The Time is Now: Black Excellence at the Forefront

by Travis Henry 

October 31st saw the end of a crazy month, the day of Halloween, and the beginning of a new discussion at Rutgers University.

A special radioblack excellence show, “Black Excellence” broadcasted on 90.3FM The Core, student run radio on October 31st from 4-6pm. The aim of the radio show was to highlight African-American student leaders on campus and their accomplishments. Yolande Edme, SAS 2016, piloted the show because she wanted to branch out to students and engage the members of Rutgers NAACP while spreading a message of black power and awareness to the larger community.

The Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Alpha Phi chapter of Iota Phi Theta also had similar goals. Throughout the semester, they have held study sessions and coordinated community service events such as empowering inner city youth and giving food to the homeless.

And so, the groups collaborated as Edme invited Nigel Golding and Ebun Adenekan, members of Alpha Phi Alpha on the show. Golding and Adenekan discussed the importance of black leaders on campus as role models for the community and incoming students.

Edme also invited in two other student leaders, Brianna Battle and Muna Ilogu, to talk about their projects and ideas. Brianna Battle, the student body Vice President of Rutgers University Student Association (RUSA) expressed the need to attend Town Hall meetings where important decisions are continuously being made around school. When asked about what black excellence meant to Battle, she replied,

“Black Excellence is minority-colored people excelling in areas that the rest of society doesn’t deem that we are capable of succeeding in. For a generic example, Obama is deemed as Black Excellence to me.”

Muna Ilogu facilitated a project over the summer called Helping Hands for Nigeria, where she supplied children in Nigeria with different sorts of supplies to better support them in the future. She spoke about the importance to reach out and give back to the community. Black excellence knows no borders.

Besides the student leaders on campus, Edme also brought along an up-and-coming rapper from Kean University named KB who discussed the importance of music in Black culture. “Music, for us, is the only thing that other races don’t have the upper hand on. As a culture, we run this” he explained.

“Black Excellence is the hybrid of art and culture, which is something that should be respected”, said Edme.  By using The Core FM’s services as a platform to broadcast a message so powerful and relevant, it becomes a message that gets well received.

The purpose of The Core is to provide students with access to the airwaves and to train them in the operation of a radio station and its equipment.  The Core provides musical and other forms of entertainment and information to Livingston Campus students.

The Rutgers chapter of the NAACP meets weekly on Mondays on Livingston Student Center 201B at 8pm. The purpose of this organization is to uplift and fight for the sole purpose of the minority, to advance the social, political, economical, educational, and cultural status of the minority to ensure equality and free treatment of the minority, to assist in the development of future contributions in history by the minority, and to inform the community of problems affecting the minority population through the implementation of programming with other organizations and the local community.

The objectives of this Alpha Phi Alpha shall be: to stimulate the ambition of its members; to prepare them for the greatest usefulness in the causes of humanity, freedom, and dignity of the individual;  to encourage the highest and noblest form of manhood; and to aid down-trodden humanity in its efforts to achieve higher social, economic and intellectual status.

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