North Carolina Newspapers

    Page Two
Friday, November 15, 1963
Gun Echo
*e Vm»m
assoctat)ed collegiate press
Student Court Needs Moral Support
Editor Business Manager
The CAMPUS ECHO is the official student publication of North
Carolina College At Durham. It is published bi-weekly dwring the
regular school year, except during college holidays, at Service
Printing Company, Durham, N. C.
All editorials appearing in me CAMPUS ECHO are the opinions
of the editor, unless otherwise credited; they do not necessarily rep
resent the opinions of the other members of the staff.
Subscription rates. $1.35 per semester, $2.50 per school year.
Second class mail privilege at Durham, N. C.
A Reflcetion On Ralph Ellison’s Visit
Writer Ralph Ellison visited here recently, and most of
what he had to say should have been beneficial to all of us.
Mr. Ellison, whose first novel, “Invisible Man,” won the
National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, was in Durham
for a student sponsored symposium at Duke University. He
was invited to speak here by NCC’s English Club.
While here, Mr. Ellison declared that his role as a
writer is not to “go around making speeches from platforms”
for the cause of civil rights. He said that he belongs to
several civil rights organizations, contributes money, and
supports those who are doing something more directly for
the cause.
The present Rutgers University writer-in-residence, who
was once a shoeshine boy, a freelance photographer, a jazz
musician, and a waiter told a packed Education Building
auditorium that the best he could do for the Negro race is
“to be a good artist.” He said that he will be a good artist
when he writes about the reality he knows best; this reality
to a large extent, he said, “is the reality of Negro life.”
He said he feels that this obligation as an artist “is to dis
cover something about himself and the nature of Negro life
to others . . . and to separate those things which are valuable
from those which are not ...”
Mr. Ellison’s first and only novel deals with the experi
ence of a Negro male from boy to manhood, but its theme
is a universal one—every man’s quest for knowledge of self.
Concluding, he warned that we must not let our range
be a short one when we think about “Negro life,” but rather
one which is tied with the “complexity and circumstances
of American life—ones identity as an American and as a spe
cial part of that American society known as Negro.’’
These words should have been of benefit to all of us,
not only those seeking an artistic means of expression, for
they serve to remind of us of what we should do with what
ive acquire here.
It will be tragic for us to use what we acquire here to
become a part of that society of Negroes Which has turned
its back to and is still rejecting the millions of economic
deprivied Negroes. We have a unique American origin—
slavery, prolonged suffering, an^ social rejection. It would
be wise, alas, for us us to explofe the creative possibilities
inherent in this origin and otir folk culture—to evolve a new
identity and endow our lives with meaning and purpose.
The present ^udent Govern-
m e n t Association administra
tion has proposed and is now
proceeding to set up a student
court. In order for every stu
dent to give the court his moral
support, it is necessary for him
to be acquainted with ft.
The proposed student court
will be a judicial body composed
primarily of undergraduate stu
dents from the population of
our student body. The court will
hear cases involving student
discipline, cases between two dr
niore students and most signifl
’'Not only fs he a lousy wotchdog,he wouldW know an EAGLE
from 0 chickenr
Book Review
'Tree' Good For Juvenile List
Though NCC’s football Eagles lost their first ^me of
the season here recently, we would, at this time, still deem
it apropo to extend a much deserved congratulations to them
for tiieir successful team efforts and tiie prestige they have
brought to this college.
At the beginning of the football season, this newspaper s
sports column expressed a pessimistic outlook for the Eagles
if they did not modernize their offense. The Eagles', on* the
other hand, were not so disillusioned about their wares and
went on to prove that some times tradition is not a big handi
cap; they have presently won seven games and lost only
There are those who contend that it is the job of tne
football players to have a winning team because they are
being paid, via the scholarship route, to do just thkt. While
to an extent they are right, they are not justified in saying
that winning is the sole purpose for this college fielding a
football team. The scholarships, needless to say, are to help
those male students Who dre adept at the pigskin game use
their abilities to carry them through some of the college
financial barriers. They also serve to promote team and
group efforts on the parts of growing young men, and also
to prepare them physically. .
NCC does not have, by a very long shot, the fmancially
Well-off athletic programs that many of our sister institu
tions have. The evil system of recruiting has not payed
off for us the way it has for others mainly because other
schools are able to offer more financially to football players
than we can. But Coach Herman Riddick and Company
have not, as We so see, let the financial problems be a stumb
ling block for them, instead, they have taken the available
material and made of it one of the best small college teams
in the nation.
And the success of the team does not go to one or two
individual players. Our team has won because there have
been team efforts. No one person can be cited as “Athlete
of the Month or Week,” instead, laurals must be placed on
the team as “team of the year.”
Congratulations Eaglest Whether you lose or wm m
the Turkey Day Classic, you have faired well for the year.
In a swift and readable way,
this novel traces three perilous
yet conventional years of a
young Negro boy living in the
complex and unsettled environ
ment of a border state in the
Newt Winger, a talented
youth, reaches puberty and finds
himself in bewildering Chero
kee Flats, Kansas, his “learning
tree”: Here he experiences hap
piness with his pals Beansy Ful
ler, Skunk McDowell, Earl
Thomp^n, and Jappy Duncan;
here he experiences love
through Arcella Jefferson and
his family, especially his moth
er, Sarah, who tells him, “Some
of the people are good and some
of them are bad—^just like the
fruit of a tree. . . . No matter
if you go or stay think of Chero
kee Flats like that till the day
you die—^let it be your learning
H«re he experiences hiate from
encountering the likes of Jason
Kirky and Bert Sampson; here
he experiences violence through
his brother-in-law, Clint, and
Booker and Marcus Savage^
here he experiences fear, mostly
of death because he links it with
the violent ways persons (Jim
Pullen, Captain Tuck and Big
Mabel) he knew intimately die;
and here he experiences what
it is like being lone witness to a
mxu-der and then being in an
agonizing dilemma of either re
vealing the real murderer or
letting an innocent person suffer
for it. In short, here Newt lives.
One is carried through the
story at a television-like or
movie-like pace. Either the au
thor is thoroughly dipped in and
has a sharp recollection of the
western ways, or he watches a
whole lot of those western
horse operas. The art of the
story" seems to be sold out for
the possibilities of a movie-pro-
duction contract.
But author Gordon Parks, a
talented waiter, bartender,
ranch hand, lumberjack, piano
player band leader, music com
poser, semi-pro basketball play
er newspaper circulation man
ager, and a successful Life Mag
azine photographer has written
a fine moving story. His first
novel deals with life; not of the
Negro life per se, but of homaa
As for the significance of its
contents, Tree is late. It should
have been written at the time
the author has it ending; then
perhaps Americans, black and
white, could have emerged from
the bleakness of America’s
economic depression of the ’30s
with a better understanding of
each other. But it was not writ
ten then, it is recently written,
•and it is welcomed.
Though it will not survive as
a literary classic, it will be re
membered as a document of this
socially complexed America.
Tree, finally, should be placed
on all juvenile reading lists so
when teacher calls to Johnny to
read Tom Sawyer and Hack
Finn, she will quickly add, “. . .
and don’t forget Newt Winger
(The Learning Tree)!” We rec
ommend you do the same.
The editor of the Campus
Echo will gladly accept lettersi
and any topic from students and
other members of the college
Letters must be fre« from
libel, in good taste, and limited
to 300-500 words. They should
c&iit, cases between students and
school policy, when there has
been an infraction of the policy
by the studeiit.
In an interview, James Fer-
guSon, SGA R’fesideiit, said: “I
want very much to see a' stu
dent court function oil this cam
pus but I am not fully convinced
that the studehts are Willing to
acciept this grave responsibility.
"fifoweVer,” he continued, “I am
putting forth every effort to see
that the court is set up so that
our students will be given an
opportunity to demonstrate the
extent to which they are ready
to make strides along the path
way of student self-direction.”
“If the court,” he added,
does not function properly and
is ill-used by the students, I will
be the first oiie to advocate its
“However I do not anticipate
that such will be the case,” he
admitted, “I have mentioned
before the great confidence
which this year’s administration
places in the students, and I now
call upon the students to vindi
cate this confidence,” he con
Ferguson’s words characterize
the spirit with which his admin
istration is going about the
many tasks that confront it. It
is also noteworthy to examine
the confidence Ferguson and his
administration place in the stu
dents. By this, we not only
mean that the administration
has confidence in the students
supporting such a phenomenon,
but they will be given responsi
bility to serve as a part of it;
provisions have been made for
utilizing a jury composed of 12
undergraduates when a case In
volves a controversy between
two or more students.
While the student court Is not
set Up to be most advantageous
to students’ petty interests, it is
set up to solve many of the ills
affecting our college and its
If aiid when the court is set
up and i» functioning properly,
it Will be a great stride toward
the ultimate and desirable idea
of complete student self-direc
In ord» for the court to sur
vive, it is necessary for every
student to give it- his moral
support, thereby nurturing a
greater interest in and support
of it.
To The Editor
*No Fried Hair’
Dear Editor:
It was a‘ pleasure' to enjoy
Count Basie’s Concert without
having to ^t and look at “Pro
cessed” hair. Not one single
member of Count Basies band
had his hair “straightened” or
Though I‘ don’t belong to any
of the extremist “black nation
alists” ©-oups, I still possess
some race pride and it appalls
me to see many Negro men at
tempting to copy ’‘white hair”
via the straightening comb
As a matter of fact, many of
Basie’s sidemen could have pass
ed for NCC students.
Janet Higginbotham
be typed, doublie space, if pos
All letters become the prop
erty of the Campus Echo and
may be published unlesti flie
writer requests otherwise. Un
signed letters are not solicited
and will not be printed.

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