All Articles Tagged "Rutgers University"
Standing at six feet tall, WBNA player Essence Carson carries herself with a confident aura of elegance, all the while commanding the respect that she deserves. The 26-year-old Paterson, N.J. native has been making quite a name for herself, and not just on the court. After capping off her fourth year as a pro basketball player, Essence is now adding successful hip-hop artist and community activist to her long list of accomplishments. This year is definitely shaping up to be the “Year of Essence.”
The New York Liberty guard/forward team member first exhibited her quiet strength in the public eye as a Rutgers University student and basketball player during 2007′s controversial season. That year, radio personality Don Imus took to the airwaves to verbally lash out at the Rutgers University women’s basketball team with a slew of racial and derogatory terms, most famously calling the team “nappy-headed hos.” Although at the time Essence was generally soft-spoken and quiet, Rutgers women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer knew of Carson’s writing skills, and had faith in her ability to communicate the feelings of the team to the rest of the world.
Stringer’s decision proved to be a great one, and Carson was able to gracefully explain the outrage of her team members as well as condemn Imus’ actions, leading the radio host to be suspended from the airwaves shortly after the incident. She recalls the situation as a lesson in her own strength, which helped give her the confidence to express herself to her community and the public: “If I hadn’t gone through that experience I wouldn’t be able to pursue music and perform today.” Carson says.
Today Essence is a franchise player for the WBNA with the New York Liberty, and is continuing her success with pursuing one of her childhood dreams of a music career as a hip-hop artist.
It was five years ago today that the particularly nasty barb spewed from the mouth of radio shock jock Don Imus and entered the national lexicon. In the days that followed, there were threats of boycotts and calls for firings as advertisers from American Express to Proctor & Gamble Co. fled Imus in droves.
MSNBC announced it would no longer simulcast Imus in the Morning, and after days of protestsCBS Radio eventually relented, dropping the hammer on Imus and banishing him from the airwaves, albeit temporarily.
In the middle of that storm were the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a team comprised of eight African-Americans and two whites who were still reeling from losing in the title game of the NCAAWomen’s Tournament when they found themselves the subjects of scorn by a man they didn’t know who spoke to a national audience of millions.
In its wake there were press conferences, mea culpas and lawsuits. Five years later, Imus is back on the air, setting up shop at Cumulus-owned WABC in New York. Imus has had theoccasional racial dustup since, but nothing approaching that grand misstep that was the Rutgers basketball team.
To find many of the girls, now women, you’d have to scour the corners of the globe. Several members of the team, including Rutgers team captain Essence Carson (New York Liberty), Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty), Matee Ajavon (Washington Mystics) and Epiphanny Prince(Chicago Sky), reached the pinnacle of their sport, playing in the WNBA.
For the complete story, visit TheGrio.com.
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I know Beyonce STANS think they know everything there is to know about Bey, but a Rutgers PhD student and lecturer is using the singer’s career to take an interesting look at American culture. Kevin Allred has developed a course called “Politicizing Beyonce” that will explore how the R&B singer can be a messenger for social change.
“This isn’t a course about Beyonce’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama’s inauguration weekend,” Allred told Rutger’s Focus publication. “Rather, the performer’s music and career are used as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics.”
The course is said to pair Beyonce’s music videos and lyrics with writings from distinguished women’s rights activists and authors you’d never expect to see grouped together like Alice Walker, Bell Hooks, Toni Morrison, and Sojourner Truth. Topics will cover whether Beyonce’s racy performances are empowering or stereotypical, the extent of the star’s control over her own aesthetic, and her alter ego, Sasha Fierce.
“She certainly pushes boundaries,” Allred said. “While other artists are simply releasing music, she’s creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona.”
You can’t deny that fact, but you can question whether celebrities and pop stars are appropriate for academic discussion. Some educators argue that they are not, but Allred disagrees.
“It’s important to shift students away from simply being consumers of media toward thinking more critically about what they’re engaging on a regular basis.When students don’t respond to theory or dense readings, it’s often easier to see things play out in the world around them.”
While I can’t imagine having to talk and write about Beyonce two to three times a week for 10 weeks or more, I think Allred has come up with an interesting concept to encourage students to think critically about the entertainment icons around us and just how much of an impact they have on society.
What do you think about this course? Would you take it?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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What do Toni Morrison and Snooki from Jersey Shore have in common? Well, both of these ladies were asked to speak at Rutgers University, both accepted. But the similarities stop there.
While Pulitzer Prize winning author, Toni Morrison will receive $30,000 for delivering the commencement address in May, MTV reality television star, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi received $32,000 for her appearance last Thursday.
Check out what the queen of the Jersey Shore had to say to the Rutgers students over at Hello Beautiful.
There’s more to New York professional basketball than the possibility of LeBron James joining the Knicks… There’s the guarantee of Cappie Pondexter, the new star guard for the New York Liberty.