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Amending History in Art
By Taylor Burris
To stand on a renowned national platform as a black man and merge the personal with the political is like standing in front of a bullseye and allowing your enemy to shoot you without daring to move.
It is to acknowledge your freedom and exercise it. More importantly, it is knowing that we, as African-Americans, are told that we are free, but are kept hidden in the background and told to behave and blend in.
Forty- one year old artist Titus Kaphar in a 12:52 TED talk did just this. As he stood before a seemingly majority white crowd, his artistic recreation, brush strokes, and innovative mindset poked a hole in art history that forced blacks to play minor characters despite their major roles.
Instead of continuing the trend of glossing over the existence of blacks through his work, he forces the audience to partake in addressing “our” erasure and oppression especially when facing the question, ‘‘How come he gets to ride, and they (blacks) have to walk?”, the very same question the Michigan native’s 9-year-old son asked his father.
When roaming through the Natural History Museum in New York, it took sons Sabian and Dabith’s inquisitive nature and observations to ask their father why the Native American man was able to ride a horse, while the African-American man walked.
Despite the similarities in both minority groups such as darker skin tone, having their land stolen, slavery, and disparities historically forced upon them by white Europeans, the Native American still gets to enjoy a basic amenity that even those of poor economic class can enjoy.
The horse, as a reflection of a man’s economic wealth, shows that even though the Native remains oppressed at least he is not the black man who remains the lesser.
Kapher, as the black man, dares to defy this “lesser” position and erasing of humanity by re- creating a portrait of a family. (subscribe to read full articles)
Stephen Maddox with one of his attorneys
Black Man Found NOT GUILTY of murder
By Kathie Easter
Last week, a black Durham man standing trial for first-degree murder was found not guilty after a two-week trial.
Stephen Maddox claimed that he acted in self-defense, and the jury agreed. Nevertheless, Maddox feels that his case should be viewed as a cautionary tale to others, as he observed, “Most people don’t walk away from a first-degree murder.”
Maddox shot 41-year-old Kelly Wilkerson of Raleigh outside the Bill Ellis Convention Center in Wilson on Oct. 17, 2015 after being repeatedly attacked by Wilkerson, who first assaulted him in a bathroom of the convention center.
Maddox and Wilson were both attending a bikers’ convention at the time.
Maddox commented, “It took about four guys to finally pull him off me after that.” Nevertheless, the fight continued in the convention center parking lot, where Wilkerson grabbed Maddox and threw him against some cars. With assistance, Maddox once more got away from Wilkerson, and called 911.
Wilkerson then attacked Maddox again, for the third time, and threw him to the ground. It was at this point, when Maddox, fearing for his life, discharged his weapon, firing five rounds. Maddox says that there is no doubt that if he had not fired, “I would have died out there.”
By Gerald Yon
Cam Newton’s rookie season alone was one for the record books. In the first game of his rookie year he threw for 400 yards, which topped Payton Manning’s record by 120 yards.
The remainder of his resume for his inaugural season includes breaking the record for passing–yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut, breaking the record for rushing touchdown’s with 14 in a single season and becoming the first rookie to throw for 4,000 in a single season.
He concluded his 2011 season with a slot on the NFL’s All Rookie Team and rightfully grabbed the Rookie of the Year title.
In 2015 Newton snatched Steve Young’s title away by recording both a rushing and passing touchdown in 32 games of his career.
In 2016 Cam broke the NFL record for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. He became the first player in NFL history to pass for 20,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in his first six seasons and broke the franchise record for passing yards. With these accomplishments came a new title; NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
Now in his sixth season with the Carolina Panthers, Newton holds so many records that the NFL should have two separate record books. One for Cam Newton and one for everyone else.
Critics of Newton like to point out the records that he has not broken instead of acknowledging the incredible accomplishments that he has achieved.
They often make mockery of his dress code and criticize his touchdown celebration instead of giving the man his props.
News flash people, football is for entertainment. Cam Newton is a lead character that knows and plays his role very well.
Newton once described himself as “an African–American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.“ He later denounced that statement, but he was absolutely right.
Cam Newton is unlike any other quarterback the NFL as ever seen. He’s gaudy, extravagant and mouthy. But, he is also talented, smart and a great all around quarterback.
Mainstream media might not idolizing such a showboat, but the numbers don’t lie.
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