As American University’s Black community has grown there has been a large influx of Black men on the campus which has increased traction and motive to create insular and positive organizations and environments for Black men and athletes on campus to congregate and join in brotherhood. The strong sense of Blackness and commradie from freshmen Elijah Stephens [elijahstephens_], graduate students Marvin Bragg Jr. [messymarvv], and Stacky Beckton Jr. [4ep_beck] displays the pride, self-awareness, and rich experiences towards highlighting the embodiment of a Black man’s experience in America and at a PWI, such as American University. The conversations that underline the importance of Black men solidarity is an opportunity to deconstruct and break down the immobility that has been dealt to Black men which disable moments for vulnerability, fluidity, and education that pertain to Black men’s health, prioritization, and individuality instead of a commodity. Conversations such as these are even more important for Black men in spaces where Black men are the minority within the minority as an athlete, student, and man. In remembrance of Black History Month and commemoration of Fredrick Douglas’s 127th birthday on February 20th, 2022, the Sports section of The BlackPrint wanted to highlight the voices, thoughts, opinions, and individuality of the Black men on the American University Men’s Basketball team.
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If you guessed player #3 Colin Smalls, then you shot the 3-pointer. Colin Smalls [@colsmals] is a sophomore attending American University, majoring in business administration at the Kogod School of Business, and a player on the Men’s Basketball team. The DMV native’s inspiration starts with the time spent at his grandparents ``always having some kind of ball in…hands whether it was a basketball, football, or soccer ball”. Smalls grandfather took the time, ardor, and flexibility to “sit on the couch and toss the ball back and forth” because of the imbued spirit for basketball Smalls carried as a child. His grandfather “eventually found a park nearby and practiced shooting lay-ups to jump shots, shoot with both hands, dribble around, and play one-on-one” that built the stepping stones for Smalls’ humbled spirit and fervor for the game. Along with Smalls aspirations to continue to grow and refine himself, his inner child is one of the primary inspirations that keeps him going today Smalls expresses that “even on the days when…doesn’t want to play” Smalls younger self “is fired to be here, playing division one basketball, doing what…loves at this level”. Smalls’ determination and investment into himself even when he’s “hurting, had a bad day, doesn’t want to go to practice'' refers to his younger self and “what he’d think'' because Small’s primary goal is to “make the next version” of himself proud. The most principal experience which defines Smalls is understanding of the ins and outs of being an athlete at a PWI like American University is through the ability to navigate the intersectionality of being a Black man and an athlete. Luckily for him he feels like “people are accepting of everybody so I don't feel like there’s a difference between that or not fitting into the community… I feel a part of the community.”Smalls strives to immerse himself into campus life and socialize with his basketball teammates and other acquaintances as he “likes to interact with other people, other students on campus, so don’t try to box myself in.”
If I were to list three words that describe this AU Men’s basketball player, could you guess who?
If you haven’t heard or listened to KAYTRANADA, you must be living under a rock. From the viral KAYTRANADA TikTok trends to the geniusly infused collaborations that are produced; his style, flow, and rhythm are more than just a blessing to the ears, it's an experience. Whether you stream his music on Spotify or Apple Music (*cough cough sniff, Spotify is better) or lucky enough to snatch a ticket and see him in person, KAYTRANADA’s versatile skill of incorporating modern R&B beats and vibes mélanged with house music, is what makes his music so idiosyncratic.
Women Outfit #1
BY: AMARIS LEVITT