April 16. 2007
The News Argus
The top five: future leaders of black America
Influence, clout, leadership skills and
one's track record are among the consider
ations essential for national leadership.
Those factors all come into play when
determining who might be among the top
five future leaders of black America.
In an unofficial poll of 25 students and
faculty members at Winston Salem State
University, the five names most often men
tioned were Jay-Z, Sen. Barack Obama,
Oprah Winfrey, Tavis Smiley and Jeff
Johnson of BET. Although other people
such as Harry Belafonte, Russell Simmons
and the Rev. A1 Sharpton were mentioned,
none was as prevalent as those in this list.
Some know him as Jeff Johnson, but most
of the youth who watch BET refer to him
as Cousin Jeff.
Johnson is a regular guest on the BET tel
evision show, "Rap City the Basement."
Johnson is also an activist who is passion
ate about social change and issues that
affect Black America and the less fortunate
around the world. Johnson has also been
one of the most vocal leaders in the "Save
Darfur" campaign, urging youth to get
As senior Chris Geter said, "Cousin Jeff
is easy for the young dudes to relate to. He
gives it to you real without cutting comers.
and that's what a lot of these politicians do
because they can't handle the truth."
Barack Obama: Community
organizer and civil-rights activist
The charismatic presidential candidate is
among those classified as representing the
new face of politics.
Obama started out in
Illinois as a communi
ty organizer and civil-
rights activist. He has
been aiding low-
by helping implement
effective programs, as
well as using his politi
cal power to get things
Saxton Stewart, a
WSSU junior, said he thinks highly of
"He speaks from a level of sincerity, and
that's something that's been missing poli
tics for a long time," he said.
Obama is considered to be one of the few
African American men who have a chance
of winning a presidential election.
Jay-Z: Trendsetter and
Junior business major Maurice Credle
described rapper Jay-Z as "a self made
entrepreneur who has the power to
influence and inspire the younger black
generation." Credle is one of many stu
dents who feel that Jay-Z is in a position
to lead the youth of Black America.
Jay-Z has already made a name for him
self as a trendsetter and innovator
through his clothing line, music, and by
giving back to his community. MTV
recently aired a documentary, "Water for
Life", which follows the rapper to South
Africa as he helps people obtain clean
water with "play pumps" that pump clean
water. The continuing crisis of unsanitary
water supplies in Africa has killed thou
sands of children.
The rapper also gets political in songs
such as "Minority Report" on his latest
album, "Kingdom Come", in which he
accuses the U.S. government of neglect in
its response to victims of Hurricane
Tavis Smiley: Asking
the tough questions
Smiley has become one of the most
influential voices of black America due to
his presence in the media. He is mainly
known for his tough questions and contro
versial themes. WSSU's campus radio sta
tion, WSNC (90.5 FM), airs Smiley's
shows during a two-hour block on
Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.
Smiley got an early start in his career
during college, when he received an intern
ship with Mayor Tom Bradley in Los
AFRO-FLOW, from page 1
entertain and keep it mov
ing," Mike-E stated. "I am
hopeful that [students] walk
away feeling better.. .for
those who smoke I hope
they walk away and throw
away their cigarettes."
As the nephew of a cancer
survivor, Mike-E closely
relates to the ACS's mission.
"We embrace the American
Cancer Society's message,"
Mike shared. "This is bigger
than us, this is creating a
platform—We have a bigger
Unlike more familiar
household names who neg
lect their power as musi
cians, the members of the
Afro-Flow Tour understand
that they are creating the
framework to use music as a
universal avenue for life-
changing messages that
relate to everyone. "Music
is universal and the cause
and effect of tobacco is uni
The goal of the Afro-flow
tour seems to be much big
ger than reaching the appeal
of the masses consumed by
stereotypes. Mike-E recog
nizes the importance of his
music and the afro-flow
tour message despite his
lack of commercial fame.
"Our people believe you are
not successful if you are not
Stereotypical images are
prevalent in the entertain
ment industry he states.
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
Afro-Flow Tour combines music with lifetime messages.
"They believe you have to
be a certain image to be in
Despite a lack of public
familiarity, WSSU students
responded positively to the
live interpretation of Mike-
E's Afro-Flow album.
Along with other artists and
singers, he raps and speaks
eloquently to the substance
of black identity, culture,
love and afro-centrism. His
vivid lyrics paint portraits
of the state of black intellect
Impressed by the work of
Center , HBCU project man
ager for ACS in the South
Atlantic Division Tatia Ash
contacted Dr. Deborah
Fountain, director of WSSU
Center and asked her to be
the campus coordinator for
the event. The concert event
was free and opened to the
crowd was compacted with
variety of students includ
ing an array of students
leaders such as Miss WSSU,
Mr Ram, the Student
Government President and
student activities officers.
According to Fountain the
WSSU students left a lasting
impression on "Afro-Flow
"They really enjoyed com
ing to WSSU. They appreci
ated the respect the students
had for their artistic ability,"
The AFROFLOW is a new
vibe and a new experience
that combines music, real
life message and cultural
enrichment. Check out
AFROFLOW.COM for more
ONLINE, from page 2
they cannot make it onto the campus.
Dr. Valerie Giddings associate vice chancel
lor of the Division of Lifelong Learning, said
this about the new master's degree in reha
bilitation studies: "We believe this advanced
degree program serves a growing demand
for this profession. Already the workplace
demand exceeds supply Further, many gov
ernmental employees in this field will be
required to have a masters degree by 2009."
There are, however, disadvantages to
online classes. CriHcs claim that because
there is little or no face-to-face contact
between students and teachers, it truly is not
"education" in the highest sense of the word.
Others counter that by saying interaction can
be found through audio/ video Web confer
encing, live chats. E-mail and even blogs.
Another criticism is that by relying on online
courses, one can become increasingly isolat
ed. However, discussion forums can encour
age students to meet one another face-to-face.
"I believe the pros outweigh the cons,"
Leak said. "I believe that the only things that
Angeles. Time© Magazine named Smiley
as one of its top 50 future leaders of
America in 1996; that same year, Smiley
landed a spot as host of the BET television
show "BET Tonight".
Smiley's passion for poliflcs in relation to
the black community inspired him to write
a book, "The Covenant with Black
America", which is viewed by some as a
blueprint to the success of a better black
Oprah Winfrey: The
power to give back
In the words of O'Kelly librarian
Donalda Gaddy, "Oprah is deflnitely in the
top five future lead
ers of America ...
she's always giving
back and helps peo
ple all the time."
Many feel that
Oprah's finances and
power are a great
help to African
recently opened a
school for young girls
in Africa that pro
vides students with adequate funding and
resources. Although the school has under
gone scrutiny even among the black com
munity for being in Africa instead of
America, supporters feel it shows that she
cares and she gives back.
will impede the progress of online education
are people's apprehensions and negative per
ceptions of it. As I mentioned before, compe
tition for careers takes place on a global play
"It is imperative," he added, "for one to
acquire the skills to implement technology,
not only in their education, but in their daily
lives. This means going to the next level
beyond text messaging and downloading
ring-tones, and seeking to learn the methods
to make such things possible."
Since most classes are online, the WSSU
distance learning program offers several ben
efits to students, including time flexibility for
classes and tests, and the ability to take class
es anywhere in the world. All the student
needs is a computer with Internet access.
Students enrolling in the Master of Science
in Rehabilitation Counseling program must
have a bachelor's degree in any major and
two years experience in the field.
For more information, call (336) 750-2630,
or visit the WSSU Web site; www.wssu.edu.
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