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Lessons From A Black Brat

Sooooo, I spent Thanksgiving 2007 visiting friends in Indianapolis and family in Chicago.  What kind of soul would go on vacation just before the end of semester 1 in Graduate School? 


I don’t know about you, but I dread the question, “Where are you from?”  Moving from Maryland, to California, to Indiana, to North Carolina, and back to Maryland I don’t have a place to call home.  Don’t get it twisted though…I’m not a Military Brat and this is not a Pitty Party! 


I won’t use this blog to tell my life story, but rather to share the lessons of my journeys and to shed a LITTLE light on the people they call Brats.  Brats sacrifice a home for priceless experiences and rich memories.  An assortment of cultures, values, trends and behaviors result in a mixed-breed like none other!  Brats may be odd, but we have an interesting perspective on travelling and meeting people from various backgrounds.


Here are some lessons I’ve learned …


San Diego, California:  There is no perfect place.  Sunny Diego comes close to perfection with its mild weather and gorgeous mountains and valleys, but there are earthquakes, wild fires and serious droughts.


West Lafayette, Indiana:  To be a part of the minority can be beneficial.  At times I felt awkward because I was the only black girl in sight and the culture of most of my peers didn’t mesh well with mine.  From this I’ve learned to be independent, fearless and able to adapt to the most uncomfortable situations…you won’t catch me following the crowd!


Raleigh, North Carolina:  The dirty south is so fresh and so clean.  Yep, North Carolina, among other southern states, is making some major contributions to society in terms of education for African-Americans.  Living in Cary, NC, I was 20 minutes away from THREE Historically Black Colleges/Universities.  I loved being surrounded by black folks who challenge stereotypes!


Baltimore County, Maryland:  Originality is the key to enjoying life.  Black people in the Baltimore area do not care what other people think.  Some speak a different dialect of the English language–For instance, they say DUG when they mean DOG.  Known for their own sense of style, people in Baltimore have taught me to truly value my own original ideas.


Soooooooooo, when I’m really stressed out, revisting the places that have helped to develop my character is the BEST MOTIVATION EVER!      




November 27, 2007 Posted by | African American dilemma, Blog, NCCU | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why NC Central University Should Step Up the Wikipedia Game

As an NCCU alumna, I’d like to see my alma mater rise above the stereotypes of Historically Black Colleges/Universities and Wikipedia.  NC Central is a nationally accredited university with one of the best Law School’s in America and an award winning print and online campus newspaper, Campus Echo.  With such a strong focus on community service and a clear mission to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders, NCCU should definitely step up the Wikipedia game.


While analyzing the edits contributed by people who are connected to NCCU, I found plenty of disruptions, including grammatical errors and silly insertions.  Central’s disturbances to Wikipedia stand out since there are only 168 contributions from the school—not many compared to neighboring school, Duke University, which is connected to over 10,000 contributions. 


NCCU is a leading, influential university and even though we can’t fully trust the site, Wikipedia should be taken seriously given its popularity.  Tons of people rely on information from Wikipedia, so the site is yet another dimension of learning, a community movement, where good character and integrity win.  Corrupting information on Wikipedia related to the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Decolonization should not be part of NC Central’s agenda because it misrepresents the university. 


In fact, it doesn’t appear that NCCU has an agenda regarding Wikipedia.  Even though the school’s page is part of Wikipedia Project University, Project Durham, and Project North Carolina, Central has made no major efforts to get its ‘Start-Class’ rated page up to par.  Only 12 small contributions to the academics, external links, notable alumni and executives sections have been made to NCCU’s page, by NCCU. 


Most NC Central contributions to Wikipedia focus on updating the pages of hip-hop and r&b artists, producers and songs.  That’s cool, but thank goodness no one judges NCCU’s priorities based on Wikiscanner evidence!  I felt a sigh of relief when I came across two cases of NCCU edits that removed vandalism/profanity.  I was also impressed with the edits made to Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport since they support Project North Carolina.


So, in an effort to make Wikipedia a more trustworthy site and to instill internet etiquette (still a new concept) in all students who attend my alma mater, North Carolina Central University should value its opportunities on Wikipedia and take charge.  The Campus Echo has started an excellent path for NCCU’s credibility online, but I think it’s time for us Eagles to spread our wings. 



October 30, 2007 Posted by | NCCU, Wikipedia, Wikiscanner | , | Leave a comment