All posts by vernagibson

End of May Movies

by VERNA GIBSON

May 15

Mad Max: Fury Road

This post-apocalyptic film focuses on Mad Max Rockatanksy, a former highway patrolman, who agrees to protect a woman named Furiosa and five captives she has rescued, as they cross the desert. This film is the fourth in the Mad Max series and spent 25  years in the developmental stage before receiving the funding to be filmed. After issues with Mel Gibson, who played Rockatansky in the previous three films, in 2011 filming started with Tom Hardy assuming the titular role. Hardy told Esquire magazine that he will star in three more Mad Max movies after Fury Road. The first Mad Max movie was released in 1979.

Pitch Perfect 2

This sequel follows the Bellas as they enter an international acapella competition that has never been won by an American team. The film, which stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, brought back the majority of the main characters and added a new recruit, played by Hailee Steinfield. Pitch Perfect 2 is being lauded for being one of the few female centered blockbusters of the summer as well as recognized as an expected success. This time around the film is directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Good Kill

A man who works as a drone operator begins to feel conflicted about his job as he tries to reconcile the attacks he perpetrates from afar. The main character,Tom Egan, played by Ethan Hawke struggles to learn how to deal with the gravity of his missions and living his life with his family. The film shows the effect of drones on military personnel and how war is changing.

May 22

Tomorrowland

A young girl, played by Britt Robertson, who most recently starred in The Longest Ride, discovers a pin that allows her to enter a new world. Robertson along with George Clooney, learn that her destiny is to save Tommorowland.

Chocolate City

Many have called this the Black version of Magic Mike. A struggling college student, played by Robert Ri’chard, is recruited to work for a strip club after trying out at an amateur night. His new found success causes problems with the other strippers at the club. This movie is filled with familiar faces such as Micheal Jai White, Tyson Beckford, Ginuwine, and Darrin Dewitt Henson.

May 29

San Andreas

After a massive earthquake splits California, a helicopter pilot played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson travels across the state to rescue his daughter and seemingly every other female he comes in contact with. The film get its name from the San Andreas fault, which splits causing destruction throughout the West.

Aloha

Bradley Cooper stars as a military contractor who is reassigned to Hawaii to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite, after having  a meltdown, is and forced to deal with his past. He goes back to face his ex, Rachel McAdams, and finds a new love interest, his Air Force liaison played by Emma Stone. The film also stars Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin.

Houseboys and Poets: A Conscious Talent Show

by VERNA GIBSON

Last Wednesday, students gathered in Nyumburu Cultural Center for African Student Progressive Action Committee’s second annual “Houseboys and Poets.” Guests sat down to a dinner while enjoying performances including spoken word, rapping and singing for a good cause.

Many performers centered their pieces around the current situation in Baltimore and the topic of police brutality. Others spoke on what it meant to them to be Black or African.

“It was interesting seeing the talents talk about the same issue going on, just being black and all the issues going on in the community,” said Samson Bintu.

Bintu, a senior studio art major, said “It was great to witness the amount of talent in this area.”

Jason Nkwain, a geographic information systems and English double major, performed a poem called ‘Have You Ever Seen an African Dance?’. Nkwain was accompanied on vocals by Gabrielle Aka, a junior journalism and French double major.

Junior Abriana Height, an electrical engineering major performs a poem about being a black woman.

Tomi Faldoun, a bioenigineering freshman, and Elie Rizk, biology freshman, performed ‘Is it Love?’ by Bob Marley. Faldoun sang while Rizk accompanied him on guitar.

The event was a fundraiser for ACF Uganda, an organization that runs mission trips to bring American students to Uganda, along with a clothing drive from the Iota Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. During the event, there was a presentation explaining what ACF Uganda does and the mission trip they take yearly.

Kawan Glover, a finance major and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said Iota Zeta chose to co-sponsor the event in an attempt to branch out and team up with other cultural organizations on campus they haven’t traditionally worked with. Glover said he enjoyed the performances but felt the event was “under attended for the talent here.”

William Sama, former ASPAC president, said he enjoyed how “Houseboys and Poets” brought conscious artists together to share their art for a good cause. Sama said he felt that was one of the best aspects of the event.

Chydubem Nwaiwu, Physiology and Neurology major, came to the event because he “feel[s] a strong connection to the African community.” Nwaiwu says this year was an improvement and though there were fewer people in attendance the performances were better than they had been.

ASPAC chose to donate their proceeds to ACF because their former president went on one of the missions trips and told them about the charity, according to Shalom Abwa, ASPAC’s historian.

“I feel like last year set the tone for this year,” said Sabwa. “More people were excited to come and we had more hype around it.”

“It did exceed our expectations. We like the fact that people were willing to come and pay $5 to support such a service,” Sabwa said.

You can donate to UCF at gofundme.com/acfuganda2015

Will it be Waka in 2016?

by VERNA GIBSON

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame is the newest candidate to enter the race for the 2016 presidential election. Flame announced his candidacy with a Rolling Stone video on Monday. In the video, Flame, born as Juaquin James Malphurs, announces his presidency, signs what appear to be candidacy papers and outlines his platform.

Continue reading Will it be Waka in 2016?

Who Was Lauren Hill?

(Courtesy of basketballsessions.com)

by VERNA GIBSON

In her senior year of high school, basketball phenom Lauren Hill began feeling dizzy while playing for her school’s team. After going through medical tests, doctors found a tumor and Hill was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, DIPG, a brain cancer usually found in children aged 4 to 9, 49 days after her 18th birthday. After treatment failed, Hill knew her condition was terminal.

Despite the circumstances, Hill didn’t let her illness hold her back and went to college at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She spent her time continuing her athletic career and attending classes all while raising awareness about her illness.

“I never gave up for a second, even when I got a terminal diagnosis… I never thought about sitting back and not living life anymore,” Hill told the Local 12 station in Cincinnati.

Continue reading Who Was Lauren Hill?

Crackdown in PCB after Shooting

by VERNA GIBSON

Panama City Beach has banned drinking alcohol on the beach following a shooting on March 27 that left seven injured. Around 1 a.m., police were called to a house party where they found victims inside and outside of the house. Three of the victims were students from Alabama A&M University who were visiting for Spring Break.

Continue reading Crackdown in PCB after Shooting

What to do if you’re staying at UMD for Spring Break

by VERNA GIBSON

Not all of us can go to Miami or Cancun for Spring Break but that’s no reason not to have a fun break. These are many events around College Park you can go to this week.

March 14 

Blaze Pizza for only $3.14 – Make a quick trip to Route 1 and get yourself a personal made-to-order pizza for more than half off.

Sneaker Mania – Head down to the Convention Center to buy, sell or trade your sneakers.

March 17

DC Environmental Film Festival which will feature 160 films at 55 venues all over D.C.

March 19

African Fashion Week starts in D.C. Celebrate with their kickoff party from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Kabin Lounge.

March 20

Head down to D.C. for the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Rita’s will be having free Italian Ice.

#BlackoutDay and How it Blew Up

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by VERNA GIBSON

A hashtag created on Tumblr by user expect-the-greatest, who had the idea to celebrate black beauty with a day sharing selfies on social media, quickly moved throughout social media to make an impact unimagined.

Celebrities even joined in.

Off early… on a Friday… danger… danger Will Robinson #BeingMaryJane #Season3 #BlackOutDay

A photo posted by Gabrielle Union (@gabunion) on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:19pm PST

The event was described by incogneeco to Chescaleigh, a youtuber and curator for Upworthy, as “a show of community and solidarity, for those 24 hours, we are exclusively posting and reblogging pics, gifs, videos, selfies, etc. of Black people. We want to show that Black History is happening today, right now. That we are all Black History.” Continue reading #BlackoutDay and How it Blew Up

BSU’s First Apollo Night

by VERNA GIBSON

BSU held their first Apollo Night on Friday, a change from their usual Thursday night juke joints. Students rapped, sang and performed spoken word as usual, but there were three judges who gave each act feedback after each performance. The performers were accompanied by a live band and the event was held in Hoff Theater instead of Nyumburu. The judges were UMD alums Damien Pinkett, ’13, Jewell Briscoe and Wendell “DJ” Alston, both from the class of 2014.

The change was well received.

Continue reading BSU’s First Apollo Night

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Seek To Change Laws in the DMV

by VERNA GIBSON

Yesterday, D.C. Initiative Measure #71 legalized the possession of less than two ounces of marijuana in the Nation’s capital for those over 21. Maryland’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy, otherwise known as SSDP, came together to discuss the D.C. Initiative on Wednesday as well as the state of Maryland’s marijuana policy.

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a club at the University of Maryland that meets twice a month to discuss different aspects of U.S. drug policy. Past meetings have covered the War on Drugs especially dealing with race and incarceration, the use of psychedelics and planning for lobbying the state senate on its marijuana stance. The group says on their website they are not advocating drug use but instead want to take a critical look at the drug war. Continue reading Students for Sensible Drug Policy Seek To Change Laws in the DMV

The Blacker the Berry Draws Both Praise and Controversy (Review)

Kendrick Lamar’s newest song “The Blacker the Berry,” which he released a day after winning two Grammy’s, has been met with strong praise and strong criticism. Lamar’s new single, named after Wallace Thurman’s novel, has been lauded by some for bringing race back into the conversation of hip-hop as well as criticized for it’s comments about the black community.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Continue reading The Blacker the Berry Draws Both Praise and Controversy (Review)