Updates from March, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • E-News U. Contributor 1:58 pm on March 19, 2010 Permalink |  

    Mid Atlantic reigns supreme at Hampton U. battle of states 


    On Tuesday, March 16, history repeated itself at Hampton University’s “Battle of the States” as the Mid-Atlantic [Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia and Delaware] won for the second year in a row.

    The place, Ogden Hall the time, 7:09 p.m. formation, a single file line teeth chattering and hands rubbing together because of the weather and anticipation. Head director of the Mid Atlantic team Maya Barnes was asked if she was nervous. She simply said “No.” 

    The night was filled with excitement as each region ran in with music that represented their homes. I ran in with the Mid Atlantic as we busted through the doors of Ogden Hall to the song “Keep It Gangsta” by Backyard Band, a Go-Go band. With gory makeup and a sort of Michael Jackson “Thriller” theme, the Mid-Atlantic theme was “The Mad House.”

    The first event was fashion which was opened up with a song by singer Rhianna called “Welcome to The Mad House.” They also had a ringleader who hosted the show, Kiara Joyner, a freshman from Prince George’s County, Md.

    The next showcase was dance. Again they kept the “Mad House” theme going with the costumes they wore. Partnered dance was incorporated and also dance to Go-Go music.

    There were also dancers that pop locked and were very skilled at the art form. There were a lot of wide eyes as one dancer did a form of pop locking called bone breaking. Bone breaking looks just as the name suggests. The dancer actually twists in ways that look as if the bones are actually breaking.

    This was interesting to me because I feel that this also tied into the type of “thriller” theme that was being portrayed. There were also classical ballet forms of dance as well.

    Toward the end of the performance, Baltimore was represented and students danced to Baltimore club music. The dance routines not only showcased music from the Mid-Atlantic but also skilled dance which I think gave them an edge above other regions.

    Finally, it was the end of the show and it was time for all regions to display their talent.

    The Mid Atlantic chose to keep it simple with two displays of talent, but even though it was simple in a sense of numbers but it was the complete opposite of the word. The talent started off with violinist Jerenda Manley from Chesapeake, Va., who played a classical mix of music as a ballet dancer, freshman Laurencia from Washington, D.C., pirouetted to her music. It was a very graceful performance. Her musical talents seemed to wow the judges, but this was just a warm-up to what was soon to come.

    As the two sets of performers walked off stage, a second curtain was drawn to reveal a full Go- Go band. The band consisted of: Two lead mics David Baskin and Darryl Able, singer Zainab Mustapha, drummer Donnell Hines, keyboardists Bryan Austin and Gabriel Olaiya, conga player Shahim Body, bass player Justin Boyd, saxophone player Jared Ford and electric guitarist Jonathan Easter. The band played three songs, Aaliyah’s “At Your Best,” Rihanna’s “So Hard” and “Is it the Way” by Jill Scott.

     With the musical expertise, the exceptional dancing and modeling talent and the continued theme throughout the show the Mid Atlantic took home the first place trophy, and it was very much deserved.

  • E-News U. Contributor 1:21 pm on March 19, 2010 Permalink |  

    Period family photographs a hit at Hampton Univ. conference 


    “The Holistic Black Family: Mind, Body, and Spirit” is the theme surrounding the 32nd Annual Black Family Conference sponsored by the College of Education and Continuing Studies at Hampton University.

    The three-day event, starting March 17, touches on education, staying healthy and keeping up with physical fitness, and spirituality within the African-American family. Each day different events will take place. The final event wrapping up the conference is a tribute to Grandmothers, the pivotal member that continues to hold the Black family together.

    For the final event concluding the 2010 Black Family Conference is a luncheon honoring grandmothers in the black family. “Big Mama: A Salute to Grandmothers Luncheon” will acknowledge the women who have held African American-families together for centuries.

    During the luncheon, a slide show featuring 50 videos and photos submitted by various Hampton University faculty and staff members will be shown.

    Marcia Jackson, a Hampton University faculty member, said all the pictures submitted were memorable not only to her but the members who offered their pictures for viewing as well: “I found all the pictures to be memorable, but I really was interested in the historical pictures submitted.”

    Jackson showed off a simple black- and white-picture that showed a black family in a formation and depicted their progression. A simple photo that placed elders in the back, their children in between, and the current generation at the front revealed the idea that the Black Family Conference is trying to portray this year: “Big Mama” is the key to a successful black family.

    Patrick Lewis, chairman of the department of political science and history, was another faculty member who was all for the featured slideshow and luncheon to celebrate grandmothers. Lewis helped formulate and organize the first Black Family Conference 32 years ago and expressed his appreciation for the scheduled luncheon: “I agree with the idea of showing photos and videos of grandmothers in black families. It not only shows the importance of the immediate family, but the extended as well. It is very African.”

    Lewis believes that although many of the ideas from the first Black Family Conference in the late 1970s to the 32nd have gone astray, the idea to honor grandmothers is a great way to show acknowledgment for everything they have done for the Black family.

    “Big Mama: A Salute to Grandmothers Luncheon” takes place on Friday, March 19 in the Student Center Ballroom from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets for the luncheon are $30.

  • E-News U. Contributor 12:51 pm on March 19, 2010 Permalink |  

    ‘Big Mamas’ honored at Hampton U. Black Family Conference 

    The 32nd Annual Black Family conference was held at Hampton University March 17- 19.
    This year’s conference will be hosted by the College of Education and Continuing Studies. The motivation behind this conference is to celebrate the black family. The theme of the conference is based on the “Holistic Black Family: Mind, Body, and Spirit.”
    Darnell Johnson, assistant dean, explained the logistics of the conference. There will be several workshops that will pertain to the individual, the family and children. Johnson has faith that the conference will be extremely informative and will encourage black families to be healthy families.
    A major conference event is “Big Mama: A Salute to Grandmothers Luncheon.” A slideshow will be shown in tribute to all matriarchs. Also, one can expect to see a fashion show of extravagant hats being modeled by the faculty members.
    The Black Family Conference Committee released a memo asking that students and faculty contribute family photos. Marcia Jackson, co- head of the committee stated that they have received 50 photos. Jackson has been amazed by many of the photos because of their historical value. Some photos were dated from the late 19th century.
    Instantly, I thought back to being over my grandparent’s home in Baltimore this spring break and finding myself in awe from the black and white photographs that lined the wall. The first stunning picture was of my grandfather when he was a child. After looking at a photo of my young grandmother, I was amazed at how much she looked just like me.
    Lastly, a photo of my married teenage grandparents brought tears to my eyes.
    Jackson believes that such photos are important because black family history has been limited due to the transition from Africa to America. Therefore, she finds such photos refreshing.
    Jackson’s eyes lit up while describing what she called the “darling photographs of little children.” She was also excited to see childhood photographs of her own co- workers and other faculty members.
    The purpose of this slideshow presentation is to honor all family matriarchs, also known as the “Big Mamas.” Jackson said, “The role of the Big Mama is important because she unites, nurtures, and supports the family.” Norma Harvey, wife of HU President William R. Harvey, and other first ladies of local churches will be honored at the luncheon as well.

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