BLACK TV PERSONALITIES SHARE UPLIFTING OPINIONS

WOMEN'S VIEWS ON DISEASE AND BUSINESS WORLD

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sparks didn't fly Tuesday night until the end of a discussion on issues concerning the African-American woman.

But when they did, the heated topic of abstinence vs. safe sex flared up.

A male student, who questioned panelist Anne Lundy's opinion about how the AIDS epidemic should be approached within the African-American community, disrupted the smooth flow of the forum. The student shouted at Lundy, saying her views should not have been presented at the forum, "Facing the Dilemma: Issues Concerning the African-American Woman," held in the Waldorf-Astoria Room at the UH Hilton Hotel.

Lundy, director of the Scott Joplin Orchestra and a former guest conductor of the Houston Symphony, said community church leaders should take a more realistic stance and not continue to preach abstinence when statistics indicate young people are quickly becoming a major at-risk category.

The student said that Lundy did not represent the views of the Christian African-American community, and she should not have clashed with Assistant Dean of Students Thelma Douglass, who said Christians should look at AIDS from a biblical perspective.

Instead of a "protect yourself" message to young people, they should be hearing a morality-based message, Douglass said.

Other members of the panel, including KHOU-Channel 11 news anchor Marlene McClinton, KPRC-Channel 2 news anchor and education reporter Linda Lorelle, KTRK-Channel 13 news anchor Melanie Lawson, The Houston Defender newspaper publisher and owner Soncerriah Messiah Jiles and Channel 13 Director of Community Service Claudette Sims came to Lundy's defense.

Most of the 200-member audience showed their support for Lundy's realistic stance with enthusiastic applause.

Other topics addressed during the forum, which was preceded by a performance of the Good News gospel choir, included the aggressiveness and assertiveness of the African-American woman, success in a competitive work environment, male/female relationships, self esteem, the Clarence Thomas hearings and problems plaguing the community.

The predominantly African-American crowd, mostly women, listened as McClinton began the panel discussion by saying "the biggest issue facing the African-American woman is her self perception."

McClinton said striving for excellence and respecting others in a professional setting are keys to survival.

Although none of the panelists spoke about the glass ceiling theory, which asserts African-American women generally progress only to the bottom rung of the executive ladder, several shared advice with the audience about their strategies for workplace success.

"They will eat you alive," said Messiah Jiles, referring to the fierce competition in the workplace.

Jiles, an alumna of UH, stressed the importance of taking calculated risks and establishing a network of African-American colleagues and peers.

"The community needs a continuum of role models," said Lawson, a graduate of the Columbia University Law and Journalism schools.

African-American women must define success for themselves and determine what roles they can and will assume, Lawson said.

Sims, hostess of Crossroads, a weekend program about matters concerning the black community, said the pervasiveness of negative African-American images presented by the media should not discourage college students, but encourage them "to hold (the door) open for someone else."

Both Lundy and Douglass said African-American women should have high self-esteem.

A question-and-answer session followed the three-minute opening remarks of the panelists.

 

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CULTURAL CELEBRATION BEGINS TODAY IN UC

KWANZAA FESTIVAL RECOGNIZES BLACK HERITAGE, SERVICE

BY DAVE DAVIS

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

A wide-ranging array of African-American cultural pursuits will come to fruition today in a gala celebration at the University Center.

The second annual Kwanzaa Festival, courtesy of the UH African-American Studies Program and the Black Student Union, will showcase UH African-American artists and a collection of merchandise from many Houston-area, black-owned businesses in the UC Houston Room.

The festival is a chance to celebrate cultural qualities and customs valued by African- Americans, said Event Coordinator Loria Ewing.

"The festival will celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self determination, collective work, family, purpose, creativity and faith, which we are applying to the African-American community," Ewing said.

She said the word Kwanzaa means "first fruits" and was traditionally used by black Americans to signify the harvest. The festival was first celebrated in 1966, and has since been practiced by a limited number of African-Americans throughout the United States.

"The SHAPE Center, The Shrine of the Black Madonna, and several other Houston-area black community organizations have celebrated this event for years, and now it has finally spread to the UH campus," she said.

The festival is usually held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, and each of the seven principles has a designated day for celebration. The celebration at UH will take place on one night because students and faculty will be away from campus in late December. Ewing credits Elwyn Lee, vice president of Student Affairs, and former interim director of the AASP for bringing the event to UH.

An awards ceremony will highlight the festival, with four Ujima awards given to two men and two women from UH who have exhibited outstanding community service during 1991.

"Ujima is a Swahili word which means collective work and responsibility," Ewing said. "It signifies building and maintaining community togetherness, and making our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems, and solving them together."

The festival will also feature an art exhibit and a theatrical performance. UH artists Michael Charles and Darlington Ndubuike will be displaying their original paintings and sculptures alongside exhibits from the Black Heritage Art Gallery.

Charles, a graduate student at UH specializing in creating African-American art, will also be the featured artist at an exhibit hosted by the Community Artists Collective on Nov. 21.

Houston businessman Mike Reynolds will also exhibit artifacts at the festival. Reynolds, owner of the Ohene store, will be displaying unique African-American merchandise that his shop specializes in.

A theatrical presentation will be given by Kijana Wiseman, who will perform parts of her one-woman show, The Soul of Black Song. Wiseman has performed her act on several college campuses across the country.

In addition, the festival will hold a fashion show featuring African-American attire from several Houston-area shops and boutiques. Models will display outfits provided by Top Hits, J.R. Originals and Original African, three Houston stores that specialize in clothes targeting African-Americans.

Ewing said the entire event is operating on resources from the black community, and she hopes the festival will give black-owned businesses some needed exposure.

 

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AGAINST ALL ODDS

RECRUIT TACKLES ADVERSITY FOR SECOND CHANCE

BY JAVIER GONZALEZ

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Every day Karl Jackson leans against the fence and watches the Cougars practice.

Every day he wonders if he will ever wear the red and white.

"When I go out and watch them practice, my adrenalin starts pumping," Jackson said. "It makes me want to put on a uniform."

Unforunately for Jackson, he can't.

Houston recruited Jackson as a cornerback from Bakersfield Junior College in Bakersfield, Calif., but because of a stop on his transcript, he couldn't enroll at UH on time.

He is resigned to watching practice from a distance.

The 5-10, 190-pound cornerback said watching the Cougars play hurts at times because he could be out there helping the team win games.

"I almost cried during the Miami game because their corners were getting beat," he said.

Jackson plans to enroll in the spring and tryout for the team during spring football.

"I've talked to Coach Jenkins and he has given me positive encouragement to come in the spring. The rest will take care of itself," he said. "I would like to play here."

The past few months have not been easy on Jackson, but it has given the 21-year-old time to reflect on his past and future.

"I have been here two or three months, and I have grown up a lot," Jackson said. "I was used to getting my way because I was an athlete."

Being out of school and out of football has helped Jackson learn the importance of taking responsibility and getting an education.

"When I enroll in the spring, I plan to work hard in the classroom because no one can take away your education from you," Jackson said.

For now, Jackson works out on his own and holds down a job as a secruity guard to pay for his one- bedroom apartment.

Jackson said he believes in God and keeps a positive outlook on life.

Life could have dealt Jackson a worse hand when Mike Miller decided to transfer to UH. Miller, a wide receiver from Willowridge High School in Sugar Land, transferred from Notre Dame four weeks into the semester. In a matter of hours, Miller was enrolled and taking classes at UH.

Jackson could have easily been resentful at what could be seen as preferential treatment.

"What Mike Miller does is his business, and I have nothing to do with it," Jackson said. "I just wish he stays here for the spring so we can make each other better."

Jackson said he holds no ill will toward Miller or the coaches.

He's come a long way from his days in Oklahoma.

In 1988, as a running back at Bixby High School in Bixby, Okla., Jackson rushed for 1,725 yards and 11 touchdowns, leading his team to the state semifinals, where they lost 7-0 his senior year.

Jackson said he didn't have the confidence to take the American College Test, but felt he could get into college on his athletic prowess alone.

"I was young and naive," Jackson said. "And I paid for it later."

When national signing day came, Jackson saw his friend Tony Brooks go off to play for Notre Dame, while he had to enroll at a junior college.

Junior college is like high school because you're trying to get out of there and move on, he said.

He enrolled at Bakersfield in 1989. In 1990, his first year as a full-time corner, he recorded 10 interceptions, four fumble recoveries and 75 tackles.

He received his associate's degree in December 1990 from Bakersfield.

Almost a year later, he finds himself leaning against that fence watching football practice.

But Jackson knows his perserverance will enable to him to don the red and white.

And when he lines up against Houston's wide receivers during spring practice, he will remember his days on the other side of the fence.

 

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LEAFY NUISANCES REMOVED FOR GOOD OF FOUNTAIN

CONSTRUCTION PROJECT AXES TWO PROBLEM-CAUSING SYCAMORES

STUDENTS UPSET OVER LOST TREES, CAMPUS BEAUTY

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Adding to the already-sensitive issue of the campus trees that may be terminated to make way for the new alumni building, the renovation of the Cullen Family Fountain has made campus kindling of two sycamore trees.

The pair of sycamore trees that stood on the on raised area southwest of the fountain were cut down Wednesday by workers contracted to do the renovation work.

The fountain's renovation received $1 million out of the recent $51.4 million gift to the university by John and Rebecca Moores.

Chris Kelley, a sophomore majoring in business, said he feels the trees were central to the beauty of the fountain and the campus.

"I was on my way to my English class and by the time I got there, they were hacking it up and packing it away.

"I remember classes being held under those trees. They were the focus of the whole fountain," he said. "Now it's just a large empty space that's basically unappealing."

Kelley said other students in his English class expressed similar sentiments.

"It's a blow to the scenic beauty and image of UH because if you take the trees away it's just an empty lot. I wonder how many other trees they're going to cut down," he said.

Kelley said he didn't think this would be what the Moores had intended.

Bill Moore, project manager in charge of the restoration and an employee of UH System Facilities Planning and Construction, refused comment on the trees and the rest of the project. He directed questions to FPC Associate Vice Chancellor James Berry.

Berry said he was unaware any trees were slated to be cut down in the plans he had seen. However, he said it could have been in the plans.

"If it was (the trees) removed, it was removed to allow access to the site," Berry said.

Big T Industries employee Tom Fleming said his company did remove and destroy two sycamore trees from the southwest side of the fountain.

Fleming said sycamore trees don't generally do well in southern climates and the two trees had lived through 80 to 85 percent of their expected life span.

"Basically, they (sycamores) just dump a lot of leaves all year round and that pond's going to be around a lot longer than those trees," he said.

The tree leaves contributed to the fountain's frequent breakdowns, Fleming said.

UH Gounds Manager Raymond Dale agrees the sycamores were "a maintenance nightmare."

Dale says while he is an avid proponent of having trees on campus, it was a mistake to plant the sycamore trees near the fountain.

Dale is responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the pool on a campus level and said the trees' leaves were a maintenance liability, costing money to clean up and fix the fountain's motors they clogged.

While agreeing with the sycamore trees' removal, Dale said he feels strongly that, "they will be replaced with a variety more compatible to being placed next to a fountain."

Dale said the trees scheduled for removal near the corner of Elgin and Cullen are an entirely different story.

"The trees at Cullen and Elgin are an incredible, naturally occuring asset that we will enjoy a hundred years from now," he said, adding that the trees near the fountain were planned and impractical.

Practical replacements for the sycamores might be live oaks, crepe myrtles and purple leaf plums, Fleming suggested, being that these varieties are attractive, but not fruit-bearing, and they don't yield a large amount of leaves.

 

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COUGAR CLIPS

Record-Setting Performance

UH quarterback David Klingler set four more SWC passing and total offense records against the Owls: most career touchdown passes (81), most passing yards (8,468), most yards of total offense (8,410) and most attempts (1,129).

Klingler also was named SWC Offensive Player of the Week.

G-G-Greatly Received

Junior receivers Freddie Gilbert and Marcus Grant continue their climb to the top of the SWC all-time, single-season performance list.

Gilbert has 82 catches (second in the nation) to rank fifth in the conference. The first four are all former Cougars.

Grant has 970 yards receiving (also second in the nation) to rank 10th in SWC.

Cougar Tracks

Two more UH wins and one Texas loss will assure the Cougars of no worse than a tie for second place in conference standings.

 

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COOGS OUTLAW HIGH FIVE 97-72,

CENTER SCORES 22 TO LEAD CHARGE

BY MIGUEL ZEPEDA

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

They say nice guys always finish last.

UH basketball Head Coach Pat Foster and his team proved it Wednesday with a 97-72 victory over High Five America, a team of former collegiate players who tour the country spreading their anti-drug theme.

Houston was downright rude to the visitors, especially 6-8 center Charles Outlaw.

Outlaw used an array of shots and slam dunks to rack up an impressive 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Senior forward Craig Upchurch added 18 points.

Although early in the second half, High Five showed signs of exhaustion, the Cougars brought back memories of the Phi Slama Jama, running the fast break and slam dunking on every opportunity.

Foster said he was pleased with his team's overall play.

"Their condition was not the best. In spots, our defense overall was good. I thought we got out on the passing lanes well. We were converting a good part of our break. It's looking real good," Foster said.

The Cougars defense, coupled with High five's cold shooting, made it look like UH would run away with the victory early in the first half.

Houston held High Five to 35 percent shooting in the first half and 39 percent for the game.

One of the reasons High Five shot so poorly was the presence of Outlaw and UH limiting them to one shot.

Outlaw blocked four shots and used his quick leaping ability to alter a few more.

"He's a gifted athlete," foster said. "He can be very, very good."

Houston out-rebounded High Five 56-37 and took 16 more shots.

With 10:46 left to play in the first half, the Cougar led 26-6 and looked to be cruising toward an impressive victory.

High Five then went on a 12-6 run, cutting the lead to 14. But that was the closest they would get the rest of the game.

"Right before the half, they were right back in it," senior point guard Derrick Daniels said. "But we got out on the bread and were able to build some confidence."

Leading at halftime 50-33, Houston finished off High Five midway through the second half with an 18-7 spurt to put the game out of reach.

Houston opens the regular season Saturday with a home date against the Villanova Wildcats. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

Players say they are excited about their chances against the Wildcats.

Foster, however, is taking a different approach.

"They're not going to play us the way these first two teams played us. They'll be massaging the ball. You're looking at a game that's probably in the 70s," Foster said.

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