by Lori Ball

Contributing Writer

"I'm glad I'm a senior, and I'm not going to have to do this anymore," said Donnie Ozene, a nuclear medical technology major who was trying to pick up his financial aid check.

"The lines are the same this year as they were last year – long! If I'm going to have to wait in line for two hours or more, the least the university could do is provide some good music to listen to, plus cokes and snacks," Ozene said.

"I think UH needs to be more organized – I've come to expect this," said Linda McDonald, an instructional technology graduate student.

Many other students hold the same sentiments. They are growing tired of fighting with the red tape. Every year, students face long lines whether it is to pick up a financial aid check or to add a new class to their schedules. Students are saying it's time for a change.

This year, the change has finally come with the addition of a state-of-the-art Voice Information Processing System for Priority Add/Drop. The system has significantly decreased long lines around campus and has won positive approval from many students.

Unfortunately, the system is not being used for regular or late registration, but will hopefully be ready for the fall semester.

Also this year, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid has added three additional customer service representatives, hired temporary help and added additional computer terminals to help alleviate the lines.

Peter Bagarozzo, assistant director of financial aid, has heard the complaints of many students this semester and offers this important advice. "First, make sure that all of your paperwork is taken care of, and secondly, if there is anything relating to fall 1993 grades that also is taken care of, and third, make sure your spring registration is in order."

Hopefully, with the new changes this year, the lines will move faster than ever before.






by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

This semester marks the second phase of reshaping as university administrators again attempt to shave the budget and produce a more efficient university.

The reshaping plan, originally formulated in 1992, called for moving UH in a more efficient and student responsive direction.

"Reshaping basically is rethinking what we do," said James Pickering, UH president, one year ago.

Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning, said, "(Reshaping) is a self-analysis, a diagnosis – making sure we are on the 'yellow-brick-road.' "

Legislative budget cuts in 1993 forced the administration to intensify their efforts to streamline university spending.

"For the last seven to eight years the needed enhancements to our budget were not there," said George Magner, professor of social work and chairman of the University Planning and Policy Council.

A new budget model, decentralizing spending control to the 14 individual colleges, holds each college responsible for its spending and generation of income, as opposed to the strong centralization which has marked UH in the past.

"If a college doesn't generate (enough money), then someone has to pay," Pickering said. The concept is the UH version of responsibility-based budgeting, he said.

Colleges have been provided with initial money to institute the changes.

"The evolving priorities of this institution are emphasized with the (new) budget," Szilagyi said.

The point of reshaping is to be proactive, as opposed to reactive, he said. Pointing out how the university absorbed the 5 percent legislative cuts, "without too much of a ripple," he said.

Other plans include establishing the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, which will focus on making professors better classroom teachers. It will provide limited training to all classroom lecturers.

"The primary focus of an institution with 33,000 students should be teaching," said Magner.

"We have as much attention to the classroom teachers as we should. I think the Center (for Teaching Effectiveness) will be useful for that," he said.

The money for the center will come from a Cullen Foundation endowment.

The original reshaping document called for the elimination, or "phasing out," of 20 degree programs, the closing of six complete academic programs, and the merging of 16 departments.

The sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry/metalsmithing programs were slated to be phased out, but they have been saved by merging all three into a newly restructured sculpture program.

The communication disorders program has also been saved. Its free clinic and community outreach program will continue.

No programs are scheduled to be phased out this semester, said Szilagyi.

Pickering, cited in a Sept. 9 memorandum, credited community support for the reconsideration of these programs. Community outreach is part of the reshaping agenda.

"The Third Ward (the neighborhood surrounding the UH area) is our laboratory. We are a citizen of the Third Ward," said Szilagyi.

A public school partnership has been formed with Yates High School through an outreach program initiated in December.

"We have to help out the Kindergarten through twelve," he said.

Also on the reshaping agenda is meeting the needs of the commuter community. Exxon has donated a $500,000 matching grant to do just that.

"This gives us the opportunity to create the UH of the 21st century," said René Zentner of the office of development.

The grant will establish a place on campus for commuter non-resident students to go between classes, and allow better access to professors and counselors, he said.

Three hundred freshman students will be selected to participate in a pilot program in the fall.

The tenets of the reshaping plan will be evident in a revised six-year plan. The six-year plan is a forecast of the university's intentions to be submitted to the state legislature for funding.

"Reshaping is the engine which is driving our revision of the six-year plan," said Szilagyi.

The six-year plan must be revised before each Texas legislative session. The next legislative session will commence in 1995.

The expected emphasis of the revised plan, to be completed by April, will be diversity, increasing minority representation, the new budget and retention.

This semester, the administration will focus on the six-year plan and prepare for the next phase of reshaping.






by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

After the surprise resignation of Texas Students' Association President Sherry Boyles, SA President Jason Fuller took over the position.

Fuller was TSA vice president up until a few days ago. Normally, a students' association president cannot also be a TSA president, but Fuller will hold both positions because of the unusual circumstances.

"Jason's done an excellent job on everything he has worked on, and I know he is by far the most qualified to take over as president," said Susan Redford, chairwoman of the TSA board of directors.

Fuller's term as TSA president will end in October or November at the next TSA fall conference. UH hosted this year's fall conference.

Boyles stepped down to prepare for law school finals. She said she did not have time to devote to both law school and TSA.

With her resignation, UH now controls three of five executive board positions in TSA. Recently, Fuller appointed Amy Benbow, the vice chair of the TSA board of directors from the University of North Texas, to fill the vacant vice president's position.

Within the next few weeks, he will appoint a new secretary, since that position is always filled by someone from the president's school. Fuller said he is not sure who he will appoint.

"This is our first year to even hold state office," said Angie Milner, SA director of public relations and TSA service information director. "Before now, UH was not even considered a high priority. It just goes to show you what one year can do."

Traditionally, UT and Texas A&M have controlled the executive TSA board, but now they do not have anyone on the board, Milner said.

Fuller and Milner have spent the last few days formulating an agenda for TSA, whose membership mainly consists of public universities, but Fuller wants to expand membership to include junior colleges and private universities.

Until now, TSA's agenda focused mainly on lobbying the Legislature in Austin about higher education issues, Fuller said.

Since junior colleges and private universities did not see the need for lobbying the Legislature, they had little interest in joining the organization.

"We want to move TSA's agenda to focus on student development issues," Fuller added.

Fuller will appoint three ex officio directors to deal directly with junior colleges, private schools and public schools and recruitment.

"With three extra people working on these issues, we hope to show them that we are more than just a lobbying group," Fuller said. "TSA needs to become an umbrella group that includes all groups."

Fuller plans to conduct a mini-conference to address student issues on improving race relations and multi-culturalism. He will help facilitate programs on other campuses similar to UH's Students As Constituents, which deals with improving university administration.

Other priorities include increasing financial aid and passing legislation that will allow student regents.

With the major cuts made in higher education funding in the last legislative session, Fuller will also focus on equalizing state funding among public universities.

Right now, UT and A&M are the only two schools that can receive funding from the Public University Fund because of a constitutional mandate.

From the Higher Education Assistance Fund, UT and A&M, plus all the other state universities, divide up the monetary pie, Fuller said.

"UT and A&M are double-dipping from both funds, and other schools just want a bigger piece of the pie," Fuller said.

As TSA president, Fuller hopes to see the student regent position become part of all universities. The board of regents makes most important decisions that affect a university. Fuller feels student input is important.

UH presently has an elected student regent, and UT and A&M have appointed student regents. The student regent cannot vote, but represents students' concerns.

During Fuller's career at UH, he has served as director of personnel, associate justice on the university hearing board and on numerous university committees.

A senior political science major, Fuller worked on the Bush-Quayle campaign and now serves as field director for 25th congressional district candidate Paul Colbert.






by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Two UH Physical Plant electricians sustained second- and third-degree burns Jan. 3 when an electrical explosion catapulted a fireball that all but consumed the top halves of their bodies.

Dan Bartow and Erasmo Rodriguez both received first- and second- degree burns to his face, hands and arms. Bartow suffered third-degree burns to his hands. Both were rushed to Hermann Hospital. Rodriguez was released Jan. 7, and Bartow was released Jan. 18.

A third-degree burn kills all skin cells that it affects. If the underlying structures of the hand are intact, Bartow's hands could become functional again after a skin graft and occupational therapy, said Dr. Peter Ledoux, a burn surgeon at Hermann Hospital.

"We usually tell our patients it will take months to a year to tell the long-term effects," he said.

John Wright, a third electrician involved, suffered minor injuries to his hands and eyes.

"We just had a malfunction," he said of the accident.

The three men were trying to bypass a switch in the Wortham Theatre Complex to restore power to KUHF Radio. Two metal plates within the circuit breaker box shorted, or "phase to phased," igniting the small explosion which created the fireball.

Bartow and Rodriguez were unavailable for comment.

The combined power running through the two plates was 3,000 ampheres. An average wall socket contains only 15 ampheres.

The specific cause of the accident is still undetermined.






by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

This year's Student's Association races promise to provide a bombardment of candidates, parties and platforms.

In mid-March, members of the UH student body will elect a new field of senators and executive members to represent the student voice on campus, but politically active students are already gearing up for the task of setting up platforms and parties.

"Party tickets are made up when candidates start running. Conservative and liberal have nothing to do with student politics," said Coy Wheeler, speaker of the Senate and candidate for student body president.

Justin McMurtry, a senator from HFAC, said when the Senate meets, it will most likely pass a couple of bills to change the election code.

"Most election code modifications will work to strengthen the incumbents who know the system of getting elected -- the ins and outs of fundraising and campaigning -- while the ordinary student finds he is running against one or two well-funded party opponents," said McMurtry who opposes the present party system of election.

McMurtry wants political parties eliminated from single college races so that the ordinary student will have a shot at getting elected.

Political parties should only be allowed in executive and at-large Senate races, McMurtry said.

The election code was changed substantially two years ago after the election was filled with allegations of ballot stuffing and illegal campaign activity.

The former president-elect, Damien Kauta, was disqualified from the race and a new election was held with the remaining general election candidates.

The new election code stated that no campaign paraphernalia of any kind could be posted within 50 feet of of polls or off-campus except on private property. Ballots were also placed in locked metal boxes instead of cardboard boxes to deter ballot stuffing.

For major violations of the code, the party responsible has to perform as much as 10 hours of community service on campus within five days of the violation.

In the next couple of weeks, SA President Jason Fuller will appoint new commissioners to oversee the election.

This year's election Fuller said will focus on issues directly affecting students from lobbying Austin and Washington on higher education issues to credit card payment.

"Students need to see that they really need a governing body like SA to stand up for their needs and concerns," said Fuller. "It's probably the most effective governing body in the state."

Wheeler said he wants to put together a party ticket of diverse people of different viewpoints and ethnic groups.

"I'm trying to give the students something they can feel good about. The cycle lately has been to elect a bunch of good ole white boys who are padding their resumes," said Wheeler.

Wheeler plans to continue his fight to pass his bill to raise athlete graduation rates and to encourage the enrollment services offices to offer better customer services to students.






by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

By the 21st century there may not be a need for public phones anymore because everyone will have their own cellular phones.

A telephone call from a public phone costs a quarter for any local call, no matter how long the caller stays on the line. A call from a cellular phone costs from 4 cents to 35 cents a minute. Despite this cost disparity, many people are choosing convenience over cost.

Cellular phones are becoming more popular with college students although most people who own them are business people.

"It keeps you from missing important calls because people know they can reach you," said political science sophomore Francisco Sanchez, who got a cellular phone from his friends for for Christmas.

Cellular phones are simply radios which access a cellular network. However, they do not affect radio or television frequencies.

"You can lose the connection on a long distance call with every type of cellular phone if there is lots of interference," said Michael Hattar a Radio Shack employee.

Cellular phones are sold at several different Houston locations although most calling plans are associated with either Houston Cellular or GTE Mobilnet. The prices of cellular phones range from $1 to over $500.

"(The service) is ridiculously expensive," said Kim Dobrava, senior elementary education major.

When the phone is purchased a calling plan must be chosen. One of the more popular calling plans through Houston Cellular is for 50 minutes of talk-time at $46.99 a month. The cheapest plan from Houston Cellular is for 30 minutes at $31.99 while the most expensive is $119.99 a month for 325 minutes of talk-time.

In addition to paying the monthly bill, cellular phones users must also pay an installation fee – usually about $50. Sometimes a deposit is required. Despite all of these fees people still find a cellular phone worth the cost.

"I wanted a cellular phone because I am in the community and it allows me to talk to who I want, when I want to talk. In today's business climate, time is a very precious resource," Sanchez said .

One disadvantage of cellular phone talk-time is whether the call lasts three seconds or a full minute, the caller is charged for an entire minute.

Dobrava bought her phone for security in case her car ever broke down. She turns off her phone during classes out of respect for her classmates and professors.

"I know something will happen when I don't have it on," Dobrava said.

If the phone is turned off or taken outside of the cellular service area, the caller can leave a message on the voice mail box of that cellular phone. Cellular phones can be used out of state and out of country for an extra charge.

Different services are available through Houston Cellular such as free calls to customer service, free calls to report traffic conditions and free calls for emergency services.

However, there have been some rumors that cellular phone emissions may cause brain cancer, although this has never been proven, nor has it had any real impact on the sale of cellular phones.

"It's like smoking. People know it causes cancer, but they do it anyway," said Hattar.






by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

When most UH students pass by the unobtrusive sign "Honors Lounge," they never realize that there are more than 1,100 students on campus who frequent the stairs leading to that secluded doorway.

In 1977, when Honors College Dean Ted Estess first joined the UH faculty, there were only 50 students enrolled in the then-Honors Program.

Estess said, "I was invited here to resurrect honors education by the vice president of academic affairs."

The Honors Program began in the fall of 1958 with fewer than 100 students. By the 1960s, however, the program was not very strong because of changes in leadership of the program and a lack of adequate financial support.

"We began in the early '80s to be more active in the recruitment of students," Estess said.

The Honors College now contacts over 40,000 students across the country in an attempt to recruit students for the college. About 300 students, including several international students, join the college every fall.

There are honors colleges across the country, but Estess said "ours is one of the most prominent in terms of profile of the students, amount of resources and in terms of work in the honors college in the institutional setting."

Estess added that in order to be accepted into the Honors College, students should have high SAT or ACT scores, a high rank in their graduating class, be involved in various activities and submit a writing sample.

"We look at every application individually," Estess said. "We believe in giving every student a chance."

Estess believes the Honors College helps students who come to the college directly from high school, transfer from another university, or return to college after years away from school.

"I think we do help a great deal in the transition from high school to the university," Estess said. "We facilitate the students becoming connected with each other, with offices and services in the university, and they become associated with the faculty members."

The Honors College has annual funding in excess of $500,000. Most of this money goes toward staff salaries, recruitment of students and operations, which includes everything from computer equipment to telephones. Estess is responsible for securing funding from alumni, other private citizens and foundations.

Another benefit for students in the Honors College is that honors classes are smaller than most others at the university. The Honors College offers about 70 courses each semester with a faculty of about 15 full- and part-time professors.

Estess also teaches classes titled "Human Situation." Each honors student must take these literature courses in order to meet the graduation requirements of the Honors College.

Students who graduate with membership in the Honors College must take the required number of hours designated by the college. Graduates who wish to receive an honors degree, the highest award an undergraduate can receive, must write a senior honors thesis in their particular major.

Only about 40 of the estimated 140 honors graduates write their theses, Estess said.

Besides helping students plan for graduation, grading thesis papers and helping students find places to intern, Estess finds time to take a personal interest in many of the honors students.

"That is a satisfying part of my work," Estess said. "I have a good relationship with the students, and I know many of their names as well as their parents, spouses or children."






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Nearly 10 months after former Houston football coach John Jenkins resigned, the athletic department's in-house investigation into alleged NCAA rules violations has yet to be completed.

Jenkins, who came to the university in 1987 as Jack Pardee's offensive coordinator, resigned under pressure April 30 after former players accused him of holding illegal summer workouts.

Former inside receivers coach Steve Staggs then came forward with allegations of improper recruiting and falsifying of a recruit's financial aid receipt. Both are major violations of NCAA rules.

Athletic director Bill Carr began a departmental invetigation in response to the allegations and immediately informed the NCAA of the situation.

Now some 10 months later, an ending date for the investigation is still not in sight.

"It's a disappointment to me that we're not finished with it to this point," said Carr, who became UH's athletic director just 10 days before Jenkins resigned.

Carr said the failure to complete the probe can be traced to the difficulty in disseminating the truth.

"When you talk to different people, you get different perspectives on the same subject," he said. "(The NCAA) understands we're trying to get our situation resolved as quickly as we can."

Carr said as soon as the investigation is completed, the NCAA will be given the findings for study and possible action, such as a loss of scholarships or probation, against the university.

UH has been under the cloud of probation before. In 1988, the NCAA investigated claims by former players who said they had received thousands of dollars from former head coach Bill Yeoman.

Houston was found guilty and placed on three years probation, banned from television and bowl games for two years and lost 10 scholarships in 1989.

What could bode well for UH now, if found guilty of major violations, is the relative leniency the NCAA showed Texas A&M in its most recent scandal.

Players were paid in the summer of 1992 by an A&M booster for jobs they never worked. The Aggies were on probation at the time for previous violations but were only banned from television and bowl games for one year and did not lose any scholarships or recruiting visits.







by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston got off to a slow start in the race to land the top recruits in the state, but it is making a late surge behind the verbal commitments of several top prospects.

Some of the positions the Cougars desperately need filled are in the defensive line, where seniors Steven Dixon and Nahala Johnson were lost to graduation. Also, Houston lacks big men to stop the run.

With the commitment of two defensive ends – 6-3, 250-pound Leonta Rheams from Tyler Lee and 6-3, 235-pound Rusty Foster from Garland – and Trinity Valley Junior College defensive lineman Darcy Franklin, the Cougars have taken the first step toward filling those holes.

Head Coach Kim Helton said the defensive line is one of his top priorities. The number of linemen who have visited UH is proof of that.

Since recruiting began in December, 12 linemen have made UH one of their stops. Three more were welcomed over the weekend, including Lancaster defensive lineman Russell Ensey.

Asked why so many linemen were brought to UH, Helton said, "God just don't make that many big men," and he wanted to be sure he ended up with some of them.

So does defensive coordinator Gene Smith.

"You'd like to bring a large number of those big people in," he said. "We'd like to have the guy that everybody wants to have."

Smith is also searching for several players to take on the daunting task of replacing three starting senior linebackers in Michael Newhouse, Allen Aldridge and second team All-American Ryan McCoy, who set a school record by collecting 507 career tackles and led the Southwest Conference last season with 157.

Houston has no commitments from linebackers yet, but it still holds the interest of top talent like Keon Banks of C.E. King and Lamar product Mike Parker.

"Every position is crucial," said Smith, who was promoted to coordinator from linebacker coach before the Baylor game last season. "You have to continually replenish them. Every year, you have to balance in your needs and recruit toward those needs."

On offense, Helton has linemen who are now experienced, but have yet to show their maturity. Helton's needs include players who have the size and strength to handle his run-oriented system.

Commitments from Palestine Westwood center Justin Hall and Raymond James, an offensive lineman from Port Arthur Jefferson, could help fill the loss of All-SWC guard Darrell Clapp.

Blue chip DeSoto quarterback Larry Oliver has also committed and should compete with Chuck Clements for the starting job.

With the loss of Lamar Smith and TiAndre Sanders, Richardson Berkner prospect Ryan Burton could step in immediately at running back.

A punter and speedy receivers also top Helton's wish list.

"We're going to have a chance to have a great year or a good year," he said. "Five or six players can make a difference between great over just good."

The official date for recruits to sign with schools nationally is Feb. 2.







by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

There's no doubt about it. The Houston Cougars are getting better.

But even that observation could not translate into a win Saturday against the Baylor Bears in Ferrell Center. The Cougars lost their fourth straight Southwest Conference game and school-record tenth overall, 85-81.

What cost the Cougars (2-12, 0-4 SWC) was a lack of finishing off the easy shots and getting the easy rebounds.

"We knew if they beat us it would be because they beat us off the glass, and they did," Houston Head Coach Alvin Brooks said.

Baylor, second in the nation in rebounding, got a record-setting game from Jerome Lambert as his 25 rebounds single-handedly killed Houston on the boards.

Even more impressive were his 12 offensive rebounds off Bears' missed shots. He also added 17 points.

"I wasn't thinking about the school record," Lambert said. "I just came out and played. I thought, 'I might get the record but there are other games.' "

Cougar forward/center Tim Moore scored a career-high 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting and pulled down 16 rebounds.

"Tim Moore had a very good game today," Brooks said. "And as good as he is now, he (will probably be) better in March."

After missing the Cougars' first six games, Brooks noted that Moore is finally starting to get into shape, showing improvement in each of Houston's first four SWC outings. During those four games he has averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest.

"He is still learning what we want him to do on the offensive end besides scoring in the paint," Brooks said. "But he has a chance to be an awesome player."

It was a day that Moore was able to pick up the slack for regular starting center Rafael Carrasco, who fouled out in the second half with no points and only three rebounds.

"We tried to double down on (Moore) but he just wheeled around us," said Baylor Head Coach Darrel Johnson. "He's going to get better and better."

Trailing 25-12 in the first half, sophomore forward Jessie Drain nailed two straight 3-pointers to cut the Baylor lead to seven at 25-18.

Drain poured in 19 points and shot over 50 percent from the 3-point line for the second consecutive contest.

The Cougars then closed the gap to a single point at halftime when senior guard Anthony Goldwire hit a trey at the buzzer to give the Bears only a 38-37 advantage.

Houston would eventually take the lead in the second half at 60-58 before Baylor (11-4, 3-1 SWC) and Lambert pulled away again and built up a double-figure lead.

Still, the Cougars would not back down.

They continued to get production from Moore and an array of 3-point shooting before missing several easy shots, that seemed to haunt them the entire game.

"We had chances to be up by 10-12 points," Brooks said. "But we just could not finish the plays."

Sophomore guard Angel Sanz cut the Bears' lead to six at 84-78 and 23 seconds remaining on a bankshot beyond the arc.

Houston would get one more trey from Goldwire before the buzzer finally sounded. Goldwire finished with 17 points.

"It is very frustrating to be so close to winning a game, (and) not pull it out," Goldwire said. "We have to keep getting better."

They're getting better, but to them, winning would be best.






by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

The "copacetic blues" is an idiom rooted in the African tradition of naming and claiming.

In the Claude Purdy-directed Alley Theatre staging of August Wilson's <I>Ma Rainey's Black Bottom<P>, the abrasive Ma names herself as supreme authority figure (next to God), members of her band struggle to claim their identities.

Ma Rainey (Theresa Merritt) is a stalwart figure, a matriarch and a fictional incarnation of Gertrude Pridgett "Ma" Rainey – the woman heralded as mother of the blues. Her work is a precursor of Bessie Smith's.

Like the occasionally chthonic blues, she is unpredictable; However, her voice is not always drenched with melancholy. She never takes no for an answer – her way or no way. Ma wears a fur coat, black bead-encrusted maroon dress and feathered hat – haute couture for a walking demand.

By contrast, the other characters are wayward, disobedient sons groping for light and starving for guidance. Trumpeter Levee (Russell Andrews), an iconoclast who borders on the opprobrious, blasphemes God and, apparently, sees his shoes as wielders of fetishistic power. Toledo (Alex Allen Morris), the most cerebral of the quartet, can get down playing the 88s – but he also hangs his erudition over band members' heads.

Cutler (Thomas Martell Brimm), the reefer-smoking trombonist and master of repartee, keeps Levee in check, reminisces on juke joint jam sessions, women and an emasculated clergyman once forced to act like Stepinfetchit. Slow Drag (Byron Wesley Jacquet), a nebbish bassist, womanizer and the least crucial member of the group, is closest to the audience among the band members because he never really engages in conflicts.

The themes of Ma Rainey sprouted from a core of concerns Wilson had about the blues. The theme that the blues is an expression of the heart rooted in the folksiness of the African tradition, and the theme that black people's creative expressions have been appropriated and the artists milked for every cent by profiteering, avaricious whites are pronounced in this work.

As is the case with Wilson's other works, especially <I>Joe Turner's Come and Gone<P>, thematic subjects range from the African continuum to materialism to institutionalized racism to the lynch mob to the concept of black women as mules of the world.

Although the recording and broadcast radio industry later fell victim to the payola scandal, his characters offer a subtle criticism of it which perhaps serves the argument the industry, circa 1927, is inherently corrupt.

Ma rails against the establishment, distilled to Sturdivant, the elderly record label owner, and Irving, her manager – she threatens to storm out of the studio without signing artist release forms.

The criticism also centers around management's tendency to fix what is not broken by making the music either more palatable or danceable. Even as Levee explodes into paroxysms of anger, the two paternalistic white men are so far removed from that they could only conceivably know of minor rehearsal glitches. The seed of Levee's anger was planted as a child, when he witnessed the rape of his mother and the lynching of his father.

Wilson's explosive style, which depends on raw conflict and brutal honesty, is suited to the telling of a behind the scenes blues story. The strongest aspects of a Wilson play are the characters, the dialogue and the conflict. When Sylvester (Michael Ballard) stutters, Ma, in actions more loving than nepotistic, continues to reach out to her nephew, pushing him to do the intro to her song. Levee turns his wrath on who he perceives to be a wrathful Old Testament God.

A poignant scene in which a hopeless man strikes with his knife at God knocks the audience out of escape territory and back into reality. The pregnant silence proves the character is effectively brushing against the fourth wall.

Coruscating metaphors abound in Wilson's heady work. The stew metaphor is an example. The shoe, which is a metaphor for the good life of a boulevardier and is later transformed into a metaphor for both the assimilationist and accommodationist perspectives of Levee, is simple only to those who do not possess $11 black patent leather wing-tipped zapatas.

The politicization of the black man and the blues is an important feature of Ma Rainey. Not an extended minstrelsy act, the drama focuses on the struggle of the black man and woman for empowerment within what is essentially a sanctioned Post-Reconstruction "slave system."

Outstanding performances delivered by Merritt, Andrews and other members of the ensemble cast make <I>Ma Rainey<P>, a play inspired by the blues idiom, a poignant drama.






by Rachel Woods

Daily Cougar Staff

Forget the winter blues. Hang up the leather coats. Take off the gloves and the wool scarves. The spring semester is here, y'all.

The moving and shaking student leaders of campus organizations have been working hard for the spring, preparing a buffet of guest speakers, lectures, discussion panels, volunteer opportunities, concerts, film festivals and food fairs for the good folks at UH.

The main organizations in Campus Activities have put together activities that will be fun and entertaining. They also plan to deal with serious issues, to inform and raise awareness.

What follows is a brief preview of what UH students can plan for and look forward to this semester.

•Gay and Lesbian or Bisexual Alliance

Elizabeth Lee, G.L.O.B.AL.'s organizer, is focusing the semester on trying to get more students involved in G.L.O.B.AL. The surprising backlash the organization experienced last semester is one of the main concerns of the alliance.

One of the major projects they are working on is a buddy system, which will be set up to match gay people. The idea is to pair up people who can become friends and relate to each other's experiences. G.L.O.B.AL. is also participating in the Gay Pride Walk in Houston and New York.

•Metropolitan Volunteer Program

Shannon Bishop and her crew at MVP are working on projects designed to introduce more people to volunteering. At MVP, they are updating their Volunteer Opportunities Board (the peg boards on the walls with white sheets of paper thumbtacked to it), aiming to make it more user-friendly for students.

They are also starting a volunteer data base for students who can't commit to long-term volunteer projects. The database would match those students with short-term or special weekend or one-day volunteer projects.

MVP is getting ready to host an Alternative Spring Break. Instead of doing the traditional Spring Break thing (partying and more partying), students do a volunteer project together.

One of the ideas, something MVP has done in the past, is building a house for Habitat for Humanity. They are also gearing up for the C.O.O.L. Conference, from April 14 to April 18, and looking forward to continuing their successful tutoring programs at Austin High School and Yates.

•Black Student Union

At the Black Student Union, <I>exciting<P> and <I>educational<P> describe the events Henry Bell, president of the Black Student Union, has planned for February, Black History Month, and the spring semester. The BSU calendar is full during February.

Feb. 1: Opening ceremonies for Black History Month.

Feb. 2: Beginning of the Midday Lecture Series. The speaker will be political science Professor Christian Davenport.

Feb. 7: Panel discussion on self-help.

Institutions in the black community.

Feb. 10: Guest Professor Julian Hare will speak.

Feb. 15: Midday Lecture Series will feature Morris Graves, associate director of the African American Studies Program.

Feb. 16: Health fair

Feb. 17: Panel discussion on black businesses.

Feb. 22: Guest Professor Diane McBar will speak.

Feb. 28: Cultural Style Show.

In March, BSU will host a panel discussion on youth violence. They are also hoping to bring Louis Farrakhan to the campus. They will round out the semester with the Second Annual African-American Cultural Arts Festival.

•Student Program Board

The innovators at SPB have put together a cornucopia of entertainment for the spring semester. They are constantly planning new events, but a sample of what they have in store for us is available.

During the second week of school, they are planning SPB Awareness Week. Going into February, they will resume the Inventive Minds Speaker Series and a Rock Laser Show on Feb. 16. On March 10, they are hosting the MTV Free Your Mind/Spoken Word Tour. Also in March is the CBS College Tour.

CBS-TV will bring its game and television shows for an outdoor festival. Students can play <I>Northern Exposure<P> trivia, <I>The Price Is Right<P>, <I>Family Feud<P>, or call plays at the Reebok Sportscasting Booth.

In April, they are having the Perpetual Park Party, which will be combined this year with Frontier Fiesta. Throughout March and April, they'll also host a Spring Arts and Music Festival. They also promise numerous sneak previews and a movie series that will run all semester long twice a week.

•Council of Ethnic Organizations

Trang Phan, the president of CEO, and her staff have been busy planning events with their four main umbrella groups: the Black Student Union, the Chinese Students' Association, Concilio de Organizaciones Chicanas and the International Students' Organization. They will be planning events with CSA's China Night, COC's festivities for Cinco de Mayo, BSU's Black History Month '94, and ISO's International Food Fair. CEO also has planned to bring guest speakers, cultural performances, educational workshops and forums.






by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

The 30th administration of the Students' Association will end its one-year term with efforts to both save UH money and get UH students more involved in their government.

After losing $8.5 million in the last legislative session, UH is still in danger of receiving further financial cuts, Students' Association President Jason Fuller said.

UH was originally in danger of losing up to $30 million, but through intensive lobbying, the amount was held down, Fuller said.

SA plans to continue lobbying efforts in Austin to ensure that the Legislature does not make deep cuts in UH's budget, Fuller said.

The "lion's share" of UH's funding comes from the state. The university would be forced to make deep cuts in services to students if funds are cut significantly, said Justin McMurtry, a senator representing the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication.

"Our lobbying will be laying the groundwork for lining up friends for the university. It's going to be a tough battle," said Coy Wheeler, speaker of the SA senate. "People try to pigeonhole us into a category like UT and Texas A&M."

Legislators need to understand that the average UH student is older than most college students and takes longer to graduate, Wheeler said.

"UH fits a different need, and our job is to educate legislators about our needs," Wheeler said.

The formulas the state uses to determine funding for universities do not take into account UH's unique role as an urban university, McMurtry said.

"We must lobby to change the formulas to take into account our special needs," Wheeler said.

In response to the budgetary restraints imposed by the state, the university, led by UH President James Pickering, has been working on a reshaping program that will streamline services and save funds so the university can keep important student services.

At the national level, SA lobbying efforts will focus on stopping further cuts in Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid, Fuller said.

Starting this semester, SA senators will have one two-hour town hall meeting per month in a central location for the colleges they represent.

"If we don't hear what students' concerns are, how can we serve them?" Fuller asked.

"I don't think we have done our job for the students. We need to take up their problems and their issues," Wheeler said.

The university bureaucracy must treat students as customers, not criminals, and SA must take up their case, Wheeler said.

"I'm tired of hearing about students being thrown from one office to another, or a professor not holding office hours, or the Bursar's Office making a mistake and blaming it on students," Wheeler said. "I'm only asking for customer service. Smile at us. I pay this university a lot of money."

Wheeler wants closer communication between university offices so administrators will know where to send students with problems.

SA executives, along with representatives from the Bursar's Office, Office of Registration and Academic Records, and the Scholarships and Financial Aid office, started a task force to express questions and concerns of students, Fuller said.

Last semester, a furor erupted over the Athletic Department, with the Faculty Senate voting to stop funding, but the administration ignored the results.

SA held a university-wide vote to keep student fees allocated to athletics at $34, instead of a percentage of overall fees. The amount cannot be raised without another student vote.

At the same time, Wheeler introduced a bill to combat low graduation rates for student athletes.

The UH athlete graduation rate is 14 percent, compared with an average graduation rate of 53 percent at other Division 1A schools.

"We're putting it in writing that they have to fix the problem," Wheeler said. "Most UH students work and have families, but athletes and honors students have everything taken care of for them, so there is no reason why graduation rates cannot be raised for athletes."

The bill requires UH to withdraw 1 percent of athletics funding for every 1 percent UH is below the Division 1A graduation rate in two years.

The bill also requires that student service fees be withdrawn from athletics and reallocated to "student success" programs.

If the bill passes the SA senate, and the president signs it, then ultimately, Pickering would have to decide if the university would participate.

"The bill is pretty either/or. I do recognize that a lot of students feel that athletics reform is long overdue, but in its present form, I do not think the bill would pass without some amending," Fuller said.

Fuller's other goals for SA include conducting public congressional debates, holding voter registration drives and encouraging students to work on political campaigns.

"We can't just go to our legislators once every six months or a year for help. They need to hear from us on a regular basis so when it comes to voting on higher education issues, they think about our needs," Fuller said.

Fuller also wants to bring credit card tuition payment to UH.

"A lot of students want to use credit cards," Fuller said. "We would like to see it as an option for students."

McMurtry disagrees with Fuller.

"It sounds good in theory, but when you get right down to it, why pay 19 or 20 percent when you can take a student loan at a much lower percentage rate," McMurtry said.






by Christine Sargus


Don't despair, kids –

fun times just ahead

Welcome back to another semester of higher education. I know that each and every student is elated to be back to long days of classes, overpriced books, demanding professors and irritating(-ed) TAs. But the good news is you get to enjoy my new column.

Christy's Campus is all about what's going on around campus – the place you spend about six hours a day! This is <I>not<P> a stuffy, serious or biased column. It <I>is <P> a column to inform you about lunchtime shows, Greek life, parties, the Residence Halls Association, book sales, Sigma Chi Fight Night, intramural sports, art shows, Frontier Fiesta, pool tournaments, bike races, guest speakers, self-help workshops, Casino Night, tutoring, SPB – just about anything that occurs on our great campus. (Hell, if you're having a party, I might run that, too.)

I'll include virtually any group interesting enough to write about.

My column will appear every Monday to report on the week's upcoming activities. If you would like your group's events included in my column, call, fax or stop by the Daily Cougar. I'll most likely include it.

Now that we are back to the grindstone, UH is finally waking up from a six-week nap. Once more, the bookstore is jammed with students, and E. Cullen resembles a bread line during the Great Depression.

Nearly everyone is busy settling into classes. (Some will spend the first week just trying to find their classes.) And because most everyone is trying to settle into a new routine, there is not much going on this week.

Nevertheless, there are some important dates and events I'd like to mention.

<B>Monday, Jan. 24<P>

•Classes begin.

•Regular Add/Drop begins and continues through Wednesday.

<B>Tuesday, Jan. 25<P>

•Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Robert Phillips and Susan Prospere at 8 p.m. in Brown Auditorium.

<B>Wednesday, Jan. 26<P>

•The Visual and Performing Arts Committee of SPB will meet at 4:30 p.m. in the small conference room, UC-Underground. Everyone is welcome.

•Last day of regular Add/Drop.

<B>Thursday, Jan. 27<P>

•Late registration begins and continues through Friday.

•Interfraternity Council meeting in the UC-Underground at 7 p.m.

<B>Friday, Jan. 28<P>

•Greek leaders conference begins.

•Last day of late registration.

I know this week seems pretty sparse, but things will pick up as the semester progresses. I am open to suggestions. If you would like to send me some information about your activity, drop it off in room 151 of the Communications Building, or fax at 743—5384. Coming soon, Greek Rush, Ballroom Blitz and SPB Awareness Week!

Sargus is a junior kinesiology major.






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

The six-game losing streak that had been toying with the Lady Cougars finally ran out of gas as Houston finished off the Baylor Bears 78-68 Saturday in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston held the Bears to 35.1 percent shooting and caused 21 turnovers, mostly when it went to the press.

It was a call Coach Jessie Kenlaw felt she had to make despite having only eight players dress for the game.

"We were leery about pressing because of our numbers," she said. "Fatigue set in there for a while. Baylor never died."

Not until Michelle Harris hit a pull-up jumper that set Houston off on an 8-2 run with 2:42 to play did the Bears collapse.

That put the Cougars up by 10 at 73-63, culminating in a Harris bank shot.

Baylor's Tracy Harding checked into the game for the first time and proceeded to knock down a 3-pointer to close within seven, 73-66.

Gigi Gaudet, only 1-of-9 from the free throw line this season, was fouled with 26 seconds left and sank both ends of a one-and-one to secure the victory.

Houston improves to 6-8 (1-3 Southwest Conference). Baylor drops to 9-6 (1-3).

"Once we started pressing, they didn't know what to do," said Houston freshman Pat Luckey. "It's a big win for us because we needed one."

Harris led four Cougars in reaching double figures with 15 points. Freshman Pat Luckey was an uncharacteristic 4-of-19 from the field, finishing with 13 points, but she added 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Houston dominated the offensive glass with a 21-12 edge over Baylor.

"We're not very big inside," said Bears Coach Pam Bowers. "We weren't being aggressive. When our guards aren't taking the ball to the basket, we struggle."

Many uncontested shots from both teams missed the net, and Baylor was only 8-of-31 in the first half, but kept the game close, going 14-for-21 from the foul line.

Houston took a 33-32 lead into halftime behind Traci Bell, who scored 10 of her 13 points in the first period and made all four of her shots.

Up next is Southern Methodist, and this Houston team is ready to forget the past.

"We've got the monkey off our back now," Luckey said.






by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

They search for answers while cloaked in black, existential despair, inhabiting the stark and dreary spots of workaday London.

These people are the lonely, desperate, gaunt waifs and shadowy cads of director Mike Leigh's English export <I>Naked<P>.

At the core of the film is Johnny (David Thewlis), a brainy, rambunctious Manchester native who has a predilection for the company of loners and for people who view things from a metaphysical perspective.

He and the others – namely Louise (Lesley Sharp) and marijuana-addicted Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge) – are trying to figure out whether life is just one long drift into oblivion or a series of escapades on the postmodern information highway.

Johnny delivers spiels on chaos theory, the apocalyptic vision and the intricacy of the human body. His jokes on the guarding of space and the missing link provide relief from the dark mood.

Despite his interest in such matters, the man also has a darker side, one given over to the primordial beast. Leigh's clever script dissects his and others' modus vivendi: Instead of focusing exclusively on the queen and Parliament as sources of oppression, these characters practically embrace their ignobility. Johnny's dry humor and thick skin keeps him from cracking up.

One of the characters inhabits drugland for days at a time, returning to planet Earth with slurred speech, poor judgment, punk chic garb and tousled, jet-black hair.

Another sinister character, who looks like a tanned, emaciated David Byrne, gets his kicks by raping women and pulling their hair.

One reason a person like Johnny survives, even after kicks in the midriff and a vicious attack perpetuated by a group of ruthless adolescents, is his resilience and determination to drift to the next point.

The film begins in a dark mood, with a tight shot of what could be the first of several rape scenes. After this incident, Johnny flees to London to haunt more women, namely an old flame. Sometimes, as in the case of Sophie, the woman does not give consent. At other times, a nebulous cloud hangs over affairs.

Leigh's improvisational technique of filmmaking is so effective that the desperation of these characters is very real and true. Johnny cauterizes his feelings so much that he often resembles the living dead. He meets a bickering Scottish couple, a self-absorbed security guard, a beans-offering waif who works as a waitress, a poster hanger and a window dancer.

Rejection occurs so frequently for many of the characters that they usually don't take seemingly endless stretches of wallowing in the mire too hard. They just swallow it like a cup of tea – it's just the usual. In claustrophobic settings, these peoples' problems look magnified, as do their quirks and attributes.

Sandra (Claire Skinner), a roommate of Louise's who returns from Zimbabwe toward the end of the film, is too hyper and perky. Louise, who hides her dislike for the grind of work and life in London, is too homely and contemplative. Jeremy is too arrogant and too much of a pest. Johnny is too crazy. However, everyone has just enough moxie to survive.

Variations on these types appear on sitcoms such as <I>Eastenders<P>, but the people in this movie live on the edge so much that laughter rarely pierces the funky mood. With the exception of Sophie and the insecure window dancer, the women are strong.

The misogynistic men have more control at times, but only because some of the women have little value for their sexual agency. A woman like Louise has a tensile strength, and she even has the nerve to emulate Lorena Bobbitt. He tries hard to avoid stereotypes of women, but Leigh apparently sees a bit of a tart in most female city slickers.

The performance of Thewlis is first-rate. The man he portrays is loathsome and charming. At times, his character is somewhat megalomaniacal; at others, he has no illusions of grandeur and is the most sane of those around him. He brings the neurotic, lengthy diatribe-liking character to life in his mannerisms and words.

Another good performance is delivered by Sharp, whose character practices restraint while letting two competing selves battle over her heart. Part of her wants to stay, part of her wants to leave.

Such characters as the masseuse, chauffeur and the young Scots, Archie and Maggie, add color. Gina McKee, who portrays the cafe girl, and Peter Wight, the security guard, are also effective as wandering souls who eventually reject Johnny.

Leigh has crafted a raw, radical, excellent film. Although a strong biblical current runs through <I>Naked<P> – with references to Deuteronomy 14 and Revelations – it ironically places much emphasis on evolution. The director and his fine ensemble cast pose the question of whether exposure can be cathartic or destructive – or just another part of the searching game.







by Ryan Carrsow

Daily Cougar Staff

Leave Alvin Brooks alone!

Cut the man some slack and get off his back.

The subtle rumblings of displeasure with the rookie UH basketball coach from fans and alumni are gaining the momentum of an approaching thunderstorm.

Several tornado-like offshoots of this storm of displeasure have hinted at the need for a replacement for Brooks should this year's team not rise from the ashes of a 2-12 start.

It's the Cougars' worst start since 1959, but it is not Brooks' fault.

Former coach Pat Foster left his successor with little talent to improve upon.

In his seven years of coaching under the championship banners of Hofheinz Pavilion, Foster's teams consisted of junior college transfers and fill-ins. His idea of recruiting was to find a short term fix that would keep Houston's record respectable and let him to keep his job.

Foster found mediocre success, at best, with this method. His teams did finish with a winning record every season and collected one Southwest Conference championship (a shared title with Texas in 1992).

But Foster's teams made only three NCAA postseason tournaments in seven seasons, and never won a "March Madness" game.

Because of Foster's quick-fix recruiting and lack of any long-range planning or serious high school recruiting, Brooks was left with a team and a program that had lost its once lofty reputation as a basketball powerhouse.

Considering these limitations, Brooks and his underrated assistant coaching staff have done exceptionally well since he was hired less than 10 months ago.

How much can be expected from a team that lost its best inside force (SWC Player and Defensive Player of the Year Bo Outlaw) and its leading scorer (David Diaz, 17.7 points per game).

Two of the Coogs' biggest problems this season are a lack of rebounding and scoring ability – Houston ranks last in the SWC in both categories.

No young players were waiting in the wings to replace the departed seniors.

While this year's team is off to a horrendous beginning, the next few seasons should bring back the tradition of Cougar basketball dominance.

Brooks and staff have already taken the first step toward ensuring future successes. They've brought back the local inner-city recruiting that has been missing since basketball god Guy Lewis coached his last season at the corner of Cullen and Holman.

Brooks' first recruiting class was ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation by various college and prep publications. It is filled with dominating high school players who should step right in next season.

Tommie "Tank" Davis, a 5-9 point guard from South Central Los Angeles' Crenshaw High, should develop into the perfect successor to all-SWC senior Anthony Goldwire. Davis averaged 18 points and nine assists as a junior.

The real story of the recruiting season for Houston was Adrian Taylor and Galen Robinson. They are the Cougar version of the "Twin Towers" – and they're both from Houston.

Taylor is a 7-1, 320-pound center from Washington High. He earned the reputation of having an attitude problem when he quit his high school team because of a dispute with the coach. He rejoined the team last week, however. When you are 7-1 you are allowed to have a bad attitude.

Robinson, a 6-8, 245-pound power forward, is reported to have the quickness and inside skills of a Glenn Robinson or Chris Webber.

He led the Houston area in rebounding as a junior (14.6). This season he is leading No. 5 MacArthur with 19.4 points and 13 boards per game. He can also handle the ball and dish from the paint as his 4.6 assists per game indicate.

The importance of a dominant inside game can not be overemphasized. The mediocrity of the SWC can be traced to small, quick teams with little inside presence or half-court game.

A look at the top teams in the nation shows more than one towering player on the best teams. No. 1 UCLA has 7-footer George Zidec and the 6-8 O'Bannon brothers. Defending NCAA champion North Carolina has 7-footers Eric Montross and Serge Zwikker.

Houston's towers-to-be should dominate the petite centers in the rest of the conference and march to March glory.

The infusion of these prep stars and the return of junior Jesse Drain, sophomore Jermaine Johnson and freshmen Willie Byrd, Roderick Griggs and Curley Johnson should leave Houston with an exceptional young talent base.

Brooks must be given the chance to coach these players to the peak of their championship potential.






by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

He leans against the table and wraps his finger around the long, hard stick. Perspiration beads on his brow as he concentrates on getting the ball in the hole. He hits the ball, and it rolls toward the corner pocket, but it misses. With that fatal hit, he knows he will lose the game.

Most people who go to pool halls perhaps do not feel this much pressure, but there are professional pool players who lose, or win, a life savings by a game of pool.

Pool halls are becoming more and more popular with everyone. Loretta Ramirez, an employee at Barney's Billiard Saloon, said different types of people frequent Barney's, from college students to families.

"We have been known to have a waiting line," Ramirez said.

Pool halls have more than just pool tables, though. Most also offer drinks, video games, darts, snacks and big-screen televisions that show sports games. Some have tournaments on different nights of the week, and most pool halls also have drink and pool table promotions on different nights.

Some of the more popular pool halls in Houston are Barney's and Slick Willie's, which are now affiliated. There are more than one dozen of these pool halls in Houston.

Another place for students to play pool is either at the UC Games Room or the Satellite Games Room. The UC Games Room is open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. and until 12:45 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. On Sunday, it is open from 1 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.

"The atmosphere at the UC Games Room is better because it's good to see everyone taking a break and get your mind off studying," said sophomore business major Therman Lincoln.

"I usually play at the UC because it is the cheapest place in town," Lincoln said.

The UC and Satellite game rooms charge $3 an hour, while most pool halls charge $7 an hour. Some pool halls also have coin-operated pool tables that charge about 75 cents a game.

"If we wanted to see a profit, we would have to increase our rates, but we keep it cheap for the students," said Bill Chwer, manager of the UC Games Room, which is owned by the university and funded through union and student service fees.

The Games Room has 8-ball and 9-ball leagues and holds tournaments several times throughout the semester. Some of these tournaments are sponsored by cue manufacturers, so winners receive prizes such as cue sticks.

The regional tournament, which includes Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana colleges, will be held Feb. 25-27 at Sam Houston State University. Winners will advance to the National Intercollegiate Billiard Tournament.

There may not be any Tom Cruise or Paul Newman look-alikes in most pool halls, but there are serious players, whether they are playing for beer or the color of money.







by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

African-Americans have struggled, and this struggle did not begin with Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington. Nor did it reach its peak during the period's civil rights movement. It did, however, gather 250,000 people together to hear King's dream of freedom and desegregation.

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Blaffer Gallery will exhibit "I Remember: Images of the Civil Rights Movement 1963-1993."

This will include over 80 pieces by approximately 40 African-American artists, including several Houston artists such as Tierney Malone, Israel McCloud, Annette Lawrence and David Magee.

The artists present their art through paintings, sculpture, photographs, video, audiotape, quilts and drawings, demonstrating the social, political, cultural and emotional environments that influenced the artists.

The exhibit is supposed to center on works completed in the last 30 years, although many of these works were made prior to or after the more vigilant times of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The exhibit is introduced, predictably, with a King portrait titled "Martin", painted by Eddie McAnthony.

One bronze sculpture reminds the viewer of the recent Rodney King beating. Preston Jackson recreates this distressing March 1991 scene depicting all the characters as beasts.

Another impressive work is "We the People," an oil painting by Oscar Thomas. The artist included in his painting Martin Luther King, the Statue of Liberty, a Ku Klux Klansman kissing a black infant and an enslaved black man. Not only is this painting beautifully painted in vivid colors, it includes these moving figures.

Arguably one of the best art pieces included in this exhibit is "Lynched School Bus" by Oliver W. Harrington. This watercolor shows a school bus being lynched on a gallows, with dollar signs and stars decorating it. It is a simple, moving piece.

A humorous work is Michael Ray Charles' "Daddy's Favorite Laniappe Jar," a plaster sculpture of Aunt Jemima.

A rather disquieting work is the audio monologue "Safe" by Adrian Piper, accompanied by four prints that appear similar to magazine ads. The audio includes Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion."

This is followed by the voiceover of a white woman who is uncomfortable with the "aggressive" black artists' pieces. The tape includes putative justifications for racism, among them fear and denial. In fact, one quote from the tape is an often-mouthed cliche: "I already do feel completely safe with black people."

The exhibition is organized by the Dallas Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Howard University. Blaffer Gallery is the first stop in the national tour.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tentative programs scheduled for the exhibition include a panel discussion on March 20 and concerts on Feb. 6. Lectures and poetry readings will also be scheduled.

This passage through 20th century African-American history may not end the prejudices of many, nor end the struggle of African-Americans, but it does tell a story about how African-Americans have fought injustices in our society and how they have overcome many of these injustices.

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