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February 18, 2021



Special Edition




Copeland Museum gleams into Black history Page 4

Shades of Melanin Page 6

Black Lives Matter nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Page 9

February 18, 2021

In our opinion.

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 2


VSU Withdrawal Policy is not a free pass

The VSU Withdrawal Policy

allows students five withdrawals

from any class. After five

withdrawals are used, an

automatic F will show up on a

student’s academic transcript for

any subsequent withdrawals.

The Student Government

Association disagrees with the

policy and is hoping to get it

revised to allow students to use

more than five withdrawals.

SGA has been hosting town

hall meetings for the past week so

students can voice their concerns

about the policy.

Students are humans.

Humans make mistakes and

sometimes those mistakes can be


However, when those mistakes

are made repeatedly, a life

line should not be warranted


According to the current VSU

Withdrawal Policy, a withdrawal

is “a mechanism for students to

leave classes when they believe

that they will not be successful.”

There’s no telling what causes

a student to earn a failing grade in

a class, but sometimes it’s not a

student’s fault, which is why there

are other withdrawal policies

such as the hardship and medical

withdrawal policies.

Some students, however,

choose to take advantage of the

withdrawal policy and use it as

a way to sample certain classes

before they fully commit, which

is why VSU’s administration

chose to put a limit on the number

of withdrawals back in 2010.

Nonetheless, the withdrawal

policy is not a glorified free pass.

It’s more so a wakeup call.

The policy should be revised,

but instead of increasing the

amount of withdrawals for all

students, the administration

should examine a tiered

policy according to students’


The tiered Withdrawal Policy

would serve as a way to limit

students’ abuse of the policy but

still help those students in dire

need of a lifeline.

What some students don’t

understand is that withdrawals

not only hurt them but also other


When students take up seats

in classes that they don’t intend

to stay in, other students who

Meet the Editors

need the class lose out on the

opportunity to take the class they


Using withdrawals will also

cost you.

Even though students avoid

receiving an F on their academic

transcript, they don’t avoid losing

financial aid that could have been

used for other obligations.

Lastly, employers will still see

a W on a students’ transcript.

This can indicate to employers a

student’s lack of effort and cause

them to lose job opportunities.

We say all this to say that

withdrawals should be available

as a last resort.

Students would do better to

find other solutions, such as

talking to their professors or

attending tutoring sessions if

they find themselves in trouble


If those methods prove

ineffective, then a student should

resort to a withdrawal.

There has to be a reasonable

withdrawal mechanism for

students to use who desperately

need it.

But when withdrawals are

abused, they’re useless.

The tiered withdrawal policy

will hold students accountable

while still serving its purpose

-This editorial was written by a

member of the editorial staff and

expresses the general opinion of

The Spectator.

Lenah Allen



Kayla Pool

Managing/ News Editor


Zach Edmondson

Sports Editor


Kilie Huckleby

Campus Life Editor


Torrence Weaver Jr.




Isabella Schneider

Copy Editor


Gracie Lucas

Digital Content Editor


Camille Grube-Hall

Web Editor


Bailey A Storey

Photo Editor


Sarahi Montero

Graphic Design Editor


Jonnie Brewer

Assistant Copy Editor


Gwenivere Friedman

Assistant Social Media



Get weekly updates of your campus

and community news.


Come visit us on

Wednesday nights at

5:30 in Hopper 1238

February 18, 2021

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 3


Photo Courtesy of The Mary Turner Project

The memorial was erected to recognize Mary Turner and many others who were victims in Lowndes and Brooks County during a lynching spree in 1918.

Mary Turner Memorial vandalism shows disrespect

Alora Bethay

Staff Writer


Subject matter and opportunity

These are the two most

important factors Captain Stryde

Jones at the Lowndes County

Sheriff’s Office has looked at

regarding his investigation of the

Mary Turner memorial in Hahira,


In October 2020, the Mary

Turner memorial was removed

due to extensive damages after

it was shot over 20 times and hit

with off-road vehicles.

“This wasn’t the first time it

was vandalized; it was shot a few

months after being put up,” Jones

said.“But this is the first time it’s

been damaged enough to warrant

it being taken down.”

The memorial was erected

to recognize Mary Turner and

Jonnie Brewer

aSSiStant Copy ediotr


On Feb. 3, VSU students

and faculty received an email

regarding the campus becoming

a distribution center for the

COVID-19 vaccine starting next

week. However, this doesn’t mean

the vaccine will immediately be

available to students.

Students may have noticed a

survey immediately upon logging

into MyVSU. The survey was

created to determine and who

does or doesn’t want to receive

the vaccine.

Phase 1A+ includes those apart

of the health services staff, VSU

police department, counseling

center, community therapy,

nursing faculty and students in a

clinical setting, athletics medical

staff and trainers and those 65

years of age and older.

Phase 1B includes COVID-19

residential life, food delivery

personnel, custodial and

disinfecting personnel, education

students who are student teaching

for K-12 and all VSU employees.

Phase 1C includes students

between the ages of 16 to 64 with

many others who were victims

in Lowndes and Brooks County

during a lynching spree in 1918.

An article written by Walter

F. White, the assistant secretary

of the NAACP in 1918, explains

that, “Hampton Smith, whose

murder was the immediate cause

of the holocaust of lynchings, was

the owner of a large plantation in

Brooks County.”

Smith was shot by his

employee, 19-year-old Sidney

Johnson after Smith severely beat

him because he claimed he was

too sick to return to work.

Mary Turner spoke out about

the murder of her husband Hazel

(Hayes) Turner. Hayes Tuner

had been arrested in connection

with Johnson and was placed in

the Quitman Jail. For reasons

unknown however, Hayes was

being moved to a different

location but was taken en route

a medical condition that increases

their risk of severe COVID-19.

Phase 2 includes all VSU

students. Being in phase 1A+,

students can expect a wait on their

turn for the vaccine.

Dr. Robert Smith, provost

and vice president for academic

affairs, says the purpose of the

phases is that there is a small

fraction of doses compared to the

number of Americans who could

potentially be vaccinated.

“The CDC (Center for Disease

Control) has recommended to

all 50 states and the District

of Columbia a tier system,”

Dr. Smith said. “The state

then, in turn, have made minor

medications to that system, so

currently GA is in tier 1A+.”

Dr. Vince Miller, vice president

for student affairs, said the

COVID-19 task force for VSU

hope the vaccine will be available

as soon as Monday, Feb. 8.

“The challenge is that all the

vaccines are distributed through

public health, so the lengthy

process – even to be able to allow

us to be a part of the process – is

controlled by the public health,”

he said. “They allowed us to

submit our order this week and

and lynched about three and a half

miles from the town, according to

White’s article.

While both Mary and her

Husband had worked for Smith,

Mary publicly denied her husband

had any involvement with

Hamilton Smith and later said she

would request warrants for those

responsible for his death. Her

words angered the mob who then

set out to “teach her a lesson.”

Mary attempted to flee when

she heard the mob was after her,

but was caught, beaten, set on fire,

hung and shot multiple times.

It was this horrific event that

began several anti-lynching

protests all across America.

Though lynching is illegal today,

the Senate has yet to pass the

Emmett Till Antilynching Act

purposed by representative Bobby

Rush from Illinois in 2018.

The bill named after Emmet

were told we should receive them

early next week.”

According to Dr. Miller, the

uncertainty of not knowing the

exact day VSU will receive the

vaccine causes a challenge in

scheduling appointments on


Dr. Smith says the Department

of Public Health (DPH) has

received fewer doses than wanted.

“Here in Lowndes County,

the Department of Public Health

is distributing the vaccine as

well as some pharmacies and

South Georgia Regional Medical

Center, and the Department of

Public health started cancelling

appointments a week and a half

ago because they didn’t have

enough vaccines,” he said.

Dr. Smith said the process is

fluid and open, so the DPH can’t

know what is going to happen

until it happens.

VSU will be receiving both

the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine

next week, according to VSU’s

COVID-19 vaccination plan.

VSU does not have control

over when the phases begin or the

amount of vaccine is received.

Dr. Miller says the Georgia

Department of Public Health has

Till, a 14-year-old victim of a

brutal lynching in 1955 would

make lynching a federal crime in


There may be no explanations

for the destruction to the

memorial, though several

organizations like the Mary

Turner Project have come together

to not only educate people on the

significance of these monuments

but to implore people to educate

themselves on the history of their


“We should bring them up

because these events remain one

of the most gruesome cases of

racism and racial terrorism in

this nation’s history, yet they are

omitted from the history we teach

our children. We should bring

them up because Mary Turner’s

murder remains one of the most

horrific crimes committed against

a human being in this nation’s

an application through Georgia

Registry of Immunization

Transactions and Services

(GRITS), which is the data

base for vaccines, including the

COVID-19 vaccine.

“There were a number of steps

to be taken to verify we were

a functioning facility, that we

had the storage capacity, and

our individuals were trained on

distribution and handling the

vaccine,” he said.

The application process had to

be completed in order for VSU

to be approved to distribute the

vaccination, and it required those

leading vaccination efforts to

go through training and receive

a certificate before submitting

the application, according to Dr.


In order to carry out the

vaccines, VSU had to have the

proper, laboratory grade freezers

to keep the vaccines in the right


“They are specialty equipment

that’s used in science and medical

labs,” Dr. Miller said. “We

probably invested $20,000 in that


Dr. Miller said the federal

government is providing relief

history. And last but not least, we

should bring these events up so

we can face our collective past in

order to see how it might affect

the present and the future. Please

help us do that.” -Mary Turner


Denying history so that we can

feel comforted in the present is

something many people choose

to do, and the destruction of this

memorial is proof of that.

A monument recognizing a

painful part of the South’s history

is being attacked because the

belief in that history is optional.

A large part of honoring Black

History Month is educating and

understanding that history.

To learn more information on

the Mary Turner lynchings as well

as other historical events visit


VSU becomes distribution center for COVID-19 vaccine

funds for higher education

institutions for COVID-19

management, so VSU is intending

on submitting that expense for


The vaccine is free of charge

for those at VSU.

Dr. Smith says it’s important

to note that things are rapidly

changing, and students should

stay tuned for any changes and


Wyatt Brady, a junior public

relations major, said it’s a good

idea that VSU is becoming a

distributer for the COVID-19


“It’s really cool to go to a

college that cares about the

community and its students

enough to take on such a big

task,” Brady said. “I am excited to

see how much VSU offering the

vaccine helps the community.”

Social distancing, wearing

masks and reporting cases is still

important and required alongside

the vaccine becoming available.

More information on the phases

and scheduling can be found at


Page 4 The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com

February 18, 2021


Copeland Museum gleams into Black history

Madison Gruber

Campus Life assistant


VSU’s Copeland African

American Museum (CAAM) features

different artifacts in Thaxton

Hall with new hours provided for

Black History Month.

CAAM has a wide-ranging number

of precious artifacts of African

American descent that help to

create the heritage that exists

today. This includes letters from

historical figures, instruments that

were played by bona fide artists

and clips from events that paved

the way we live today.

More artifacts include, but are not

limited to, the autographed Muhammad

Ali boxing gloves that

started his career, a letter typed

by Martin Luther King, Jr. and a

short script written by Tupac.

CAAM’s mission is to honor

and preserve historical artifacts

that show how African American

culture has provided for current

times. By showing the different

types of history, CAAM hopes

to encourage conversations that

engage diverse people.

The journey of the CAAM began

in 2016 when Dr. Roy Copeland

and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Copeland,

created a space where people

can be filled with American

history, and be educated on the

contributions that African Americans

have made to the culture.

Photo Courtesy of Bailey Storey

Copeland African American Museum is in Thaxton Hall which has African American artifacts.

Touring CAAM will help you increase

your knowledge as well as

enhance your overall understanding

of diversity and its importance

to society today.

“The importance is to have tangible

and close-by museum, because

we are very rare,” TaMara Tolbert,

a grad student who works at the

museum, said. “There’s not many

solely African American museums

and especially on a college

campus, so our duty is to continue

to look for knowledge, to gain

in-depth knowledge on things that

people have done for us today and

provoke conversation about where

we are now, where we came from

and all the way we can go.”

Tolbert said that the museum

rotates its items for the people to

view every six months, so they

are encouraging people to check

out what is displayed now before

it changes in March.

The effects that COVID-19 have

taken place for CAAM is that they

must limit the amount of people,

which limits the amount of influence

and education provided by

the museum.

Although, abiding by the gatherings

of no more than 10 people is

not a bad thing. By doing this, and

maintaining the six-foot distance

from one another, it makes for

more personal tours given to a

few people at a time rather than a

big group.

The tours are small and intimate,

and offer a way to ask questions.

There’s also the possibility to

learn some secrets and fun facts

that the CAAM doesn’t normally


The museum faculty also likes to

make sure that VSU students are

told about future events, hours

of operation and changing of the


CAAM sent an email to all VSU

students including a flier regarding

their hours of operation, social

media outlets and directions on

how to reserve a parking spot.

CAAM is on campus in Thaxton

Hall, suite 200. You can find

Thaxton Hall on 2525 N. Patterson

St. The hours of operation

are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday

through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to

1 p.m. on Friday.

During Black History Month, the

museum has extended its hours

for Saturday and Sunday between

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you would like to call and

make a tour reservation or set up

an appointment for a group tour,

call the museum’s office at (229)


The admission is free and open to

the public, meaning that you do

not have to be a student at VSU to

get a good history lesson.

In order to park on VSU’s North

Campus, you must email caammuseum@valdosta.edu

at least 24

hours in advance of your desired

tour date so you may receive your

parking pass. Once you have a

pass in your email, print, fill it

out, and place it in your dashboard.

Student entrepreneur ‘locs’ in on dread business at VSU

Torian Gordon

staff RepoRteR


Alexis Sawyer, a freshman

nursing major, has her own hair

business, “Lexi’s Lavish Locs.”

Sawyer specializes in re-twisting,

repairing and styling dreads and

dreadlocks, or a “loctician.”

Since March 2020, people lost

their jobs due to the safety of their

work environments being compromised

by COVID-19. Amongst

these people were some college


College students already don’t

earn a lot of money, and the

dependent students were unable to

receive. Because of this, students

used creativity to start businesses

in order to come up with an


One of these students include


“In 9th grade my Aunt asked

me if I knew how to re-twist hair

and do the interlocking method,”

she said. “By going through the

locking journey, you have to

enjoy it.”

Students used

creativity to

start businesses

in order to come

up with an income.

Sawyer uses a natural hair

product called Loc N Gel and her

very own personal hair moisturizer.

She also makes her own hair

oils where she mixes oil together

to work in a variety of ways such

as shinier hair, promoting hair

growth and can be used on your

body as well.

When doing locks on one’s

head, Sawyer uses a re-twisting

comb and a paring comb for parting

the hair in order to work with

it. Down below are some pictures

of some of her satisfied customers.

Sawyer’s most recurring customer

said that she is a professional

hair stylist that they recommend

people to go .

In terms of the ongoing

pandemic, Sawyer explains that

COVID-19 does not affect her

business, but customers still must

follow protocol when coming in

for their appointment by washing

their hands upon entry and keeping

their mask on at all times.

If you would like to have your

hair all dreaded up by this fellow

Blazer, you can message her on

her business Instagram page, @

Photo Courtesy of Torian Gordon

Alexis Sawyer infront of West Hall. Sawyer is the business owner of

“Lexis’s Lavish Locs.”

locc.starrr, or contact her by

phone at 678-368-5820.

All prices for her services are

listed on her page in the highlights

section, and she is available

throughout the week on Monday,

Wednesday, Friday and the weekends

when she’s on campus.

Check out the Spectator’s new Newsletter in your email

inbox every Thursday!

February 18, 2021

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 5

All photos and interviews

by Gwenivere Friedman

Jonothan Smith, freshman political science major

“Black history month to me is more appreciation of Black

people who are actively making history. People today that

are influencing the future of Blacks in America.”

Luisa Garrett, freshman theatre performance


“As a minority, this month allows more focus to help

other minorities. To bring a light on how they have been

oppressed for so long and to look at how we have progressed.”

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Robin T. Harrison, graduate student choral

conducting major

“Black History Month to me means remembering the people

and events that gave me the liberties to live comfortably

and exist in this world and showing my gratitude and appreciation

for them. Although there are still moments and times

in the world where I’m a little uneasy, I know that on some

level I’m still safe because of the people who paved the way

for me.”

Aurielle Bonne, freshman nursing major

“It means that we get to celebrate being Black and seeing

the history of what we’ve been through. Then getting to see

how far we’ve come.”

Page 6 The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com

February 18, 2021

ShadeS of Melanin

A history of five Black models who dominated the industry and paved the way

for millions of people, including four VSU students.

Kayla Pool, junior English journalism major.

According to Essence magazine, the first Black top model to work in Paris was a woman named

Dorothea Towles. Towles was born in Texarkana in 1922 and was a celebrated model in Europe

after her work with Christian Dior.

The first model of color to be shown in a national advert was a woman

by the name of Sara Lou Harris. Harris was born in North Carolina and

was an influential model in the 1940s and 1950s.

Nicholas Grier, junior art major.

Another influential Black model was Beverly Johnson. Born in Buffalo,

NY, in 1952, Johnson was the first Black model to be featured on

the cover of American Vogue, according to Essence magazine.

Martez Barkley, junior mass media major.

Grace Jones was a Jamaican model and singer in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to Essence magazine, Jones was an androgynous supermodel

who was a muse for many artists during her career.

Photos by Ethan Lowe

Janae Morrison-Whyte, senior health science major.

According to Essence magazine, supermodel Donayale Luna was considered to be one of

the most beautiful women in the world during the 1960s. Apart from modeling, Luina also appeared

in movies directed by Federico Fellini and Andy Warhol.

Page 7 The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com

February 18, 2021

5 Inventions Made by Black Creators

Every day, life is made easier by simple yet groundbreaking inventions. But did you know some of these inventions were the work of talented

Black inventors? In honor of Black History Month, here’s a list of five everyday inventions made by Black inventors.

The Ice Cream Scoop by Alfred L. Cralle


Born at the end of the Civil War, Alfred L. Calle worked as a porter when he

noticed that people were having difficulties scooping ice cream into cones with

regular utensils. On Feb. 2, 1897, Cralle filed a patent for the Ice Cream Mold

and Disher, which was designed to prevent ice cream and other foods from

sticking to it.


The Three Light Traffic Light by Garrett Morgan

Many Americans drive daily, and since the invention of the traffic light, driving

on multiple laned and ways roads has been much easier thanks to Garrett

Morgan. Morgan noticed a severe car crash at an intersection when he realized

the need for a “yield” sign on traffic lights, which alerted drivers of an impending

stop. Morgan filed for a patent on Nov. 20, 1923.


The Improved Ironing Board by Sarah Boone

Ironing boards before Sarah Boone stepped in were just wooden planks held

up by two chairs. As a dressmaker, Boone realized that while the current setup

was fine, it was harder to use when ironing tighter fitting garments like corsets.

Her solution was to create something that was narrow and curved board that

allowed a garment to shift without getting wrinkled. On April 26, 1892, Boone

was awarded the patent for the ironing board, making her one of the first African

American women to receive a patent.


Carbon Lightbulb Filament by Lewis Latimer

While the lightbulb itself was invented by Thomas Edison, Lewis Latimer introduced

carbon filament while working closely with Edison. Due to adding carbon,

Latimer increased the life span and practicality of lightbulbs. From his work, Latimer

was appointed as a patent consultant for the Edison Electric Light Company.

Latimer reviewed his patent on Jan. 17, 1882.


Blood Banks by Charles Richard Drew

As a graduate of Columbia University with a Master of Surgery and M.D.,

Charles Drew found a way to separate red blood cells from plasma and store it

for longer periods of time, when previously blood was only stored for a week

at a time. With this, more people could receive necessary blood transfusions.

These findings were recorded in a journal that led to the first blood bank.

Photos courtesy of Flickr.

Story courtesy of

Camille Grube-Hall,

Web editor

Page 8

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com

February 18, 2020

Pop Culture Pop Quiz: How much do you know?

Black History Month Edition

Who was the first African

American woman

to win five Grammy

Awards in one year?

A. Billie Holiday

B. Lauryn Hill

C. Beyoncé

D. Aretha Franklin

Which popular rap

artist’s real name is

Nayvadius Wilburn?

A. Birdman

B. Drake

C. Future

D. Lil Wayne

Who played Craig

Jones in the iconic

stoner film Friday?

A. Morris Chestnut

B. Chris Tucker

C. Ice Cube

D. Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Who is the best selling

black artist of all time?

A. Janet Jackson

B. Michael Jackson

C. Stevie Wonder

D. Mariah Carey

Who is the first selfmade

female millionare

in America?

A. Madame C.J. Walker

B. Oprah Winfrey

C. Rihanna

D. Cicely Tyson

Which city is widely

acknowledged as the

birthplace of Hip Hop?

A. Los Angeles, CA

B. Atlanta, GA

C. Memphis, TN

D. The Bronx, NY

Photo courtesy by Flickr.

Page 9

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com

February 18, 2021

Big Nick’s makes customers feel at home

Madison Gruber

Staff Writer


Big Nick’s is a popular

restaurant for students here at

VSU. It is a common hangout

spot for people who love

sports, music, and soul food.

The restaurant is situated

just half a mile from VSU on

Baytree Road, making it easy

to locate and hard to miss.

From the exterior, the red

brick building is accented with

the giant “BIG NICK’S” sign

advertising to hungry drivers.

On the sign, you will also

see the face of the owner, Mr.

Nicholas “Big Nick” Harden,

with a giant smile on his face.

As soon as we walked in the

door, we were greeted with an

enthusiastic, “Welcome to the

family,” from the cashier who

was eager yet patient to take

our orders while we browsed

the menu.

That greeting is different

from other stores or restaurants,

where you usually are

greeted with the usual, “Hi.

How are you today?” This

made me feel at home and


The staff made sure to

always keep their masks on,

even when there were no customers

in line at the register or

at the bar, watching the game.

Once we ordered the food ,

we were given a table number

and our beverage cups.

It was around 7 p.m., so it

was not hard to find an empty

booth for my friend and I to

enjoy our meal.

The ambiance of the restaurant

is very soulful. The speakers

were blasting with music

from the ‘70s and ‘80s, photos

of historical figures hung from

the walls and they even had

the classic paper-towels-fornapkins

rolls at every table.

We waited at our booth for

about 5-10 minutes before our

food came out, piping hot,

from the kitchen.

I ordered the shrimp and

grits with a side of “Ma’s

Mac” from the dinner menu

and my friend ordered a classic

dinner of chicken tenders, fries

and a side of “Ma’s Mac” as


These two orders plus the

drinks added up to be around

$30 and some change. I

thought that was expensive

until we were served our food.

The shrimp and grits were

delicious, though a little on

the salty side. I assumed it was

from the cheese sprinkled on

top. There was a lot of the food

as well, so enough for leftovers.

Overall, it was a great


My friend’s order of chicken

tenders came with honey mustard

and plenty of heat from

the fryer. The chicken tenders

seem to be, from what we

could guess, fried in the same

grease as the fish. This made

for the tenders to be extra

crispy and delicious.

The mac had to be the best

part of the meal. It was cheesy,

gooey and oh-so yummy. I

considered getting another

order of it to-go, but I was

stuffed from my meal.

“Big Nick” himself was also

in the restaurant and stopped

by our booth, as well as other

guests’ booths, to make sure

the food was good, asked if we

needed refills, and if we are

enjoying the experience.

In May of 2015, Harden

established Big Nick’s and has

been in business ever since.

You can definitely see that

this restaurant and the employees

pride themselves on great

food, great service and an even

greater environment for it all.

The “Big Nick’s” sign outside of the restaurant.

The bar area inside the restaurant.

The shrimp and grits platter with Ma’s Mac.

The exterior design of the building.

The dining area inside the restaurant.

The chicken tenders and fries platter with Ma’s Mac.

Black Lives Matter nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Kinlee Wright

Staff Writer


In 2013 Black Lives Matter

was formed as a social and

political movement and was

founded after the shooting of

Trayvon Martin. It continues

to grow today after the

shootings of Ahmaud Arbery,

Breonna Taylor and George

Floyd last year. Black Lives

Matter has been nominated for

a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Black Lives Matter

group is a large movement

to protest and help stand up

against police brutality and

racially motivated violence

against the black community.

The organization was founded

by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors

and Opal Tometi.

The Black Lives Matter

movement was nominated for

the Nobel Peace Prize by the

Norwegian MP Petter Eide.

According to The Guardian,

“Nominations for the Nobel

Peace Prize are accepted from

any politician serving at a

national level, and they are

allowed just 2,000 words to

state their case. In his nomination

papers, the Norwegian MP

Petter Eide said the movement

had forced countries outside

the US to grapple with racism

within their own societies.”

“Eide is a member of Norway’s

Socialist Left Party and

the former Secretary General

of the Norwegian branch of

Amnesty International. He has

previously nominated human

rights activists from Russia

and China for the prize,” according

to USA Today.

The Black Lives Matter

movement is not just something

that is happening in the


“The summer of 2020 saw

Black Lives Matter demonstrations

in Hong Kong,

Dakar, Berlin and other

cities around the world. In

some places, like Bristol,

England, protesters toppled

racist statues as well,” according

to KQED.

The Nobel Peace Prize is

awarded to the person they

think “shall have done the

most or the best work for

fraternity between nations,

the abolition or reduction

of standing armies and for

the holding and promotion

of peace congresses,” according

to Alfred Nobel’s

will, who the Nobel Peace

Prize is named after.

According to NBC

News, this prize would be

very important to the Black

Lives Matter movement because

it would recognize and

reward their struggle against

racism and racially motivated

Photos courtesy of Bailey Storey, Photo Editor, and Madison Gruber, Staff Writer.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Will the polarizing movement win the Nobel Peace Prize?


The Norwegian Nobel Committee

will make the decision

of the winners by casting a

majority vote in October. The

award ceremony is scheduled

for Dec. 10in Oslo, Norway.

February 18, 2021

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 10

Ten Inspirational Black Artists Across Music and Film

There have been many inspirational African American artists across music and film

throughout history, but The Spectator decided to give you just a few!

Tupac Shakur (1971-1996)

He influenced the uprise of hip hop/rap culture

and spoke about racial discrimination, injustice,

disparities amongst African American

communities, female liberation, and being

Black in America.

Highlights: “Dear Mama,” “Changes, Brenda’s

Got a Baby,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” “Wonder

Why They Call You B****”

Spike Lee (1957-Present)

An African American writer, director, actor

and producer who has expanded positive and

liberating roles for African Americans in film.

Additionally, many of his films regarding Black

history are recognized as transparent and


Highlights: “Do The Right Thing,” “Crookland

and Clockers,” “Malcolm X,” “Jungle Fever,”

“She’s Gotta Have It”

Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)

Passionately spoke about political issues

such as the Vietnam War and the uprise in

violence within impoverished areas. His creativeness

and outspokenness paved the way

for other influential artists to speak up about

issues that impacted the African American

community heavily.

Highlights: “What’s Happening Brother,”

“What’s Going On,” “Ain’t No Mountain High


Jordan Peele (1979-Present)

African American filmmaker, producer, actor,

and writer known for his intense and

breathtaking films. Films such as “Get Out”

and “Antebellum” have been used to deconstruct

racism aside from the “White Savior”

perspective that is embedded in many films

regarding Black history.

Hightlights: “Antebellum,” “Get Out,” “Us”

Cicely Tyson (1924-2021)

Recently deceased actress and model expanded

the portrayal of powerful Black

women in the fashion and film industry over

several decades. Cicely Tyson has been influential

within and beyond the Black community

through her films such as, “The Marvin Collins

Story” and “The Autobiography of Miss Jane


Highlights: “The Help,” “How to Get Away With

Murder,” “Sounder,” “A Woman Called Moses”

J. Cole (1985-Present)

Throughout his music, J. Cole devotedly expresses

the struggles of being Black, living in

the ghetto, and the misconceptions that the

media spreads about African Americans in

America. Additionally, J. Cole empowers and

liberates women, especially Black women, in

reassuring them that societal beauty standards

are insignificant.

Highlights: “Immortal,” “Neighbors,” “Crooked

Smile,” “Change”

Alicia Keys (1981-Present)

American singer and songwriter who has

uplifted and encouraged women, especially

Black women, to be strong and understand

their worth regardless of how the world

treats them. Many of her popular songs have

prompted women to remain true to themselves

and embrace their natural beauty and

potential flaws.

Highlights: “Superwoman,” “Girl on Fire,” “A

Woman’s Worth,” “Brand New Me,” “Empire

State of Mind”

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

Known as the “Queen of Soul” because of her

incomparable talent in the industry. Aretha

Franklin graced everyone who listened to her

and served as a symbol of strength, beauty

and liberation despite her societal limits.

Highlights: “Think,” “Respect,” “A Rose Is Still

a Rose,” “Young Gifted and Black,” “Amazing


Common (1972-Present)

African American rapper, actor and writer

who has identified himself as the “voice for

humanity” by speaking out against police

brutality, racial barriers within America and

encouraging the acceptance of Black culture

in America.

Highlights: “Glory,” “Testify,” “Ghetto

Dreams,” “Letter to the Free”

Sam Cooke (1931-1964)

Songwriter, producer and singer, also known

as the “King of Pop” heavily impacted African

American churches nationwide with his

style of singing. Many of his hits such as, “A

Change is Gonna Come” provided hope and

courage for the African American community

and others after WWII. His legacy and

smooth vocals are remembered and cherished

amongst all communities and passed

down to generations.

Highlights: “It’s All Right,” “A Change is

Gonna Come”

Story by Jenyla Brown, Staff Writer. Photos courtesy of Flickr.

February 18, 2021

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 11

Mike Chason still on the mic for VSU

Alora Bethay

Staff Writer


Mike Chason, the voice of

VSU’s basketball games, a former

Blazer and former Spectator

sports editor’s career has been

nothing short of legendary.

Chason began his journey with

the Blazers in the fall of 1970

with a major in history, and a plan

to attend law school. This was

until he became interested in the

Spectator in 1972, which sparked

an entirely new career path.

“My friend Chris Coffman was

the editor of the Spectator and he

wanted me to be the sports editor

since I loved sports and athletics,”

Chason said.

Chason says his favorite experience

during his time as the sports

editor was traveling to Kansas

City with the men’s basketball

team in 1973. Here, the Blazers

won against the three-time

defending champions Kentucky

State in the first round of the

NAIA Tournament.

After graduating from VSU in

1974, Chason decided to incorporate

his love for sports with his

newfound passion for journalism

and began his career as a sportswriter

for the Valdosta Daily

Times in 1974.

Chason was quickly promoted

to sports editor for the Valdosta

Photo Courtesy of Valdosta Daily Times

Radio announcer Mike Chason gives play-by-play coverage of VSU’s first-round Gulf South Conference Tournament

game against Montevallo on March 3, 2020. Chason has been the voice of the Blazers since 1990.

Daily Times in 1976 and remained

there until 1979, continuing to

cover VSU Sports.

From there, Chason became the

Director of Public Relations for

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural

College in Tifton but continued

to have a relationship with the

coaches at VSU.

In 1990, Chason and head

coach James Dominey set out to

utilize Chason’s radio experience

and broadcast the VSU basketball

games on the radio.

“James Dominey was a good

friend of mine, and I got together

with him and neither the men’s

nor the women’s games were on

the radio,” Chason said. “And I

formed my own company called

Chason Enterprises, bought time

from a local radio station, went

out and sold the ads and then got

16 games on the air.”

The next season, Dominey and

Chason got all the men’s basketball

games on the radio and even

got some of the women’s basketball

games on the air too.

“Herb Reinhart came as athletics

director in 1992, and he hired

me to do the basketball games

on the radio and also the football

games,” Chason said. “I was also

the voice of Valdosta State football

for six years.”

Though Chason stepped away

from being the voice of VSU football

due to family commitments,

he remains the voice of both the

men’s and the women’s home

basketball games.

“I told my wife when I no

longer get excited about going to

the game and doing the game on

the air, that’s when I would quit,

but I still have that excitement,”

he said.

After 31 years, Chason has developed

his communication style

on the air, which he said came

from watching sports television

broadcasts as a child rather than

listening on the radio.

“In my first year as a broadcaster,

my radio broadcast was more

like a television broadcast,” Chason

said. “I taped every game that

I broadcasted and when I listened

to them back, I said, ‘you’ve got

to speed up because the people

listening aren’t seeing anything,

so you’ve got to describe more.’

So, I developed my own style.”

Chason says his love for basketball

was inherited from his parents

who played basketball at Pine

Grove Highschool in Georgia.

Chason is dedicating this season

to his father, Willie Berg Chason,

who passed away on Oct. 11,


“My dad loved Valdosta State

basketball and brought me to my

first Valdosta State game in the

early 60s,” Chason said.

For future journalists and communicators

Chason offers these

words of advice:

“Write as much as possible. Every

day put pen to paper and write

something. Also, take the opportunity

to communicate in different

ways. It’s not like you can just go

out there and be a good communicator,

you have to practice the art

of communication.”

Chason’s broadcast for the

men’s basketball team is on

WDDQ Talk 92.1 FM and

talk921.com and the women’s

basketball team broadcast is on

WJEM 94.3FM Fox Sports Radio

and online at foxsportsvaldosta.

com. Listen out for his signature

sign off:

“I thank God for the ability,

Aloha until next time.”

Blazers baseball sweeps Miss. College, falls to Lee

Austin Bruce

Staff Writer


After opening the season with a sweep of

Mississippi College, Blazers baseball came

up short in their first road series of the

season against Lee.

Only two of the originally scheduled

three games were played, with the third

game on Feb. 13 being cancelled due to

inclement weather.

The Blazers lost Friday’s doubleheader

against the Flames 6-4 in the first game and

10-7 in the second game. The Blazers are

now 1-9 against the Flames in their last 10


The Blazers will be back at home on

Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 for a three-game series

against Auburn Montgomery (4-2).

In the first game, VSU held a 1-0 lead

against Lee after scoring at the top of the

third inning before Lee tied things up in the

bottom of the fifth. The Flames then scored

five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning,

which put them ahead for good.

In the second game, Lee built up a 10-3

lead heading into the eighth inning thanks

to three separate spurts of runs in the third,

sixth and seventh innings. The Blazers

scored four runs in the final two innings,

but their comeback attempt was thwarted

when David Maberry was tagged out on

third base.

Despite the losses, the team was aware of

what to expect out of Lee.

“We know that it is going to be a

monumental task to take on Lee, a team

that has really had our number as of late,”

Head Coach Greg Guilliams said on Feb.

10. “They have one of the best pitchers in

the Gulf South Conference. We know that

there are some things that simply won’t go

our way, so we have to make sure we are

prepared to tackle whatever this season

throws at us.”

As for their season-opening sweep of

Mississippi College, the bats were scorching

hot for the Blazers throughout the

series, averaging 10 runs for the entire

series and having a series batting average of

.410. The Blazers also kept the Choctaws in

check defensively during the series, giving

up just three runs.

EJ Doskow, a redshirt sophomore communications

major and third baseman,

led the team in the series with seven hits,

including one home run.

“My family was in town for the series,

so it felt like everything just fell into place

for me to have a huge impact on the series,”

Doskow said.

Photo Courtesy of VSU

Senior outfielder Chase Coker rounds first base after getting a hit vs Mississippi College at home on Feb. 8, 2021. The Blazers swept

Mississippi College, finishing the weekend 3-0 before falling to Lee in a doubleheader on Feb. 12, 2021.

February 18, 2021

The Spectator | www.vsuspectator.com Page 12

VSU Legend: Jesse Tuggle’s Story

Nathan Harrell

Staff Writer


Jessie “The Hammer” Tuggle

wasn’t the biggest kid coming out

of high school. Even after being

voted MVP of his Griffin High

School football team that he led

to the state semi-finals his senior

year, Division I recruiters thought

he was too small to compete at

their level.

In fact, at only 5’10 and 180

pounds, most Division II schools

were also turned off by Tuggle’s

size. His story goes to show that

recruiting doesn’t tell you how

much heart a player has or how


Valdosta State College’s head

coach Jim Goodman must have

caught a glimpse when he offered

the undersized defensive end a

scholarship in 1982. The only

other scholarship Tuggle would

be offered was from University of

West Georgia.

Even though VSU’s football

program was only in its second

year of existence, Tuggle wanted

to be further from home. Luckily,

Valdosta was nearly 170 miles

away and offered exactly that.

Tuggle put on 20 pounds and

grew to 5’11 by the start of his

freshman season in ‘83. He earned

a starting position at right defensive

end and was a solid contributor

for a young Blazer defense

that was quickly putting the rest

of the Gulf South Conference on


Tuggle showed hints of the

game wrecker he’d soon become

and was awarded the defense’s

Most Improved Player Award at

the end of the season. In 1984,

Tuggle would be named to the

All-GSC team.

During Tuggle’s junior season,

new head coach Jim Berryman

moved Tuggle to

inside linebacker during the

spring, a move that would

“pay dividends” according

to the school’s 1985 football


This was also the season

Tug established himself as a

leader on the team and one

of the most dominant defensive

players in the conference.

Now up to 230 pounds,

Tuggle was known for his

bone-crushing tackling. He

finished the season with 107


Tuggle’s tackling and

leadership earned him another

spot all-conference at

the end of the season. This

was his first year making

first-team, an honor shared

with three other Blazers that


Despite entering the next

season predicted to finish

eighth out of nine teams in

the conference, Tuggle led

VSU to second in the conference

and a 9-2 record, which was a

landmark season for the Blazers.

By the end of his senior season,

Tuggle would again be named

first team all-GSC. He was also

named the 1986 GSC-Defensive

Player of the Year, the school’s

first to win the award, and he was

named a consensus first team

Kodak All-American.

Tuggle also led the Blazers in

tackles for the first time in his

career with 129 on the season,

the second highest season total

Photo courtesy of VSU

Jesse Tuggle during a game in October of 1985.

Tuggle played for VSU from 1983-1986, Joined

the Atlanta Falcons in 1987 and led the league in

tackles in 1990.

in VSU history. Tuggle would

leave the school’s all-time leading

tackler (340), though he has since

been passed by Larry Dean and

Chris Pope.

From VSU, Tuggle would go

undrafted in the 1986 NFL draft.

Despite bulking up to 230 pounds,

his 5’11 frame still concerned

NFL scouts that questioned

whether he’d be able to hit NFL

athletes as hard as he’d been

hitting collegiate ones. However,

thanks to connections coach Cavan

had with the Falcons, Tuggle

was able to secure a tryout.

He made the most of this

tryout to launch a 14-year

NFL career and played for

Atlanta every year of it.

Tuggle is on a short list

of professional athletes to

have played their entire

careers in Georgia from

high school all the way to

the pros.

Tuggle started a few

games his first two years,

but it was during the 1989

season that he really started

to come into his own.

The 24-year-old started

at middle linebacker every

game that season and led

the Falcons in tackles (183)

in 1989, a feat he would

repeat nine consecutive

seasons until 1998.

The improvement continued

into the 1990 season,

when Tuggle would lead the

NFL with 201 total tackles.

Tuggle led the league in

tackles four times during his

14 year-career.

Thebruising linebacker had

two seasons in which he recorded

200+ tackles. There have only

been three seasons in the history

of the NFL in which a player has

accomplished this feat.

In 1991, Tuggle set the Falcons

all-time record for tackles in a single

season with a whopping 207.

Tuggle made his first pro-bowl in

1992 and made five in total during

his career with the Falcons.

Even though the Falcons frequently

lost during Tuggle’s early

years on the team, he remained

faithful to the team, never leaving


During the NFC championship

against the Vikings in 1998,

Tuggle tallied a franchise playoffbest

11 tackles to send the Falcons

to their first ever Super Bowl.

After losing the Super Bowl to

the San Francisco 49ers, Tuggle’s

decorated career was drawing to a

close. He missed ten games over

the next two seasons and would

ultimately retire at the end of the

2000 season.

Tuggle retired with over 1800

total career tackles with the Falcons

(due to tackles not becoming

an official NFL statistic until the

early 2000s, Tuggle’s stats vary

between 1600 and over 2000), the

most in the history of the franchise

by nearly 700.

Tuggle’s #58 jersey is memorialized

in the Falcons ‘Ring of

Honor,’ and his #88 jersey was

retired by VSU.

Tuggle was a part of VSU’s inaugural

hall of fame class in 1997,

and 10 years later he was voted

into the College Football Hall of

Fame as one of the greatest athletes

to ever come through VSU.

In 2009, VSU completed the

Jessie Tuggle Strength and Fitness

Complex in recognition of

Tuggle’s legacy.

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