Valdosta State University | 1500 North Patterson Street | Valdosta, Georgia | 31698

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Juneteenth Celebration Coming To Valdosta

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger rode in to Galveston, Texas, to inform residents that the Civil War ended two months earlier. Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation and General Granger delivered the order that freed the last 250,000 African Americans that were still in bondage.

The state of Texas was first to start this celebration and it became a state holiday in 1890.

The Juneteenth Celebration is the oldest commemoration that nationally celebrates the ending of slavery in America. It has become the African American equivalent to Independence Day.

Today, Juneteenth celebrations are growing with a lot of organizations and communities throughout the country. The Henry Ford Museum, Smithsonian, and other institutions have begun sponsoring Juneteenth activities, including the city of Valdosta.

Valdosta plans on supporting the celebration by having a community festival in downtown Valdosta, Georgia, by the Old Courthouse on June 23.

There will be an NAACP booth there giving individuals the opportunity to register and vote in the upcoming election in the fall.

The future of Juneteenth looks very bright as the celebrations are emerging among a lot of cities and states. They are creating bonds, understanding and educating others on the meaning of Juneteenth.

By: Maya Kellam (VSU)
Morgan McFarland (VSU)

Press & Publicity Coordinator

Monday, May 28, 2012

What’s REALLY Going On At NAACP’s Leadership Summit?

By Elon James White
New One

I have heavily critiqued the NAACP. I’ve spoken about how it feels very much disconnected from my generation and I’ve watched as local chapters hold press conferences about ridiculous and frivolous issues. The nation’s oldest civil rights group to me seemed stagnant—Just a bunch of old Black folks being old and Black and not growing with the times. Yes, of course there were some places where the NAACP was still doing good work but I scoffed at it being genuinely relevant anymore. 

So when my co-host L. Joy Williams — an active member of the NAACP’s Brooklyn branch — wanted to invite the National NAACP’s chairperson on to our radio show, I half-heartedly agreed and told her don’t get mad if I say something she doesn’t like. Chairman Roslyn Brock appeared on “Blacking It Up” January 23, 2012, and when I thought I was pushing back on her and the organization she pushed back on me. She challenged me directly. She asked me if I was a member of the NAACP? If I had issues with it, why not join and voice them from within? Why not work with them? It wasn’t as if I hadn’t considered it before. At Netroots Nation in 2010 during the Black Caucus, the idea of “infiltrating” the NAACP was discussed by a group of very engaged Blacks who felt disconnected to the organization — but I personally didn’t follow up on that threat. The closest I came to joining was when they issued the resolution that there were racist elements in the Tea Party—which at first I thought was silly. But when the declaration caused some members of the Tea Party to respond with racism, I realized that it was sort of a brilliant move. Then within a week or two of that high profile checkmate, the Shirley Sherrod incident occurred and I crossed my arms and said “SEE.” 

But as I spoke to the Chairman issuing a direct challenge to me, I felt as if I couldn’t just blow it off. If you’re going to talk smack about organizations you have to also be willing to stand up when asked. The historic nature of the NAACP can never be overstated. And with the challenge the chairman also invited me down to their annual Leadership 500 summit, a 4 day meeting of the minds discussing the path and focus of the organization. That’s where I’m writing from now.

See Live Coverage of The NAACP 8th Annual Leadership 500 Summit, “Protecting our BMW’s – Black Men Walking,” here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

VSU Strives To Keep Guns Off Campus

Earlier this year, Georgia House Representative Sean Jergunson proposed House Bill 981. This bill would allow concealed handguns onto the campuses of public and private elementary, middle and high schools, as well as post secondary institutions. Although the bill did not pass, on May 17, 2012, the faculty and senate at Valdosta State University (VSU) have taken on a new resolution to declare their opposition of the bill and to keep all concealed handguns away from their campus.

Those following the faculty and senate’s decision are Dr. Michael G. Noll, associate professor of geography, and Kathryn Grant, a senior at VSU. Dr. Noll was the one who introduced the resolution of joining the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus. Kathryn Grant, also zealous about the idea, has researched gun legislation in Georgia since 2010.

With the encouragement from VSU’s decision to join the campaign, the campaign’s director, Andy Pelosi, is hoping other schools may join the battle of keeping weapons off campus. Pelosi hopes others will speak out against the bill because the battle is not yet over. He believes it will be amended and back next year.

As young adults we may not fully understand the potential danger we could put others in, especially if we are not fully aware of the responsibilities of carrying a handgun. School is supposed to be a safe environment, a place where parents trust that their children will be protected. By allowing guns on campus you are revoking students of their own security.

Thanks to Dr. Michael G. Noll and Kathryn Grant, VSU has successfully kept their campus a safe institution and may incite other campuses to do the same.

By: Morgan McFarland (VSU)
Press & Publicity Coordinator