A Letter to my High School Underclassmen.

Dear Underclassmen,

You hear this time and time again, “The older you get, the harder things become,” a very true statement, but greatly ignored. There’s a guarantee that your elementary school will not be like middle school, which will not be like high school, that will definitely not be similar to a college/university; and all of that is incomparable to what life is like once you enter the “real world”. There are many stages of life you must go through, each more difficult than the next, and all you can do is make your choices and hope your decisions lead you down the correct path. I am here as an outer voice to you, an underclassmen. The roads you currently travel down, I have went through, the decisions you are faced with, I have chosen my answers and the consequences and troublesome situations you are experiencing, I have made it through.
To my young ladies, you are all beautiful in your own way. So you’re thinking, “That’s what everyone says, it doesn’t mean anything,” but it does. You are a unique individual whose imperfections make you perfect and that’s the truth. There’s no need to “glam” yourself up, change your personality or become a reincarnation of another just to make someone else happen or to make yourself known. Make-up doesn’t make you beautiful; it is simply a mask, hiding all of your flaws you are embarrassed to show. So you throw on a pair of heels, a revealing shirt and some tight jeans and now you are feeling yourself, well it is sadly true that a book is judged by its cover and sometimes a first impression is all it takes to ruin you. It is a rigorous task to put on a façade day to day; maybe a certain look looks nice on a certain number of people, but let’s be real everything isn’t meant for everyone so be yourself, that’s what really catches the attention of the guys. Yes, the guys, high school guys. There’s nothing special you need to know about them, but just know that they prefer a young lady who is satisfied with herself and one who is herself. In return, they except every imperfection and see it as pure gold and that’s a proven fact.
To my young gentlemen, have some class. You are not out in the roughest part of town, on the streets trying to survive; you are in a learning facility. There is no need to walk around with your pants by your knees and underwear showing, or shout loudly in the hallways and classrooms to gain attention. Inside of you beats the heart of a man, so act like one. A girl does not want a bad boy, she prefers a man and that’s a fact. Do not get side track by the façade of “popularity”. Keep your mind focused on your book work and your degree and keep out of trouble. Join a sport or a club, there are many to choose from, just make sure you are able to balance your academics with your extracurricular activities. This is what makes a man attractive, his books smarts, the way he carries his self and how he handles his self.
To my underclassmen, stop thinking so hard. You make high school seem like rocket science, when basically it’s as easy as reciting the alphabet. Before you know it, you would have said the entire alphabet and been at letter Z walking across the stage with your diploma. Three must knows when going to high school: keep up with your academics, keep your friends close and be yourself and everything else will eventually fall into place as it should.

When you were an underclassmen, was your transition into high school difficult?

By jacquelynnichele Posted in English

Honda Battle of the Bands 2012

Yesterday, January 28, 2012, I attended the 10th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands 2012 with my boyfriend and his family. I enjoyed myself. There were a few bands that I liked in particular. One was South Carolina State University. They had a very big band and sounded very nice. Their formations were good too. I have two friends who are on the SCSU Champagne Danceline, Icesla Jackson (Co-Captain of MLK Queens 2009-2010) and Ashley Johnson (Co-Captain of MLK Queens 2009-2010 and Captain 2010-2011). I was unable to pin point out where they were, but I was proud of them. SCSU received the grand prize thanks to the peoples votes. I believe they disserved it.
Another band I enjoyed was Prairie View A&M University. Their dancers were hands down the best. Formations were together, moves were full out and energy was high. I wasn’t that excited about their uniforms, but they weren’t horrid.
One band, whose name escapes me, had a nice dance team with cute outfits. Their outfits were the best. They performed to Brittany Spears “Circus” and whore black leotards with sparkling arms and white and sparkling fluff around their necks and wrists. They looked like little clowns.
I was disappointed that I was unable to see FAMU perform, but they have to learn from their hazing. Bethune-Cookman was the last band to perform. Their formations were stupendous. They made a big smiley face on the field and Honda sign. They were very creative and received a great standing ovation. There dancers did not perform to my anticipation. Their song was too fast causing their moves to look sloppy and thrown everywhere.
The ending of the BOTB was wonderful. All the bands came together in a big rainbow arch, the dancers lined up in the front of the bands and the flags girls and baton twirlers lined up on the sides. It was a beautiful mixture. The bands played together and the sounds were magnificent. When the dancers began to do their stands, some I became pleased with and others seemed a bit funky. Funky in a bad way, but I cannot judge others dance styles to the fullest.
Over all I enjoyed myself and was happy to see my second family and spend that time with them. I got a lot of pictures and some videos. My first time seeing Honda BOTB I’d have to give it a 7.5. What and who would you expect to see at the Honda Battle of the Bands next year?

By jacquelynnichele Posted in English

W.E.B. Dubois Lecture

On Friday, January 20, 2012, after I completed all of my classes, I attended the W.EB. Dubois lecture located in the Thomas Cole Research Center auditorium. My history professor, Dr. Underwood, appointed me to this specific event the prior week. The lecture began at 12 noon, but I was unable to participate in the first hour because my Biological Science class was from 12 noon to 12:50pm. There were five to six speakers on stage when I first entered the Thomas Cole Auditorium. Unfortunately I was only able to stay long enough to hear three speakers, due to classes. When I arrived I was about to listen to the ending of Dr. Carlton E. Brown, the Clark Atlanta University president, speech on Dubois. Dr. Brown talked of the “Black Experience.” I was unable to get the full gist of what he meant, but my attendance allowed me to learn a fact of Dubois which was that he owned his own soul and that he was a simple and humble man.
After Dr. Brown spoke our universities Provost, Dr. Silver, got his chance to speak. He seemed delighted to speak of Dubois saying, “I could go on and on about Dubois.” Several main points left an impression of Dubois on me. One was, as Dr. Silver said, “[That] Dubois wanted us to focus on what he thinks, not his greatness.” Dr. Silver characterized Dubois of great stature. He was a scholar, an educator, an agitator, a provocative and a nation building man. I learned that Dubois wrote on critical issues affecting the current times and as he continued to write, his works continued to educate others of their selves. He uses metaphors and conduct to tease the audience from an intellectual stand point and I admire that. While at Clark Atlanta University Dubois wanted us to remember one certain thing, and I believe we are all in need of being reminded that, “We are not chasing numbers, we are chasing dreams.”
The last speaker I was able to listen as she reflected on her college years and Dubois was my dean, Dr. Shirley Williams-Kirksey Dean of School of Arts & Sciences. She reflected on her years at Clark Atlanta University and strongly encouraged the students to continue research. When here she said she studied his works which made her have to pause and examine herself and her role as a Negro. She began to tell us of her story, that her most influential teacher was her 7th grade teacher, Mrs. White, because she introduced her to books, opening her eyes unto a new world. During Dr. Williams-Kirksey reflection, the most interesting thing was that she was so curios of Dubois. She has read so many of his works, but still is left with so many questions. I believe her main message was that the answers that have been left are for the rising generation, encouraging us to follow in Dubois path and explore, learn and solve the mysteries others could not.
The lecture was very interesting. I would encourage if the school has another W.E.B. Dubois lecture that all students should try to attend. The one this I was displeased with was that the lecture interfered with classes. It should be held at a later time because I am sure that all the commotion of people coming in and out disturbed a few people.

By jacquelynnichele Posted in History

An Interesting Narrative Indeed.

The most interesting parts of Equianos’ narrative were how he made it appeal to both the Europeans and the colored people. He relayed two messages that spoke to both groups and only the ones who were colored understood his message fully. He had excessive usage of puns and sarcasm. As it would seem to the naked eye Equiano was praising the Europeans, but that was the complete opposite. He was actually taking down on them calling them true barbarians and savages. It was amazing that the Europeans believed that they were saving those in Africa by bringing them to their country and having them adopt their customs when they showed cannibalism (page 96. 99-100), betrayal, were unclean, abused wines and liquors, and sleep with their others they weren’t in relationship with freely. There are so many other things to describe the Europeans, but those are just a few characteristics that show who the real barbarians are. Some customs were similar(page 92-93), such as both pouring out drinks for the dead relatives, loved ones or just those departed, but there explanations were different.
After reading I thought why and how could someone come onto others territory and just starting taking things and people against their will, tearing them apart from their family and loved ones and destroying societies? It was ideal that most men were taken because of their stature and strength, but without the men who were to hunt and help reproduce and protect the village. Another amazing thing was that Equiano, himself, wrote a whole narrative and mastered there language and two others within a few months. Yet they call the Africans uneducated and unimaginative. How could one be uneducated, but master a language others are still struggling with and take on two more? How could they be unimaginative when they were a society of musicians, artisans and poets (page 10). You need creativity to have any of those characteristics. Equiano made many valid points within his narrative and once distributed it started to touch the hearts of many and give a second though on slavery.
After all the harsh things the Europeans thought of Africans, they still seemed to except Equiano. It was as if he was one of their own. He was pampered and treated kinder than any other African, but why? Maybe he had a certain appeal about his self that gained the attention of many. Maybe it was because he was just the masters’ favorite for that particular time. No matter the reasons, Equiano was highly (page107) favored and his close relationships gave him better advantages than other to see inside the white man’s thoughts and learn more of them than they knew of their selves. Why do you think theEuropeans treated Equiano differently? What do you think of his puns and sarcasim throughout his work?

By jacquelynnichele Posted in English

Well If You’re Charging Me Like An Adult I Should Have The Same Privaleges Too.

Spring Break is quickly approaching, and all I can think about if fun in the sun. I want to go to so many places, but I knew that was not going to work. So I narrowed it down to four, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Islands, Orlando, FL or Daytona Beach. I plan on making this trip with my boyfriend, but anyone else is welcomed to come. His mother said she’d pay for the room, so all we’d have to worry about is leisure money and putting in for a rental car or gas. Everything seems to be in order for spring break. I’ve done the hard part, looking online for hours, trying to find my best rates in each place, but there are just two problems, one minor and one major, standing in the way. The minor problem is simple, if we go to South Carolina in the beginning of March, we risk the fact that it may still be cold and having a cold spring break is not fun, I know from personal experience. On the other hand we could go to Florida where it is nice and warm, possibly. Last time I went to Florida for spring break I had frozen my little butt off. It was cold and windy. Either destination may be cold around this time, but we could simply solve that issue by packing not only spring clothes, but a few winter clothes as well, am minor problem. The major problem is a whole different situation. Every hotel you must check in and when you check in you must be 21 or older. If you are not 21 or older you must have an adult who is 21 or older accompanying you on your stay. I believe that is very dumb. if you’re telling me that to stay I must be with an adult who is 21 or older, you’re basically saying that I am not an adult, so if that’s the case when booking a room why must I get charged as if I am an adult? I am merely a child in the hotels staff eyes. I wish that rule was not in place because it makes vacations with others so much harder to get together. Besides, most people who aren’t 21 just have someone who is check in for them, then later they can just walk right in the hotel, or their parents check them in and stay for about 15 minutes then leave. No one ever suspects a thing. Hopefully spring break in South Carolina or Florida happens because I am looking forward to laying on the beach and having fun in the sun. Do you think the hotel rule for only being able to check in if you’re 21 or older is fare?

By jacquelynnichele Posted in English

FREEDOM IS YOUR RIGHT AND MINE TOO

Our country has endured many changes politically, physically and mentally over the hundreds of years of being present. The most noticeable changes occurred after the 1500’s. Laws were instilled, the lands and the people began to grow and the situations that were to occur in short time were greater than dreamed. From the late 1700’s to 2012 many memorable changes have taken place, each bettering the United States of America and each chronologically helping one another on the path through history.
Directly following the American Revolution in 1775, a written document was drafted. This document preached of freedom from Great Britain, and King George III, stating the demand for becoming free and independent states. The people of the United States of America had a utopian thought of government in store for their developing country, along with a principle of equality and guaranteeing the unalienable rights possessed by each American; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. This document is known as the Declaration of Independence (1776). After many wars, conflicts and disagreements the United States of America had finally become free and independent, as proposed. Since the freeing of America, the people were able to construct a more suitable government and produce laws that came from the voices of the people with the thought of protection, stability and growth. Yearly on July 4th celebrations are held across America in appreciation for our birth given freedom. Though it is know that freedom is not earned, one is born with it and it should never have to be concealed, it is important that each American learn of where their freedom came from and why it is celebrated. Yet with so much emphasis put on being free, it seems that at a time within the United States of America, the people forgot about the struggles they went through with being held bondage as they began to degrade others who were not granted the same freedom, mostly dependant on race. All of the United States was free, except those who bore the labors and hardship, the colored people; they were to continue as before, not knowing the feeling of freedom until many years later.
The following ten years the United States of America officials worked diligently to create a document that stood for their country, giving the rules, regulations and consequences of each action. Ratified in June of 1788, this document is known as the United States of America Constitution. The Constitution gave the people a voice of favor and guidance, as well as those who wished to run in political positions. Consisting of the Preamble, one of the most notable writings within the Constitution, seven Articles and twenty-seven Amendments, each and every circumstance was taken into consideration and clearly identified within. The Amendments, which are of great importance to the people, explain the rights and duties as an American. Within the twenty-seven Amendments are three that stand out above the rest that may sometimes be looked over, Amendment Thirteen, slavery abolished, Amendment Fourteen, citizenship rights, and Amendment Fifteen, race no bar to vote. Each writing is of different concerns, but all are linked by the voice of freedom. Amendment Thirteen was ratified in 1865 and became a memorable day for all those under the oppression of others. Now the colors were free as the whites were and the United States of America were beginning to live up to their words of all created equal and free. About three years later, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified explaining that as a citizen if one was born within the United States they are a legal citizen and receive the same privileges as all others. The breaking point of change began not only after the freedom of slaves were given, but in 1870 when the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified giving them the power of voice, a power in government, a power that was going to continue to grow, the power to vote. Though the aspect of freedom was lost with the United States of America, it was slowly but surely being found within the colored community as they believed in people being people and nothing more, regardless of any noticeable differences.
On a cool winter day in December of 1955, a sweet old lady was taken away in hand cuffs because of the refusal to move so the white passenger on the bus could sit down. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement, was the women who rebelled against the laws that made a national statement to other colors of America. This moment in history began to alert colored people in the thought that today and the days after, this is the time we stand up and make a change. Change was not going to happen on its own; it is only caused by action. This movement inspired many to protest, rebel, and create a voice for those who were unable or afraid to speak up. Freedom was given to the colored, yet it was limited. There is no such thing as limited freedom, in reality the “freedom” given to them wasn’t freedom at all because they were still under the mercy of the whites. They didn’t receive the same privileges or resources, but that would soon change thanks to Mrs. Parks who sat and refused to stand aside.
Born in Georgia as Michael Luther King, Jr., later changing his name to Martin Luther King, Jr., he has become one of the greatest and remember nonviolent activist in history. From his many inspirational speeches to his actions made, King was beloved and highly favored in both black and some white communities. Following Parks, King picked up on the works of the NAACP and the movement for civil rights. King gained the attention of all and completed many outstanding goals, slowly but surely helping progress the movement started. The most memorable moment of Kings life was in April 1968, where he was assassinated on his hotel balcony. Hearts were touched and people were distraught at the loss of another great. The death of King is of great importance because just as he brought people together when he was alive, his death brought more than expected closer. His death was a wakeup call to all stating that the war for freedom is not an easy path to follow nor guide, but every moment plans are put into actions and moves are made you are one step closer to freedom.
January 20th, 2009 history was made. The first black president was elected into office and his name was Barack Obama. Many were in awe and disbelief, but thousands were filled with joy because a new era had come. Though there were some who opposed the thought of an African America running the United States of America, change had happened and the people spoke. This progress has showed how far African Americans have come, inspiring people and giving them hope for a better tomorrow. Obama is continuously being put down by other politicians and social media, yet he continues forth with disregard and little remarks because his main concern is this country and trying to save it from the disaster started before him. As President Barak Obama says, “Yes we can!”
Freedom is the main point of my argument, yet to know the feeling of freedom is to be truly happy. The only concern is that we are all not all happy and we are all not free; as we are being held down by particular obstacles put in place and shall never know the feeling. But with the knowledge of our history and seeing the steps taken to get to this point in life where everyone is equal, where there are minor discriminations and we’re given the honor to see history be made as Barack Obama leads America, trying to recover from previous mistakes made. The freedom we have is taken granted each day, but if we all take the time out to reflect on history, I am sure there shall be a greater appreciation within everyone. Freedom is at our finger tips, yet we clueless let it get away from us, but we must continue to fight because the war may never be over. I will not let this slow me down because I know; Freedom Is Your Right And Mine Too.

By jacquelynnichele Posted in History