4 The HBCU Advocate Editorial
Part five of a five-part series
Volume 1 Number 7
My African American European Vacation: Spain
atop the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada in the 8th century and later converted it into a palace. It was one of the first palaces in Europe. Tourists marvel at the craſtsmanship and sheer determination that must have gone to building such a structure.
Building castles was not the only
BY ANGELA JONES Aſter traveling to four countries
in Europe in less than two weeks, I felt like I could not be surprised anymore by the many splendid things that the continent had to offer. All of that world traveler bravado literally went out of the window when I saw the Mediterranean Ocean for the first time. We flew into Malaga- Costa del Sol Airport from Rome and as the airplane descended, we knew we would experience more tranquil beauty than we had seen during our previous European escapades.
Te water in the Mediterranean
was the clearest shade of blue with just a hint of green. Te sun provided the perfect temperature for exploring our last stop on our European tour. Our curiosity would be stifled for the day when we incurred a long wait while securing our rental car. Te sun would retire for the evening before we leſt the airport garage.
In hindsight, I am thankful
that I did not venture out onto the road to Granada, Spain during the daylight hours. Te treacherous drive took approximately ninety minutes and included numerous curves and warning signs with flashing lights. Daybreak revealed just how mountainous the area was. Tere were roads that were cut into the mountain where traffic in each direction had to share the one and only lane. Drivers had to wait and let the traffic passing in the opposite direction proceed before they could have their turn traveling down the narrow road.
Granada was as beautiful as I had
imagined while reading books about the Moors, who were Africans ruling Spain for more than 700 years. From 711 AD until 1491, the same hills and mountains
that appeared before me
were inhabited by African royalty. Te Moors built a fortress, Alhambra, high
thing that the Moors taught the cave dwelling Europeans. Tey also taught them to run water into their cities, which is still evident in a fountain they built at Alhambra which still flows with water today. Te grounds around the castle are dotted with gardens and scores of exquisite flowers and shrubbery. Even with advanced building techniques of today, it would be quite a feat to replicate this historic landmark.
Troughout Granada’s city center,
the influence of Moors is evident from the delicacies prepared in Moroccan restaurants to the architecture of many of the city’s buildings. As in the United States, when historical accounts mention the Spanish, they are really talking about Moors. Te Africans who ruled Spain for more than 700 years had traveled between Europe and the Americas well before Christopher Columbus. Tat is why Columbus traveled with a Moor as the navigator on his journey that would later cause him to be dubbed a “Discoverer” of a place which had been inhabited for thousands of years.
Aſter leaving Granada, I drove,
in a convertible with the top down, through the mountains once again to the coastal area of Marbella. Tis time I would be able to enjoy the sun and sand that surround the picturesque beach town. I discovered while surfing the internet the night before, that I could take a boat trip and land in Africa in approximately three hours. I decided to just relax at the beach on my last full day in Europe. Africa isn’t going anywhere and I would like to make sure that I have enough time, when I visit that continent to explore all that it has to offer.
If I had to sum up my experience
in Europe with one word, that word would be “Lovely.” Te food was lovely; the European people I met were lovely; the weather was lovely; my accommodations were lovely and my travel companion was lovely. Te only negative experience I had with the trip occurred a month aſter I returned to the United States. Te company from which I rented a car for two days in London, Enterprise, charged my
The HBCU Advocate
Angela Jones, Publisher Chris Parks, Editor
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HRM Publisher Angela Jones seated at Alhambra, built in Granada, Spain in 889 A.D.
credit card an additional $634. Since Enterprise is an American company, I will not hold their indiscretion against another continent. I recently received a “temporary” credit from my credit union for this charge, approximately 90 days aſter it was posted to my account.
Enterprise Car Rental has refused to provide information regarding the charge, when asked by my credit card company,
several months ago. Even
with the bad experience with the rental car company, my African American European vacation was priceless.
Secretary of Labor to Join Delaware State University
DOVER, Del. – Today, Executive
Vice President and Provost Tony Allen announced that Delaware Secretary of
Labor Patrice Gilliam-Johnson
has decided to join Delaware State University as the Dean of Graduate, Adult, and Continuing Studies.
As DSU’s graduate dean, Dr.
Gilliam-Johnson will supervise the delivery of nearly two dozen graduate programs; growing the DSU Online portfolio of both graduate and undergraduate majors; expanding Adult/Continuing Education offerings to support continued career and personal growth; and developing new public-private partnerships across Delaware. She will be based at DSU@ Wilmington on Kirkwood Highway and will be the senior leader at that New Castle County location.
Calling it a perfect fit at just the
right time for the University, Dr. Allen said, “We went through a rigorous, national search to find our new dean and I am pleased that Dr. Gilliam- Johnson rose to the top.
continue her work at one of our state’s most important institutions.” At the state Department of Labor, Dr. Gilliam- Johnson managed an organization of 420 employees and a budget of about $4 million to support the employee-re- lated needs of nearly 400,000 workers and over 20,000 businesses in the First State.
Dr. Gilliam-Johnson said the
decision to seek the dean’s position at DSU was a natural extension of her lifelong focus. “I am the product of an HCBU, have spent the bulk of my career in higher education, and have long believed that college and career readiness are keys to preparing both young
and adult learners in In Patti, we
have gained a strategic leader whose current position allows her to see across the Delaware marketplace at the highest level, and who will bring
perspective and resources
to significantly strengthen our graduate and continuing education programming.”
appointed Dr. Gilliam-Johnson as Secretary of Labor.
continued with Gov. John Carney’s administration.
In 2016, Gov. Jack Markell Her service
“My intention was
to re-nominate Dr. Gilliam-Johnson for confirmation right at the start of this legislative session,” Gov. Carney said. “Patti has led the Department of Labor with distinction during a time where we have faced many challenges across state government and have been focused on the importance of building strong, inclusive environments where people feel valued and supported.”
Gov. Carney continued, “I could
not be more grateful for her service, but I am predicting great things for her at DSU and am pleased that she will
a 21st Century America,” she said. “My experience at the Department of Labor has only solidified the point, and provided further evidence of the importance of diverse, inclusive workplace environments with their resulting effects on the health and wealth of communities throughout our State.”
Given the recent partnerships
formed between DSU, UD, and the City of Wilmington, as well as existing collaborations with school districts and corporate partners, Dr. Gilliam-John- son said, “Delaware State University is uniquely positioned to ensure that no Delawarean falls through the cracks, regardless of who they are or where they come from.”
Prior to serving as Secretary
of Labor, Dr. Gilliam-Johnson had a 12-year tenure at Wilmington University, where she began in 2004 as an associate professor of Psychology, later rising to become regional chairperson of both the Organizational Dynamics Undergraduate Program and the school’s Psychology Program. She earned her BS in Psychology at Morgan State University, and both an MA and Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She currently serves as the chairwoman of
the Metropolitan Wilmington
Urban League and President of the Gilliam Foundation.
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