Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Friendship Nine sentenced to 30 days in jail for sit-in
John Alexander Gaines, Thomas Walter Gaither, Clarence H. Graham, Willie Thomas Massey, Willie Edward McCleod, Robert L. McCullough, James Frank Wells, David Williamson Jr. and Mack C. Workman were sentenced to 30 days in jail for an anti-segregation protest in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Jan. 31, 1961. These men from Friendship College were give a choice by the judge $100 or 30 days in jail. They chose 30 days of doing hard labor. 

54 years later...

The men now in completely different form: walking with canes, using wheelchairs, or with less hair. Unfortunately, Mr. McCullough passed away in 2006 and Mr. Gaither had to send his son in his place. However, one thing remained the same: the lawyer. Ernest A. Finney Jr. represented the men 54 years ago and he returned back to Rock Hill for the trial. 

Kimberyly P. Johnson, author of the book "No Fear for Freedom" a children's book about the sit-in, approached the local prosecutor Kevin Brackett about vacating the charges. So, Mr. Brackett, during the trial spoke on behalf of the justice system and apologized for what the Friendship Nine went through. The judge John C. Hayes III told the men that they should never have been charged in the first place. It's amazing that these two white government men were able to admit the faults of the white men in the past. In fact, the judge 54 years ago was judge Hayes' uncle. 

 "We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history" said judge John C. Hayes III.  

I think it's very interesting that it took the country 54 years to right the wrongs of the past. It shows that the country is making progress, but it still took so long to do so. Will the justice system right any other wrongs of the past?

Link to the video from the trial is here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The College Athlete Standards

I was having a conversation with someone who is a soccer player and who plans on playing in college, and she was giving me examples of schools that she was looking at and how they could get a scholarship to these schools with a lower ACT or SAT score than the "average person" (a.k.a a non-athlete). Now that I have started the ACT process and realize how much work you have to put in to it I have come to the conclusion that his system is unfair. Even if I put in more time and effort in to studying than an athlete they may have a chance to get into a college that I wouldn't be able to just because they can kick a ball or shoot a basket. I am not trying to say that being an athlete or playing a sport in college is bad, I just believe that if they earned a spot into the school like the majority of students at that school it would be more fair.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution(AJC) is a major daily newspaper out of Atlanta, Georgia, and they compared SAT scores of college football and men's basketball players to their classmates, in 2008, and here are the results:" Football and men’s basketball players on the nation’s big-time college teams averaged hundreds of points lower on their SATs than their classmates".
The University of Florida

The University of Georgia
The AJC found that the biggest gap between SAT scores was at the University of Florida where players scored 346 points lower than the average student. I also found it very interesting that some schools with the highest admission standers had the biggest difference in SAT scores. Schools also use a special admissions process to admit athletes if they do not meet the normal requirements to get in to the school. Nancy McDuff, the University of Georgia's associate vice president for admission and enrollment management said “If the university says they’d help us meet team needs, that’s as important as finding an oboist for the orchestra.” However, the AJC found that at the University of Georgia 73.5 percent of athletes were admitted through special admission compared to the 6.6 percent of the student body who were admitted through special admission. This really shows what colleges will go through to have a stronger team even though these players may not be qualified regarding school standards. 
I am not the only one who believe this is unfair. Former Princeton University President William Bowen said "There are grounds for concern. Places at a lot of these schools are precious things. To have them allocated this way raises troubling questions about fairness, about taking advantage of educational opportunity.”

So do you agree with Mr.Bowen and I or do you think that the way this system admits athletes is fair? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Mark Bustos
This is Mark Bustos, a 30 year-old hairstylist at Three Squares Studio in New York City. He has a list of celebrity clients, but every Sunday he does something to give back. He goes to places like Union Square, the Lower East Side, and Midtown to give haircuts to homeless men and woman. “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel,” Mr. Bustos said.  His idea is to give back to the community because everyone deserves a good haircut. He posts before and after shots of his clients with the hashtag "BeAwesomeToSomebody" and he believes anyone can do something awesome like this. The idea came to him when he went to the Philippines in 2012. After seeing all the impoverished children there he decided to open up a barber shop. After returning home to New York he decided to go out on the streets and give haircuts.

David Terry
This is David Terry, a 50 year old homeless man who is H.I.V. positive. He often feels depressed because he feels like he's "on a treadmill going 80 miles per hour with the brakes on". One Sunday he received a haircut from Bustos. After seeing himself in the mirror he said “Yeah, baby, I’ve still got it, I’m the king of the world.” An Executive from Coalition for the Homeless believes that a haircut means more to homeless person than just a couple of inches trimmed off. It can help remind them of who they used to be and can often make them want to be that person again. Bustos once had a man say  “Do you know anyone who is hiring. I’m ready to go get a job.” after getting a haircut. 

 It's amazing what getting a haircut can do to a person and it's amazing what one person, like Mr. Bustos, can do for someone. So, thank you Mr. Bustos for inspiring people to do more and give back. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The 'Authority Minority'

As I sat in my American Studies class listening to my teacher's presentation on how television shows cast minorities to make the show more diverse he brought up the concept of an 'Authority Minority' and I immediately started thinking about all the shows I watch and wether or not they have that 'Authority Minority' figure. The 'Authority Minority' is always the best dressed man or woman and reigns in the main character because they are often not following the rules or they are getting ahead of themselves. Having a minority in head position makes them seem more important, but in reality they get very little screen time. One show came to mind: Castle.
Roy Montgomery
Castle is a network TV crime drama series on ABC. The main character, Richard Castle, is an author who shadows a New York City detective, Kate Beckett.

In the first three seasons the captain of the twelfth precinct is Roy Montgomery who happens to be an African-American man. Captain Montgomery is Kate Beckett's boss, like the 'Authority Minority' is supposed to do. As you can see in the picture of Captain Montgomery he is standing in a very closed off position with his his arms crossed. This position indicates that he is very strict. During his final season he had an interaction with Detective Kate Beckett that shows how he would reign in his detectives.
Captain Roy Montgomery: The hell am I gonna do with you?  
Kate Beckett: You're gonna let me work this case.  
We can see how Montgomery is exasberated with Kate and tries to bring her down a couple of notches as he sees that this case is too personal for her. At the end of this season Captain Montgomery passes away he is then replaced by Captain Victoria Gates.

Victoria Gates
Captain Victoria Gates is a female character who is very serious and also happens to be African-American. She, even more than Captain Montgomery, reigns in her detectives. It seems as though the TV series was doing the "token trade", after getting rid of one minority character they will be replaced by another. Captain Gates tries to keep Castle in check the most. She is constantly reminding him that he is only there for research for his books, he is not a police officer or detective. As she is seen in the picture she is very stern and is wearing a suit. By pointing her finger the way she is it shows how she is reigning in her detectives. I find it very interesting that they replaced Captain Montgomery with a female african-american. He could have easily been replaced by Kate Beckett, she is more then qualified. It seems as though they were trying to fill some sort of quota for minorities on the show.

Have you seen this happen in any other shows? Do you think that the producers made this trade on purpose?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Remembering A Man That Changed Everything

On Sunday January 5th my brother and my dad were talking about a sports reporter named Staurt Scott who had just passed away. After watching a video about Scott's life and career tears came to my eye and I suddenly wanted to know more about this fascinating man. 

Scott was a graduate from the University of North Carolina and worked many places before joining ESPN. Al Jaffe, ESPN's vice president for talent, like Stuart because he thought he would appeal to a younger audience. He brought something more hip to broadcast that no one had ever done before. He was famous for his catchphrase "Boo-Yah" which at the time signified future rather than the present. Even after getting diagnosed with cancer in 2007 he continued to be his upbeat self because he didn't want this to change the way he lived his life entirely. 

He's remembered by his coworkers as a competitor, friend, celebrity, african-american, worker, poet, father, charmer, warrior, and champion. He connected to the other African-Amrericans in the NBA and NFL by his style and demeanor which was something that the network hadn't realized was possible until he got there. He was a father to two girls who meant the world to him. In July, Stuart received the Jimmy V award and uttered these words during his speech:
Stuart Scott Accepting Jimmy V Award

He was a champion.

Watch Staurts ESPYS Jimmy V Speech here