Serving Tennessee State University and the Nashville Community Since 1950

Author: Shayla Simmons

Taylor’s Success Gained by Time at Tennessee State

Taylor’s Success Gained by Time at Tennessee State

By Christina Young Staff Writer Neysa Taylor, former Meter Editor at Tennessee State University and the current  Director of Communications at the Tennessee Department of Corrections, came to visit and discussed her time as a student here at Tennessee State University and how her passion […]

North Nashville History Preserved on the Plaza

North Nashville History Preserved on the Plaza

By Lavenia Chappel NASHVILLE, TN — Originally a footpath from the Cumberland River to the Hadley Plantation, Jefferson Street was once known as one of America’s best known districts of jazz, rhythm and blues. It served as the home to artists such as Little Richard, […]

Great Debate Takes Place Between Two Institutions

Great Debate Takes Place Between Two Institutions

By Ada Taylor,
Editor in Chief
Tennessee State University was founded in 1912 and Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873. For the past 105 years, these two institutions have educated students less than three miles from each other, and yet the schools’ forensics teams have never formally debated one another.
However, that all changed on Feb. 25 when The Great Debate took place at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church.
As the first debate between the two universities, the event easily drew the community’s attention. Participation of 101.1 The Beat’s Adrian “A.G” Granderson as MC, and WTVF News Anchor Vickie Yates as moderator made it a special event. Still, it was the spirit of competition and local rivalry that drew the crowd and motivated participants.
The debaters’ responsibility was to resolve whether or not social movements based on identity are necessary. Tennessee State University students Mel Williams and Barbra Dudley argued the affirmative, while Vanderbilt students Kaylee Kohmaier and Apurva Kunte argued the negative.
Mel Williams defined social movement as “organized political actions for a specific goal” and said how they are necessary for social change. To negate this, Vanderbilt’s Apurva Kunte focused their argument on issue-based movements versus those based on identity. Kunte argued that people who are not a part of the movement will get grouped in because of identity, such as when BlackLivesMatter was blamed for the shooter who killed police offers in Dallas last year.
In response to this, TSU’s Barba Dudley said that a controversial issue will always bring backlash, and you cannot let this criticism and ignorance affect the overall movement. She went on to say that the difference between a social issue and movement is that the movement is necessary to fix the issue. Dudley’s debating style was passionate and she brought the crowd to their feet, at which point The Vanderbilt Debate team requested five minutes of prep time before responding.
At this point, Vanderbilt’s Kaylee Kohmaier stood to reaffirm the negative position by pointing out that Tennessee State University’s team did not prove that movements based on identity are necessary, only that social movements are.
In TSU’s closing argument, Barba Dudley gave an ardent speech about how “the issue IS the identity” and therefore cannot be separated. Her passion once again brought the crowd to their feet, but in the end the judges were not convinced. In the 1st annual debate between Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt one by two points – 41.5 to 43.5.
Still, supporters of both teams were not disappointed. One crowd member summed up the way everyone was feeling by saying “we usually see the athleticism [of both universities], but today was about intellectualism, so thank you to the students.”

A Senior Mass Communications student with a concentration in Marketing, Editor-in-Chief Shayla Simmons is a native Marylander. Self-identifies her editorial writing to be her strongsuit with topics ranging from politics to social issues to pop culture commentary.

TSU Graduate Jackson is the New Mr. Clean

TSU Graduate Jackson is the New Mr. Clean

By Raven Ashlee Mosely-Hall Staff Writer Mr. Clean has cleaned himself up and become a new man! TSU graduate Mike Jackson has replaced the iconic cartoon of the tall, handsome man dressed in all white with a single gold hoop earring, after 59 years. Procter […]

Getting Rid of the Stigma of HIV/AIDS to Find a Cure

Getting Rid of the Stigma of HIV/AIDS to Find a Cure

By Leona Dunn News Editor “What person goes to Kroger’s, gets stuck and starves to death? That is exactly what we are doing; we are in a world where we have everything we need to survive. So let’s eat,” T. K. Hampton told over 200 […]

‘Why We Laugh’ Shown During Black History Month

‘Why We Laugh’ Shown During Black History Month

By Knija Kendrick
Staff Writer
The showing of “Why We Laugh” that was released back in 2009, directed by Robert Townsend and Quincy Newell, was shown on Friday, February 17th in the Student Success Center, where students can learn about the history behind black entertainment along with enjoying an interesting film.
This particular film was very informative, stating a lot of interesting facts. Moms Mabley was the first African American woman to gain the title of comedian. She was the comedian anybody around that time could laugh at but still relate to. Also, Red Fox is considered ‘The Godfather’ of modern day comedy. His comedy appealed to more than one demographic. This means he did not only attract a black audience, but hispanic and white audiences as well, and everybody enjoyed it. Another fact given was that Dick Gregory came out during the Civil Rights movement. A lot of entertainers didn’t want to go the politics route, but he chose to take on such a heavy subject and touched the hearts of whites and blacks and were able to get them to laugh about it. White American was able to laugh, learn, and think about what was going on in the world around them all at the same time.
Furthermore, In 1970 black American actors were growing rapidly, and Flip Wilson was the first African American to own, produce, and star in a series called, “The Flip Wilson Show. This film was an educational documentary for those with no insight on how black entertainment started and what it meant to those who filled the shoes of the ones who are no longer here. After watching the film Chelsea Williams, a sophomore here at TSU, stated that “this film was well put together and very inspiring to those of us who are looking to go into the entertainment field.”
At the end of the film, Dr. Keisha Brown answered questions and hosted a discussion. Some of the questions posed were:
• What do modern Black comedians owe to the past?
• How can comedy be helpful or harmful?
• How has Black comedy been influenced by legal segregation and discrimination?
• Is there a gender imbalance in the discussion of Black female and Black male comedians?
The next two movies they will be hosting are “Confirmation” on March 31st and “Fruitvale Station” on April 13th. These events will take place in the Student Success Center on the 2nd floor.

A Senior Mass Communications student with a concentration in Marketing, Editor-in-Chief Shayla Simmons is a native Marylander. Self-identifies her editorial writing to be her strongsuit with topics ranging from politics to social issues to pop culture commentary.

President Trump’s Travel Ban and How it Affects TSU

President Trump’s Travel Ban and How it Affects TSU

By Shayla Simmons Copy Editor There are so many current events plaguing news stations that sometimes it may seem hard to keep track. However one to be aware of, of all of the latest executive orders passed by President Trump, is the nationwide travel ban. […]

Women of Empowerment Host Blanket Drive

Women of Empowerment Host Blanket Drive

By Leona Dunn Women of Empowerment, the Tennessee State University chapter of the National association of colored women’s club, held a blanket drive to bring in the new year giving back. “It was a thought that our president, Imari Scott-Cheatham, our paraphernalia chair Kelli Harris, […]

Nonprofit Group Supports Women on the Rise

Nonprofit Group Supports Women on the Rise

By Lavenia Chappel
Shannon Lee in 2015 founded the Nashville nonprofit Ladies Who Strive “to motivate, inspire and educate” young women to accomplish their entrepreneurial and career goals.
The organization is designed to be a support system for striving young women, something Lee felt was missing from the local business scene.
“Women always feel the need to compete with one another and instead we should motivate and help each other because there is enough room for all of us,” Lee said.
Lee, originally from Nashville, attended Tennessee State University for several years before embarking on a four-year journey to work for a real estate company in New York.
“When I was in New York, I got to know so many people that were willing to help me with anything I may have needed or wanted to know. Being from Nashville, I didn’t get that same welcome ,especially from other women and it was quite sad.”
Lee enjoyed her time in New York but wanted to start her own daycare business in Nashville. At the beginning stages, Lee realized no one was willing to help her or advise her on the steps she needed to take to get her business off the ground.
“I would call around to other daycare owners and I felt like I was getting the run around. No one genuinely wanted to talk to me, she said. “I was almost ready to give up because I didn’t have the proper guidance or tools. There was so much negativity surrounding me and unmotivated people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do so instead I formed a group for women that were or are going through the same thing as myself.”
She did not open the daycare center but has started a hair company, Be Hair Envy. She is also working to get the nonprofit going. Ladies Who Strive has a duty to ensure that women won’t fall short of their goals, no matter how small or large they may be, Lee said. The organization offers mentoring, encourages networking and teaches women the value of self research.
“I encourage women to attend workshops outside of the organization as well and when we meet twice a month, they can pass on information,” Lee said. “Everyone doesn’t have the time to attend workshops and it’s important to me that once members surpass their goals they can then teach other women how to do the same.”
Lee plans to host a tea-party style brunch informational session in April. She would like to see as many women as possible to attend “whether you are an entrepreneur, looking to move up in your current career or just looking for a good support group.”
 Ladies Who Strive will be accepting new members in the coming months. Lee said she looks forward to connecting with a new group of women and helping them on their journeys.
More information about Ladies Who Strive is available at ladieswhostrive.org or by contacting Shannon Lee at (615) 331-0661.

A Senior Mass Communications student with a concentration in Marketing, Editor-in-Chief Shayla Simmons is a native Marylander. Self-identifies her editorial writing to be her strongsuit with topics ranging from politics to social issues to pop culture commentary.

Graduate School Hosts First Recruitment Fair

Graduate School Hosts First Recruitment Fair

By Lucas Johnson NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service)  Tennessee State University’s School of Graduate Studies and Research is hosting a recruitment fair on Jan. 28 to showcase its excellent programs, and more. The fair, the school’s first, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 […]