NAACP 109th Founders Day Celebration

Steven Hall | Staff Writer

On Thursday, February 15, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrated its 109th Founders Day.

As one of the largest civil organizations in the nation, the NAACP has many chapters across the country, including the one on the campus of Hampton University.

Students joined NAACP chapter members for a campus-wide Founder’s Day celebration in the Student Center Bowling Alley. The event included food, drinks, and music; it was a great time for all members and non-members to gain an understanding of the organization, its history and reflect upon their campus involvement.

“It was a fun event. We all had time to reflect on the many accomplishments we made throughout the year,” said Daryl Riley Jr, a junior from Newburgh, New York.

Current chapter President Jeremiah Edwards is satisfied with his accomplishments for the organization this school year.

“We were able to reimagine and rebuild the NACCP on campus with the mindset that all lives can’t matter without black lives, and we achieved every goal that has been set,” said Edwards, a senior from Snellville, Ga.

Under Edwards’ leadership the organization hosted various events focused on issues in the African-American community. These events included a visit from Reverend Jesse Jackson who spoke on the importance of voting and health care, a panel discussion on the history of the N-word and a study hall in preparation for midterms. The chapter will also host an upcoming panel discussion on financial preparation in March.

Edwards says his favorite part of being president is “watching people acknowledge and utilize the power that they have within themselves,” which aligns with the objectives of the organization.

As part of the Youth and College Division of the NAACP the Hampton University chapter arranges workshops for college-bound students, focusing on financial aid, curriculum selection scholarship applications. Members also offer guidance and consultation for at-risk students, youth seminars on the cause and effects of racial discrimination and facilitate multi-racial meetings.

The organization also works to make positive changes in the Hampton Roads community. Members voiced their opinions at two school board meetings in early November when the renaming of Jefferson Davis Middle School and Campus at Lee was discussed.

Hampton University’s NAACP chapter continues its involvement nationally by attending NAACP conventions, sponsoring tutorial programs, conducting voter registration drives and hosting a campus-wide Mr. and Miss NAACP pageant.

The members of the Hampton University chapter of the NAACP welcomes all students to join them in making a difference in the lives of future generations of African Americans.


Confederate Flag take down Opens doors for University of South Carolina Athletic Programs


Brianna Jackson | Contributing Writer

While South Carolina’s state legislature approved to take down the Confederate flag from Capitol grounds, new doors have been opened for the University of South Carolina. On July 10, approximately 10 a.m., hundreds of people surrounded the state’s Capitol building to watch the flag-lowering ceremony. The patrol officers handed over the flag to one of the state’s two black Cabinet-level officials, Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith.

Back in 2000, the flag was discarded from the State House to the grounds. This agreement, however, wasn’t competent enough for the national NAACP, which caused a tourism boycott of the state in 1999 and continued through the flag’s removal. Later in 2001, the NAACP took up the cause stating that any pre-determined championships had to bypass South Carolina.

The boycott caused Columbia’s Colonial Life Arena and Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena to miss hosting some NCAA Tournament basketball games. Myrtle Beach also lost a three-year deal to host the ACC baseball tournament because of the controversy.

The NCAA wouldn’t constitute performance-based championship events and also, denied the state any consideration of bowl games and other postseason events.

University of South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner hoped that if the flag did come down, it would cease the boycott and USC could begin bidding on other postseason festivities. Over the last few days, Tanner’s dreams may be starting to come true as the flag came down and the NAACP ended their 15-year ban two days later.

“There have been some opportunities that have not been possible in the past that we would not get a chance to engage in,” said Tanner in a July 8th interview, “If the flag is removed and the sanctions are lifted. then we can bid for events, whether it’s a women’s regional championship or basketball for the men, the first or second rounds, and other events around the state.”

Although the flag coming down sparks small change, USC, or the state as a whole, likely won’t see a major athletic event anytime soon. Basketball regional sites are set through 2018 and baseball postseason tournaments have also been scheduled for the foreseeable future.

But the Gamecocks will be in position to secure events in the next decade, instead of watching NCAA tournaments in neighboring Georgia and North Carolina, who have enjoyed their share of events. The future’s looking bright for South Carolina and their collegiate athletic programs and it won’t be long before they start to reap the benefits denied to them for so many years.

Rachel Dolezal Still Identifies as Black Amidst Controversy


Jerica Deck | Campus Co-Editor

After resigning from her position in the NAACP, Rachel Dolezal recently announced on The Today Show that she still identifies as black. The civil rights activist allegedly hid behind, what her brother Ezra Dolezal describes as, “perms and dark makeup”. However the facade was uncovered when Rachel’s white parents outed her as a Caucasian woman.

Dolezal was the president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP and is a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University.  She is also a chairwoman of Spokane’s police oversight commission. On her application to this commission she marked that she was black, white, American Indian, and two or more races.

Previously when asked in interviews if she was African American Rachel has vaguely replied “That question isn’t easy as it seems. There’s a lot of complexities, and I don’t know that everyone would understand that”.

“We hope that Rachel will get the help that she needs to deal with her identity issues,” says her mother Ruthanne Dolezal. “Of course we love her, and we hope that she will come to a place where she knows and believes and speaks the truth.” After speculation about whether Rachel lied about her racial identity, her mother revealed that her family is Czech, Swedish, and German, with some Native American roots.

As a teacher she’s given several lectures about her experience as a black woman. She’s described being born in a teepee and living in South Africa, both of which her family members claimed are false.

Dolezal also stated that her parents abused her family with “baboon whips…pretty similar to what was used during slavery,” varying the beatings according to skin tone. One of her former students wasn’t allowed to be in an activity because Rachel thought she didn’t look Hispanic enough to know about racial discrimination.

“She just told me, ‘Over here, I’m going to be considered black, and I have a black father. Don’t blow my cover,’” said her brother Ezra Dolezal. Ruthanne Dolezal claimed her daughter began to take on this African American identity after her family adopted Rachel’s four black siblings. Rachel took that a step further by pretending one of her brothers was her son and naming an African American man as her father.

Ezra told Buzzfeed how he felt offended that his sister pretended to endure the African American struggle after she grew up privileged in a nice home and with a great education. “She puts dark makeup on her face and says she black,” he said, “it’s basically blackface.”

This has sparked a major debate about race and identity in America. People are questioning whether a person can be transracial in a similar way to being transgendered. Some are supporting the idea that racial identity isn’t necessarily tied to skin color including actress Raven Symone.

On The View, Raven noted that everyone’s ancestry traces back to Africa. She also said “Black women straighten their hair every day. Black woman do it all the time…White women can’t do the same thing?”

Still, there is an immense amount of backlash. Hip hop artist Lizzo tweeted “My prob w/ #Transracial: Black folk can’t decide to be white when the cops raid their pool party. But a white woman can be NAACP president.”

John Stewart from, The Daily Show had a skit spoofing the situation where a white man jokingly tried to be the black correspondent. Jessica Williams then joined the skit by saying “You can’t just appropriate persecution because it’s ‘cool’…We need allies not replacements”.

Whether Rachel Dolezal is a pioneer or a cultural appropriator, she has opened up a nationwide conversation about race.