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The Bennett banner : bulletin of Bennett College for Women. online resource (None) 193?-current, November 17, 1989, Image 1

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enne anne\ Friday, November 17, 1989 BENNETT COLLEGE, GREENSBORO, N. C. VoL XLXI, No. 2 Maya Angelou receives degree by Yvette N. Freeman Maya Angelou is now a Bennett Belle after receiving an honorary degree of humane letters, Oct. 15, during Founder’s Weekend. “. .. I am honored by its very existence to doubly hono'r me by making me a part of the Bennett commun ity, and since I live nearby, I already see so many things I’m going to do as a new Bennett Belle,” stated Ange lou in her acceptance speech. One thing that she men tioned doing was seeing that the ‘E’ on the front of the Annie Memer Pfeiffer Chapel is repaired. During the program, Ange lou said, “You will t^ke us into the 21st century. You will take our dreams, our triumphs, our failures. You will take all our hopes. You are indeed the dream of the slave woman who came here in 1690.” The renowned writer also promised to return and talk to the students, stating that “we will all graduate in 1990, and ’91, and ‘92, and ’93.” Also during her speech, Angelou performed her popu lar poem, “Phenomenal Woman,” which she explained was written not only just for black women, but for all races, types and sizes of women. During an interview before the convocation, Angelou stated that she was honored to receive the honorary de gree from Bennett because, “The history of Bennett is tied with the history of the black American, and so, al though this was not my school, in its own way, it was my school, as it was the school of every black woman in this country, whether she went to college or not. And whether she went to Harvard or to Bishop . . . Bennett is her school. So, in a strange way, when Bennett honors me like this, it is doing me a double honor for just being itself, being a hub of black female education striving for excel lence. It has already honored me.” Angelou also commented on her feelings about education in the black community. “I was recently in the company of a few black educators, and they remarked with surprise at the wealth of talent in the black community, and I al most broke down and cried. Because it means that they, their children, and the chil dren that they have educated, have gone through a period of not trusting us very much, not liking ourselves very much, imitating whites to our detriment, almost in toto. So here now . . . they’re talking about . . . can you imagine we have so much talent in the black community ? That means for 35 or 40 years, they have miseducated themselves and their children and the stu dents who came under their care. Because of this abysmal sacrifice of our history, to try to imitate whites from the ’40s, ’50s on, we have lost control of our lives, and con trol of our children. Until the ’40s, black people were as anxious for educa tion. The excitement toward education in the black com munity rivaled the excitement of Asians today. We strove for education in the ’20s, the ’30s, the ’40s, in the teens. Last century, people could be whipped for trying to get an education. Black people took a chance. And then we came along in the ’50s and started imitating somebody else, and we lost our hold on our future. And as a result of that, the generation and the next mumble around the street without any focus, and here we sit three generations later saying, ‘What are we going to do about the children?’ We have obviously stopped loving the children and they know it, because we’ve stopped lov ing ourselves. And it’s vulgar. It’s obscene. And it just might be genocide. That’s what’s scary,” she stated. Angelou says that one way to correct the situation is to begin recruiting students for graduate school as early as the eight grade, to make them think ahead. As for students on campus who may be interested in be coming writers, Angelou ad vises that, “The first thing any potential writer must do is read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, without ceas ing. If the person chooses poetry as her or his medium, then the person should read aloud. It’s very important to hear the music of the lan guage, to hear it, to speak it, feel it in the mouth and then to hear it, so that the person doesn’t write what is called ‘concrete poetry,’ which is so distant, and so alienated from human dreams that . . . it’s an intellectual concept.” So, if the person is interested in prose, read. She also says that “no body . . . can really teach a person to write. You can teach the language, and the person should have such fluency in the language in which she is going to write that she is never at a loss for putting a few nouns and pronouns and adverbs and verbs together, and achieving some sort of harmony in a sentence.” Angelou, herself, will be coming out with a new book in the spring of 1990. It will be her sixth book of poetry, “I Shall Not Be Moved.” Bell given 1989 teaching excellence award by Shavaughn Neal Bennett College can boast be cause its 1989 teaching excellence award, more formally known as the “Bennett College National Aiumnae Association Faculty Ser vice Award for Teaching Excel lence and Faithful Service to Bennett College” went to an alumna, Mrs. Queen Hester Bell. Bell is an assistant professor of home economics and family life education and has spent, by her own proclamation “a number of years” teaching at Bennett. To list the awards and achieve ments of Bell would take a long time but it should be known that the list is remarkable. Her favorites include the 1973 Out standing Educators of America Award, the 1988 award for Out standing Years of Service to Fennetit College and the honor of being chosen as the Visiting Scho lar for the North Carolina De partment of Public Instruction for the Greensboro Public School System. Mrs. Bell had this honor for two consecutive years. Bell has published articles and poems in many publications and has presented numerous pro fessional writings on home econo mics as well as other topics. Some of her most recent papers were presented to the North Carolina Home Economics Asso ciation and at the International Home Economics conference at Ohio State University on the topic of “Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving.” Bell is a member of many professional organizations, among them the National Council on Negro Women and the American Home Economics Association. Bell has also taught at Barber Scotia College where she was chairwoman of the home econo mics department. With all of her recognition, Bell says, “I’m just an individual and I’d like to be remembered as a parent, full-time worker and someone who cares about others.” Bell concedes that she is is very concerned with the depth of education at Bennett. She says, “If students just learn one thing a day from each class attended, then their time here at Bennett will have been well spent.” Accepting the faculty service award. Bell expressed similar sentiments. She stated that she “will continue to work unselfishly and sacrificially to the best of her ability in order that Bennett will continuously grow and be a viable institution. The underlying principle of my work at Bennett has been and shall always be to help students become productive and successful citizens in life and in the world of work.” In typical Bell fashion, she turns the talk away from herself to point out that she has obtained $2,700 in matching grants from NCNB, AT&T, IBM and friends of the NAACP organization of which she is life membe:rship chairman. The money given to Bell upon receiving the teaching excellence award was added to her personal money donated to match the grant in the same amount. This money has been earmarked for home economics majors. Bell poses a challenge to the faculty, “Each of us must realize that the life of service is the Ufe that counts. I think it is incum bent upon us as a faculty to pro vide the best service we can for Bennett College and its students. Let us pledge today to give our best in service and I am positive, when we least expect it, the best will come back to us,” she says. Campus safer Scott crowned by Shavaughn Neal Students should feel safer now that there have been major improvements in secu rity and the securing methods of the campus. This realiza tion, however, doesn’t change the fact that the improve ments were needed and wel comed. Along with Bennett secu rity the Kimber Guard se curity force is now present on campus. This combination means that there is more ef fective security. Recently, Bennett pur chased a club car to be used by security for transportation around the campus. The cars will cut security response time from five minutes to three. Only one car is in use, but another will be purchased by the college. New radios have also been bought and se curity will be able to monitor other police action through outside channels. Other security improve ments include the posting of a guard at each section of the campus. The Kimber Guards patrol the campus, and Ben nett security is usually sta tioned at the desk. There are three or four Kimber Guard members on duty every shift. Two female guards work with the Kimber guards and they patrol the campus residence areas. At any given time there are three, four or five secu rity guards patroling the campus. Security measures will also be enforced on faculty and staff, who will be asked to wear identification badges similar to student identifica tion cards. These badges should be worn and presented upon request from security. New gates and locks will be put up around campus in addition to the ones that have already been installed. There have also been improvements in the lighting around the campus. When asked about the new gates, junior Pamela Davis (see page 4) The reigning queen: Kenyalta Scott, Miss Bennett 1989-90, credits her mother with being the greatest in fluence on the formation of her character and her drive to serve this college, (photo by Cherryl Floyd) by Cherryl Floyd She says that a true beau tiful person is the person on the inside and that queens are mentors and role models. She is Kenyatta Scott, Miss Ben nett College. “I decided to run for Miss Bennett because I wanted to represent a positive image of the women here. Also, stu dents have concerns that don’t reach the student affairs (office), and since I’ve been in the position. I’ve taken them there,” Scott says. Scott feels that her great est responsibility to Bennett is to let people know about the college and to convince people to enroll here. “My greatest concern is that Bennett gets the credit for what it deserves. Dr. Gloria Scott takes care of that on the outside but I am res ponsible for it on the inside,” she says. Scott feels that her corona tion was the highlight of her reign as Miss Bennett. “It was like planning for a wedding. It was my day!” she says. Scott admits that the fear was always present that things would fall apart. She says that she received com fort from Dr. Jacqui Wade, Ms. Jean Humphrey, Ms. -Jimmie Gravely, Mrs. Sheliah Farmer and many faculty members. As she took her royal stroll on coronation night, Scott recalls that her escort was more nervous than she was. “But I thought, ‘All these people are looking at me.’ My mind went blank,” she says. The senior biology major from Washington, D.C. wants her Bennett sisters to see someone who is easy to talk to when they look at her. “I’m not your etjual, and I’m not better than you,” she says. Scott credits her mother with being responsible for the woman she has become. (see page 4)

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