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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Men’s Image Awards presented

“So what image are you projecting?”

That is the question Jack Taylor, adjunct assistant professor of ethnic studies, asked a crowd of over 100 at the second annual Male Image Awards last night.

Taylor’s keynote speech urged minorities to create a positive image for themselves, setting up an evening that praised outstanding males in the black and Latino communities.

Phi Beta Sigma coordinated the event and chose the recipients of awards.

“We’re trying to honor minorities that achieved a certain GPA,” Kenny Ogucjiofor, vice president of PBS, said.

GPA is not the only qualification, though. PBS also considered the achievements and leadership qualities present in male minorities, Ogucjiofor said.

Marshall Rose, director of the Affirmative Action program and the awards ceremony’s host, said he was impressed with the members of PBS and their hard work.

“I’m very pleased that this is their initiative,” Rose said. “They’re very serious.”

Rose said black males are usually over-represented in negative media coverage, but PBS’ membership is “trying to center that.”

Napolean Bradford, the fraternity’s graduate advisor, said he hoped the event would become a cornerstone of the University’s Black History Month celebrations.

“It’s peers uplifting peers,” Bradford said.

“Usually, faculty are giving to [the students], so why not have a frat that gives back?”

With that mentality, PBS chose winners of awards in several “outstanding” student categories.

Also receiving awards were a handful of outstanding faculty members and about 200 male minorities who met a GPA requirement of 3.0.

“We need to set up positive black male role models and this is just the opportunity to recognize individuals who are a positive image on our campus,” Taylor said before delivering his speech.

“This is an affirmation of African American manhood.”

“We are still in need of those male leaders who will take the bull by the horns,” Taylor said.

He stressed the need to rise above stereotypes portrayed by the mainstream media.

“There are indeed black males who are responsible, who are good fathers,” Taylor said. “When we talk about a crack dealer, we also have a chemist; when we have a gangbanger, we also have a doctor.”

During the keynote speech, Taylor also stressed the importance of remembering prominent black figures throughout history, such as Martin Luther King, Paul Robeson and the founder of Black History Month, Dr. Carter Woodson.

Christopher Price, a senior who won an award for maintaining over a 3.0 GPA, was impressed with Taylor’s speech.

“I like the fact that he made mention of a lot of [historical] African American names,” Price said.

“I like this,” Price said of the awards ceremony, “I think it’s praiseworthy.”

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