Tag Archives: FAMU

Hazing!

I cannot attribute this photo.  Taken from the web!

One of the things that have been on my mind the last several months is the senseless death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion.  I wanted to comment on this issue earlier but several events have transpired in my life that have prevented me from doing so.  First of all, I’d like to thank Brother Chuck Hobbs who posted this article from The Orlando Sentinel on his Facebook  page which did a sensational job reporting on this story.  I don’t feel any remorse for canceling my subscription to my hometown newspaper The Tallahassee Democrat.  Worst newspaper ever…

I want to keep this short and sweet.  To Dr. Julian White, Director of Bands at Florida A&M University, I wholeheartedly apologize for calling for your firing.  Clearly, the evidence points to you doing everything in your power to curtail hazing.  The unfortunate thing about the matter is that no matter what those in power do to curtail the practice of hazing, the responsibility lies with the actual members of The 100 who seek to enthrall us every week when they take the field.

I have read ad nauseam the musings and opinions of those who think that they speak for the majority as if they were some kind of expert on our culture and would speak as if their words were etched on The Ten Commandments.  To Dr. Na’im Akbar, shut the fuck up!  Your analysis seems to suggest that people of our color cannot handle and should not be given the power for self determination. Herein lies the problem…

The strong will always prey upon the weak.  Robert Champion was set to become the head drum major next year.  He could have left it there and set the example for the rest of the band to show them that you can achieve whatever you want to by sticking to your own guns.  However, for whatever misguided thoughts that he may have had, he didn’t need to get on that bus that would eventually take his life.  Acceptance by fools is no acceptance at all…

No matter how this incident has hurt our university, we will prevail!  Bullies have been picking on the weak since time began.  Only when the weak stand up to the bullies and say no more of this shit, will stupid shit like hazing end.  If you are a lamb, it will be to your advantage, not to walk with lions.  Mr. Champion, you may have had the heart of a lion that day, but you should never have trusted them…  May you find the acceptance in the next life that you didn’t find in this one…. Hubba!

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Black History Month!

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Damn!  Here it is February 19, 2009 and I am just realizing that we are in the midst of black history month.  Never mind we get the shortest month of the year for our stories to be told but black history month should be abolished.  Why should we be treated special?  Affirmative Action opponents must be having a damn field day that blacks get a set aside.

Growing up, all we learned about black history was that we were once slaves and now considered extinct farm machinery.  It’s as if black people never existed until whites needed a cheap labor pool.  We we were also taught about Martin Luther King Jr.  And on occasion there were brief lessons on Benjamin Banneker, W.E.B. Du Bois, and George Washington Carver.  Forget Lewis Latimer who invented the carbon filament that went inside Edison’s light bulb.  Never mind Garrett Morgan who invented the gas mask and the first traffic lamp.

The point here is that we have a shared history and the fabric of our history should be interwoven.  Maybe that one black kid on the brink of giving up would be inspired to learn more if the curriculum accurately reflected our shared history.  We all know of the contributions that blacks have made to this country.  It does them a great injustice to be compartmentalized into one month.  Our history, our American history should be taught the entire school year.

Do you know who the women is pictured above?  By the way, we have a great resource here in Tallahassee regarding black history.  If you get the chance, please visit the Black Archives on the campus of Florida A&M University.  You’ll be amazed!  eehard told you so!

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Marching 100 in the Inaugural Parade!

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The Marching 100 was number 7 in the parade lineup.  That is a noteable distinction for a band participating in an inaugural parade.  It means that you are an upper echelon band to go off in the first section.  Unfortunately, because of the delay of the starting of the parade, the band was unable to perform a two minute routine for Mr. Obama.

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Help Send The Marching 100 To Washington, DC!

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Please help send America’s band to Washington, DC to participate in this historic inauguration!  No donation is too small!  Your heart will be filled with pride as Tallahassee’s own Marching 100 marches down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the Capitol.  Please go to www.famu.edu to contribute!  Thank you!

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FAMU Lives!

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Meredith Clark, an associate editor at the Tallahassee Democrat wrote this article a few days ago  http://tallahassee.com/article/20081219/COLUMNIST21/812190315/-1/COLUMNISTS and I’d like to answer her questions and add a few comments.  Whether you read the entire piece or not this is the crux of it: 

“I’d like to renew the discussion with a look at the role of HBCUs in an Obama-era United States. It is not a question about their legitimacy or need; this is a question of how the role, function and even existence of HBCUs across the country will change as we continue to break down barriers.”

First of all, why must we refer to FAMU as a historically black college or university?  It is simply another institution of higher learning.  Is FSU or the University of Florida considered historically white universities?  We need not get into the ugly history why FAMU was founded but focus on its mission.  Since it opened in 1887 its mission was to provide the best possible education for those students who wished to attend.  In 2008, nothing has changed.  Its mission is still to provide the best possible education for its students.

It’s role is to also provide an alternative to those students who do not want to attend what you call a mainstream university although I fail to see how FAMU is not in the mainstream.  Call it what it is.  FAMU is a predominately black university with a diverse student body and faculty.  There are some people,  believe it or not who don’t want to go to a perdominatntly white university.  I am one of them.  Not because I harbor any hostility but because of the environment that lets me speak freely that is not hostile to what I have to say.  And a lot of what I have to say would probably get me into some type of trouble at a FSU or the UF.

We may have elected the first black president of the United States of America but 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America.  Come back with your question after I see 2 black people leaving the First Baptist Church or a white person leaving Bethel AME Church. 

There will always be a need for Florida A&M because the people of Florida recognize it’s importance to the community.  Oh,  in the future watch how you phrase your statements.  You stated the there was no need to question the need or legitimatcy of FAMU then question the need for its existence as well as other black universities in the same paragraph.  I think that you are smart enough to know the answer to your own question.

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FAMU Today!

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As Lee Corso from ESPN’s College Gameday show would say “Not so fast my friend!”  Today’s Democrat published an article on the graduation rates of black students from various colleges around the state of Florida.  I want to focus on two schools in particular, Florida A&M University and Florida State University.  The article was written by Angeline Taylor who covers FAMU.  http://tallahassee.com/article/20081222/NEWS01/812220321  I find her coverage to be biased and basically, I hate the bitch!  In fact,  this story has been around the block before.  The Saint Petersburg Times did a similar story last year.  http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/19/State/More_blacks_succeed_a.shtml

Out of the 41,000 students that were enrolled at FSU in the fall of 2007, 4,392 were  identified as black.  That makes the perctange of blacks at FSU as 10.7% of the population.  If we divide that number by 4 we have a total of 1098 students in each class.  This is not scientific but you can see where I am going with this.  So if  FSU is graduating 70% of it’s black students, that means that they are graduating roughly 700 blacks students per year assuming that their enrollment is static.  http://www.ir.fsu.edu/student/enrollment.cfm?ID=eth

The latest statistics I could find for  FAMU are for the 2005 enrollment year in which the student population stood  at 12,157.  That would put each class at around 3039 students.  Blacks made up 91.45 of the population.  During that school year 1,933 degrees were awarded which included 1,302 at the baccalaureate level.  That is a distinction that I did not make with the FSU stats.  http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?a=oir

My numbers may be a little off but Taylor’s notion that FSU has graduated more blacks than any other school in a six year period in the nation is misleading.  The numbers simply don’t add up.  While I do not want to take away from the high percentage rate that FSU has achieved.  The precept ion that FSU has ever produced more black graduates than FAMU is disingenuous at best and a downright lie at worst.

While FAMU can certainly emulate some of  FSU’s  success one also has to realize that FAMU does not have the resources that FSU has.  We certainly have to work on retention but there are services available at FAMU that are also available at FSU.  The Summer Studies program at FAMU would be comparable to FSU’s early admission program.  This is not intended to be a FAMU vs. FSU piece rather than one to show that both schools have room for improvement.  But the facts must be presented in an honest fashion and not be skewed.

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The Late Great Jake Gaither!

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 This post is dedicated to Chuck Hobbs who wrote an excellent blog on the lack of black football coaches in major college football.  Read it here:  http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckPersona&U=372503919e3a42eb9b7e211b037888d5&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckUserId=372503919e3a42eb9b7e211b037888d5&plckPostId=Blog%3a372503919e3a42eb9b7e211b037888d5Post%3af81d23dc-f2ee-492e-92de-6118d2df8cc7&plckController=PersonaBlog&plckScript=personaScript&plckElementId=personaDest

 

Former Florida A&M Head Coach Jake Gaither Named 2008 Trailblazer Award Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 http://www.afca.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=9300&SPID=7856&SPSID=69281

 

Alonzo “Jake” Gaither, Florida A&M University (FAMU) coaching legend, has been named the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) recipient of the 2008 Trailblazer Award. The award will be presented posthumously to Gaither at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 12 at the 2009 AFCA convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The AFCA Trailblazer Award was created to honor early leaders in the football coaching profession who coached at historically black colleges and universities. Past Trailblazer Award winners include Charles Williams of Hampton (2004), Cleve Abbott of Tuskegee (2005), Arnett Mumford of Southern (2006) and Billy Nicks of Prairie View A&M University (2007).  The award is given each year to a person that coached in a particular decade ranging from 1920-1970. This year’s winner coached from 1960-1970.

“Since I’ve been here, I have really found out how much of a giant of a man he really was,” Florida A&M head coach Joe Taylor said. “There are parks, buildings and streets named after him. We send out a video that names him one of the great Floridians that ever lived in the state.”

Gaither coached at the high school and junior college levels in North Carolina and Virginia from 1927-1937. In 1937, Coach Gaither was named head basketball coach at FAMU and led the team to the 1942 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) basketball title. In addition to serving as head basketball coach, he also served as an assistant football coach from 1937-1942. After the 1942 basketball season, Gaither was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The resulting surgery and recovery kept him out of coaching until 1945.

In 1945, Gaither took over as head football coach at FAMU. He held that position for 25 seasons, compiling a record of 203-36-4. This constituted a winning percentage of .844, and ranks him eighth all-time amongst college football coaches. He won 22 SIAC Conference titles along with six Black College National Championships. Gaither retired from coaching in 1969 and served as Athletic Director and Chair of Health and Physical Education at FAMU until his retirement in 1973.

The number of honors and awards compiled by Gaither are numerous. In 1961, Coach Gaither was named the AFCA College Division Coach of the Year. In 1975, he won the Walter Camp Foundation Award. He is a member of the Florida Sports, FAMU Sports, National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and SIAC Halls of Fame. Gaither was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975.

The 2008 Trailblazer award is actually Gaither’s third honor from the AFCA. In addition to the 1961 AFCA College Division Coach of the Year Award, in 1975 he was awarded the AFCA’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. Gather was also as an honorary member of the AFCA Board of Trustees for 22 years, serving from 1972-1993.

“Jake was a true student of the game, he was well ahead of his time,” former Alcorn State University and Southern University head coach and athletic director Marino Casem said. “Whenever I was in Florida, anywhere near Tallahassee, whether I was recruiting, vacationing or on business, I made a point to go to Jake Gaither’s house, sit at his feet and absorb knowledge from the master. I was always humbled in the presence of Jake Gaither.”

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