Black Lives Matter on Texas Southern University Campus
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Students at Texas Southern University said that the Black Lives Matter movement is still important, but its momentum has slowed down unintentionally due to the lack of justice being done.
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi established the Black Lives Matter movement in 2012, in response to the Trayvon Martin Trial.
This movement is essentially known as the modern day Black Panther group in which it acknowledges the discrete treatment of Black lives in American society. The goal of movement was to get it beyond the twitter hash-tag.
Since the movement began a lot of controversy in the communities have taken place everywhere, mainly including HBCU’s. HBCU Texas Southern University even started a #TakeBackTSU after a few school shootings took place near campus dorms.
Devion Contrenas, a graduating senior at Texas Southern Univerity said, “Our people are starting to wake up at TSU, but it’s up to us to acknowledge change in order to gain political power.”
This movement was not created to alienate the lives of other citizens, but to promote that we too matter.
Kye Williams, ERM major at TSU also said, “The #TakeBackTSU hash-tag came about when students took matters to social media to raise awareness…Power speaks in numbers.”
Supporters on the #AllLivesMatter side were angry with the Black Lives Matter for promoting a one sided agenda which eventually caused several backlash comebacks with both sides.
Others even believe that it is the language that’s generating a discrepancy with the movement itself- titling it “black” automatically juxtaposes the position of “white” and their mindset of ‘what about us?’
“ I think the movement is still there, people are just less inclined to be global about it,” said Brittany Minor, a junior at TSU.
Texas Southern University President Rudley made plans to resign after the three former shootings that occurred from student rivalry.
He officially resigned during the winter graduation of 2015.
Those reoccurring events stripped students of their abilities to remain and feel safe inside of the campus dorms.
#TakeBackTSU became a focus locally within the campus of Texas Southern. The TSU movement was a live representation of the Black Lives Matter movement involving college students of every race and color.
“It has turned the heads of white people and those that may have not been aware or cared to look the other way,” said Valerie Madison, President Emeritus of TSU NAACP.
Supporters of Black Lives Matter felt that it was necessary to create the movement considering what has happened all throughout the history of Black lives.
People in the Black community feel that their lives are not valued as much as they should be.
Students are now taking matters into their own hands on how to be seen and heard to the outside world.
“I believe the movement is on the right path- it should have been organized sooner”, Contrenas said.
‘A Mother’s Reckoning’ 17 Years Later
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Throwback photo of Dylan and Sue Klebold
April 20, 1999 was sought out as just an ordinary school day, when Sue Klebold heard shocking news that changed the lives of many people forever.
17 days before graduation, at approximately 11:19 a.m., Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, began a shooting massacre that killed 13 people and injured 24 inside of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
The two gunmen, both dressed in black leather trench coats, carried two duffle bags that contained 20-pound bombs inside of the Columbine High School cafeteria.
Aware of the situation, Sue Klebold knew that there was a shooting occurring at the high school, but she did not know that it was her son who planned the attack.
“I was aware that the there was a shooting incident occurring at the school. I did not know if Dylan was in danger, if someone was trying to shoot him, if he was doing something,” said Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the two attackers.
Sue Klebold said that Dylan never expressed any signs of adolescent depression or even the impulse to commit suicide- although, Dylan and Eric Harris were arrested junior year for stealing electronic equipment from a van in which Dylan attended counseling sessions, while Eric was admitted to seek psychiatric help. She even searched his room for further signs of withdrawal, but found nothing.
Prior to Dylan’s senior year, his parents could sense that something was wrong with their son.
“We simply –drastically and lethally- underestimated the depth and severity of his pain and everything he was doing to make it stop,” said Sue Klebold.
Several days after the shooting, it had been suspected that Harris and Klebold chose a selective few as targets; they victimized student athletes, minorities, and Christians.
Digging deeper into the violent minds of the two young adolescents, investigators discovered that the high school massacre was influenced by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings and planned for a year.
Almost 17 years later, Sue Klebold describes her emotional despair in her new memoir, ‘A Mother’s Reckoning’, in hope of being able to communicate with the families of the victims, giving them answers as to what could have possibly led her son, Dylan, to become a murderer.
Along with the death of her son, Sue suffered from many other life traumas.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer, endured bankruptcy, and a divorce with the mindset of trying to do the right thing by writing individual letters to commemorate with the loss lives of victims to their families, only to receive abusive criticism from the media.
For a long time, Sue was in denial about her son playing a role in the shooting massacre. She told herself that maybe Dylan had been brainwashed into the plan, but then she saw proof from the “Basement Tapes”, which were a set of videos that were made by Dylan and Harris where they bragged about the destruction they were planning.
Sue’s memoir was the only way that she could express a sentiment of her life within the safety of a 300-page book.
In ‘A Mother’s Reckoning’, Sue describes the guilt and shame that have plagued her within the last 17 years.
Today, Colombine High School has been re-modeled in all areas that left evidence of the attack.
Students of Texas Southern University
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Texas Southern University students are undervalued due to the pre-judgment of HBCU’s.
It has been a huge controversy in society about how students receive their education at an HBCU.
Students who attend an HBCU are often misinterpreted based on their educational experience.
“My first impression of TSU coming fresh out of high school was ’ghetto’, but that was only because I was ignorant to the whole HBCU thing… Now, I absolutely love it! I’ve met so many talented, intelligent, and creative individuals,” said Klarke Foreman, a senior at Texas Southern.
The result of university education is knowledge as well as the development of a students will.
Here at TSU, the students receive one- on- one interaction with the professors, which gives them opportunity beyond their majors.
Graduates of historically black colleges and universities said that they have received more support from professors than other peers who graduated from PWI’s.
“With TSU being an HBCU, there is always that cultural connection between students, staff, and faculty,” said Martin Adjovu, a broadcast journalism major at Texas Southern University.
A successful college student is someone who is engaged into his or her studies.
The student’s drive of persistency when achieving a long- term goal constructs a mindset that failure is not an option.
The primary purpose of college education is to prepare someone for life after graduation- possibly a path to a certain career choice.
About 55 percent of the students who attended an HBCU, strongly agreed that their school of choice prepared them well for life outside of college.
An ideal college student takes authority over the accomplishments that they are striving for.
Simple tasks such as attending all classes on a daily basis and on time, paying attention to your instructors and tracking your academic progress can help create more opportunities in the long run.
“I think students should be more serious with their education and carry themselves as more educated individuals,” said Adjovu.
HBCUs enhance the education of the students by not only teaching standard based curriculum, but they are also taught about Black history.
TSU students are able to produce educational commitment because they carry a diverse and supportive environment.
As the students start to develop furthermore into their career path of choice, they become exposed to new ideas.
“Students here have so much potential, but what they need is drive and ambition. If they could find more motivation, they’d be unstoppable,” said Anthony Gallien, sophomore at TSU.
So far TSU alumni’s and alumnae’s have graduated with spot on jobs and are actually doing work within their career field.
This comes from the students who had a drive to be successful; these are the students who did everything in their will to achieve accomplishments; this creates a foundation of the ideal college student.
Opey Jaiyeoba, sophomore at Texas State University said, “An HBCU experience is different from a traditional university because you’re surrounded with African Americans at all times.”
With the increase of diversity, students are able to share intellectual and personal development while gaining the college experience throughout the time that is spent there.
College supports the student’s academic goals as well as compatible networking sources that have unlimited participation in all aspects of the university itself.
“The benefit of an HBCU is the safe space environment. We can learn things from a Black perspective and actually learn more about our roots than what the world provides,” said Foreman.
Eeefy Ify Ike
(The Rebirth of Hope; The Dawn of A New Me)
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Eeefy speaking during TSU Communications Week
Eeefy Ify Ike helps motivate young Texas Southern University students by sharing her life testimony of how she overcame struggles and hardships.
Eeefy Ike did not always have it easy when it came down to life-making decisions.
At just a young age, her world was already compelled to its lowest peak.
“At age eight, I tried to commit suicide cause I couldn’t take it. And by the age of 13, I was already homeless cause I leave like an outcast; and before I was 17, I was already married off,” said Eeefy Ike.
It’s clear that Eeefy’s journey took off at just the early stages of her childhood life; leaving her searching for something that was never really there.
“I lived with mental trauma for over 20 years,” said Ike.
Eeefy may look like your average woman with a free- spirited mind, body, and soul, but no one ever knew that she was living under mental anxiety.
Today, Eeefy now travels the word as a motivational speaker.
She tells her story to many who may have suffered the same illness that she did.
“I’m sitting here with you today because I wanted to survive,” said Eeefy.
On Thursday afternoon, Ike spoke as a panelist at Texas Southern University promoting one of her books called ‘Queen of Cyberspace’.
Within time, she was able to embrace a whole new perception of life and appreciate its spiritual well being.
“I’m here to share with you about life and purpose,” said Ike.
Her testimony brought the understanding that success cannot be achieved if the person is not emotionally balanced.
In order to see positive results, a person must be open to trying new things as well as learning new information.
“It is your responsibility to discover your good qualities… Capitalize them… Build on them,” said Eeefy.
Reporter Rescues Man on Live TV
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Pictures from Steve Campion’s rescue video of the driver out of submerged vehicle
It was just another day on the job when Steve Campion witnessed an elderly man driving a Toyota Prius head straight into the flooded waters Monday morning.
The ABC13 news reporter was doing a live segment when the driver of the Prius plowed straight ahead.
Campion couldn’t believe what he was seeing and tried to warn the driver; however, it was too late. The car started sinking at the Studemont Street underpass.
“Dude, you’ve got to get out of the car. You’ve got to get out!” yelled Campion.
A man in his late 50’s possibly early 60’s, immediately panicked opening the door of the small car, as it was sinking fast.
He was wearing what looks like a brown trench coat while battling his way out of his vehicle.
“Leave the car, swim!” said Campion.
Just in time, the man did what Campion told him. He swam.
Campion ran into the water with news mic in his hand. He pulled the man to safety.
“I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it,” said the man.
He then navigated his way to lower water levels where Campion was standing.
The man claims he did not think the water was that deep before approaching it.
“Yeah, I didn’t think the water was that deep,” the man said.
Now, standing next to Campion, the man takes one last look at his vehicle.
By this time, the car was completely under water.
“My car is under,” the man told Campion.
The man was hesitant about leaving his car in the deep waters to sink.
“You gotta leave the car,” Campion said.
Later, the man identified himself as Andy.
News Reporter Miya Shay uploaded raw footage of Steve Campion saving Andy on Twitter.
You can watch the footage here:
By: Janae’ Malveaux
Awaken by the morning sun from the bedroom window of a two story house in Pearland, Texas, John Malveaux starts his normal weekend routine: a shower, brushes his teeth, washes his face: the usual.
The restroom is filled with hot steam from the shower, fogging up the mirrors in which he cannot see. Countertops are piled with curly hair products as John dives right into his curly hair regimen. Suddenly, the silence is broken for him when his twin sister, Janae bombards her way into the bathroom unannounced. This is definitely something to become accustomed to, twins- fraternal, can’t do anything without one another.
Janae then starts her morning routine, followed by her curly hair regimen.
“I was here first. You saw me here first,” said John while he combs his fingers through his tight black curly hair.
John scoops a quarter size amount of Cantu Leave- In Conditioner into the palm of his hands. He distributes the product evenly into his hair leaving the aroma of citrus coconut to linger in the hot humid air. The water from the bathtub faucet is turned on splashing onto the back of Janae’s head. “You always do that. You’re in my way, now I’m gonna be late for work,” said John. He continues to pick at his soaping wet hair, anxiously waiting for his twin to finish.
In many cases, twins are the most common types of multiple birth pregnancies whereas, Fraternal twins can either be the same or opposite sex. They share up to 50% of their genes and are merely siblings born at the same time with nothing more genetically in common.
Giving birth to fraternal twins is just like having two children of different ages, and at different time eras- they neither act nor look anything alike. Although, they do share similarities, it isn’t possible that they comprehend the same personalities.
John’s relationship with his twin sister, Janae, consists of bickering 24/7, but saying sorry to each other by the end of the night. Looking back at their childhood lifestyle, arguing was one of the top things that they accompanied when together.
Fraternal twins are often mistaken as normal siblings due to their dissimilarities. Many people tend to lose their individuality being a twin. “When people say twin- they think like oh, they’re close and they can read each others mind, and all of the twin mythical theories, but that’s not true at all,” said John nodding his head in a side-to-side motion.
In the twin world, people assume that twins in general are two of the same, when in reality they are completely opposite. Identical twins are said to have 100 percent of the same genes; in other words, they are natural human clones.
Based on observations of the relationships of fraternal twins who attend the same school, it appears that a lot of people would not have known that they are twins due to the development of individualism.
“Growing up, our grandma would dress us up exactly the same to let everyone know that we were twins. Usually people would think that we share coffee, homework and everything, but Janae never let me see her homework. Everyone thought that we would have the same classes and the same teacher… truth is, we were always separated,” said John.
While ironing his red collared HEB shirt on the game room floor, John recalls a time when he went out of town with his grandmother and his twin stays at home with their mother. He states that he felt her missing him; furthermore, within seconds he receives a call from Janae telling him that she misses him dearly. Pressing the steamer button on the iron, John looks up in astonishment.
“In that moment, I came realization that you know, maybe twin-telepathy is real. We missed each other at the same time, and somehow I could feel it,” said John picking up his crisped ironed collared shirt and throwing it carefully over his damp hair.
#TakeBackTxSU the Follow-up
By; Janae’ Malveaux
A group of Texas Southern University college students took matters into their own hands by starting a social media trend using the hashtag #TakeBackTxSU to help bring awareness to issues that called for an immediate fix.
The campaign was initially aimed towards school administration, but it was not until
September 16, 2015 that the actual movement started to take full effect.
The movement followed the footsteps of Howard University, joining them in their fight for a more positive outcome.
“I started #TakeBackTxSU for three reasons: To share light on issues that have been ignored; to bring back the HBCU feel, and unite everyone back,” said Christina Letsinger.
Senior Christina Letsinger stated that the idea for #TakeBackTxSU were merely just a list of minor changes created by her that TSU could have benefited from.
Apparently, she was not the only student who thought the university needed guidance on its next move; many other students followed and agreed with her movement.
Formed out of angst and curiosity, the students had only hoped for a resolution to many conflicts that they had within the university as a whole.
“The #TakeBackTxSU movement had a lot of pieces to it. Students were concerned about a number of things- some of the issues that were addressed during the movement were: lack of campus housing and public safety, academics, financial aid, campus morale, and the integrity of campus leaders in both student leadership roles and university faculty and staff ”, said Ashleigh Vernon.
Ideally, complaining publically about issues at an HBCU can be interpreted as something negative, but these complaints were brought out with pride prior to the university.
Though, the intentions of the movement were certainly not to bash Texas Southern University, however it created a wider platform for students to bring forth issues that were not being addressed properly.
“The campus itself was just dead. Of course, Rudley had taken away all of student life; his only excuse was the downfall of student academics. But that wasn’t the case with my class, we came in ready,” said Letsinger
The hashtag #TakeBackTxSU was then brought to social media to allow others to visually see what the movement itself was all about.
Former TSU president Rudley, took authority over the campus activity without the consent from students; the lack of communication between the student body was very subtle.
“I didn’t follow the movement closely but I did get insight from some of the frontrunners. I do believe that the resignation of former President Rudley sparked a new wave of positive changes. The burden of the school’s issues seemed to weigh heavy on him,” said Brittany Minor.
A parody twitter account was recently discovered spreading false accusations and information about students, staff, and organizations of TSU.
“The movement is much more solution oriented now. When it first started, the movement was focused on bringing awareness to issues the university was having. Now that the issues have been brought to light, the movement is focused on working on the solutions for those issues,” said Vernon.
Slowly, but surely issues that students were having eventually started to get resolved little by little.
Communication between staff and students even increased with more of an opened outlook than before.
According to ERM major Brittany Minor, Dr. Lane seemed much more approachable and has been seen on multiple occasions all throughout campus which gives off what she would say “a sense of mobility.”
Today, this movement has held a positive impact as well as promotes change through out the campus itself.
“The movement has evolved tremendously. As I stated before, what started as small issues grew into a larger problem. But with the growth and the strenuous research, we as a student body were able to grow and adapt with the ever changing direction of the movement,” said Kye Williams.
Although, majority of the students who followed the campaigned have now graduated, their trademark gave Texas Southern University what it initially fought for.
100 Black Women of Virtue
By; Janae’ Malveaux
Texas Southern University female students gathered on the steps of Sawyer Auditorium to deliver a message about the empowerment of educated African American women.
The movement served as a protest to dismiss stereotypical labels that are brought upon the black community as a whole.
“We have to become the face of the movement now and show them that we are capable; that we are educated. It brings people together and unite us for a common goal,” said Amber Vernon.
The 100 Black campaigns originally stemmed from Prairie View University, but have been done at several other HBCUs all across America to raise awareness for Black Lives Matter.
“The 100 Women of Virtue was to show and shine light on the African American women and also the women of color at Texas Southern University. We want to show people that there is greatness other than the everyday girl that you see on campus,” said CaSandra Cantue.
The overall purpose of the campus event is to illustrate the potential as well as professionalism all throughout Texas Southern University.
“It is time for us to take a stand and show them that we are more than what we are personified as people,” said Cantue.
The Student Government Association and Ms. TSU organized the event when a 100 Black Men took a stand last Monday in front of Sawyer Auditorium to show support on the wrong doing of police brutality and building the community.
“It was important to do this because the media likes to show us only as thugs and ghetto girls, so for us to come out looking professional it was an awesome sight to see,” said Jamie Harrell.
Women of Texas Southern University brings forth sisterhood by coming together as one to unite not only men, but all women of color on HBCU campuses.
“It is important for women to uplift the value of sisterhood and unity to help comprehend that you are your sister’s keeper. We had a chance to tell our own stories… It was very empowering to see our collegiate sisters standing together and representing more than ourselves and university in a more positive light,” said Shanique Brown.
Student leaders wanted to set the standard of what it means to be a women of Texas Southern University; basically changing the culture and wiping away the false assumptions that are associated with women of color.