What Do You Know about These Ebony Eagles?
BY: ZSHEKINAH COLLIER
There are three key steps to being a student at American University: be stressed, get internships and get flooded with e-mails everyday. Lately, many of the e-mails we receive are from AU Alumni Relations. We always hear about alumnus having these great jobs, donating and attending events, but who are they, and do any of them actually look like us?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, black women are the most educated group in the U.S. and we receive degrees at a higher rate than any other demographic. So who are the women of color that have dined in TDR, chilled in the Tavern and pulled all-nighters in the library? It took some digging, but here are four women of color alumni, a.k.a Ebony Eagles, that you definitely didn’t know endured the AU struggle just like us.
1. Starlet Jones a.k.a. Star Jones
Jones graduated class of ‘84, was active in AU student government and also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. After graduating from American, she attended University of Houston Law Center, which led to her position as Senior Assistant District Attorney of Kings County in Brooklyn. She then went on to appear as a legal consultant on court TV, eventually becoming apart of the NBC-TV family. She was a recurring host for the “Today Show,” “Nightly News” and starred in her own court show called “Jones & Jury.” Jones embraced her journalistic side when she landed a job as the Senior Correspondent and Chief Legal Analyst for “Inside Edition” and when she joined the roundtable discussion cast of “The View.”
2. Audrey Collins
Collins graduated with a Masters from SPA in the class of ‘69. She is the granddaughter of a former slave and despite growing up in the civil rights era, she made education a priority. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Head Deputy, Assistant Bureau Director and Assistant District Attorney in Los Angeles. Justice Collins was also appointed by Bill Clinton to U.S. District Court as Chief Judge of Central District in California.
3. Muriel Bowser
Bowser graduated from SPA in the class of ‘00. She was a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 4, before being elected the second female mayor of this great city. The D.C. native strives for a culture of inclusion and action.Bowser graduated from SPA in the class of ‘00. She was a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 4, before being elected the second female mayor of this great city. The D.C. native strives for a culture of inclusion and action.
4. Sade Oyinade
Oyinade graduated with a Bachelors from SOC in the class of ‘02, studying film and television during her time at AU. She is the Senior Producer of the award-winning music documentary series, “Unsung” and was also apart of the production team for “America’s Next Top Model,” “The Simple Life” and BET’s “American Gangster.” She directed and produced the short film “Who Do You Know,” which explores HIV/AIDS through the eyes of black teens. The film works to promote conversations about safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases. Oyinade is also passionate about educating people, especially teens in the black community through her work.
As you can see, there are many former Ebony Eagles that have soared and accomplished extraordinary things. With Black History Month ending and Women's History Month beginning, we should educate ourselves and be aware of all the #BlackExcellence and #BlackGirlMagic that has come before us and continues to surround us everyday.