we definitely do,” NoName told Essence. 

Last year, NoName opened the Book Club: Radical Hood Library headquarters in Los Angeles, California. The headquarters will provide political education classes, book drives, a radical community library, food drives, book club meet-ups, tent drives, free art shows, free movie screenings, and more according to Complex.

NoName’s inspiration comes from her mother, the first black woman to own a bookstore in Chicago. The bookstore was called Afro Central Bookstore and was run for 20 years by NoName’s mother until it closed in 2008. 

According to Essence, the experience of being mentored by scholars of Black thought and cultural critique who would stop and talk to her when browsing the store shaped how Noname sees the world today. 

“It really helped my development and helped me to be as prideful and as strong-minded as I am when it comes to the way I view my blackness,” NoName told Essence. 

One of NoName’s goals is to promote Black-owned bookstores that are local and increase library usage for the underprivileged, opening a book space focused on reading material for Black liberation and knowledge. Currently, there are 12 book club chapters across the country, in cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and more. 

NoName’s Book Club launched a prison program that sends monthly book picks to POC who are incarcerated all over the country. To fight against the Prison Industrial Complex, the book club gives free resources to those behind bars, according to NoName’s book club website. 

“I believe the book club is a good way to share author’s voices and stories. I appreciate that they focus on uplifting the voice of POC. It is a chance to explore different experiences. This is also a unique way to connect with those who are incarcerated,” first-year kinesiology major Tyshona Littlejohn-Russ said. 

The Radical Hood Library centralizes the idea to shop at POC bookstores. On NoName’s site, several directories locate local bookstores in your city that focus on black content. 

“We really encourage our readers to shop at these POC bookstores,” NoName said. “It’s like a big f— you to Amazon and the FBI,” NoName told Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. 

Review: “Colin in Black & White”

Wynton Jackson | Staff Writer

Netflix has released “Colin in Black & White,” a six-part drama series about the life of civil rights activist and former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Colin in Black & White,” directed by Ava DuVernay, focuses on Kaepernick’s high school life, encompassing his journey as an aspiring quarterback, rejection of baseball and other typical high school drama through the lens of a Black child adopted by white parents. 

However, the series is not solely fixated on his teenage life, as the adult Kaepernick appears in every episode. He is shown either watching the show about his own story, narrating his past self’s thoughts or relating the issue addressed in the episode to a broader one today. 

The first installment shows Kaepernick’s cornrow situation. Inspired by former National Basketball Association star Allen Iverson, the then-eighth-grader seeks out an amateur stylist to braid his hair, which is too tight. Kaepernick takes that experience to talk about the NBA’s stringent 2005 dress code rules, the evolution of rap music and what the term “thug” really means. 

Perhaps the most interesting dynamic in the series is the obliviousness of Kaepernick’s white parents. Besides being a boy going through high school and puberty, Kaepernick seemed

to cry or get emotional in every episode and nearly every time. His parents could have soothed his emotions if they understood his situation. 

The viewer learns how woefully unprepared Kaepernick’s parents were in raising a Black child. After getting his hair done, Kaepernick went to baseball practice, where his white coaches noticed his cornrows and notified his parents that his hair was “breaking the rules.” 

Instead of supporting their son, his parents give him an ultimatum: Quit baseball or get rid of the cornrows. The scene then cuts to a dejected Kaepernick getting his hair cut by a white woman in a Supercuts. 

Kaepernick’s mother gets slightly more attention than his father because of her unconscious biases. She is visibly upset when her son refuses to add any seasoning to his plate of soul food, despite previously pouring heaps of salt and pepper onto his mother’s cooking. 

She also tried to hide Kaepernick’s Homecoming photos, as he went with a Black girl named Crystal. She even said to her husband that she hoped the relationship with Crystal was “just a phase.” However, she hung up the Winter Formal pictures with the other family photos, where certain circumstances forced him to take a white girl to the dance.

The series also goes in depth about Kaepernick’s road to becoming a college quarterback. The University of Nevada was the only school to give him an offer. It took a basketball game, in which Kaepernick had a Jordan-esque flu game, for the Nevada scouts to understand his true athleticism. 

Contrary to his lack of success in football recruitment, Kaepernick had every school begging for him on the baseball field. There was even a montage in the show which showed schools such as Stanford, Southern Cal, Wisconsin and Harvard pitching their programs. 

However, because he only wanted to be a quarterback, Kaepernick turned down all of his baseball offers, leading to more discrimination from his classmates, their parents and his coaches. 

The decision to stick to what he loved turned out to be a shrewd one. The San Francisco 49ers drafted Kaepernick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in just his second season and then appeared in a conference championship game the following year. 

Kaepernick was thrust into the national spotlight in 2016 when he began to kneel during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality. Since that season,

Kaepernick has remained a free agent, though he has stated that he is still prepared for a comeback to the NFL if a team reached out.

NBA Rule Changes Take the League by Storm 

Chance Williams | Staff Writer

James Harden. Luka Dončić. Trae Young. All three of these athletes in the National Basketball Association are not only tremendous basketball players, but they also have one other thing in common: a reputation for drawing fouls through unnatural movements. 

These unnatural movements include: launching their bodies into defenders, moving off of their path suddenly, blocking the defender’s path and using their unoccupied arm to hook defenders. 

Harden, Dončić, and Young aren’t the only players to have resorted to these tactics. Players throughout the NBA use these same movements to draw fouls. For those unfamiliar with basketball, drawing fouls is a tactic that often results in free throws. 

How NBA referees officiated games before gave an advantage to players on offense, often leaving defenders helpless and at the ballhandler’s mercy. After a decline in the quality of play and negative feedback from fans, the NBA decided to create new rules and guidelines for how referees officiate games, effective this season. 

If the contact during an unnatural movement is considered marginal, there won’t be a foul called on either player, according to sports reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic. If the ballhandler’s movement affects the defender’s quickness, speed, balance or rhythm, offensive fouls may be called, according to Charania. 

Throughout the first few weeks of the NBA season, there’s been a noticeable difference in the fluidity of games. Fewer foul calls resulted in “better” defense, which fans have been pleading for, for the past few years. 

Better defense shown by teams likely will increase the quality of the NBA’s product. 

From an entertainment perspective, all appears to be going well this season. Some of the players, however, see things differently. Athletes and coaches who have gotten used to benefiting from questionable foul calls have responded negatively to how referees have officiated games this season. 

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets has used unnatural body movements in the past to draw fouls. So far this season, officials have made it a point to force Harden to play through contact. 

During the first five games of this season, Harden only tallied 15 free-throw attempts, according to Tom Haberstroh, analyst and reporter at Meadowlark Media. This was the first time since 2011 Harden attempted fewer than five free throws in five straight games, according to Haberstroh.

Harden then recorded 22 free-throw attempts over the next two games, according to the league website. 

Another situation involving free throws happens when a player on defense will intentionally grab a ballhandler during a fast break to prevent him from scoring. From a player’s perspective, it is an intelligent play. From a fan’s perspective, this action prevents in-game highlights. 

The NBA is looking into preventing this in future games. 

“The NBA Competition Committee discussed the uptick in transition fouls this season and encouraged the league office to develop a rule change that would eliminate the incentive to utilize the tactic in the future,” Charania reported.

The NBA is committed to improving the quality of play and entertainment value of its games. With how people consume sports constantly changing, the NBA is doing its best to maintain control of its fan demographic.

Black men, stop mocking Black women 

Grace Elizabeth Hackney | Staff Writer

The mockery of Black women can be seen in all sorts of media since the ages of reconstruction. I’m tired of it.

The first time I saw content that mocked Black people, specifically Black women, was on Vine. Do you remember the ages of King Bach and his posse? 

Do you remember their numerous videos featuring watermelon, fried chicken, Jordans and T-shirt wigs? While I did find some of their content a little funny, it never sat right with me. 

This trend has continued to TikTok. And the people carrying this cycle are Black men. I will never understand mocking the women that raise you and fight for you. 

I cannot talk about the mockery of Black women without mentioning Tyler Perry.

I am not too fond of Tyler Perry movies, and I’ve never watched a Madea movie all the way through. They have never interested me. To be honest, I never thought men dressing up as women was a top-notch comedy. It’s a tired act unless it’s Mrs. Doubtfire

When thinking about Tyler Perry movies, you can’t just think about the Madea franchise. What tends to be a trend in all his films is Black women being the villain or being the butt of the joke. Many of his non-Madea films have this storyline of a Black woman cheating on or leaving her broke male partner right before he starts making more money.

In the end, the woman wants to take him back but gets rejected and ends up in a much worse position than she was before. This consistent narrative is harmful and pushes the stereotypes that the Black community is trying to fight. 

This is not to take away from Perry’s success in his field, but we must acknowledge that he has made his billion-dollar net worth off of the detriment of Black women. 

TikTok has not helped this problem. I think it has made it worse.

The “hot cheeto girl” trend on TikTok took off over quarantine. It was just another way to make fun of Black girls, from what they wore to the snacks they chose to eat. 

I never liked this trend. It was full of people wearing long, fake nails, T-shirt wigs, big lashes, laid edges, and speaking in African American Vernacular English. My question was always, “what do you mean by ‘hot cheeto girl’”? 

The many Black men who engaged in these trends to gain followers always made these trends worse. The amount of Black men that will tear down Black women for the validation of, well, I do not know, white people, is astounding. What’s even more astounding is the nonblack people that engage with this content as if there’s nothing wrong with it. 

This is not Black men’s fault. It’s how many of them were socialized. It’s how many of us were socialized. 

The systems embedded into every aspect of our lives teach people that it’s OK to profit at the expense of Black people. They teach people that it’s OK to profit at the expense of women. These identities intersect, and it creates a difficult choice. 

Some Black people choose to be closer to whiteness because that’s what they equate to being successful. 

Tyler Perry made that choice. Look where that got him. King Bach made that choice. Look where that got him.

That’s why we see Black people (not always just Black men) quickly turn the women that raised them and fought for them into a joke. It’s what pays the big bucks. 

However, the continuous mockery of Black women will not stop until Black men stop. That’s because of the patriarchy, but we should all know that by now.

People fail to understand that when Black men mock Black women, they open up the door for non-black people to be racist, misogynistic and engage in microaggressions. This is a cycle we have to end on all platforms. 

Black Art Does Not Always Depict the Struggle 

Alfred Johnson | Staff Writer

When it comes to art, interpretations are limitless. From overall looks and aesthetics to the most intricate details, a story is presented and depicted an infinite number of times. 

As artists of color, what we make is by us, for us, and it’s our job to help inspire the future generations and let them know they can do whatever they put their minds toward.

The issue, however, comes in when Black art is consistently thought of as reflective of the “Black struggle.” This perception could get in the way of how the artist envisions their work.

Some feel that they need to express that struggle, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But just because this happens in one piece doesn’t mean that that is the aesthetic they are going for.

Crystal Baggett, a junior sequential arts major at Savannah College of Art and Design, says that a white classmate asked her if one of her pieces was about how white people oppress Black people’s culture. Although she thought the idea was funny, she told the student that that wasn’t the case.

This isn’t necessarily just white people. People of all races look at the work of Black creatives and assume that it reflects their struggle as a Black person. This isn’t always the case.

In the opening scene of the Netflix film Malcolm & Marie, Malcolm Elliot, a film director, talks about the reviews from the premiere they just attended. He rants about how a white reporter for the L.A. Times says she loved his film and compared him to famous Black filmmakers such as Spike Lee and Barry Jenkins. When he asked her about a white filmmaker, William Wyler, he notes that she became flushed, as if asking herself if Wyler was Black and realizing that he was not.

In the middle of his rant, he says he was going to the larger conversation about filmmaking without having someone tie it into a discussion about race because of the convenience.

“What was interesting, though, was that you could tell that just because I’m Black, as the director, and the woman is a Black lead, stars in the film, she’s already trying to frame through a political lense when in reality, it’s a film about a girl trying to get clean,” Malcolm Elliot says.  “Now are there certain obstacles because she’s a Black woman? I mean, hell yeah…That’s reality, too, but it’s not a film about race.”

If you watched Disney as a child, you know that everything is not what it seems. Art doesn’t just have to be suited to one central archetype.

Black people should not always have to be compared to the same stereotype every time.

The Hampton Vaccine Unit administered COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots to the Newport News community 

 Jontaya Moore | Staff Writer

Photo via Jontaya Moore – Friendship Baptist Church

The Hampton Health Mobile hosted another vaccine drive at Friendship Baptist Church from 2 to 9 p.m. for the Hampton Roads community on Nov. 3. 

The vaccine clinic administered Pfizer vaccines and Moderna boosters, according to Dr. Aviance Lewis, the community engagement coordinator.

Vaccines reduce or eliminate numerous infectious diseases that previously killed or harmed populations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, if left unvaccinated, a person can still contract the disease.

The Health Mobile Testing and Vaccination Unit serves as the first mobile clinic under an HBCU, according to ABC News. They will continue to make those in underprivileged, low-income and rural communities a priority when it comes to COVID-19 testing, according to HU News. 

The Hampton Roads community is 49.3 percent Black, according to ABC News. Despite the three different COVID-19 vaccinations, minorities are still less likely to receive the vaccine at the same rate than that of their white peers, ABC reported.

“It’s a lot of anxiety regarding the virus and the vaccine…when you can have people in a place that they’re familiar with that helps negate some of that,” Lewis said.

For some, according to Lewis, being able to re-establish bonds and ease these fears surrounding the virus and vaccine have been made possible through churches and community centers. Representation within minority populations also has helped in getting more people in more communities vaccinated.

More than half of the Friendship Baptist Church congregation was vaccinated since the vaccines became available to their community in June, according to Catina Rollins, the church pastor’s assistant.

“The only population that we’re looking to get vaccinated are the ones that are [ages] 5 to 11 now,” Rollins said. 

Children in that age range are now able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine as of Nov. 2, according to the CDC. Officials have found the treatment for children to be 91 percent effective, with the most common side effect being a sore arm. The doses administered to the children between these ages will be a third of the amount given to teens and adults, the CDC posted on its website.  

Pfizer and Moderna are currently testing shots for babies and preschool range students, and Pfizer intends to have answers by the end of the year, according to WAVY. Those age 12 and older will be the next target audience of the Mobile Vaccine Clinic.

Hampton University medical students also have been able to actively work with medical professionals in helping vaccinate these communities, according to HU News. 

“Vaccinations are a big part of what you do as a pharmacist,” said Jariatu Koroma, a Hampton University pharmacy student. “I’ve gotten a lot of hands-on experience with being able to administer vaccines to people.”

Koroma plans on using the vaccine clinic’s experience in her career following her graduation. 

Lewis said the Hampton Vaccine Mobile will continue to conduct vaccination clinics throughout Hampton Roads. 

Six Simple Workouts: Dorm Edition

Tyrone Farmer | Staff Writer

College can be strenuous, and as a result, so can your eating habits. It may seem cumbersome to stay on track with your health and diet between the cafe’s food, fast food, and many snacks at random.

Sometimes working out in public gyms can come with reluctance, so here are six dorm-friendly workouts you can try.

Pushups

Pushups are a good starter for any workout. They focus on the upper body, keying on the chest muscles, shoulders, triceps and abdomen. To get the perfect pushup, start in a plank position with your arms shoulder width apart. 

Lower your entire body, keeping your head up and back flat. Push back up to the starter position and engage your core. An ideal starter set is 10 to 15 pushups for three sets.

Situps

Situps are a great way to get your entire core involved in the workout. Lay down flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor. There are two standard forms for your arms: cross your arms at your chest or put them behind your head. 

Raise your torso until you are upright, looking at your knees. Slowly lower your torso until you are back in the resting position. Repeat this process 20 to 25 reps for three sets.

Air squats

Air squats are the perfect workout for engaging the thighs, hamstrings and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Tighten your core as you squat. 

Get low as if you were modeling a chair. Make sure to keep your weight on your heels and your back straight. Again, repeat this process for 20 to 30 reps for three sets.

Walking lunge

The walking lunge is a beneficial method for building up your leg muscles. Start by taking a step forward with one leg while simultaneously tightening your core. 

This first motion engages the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Bend the same leg until your knee touches the ground and pause for a second. Raise your knee and do the same thing with the opposite leg. 

The exercise should mimic an exaggerated walking motion. Repeat 10 to 12 reps for three sets.

Leg raises

Leg raises engage the upper body and lower body. The lower and upper abs, quads and back muscles are advanced as you go through this exercise. Start by lying flat on your back with your hands placed directly below your glutes. 

Next, bring your feet 6 inches off the ground. Begin to raise your feet straight up to a 90-degree angle while everything else stays in place. As you lower your feet back down, remember to block them from hitting the ground. 

This exercise is sure to get your abdomen burning! Repeat 10 to 20 reps for three sets.

Planks

Planks are always an ideal way to end a workout. The plank position, similar to the pushup position, rests on the toes, but the upper body pressure is on your elbows. Planks fully engage your core, working all abdominal muscles. 

This is often used as a cool-down, yet this exercise will leave your core burning. Repeat this for 15- to 30-second reps for three sets.

If you feel inclined to get out, walking is always a good form of exercise. But the cold weather is here, so make sure to bundle up!

A Look Inside Mosaic, An LGBTQ+ Ally Student Organization 

Morgan Harris | Staff Writer 

Photo by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash

The Mosaic Club is an LGBTQ+ and ally student organization at Hampton University. Club members pride themselves on dedicating their efforts to giving a voice to the voiceless within the LGBTQ+ community, bettering their education, and serving their campus community and the community outside of the campus. 

“Spreading awareness and love” is the motto on the club’s Instagram bio. Throughout the page, visitors can find how the organization uses its platform to spread awareness about various topics, including Asexual Awareness Week and ways to educate others about the LGBTQ+ community. 

“The club was started because Hampton University lacks representation of LGBTQ+ students as it is, and there are a lot of us that want to feel safe and have our community within being in school,” said senior Indy Grande-Deveraux, a pre-med psychology student. She represents the club as Miss Mosaic. 

Through hosting social events, Mosaic creates an opportunity for members of the LGBTQ+ community and heterosexual individuals to bridge the gap between many of the misunderstandings that arise and offers allies on both sides.

“The club was created to serve as a safe space for students of the LGBTQIA+ community [on] Hampton University’s campus,” said Mosaic Vice President Cianni Bonhomme, a graduating senior psychology major. “In addition to this, the club was also created as a way to create change and advocate for people in our community on this university’s campus.” 

This organization provides a haven for students who identify as LGBTQ+. Still, some LGBTQ+ students face discrimination, including Grande-Deveraux. 

During Grande-Deveraux’s freshman year, a group of boys at a party made derogatory comments about her sexuality, not only making her uncomfortable but making comments that she should not have been attending the party. 

“Besides that, discrimination within living in my dorm, people recording my friends, and sometimes feeling ostracized on a[n] all-girls dance team are all reasons that I wanted to join a safe space at Hampton University where I can feel included,” Grande-Deveraux said. “I hope to pass on a message on behalf of Black LGBTQ+ students that we deserve to be treated fairly at all times, respected, and to show our pride! Also to break those homophobic/transphobic standpoints within our Black community.”

To develop a more inclusive space for cis-gendered individuals and the LGBTQ+ community, many individuals have made it their duty to serve as allies to LGBTQ+ individuals, as they see the issues that many of them endure, especially on HBCU campuses. 

“As a cis-gendered feminine presenting woman, I have not experienced anything that made me want to join,” Bonhomme said. “I did witness my friend, who is a masculine-presenting woman, get sent out of class for wearing a pantsuit instead of a skirt.” 

While HBCUs were founded upon the principles of promoting inclusivity, some LGBTQ+ students express that the diversity does not include them.  

“Through Mosaic, I hope to create a space on Hampton University’s campus where people can be 100 percent authentic without shame, fear or judgment,” Bonhomme said. “I also hope to create these spaces outside of Mosaic.” 

Organizations such as Mosaic provide an outlet for individuals to voice their concerns about proper LGBTQ+ representation and the need for protective policies.

“My long-term goals for the club would be to have those that are in it [be] able to speak up and advocate for the Hampton Roads area and continue to advocate for Hampton students,” Bonhomme said. “Short term, I want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves and start to network with like-minded people on and off-campus.”

Grande-Deveraux mentioned two more goals.

“A short-term goal would be to get our name out here on campus even more,” Grande-Deveraux said. “A long-term goal would be the bills that we’re fighting for,” including a dorm floor for LGBTQ+ students.

Hampton Students Make Their Voices Heard at the Polls

Christian Thomas | Script Photojournalist 

Hampton University students made sure to make their voices heard as they braced the frigid temperatures to carry out their civic duty on Election Day, Nov. 2. The shuttle picked up students at the university’s Student Center at the top of every hour, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and drove them to the nearest polling station at Phoebus High School. 

While the inclement weather deterred many potential voters, others stayed to exercise their right to vote and remain active members of their community. 

“It’s always important to vote when you can,” third-year HU journalism major Nicholas Lewis said. 

Lewis mentioned that he kept up with current events by reading from multiple news sources to come to an informed decision on who he believed would make the best candidate.

Lewis thinks politicians must possess integrity, trustworthiness and an excellent moral compass to be a great candidate. This election was not Lewis’ first as he has remained an active voter since 2018. 

Alexis Young, a first-year political science student at Hampton, believes gubernatorial elections are crucial. 

In Virginia, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin defeated Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe to become the commonwealth’s next governor. 

“Since Virginia is a swing state, a lot of people including myself think that the state determines how other, more important elections will turn out, as well as a good way to tell how the political climate is changing in the country,” Young said. “By voting, I wanted to send the country a message about how I feel with the political and social climate.”

“I decided [who to vote for] by looking at news articles and my local news stations. Also, I kept up with how others felt and what direction the election was going in.” 

Young mentioned that she believes a candidate who values mistreated communities, improves Virginia’s social climate and is honest and fair with their supporters determines whom she will vote for. This was Young’s first time voting. 

“I haven’t been keeping up with the election as much as I would like to, but I have been keeping up a bit,” said Angela Darden, a second-year HU cybersecurity student.

Darden believes a great candidate should always strive to achieve equality for all and keep the world’s best interest at heart when making decisions.