Famuan Articles

Master Craftsman' Captures Civil Rights in Cement, Stone

By Tommy Hawkins
Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fourteen Terrazzo panels constructed by the Florida State Master Craftsman Studio will honor Civil Rights Activists, the Tallahassee Bus Boycott and McQueary’s Lunch Counter sit-in of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

“These Terrazzo side panels were crafted by the studio and contain images and text of significant civil rights events that took place in Tallahassee,” Wayne Spinx, sculptor for Master Craftsman Studio.

Terrazzo is cement-based like a sidewalk, but the pigment in terrazzo is made of different stones and other material including shells, mother of pearl and even chips of mirror.

“Being a part of such a historical piece for Tallahassee grew in importance for the studio the further we progressed on the project,” said Phil Gleason, studio manager for Florida State Master Craftsman Studio.
“As we realized the gravity of the artwork, it also dawned on us what a significant piece of history this will be for Tallahassee. It was an honor to collaborate on such a necessary story telling.”
The Craftsman Studio took images they received from the city and mixed different colors in the terrazzo to create the enlarged image on the panels.
Spinx said terrazzo gives you more options as far as different colors and different textures you can create with the different types of stone included.
The city created the general layout of the panels, which included photographs, protest signs, counter and bus images.
The City Manager selected the committee members, said Dan Donovan of the Leon County Planning Department.
Donovan said the committee was made up of veterans of the sit-in demonstrations and the bus boycott. The panel also included local artists and interested citizens.
The Heritage Walk will have brass footprints, cut out of brass sheath, of the names of many civil rights activists of Tallahassee throughout the terrazzo plate design.
William Guzman, director at the Office of Black Diasporan Culture, said the Heritage Walk shows the power of mass social movements, particularly at HBCU’s like Florida A&M.
FAMU Students can build on the future by learning their past.
“The students gain a sense of historical appreciation. They feel a sense of responsibility and duty to continue that tradition in order to honor the memory of their ancestors,” Guzman said.
Monroe and Jefferson was the original location for the Heritage Walk, Seminole Tribe of Florida decided to demolish a building next to Monroe and Jefferson to build a parking lot, directly where the Heritage Walk would go. A new location is yet to be determined by the city.

FAMU Steamrolls Allen University in First Win of Season

Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Florida A&M men's basketball team steamrolled Allen University to earn its first win of the season by a final score of 94-65 in the Al Lawson Center on Monday night.
Six players scored in double digits for FAMU (1-7). Guard Reggie Lewis was the leading scorer with 16 points.
Forward Yannick Crowder scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He was three blocked shots from a triple double with seven and added four steals.
The Rattlers expanded on their 13-point halftime lead with another offensive run in the second half.
They scored 49 points in the second half and shot 61 percent from the field. With two minutes left in the game, FAMU led by 36 points and was on pace to reach the century mark, but AU's Christopher Riggs hit two threes to cut the deficit and quiet the 100-point chants.
"Generally what happens is we play hard the first five minutes against the teams we've played so far," head coach Clemon Johnson said. "We'll fall behind and one player will try to make up the difference on his own."
The Rattlers used the momentum from the first half to dominate the second. They had 16 assists and 20 second-chance points.
"We played as a team and we didn't have to rely on one person," Johnson said.
The team also had 14 fast break points, 38 points off the bench and 52 points in the paint.
"To help my team win, I know I have to shoot the ball a lot. But I didn't try to rush anything and get my team involved," guard Avery Moore said.
FAMU's suffocating defense limited the Yellow Jackets' offensive production.
AU (3-10) shot 31 percent from the field, netting only 22 shots in 69 attempts. FAMU scored 33 points off 28 AU turnovers.
"What won us the game was our play on the defensive end. We forced more turnovers and scored off those turnovers," Johnson said.
FAMU used a half court trap to force pressure and cause poor passes. They secured 25 steals and 12 blocks in the game.
Crowder said the team brought defensive intensity while focusing on unity and a strong effort.
The Rattlers are looking to build on their best offensive outing of the season. The team will return to action Thursday in the Al Lawson Center to take on Southeastern University at 7p.m.  

County Reveals Development Plans to Tally Residents

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leon County representatives met Tuesday at the North Florida Fair Grounds to address important issues concerning the Southern Strategy Area on Tallahassee's south side.
The Southern Strategy Area covers about 17 square miles, roughly from Cascade Park to Capital Circle, and from Pensacola Street to north of Lake Munson.
The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department presented plans for schools, neighborhoods, housing, infrastructure and transportation.
According to Leon County Administrator Parwez Alam, the recession, combined with property tax reductions, have placed the county in a tenuous position for future years.
Decline in property values totaled at $227 million on top of last years $1 billion decline.
The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department presentation was followed by an open discussion headed by eight panelists.
Community members and business owners were able to voice their concerns with the condition and perception of Southside during the panel discussion.
"A way to enhance the industries around Southside is by prying business activity," said Terrence Hinson, a member of the Capital City Chamber of Commerce.
Most of the panelists live on Southside or are from the area. The panelists shared insight into stimulating economic growth and activity on Southside.
"I think it's a lost opportunity, especially the area around Adams Street, Monroe Street, and all the way down to Orange Ave," said Samuel Houston of Florida A&M' s Facilities Planning and Construction.
"The University is also a business. FAMU has spent over $450 million in development over the past ten years," Houston said. FAMU could expand to 30,000 students over the next 10 to 15 years.
Bill Proctor the Leon County Commissioner of District 1 proposed turning R. Frank Nims Middle School into girl's only school and Fairview middle school into and boy's only school.
"We must slide away from the perception that our schools are not up to par," Proctor said.
The panel did not make an official decision on the proposition and will discuss the prospect of all-boy school or all-girl school.
"Negative role models influence our African American boys on Southside, building an all-boy school will help cradle them from negative influences," said Shari Morris, a six-year resident.
"Parents need to show more love and more interest in their children and then there is a drug issue in the area."
A full report entailing everything covered during the presentation is available at www.talgov.com under the planning department tab.

Hi FI Keeps Tradition Alive

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Updated: Monday, April 11, 2011

The Hi Fi Jazz Café continues the rich legacy of jazz inside of a historical landmark familiar to Florida A&M students and alumni.
The Hi Fi Jazz Café is located on Adams Street across from Foote-Hilyer Administration Building and adjacent to the popular Olean's Cafe.
The building was founded in the early 1960s, at which time business owners, art coinsurers, fraternities, sororities, and partygoers patronize in the Hi Fi.
"Dr. White, the bandleader, the sergeant, this is where they all used to party," owner Nikki Henderson said. "Back In the day Hi Fi was one of the only places to party."
Before Baja's Beach Club, Mint Lounge, or the Moon the Hi Fi was Tallahassee's most popular nightspot.
The property has been bought and sold many times over the past 50 years. Alumni stop by to check the current status of the Hi Fi and tell stories about their past experiences on campus.
Until recently the building was vacant for many years, Henderson and his wife bought the property and renovated it.
"I've always wanted a International Jazz Club because I have been into jazz all my life," Henderson said.
Henderson was an international hair designer for 31 years and his wife works in the real estate industry.
Henderson grew up in Washington D.C. as a "military brat" so he became used to traveling. His travel and line of work brought encounters with artists, hair designers, models, and painters.
"When I decided to put this place together, I wanted to put it together for people in the arts to come through and express themselves, when you walk through this door step outside the box," Henderson said.
According to the website the Hi Fi Café aims to be a supporter of the musical arts in North Florida. The intimate atmosphere provides the perfect setting for regional and national jazz artists to dazzle audiences. Hi Fi Café is the ideal setting for jazz artists based in Tallahassee.
This historical landmark is not well known by the students today. One would think an authentic jazz café near a Historically Black College and University would draw a large crowd in the black community, according to Henderson
"Most people who came here are from Florida State, which is very surprising considering how much history is here, these are historical grounds," Henderson said.
The art of Jazz music is becoming lost. The people who play in Jazz Café play there because they love Jazz music.
Passion for Jazz music seems to be losing its luster among FAMU students.
"These guys from Florida State come to play, they want to get their chops together," Henderson said. "The first thing some FAMU students want to know is how much are you going to pay me."
Michael Williams a FAMU graduate said, "I come here before I come home sometimes because I'm so comfortable and relaxed here."
Michael is a trumpet player who regularly performs at Hi Fi on Fridays. He performs with the most advanced bands available and was awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award twice.
The Hi Fi Café is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is $7 with student identification.

FAMU Rattlers Hope for First Conference Win in Baseball Season

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2011

Florida A&M's baseball team springs into a 1 p.m. Saturday home doubleheader against North Carolina A&T at Moore-Kittles field. The Rattlers look to bounce back from the losses they suffered in the Daytona tournament last weekend.
The team has lost seven straight games and will be looking for their first conference victory of the season.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams began conference play last week. Play kicked off with FAMU playing Bethune-Cookman last Saturday.
FAMU is 0-3 in the MEAC this season. They lost three games against Bethune-Cookman last Saturday and Sunday. BCU is first in the division with three wins and no losses.
Playing the best team in the MEAC will give FAMU valuable experience when facing other conference opponents. North Carolina A&T is fourth in the division. (7-16, 1-1 in the MEAC) and leads the MEAC with a .300 batting average.
The Rattlers are relived not to see BCU pitching attack for the rest of the season. The Wildcats have the lowest era in the conference at 4.39. NC A&T gives up 3 more runs per game than BCU.
The team has an ample amount of opportunities to win the conference this season. BCU is the only team with a winning record in the conference this year. Conference play beginning, and one team with a winning record, leaves a window of opportunity for the Rattlers.
New head coach Brett Richardson already has shown vast improvement from last year's team. The Rattlers have nearly reached last season's win total. Through this season, the Rattlers have won eight games. Last season's win total was 10 games.
There are only seven teams in MEAC baseball conference. The men and women basketball team have eleven teams in the MEAC conference. Fewer teams in the conference increase their percentage chances to win the MEAC tournament. The Rattlers aim for a top spot in the conference to ensure a lower ranked opponent in the first round.
Under Richardson the Rattlers are very optimistic. Throughout the season the team will have numerous chances to make its mark in the conference.

Next Season Could Spell Big Wins for Lady Rattlers Basketball

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Florida A&M's Lady Rattler's basketball team (14-14,8-7, in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) stands a chance at winning MEAC in the 2011-2012 season.
Although Coppin State (12-17, 8-7 in MEAC) dealt the Lady Rattlers a tough, first-round home defeat in this year's MEAC tournament, the team team gained experience for next year's championship run. Only two players - Christian Rateree and Danielle Anderson - are graduating in April. Keeping the team's core group of girls together builds good chemistry.
Antonia Bennett and Tameka McKelton both finished with All-MEAC first-team honors. they bring, scoring, rebounding, intelligence, toughness and experience to every game. Nether player appears phased when she enters the spotlight.

FAMU Loses in Overtime

McKelton's Last-Minute Three-Pointer Fails to Save Lady Rattlers from South Carolina Bulldogs

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tamika Mckelton's potential, game-sealing three-pointer was spoiled by missed free throws. Misses that led to a South Carolina State Bulldog 76-70 overtime victory.
"Free throws is the reason we lost," Mckelton said. "If we would have made our free throws in regulation, we would have been up by four."
Shekeira Copeland made one of two free throws with eight seconds left in regulation, leaving the Bulldogs a solid chance at taking the game to overtime.
"We missed six free throws prior to Copeland missing a free throw," head coach LeDawn Gibson said.
Whitney Wiley netted a three from the right wing to send the contest into overtime. She scored four points in overtime and finished with 13 points in the game.
"Before the Bulldogs last possession we told them to guard their three-point shooter, which was Wiley. They let her go off a screen and get wide open," Gibson said.
Both teams matched each other point for point in the extra period until a Myeshia Simms technical foul gave the Lady Bulldogs the advantage.
Gibson told Simms after the game the referees were terrible all game, this overtime period was too crucial to be yelling at them.
Quiana Donald scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in the first half. She finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. She controlled the painted area, leading the Lady Rattler's in rebounds.
The Lady Rattlers second leading scorer Antonia Bennett will be ready for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.
"We will have another scoring option, another versatile player that can go inside and out, another wing guard and another strong rebounder. We really need her back," Mckelton said.
The Lady Rattlers have one more road game against rival, Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, at 5:30 p.m. They look toward the MEAC tournament being held in Salem, N.C. on March 7-12. A bracket tournament with top eight teams in the MEAC.
"I know we have the talent to win the MEAC tournament," Copeland said. "We want to go out and win it. We just know we have to come with our A-game every night and we know it guarantees us a spot in the championship game."
A victory against Bethune-Cookman could give the Lady Rattlers momentum going into the tournament.

Simms Wins for Lady Rattlers with Clutch Free Throws

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Saturday, February 26, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 27, 2011

Late free throws from Myeshia Simms sealed the victory against North Carolina-Central in the Al Lawson Center on Saturday.
Simms was fouled with 24 seconds to go, and went to the free-throw line for two shots. She made both free throws to give Florida A&M a three-point lead.
"I was just hoping I made the free throws. I prayed they would go in and they did," Simms said. The No. 3 offense in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference averages 64 points a game. The absence of Antonia Bennett weakened the Rattler's offensive attack.
"When we played them last time Bennett had half the points and half the rebounds," head coach Ledawn Gibson said.
The Lady Rattlers defended their home floor with toughness, even without two of the team's primary weapons.
"We knew we didn't have Bennett and {Quiana} Donald and we played harder. We had to hustle to get every rebound we could," Simms said.
Donald leads the Lady Rattlers in rebounding, but she was feeling fatigued at halftime.
"I wasn't planning to play her any more after halftime, but then I asked here was she ready to step up to the challenge and she did. I am very proud of her," Gibson said.
Gibson said she was clutch, with a key block, key layup and crucial rebounds.
They fought back into the game tying the score 55-55 with three minutes left. Shekeira Copeland knocked down a jumper at the 2-minute mark to put the Rattlers ahead.
The Lady Eagles missed one of two free throws, leaving them one point behind FAMU with less than a minute to go.
Shekeira Copeland missed a game-sealing layup late in the second half and the Lady Rattler bench protested for a foul to no avail.
"They missed a call but that's expected. We never get a lot of calls at home or on the road," Copeland said.
The Lady Rattlers will play Monday against South Carolina State at 5:30 p.m. in the Al Lawson center.

Lady Rattlers Lose to Pirates

Bennett Falls Out Early due to Injury, FAMU Slow to Recover

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Florida A&M women's basketball team started slowly against the No. 1 team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Monday. The Hampton University Lady Pirates scored 48 first half points in route to an 88-49 victory.
Antonia Bennett rolled her ankle early in the first half and played just 2 minutes. Bennett's injury hurt momentum early for the Lady Rattlers.
"Bennett is very versatile and can play the two, three, and four position," head coach LeDawn Gibson said.
Her versatility is vital for rotations and matchups against other conference teams. The Lady Pirates (20-6, 12-1 in the MEAC) attacked early when they realized the early first half momentum shift.
Bennett is likely to miss Saturday's game against North Carolina Central. Since the Lady Rattlers are playing a non-conference opponent Saturday, Bennett will rest her ankle.
Tamika McKelton, the second leading scorer in the MEAC, scored eight points. The scoring load was picked up by her teammates. Christian Rateree and Jasmine Grice scored 10 points each.
FAMU (13-12 8-6 in the MEAC) shot 44 percent from the field and scored only 22 first half points.
The Lady Rattlers struggled from the three-point line as well. The team shot two of nine from behind the arc.
The Lady Pirates shot 60 percent from the field in the first half in their division clinching victory. The team continued offensive success from the floor in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Hampton finished with four players with 12 or more points in the game.
Choicetta McMillian cashed in on five three-pointers and had a team-high 18 points. Jericka Jenkins contributed 11 assists and 17 points to lead Hampton's offensive attack.
The Lady Pirate defense caused 23 turnovers. They continued to disrupt the Lady Rattler's offense throughout the contest.
The Lady Rattlers will play Saturday against North Carolina-Central at 4 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.
The Lady Rattlers now sit fifth in the and have only one more conference game before the conference tournament, which starts on Mar. 7.
The team will look for energy from the home crowd on Senior Night as it tries and rebound from the loss.

FAMU's Rateree Breaks Hornets' Hearts on Valentine's Day

Lady Rattler scores big to help her team win

Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The No. three team in three pointers made this season in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference received a surprise of the bench on Valentine's Day against Delaware State.
Christian Rateree showed the hornets no love on Monday. Her four long-range bombs demolished her opponent's every attempt to crawl back within contention.
"Chris started some this season she's been on and off the bench," Gibson said.
Gibson told her when her number is called, go out there, and be ready to do what you do best, shoot and direct the team at the point guard position.
Rateree had 14 of the 18 points off a shorthanded Lady Rattler bench. Tamika McKelton and Antonia Bennett combined for 41 points and 25 rebounds. Bennett followed her 1,000th point day on Saturday with a 26 point, 18 rebound performance Monday.
"It's really good to have a deep bench when teams key in on our main shooters, scorers, and key in on "red" and I," McKelton said.
McKelton said with Chris and everybody else stepping up off the bench, the team has extra weapons and are just waiting for the opponent.
Bennett and McKelton's scoring averages are two of the top three in the MEAC. Bennett and Qiana Donald combine for 17 rebounds per game, the best rebounding tandem in the MEAC.
"It seems like everyday we tack on another player to contribute to McKelton and Bennett's scoring. Along with Donald's rebounding, we get three or four more players who are ready to go," Gibson said.
In a low-scoring game against Morgan State on Feb. 5, Bennett and McKelton combined for 20 points and FAMU lost by nine points. In a TV interview Gibson emphasized how other players needed to step up.
Since the Morgan State game, the Lady Rattlers are averaging 74 points and have won by double-digits in three straight games.
"Its good when our players off the bench are playing well. It gives them and us confidence," McKelton said when asked if bench production takes pressure off the starters shoulders.
The Lady Rattlers are 3rd in the MEAC standings with five games left on the schedule. The team will look to peak toward the start of the MEAC tournament in March.
"We are trying to get back on the same page for the MEAC tournament and it's coming. I don't think we're quite turning the corner yet, but we're there," Gibson said.
FAMU hits the road again to face Howard University in Washington D.C. on Saturday Feb. 19. Howard University will look to bounce back from the bitter loss received in late January at the Al Lawson Center earlier this year.

Bennett Joins the 1,000-point Club

Second Lady Rattler to Reach Four Digits This Season

Staff Writer
Published: Monday, February 14, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Ten Minutes into a slow scoring contest between the Lady Rattlers and Maryland Eastern Shore, the game intensified when senior guard Antonia Bennett knocked down two consecutive three pointers to score her 1,000th points of her career.
"It was a big accomplishment, I was just going out and playing with the flow of the game. I was making shots and everything was perfect on my Birthday today," Bennett said.
Bennett was three-for-four from the three-point line and scored 17 points in the first half. She finished with ten rebounds to post another double-double this season.
Earlier in the season the Lady Rattlers suffered a close loss against Maryland Eastern Shore 62-64 on January 15. Bennett scored 26 points and caused matchup problems all night.
"We were short-handed in their gym, and some of us got into foul trouble and they were able to pull out the victory," Bennett said.
The Lady Rattlers were fluid offensively and scored 24 points in the next ten minutes of the first half. The Lady Rattlers shot 50 percent from the field and had a nine-point halftime lead.
"We had to come out play strong and play aggressive and I think we did," Bennett said.
Senior guard Tameka McKelton, the leading scorer in the conference, finished with nine points in the first half. She reflected on scoring her 1,000 points earlier this week.
"It felt good I didn't know exactly when I was going to score 1,000th point, but I knew it was soon, so I was just happy to score 1,000 point," McKelton said.
Bennett finished with 25 points and McKelton finished with 21 points. Junior forward Shekeira Copeland scored 12 points off the bench and freshman guard Jasmine Grice grabbed eight rebounds and scored ten points.
"We are running the floor and looking for each other in transition," Rattlers head coach LeDawn Gibson said.
Running the floor and efficient passing lead to 58 percent shooting in the second half. The Lady Rattlers offensive attack came in spurts during the second half.
"We had a few letdowns in the game but they never gave up, we called a timeout and made the adjustments and we excel from there," Gibson said.
The Lady Rattler forced their will in the paint and got to the free throw line 19 times to make 14 attempts.
Monday brings another MEAC matchup against ninth-ranked Delaware State in the multipurpose center. The Lady Rattler's cruised to a ten-point victory in their last game.

Tameka McKelton: FAMU Basketball's Rising Star

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferences (MEAC) leading scorer, Tameka McKelton, had an unusual route to not only the top of the conference, but to the top of Florida A&M women's basketball as well.
McKelton is a native of West Palm Beach. Being from the state made learning about the Rattlers an easy process."I knew about FAMU all my life. I'm a Florida native," Mckelton said.
In 2008, She was the first recruit signed by newly hired Coach LeDawn Gibson.
McKelton and Coach Gibson had previous history in Florida High School basketball.
"Coach Gibson had a great high school team that we got a chance to play against, so I was familiar with her from high school,"McKelton said.
McKelton, a junior guard, scored 21 points on Monday against Coppin State to join the Lady Rattlers' 1,000-point club.
"I didn't know when I was going to score 1,000 points I was just happy I did," McKelton said.
Coach Gibson supports the hard earned achievement of the first person she signed in her college coaching career.
"I am very proud of her. The honors are well deserved. She is very capable of doing a lot for the team because she can score with anybody," Gibson said.
The life of a student athlete faces many challenges according to McKelton. The most difficult for her is maintaining the student aspect of the job.
"Being on the road then having to jump right into the classroom is a big pain," McKelton said. "You get behind sometimes because usually the classes went on with chapters that you didn't know or that you weren't even there for," she said.
McKelton also said there is no way around missing classes because you don't make your own schedule. Contacting professors through email or make office visits is how she manages to stay ahead of the curb.
McKelton, along with senior forward Antonia Bennett, will spearhead the Rattlers' quest for MEAC supremacy. As long as her team, and conference, leading 17.5 points per game doesn't drop off, the team will be in prime position to do so. 

Black Supremacists Stealthy in Tallahassee

Hate group mostly unnoticed in city

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 

Tallahassee residents may be surprised to find that a hate group calls their backyard home. Nonetheless, the Southern Poverty Law Center has recognized at least one in the city.
The Nation of Islam is nearly invisible around the community. As Black Separatists, their beliefs include black superiority over whites and the prohibition of intermarriage and race mixing. They also hold anti-Catholic, anti-gay and anti-Semitic views, according ideologies expressed by to the Nation of Islam.
Neither Tallahassee's chapter of the Nation of Islam nor the national headquarters could be reached for comment. 
Representatives at the Southern Poverty Law Center were also unable to disclose further information regarding their registry of hate groups or the exact location of Tallahassee's sect of the Nation of Islam. 
According to SPLC's website, the list, "was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports."
David McCranie, 13-year spokesman for Tallahassee Police Department, was unaware that the SPLC recognized Tallahassee's Nation of Islam as a hate group.
Although McCranie was unaware of the registered hate group, he said there have not been many recent reports of hate crimes.
"Here, we don't have many problems. I almost want to say it's rare that we have a known issue that's public," said McCranie. "Most of the violence seen here in Tallahassee is drug related, gang violence, or domestic related." 
Crimes that occur in Tallahassee usually involve a relationship between the victim and perpetrator.  Typically a hate crime occurs between two strangers who didn't know each other before, according to McCranie.
Florida Statue 887.19 defines a hate crime as a criminal act against a person or property in which the perpetrator chooses the victim because of the victim's real or perceived race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or gender.
Ben Tyson, a resident in Blair Stone Apartments was appalled upon hearing about a hate group in his "backyard."
"That makes me really uncomfortable," said Tyson. 
"I had no idea but I'm offended."
According to the Florida Commission of Human Relations, in 2008 Florida ranked 3rd among all states with hate groups at 56. 
Malory Stone, a 20-year-old Tallahassee resident was avid in her disgust for the Nation of Islam's practices.
"That's awful. I really do not know how to react to that, " said Stone.
The Nation of Islam's Leader, 77-year-old Louis Farrakahn has been cited for making racist comments in the past, such as comments he made in a speech concerning the safety of President Obama. 
"The white Right is trying to set Barack up to be assassinated," said Farrakahn in a speech he gave in 2010. 
This remark and others he made in the 2010 speech were met with disdain by many civil rights
organizations including the Anti-Defamation League. 

Momentum down the stretch

FAMU Lady Rattlers win key victories in conference

Published: Monday, January 31, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Lady Rattlers gained momentum against tough conference opponents with two key victories on the road in their journey for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title.
The Lady Rattlers had a one-point victory on Saturday against North Carolina Central and 79 to 65 double-digit victories in Orangeburg, S.C. against South Carolina State.
Senior guard Tameka McKelton, the MEAC's leading scorer, scored 22 points in Monday's win. McKelton and three other Lady Rattlers finished with double digit scoring. 
"The team is understanding moving without the ball and not being stagnant on offense," said head coach LaDawn Gibson.
In the first half, the Lady Rattlers shot 47 percent from the field and had a 12-point halftime lead. The offensive productivity was the same in the second half with 39 more points. 
"We try to shoot 47% and above and take quality shots, you don't want to shoot the ball just to shoot it," Gibson said.
Senior guard, Myeshia Simms had ten points and eight assists against the Bulldogs. 
The Rattlers had a season high 21 assists. Good ball distribution and shot selection gave the Rattlers a high field goal percentage throughout the game. 
"We took what the defense gave us and were patient on offense and we took our time," said Senior Forward Qiana Donald.
Senior Forward Antonia Bennett finished with 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She also added four blocks to the stat sheet. 
The Lady Rattler's offensive and defensive contributions from all players sparked the double-digit victory.
The team was pouring in baskets and passing the ball fluidly, which made offensive possessions smooth and efficient.

The Rattlers will use this offensive momentum to deal quick jabs and body shots to the side in the early going against Morgan State. 
The Lady Rattlers will battle Morgan State in the Multipurpose center at 5:30 p.m. Morgan State has a record of 6-3 and is second place in the conference. The Lady Rattlers hope to move into a tie for second place with a win on Saturday. 
With only 9 games left on the schedule, all of them are crucial conference games towards the end of the season. 
The Lady Rattlers are only 2 games out of first place. Hampton leads the MEAC conference with an 8-1 record.

The Lady Rattlers face Hampton again on Feb. 21 in what could be the battle for the conference title.

Women Win Nail-Biter

Bennett shines with career-high scoring

Staff Writer, The FAMUAN
Published: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Updated: Monday, January 31, 2011

Lady Rattler basketball team would not deter their conquest to add another notch in a potential Mid-Eastern Athletic COnference (MEAC) championship belt. 
The Rattlers edged out North Carolina Central 63-62 in a "tough battle" Saturday night.
Senior forward Antonia Bennett scored 31 points, tying the MEAC single game scoring high for the season. She grabbed 15 rebounds and put back the winning basket with seconds left to play. 
 Qiana Donald grabbed the rebound from the missed free throw with 17 seconds to go, with the Lady Rattlers are down by one point. 
 Pushing the ball up the court after the rebound, Tameka McKelton went up for a jump shot and was blocked. Senior guard Myeshia Simms jumped one the floor for the loose ball, which led to a jump ball, the possession arrow pointed FAMU's way. 
 "We drew up a play where Bennett would take the ball to shoot, it was very intense the entire time because we were down by one," said head coach LaDawn Gibson. 

Lady Rattlers hold on against Howard

Staff Writer
Published: Friday, January 21, 2011
Updated: Saturday, January 22, 2011
The Florida A&M women's basketball team got its first win of the year in the Multi purpose center against conference rival Howard. The intensity of the competition down the stretch seemed to gauge a high level of tension between FAMU and Howard.
"We had unfinished business with Howard, so we came out wanting to play hard from the beginning," Antonia Bennett said.
U got off to a quick start, leading by 12 points with ten minutes to go in the first half. Howard was rattled but managed to put together a run to bring them within 9 at halftime.
 "They made a run in the beginning of the second half to get back in the game," Bennett said.
Bennett, the MEAC's third leading scorer, was struggling with her jump shot during the first half.
"At the beginning, my shots weren't falling. I was getting down on myself," Bennett said.
Coach Gibson gave her scorer some words of wisdom down the tunnel at halftime.
"She got down on herself at halftime. I pulled her off and we walked into the tunnel together. I told her exactly what she had to do to adjust her shot and she did that," Gibson said.
Those key words proved vital when Howard came within two points of FAMU's lead with less than three minutes to go.

"Coach always tells me to be ready for the next shot, so I was ready to hit those big shots down the stretch. It was a big momentum shift for our team," Bennett said
Bennett confirmed the victory when she threw a late game dagger from the three-point line to put Famu up 78 to 73. Bennett finished with 27 points and eight rebounds
"She is very versatile. She posted up when her jump shot wasn't falling and in turn stepped out and hit the three when we needed it. So she did a good job," Gibson said.
Bennett sealed the game with her length when Howard took a wild shot she almost blocked.
 "Her length, I told her to play with her length and she played big," Gibson said.
 Jasmine Grice prevented late game free throw shooting with a layup that increased the lead to 7.
"I think she's playing into her own. She sat out and red-shirted, then she had the knee injury last year. I think she's beginning to feel confident in herself," Gibson said.
Grice added 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in thirty-eight minutes of play.
"She has been giving us great numbers. I am very proud about what she has been accomplishing. She can score, pass the ball, and she can defend the best player on the team," Gibson said.
FAMU edged out conference rival Howard and finished with four players with double digit scoring in their home victory.

Rattlers ready to come home

Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011
Updated: Friday, January 21, 2011

The Women's Basketball team will get ready for another conference game against Howard University.  Saturday's game is the first home game for the women's team since December 2, 2010. 
The team has struggled during the ten game road trip, which they finished with four wins and six losses. Returning to the multi-purpose center home crowd will give the team energy.
The team will look to slow down the hot scoring of Howard University's Tamoria Holmes and Saadia Doyle. Holmes scored career high twenty-two points in Howard's previous game against Norfolk State.
Saadia Doyle is the second leading scorer in the MEAC averaging seventeen points a game. She also leads the MEAC in rebounding averaging almost 9 rebounds a game.
"Their main player who is top in the MEAC is Saadia Doyle. We plan to pay special attention to her," Coach Gibson said.
FAMU women held Delaware State to 32% shooting in the second half in their 66 to 56 win on Monday.  The women's team will carry the defensive momentum of it's last game into Saturday's game against Howard.
"We are going to lock down defensively. We're going to step out and be aggressive, run up and down the court and use the transition game," Coach Gibson said.
FAMU leads the conference in scoring at 64 points per game.  Getting started early on the offensive end will help the team.  Howard is last in scoring, averaging 50 points per game.
The lady Rattlers have their own perimeter shooting and inside scoring attack. Tameka McKelton and Antonia Bennett are top five in scoring per game in the MEAC. Shooting inside the paint and setting up quality shot selection from the perimeter gives FAMU versatility offensively.            
Coach Gibson said leading scorer Tameka McKelton likes big games and she expects her to show up in this big game.
Returning to Tallahassee to play in the Multi-purpose center for first time since last year is exciting for fans. The Women's basketball team plays at 5:30 p.m. and the Men's team follow them at 7:00 p.m. in a doubleheader.

Men's team hits Cincinnati

Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010

The Florida A&M Basketball team will play against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats tonight in Cincinnati. The Rattlers (2-1) will look to carry the momentum from their 64-53 victory against Savannah State Thursday. 
 "Overall we played a good defensive game," assistant coach Kevin Hogan said.
The Rattlers have won two consecutive games after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in their season opener.
Scoring - inside the paint and from the perimeter - is the team's focus against the Bearcats. 
"We need to be more consistent on offense," Hogan said. "We need to get more balance on the outside."
Senior guard Christopher Walker said distributing the ball to everyone on the court will also help. He said the team wants to spread the floor to spark the offense early.
"We want to make their post players come out and play (on the perimeter)," Walker said.
Hogan said the Rattlers have been focusing on the defensive end of the floor since the Savannah State game.
"In a sense, our defensive game was enough to carry us for when we had dry spells on offense," Hogan said. "We shut them down enough to where we didn't lose the lead or fall far behind, which could have possibly happened considering we started the game's first five minutes and didn't score."
Senior guard Rasheem Jenkins said the Rattlers will try to use their speed on the perimeter against theBearcats.
"We are trying to get the big men away from the basket because they have a couple of seven footers down there," Jenkins said.
He also said the Rattlers will try to get the post players more active. "We are going to look to get the big men in more screen and pick and roll and pop going away from the basket," Jenkins said.
The Bearcats are lead by fifth-year head coach, Mike Cronin.  He coached Murray State to a 69-24 record in three years before joining the Bearcats in March 2006.
The tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the Fifth Third Arena.

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