Later Pride in the Message

"Are You a Member of The Talented Tenth: Faculty, Staff and Students?"

By the late 1990s, The Nubian Message had softened its tone, but not its activism. Staff writers continued to critique campus and community leaders for failing to effect change in race relations and equality. They also continued to promote pride in African American culture and unity in African American diversity. Yet, some writers, like Carolyn Holloway in 1996, turned their criticism on apathetic laypeople in addition to high-profile leaders. For instance, in her April 11, 1996 article, "Are You a Member of the Talented Tenth?", Holloway took readers to task for complaining about African American leadership on campus. She argued that students cannot call faculty, staff, or student leaders ineffective in promoting community activism and cohesion because the students themselves did not support leaders adequately. On the contrary, students routinely skipped important African American cultural events, student organization meetings, and academic lectures that would challenge their thinking and galvanize them to work for the betterment of the entire community. Holloway thus called for African American students to stop complaining about their leadership and instead lend their support to leaders by participating in active campus organizations. She, like others at The Nubian Message who were influenced by Black Nationalist ideologies, hoped that African Americans would unite in support of each other and of their common interests in society.

"The New Black Plague"

In his April 10, 1997 editorial, "The New Black Plague," Staff Writer Kevin A. Blue returned the focus to African American leadership, but delivered his criticism as satire, which ultimately blunts its effect. Blue called the burgeoning Black Conservatist ideology a "dreadful plague" that was "crippling" to middle- and upper-class African Americans in leadership positions. Blue noted that Black Conservatives hypocritically opposed affirmative action and other equal opportunity initiatives that they themselves used to achieve success, and he argued that Black Conservatives had become "blind" to the struggles that most African Americans face daily. He concluded that Black Conservatives should receive "strong doses of Afrocentric material" so they will not forget their historical and cultural roots. This final call is a clear appeal to Pan-Africanism; likewise, his overall argument against whites who opposed affirmative action is reminiscent of Black Nationalist opposition to white preference. Although presenting his criticism in a more humorous, less provocative way, Blue nevertheless followed the tradition of students before him in critiquing community leaders, espousing pride in African American culture, and revealing the influences of Black Nationalism on his arguments.