The Overlook - A BlackPrint Zine

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l r o e o v k O

FALL 2021


MastHEAD Content


Managing Editors

Awab Ahmed Edly Termilien Kayla Johnson Mmeso Onuoha Reya Mosby

Content Editor


Ajà Miller

CO Editor-In-CHief

Nana Acheampong Angelica Arinze Terrian Spurs Cristela Jones

Jasmyn Coffin Makayla George Mmeso Onuoha

Multimedia Editor Aliayaé Haynes

Events & Marketing Director Morgan Thompson


Social Media Editor

Brennan Beall

Linda Hamilton

Events & Marketing Contributors Alex Dorisca Samantha Dorisca Faith Ehioghae Shareefa Gyami Kyara Johnson

Spirit Martin Ka'chelle Miles Astoria Stubbs Hanna Tinsio Emmanuel Williams

Briana Ramsey Diamond Benjamin Hannan Abdikadir Kailyn Jackson Trinity Hawkins Lauryn Midgett

sOCIAL mEDIA Lauryn Midgett Kailyn Newsom Joy Onuwa

From the Editor

Writing this feels surreal. I almost feel like the words on the page might drift off if I scrutinize them too long, so I won't. Here's hoping I’m equipped with all the right words to express how much this means to me. Curating The Overlook has truly been a labor of love. There are moments of tenderness, pain, triumph, and power outlined within these pages; this zine represents the publication’s resiliency and dedication to creating space for Black thought and expression. I'm beyond proud of you, BlackPrint, and I'm thankful to be a part of your story. We've grown together through pandemic pains, frustrations, "new normals," and now we're here—at The Overlook. This zine is a testament to your strength. Thank you for trusting me with it. Cheers!

From the CO-EIC The Overlook comes after the moments where you're face to face with fear, failure, anticipation, euphoria, self-doubt, etc. It means exploring the set of facts that led to the moment and making a change. BlackPrint I won't ever be enough, but I'll keep going back to the overlook for you. Thank you to all our amazing staffers and Exec board for making this possible.

TABLE OF Being a Black Female Journalist


October 8th POEM


Maybe I'm the Problem




How Lovely it is to Love PERSONAL ESSAY



She Stood in Grace PHOTOGRAPHY

11 13 15


BlackPrint's History Where the Dandelions Go SHORT STORY Lillian Vick ARTWORK Dear body PERSONAL ESSAY Anomaly FASHION DESIGN


18 19 21 23 24 25 28

Black Female Journalist by Reya Mosby

"...everyone in the room just looked at me with sad eyes — pity. I didn’t need pity. I needed justice."

I sat in the newsroom of my highschool newspaper surrounded by various members of my staff. In front of me was a copy of our most recently published issue; however, the n word was boldly written in huge letters across our cover. Throughout the paper, these offensive marks continued — racist caricatures, phrases and messages were on nearly every page. Male genitalia was drawn over the faces of young children of color. Advertisements displayed in the paper for Chinese food were surrounded by racist cartoons. The n word was written over each one of my stories. My anger bubbled just below my shock. To make matters worse, everyone in the room just looked at me with sad eyes — pity. I didn’t need pity. I needed justice. However, despite reporting the incident, nothing was done. This act of racism and prejudice slipped through the cracks which is now something I’ve come accustomed to. It has always been me and my work against a world that actively tries to prevent my success, but this has always been the case for Black female journalists. Historically, during the late 19th century, Black journalism in the south began to rapidly spike. Enslaved people had been “freed,” and the United States entered the Jim Crow era which fostered the disenfranchisement of Black people, lynchings, and brutal institutional ways of destroying the Black body. During this time, white women of the South were seen as precious ornaments for men to show off and subjected to “womanly” chores and duties. However, Black women were seen

as beings with low intelligence, harsh abrasiveness, and insatiable sexual desires. They were not put on the pedestal that white women were, so they were not prevented from working. As a result, many Black women pursued activism through journalism. These women used the Black press circuit to shed light on the harsh and dangerous realities that Black Americans had to face living in the Jim Crow era. However, it was not easy for these women to get their stories out and spread these truths. Black women struggled to gain a wide audience as well as respect from their readers, so they had to go to extreme lengths to legitimize their work. In 1854, Mary Ann Shadd Cary published her newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, making her the first Black woman to publish a newspaper. She was forced to move to Canada to publish the paper in order to avoid US laws that suppressed Black press and activism. When she was published, she had to use the names of her male collaborators in order to increase the chances of her success. She also wrote under the name M.A. Shadd in order to have a gender-neutral byline as many women of this time did. Journalism was a dangerous job for Black women during this era. The public’s reaction to the work of Ida B Wells-Barnett, an activist journalist who rose to prominence for her journalistic work on lynchings made her constantly a target for hate fueled threats and scrutiny. She focused on condemning lynchings and defending the rights of Black citizens, so her work was put under fire in a public setting. A white journalist, James Jacks, wrote a scathing editorial as a response to the activism and journalistic work of Wells, calling Black women “prostitutes” as well as “natural thieves and liars.” It was not easy for Black females to do well as journalists in a society that worked actively to counteract their success. These journalists relied solely on their skill, hard work, passion, and determination to shed light on Black stories. There were no handouts, no big breaks and no nice deeds to help them.

y r a C d d a h S n n Mary A Black female journalists are never given the recognition they deserve. They were pioneers, giving a voice to Black women during a time in which Black women could not advocate for themselves and were not seen, heard or represented. It wasn’t until the twentieth century, when the US was still largely segregated, that Black women began to break through and report in predominantly white newsrooms. However, these women were subjected to constant poor treatment. For example, in 1961, Dorothy Butler Gilliam made history as the first Black female Washington Post reporter, and her career was full of injustice and unfair treatment. She would have to bite her tongue and resist commenting when editors and coworkers would say insulting or make racist jabs in fear of losing her job and in fear of her behavior preventing the Washington Post from hiring additional Black journalists. She frequently felt isolated from her white colleagues who pretended not to know her in public. Additionally, she could not even go to lunch with them because restaurants were segregated, so she had to walk farther to the closest restaurant for people of color.


Needless to say, being Black, female, and a journalist puts a target on one’s back.

Because of these many troubles, she had frequent panic attacks going to work, but she persisted because she was passionate about reporting. More specifically, she yearned to change the narrative of Black stories that white reporters would write. There were mainly negative images of Black stories in the media at this time, and Gilliam hoped to change that. Rather than writing about how Black people were scared and weak, she wrote about how they were brave, hopeful, and resilient. Black female journalists knew they had to step up and change the narrative of Black stories in the press. Much of the accuracy in these stories can be attributed to Black female journalists. To this day, Black female journalists still have the same unique struggle — being constantly


targeted, underestimated, undervalued, and overworked. Despite all the time that has passed, we still face many of the same issues. Today, we live in an era in which journalists have been deemed the “enemy of the American people.” Despite harsh public feelings of distrust and anger, the free press remains one of this country’s integral foundations of democracy. Additionally, despite the racial progress that has been made, America is still filled with hate and contempt for Black citizens. There are also still many barriers for women in this country as society still considers them inferior. Needless to say, being Black, female, and a journalist puts a target on one’s back. This is even seen with former president Trump calling CNN White House reporter Abby Phillip’s question "stupid." He also called April Ryan, a journalist for American Urban Radio, , a “loser” who “doesn’t know what the hell she is doing.” Someone as prominent as the president of the United States demeaning Black journalists of color has left a huge imprint on the American people and how they view and treat these women. Although I am just a student journalist, I have also dealt with this hate and ignorance in and out of the newsroom. Out of the newsroom, emboldened readers full of malice targeted me with hateful sentiments and endless scrutiny, and I couldn’t defend myself because I knew I would be deemed an “angry Black woman,” tarnishing my journalistic credibility and reputation. I waited for people on my staff to come and defend me because I was a valuable part of their newsroom and contributed my

heart, my time, my energy and my work to this publication and the betterment of the community, but this never happened. I soon realized I would just have to grin and bear it when presented with this hate. In the newsroom, I was mistreated, underestimated, and limited. Being the only Black female at times on staff, I was not regarded the same as my colleagues. My credentials and talent matched theirs, but I was always seen as less than. This is where I learned, as a woman of color, I will forever have to be overqualified to be successful. There is also this constant pressure from so many fronts being a Black female journalist. There is this pressure or need to be the best journalist possible because it is a privilege to be able to have this platform in which my writing can reach and influence so many people. It is a constant battle of proving that I deserve to be where I am. This pressure to be better than perfect also stems from knowing that it is so hard to succeed as a Black female journalist. For every step a white male journalist takes in his career, a Black female has to take 10 extra steps. There is also this pressure to do your community right as a Black female journalist. Because we are so limited in the journalism industry, there is this pressure to be this overarching voice for disenfranchised groups — the voice of the minority. We must defend minority coverage in the paper, making sure minorities are being covered in a fair and truthful way.

Additionally, it is easy to get pigeonholed as a “race writer” being a Black female reporter. It is easy to get put in this box and be limited. In my time at my old staff, I was put into this position to make the paper seem “woke.” It was as if they only saw my race and my gender when looking at me. They didn’t see a multidimensional human being behind the minority. I love writing about race and gender issues, but as a reporter, I am more than that. At the core of who I am as a journalist, I am a storyteller, and that extends far beyond race and gender. Although I have had to shoulder many hardships as a journalist, what keeps me going is my resilience, determination, and passion for journalism much like the Black female journalists before me. It has been hard for me to succeed in the realm of journalism as a Black woman, and I am willing to bet that it always will be. There is always this uphill battle I have to constantly fight to prove myself, more so than others. A multitude of people have wronged me in my time as a journalist. However, all the people that have targeted me and actively tried to push me down have forced me to be better. I have learned that the best response to these people is my success, and that is what I will continue to do in my journalistic path. Although I am not a professional journalist yet, being a Black female journalist has made me who I am today. It has made me resilient, strong, and powerful just like those before me. •



i was 14 which would have made you 10 by Joy onuwa we were late so we had to find seats in the back you spoke while the preacher was speaking so i told you to stop talking because God died for our sins the least you could do was be quiet

i was 16 so you had to have been 12 i had just learned about evolution at school i told mom and dad that i was questioning my faith and they said that that was the devil speaking we argued that night and a couple months later i declared myself an atheist i refused to go to church and fought with our parents every single Sunday morning without fail until i graduated i went to college and inspired by the liberal atmosphere decided to be open minded i was now agnostic i went to church willingly for the first time in years to see if my feelings had changed they hadn’t i got into politics it was kind of impossible not to when every time i went online i learned about a new black person that was murdered i went home for thanksgiving that was when on a trip to the grocery store, just the two of us, you told me that you wanted to get a gun i knew we were never that close, but you felt like a stranger i thought about the time i came downstairs to see you sitting at the dining table frowning at your homework the math equations puzzles with missing pieces you looked so defeated now you sat in the passenger seat telling me how a gun would protect you from police brutality i prayed for you that night you’re turning 17 this Sunday you’ll be graduating high school soon you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet, but you know that you don’t want to go to college our parents ask me to talk to you about taking school seriously you say college is a scam you’re right brother o’ mine may you continue to live this life without fear may your path become clear and your enemies disappear and may we spend every october 8th together for millennia october 8th my favorite holiday


by Joy onuwa


y l e v o l e w v ho s to lo it i

rs u p an S i r r e by T

Drive. Wipe your tears. You have to make it home. But how do you pay attention to anything when you can feel your heart in pain? What a joy it is to love right? And it is. It’s cold. I turn down the AC in the car. Breathe. Don’t cry again. You have to make it home. All you have to do is make it home. I understand now the pain of a broken heart. Have you ever felt like you had found your person? Like the person you felt was your everything. Your heart and soul all in one? It’s an amazing feeling...until it isn’t. What did I do? Why couldn’t I fix it? Why couldn’t I fix me? I ruined it.

It’s silent. White walls. Tears. All I can see are tears. Loving someone shouldn’t hurt so much. But damn, he was everything to me. It had to happen, you know? Deep down we both knew it was for the best. We were hurting each other and you don’t hurt the people you love. So there I sat, in the most pain I ever felt. Alone and afraid, because what do I do with all that I have left. What do I even have left? Myself? For the first time in years, I only had myself. But why did that feel like a bad thing? It's because I didn’t want to be with myself. I hated myself. At that moment, I hated everything about myself. Why did I feel I had to be fixed? All that emptiness I had before, I filled it with his love. It’s gone now and he left imprints so deep, I’m left with even more of nothing than I was before. But oh, what a joy it all was to have experienced something so real. And now I have to fill this void inside of me. Because, then this pain would all be a waste you see? I realized why I felt the need to be fixed. I wasn’t really whole. Was I ever really? So, it would be a waste to not pour some love into myself for once.

I love you.’ Written in black ink. Permanent. Imprinted on my left hand for me to look at everyday. A constant reminder to myself and others when they see it. I smile at my friends, feeling the most at peace I’ve ever been in the last 6 months. Is this what it’s like to be happy and filled with self-love? I spent a lot of time alone and it was wonderfully scary. But in those lapses of silence, I found myself more and more everyday. I realized I’m all I have in this world and what a shame it would be to not give myself the love I give out. So I did. I loved my laugh. I loved my smile. I loved my body. I loved my mind. I loved my imperfections. I loved my flaws. I loved my weirdness. I loved the energy I put out in the world. And oh, how wonderful it all is. I do have those off days though, but that's normal. Those are the days where I crave to feel his love just one more time to remember what it was like. But, I push it away because I no longer need it. I have me. And as I look around, I have my friends and I love them too. I hope they know how grateful I am to have them in my life and for them continuously allowing me to learn and grow. So at this moment, I smile. Oh, how lovely it is to love.

And to that boy, if you happen to read this, thank you for what you taught me and I love you.



by Spirit Martin

What do you think when you hear the word "Oreo?" A chocolate delight that softens when saturated in a warm glass of milk? For me, that isn’t the case. Sophomore year, a girl came up to me in the middle of my AP world history class and told me I was an Oreo. I was shocked as to what she meant by this, but I just brushed it off and laughed. I soon learned that she perceived me as a white person, camouflaged by brown skin. I was very offended by this, and the following day I asked her why she would say something so controversial. She said, “No, it's a compliment. You are really smart.” I could feel my skin coming to a boil after hearing her response. Because I'm a smart AfricanAmerican female, I act white?



There is so much racial tension in society, but often many don’t even realize when they are acting in a racist manner. You wouldn't think that Oreo could be converted into a negative connotation, but in my case it was. After this incident, I began straying away from answering questions in my AP classes and even flipping over assignments to cover high scores I had rightfully earned because I didn’t want to be seen as an Oreo. How is it that I, a Black female, was belittled for academically succeeding? Society has placed inscrutable barriers around being Black. There is a widespread misconception that Black people can’t be highly educated successors in society, but this is not the case.

I realized that by being the only Black kid in the majority of my AP classes, I was the sole model of an African-American that many of these higher level kids encountered on a day to day basis. I was baffled by the fact that because I was 'smart' and that because I challenged myself, I wasn’t many people's ideal Black person. I overachieved their standards and expectations of a Black person. I felt very selfconscious for months because I wasn’t seen as truly Black , but I knew that I had the ability to change this. I needed to change the image of a Black person that many white people carry. I didn’t want the words “ratchet,” “ghetto,” or “rap” to be the initial thoughts of Black people. I began being more confident in my answers day by day, and praising myself when receiving my test grades back. I knew the only way to change the image of a Black person was to be unapologetically Black with confidence that shot through the ceiling. Toward the end of sophomore year, I found myself in a similar situation, I was in AP world history waiting to receive my test score. If you earned an A on the test you were awarded with candy and a public acknowledgement. “Spirit,” Ms. Good proclaimed. I felt my body tense up, “You got an A.” I rose from my cold corner in the back of the room with pride and sauntered through showers of applause to the candy basket at the front of the room. At this moment, I knew I should never try and hide my God given abilities, but I should use them to be the accurate representation of a Black person. •



Creative Director: Faith Ehioghae Photographer: Samantha Dorisca Makeup Artist: Ka'chelle Miles Hair Artist: Astoria Stubbs Model: Shareefa Gyami BTS: Alex Dorisca



S o u o p t a Y m ou o T One can of Contadina crushed tomatoes. One white onion, halved then wedged. Vegetable stock (or chicken if you give up vegetarianism and come to terms that it just tastes better that way). Some basil and garlic, butter and heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper, and all the other conventional seasonings—go ahead and add it all together. Tomato soup is the only thing you know how to make well. You empty all the ingredients into a large pot with a dimple on its side. Your mother gifted it to you on your 24th. The dent signifies that there is love there. The tangy, savory aromatics calm even the most worrisome minds. Weird thing, though, is that you don’t like tomatoes all that much: hate them on burgers and pick them out of salads, but there’s something about the way they simmer on a stovetop. It’s almost eighty degrees out, but fall demands soup. You like tomato soup because it doesn’t make you feel so destructive. It’s comfort food, familiar. Kind of like he is. You wish you had made this soup for him, maybe then he would’ve appreciated the homemaker in you instead of the “fantasy-dream-girl” you. The you he wants seconds of, the you that withered away with all the other exciting things in life. “Tomato-soup-you” is a bit nagging, but still sweet as can be and cares deeply about people pleasing. Tomato-soup-you has dreams of caring for his babies and picking out table

by Ajà Miller

runners with his momma. Tomato-soup-you still finds his holey socks at the bottom of your drawers and instead of throwing them away, decides to fold them nicely for when he returns. He will not. Not in the way you think he will. If he does and brings an appetite, it will not be for the tomato soup heating on the burners. No, something warmer. Let simmer for fortyfive minutes. You think that someone lied when they said the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. They also lied about butter; it isn't always a cure all for your kitchen and life mishaps. Butter can't release his red wine stain from your couch nor can it unbreak the blender he bought you for Christmas. It can't slip the memories of him and you, but mostly him, into oblivion. But tomato-soup-you will find something else to be distracted by. Maybe your soup making repertoire will grow to include homemade chicken noodle or clam chowder next time. You find some love lingering at the bottom of that dented pot. Grab a ladle and slurp it down. •


Legacy. BlackPrint began as an independent, student newspaper for the African American Studies and Research Center, now the Warfield Center. Dr. John Warfield provided the funds to publish it. Founding members, Erna Smith, Tom Collier and Rhonda Bailey, student employees at the center, created the first independent editions. The trio collected stories, cartoons, photos, poems, and essays submitted by Black students. Smith remembers an inaugural edition that featured an editorial cartoon about COINTELPRO, an FBI domestic surveillance program that spied on the Civil Rights and antiVietnam war movements. The late 60s and 70s were a radical time for students and student organizations at UT. Underscoring the fight against anti-war and anti-racist policies, folk, jazz and blues music became popular among students, as did sex, marijuana and LSD. In 1975, a benefit concert was held at The University of Texas' Memorial Stadium in Austin by Student Government. The benefit raised $20,000 which was appropriated to several student organizations, one of which was a new edition of BlackPrint, this time

around as a supplement of the Daily Texan. The Daily Texan, under editor Mary Walsh, published BlackPrint as part of a deal it made with the Black Student Alliance (BSA), which was the main Black student political organization at the time. The paper stopped publishing in the late 70’s, and lay dormant until 2020, when Texas Journalism students Faith Castle and Tiana Woodard brought it back to life. With the help of Erna Smith, the pair set about recreating an independent BlackPrint. Faith and Tiana’s publication, while digital, maintained the core principles established by their forerunners:

“As a publication, we intend to provide a platform for creatives to capture experiences impacting the UT Austin Black community and Greater Austin area.”

Special thanks to Erna Smith, Faith Castle, & Tiana Woodard


Where the Dandelions Go by Hanna Tinsio

When I chased after the dandelion seeds, I didn’t intend to catch them. It was one of those days, the sun trudging down the horizon, when I picked up a dandelion on the edge of 24th and Lamar. I don’t know why I stopped, maybe the yellow sunlight was becoming too bright or the car honks started to grow deafening, but I glanced up with wide eyes and spotted a dandelion tuft, its long, skinny stem reaching out at a strange angle, stubborn and alien in the cityscape. I plucked it mechanically, an old habit, and stared at it for a moment. When nothing came to mind, I blew anyways, a hot, frustrated sigh. Just as the dandelion head dissolved into seeds, I panicked. Here my wish was rising away from me, wasted. Instinctively, I leapt to capture it. A cool breeze tugged it just

out of reach, and I pounced forward again. I must have looked ridiculous to the cars flooding the intersection, but all I could see at the moment was the mocking dance of the dandelion seeds, and I ran. Fear gripped me like the wind piercing through my jacket, as I jumped into traffic, whirled past cars, my eyes fixed on the white fluffs spinning away. I was sprinting now, my breathing shallow and my arms pumping, and all my surroundings blurred into the background. Somehow, I never lost sight of the dandelion seeds. At the point where I felt my heart about to burst from exertion, the dandelion seeds finally began a slow descent, floating down like miniature angels. My hand plucked three whitehaired seeds out of the sky, and I laughed: a maniacal sound in the silence that now surrounded me. I doubled over, sweat dripping down my forehead, and finally noticed the thick green and yellow that crouched around my shoes. For the first time I glanced around, horrified to find myself in a sea of yellow. Dense stalks of weeds gave way to golden heads stretching waist high - a lifetime of wishes reborn. The flowers seemed to point at me, like thousands of knowing eyes. My head spun with the thick aroma; with every inhale more pollen scratched the inside of my throat, my nostrils. Wind rippled through the field like a shudder, like a voice familiar and forgotten. It seemed as if the plants were growing, higher and higher, choking out the blue of the sky, until I realized that, actually, I was sinking, pulled farther into the weeds and the pointed leaves, the vines tangling around my limbs. They tore at my flesh




and my clothes, my eyes watered. With every jerk and kick, I found myself more and more entangled in the living web. Memories flashed through my mind; my heart pounded against my chest. Eventually I couldn’t fight any longer. I relaxed my body. I let the pollen coat my lungs. With a sigh, I released my closed fist and let loose the dandelion seeds. Slowly the dandelion stalks began to unravel all at once, rustling with the sound of whispers. The flowers gave way to a sunset more brilliant than I’d ever seen, the pollen haze scattering light into a million different colors. As I caught my breath, the field rose and fell with a warm breeze. A fresh, sweet scent filled the air. The plants had swallowed up my shoes, so as I lay there, I discovered the cold dark dirt under my feet for the first time. I buried my toes into the soil, and stood, surrounded by a field of suns, watching the seeds float by. •


Lillian Vick


by Kyara Johnson

Dear Body, I used to hate you, to be honest. I started hating you when I was in middle school. I used to complain about you. I hated it when you changed me with puberty. My boobs and butt got bigger and I was laughed at. I used to hide my butt with a book. They say big thighs save lives…but it ruined my life. In high school I started to love you. Being on the cheer team before the pandemic saved my life. Cheerleading gave me the confidence to love you. Me loving you again led me to be a role model for the other Black girls on the team. Even though I still got hate at school because I love you, I walked in my truth. You will always be a part of me until I die. I will never stop loving you. Now the Brazilian butt lift is a trend. I feel like now everyone is giving me performative love. In my childhood, we were shamed for having curves like you but now everyone is running to become you because it’s on social media has made bigger butts a trend. People want to love the outside but not the inside. If your body is not like Megan Thee Stallion's, well, you need Naomi Campbell’s supermodel body. You will be shamed if your body is like Lizzo's, even if you're healthy. People still have the mindset that skinny is better. Body positivity movement has made me feel more comfortable but my friends who are plus-sized still feel uncomfortable. Yes, we are going forward but pushing the most dangerous surgery for young women is going backwards. I wouldn’t get a BBL, but if I wanted one I would do my research. Going under the knife just for social media trends is scary for the new generation. Now going into college I love you more than ever. I hope I will always love you. •


E. 24

異常 ANOMALY by Emmanuel Williams

"Made during quarantine, my collection is a fusion of my love for Japanese culture and my African heritage."


"I was inspired by my favorite anime shows to create an storyline through my garments. My collection tells a tale of a princess and her warriors."


Acknowledgements We owe the utmost amount of gratitude to our fall contributors, Professor Erna Smith, the Moody College of Communication, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and our readers.

Thank you for believing in us.