Tag: Prairie View A&M University

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison Honored by Princeton University with Dedication of Morrison Hall

Photo: Princeton University
Author and Professor Toni Morrison at Morrison Hall dedication (Photo: Princeton University)

via blavity.com

Princeton University showed respect and honor to author Toni Morrison by dedicating Morrison Hall on Friday, Nov. 17. Morrison – who in 1993 became the first African American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature – is the Emeritus Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at the university. The building dedication took place after Morrison’s keynote address at the Princeton and Slavery Project Symposium.

“This is a very, very special, beautiful occasion for me,” Morrison said.

During the opening fort he dedication ceremony, Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber emphasized the importance of Morrison Hall, referring to it as a “181-year-old building that is the home and the heart of the undergraduate college at Princeton University.” Previously, Morrison Hall was called West College, and inside, students can find the Office of the Dean of the College. On Nov. 14, a portrait of Morrison created by Paul Wyse was hung in the building.

“How fitting that the first building named through this process will now honor a teacher, an artist and a scholar who not only has graced our campus with the highest imaginable levels of achievement and distinction, but who has herself spoken eloquently about the significance of names on the Princeton campus,” Eisgruber said, referring to an address Morrison delivered in 1996 at Princeton’s 250th convocation, titled “The Place of the Idea; the Idea of the Place.”

Other speakers at the ceremony included Morrison’s close friend Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University and her former student MacKenzie Bezos who graduated from Princeton in 1992 and is now an author. In 2016, the university trustees approved naming and dedicating one of the institution’s most prominent buildings after Morrison. Simmons helped recruit Morrison to Princeton when Simmons was acting director of the Center for African American Studies. In her remarks, Simmons said, “It doesn’t take much for Toni to get a swelled head; this is going to take it over the top.”

Morrison joined the Princeton University faculty as a literature and creative writing professor in 1989. She transferred to emeritus status in 2006. According to the Princeton, the Sula writer played a major role in expanding the university’s commitments to the creative and performing arts and to African American Studies. In 1994, Morrison founded the Princeton Atelier, which brings together undergraduate students in interdisciplinary collaborations with acclaimed artists. Morrison’s papers, which were already a part of the university library’s permanent collection since 2014, became available to students, faculty and worldwide scholars in 2016 for research purposes.

To read full article, go to: https://blavity.com/princeton-university-honors-nobel-laureate-toni-morrison-by-dedicating-morrison-hall

Texas City Votes to Leave in Place Street Name Changed to Honor Sandra Bland

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Sandra Bland (photo via FACEBOOK)

The newly-minted Sandra Bland Parkway in Prairie View, Texas, will keep its name.

The Prairie View City Council voted Tuesday to keep the name for a road that leads into Prairie View A&M University and was renamed this summer in honor of Bland, who died at the Waller County Jail in July after she arrested during a traffic stop, according to KHOU.

Police said Bland was found hanging in her cell after the July 10 arrest. But suspicions arose after the release of a police dashcam video of Bland’s traffic stop and arrest. An officer had stopped Bland for failing to signal a lane change, but their encounter became confrontational, and the officer arrested her for allegedly assaulting him.

To ease tensions in the community, the City Council voted in August to change the name of University Boulevard to Sandra Bland Parkway. It is the same stretch of road on which she was stopped and arrested. Not everyone agreed with the name change, and city leaders on Tuesday heard from a divided community on the issue. But lawmakers decided to keep the new name in honor of Bland, who had moved back to Texas in July to take a job with her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University.

“The whole world is talking about Sandra Bland,” said one supporter from the council podium, reports the news outlet. “And Sandra Bland is putting Prairie View on the map.”

When the street was renamed in August, ABC 13 reported that hundreds of Prairie View A&M alumni gathered with current students to march from the student-union building to the site where Bland was stopped, and then on to City Hall, where the street was renamed.

“If every time they pull over a student, they have to be reminded of what took place here, then that will help the relationship to be more respectful between the officers and the students,” protester Hannah Bonner told the news station in August.

Read more at KHOU.

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Street Sandra Bland Stopped On Renamed in Her Honor

Prairie View City Council members in Texas are hoping a road renamed after activist Sandra Bland will serve as a constant reminder of the injustices they say she suffered in Waller County, USA Today reports.

City officials are also hopeful that the road, which leads to Bland’s alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, will also encourage law enforcement to make better choices and always follow best practices when making stops on University Drive, which will become Sandra Bland Parkway for three to five years before the council votes on the matter again.

“I am overwhelmed, and I am just truly thankful to the city of Prairie View,” Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland’s mother, said in a press conference here after the decision to rename the road.

“This is the first step, the very first step,” Reed-Veal said. “There’s still so much more that needs to be done.”

Bland, 28, was stopped on the same road July 10 for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. When Texas state Trooper Brian Encinia felt his power threatened by Bland’s wit and matter-of-fact tone, he arrested her on a charge of assaulting a public servant.

She was found hanging in her jail cell three days after her arrest, a death that has been ruled a suicide but is also being treated like a murder investigation. According to CNN, the Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating Sandra’s death.

“It is very much too early to make any kind of determination that this was a suicide or a murder because the investigations are not complete,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told reporters. “This is being treated like a murder investigation.”

Mathis said the case would go to a grand jury.

“There are too many questions that still need to be resolved. Ms. Bland’s family does make valid points that she did have a lot of things going on in her life that were good,” Mathis said.

Earlier this month, family members filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against arresting officer Encinia and two guards at the Waller County Jail where Bland died, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the county. The New York Times reports that the lawsuit states Encinia made up a reason to arrest Sandra and that jailers failed to react when she refused meals and “had bouts of uncontrollable crying.”

Bland’s family maintains that she never should have been stopped and arrested and they want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

article via blackamericaweb.com

Sandra Bland’s Family Files Federal Lawsuit over Jail Cell Death

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Attorney Cannon Lambert Sr., left, and Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland’s mother, announce in Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, the family’s lawsuit against those believed to be responsible for Bland’s July 13, 2015, death. (Photo: KHOU-TV, Houston)

HOUSTON — The family of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman found dead in a Texas jail cell last month, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Houston seeking to hold people involved in her death accountable.  “We are looking for Waller County and the individuals involved to take accountability,” said attorney Cannon Lambert Sr., who is representing the family.

The lawsuit is filed against Trooper Brian Encinia, the sheriff of Waller County, Texas, two of the jailers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Lambert said.

Encinia arrested Bland on July 10 in Waller County, Texas. Three days later, on July 13, she was found dead in a jail cell in Hempstead, Texas. Officials say she used a plastic bag to hang herself.

Many of Bland’s family, friends and others on social media worldwide have questioned that explanation. They say she was about to start a new job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater.

The 28-year-old was pulled over for failing to signal while changing lanes. She was arrested for allegedly kicking Encinia during a traffic stop near Prairie View A&M. Dashcam video does not make clear whether or not that happened, but does show the encounter quickly escalating after Encinia tells Bland to put out her cigarette.

The trooper was put on desk duty for violating procedures during the stop.  “Mr. Encinia is still employed and it doesn’t make sense that the taxpayers are paying for the type of service that he employed on July 10,” Lambert said.

“This family needs an answer to the principle question of what happened to Sandra Bland. It’s why we filed suit,” he said.

The family would like the Department of Justice to investigate Bland’s death as they said the case requires a fresh set of eyes.  Last week, Waller County officials released hours of video of Bland inside the jail to try to disprove claims of foul play.

On July 22, police released a 52-minute long dash camera video from Encinia’s car. The clip showed Encinia yelling for Bland to get out of her car and demanding that she put her phone away.  “Step out, or I will remove you,” he said repeatedly, opening the driver’s door as she protested.

The release of the video raised questions on whether the video had been edited. The Texas Department of Public Safety disputed those claims, saying the “glitches” in the video came during the uploading process. The next day, the department released the video without the “glitches.”

“I watched the video once. I will not watch it again,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland’s mother. She said watching the video she felt “anger, disgust, disappointment and sadness. I have chosen to channel those feelings in another way. … I am angry. Justice is going to be served if the justice system does what it’s supposed to do.”

Continue reading “Sandra Bland’s Family Files Federal Lawsuit over Jail Cell Death”

TX Prosecutor Appoints Committee Outside His Jurisdiction to Investigate Death Of Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland (photo via fusion.net)
Sandra Bland (photo via fusion.net)

In the wake of funeral services for Sandra Bland this past weekend, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis has appointed a committee of attorneys from outside his jurisdiction to review findings in the mysterious death of Bland. This committee will review evidence as it continues to be collected, all in an effort to help Mathis sort out the many moving parts of the case.

Mathis made the announcement on Monday, just as the fervor around finding out how exactly the 28-year-old Illinois woman died just three days after a traffic stop in Texas on July 10. Mathis’ office released a toxicology report last Monday, revealing that Bland had marijuana in her system. According to the Chicago Tribune, a pair of experts that reviewed the report for the Associated Press suggested that Bland may have used the drug while in custody.

Mathis said he and the collective of lawyers intend to review “credible evidence and not rumors” according to a report from CBS News. Mathis has much to contend with in that arena, as Bland’s family and supporters are questioning findings that her death was indeed a self-inflicted hanging by way of a plastic trash bag in her Waller County jail cell.

Continue reading “TX Prosecutor Appoints Committee Outside His Jurisdiction to Investigate Death Of Sandra Bland”

Top 10 HBCUs by Starting Average Salary

Graduate Frederick Anderson stands in the pouring rain as President Barack Obama acknowledges him during his Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony address Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta. After a difficult childhood Shelton graduating Phi Beta Kappa and is on his way to Harvard Law School. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Graduate Frederick Anderson stands in the pouring rain as President Barack Obama acknowledges him during his Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony address Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta. After a difficult childhood Shelton graduating Phi Beta Kappa and is on his way to Harvard Law School. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A college education is viewed one of the essential stepping stones to a fulfilling career – but its cost traditionally does not come cheap.  In particular, the tuition of some of the nation’s many historically black colleges and universities range across the board but the rewards of a college degree often outweigh the costs.  While tuition costs and school population sizes are strong determining factors when considering which school to attend, one website, HBCU Lifestyle, has listed which HBCU graduates would earn the most in salary after earning college degrees.

Here are the top 10 HBCU’s by starting average salary:

Rank College Name Average Salary Tuition Location
1 Prairie View A&M University $49,300 $4,062 Prairie View, TX
2 Bowie State University $46,400 $4,547 Bowie, MD
3 Hampton University $46,300 $16,888 Hampton, VA
4 Tuskegee University $44,700 $17,070 Tuskegee, AL
5 Morehouse College $44,200 $21,616 Atlanta, GA
6 Xavier University of Louisiana $42,300 $16,900 New Orleans, LA
7 University of Maryland Eastern Shore $41,900 $4,362 Princess Anne, MD
8 Howard University $41,700 $19,150 Washington, DC
9 Morgan State University $41,500 $4,540 Baltimore, MD
10 Southern University and A&M College $41,400 $5,074 Baton Rouge, LA

Visit HBCU Lifestyle to learn more.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

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