Archive for January, 2011

NCCU Announces 2011 Football Schedule

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Slate Includes Thursday Night Season-Opener at Rutgers, Classic in Cleveland, Full MEAC Line-Up

The 2011 North Carolina Central University football schedule, which features five home contests, gives NCCU fans a lot to be excited about this coming season. With a new coaching staff on board, including head coach Henry Frazier III, the Eagles will be competing in their first full Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) schedule with eight total games against conference opponents.

Not only will NCCU have a thrilling first full conference schedule, the Eagles will also have the honor to compete in the NFL Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, where they will participate in the 2011 Cleveland Classic, taking on the Central State University Marauders on Sept. 10.

On Thursday Sept. 1 (7:30 p.m.), the Eagles start their fifth season as a NCAA Division I-FCS competitor against the only NCAA Division I-FBS team on their 2011 schedule, Big East affiliate, Rutgers University. Rutgers finished with a 4-8 overall record in its 2010 season. The Scarlet Knights had their biggest 2010 victory against fellow MEAC member, Norfolk State, with a 30-0 final score.

On Sept. 10 (12 p.m.), NCCU will compete in its fifth NFL stadium in the past decade as the Eagles play the Central State Marauders inside the Cleveland Browns Stadium. This contest will be a rematch from NCCU’s 2009 homecoming and this game will also be the Eagles only Division II opponent of the year. NCCU was victorious in the Oct. 31, 2009 meeting with Central State with a final score of 53-22, and the Eagles now also lead the series against the Marauders, 2-1.

On Sept. 17 (6 p.m.), NCCU will kick off its home competition against highway I-40 foes, Elon University. The last time the Eagles took on the Phoenix, back on Sept. 14, 1996, they were known as the Fighting Christians of Elon College. This game will mark the 11th meeting between the Eagles and the Phoenix, with Elon leading the series 7-3.

A match-up of fresh MEAC faces will take place on Sept. 24 (6 p.m.) at home when the two newest league members, NCCU and Savannah State, battle it out on the gridiron. Fellow newcomer SSU had a bumpy 2010 season with a 1-10 overall record. The Tigers, like the Eagles, are looking to turn things around in 2011 with the welcoming of new head coach Steve Davenport. NCCU has won three out of the last four match-ups with the Tigers.

On Oct. 8 (1:30 p.m.), the Eagles will make the trip down to Orangeburg, S.C., where they will take on the South Carolina State Bulldogs. South Carolina State, which captured the MEAC title in 2008 and 2009, finished second in the league last season with an overall 9-2 record and a 7-1 conference record.

On Oct. 15 (4 p.m.), NCCU will return home for another game to help gain bragging rights in the MEAC when the Eagles take on Morgan State. In the 36th meeting between the Eagles and Bears, Morgan State returns to Durham for the first time in 30 years dating back to Oct. 10, 1981. MSU leads the series with NCCU 21-12-2.

On Oct. 22 (2 p.m.), NCCU hits the road to take the short bus trip to Hampton, Va., to play Hampton University. The Eagles fell to Hampton a year ago 13-27 in Durham, N.C., making them hungry for revenge against the Pirates on their home field in Virginia.

The Eagles will celebrate their Homecoming game on Oct. 29 (2 p.m.) when the NCCU Eagles host reigning MEAC champions, Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats return to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for the second year in a row. In last year’s meeting the Eagles fell short with a final score of 10-23 as they tried to knock down the undefeated Wildcats.

On Nov. 5 (1 p.m.), the Eagles take their play back on the road as the travel north again up to Dover, Del., where they take on Delaware State University. Last year the Eagles struggled against the Hornets where they fell 7-29. NCCU still holds a 13-6 lead in the series with Delaware State.

On Nov. 12 (2 p.m.), the Eagles will return home to honor their 2011 seniors in their “Senior Day” celebration, as they take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M University. Florida A&M finished 8-3 overall, with a MEAC final record of 7-1 in its 2010 slate.

NCCU wraps up its 2011 campaign 60 miles down the road in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 19 (1:30 p.m.) against the rival North Carolina A&T Aggies. After two straight years of nail-biting competition between the Eagles and the Aggies, last year’s electrifying match-up was brought back to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for the first time since 1992 and the Eagles did not let their sold out crowd down. The Eagles took an early lead on the Aggies and never looked back, defeating their biggest rivals with a final score of 27-16. A&T had a rocky 2010 season finishing up 1-10 overall and 1-7 in MEAC play, although the Aggies still hold a 46-31-5 advantage in the 87-year history of the rivalry against the Eagles.

To watch the Eagles in action during all five home games, season tickets are $130 for reserved seating. Tickets will open up to Eagle Club members from Feb. 14-28 and will be available to the general public on March 1. For more information, visit or call the NCCU Ticket Office at (919) 530-5170.

NPR Jazz Notes

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A Blog Supreme

Roy Eldridge: The ‘Little Jazz’ Centennial

The trumpeter’s legendary sound and bravado dwarfed his 5’6″ frame. Known as “Little Jazz,” and later just “Jazz,” his nicknames befit his devotion (five decades) to the art form. Celebrate his centennial with five of his fieriest early performances.


BBQ: The Brubeck Brothers On JazzSet

It’s a sunny day at the Detroit Jazz Festival, where the theme is Families in Jazz. So it’s only natural that Chris and Dan Brubeck are on hand with BBQ: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet.

Piano Jazz

Jonathan Batiste On Piano Jazz

Exciting young pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste hails from the cradle of jazz, New Orleans. He joins guest host Jon Weber for a set spanning traditional tunes, some Monk-inspired stride and his original compositions.

A Blog Supreme

Turning The Tables On The Music Critic: A Conversation With Tom Moon

Regular NPR listeners know Tom Moon as a music reviewer on All Things Considered. But most people don’t know that Tom Moon is also a saxophonist. On the occasion of his new recording, he explains what it’s like from the other side of the bandstand.

A Blog Supreme

What’s It Like To Tour With Legendary Pianist McCoy Tyner?

The singer Jose James (a really good singer, by the way) now knows. He was recently called up to play the Johnny Hartman role in a Tyner-led tribute program to the immortal John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman album. And he wrote about it.

WNCU 90.7 FM Celebrates Black History Month

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

WNCU 90.7 FM celebrates Black History Month with several special programming that highlights the vast contributions made to society and culture by African-Americans.

  • On February 15, 16 and 17 from 7 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., WNCU 90.7 FM and Pacifica Radio Archives present a three-part series Redefining Black Power in the Age of Obama.  On November 4, 2008, America elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. Did President Obama’s election set in to motion the process to create a post racial America? Join host Joanne Griffith in her look back on the people and the events that have come to represent the struggle of African-Americans through the civil rights movement to present day America.
  • In 2003, the Pacifica Radio Archives celebrated the 100th anniversary of W.E.B. Dubois’ publication The Souls of Black Folk. To commemorate Black History Month, WNCU 90.7 FM and Pacifica Radio Archives, present a two-part special dedicated to The Souls of Black Folk narrated by Alfre Woodard. The publication has been called a seminal work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history. WNCU will air this rare special in two parts on February 8 and 9 from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m.
  • Dr. Cornel West is a man many consider a sage, an intellectual, a spiritual leader and leading voice of our time. Dr. West is a professor of African-American and Theological Studies at both Princeton and Harvard Universities. WNCU presents From The Vault: An Interview with Dr. Cornel West on February 22 beginning at 8 p.m.

NCCU Celebrates Black History Month

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

North Carolina Central University will celebrate Black History Month with a series of events that are free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is Dr. Cheryl Hicks, assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who will speak from the topic “Talk With You Like a Woman: African-American Women, Justice and Reform in New York, 1890-1935.” Her address is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. in the H.M. Michaux Jr. School of Education Auditorium.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, needlework artist Carol Beck will present, “Literature, Quilts and African-American History,” at 2:30 p.m. in the James E. Shepard Library. Beck’s work includes handbags and masks. Her designs are sold in specialty needlework stores throughout the country.

Michelle Lanier, director of the African-American Heritage Commission, will present on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 11:40 a.m., in the Shepard Library. Lanier will speak from the topic, “Envisioning the Future of North Carolina’s African-American Heritage.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage will open at the University Theatre, Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. NCCU students will lend their talent to this production set in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of the Congo. The NCCU production has been entered into the American Collegiate Theater Festival and will compete with other regional productions.

Other highlights include:

  • More than 20 student and faculty presentations centered on the theme “African-Americans and the Civil War.”
  • A concert, discussion and multimedia presentation, “I Love Myself When I am Laughing. … And Then Again, When I’m Looking Mean and Impressive. Honoring African-American Writers & Composers,” by Lenora Helm, NCCU music professor.
  • “West Africa and the Origin of Mexican Rice Cultivation and Rice Gastronomy,” a lecture by Dr. Marco Hernandez-Cuevas, co-chair of the Spanish department.
  • A special guest lecture focusing on NCCU’s founder, “James Edward Shepard: the Genealogy, the Genius, and the Vision, 1875-1947,” by Dr. Henry L. Suggs, emeritus professor of American history at Clemson University.

For more details, visit

Free Tax Preparation at NCCU

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

As part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), trained and certified NCCU student volunteers will prepare federal and state tax returns for tax filers who earned less than $49,000 in 2010. The service is available every Saturday beginning Jan. 29 (except March 5 and 12), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and every Friday beginning Feb. 4 (except March 4 and 11), from 4 to 7 p.m. This service is free to the public and is available in the Legal Clinic office, located in the Turner Law Building.

Returns are prepared on-site and are filed electronically, making refunds available in seven to 10 days in most cases. Returns can also be printed for filing by mail. Spanish-speaking tax preparers will be available most Saturdays.

Taxpayers wishing to have their returns prepared by VITA should bring with them:

  • Valid photo identification
  • Social Security cards for the individual, spouse and dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and any dependents on the tax return
  • 2010 tax package if available
  • Wage and earning statements (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers)
  • Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
  • Bank routing and account numbers (direct deposit only)
  • Total paid to day care provider and the day care provider’s tax ID number , Social Security number or employer identification number
  • Student tuition statement (Form 1098T)
  • To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

Tax preparation services are available by appointment or walk-in. To schedule an appointment, call (919) 530-6011 or visit and select “NCCU” from the drop-down menu.

Richmond Barthé Exhibit Opens at NCCU Art Museum

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

North Carolina Central University will showcase the art of Harlem Renaissance sculptor Richmond Barthé Feb. 6 – April 8 in the NCCU Art Museum. Barthé is considered to be the first modern African-American sculptor to garner substantial critical success. The exhibit, “Richmond Barthé: His Life in Art,” includes 30 bronze sculptures.

“Without question Richmond Barthé was the most important sculptor of African-American Modernism in the first half of the 20th century,” said Kenneth Rogers, museum director. “We are excited to exhibit a body of work that epitomized the Harlem Renaissance’s contribution to American art.”

Born in Bay St. Louis, Miss., in 1909, Barthé never knew his father, who died at the age of 22 when Richmond was a month old. By the age of 12, he was showing works at county fairs in Mississippi. After winning a blue ribbon for a drawing he sent to a county fair he came to the attention of Lyle Saxon, who tried unsuccessfully to register Barthé in a New Orleans art school. The refusal was based on Barthé’s race rather than a lack of creative ability.

With the aid of a Catholic priest, Barthé, with less than a high school education and no formal training in art, was admitted to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1924. During his four-year stay at the Institute he pursued a career as a painter. During the last year of his study at the institute, he began modeling in clay to gain a better understanding of the third dimension in his painting. He soon abandoned painting to concentrate on sculpture.

In 1929, soon after he graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, Barthé moved to New York, where he began to rise to stardom as a sculptor. During his first year in New York, he complet­ed approximately 35 sculptures. By 1934, his reputation was so well established that he was awarded his first solo show at the Caz Delbo Galleries in New York City. His exhibitions and commissions were numerous and included additions to the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum (“African Dancer,” “Blackberry Woman” and “Comedian”) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“The Boxer”). Commissions included a bas relief of Arthur Brisbane for Central Park, an 8-by-80-foot frieze titled “Green Pastures: The Walls of Jericho” for the Harlem River Housing Project, and the largest commission of his career, the public monument to Toussaint L’Ouverture in Haiti.

Barthé later moved to Jamaica, West Indies, and lived there for 20 years until the mid-1960s, when rampant violence, reminiscent of the violence that had caused him to leave New York, began to occur in Jamaica. He spent five years in Switzerland, Spain and Italy before settling in Pasadena, Calif. Barthé met actor James Garner in 1978 and found a kindred spirit. Garner became his benefactor, funding his health care and keeping his bills current for the remainder of his life.

Included in the exhibition are numerous portrait busts and free-standing figurative works, some of which were enlarged and are today distributed around the world. Among the busts are images of African- American luminaries Paul Robeson, Mary McLeod Bethune and Josephine Baker. Among the figurative works in the exhibition are “Feral Benga,” “Inner Music,” “Stevedore” and “Athlete Resting.” According to Rodgers, in each of them Barthé realizes a basic and characteristic rhythm and presents poses with a sense of suspended motion.

The North Carolina Central University Art Museum is located on Lawson Street across from the Farrison-Newton Communications Building. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For general information or assistance, please call 560-6211. For group visits, please call in advance.

“Ruined” Opens at NCCU’s University Theater

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

North Carolina Central University Department of Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Ruined,” by Lynn Nottage, on Feb. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. in the University Theater.

“Ruined,” set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the story of the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. This powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman who runs a shabby night spot in a small mining town. Rebel and government forces alike visit the spot for live music, cold beers and whiskey, a hot meal, Fanta orange soda — and the company of women. It is the lives of these women, caught in the devastating armed conflict as they work for Mama Nadi, that anchor the production, finding hope in a hopeless situation.

“Sadly, these women, who are human spoil, become pawns and direct victims of the Congolese War, with rape as a weapon of combat,” said Dr. Asabi, assistant professor in the Theatre Department and director of the play. “Their frustrations resound through Salima’s desperate cry, ‘Don’t fight your wars on my body.’ Thus, these raped victims become ruined — damaged goods — ostracized and demoralized, as if their plight is of their own making.”

Nottage’s play celebrates the courage projected by these women to bring a voice to their silent pain and unspeakable experiences. It is this spirit of triumph, magnified through music, song and dance, that leaves the audience thrilled, encouraged and hopeful.

The NCCU production includes Kammeran Giggers as Mama Nadi; Kayln Smith as Sophie, the latest girl to join Mama Nadi’s night spot; Tara-Whitney Rison as Salima, and Talisha Askew as Josephine .

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call (919) 530-5170. Children under 4 are not admitted. This production includes mature content and language.

Note: Professor Asabi, the play’s director, goes by a single name.

NCCU Team Wins $1 Million Grant to Develop Diabetes Treatment

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

A research team from North Carolina Central University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop drugs for treating Type 2 diabetes.

The leader of the team is Dr. Jonathan Sexton, assistant research professor at NCCU’s Biotechnology Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE). The BRITE facility has been in full operation just since 2008, and Sexton said the grant is a sign that the institution is starting to fulfill its potential.

“We now have a well-established pipeline for drug discovery,” he said, “And the great part about it is, it works. We’re building a world-class research institution.”

Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes, is closely linked to obesity. It is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar. People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to the effects of insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the body’s cells. Untreated, it can be life-threatening.

Sexton noted that according to public health projections, one-third of all people born in the U.S. after 2003 will develop type 2 diabetes. The rate is much higher in the South, and among African-Americans and certain other minority groups.

One goal of his team is to develop a drug or drugs that can be delivered in pill form; most treatments now are via injection. The team will use a process called high content analysis, an automated cell biology method drawing on optics, chemistry, biology and image analysis to determine what happens when living tissue is exposed to thousands of different compounds.

“We’ll use human liver cells and tissue as a platform for drug discovery,” Sexton said. “We take the tissue, and add experimental drugs to test for good or bad effects. There’s no better place than human tissue to look for success in drug development.”

High content analysis (also known as high content screening) is a well-established drug discovery technique. What’s new at BRITE is the extent of the automation. With robotics, a $500,000 microscope and advanced imaging and image analysis technology, Sexton and his team can test huge numbers of compounds, generate a massive amount of image data and analyze it.

They will conduct the tests by drawing from BRITE’s library of about a half-million compounds. Most of the tested compounds will have no effect, or a negative one, on the human cells. But a few will have beneficial effects that warrant further study.

“We find the outliers — the needles in the haystack — where the effect is positive,” Sexton said. “It’s a straight numbers game. The more compounds you screen, the more hits you get.”

The grant is a Research Project, or R01, grant, NIH’s standard form of grant for basic research. The $1 million will be paid over several years, and the grant is renewable.

Winner of End of Year Drawing

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Congratulations to Deborah of Chapel Hill.

She is the winner of the 2010 End of Year Fly Away Drawing.

Student Art Shines at NCCU Art Museum

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The North Carolina Central University Art Museum is once again showcasing the work of Durham’s best and brightest young artists. Durham’s Finest, an annual exhibit from Durham Public Schools students, will run through Jan. 28.

Durham’s Finest features works by students in kindergarten through 12th grade, each school is represented by four works. “This annual exhibition portrays the true strengths of the art program in the Durham Public Schools,” said Kenneth Rodgers, director of the NCCU Art Museum. “It also illustrates the artistic talent and visual creativity possessed by students in the Durham community. This colorful exhibit truly celebrates the creative endeavors of the area’s youth.”

Guests had an opportunity to meet the young artists at an opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 8.

The NCCU Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call the NCCU Art Museum at 530-6211. Admission is free.