Some Confederate monuments still stand

Kierra Calhoun | Staff Writer

With the recent resurgence of publicized racial tensions in the United States, there has been much discussion over whether all Confederate monuments should be removed from southern communities.

Richmond couple George Braxton and Kelly Harris-Braxton were recently interviewed by Channel 13 News on their personal views about the confederate statues on Monument Avenue and why they believe the statues should be removed. The Braxtons both asserted that Confederate monuments are directly associated with all of the brutalities African Americans have endured in order to benefit the Confederate economy.

The couple also views this monument, and others similar to it, as “gathering places for separatists, white supremacists and Nazis.”

The Braxtons and many other individuals think all Confederate statues and monuments in the South should be removed.

Several Hampton University students, when asked about their personal views and feelings toward confederate monuments, had disparate responses – especially when comparing the ones between students from the South and students from other regions of the country.

When asked what feelings they held toward Confederate monuments, many students, especially those from non-southern regions, expressed indifference.

“I do not have [strong] feelings towards the monuments themselves, as I did not grow up in the South,” sophomore Andre Ray said. “[If I had to choose,] I would say to take [the statues] down only because I think that keeping them up signifies that we as a country are not unified. The Confederacy formed its own country, and we are all one country now.”

Responses similar to Ray’s suggest that perhaps the negative stigmas associated with Confederate monuments are a regional thing. Many students also expressed that they associate the monuments with the Civil War more so than they do with slavery.

Ultimately, nearly every student who was interviewed maintained the monuments should be taken down.

“They should be taken down, because what is there to celebrate?” said Raina Williams, a junior political science major from Philadelphia.

Many believe that the removal of monuments of Confederate war heroes could be the first step in putting an end to racial terrorism in the country.

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HU students get a taste of the tech industry

Leondra Head | Local & World Editor

Spotify

Hamptonians are gaining insightful knowledge from leaders in the technology sector on endless career opportunities the technology industry has to offer. Nine Hampton students were selected to participate in Spotify’s HBCU Opening Act Conference from a pool of over 1,000 applicants who applied.

Spotify offered the conference to students who attend HBCU’s and are interested in pursuing careers in the music-tech and media industries. Students sat with executives and leaders within music, tech and media industries and were provided with insight on how to achieve career goals in these industries.

Nia Wellman, a junior strategic communications major, learned more about the technology industry and is applying her knowledge to her internship applications at various technology companies.

“I gained a wealth of knowledge from the Spotify conference. Before applying, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought the tech industry was only for engineers and coding ‘geeks,’” said Wellman. “However, to my surprise, I learned that there is a place for marketing, public relations, creative and much more. Simply taking this leap of faith and applying [for] this opportunity allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the tech industry.”

Wellman was glad to be exposed to more than what she usually witnesses in Hampton’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

“I gained more insight of the world outside of the traditional media that I’m used to in Scripps. I’ve already begun applying to opportunities in the tech industry like Google, Spotify and Venmo.”

Throughout the conference, students visited other tech and media companies like Snapchat, NBC Universal and Venmo.

Freshman Kibraya Kafele learned how to brand herself and networked with NBC Universal recruiters, where she plans to intern this summer.

“Coming into the conference, I was very nervous. I didn’t know how to make connections or what I even wanted to do with my degree after graduation. However, after the conference, I came back to Hampton with a different mindset from which I left with,” said Kafele. “I had the opportunity to visit NBC Universal and was so amazed that I decided to send out an inquiry to become an intern this summer. This conference expanded my HBCU family and allowed me to gain a lot of confidence.”

Malcolm Lott, a sophomore strategic communications major, credited the conference to being the best four days of his life and said the experience allowed him to return to campus smarter and wiser.

“I learned that my journey in life has literally just started and that my ambition will keep me hungry throughout the journey. Spotify opened my eyes to a world that I never paid much attention to,” said Lott. “I gained a new outlook on my life. This experience humbled me to continue my passion and strive for greatness.”

Many of the Hampton students plan on applying to internships for full-time roles with Spotify. Graduating senior Arielle Wallace gained a strong HBCU network.

“This conference allowed me to get my foot in the door with some of the biggest tech companies in the world while connecting me to an incredible network of HBCU students from across the country,” said Wallace. “I learned that the HBCU world extends across all fields and reaches to the executive level. I plan on applying to non-technical roles at Spotify.”

James Weaver IV, a senior strategic communications major, plans to apply for tech internships and has since gained connections from the conference.

“My experience with Spotify was amazing. I made connections with several black students and professionals and ultimately gained a firmer understanding of how I can uniquely benefit any company,” said Weaver. “I also plan to apply for internships with NBC Universal and Venmo.”