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Latest Fourth Estate Articles - Fri, 17/02/2023 - 6:43pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre


The Mason men’s basketball team was victorious against the Rhode Island Rams finishing with a final score of 75-67 making it their 12th victory at home. The Patriots were victorious Wednesday night against the George Washington Colonials finishing with a final score of 66-53. The Patriots now currently stand 7th in the Atlantic-10 Conference and are 15-12 overall.

Coach Kim English felt his team responded very well against the Rams who also have had much success throughout the season.

“Really good win for our group,” said Coach English. “I think we have a resilient group taking whatever has been thrown at us this season and just continue to improve and get better.”

Junior Ronald Polite III was just short of a double-double after tallying 15 points and nine assists. Senior Davonte Gaines also put up 15 points going 3-10 from the field.

“I’m always in a giving mood,” said Polite. “Ticket hit some big shots, Coop hit some big shots, Josh was rolling hard, it was just really about creating opportunities.” Polite also spoke on how playing against Rhode Island allowed him to witness the dominance of his teammate Oduro. “I feel like when he’s [Josh] in the mode to dominate, it really doesn’t matter the team,” said Polite.

After making his return from an injury, Gaines has been itching to play after sitting on the sideline watching during games. “It’s been a smooth transition, I’ve been able to watch while I was on the sideline,” said Gaines. “Just doing my job, it has been comfortable.”

Despite the multiple turnovers in the first half, the Patriots were able to make the necessary adjustments ending the first period with a score of 36-33 where the Patriots finished with a lead under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. 

“Playing inside out, getting great shots,” said Gaines. “Giving the ball to Josh, and double team making it through the right play. I think going inside first, Ronnie finding guys off the pick and roll, just making the right decisions.”

Graduate student Saquan Singleton earned more playing time this game compared to others so far this season. Coach English feels that had an impact on the performance of the team from a defensive standpoint.

“Saquan had an incredible practice,” said Coach English. “His spirit, his voice, his defense, his leadership…we had some guys who played well against UMass that didn’t deserve to play well at Loyola Chicago and they did.”

Graduate student Victor Bailey recently fractured his pinkie finger and will be sitting out for 5 weeks.

“He had surgery three days ago when we were in Pittsburgh,” said Coach English. “His family flew up…he’s gonna go through the same process Ticket just went through five weeks out.”

Mason will host their homecoming game against La Salle this Saturday at 4 p.m. at EagleBank Arena.


Latest Fourth Estate Articles - Fri, 17/02/2023 - 6:33pm

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Pan

Mason alum Taj Kokayi continues to shine a light on the importance of telling stories through the lens of Blackness


Mason alum Taj Kokayi recently wrote and directed the sci-fi short film, “White Mirror.” Here, Jamal Nenge, who is portrayed by actor Justin Oratokhai, prepares for an interview with Broken Echo Studios, a game design company. After witnessing the only other Black man in the office get rejected the offer, Jamal makes his way toward the bathroom where he hears the words, “maybe they’ll hire at least one of us.” Jamal then discovers a switch that is used to transform his identity into a white male which he decides could be the only path to securing his dream job.

Oratokhai has a unique way of getting into character when rehearsing. He knew as a Black man he had to do a lot of code-switching in order to play both versions of Jamal. He emphasized how he has to relive those moments.

“When I play any role that I get into, the first thing I have to think is I’m human, and then I’m an African American as well,” said Oratokhai. “You get down to the specifics, what does this person have in common with me?”

Oratokhai knew while acting, he had to put on a false persona of what he wasn’t, which is how Jamal was represented throughout the film. He explained what it was like to act as if he was operating in a foreign skin.

“It was also trying to figure out your self-worth as well,” said Oratokhai. “Trying to be as organic as possible with this character because I wanted to do justice.”

A common theme seen throughout the film is that Jamal feels as if he had to change his identity to have a chance of getting the job. The switch had the names of previous users who have tried the same method. Kokayi explained that these names were also victims of the struggle of finding a job due to the color of their skin.

“The names on the wall represent the other people who made the same choice Jamal did showing how he’s just another along the line of what I like to call, ‘white mirrors’,” said Kokayi. “I really want to show the inner struggle that Jamal is demonstrating as he’s posing as this white man.” Kokayi also explains the dichotomy of Jamal’s dilemma. He knows he’s deserving of the role because of his own qualifications and the work he has put in. Jamal believes he is going to get hired because of how he presents himself with his white skin on the outside.

One of Kokayi’s favorite themes to write about is the human heart in conflict within itself. He wanted this theme on full display throughout the film. This film was selected for the Lift Off Global Sessions Festival and will be going through the festival circuit in late 2023.