At 12:27PM in the blistering Tampa summer heat, the wheels on the bus stopped going round and round. Our bus, the Luxurious transportation vehicle it was, decided to go on strike on our second morning of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) Student projects. We were headed to the Poynter Institute of Media Studies when we all felt the bus pull over to the side of the road. Now not to say that our trip didn’t start off rough; many missed their first flight to Tampa, others lost ALL of their luggage (or should i say the AIRLINE lost ALL of their luggage) and I almost killed myself trying to photograph two people on the bus when the safety latch on the big a$$ window gave away, almost leaving my camera and feet in the air.
So here we are, over 38 Black folk in this bus together, making each other hot, and wishing the other person would shut up to save some degrees on the bus. One by one we unloaded unable to stand the heat. So what do a bus full of NABJ members in a jacked up heat situation do? WE DOCUMENTED IT OF COURSE! 🙂 Still and video cameras were in the air, reporters were coming up with stand up material, we even had an unofficial report by my man Norris Kyles. NABJ Project coordinator Demorris Lee, being the great brother he is, took immediate action and packed us into his van group by group, transporting us to Poynter. I learned two very important things this episode: 1) Carry water with you everywhere you go in Tampa. 2) Always wear white cotton shirts underneath your dress shirts 🙂 (Fortunately I had another shirt. A lesson I learned last year.)
Poynter was great. Seeing a group of young, Black, and gifted students in one room is powerful. I would even say more powerful than UNITY last year in Chicago. I looked at my peers and saw unimaginable strength, resolve, and courage. It got me thinking about the future of Black press and begged the question why not US who saves and forever gives validity to the need of Black press? I would LOVE to work for EBONY, ESSENCE, JET, or BLACK ENTERPRISE. A concept I will revisit later in a blog entry.
Hours later, we boarded the bus to head back to the hotel…only, we didn’t make it to the convention center. The bus broke down…AGAIN!!!!! Lesson Three: History ALWAYS repeats itself. 🙂 Overall, I had a wonderful time in Tampa. I have met people who I call my friends, my brothers, my mentors, and have seen the strength of our struggle to keep hope alive in an industry which tells us to get out while we can in an industry that preaches empty concepts of diversity that have yet to reach the newsroom. I met multimillionaire football players and people who have lived on the street since 15. I met successful NABJ members running for president and people who pursue their first love as their career. I met the most destructive force in media consolidation and the prototype (Thanks 3000). I have had the pleasure of being blessed by personalities like Hoye, Ramses, Sampson, Kyles, Lyons, Walker, Flowers, Lee, the list goes on and on.
I am proud to be a part of this organization and love the things they do to keep young Black journalist like myself motivated to “Do the right thing”. To my peers: I love you all and pray you continue to the path of selflessness and greatness. To my mentors: thank you for keeping me honest, humble, and hungry. To the young professionals: “keep hustlin, keep flowing.” Here are some of the images I took during my trip to Tampa. Please comment. I hope you enjoy. If you would like something I took of you, hit me up at Jarrad.Henderson@gmail.com
I was going to Hampton University. I wonder how life would have been if I did go. Hampton was the first school I got accepted to as a High School Student and I was attached to its location the culture and the potential to be surrounded byb beautiful women. Needless to say that I wasn’t so hype about the dying art program and decided to attend the highly ranked public school of Virginia Commonwealth University my first year. VCU gave me the training I needed to become a well rounded artist , but I always wondered about attending an Historically Black College/University (HBCU). For Black Heritage Week at Mizzou, The Black Culture Center brought the Lincoln Marching band to campus to kick off the weekend. They were TIGHT!!!!
During the course of their performance, I thought it has to be mad fun to be at an HBCU. Anyway, the band was on point! They had a great time rocking the SRC at Mizzou!!!! Here are a few images….enjoy!
I am the oldest sibling in my family, but when it comes time for me to look for advice, from a brotherly perspective, I turn to my Big Brother Lasana Hotep. He’s a big reason why I am a part of my wonderful Fraternity. Hotep recently came down to Mizzou to do a presentation about the relevance of Black History in contemporary society. I was ticked at the Black community at Mizzou because a total of 3 people were in attendance. Now, where as some would not of cared about attendance as long as they got paid, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s more about working for the community than money for Hotep. It was good seeing him again. We’ve talked about creating some projects regarding Media Literacy and the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that will be the direction of my PhD study. I want to develop media literacy classes using pop culture.
I haven’t posted in two weeks. I’ve barely talked to my siblings or parents. This semester is taking a lot out of me. I picked up two jobs, and haven’t slowed on my academic dedication to excellence. Regardless, this is nothing compared to challenges of the past. I finally experienced the infamous MO Money Step Show last Saturday. To make my post brief, I think I have some images for My Beyond This Place project, but I wasn’t too impressed by the show overall (I’ve seen and organized some tight step shows). Overall though, it was a lot of fun. Shout out to my Sorror in one of the images, who despite a broken pinky, still stepped her butt off and was STILL reppin’ for AKA! Funny huh? AKA with a broken pinky stepping? Priceless.
When history comes to you, there is no excuse not to be there. On Thursday, April 9, 2009 Mizzou saw one of the finest revolutionaries of the Civil Rights Movement bless our campus. Dr. Angela Davis coming to Mizzou less than six months after President Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.??? This has been an incredible year! Dr. Angela Yvonne Davis will probably best be known as afro wearing, fist waving revolutionary of the Black Panther Party who fought for all civil rights (including gender equality, racial equality, and prison abolition)…Not to mention she was the third woman to appear on the FBI’s “Most Wanted List”. Dr. Davis now teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It was a joy to have her come down and talk about her civil rights struggle and the struggle we continue to have in America. Personally, I was kind of shocked at a few things that went on last night. For example, no one from major Mizzou media was there with exception from the “Maneater” and one young lady who was putting together a radio piece. That kinda of made me mad. But, as you pick up the paper today to read your lead story on Quinceañeras in Columbia (not to say it is not important…), just remember her spirit and the words which filled Jesse Auditorium so powerfully, will never be irrelevant to people who are oppressed all across the world. Check out a few flicks. I hope you enjoy them.
*** Correction: the Columbia Missourian was in attendance. There is a story online and in the print version (written by my home-girl Vannah Shaw) today that I just read. Hmmm….but why is it not even on the front of the Columbia Missourian? If I were MSA, GPC, or BPC I’d be pissed. All that money we paid to have her come to Mizzou and she’s not A1? We’d need to talk. 🙂
Another week of Advanced Techniques training is under my belt and Im beginning to feel a lot more comfortable with flash. This weeks assignment was to produce a fill light or to balance the existing light with a single flash. I decided to take many images. I’m still learning the flash I’m using. I have a better understanding of flash although I’m still trying to really grasp the concept. I’m using the SB-900 and need to sit down to read the dang manual because event though fill and balance was fairly simple, Im still trying to figure to how to use my flash quickly on manual mode. I’m stuck with calculating ratios and I’ve already wasted precious time trying to figure out the dang flash (not in time to catch the image of course). (more…)
There is a pure spirit in this point of a young mans life. You’re so ready to finish when really you’re just beginning. Something about the road you’ve traveled, the things you accomplish that you never thought you could, and the triumph of controversy makes the probate the ultimate measure of Fraternity/Sorority allegiance. Honesty can be found here. The probate is the formal introduction of the newest members of a BGLO to the community.
Despite popular beliefs, this show isn’t only about the hype and the excitement that surrounds the showmanship of the probate itself. In this moment is an opportunity to identify the men/women that the community can hold accountable to the high standards of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, etc. The people in the audience bear witness to the public pledge that these men and women stand for something bigger than themselves. It is the prophytes and the community that have to hold the brothers ACCOUNTABLE for their actions (or lack thereof).
I have always maintained the stance that if we, as Alphas, are not doing things that align with “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind.” then we have reached the apex of our greatest usefulness, at which point, we will have no purpose. This was the exact prediction that was made in 1952 in the words of my Jewel, Henry Arthur Callis, “I fear that in another generation, the relationship of the years 1890-1920 in the establishment and growth of Alpha and the subsequent Greek letter societies, will be lost entirely. When that occurs our usefulness will be over.”
The energy one feels during that moment of purity, that sizzling sensation that runs down your spine when you’re unmasked for the first time, that feeling of invincibility in your new BGLO should be kept close to your heart. Harness it, Cherish it, Love it, it needs to resurrect itself through your commitment to the very community you stood in front of to proclaim your victory. That same fire needs to be present in your attitude and position at all times. Manipulate it to help your community, not to destroy it. We ALL must remember those years of 1890-1920!!! WE ALL MUST REMEMBER WHO WE ARE!!!!
But enough logic and theory (THX Lauryn). Congrats to the Spring 2009 initiates of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Alpha Chapter at the University of Missouri who welcomed four new brothers to the Frat last night. Here are some flicks. Please leave comments.