The HotSpot

ECSU Winter Homecoming Basketball Games

ECSU has yet another successful Winter Homecoming on just this passing Saturday. Each year ECSU holds “Winter Homecoming” where high schools from all over come down and see all that Elizabeth City State University has to offer. Students that are currently registered with the school can meet with their professors one on one, pay any fees for the schoo1 year, and more. High schoolers just coming to visit, can enjoy the sites on campus and learn about the university. Regardless, which ever kind of student comes to Winter Homecoming, they have the opportunity to take part in a all paid basketball game showing off the ECSU Lady and Men Basketball teams.

Crowds from all over packed the gym on the afternoon of February 3 at 2pm, for kickoff of the Lady Vikings versus the Lady Bulldogs of Bowie State University. The game started slow as the Bulldogs were taking action during the first quarter, but somehow the Lady Vikings managed to keep the lead; at half-time the Lady Vikings had the leading score of 32 and the Lady Bulldogs 28. After the presentation of a couple of checks to the university and several people showing off their dance moves in the crowd, the game came back for second half action. The Lady Vikings star player #11 Jaylen Brown, the 5’5 guard, sped the momentum for the Vikings ending the 3rd quarter with the Vikings having the upperhand with a score of 50 to 44. It just wasn’t enough, for the Lady Vikings fell defeated to the Lady Bulldogs to a two-point deficit of 61 to 63.

Roughly at around 4 pm, ECSU Males Basketball Team, coached by the ECSU veteran of the school and of the Vikings Basketball Team, Coach John Hill, started warming up. The game was proceeding to begin as the starting line-ups for The Bulldogs were called out: #0 Dayshawn Wells, #1 Justin Route, #11 David Belle, #20 Omari George, and #21 Saiquan Jamison. As the lights surprisingly shut off and the crowd started cheering, the Vikings starting lineout was called out: #0 Zaccheus Hobbs, #1 John Maynor, #5 Shykeef Daniels, #13 Corey Mandez, and #22 Joseph Allen. Still sitting down and not in uniform was #15 Jermain Brown, the forward that usually is called during the starting lineouts for the Vikings, has not played since January 24 when the Vikings took on the Virginia State Trojans; as the game ended with The Trojans taking the win with a score of 67 to 64 a fight broke out with the fans of VSU versus the team. Brown was caught in the cross fire and was jumped by serval fans of VSU, while also thrown in the bleachers hurting his right shoulder. Taking his place on the floor tonight was the rookie of the team Shykeef Daniels, who on January 30 was just titled as “CIAA Rookie of the Week”.

The game started as Allen, the 6’8 senior, won the jump ball giving Viking the first chance for offense. The Bulldogs go straight to it as Belle, the senior guard weighting at 175 pounds makes the first buckets of the game; shortly after Corey Mendez scores the first buckets for the Vikings after being filed on a lay-up attempt. Mendez sanks his two free-throws starting the game off with a tied score of 2-2. The Vikings during the start keep a lead on the Bulldogs; the 6’0 high flying guard, “Zach” Hobbs starts early by throwing and making the three pointer shots. Both teams stay neck-in-neck as neither teams will lead the other by no more then five points. It wasn’t until the remaining two minutes of the first half that the Bulldogs steal the lead; the first half ended with the Bulldogs leading with 38 points and the Vikings, though only down by five, 33.

After some performances during the halftime show the teams come back to the floor. Bulldogs start the game off as they take the largest lead of 42 to 33, Hobbs continues to lead his team as he continues to fire three pointer shoots, keeping the Vikings in it. Entering the game is Petteway the junior guard, also making buckets to keep the Vikings in the game. As the game boils down to the last minutes, the Vikings try to take lead but just can’t and the Bulldogs leave with the win with a score of 75 to 70. Though the teams lost high schoolers from far and wide still cheered and hugged The Lady and Male Vikings team as if they came out with a sweeping victory, making ECSU the real winners on tonight’s game.


H&M: Hot & Messy in the Jungle

2018 started out with H&M facing backlash after placing a young black male in a racially insensitive sweatshirt. At its branch in the United Kingdom, H&M placed a beautiful black boy named, Liam in a green hoodie with the words, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,” printed on the hoodie.


Many don’t see what the problem is, so let me explain it to you. Historically, black people have been viewed as anything but a child of God. Black people were viewed as property and animals for centuries. You would think after the end of slavery and segregation, and Barack Obama being the best president ever, that racism wouldn’t be a major issue. It’s still a major problem, not just in the United States, but all over the world.

Many people were outraged and angry at H&M. Some people expressed their anger on social media and decided to stop shopping at H&M. Celebrities such as G-Eazy and The Weeknd ended their business relationships with H&M. In South Africa, some protesters vandalized the store. This was the beginning of the turmoil H&M was about to face.

Since being blasted for being racist, H&M decided to speak out. First, the Swedish company gave an apology that seem very insensitive.

“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” stated H&M headquarters.

They took the picture down out of all channels, but the hoodie can still be purchased anywhere but in the United States. H&M even hired a diversity manager so incidents like this will not happen again. Where were the diversity managers, public relation managers, and the marketing specialists before the image was published on the website?

This is not the first time that H&M has been called out for their racism. In 2015, H&M had no black models featured in their South African division. When they were confronted about the issue, H&M responded via Twitter that “white models portray more positivity”.

So how do I feel about this racial issue. Well I don’t. I’m very numb to it because this happens all the time. Is it wrong, yes? Was I angry when I first saw it, yes. But that’s just the world we live in. They want to be like us, but they don’t want to respect us. I’m happy that people are using their voices and not letting the disrespect slide anymore. Sadly, I have gotten so immune to racist actions by corporations that I’m waiting to see who’s next. Who’s next to try us black people?!

It seems like ever since 45 decided to be viewed in the political eye, many people and corporations have been voluntary but creatively vocal about how they feel about race relations. Papa Johns, Pepsi, and Dove are some of the few corporations who faced backlash for causing racial tension. As consumers, we have the power to hold corporations accountable for their actions. We should understand the power of the dollar and without us, these corporations will be nothing. But when a corporation has 80% off, what are you supposed to do?

The parents of Liam were asked about their accountability with H&M. Basically, they defended H&M and saw nothing wrong with their young child wearing the hoodie. Of course, you would not see anything wrong with it when you are getting a check. After this fiasco, you should understand that the dollar matters and as a consumer you dictate what matters. Corporations depend on us. Many people don’t understand or value this concept. Having the right to support and shop anywhere is powerful. Whether you shop at local businesses, all black businesses, or larger corporations, what comes first your values or a sale?

Amazon Backlash for Pro-Slavery Clothing

Last week,  Amazon received a huge amount of backlash, for having clothing that promoted slavery. The clothing is for children and had the slogan, “Slavery Gets Sh** Done”. With a copious amount of Amazon account users and non Amazon account users infuriated, many decided to delete their account and/or avoid signing up for one. Noticing the loss of potential money Amazon decided to delete all of the children’s clothing apparel.


Amazon, known for its diverse products available to the world to purchase, made an ignorant decision to sell children’s pro-slavey apparel. The brand was singled out by shoppers and anti-slavery campaigns for product choice. The retailer distributed t-shirts, bibs, totes, sweatshirts, etc.


Twitter and Facebook also became hotspots when it came to this controversial matter at hand. Users asked questions such as, “Why even allow this product on the website?”and “Who in charge allowed this to happen?”

With slavery still occurring in various forms one would actually take the time to think about the way this will affect shoppers worldwide.

According to Daily Mail,  Paul Thompson, a spokesman for Anti-Slavery International, said, “I understand this is meant to be a joke, but slavery is no joke for people experiencing it now.”

Slavery includes sex trafficking and the 400 plus years that many black American ancestors went through. Other organizations that campaign against forced labor and human trafficking agree with the majority of people offended.

Amazon should have been more responsible when selling items to shoppers worldwide.  Amazon responded to the backlash with this message from the spokesman, “All marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to remove their account. Products in question are no longer available.”


A Simple Apology

How many of us have a hard time apologizing for something that you did?

I can say I do forgive easy, but it is hard for me to apologize for something, especially when I’m not in the wrong. Being able to apologize takes a lot of maturity and it builds character for you and your relationship.

Now, if you are weekly reader of my blogs, then you must know that I like to be transparent about myself. I believe the truth is how you make the most impact on a person’s life.

I had to right a lot of my wrongs from the past especially when dealing with my kids. I hurt my kids a lot with some of my decisons, and believe me, it’s never easy hearing from your kids that you hurt them by some of your selfish actions.

I don’t believe my kids looked at me any differently, but we had some healing to do. That process didn’t start until I asked them for forgiveness and apologized for the hurt that I caused them.

The relationship that I now have with my kids feels like heaven on earth. Our bond is so strong and we talk about the easy challenges as well as the hard challenges that we encounter together, but I don’t believe we would have gotten here if I’d never put my pride down and had a heart to heart with my two loves.

We still have issues that we will face, but I don’t mind facing challenges with them, as long as we will do it together, and I will never have so much pride in my life when I can’t apologize.

Apologies can right your wrongs, and it shows remorse and concern for your actions. An Apology does cure hurt, please use them often.

Check out my new book, It happened, It Hurt, Now What? on my website



Opposite Society Branching Out in 2018

Young Moguls like Opposite Society have been making major moves, branching out into other areas in the world. Last time we left off with Opposite Society, they were about to launch Droptober, a whole entire month dedicated to productivity and creativity. During the month, the group collaborated with other local brands to launch a pop up shop right in the heart of Elizabeth City.

This year the group is branching out and exploring other cities. We recently got a hold of Opposite Society leader, Jaylen Brown, and got some updates on the group.


Last time we left off, you guys were getting ready to launch Droptober. How did Droptober go for you? Was it a success in your opinion? If so, how?

Droptober was successful in my opinion for Opposite. We had a good amount of supporters there for our first pop up store. Hosting a store really was a step outside our group and into our community, so we took advantage and conquered the show. Seeing the amount of people who showed up really made us want to host more events.

How many more pop up shops do you have set in stone? Any particular locations interesting you?

We have a list of store dates coming up on our travel tour sheet. We recently hosted our first tour stop in Newport News, VA. We are planning stores in bigger cities like Washington DC and Atlanta, but we also are still focusing on our small cities.

Are you branching out and starting to work with other brands besides the local ones? If so, how?

At this moment, we aren’t really collaborating with any other brands except for Visionaire. We’ve been working with Tomavelli for the longest so shout out to T. We are looking for more to branch out to but we are being patient. Quality over quantity for 2018 Opposites.

Has anything changed with opposite society? Are the same people involved? Explain.

A lot has changed since 2017. We lost members to our group but we’ve gained some really trusted, talented individuals that have been pushing almost everyday. We’ve also added new groups  to our organization such as OPPOSITEairsoft, 10/26, OPPOSITEtravel, & more to be announced.

I’m sure you all have plenty of haters being that you are young entrepreneurs. How do you deal with those who find time to hate on your brand? Explain.

For all the haters that think they cool and funny to hate on us probably sit at home and watch our videos on there cellphone. Haters don’t really amuse me anymore. For the longest we let them get to us, but at this point, we’re actually doing the things we love and have a passion for. So now we can say,”yeah we’re here doing that for that,” or you’ll just see us on a social media post somewhere you’ve never been. that’s my way i deal with the haters. make them hate themselves for not doing what they want to do.

Would you say Opposite Society is a closed group or are you open to have new people join the movement? Explain.

Opposite Society isn’t a closed group but we are tight. We love catching new people but we rarely just let people in. It’s only because Opposite was a closed group for the longest and then we started letting people in and all they would do is leave. So right now, we’re just going to focus on the individuals we have now so we can expand their talent.

What are things looking like for Opposite Society in 2018? Anything new lined up? Explain.

2018 is definitely going to be a year we go insane. We have a couple of places to hit here in the United States but we plan on traveling overseas late September. We also plan on opening a permanent store here in our home town in the summer. We have Devin Cooper really taking things off with his gaming career and his passion for art. We have our younger brother DJ really setting the path for himself and OPPOSITE as a whole. We also have new photographers, models, and graphic designers ready to get started. shout out to everybody in Opposite. Opposite 2018 is the year we conquer and this is coming from the owner himself. We will prosper and we will enjoy the dreams we want to live.

You can check out some pictures from Opposite Society below!