African Americans and Reality TV

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Health Fair Offers Substance Abuse Solutions

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First Friday: A Walk Of Art

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The name speaks for itself. Every first Friday of the month, local merchants and arts organizations showcase their wares and work in downtown Greensboro. Visitors from far and near come out to eat good food, hear good music and see good visual art. The JOMC Journal recently captured on video the heart and soul of First Friday’s participants. Click the following links to see what we found:

Jazzmin Lawrence finds out what First Friday means to the Green Hill Center and what its brings to the March 1 event.

Leigha Cutting profiles African American Atelier, which focuses on African-American art and culture

Kenya Moye talks with Liz Hendricks of Design Archives

Knock Me a Kiss A Knockout

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Knock Me A Kiss: Class and Race

By Nicole Jones

JOMC Journal Reporter


Countee Cullen

On Valentine’s Day the Paul Robeson Theatre opened its doors for the first performance of the semester, “Knock Me a Kiss,”  by Charles Smith.  The play is set in the 1920’s during The Harlem Renaissance.  Smith creates a fictionalized historical account of the wedding and events surrounding poet Countee Cullen and the daughter of W.E.B. Du Bois, Yolande Du Bois.  The production shows what it means to make sacrifices in order to achieve greatness.

Whether it was love, family, or sexuality, Smith examines the sacrifices that numerous black artists made during this historical period.  The re-occurring theme of pleasing others before self is evident throughout the play.  The main character,  played by sophomore theater major Alice Moore, constantly struggles with following what in her heart versus her parent’s desires.  Jazz musician Jimmy Lunceford, played by freshman theater major Kirk Hill, repeatedly tries to win Yolande’s heart by changing his ways and even his place of residency.  Even though Yolande loves him, his social status is deemed not worthy of a relationship or marriage for the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Du Bois.  This dilemma essentially presents another theme of marrying for class and not love.

The character of Countee Cullen, played by junior theater major Malcolm Evans, was the most interesting.  The renowned poet enjoys much success during The Harlem Renaissance, but struggles with personal issues such as adoption and homosexuality.  Even though the set isvirtually the same in every scene, the casts’ frequent costume changes aptly captures the 1920s era.  Friday night’s audience of about 40 included students and members of the Greensboro community who seemed to enjoy the performance. “Knock Me A Kiss” is a solid account of African-American history and a perfect event for Black History Month.


Showtimes:  Feb. 21-24, 2013 at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 3 p.m.  Sunday. 




What Price For Love?

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Valentine’s Day: How Much Are You Spending?

By Alaetra Chisholm

Every year, men and women gear up for one of the most popular holidays worldwide: Valentine’s Day. Roses, heart shaped balloons, and teddy bears fly off the shelves for that “special someone.”

Although Valentine’s Day is viewed as an occasion where expressions of love seem to go to great lengths, spending on this holiday does as well.

Before going out to empty your wallet on gifts for the one you love, think about how much you may be spending. Restaurant dates account for 34.6 percent of gifts given on Valentine’s Day, and candy represents 47.5 percent.

According to, 61 percent of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day, and each year, 13.9 billion dollars are spent on Valentine’s Day on average. Jewelry stores rake in an average of 2.2. billion dollars yearly due to Valentine’s Day purchases and florists earn a whopping 403 million dollars from domestically cut flowers.

Unorthodox date or gift ideas could possibly cut back on spending, and could possibly make the holiday more romantic for you and your loved one. Juliet Bull of, a site dedicated to finding college students inexpensive travel arrangements, suggests six date ideas that will not leave you strapped for cash.

Bull recommends creating an “All About Us” book with your partner, in which you reminisce on memorable moments and learn surprising things about one another. Also, preparing a new meal together can provide a cozy atmosphere for you and that “special someone,” as well as a meal created with love.

“Ask A Black Guy,” a popular column in the A&T Register, recently asked three anonymous males whether they believed Valentine’s Day was a mutual holiday, one in which both partners benefit.

“I guess Valentine’s Day is kind of a mutual holiday,” said one respondent. “Both people get something out of the deal. Usually for the guy, it’s the company of a beautiful young lady and for the girls, it’s the royal treatment and attention of a young man. Plus all the gifts and chocolate.”

Another respondent’s answer was on the opposite end of the spectrum.

“No! It is not a mutual holiday,” he said. “Valentine’s Day is just another secret plan to make me a hundred dollars ‘broker’ than the day before. We need to make a day just for men so we can see how their pockets perform under pressure.”

Valentine’s Day can be a day for simply expressing your love and appreciation for loved ones, but it does not have to be expensive or “one-sided.” An inexpensive date at the local ice skating rink or creating a meal together at home could express more sentiment than spending outrageous amounts of money on balloons, cards and huge teddy bears. It truly is the thought that counts.

Students crowd Stallings to hear Wes Moore

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Students crowd Stallings to hear Wes Moore

By Kimberly Fields

JOMC Journal Editor


Every seat was occupied and 45 people filled the back and side of the room. Those  unable to get in peered in through the small window of the door hoping to see and snap pictures.

The occasion?

Author and motivational speaker Wes Moore

Wes Moore, author of  “The Other Wes Moore,” who  spoke at NC A&T Feb. 7, in Stallings Ballroom for a Text-In-Community Program.  With a welcoming voice, Moore said he holds high respect for A&T and other colleges and universities,  but if students walk across the stage with only a transcript, then they failed to get what they came for.

Moore believes that students should leave with a mission of “Who will I fight for? Who will I advocate for?”

His book,  “The Other Wes Moore,” is about two young men who were born a year apart from each other. They grew up, as children, blocks apart in Baltimore, Md. , and had  similar challenges during childhood.

One Wes was sent away to military school where he got his life together, joined the army, became a Rhodes Scholar and became a White House Fellow. The other Wes Moore was found guilty of murder and is now spending the rest of his life in Jessup Correctional Institution. Moore focuses on the similarities in their lives, leaving readers to determine the differences. He says that he cannot tell us what the differences are.

“The answer is elusive. People are so widely different, and it’s hard to know when genetics or environment or just bad luck is decisive.” Moore says that it isn’t one or the other, but a combination of them all.

James P. Mayes, director of A&T’s Criminal Justice Program, was a panelist at the Text-In-Community event. Growing up in New York in the 1950’s and 60’s, where Moore also grew up,  Mayes said there was community structure to help guide young men and women as opposed to how it was when Moore was growing up and how it is today. He says that mentors were readily available. If you needed help facing challenges, there was help. Having a background in criminal justice, Mayes believes that, currently, prisons and jails are used as social control mechanisms.

“Generally, we spend more on incarceration than education per person,” said Mayes. “ We need to reverse this allocation and change our expectation or mindset.”

Moore spoke about expectation and how he feels the “expectation gap” is a dangerous gap. “We are a nation of self-fulfilling prophecies”, he said, meaning that we act in ways that are expected of us whether negative or positive.

Mary T. Lewis, associate professor of Sociology and Social Work Department, agrees with Moore that the expectation gap is a dangerous gap. “When someone is able to see our strengths, even when we may not be able to do so, and then expects us and supports us with care and honest feedback, we tend to grow and fit those expectations,” she said.  “It is like when you know someone believes in you and is supporting, you are more likely to succeed.”

Moore made it clear that his book was not written to tell the story of a good Wes or bad Wes. His purpose was to reach out to all of the “other Wes” of the world with a background they could relate to. James Jones, a sophomore from Washington, D.C. studying broadcast productions, believes that he can relate to Moore because they both come from places where being successful is not as easy as it is portrayed. “I feel like society or your environment can affect your outcome, but in a sense, it is only if you let it.”

Jones said that he is at an age now where he can identify and detach himself from anything holding him back and deterring him from his full potential. Although Jones did not read the book, he said that he found Moore’s speech “intriguing” and filled with information and inspiration.

Mayes advises young men to find a mentor who is doing something productive with their life. “Do not indulge in the many distractions found in our society. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Dedicate yourself to self improvement,” he said.



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The February One Monument on the campus of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C., stands as a memorial to the courage, sacrifice and commitment four N.C. A&T freshmen (Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr. and David Richmond) demonstrated on February 1, 1960. On that cold, first day of February, these young men sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter and ignited America's sit-in movement. Click the image for a slideshow and video.

We seek to memorialize the courageous stand of the Greensboro Four as they launched, for posterity, the sit-in movement on February 1, 1960.We hope that the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, with its focus on the sit-in activities at the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960, will inspire the vigilance and fortify the spirit of all oppressed people to step forward in the on-going struggle for human freedom.

– The International Civil Rights Museum

Returning to College Pays

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Jessie Falls beams after receiving her psychology degree. .

 Nontraditional students adapt, excel in four-year colleges

By India Holland

The JOMC Journal

On Jan. 18, 2011, American Express announced it would close its Greensboro Service Center.  To soften the blow, the giant credit card issuer offered outgoing employees a package that included a stipend for two years of education.

Jessie Falls, who had worked for American Express for 15 years, used the layoff to her advantage. She returned to NCA&T to obtain a degree in psychology.

For several semesters, Falls toted  the laptop, the back pack, the iPhone commonly associated with college students. However, at age 57, she was about 35 years older than most students. Falls recently met her goal of obtaining a degree in psychology when she graduated during N.C. A&T’s fall graduation ceremonies.

Falls’ status as an older student attending a traditional four-year college isn’t that unusual. As more companies have laid off workers, or baby boomers are transitioning into other roles,

“I returned to school after the closing of American Express, “ said Falls during an interview several two months before her graduation.  “I decided I wanted to begin a new chapter in my life. Enhancing my education was a great place to start, and as a result I am perusing my bachelor’s degree in Psychology.”

Falls works with women who have been incarcerated or who are recovering substance abusers get re-acclimated into society.

“Understanding an individual’s behavior would be beneficial in the ministry in which I am currently involved,” Falls said. “I decided psychology was a great place to start.”

When asked about the challenges of being a returning student, Falls said, “I am glad to say I haven’t had very many challenges; and if any they were minimal.  I am blessed not to have to work and go to school full time. I am able to focus completely on school.”

Falls, who left A&T in 1977, returned to discover the university’s technology advances.  She was undaunted.

“Because of the setting I came from at American Express, it was easy for me to become acclimated to the technology.  I have worked in the corporate world for so long the transition wasn’t a problem,” Falls said.

Another challenge that many students in Falls position face, regardless of age, is finding a job in today’s economy once completing her degree.

“Many jobs in my field today require a master’s degree,”  Falls said. “Right now I have an internship working with children with behavior problems.  I work in Reidsville at the Booker T. Washington Learning Center.  It allows me to apply what I have learned through my class curriculum directly to the children in a true setting.”

The non-traditional graduate is a great asset to any company, according to Tasha Ewell, director of operations and human resource manager of Innovative Marketing Solutions in Thomasville.   Ewell hires, fires and recruits for IMS companies that specialize in insurance, annuities and financial planning. She handles day-to-day HR operations for companies in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Ewell acknowledges that the under-30 population sometimes has a hard time adjusting tostandard workplace expectations.

“They don’t stay long at a job, they move from job to job,” said Ewell.  “They do not see the earning potential; it is hard to get them to get them committed or dedicated to the job.  They tend to have an entitlement attitude as if they are owed something.”

In comparison, said Ewell, older employees, “have a family to take care of and a mortgage to pay. They are more responsible and have a great work ethic.  They come to work, don’t socialize too much. They see work as more than just a job; they see a career.  They do not want to keep moving around.  They see that they can make it and provide for their family so they tend to stay where they are.”

Aaron West, who teaches Liberal Studies at A&T, says the nontraditional student is a different kind of student.   “The nontraditional student tends to be more prepared for class, more focused on the school work, overall more serious about their education,” West said.  “They have better attendance than a traditional student.  They have their books typically first day of class, they read the class material, turn assignments in on time; ultimately in most cases based on my personal experience they make better grades than the traditional students and they are in a different place mentally.”

Some of the challenges of teaching a nontraditional student can be subtle, West added.    “They are sometimes less able to deal with the newest technology in the classroom, especially if they have been out of school for a while such as blackboard,” he said.  “Nontraditional students will ask more questions during and after class. They also tend to have difficulty relating to the younger classmates. They are in different emotional and mental places. The nontraditional student tends to be left out of the before-and after-classroom discussions because the activities are usually things the nontraditional student doesn’t relate to.”

For a nontraditional student, the use of Blackboard, an electronic gradebook  for faculty and students, has lessened the need for traditional student study groups.  Today’s classroom technology has made studying and access to course information easy and effective.  On the other hand, it does lessen the need for student –to- student interaction.  The newest classroom technology can be an asset and a challenge for the nontraditional student.

According to a study conducted by Joe Donaldson and Steve Graham of the University, the non-traditional student can thrive in the college environment.  The study, “A Model of College Outcomes for Adults,” speaks to the college-life experience of the nontraditional student in several different areas:

  • The adult learner makes up over 40 percent of the undergraduate population in colleges.  Based on part-time and distance learning (via the Internet), the non-traditional student can be creative and work at their own pace and on a schedule that works for them.  They do not have to be on campus to earn their degree;
  • The study also found that prior life experience helps the adult learner grasp content more effectively;
  • The nontraditional learner maybe a little nervous and apprehensive about returning to college; they tend to make up for the fear and lack of confidence in their performance.

Meantime, Falls, who proudly walked across the stage during A&T’s recent graduation to receive her degree, considers returning to A&T an “amazing experience.” A highlight was the support she has received from her academic advisor and psychology department chairperson, she said.

In the future, Falls plans to open a facility to help women in crisis.  Falls believes such women want a new lifestyle, and that there is a need for recovery programs that will provide a safe environment for them to develop and grow.

“I want to assist women that have been incarcerated, or involved in substance abuse, with their re-entry back into society to develop a strong sense of self identification that goes beyond who they represent in the criminal justice system,” she said. “It is vital to their recovery.”




A Positive Outlook for Disease

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Annual Aids Walk Draws Impressive Crowd

By Jenell McMillon

The JOMC Journal

Student leaders at N.C.A&T State University participated in Greensboro's Annual AIDS walk on Dec. 2.

Student leaders at N.C.A&T State University participated in Greensboro's Annual AIDS walk on Dec. 2. Click the image for a video of the event.

T.I. Drops by for some AGGIE PRIDE

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Aggie Band Heads to Big Apple

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The Blue and Gold Marching Machine staff is saluted before the band heads to New York for the Macy's 2012 Thanksgiving Day Parade. More than $200,000 raised from alumni, businesses, churches and the A&T family will help support the band's four-day trip. Click the image for videos and photos.

As Obama Wins Second Term, Women Voters Reflect

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As Obama Wins Second Term, Women Voters Reflect

By India Holland

JOMC Journal Reporter


After months of campaigning, attack ads, accusations and record spending, the 2012 presidential campaign is over. Barack Obama was re-elected president of the United States, winning 303 electoral votes and more than 60  million popular votes,  according to the final New York Times, CNN and CBS News polls. Reaction to Obama’s election as the 44th president was swift.

The question now becomes “What do Americans really think?


“I am so excited that President Obama remains our president,” said Democrat Maria Tirado of Jamestown, N.C.  “He has such a great vision for our country.  Today our country decided to move forward and I am happy and proud to be a part of that decision.

“Obama supports education and I have a big need for someone in my corner when it comes to my kid’s future and education,” Tirado, a mother of four, continued. “I will support education every time.”

Chuck Todd, NBCs political director and chief White House correspondent, said the  election shows how divided this country is and how much Florida’s Hispanic vote threw off the Romney campaign.  Todd called it a “demographic time boom that caught the Romney campaign off guard”.

Florida was the beginning of the end for Romney. Over 57 million Americans did not vote for President Obama, however he still won with 50 percent of the popular vote, according to CCN polls.

“I did not vote for Barack Obama but I will support him as our president,” said Republican Jessica Mitchell of High Point, N.C. “I just can’t see where things will be any different with President Obama and I am very concerned about my future and my kids.

“I am very disappointed that Romney did not win. I was looking for a different direction for the country and a fresh point of view and Obama


just hasn’t made that clear to me yet,” Mitchell continued. “Though I will support him as the elected president I will definitely wait and see what good changes he brings going forward.”

Many Americans seemed encouraged that Barack Obama won another term.

“Today we made history again. I couldn’t be more proud to be an American, especially an African American today,” said Democrat Shawanna Brock of Jamestown, N.C.  “I think the critical issue is now we all have to work together to get this country back on its feet permanently and I think President Obama will do it.”

Brock says now that the election is over, she hopes the country pulls together as Americans and starts putting people back to work.