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Nourishment For the Conscious
Television is candy for the mind, someone once said. Similarly to
idly munching on sweets, watching television is not particularly healthy
and it leaves viewers with a false, short-lived feeling of energetic
satisfaction. The lifeless 30-minute situation comedies, the movie house
presentations that have beoi sliced, diced and of course, ruined, and the
assembly-line one hour dramas spewed out by the tube make it difficult
to distinguish between television programming and an open landfill. But
wading through the refuse does yield a few quality programs, like CBS’s
“Northern Exposure,” the Fox Network’s “In Living Color” and “Roc,”
and NBC’s “Sisters,” “Cheers” and “Murphy Brown.’’
NBC’s comedy “A Different World,” under the canny guidance of
writer/director Debbie Allen, has become one of the most humorous and
intrepid shows on the small screen. In previous episodes, Allen and her
talented corp of actors and actresses tackled some of the most pressing
issues of the day: the Gulf War, interracial dating, AIDS, and safe sex.
Accordingly, the January 16 show confronted racist attitudes.
During the episode, college alumni Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison)
and Ron Johnson (Darryl M. Bell) were jailed along with three while
students after a rival football game between their respective schools, one
historically black and the other traditionally white. When Ron collected
on a bet made with the while students before the game, he told them their
team might perform better on the gridiron if they “had more brothers on
the team.” Dwayne rushed onto the set just as one of the students grabbed
Ron and another spray-painted the letters “N-I” on the hood of Ron’s car.
A scuffle ensued and the five men were arrested.
At the cell, a campus police officer tried to get to the bottom of the
dispute and ended up guiding his five detainees through a discussion
about racist attitudes in the United States. The officer attempted to show
that racism can be a two-way street. He addressed the anti-affirmative
action opinions held by the white students as well as Ron’s earlier
statement about the number of blacks on the opposing team, which some
(not me, however) could construe as racist.
After their release, Ron and Dwayne reached the car and found that
someone had added the crucial letters to the unfinished message. There
it was: the word “nigger” written in gold paint, standing in stark relief to
the automobile’s bright red color. Apparently, some stranger had finished
the job. Therein lay the episode’s most powerful and thought-provoking
message on what it means to be of a darker skin color in America. Wc
know there is always someone willing to finish the job of racism.
One can only hope that more shows will follow the lead of “A
Different World,” and address the important topics of our times. Allen’s
show proves that it can be done and that a large viewing audience can be
maintained in the meantime. Maybe if wc transformed this candy for the
mind into food for thought we could effect real change.
Myron B. Pitts
"The essence ot freedom is understanding"
Editor: Myron B. Pius
Associate Editor: Corey Brown
Layout Editor: Renee Alexander Photography Editor: Michael Bowden
News Editor: RolandaC. Burney Opinion Page Editor: Jacqueline Charles
Business Editor: Kevin McNair Circulation/Personnel Manager: Kathy
Reiners On-Campus Editor: Lee Richardson
SUfT: Tiffany Ashhurst. Natalie Baucum, Pamela Best, Morgan Bates,
Keisha Brown. Sherry Byrd. Jennifer O. Ferguson, Jimmy Kelly. Scoti
Johnson, Lisa Lavelle, Felts Lewis, Roger Madison, Jolui T. McCann,
Chandra McLean, T.J. Siancil. Tonika M. Tillman, Sharilyn Seale. Stefan
Tyson, Naiarsha Witherspoon. Yvonne Yam
Cartoonists: Douglas Barrier, Delancey Bennct, Lem Butler, Stefan Tyson
Inside Black Ink
Tuesday, January 21,1992
A DAY IN THE LIFE...
Annie Pettiford rises at 1:30 a.m. every weekday morning. Last night, she did not sleep at all.
a Black Ink staffer sees first-hand the working like of A UNC housekeeper. Page 6.
IT’S TIME FOR BILLY!
Billy Ray Penny, the friendly wise-cracking cook at Time Out on Franklin Street kicks some
knowledge about life. Page 3.
•The Media Issues Committee aims the gun at one of our own. Wonderboy takes it on the
chin. Page 5.
•What does it mean to be Greek? A member of an African-American fraternity gives his
perspective. Page 5.
•Black or white? a.p.p.l.e.s students examine attitudes toward interracial relationships.
•We have dropped the baton passed by King and others in the Civil Rights Movement.
THE STONE LEGACY ENDURES
Sonja Stone will live on with our honored ancestors in the collective conscious of those who
love her, writes Margo Crawford, director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center.
The late professor of Afro-American studies was and is a Fourth Soul professor. Page 9.
•Blacks take longer to seek medical treatment for heart problems. Page 10.
•The fellows program, designed to build leaders for the future, is seeking applicants. Page 10.
THE RUNNING MAN
Cross Country and track stand-out Andre Williams is one of the nation’s best. Daily
training is tough but worth it, he says. Page 11.
THE LADIES GET THEIR TURN
Wondergirl! That’s right, your eyes are not deceiving you. Page 12.
About the Cover
University housekeepers like Annie Pettiford are more than just women who clean our
buildings and dormitories. They are a discontented group, and they plan to make their
demands for better treatment and higher wages a public issue. Page 6.
CORREGTIONi The Nov. 11 article, “New Pageant Brings Black Women to Limelight,’
contained an error; Blackwell ,Mance, and Meaders were pageant coordi nators, lot sponsors
The Ink re^ets'lhe error.
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