The Griot Student Newspaper Title

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This Issue

Habri Gani!

UCLA Takes Notice...

Off The Hook

10 Helpful Hints for
College Beginners

You Can Do it Too!

Batter Up for
College Success

Minority Transfer Program

Strategies for Academic Success

It's in Your Hands

Foothill in Palo Alto...Middlefield Campus

Join our Shades of Africa Club

Vice Chancellor Judith James to Speak at King Luncheon

Historical Black College Tours

Faculty & Staff News

Students in the News

Griots from Senegal

Community Leaders Recognized

Foothill Supports Community Cultural Event

Harambee 2001

Attack on America

Calendar of Events

Students in the News
Meet some of Foothill's Incoming Students
Back from the East Coast

by Baye Davis, Foothill Student

Baye DavisMy name is Baye Davis and I began Foothill during Spring Quarter 2001. I am a resident of East Palo Alto and a graduate of Menlo Atherton High School, Class of 1999. For one year, I attended Hampton University, a historical black college in Hampton, Virginia. I decided that I preferred the West Coast and returned home to California. What I do miss about Hampton is the many African American students and teachers. I found it easier to approach another student or teacher for help. At Foothill, people encourage you to ask for help but at times it feels like you are on an island when you look around and not many people look like you. When The Griot newspaper was first mailed to my home my initial thought was, Well, there is some black influence on campus but when I first stepped into class and looked around I wondered where all the folks were. Menlo HS had a diverse student body which I enjoyed and I found other African American students who were focused on similar goals. I’ve taken precalculus and accelerated courses while enjoying a friendly competition in regards to grades.

Currently, I work as a youth outreach worker at One East Palo Alto, a local community organization. As a youth worker, I put functions together and provide positive activities for youth such as the Junteenth Festival and Youth Day. My focus is to get these students more active in their community so that they will inherit a better one.

One of my career goals is to be in the music industry. My hobbies are writing poetry, helping people, basketball and football. I began writing poetry in the 4th grade for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and have continued ever since.

If any Foothill students are interested in putting on a poetry slam at Foothill College, contact me at

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Black Student Union Forming

Were you a member or leader of your high school Black Student Union? Would you like an opportunity for first-time membership? Consider involvement on a college level and take advantage of new opportunities that await you. Exercise or discover your talents while planning activities that benefit the Afrocentric community. Faculty and staff advisors are here to support you. Make new friends, travel and have fun in the process.

Worried if you have enough time to be involved? It’s still possible to be involved in a way that is realistic for your schedule. For additional information visit the Student Activities Office in the Campus Center or call (650) 949-7282.

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Shades of Africa President
Invites New Members

Kadidia Traore, president of Shades of Africa, invites new members to join this popular student club. Kadidia says, “We are an African student club that welcomes anyone to join who would like to better humanity.” She encourages students to consider supporting future events and activities sponsored by the club such as Help Africa fund raising, intercultural events and Africa Day. For further information about club membership visit the Student Activities Office Room 2211.

My Acquired Gifts from
East Palo Alto Schools

by Leslie Reid

My name is Leslie Reid and I am beginning my first quarter at Foothill College. I have already signed up for Pass the Torch Program with Dr. Jean Thomas.

Leslie Reid I graduated from Menlo Atherton HS in June 2001. My favorite classes were creative writing and English. My interest in writing began at Brentwood Elementary School in East Palo Alto, an underfunded school in my community. As students, we worked very hard in our English classes. Two of my favorite teachers at Menlo Atherton HS were Maria Angelone and Liane Strub. Ms. Angelone was my creative writing instructor and Ms. Strub my AP English composition instructor. Both of these instructors have triggered my interest in considering English as a possible major. They always pushed me beyond what I thought to be my limit and helped me understand the literature that I found confusing. Both of these instructors provided a very comfortable learning environment.

Extracurricular high school activities of my involvement included membership in Menlo’s Outreach Program providing peer mediation and preparing backpacks for the homeless.

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Former Foothill Graduate Weds

Kofi Weusi-Puryear, family and friends

Kofi Weusi-Puryear, former Foothill graduate was married on August 4th in a beautiful African ceremony at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose. Kofi is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. Best wishes are extended to the bride and groom for a blissful life together as husband and wife.

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Meet Shades of Africa News Reporter

Toyi Sogou is the Africa news reporter of Shades of Africa, a popular student club on Foothill’s campus. Toyi is from Togo West Africa and is majoring in political science and international relations.

His career of choice is International Organization.

Toyi is fluent in the French, English and German languages.

Some of his campus programs and activities include Pass the Torch and Foothill Christian Club. He is a member of St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County and a choir member at Our Lady of Angel Parish in Burlingame.

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Griots from Senegal: Introducing Soda and Amadou Tiam

by April Henderson & Melanie Pla-Richard

Soda and Amadou TiamThe sun was blazing hot and excitement radiated from the beautiful ebony faces of Soda and Amadou Tiam, a brother and sister vending team from Senegal. The Tiams proudly displayed beautiful African crafts at the Afribbean Music and Cultural Festival in Mountain View in July. As April Henderson distributed the African American Network Griot newspaper to the Tiams, she discovered that they were actual griots from Senegal. Together, Melanie and April interviewed the Tiams for a rich history lesson about their family and the important role of the griot in African culture. The griot is an African story teller whose role is to preserve the oral history of the village or clan.

The Tiams came from a long family history in which the role of griot was passed on from generation to generation. Their great great grandfather, Diogomaye, was griot to a famous king who died in the Battle of Derkle fighting against French colonization. Family griots preceding Soda and Amadou were Prospere Thiam, Matar Thiam, Macumba Thiam, Laba Thiam and Diogomaye Thiam. According to Soda and Amadou, true griots do not charge money for their services. Female griots sing to newborn babies and tell them about the history of the good deeds of their fathers and great-grandfathers.

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