Renegade Syracuse University Fall 2016 Volume 1 Issue 6 Black General Interest Magazine
Finesse. I know the Renegade team says that a lot, but if you watched the behind-the-scenes journey of making this magazine, you’d agree we finessed this. From the cover idea to content stories like Election Review, Hey Big Boy, and Sexual Healing to the editorial and fashion spreads, I’m in awe. Initially, when thinking of ideas and themes for this Fall Issue it was a little overwhelming. And I think that’s the perfect way to describe how the year 2016 turned out to be, it was overwhelming. Although it was an overwhelming year, I think it’s always best to look at the bright side of things and not dwell too much on the negatives. For example, although Trump won the presidency, I’ll still be studying abroad in Florence during the beginning months of his presidency *soft smiles*. Jokes. But in a real positive note, I’ve seen a lot of black excellence this year and I’m glad Renegade got to capture some of these moments like the Olympics, the new FX show Atlanta, and Pull A Seat at the Table. When deciding the theme of this semester’s issue, it was a little tough. A lot of the stories in this issue have so many different personalities and emotions, you can say it’s like a Tyler Perry movie but like magazine form. Anyways, I’m so proud of my team because we worked really hard into delivering the best content to ya’ll. I have to say I owe a lot to Renegade. I remember first joining as a freshman and was a web content writer that turned illustrator, to assistant designer to creative director, to also lowkey photographer, and now I’m writing an editor’s letter :). But Renegade has [deadass] showed me you can do anything. Much Love, Noahamin Taye
Where do I even begin? This year has been the year of unexpected plot twist and unthinkable happenings. who would of ever thought the host of the apprentice would be the official “leader” of our country. Going into my last year of college, I didn’t really know what to expect for myself, for syracuse, or for Renegade but the beautiful thing about this magazine is that it is forever evolving and growing to represent and mirror the growth of the community. What I have seen, is that despite all the blows, personal and collectively I’ve seen a remarkable amount of fortitude from everyone around me, including the staff, who continue to amazing me with their talents and vision to make the best possible product for Renegade semester after semester. It’s time to deal with the reality, and come together as a community. Time to strategize and look inward, stop and think about what we really want for ourselves and who we want to be as a community. Renegade is a call to action in and of itself, the very name came out of living true and unapologetically. In past issues i’ve spoken about how how i hope to inspire others on this campus, allowing renegade to be the platform, however this year what I marvel at the most is how inspired I am by the thoughtful activism from the community that surrounds me. Every semester is a emotional rollercoaster, but then again, I always have been somewhat of a daredevil, so for now, i’ll stay on the ride. This issue is for culture, for the community, but honestly, for yourself. This is the YOU issue. We are unstoppable, I hope you guys don’t forget that, and incase you do, let this issue serve as that reminder. Don’t get lost in the sauce. Stay blessed, Elen Marie Pease
TABLE OF CONTENTS The Cost of Prestige 7 10 Student Spotlight: i am spiced/W.A.G.E. Self-Segregation 12 14 The Other Side of the Dome Lets Face it 15 16 The Joke Is Over MELUX 19 20 Black Is The New Pop BARE ESSENTIALS 21 26 Pull A Seat At The Table Reverse Racism Is Not A Thing 27 28 Black Masculinity BLACKOUT 30 34 What Can We Do As A Community To Stay United? The New Black 36 38 Hey Big Head Sexual Healing 39 40 Olympics Kaepernick 42 44 ATLANTA More Than Money & Hoes 48 47 Black Perception In The Media Submissions: HURRICANE 49 50 Renegadeâ€™s Choice
staff list Editor in chief
Elen Marie Pease and Noahamin Taye
Creative Director Felicia Vasquez Illustrators Taylor Hicks, Kennedy LaNier, Noahamin Taye Copy Editor/Fiscal Agent Jean DeGraphe Front-of-Book Editor Elena Whittle Assistant Editor Chazz Inniss Features Editor Daisia Glover Back of Book Editor Cameron Jenkins Sports Editor
Fashion Director Brittany Belo Fashion Asst.
Amaya Hunt, Hailey Bennett, Rebekah Roberts, Chazz Inniss, Melissa Marks
if you don’t know now you know
Brothas and Sistahs are making their dreams into realities, and don’t think we haven’t noticed! Let’s shed some light on the movers and shakers who may not always be headline makers, and the stories from a culture that is strong, creative, and daring. You may not have heard.... but if you don’t know, now you know
-The Renegade 6
The Costs of Prestige By: Lauren Merriwether
After the appointment of Chancellor Kent Svyerud in 2014, SU has seen various institutional changes. Upon his arrival, the chancellor has shut down the Advocacy Center, increased tuition, yet cut funds for the POSSE program, a scholarship that benefitted various students of color. Fast forward, under the chancellor’s guidance, the university has now seen a cut in admission rates, with a disproportionate decrease in students of color by 4%. The newly built $6 million promenade, alongside the Campus Framework project, make it evident that Syverud has long term plans to transform the university, both physically and institutionally. Before Svyerud was appointed, he made it clear that he would focus on improving the university’s rank. He claims that rankings “matter because they affect decisionmaking of constituencies that matter to universities.” In evaluating previous decisions made by the Chancellor, what he believes will improve SU’s overall ranking and prestige is questionable. Does prestige mean a cut from diversity and a less transparent institution, or is prestige defined by selectivity and uniformity? While rallying in 2014 to protest scholarship
cuts, aging academic facilities and lack of minority faculty, senior David L. Jackson, a Secondary Education major and POSSE scholar from Miami, commented that the university felt as if “it wasn’t built for us”. Jackson’s statement reflects the sentiments of many other students of color and the chancellor’s changes certainly suggest this idea. Now, Jackson notes, “Not much has changed. The Black experience at SU is pretty much the same as it was my sophomore year.” Explaining that reducing funding for the POSSE scholarship “takes away from what the university could be” because this scholarship “sends the best of what these cities have to offer to Syracuse.” If Syverud keeps up with these changes, we can expect to see a university that is less inclusive, and less racially and economically diverse. As students, these changes affect us all, some more than others. For students of color, a decrease in our community means a reduction in the support from faculty, as well as inadequate representation. The decrease insinuates that students of color are unwanted and unwelcomed, creating a divide between students of color and the remaining student body.
Homecoming HomecomingAllKing King Hail Skinny B! By: Alanne Story Photography: Ericka Jones-Craven
Also known as Skinny B, Bilal is a senior System Information Sciences major from Atlanta, Georgia. Although he attends school far from home, this hasn’t stopped him from excelling to the next level. How did you get the nickname Skinny B?
I got the name Skinny B because I lost a lot of weight at one point. When I came to college, I weighed 300 pounds, and midway through freshman year, I amassed 320 lbs. I looked into the mirror and started on the 2nd most grueling month-span known to man (childbirth is the first.) I ate right, exercised every day, and slowly shed my weight. One day I was walking on campus, and Ensonn (E) called me “skinny” to get my attention. Ever since then, “the beat go off,” and all my other friends called me “Skinny.” What made you run for Homecoming King? I decided to run for homecoming king because friends always called me “Mixy King” since sophomore year. I’ve always known a lot of people on campus, ever since I ran around the ice-cream social with my brother Demarquez (aka Black) freshman year. It’s a running joke that if you walked down the promenade with us sophomore or junior year, it would take about 30 minutes to get from Schine to Ernie! That’s if we only had 5 second conversations. Once I saw Kavell Brown win it, I asked myself “Why can’t I win?” How do you feel about holding the title? Becoming Homecoming King was like Jon Stark becoming the rightful heir to the North in the show Game of Thrones. To all those who don’t watch, it feels like it was meant for me! However, the title doesn’t affect the change that needs to happen in the world. I do applaud the Syracuse University community for choosing a Black king and queen in back-to-back years. There is an epidemic in [our] society, and it keeps putting Black lives in the crossfires of it. I’m honored to become SU’s Homecoming King as a reminder that great things come from black lives. Syracuse University is one step closer to becoming a proponent to the BLM Movement, and more importantly, for the culture. #blacklivesdomatter
All Hail Miracle Rodgers!
By: Alanne Story Photography: Ericka Jones-Craven
All the way from Miami, Florida is where we find our beautiful new Homecoming Queen.She is involved in school and her community including being a Gate Millennium Scholar, and Ronald McNair Scholar. How you feel about holding the title of Homecoming Queen? The crazy thing is I almost didn’t run for Homecoming Queen. I am grateful to friends and staff from the School of Engineering (for encouraged me to apply on the day the Homecoming Court application was due. I applied because I wanted to be a positive role model. I was just humbled and honored to be selected as a member of the Homecoming Court. It meant so much to me to be amongst so many phenomenal peers. I didn’t expect to win. It is still very surreal. To me being homecoming Queen means embodying what it means to be an Orange Woman, from scholarship, leadership, service and, of course, orange spirit. I hope to use this platform to be a positive role model for my peers and to let them know they can achieve their goals and go after their dreams. It was also so meaningful to make history with my Homecoming King Bilal Vaughn as the 2nd time in SU history that the Homecoming King and Queen duo are African-American. Students of color have not always had a strong presence at SU, so for us to have earned this achievement is remarkable Do you believe the Homecoming competition was tough? What was your most memorable moment? It was hard, I was amongst so many strong women. Campaigning required me to use many social media platform to speak with and connect with so many people, which was priceless. My homecoming highlight was having the opportunity to meet Jim Brown! When speaking with him, I was excited how SU has prepared me for my future career in Sport Medicine. What resonated with me the most was him saying, “I have a body that has done me well, but it is my mind that I depend on.” This is truly a testament to the importance of education.
i A.M. Spiced
Everyting Nice when it Spiced They met in Brooklyn but really connected once at SU. Amariah Dejesus and Mercedes Gomez love to cook for each other. Sick of campus dining halls, the girls enjoyed spicing things up for their friends, too. After repeated positive feedback they decided to extend access to delicious Caribbean cuisine and comfort throughout the campus. The pair started i A.M. Spiced, a biweekly food plate service. It began with a fun and successful Sample Party. One of their friends DJ’d and many came through to try the food and enjoy the vibes. Both of the girls are from the Caribbean – Amariah from Trinidad, Mercedes from Trinidad and Jamaica – and they value the culture and community food creates. It is their mission to share the good feelings and fill the void of comfort food on campus. Mercedes is graduating this year and the project is a brainchild of their friendship. Amariah doesn’t see the project continuing on without her partner but there is talk of collaborating on spices to sell online in the future. I recommend you try a food plate ASAP. Through their Instagram, you can place an order Monday through Friday, during weeks they’re serving, and choose from jerk or curry chicken, white rice or macaroni pie, and fried plantain, steamed veggies, coconut peas or saltfish fritters. For $8 you pick up your meal on Sunday. They’re exclusive. Not registered as a campus organization you can only grab a taste if you are part of their social media community. So hit them up: @iamspiced 10 Fall 2016|Renegade
By: Analise Sesay Photography: Blake Duncanson
By: Analise Sesay Photography: Blake Duncanson
We all gon’ eat
Biomedical Engineering student, Jahnessa Payne became aware of the food desert problem in the greater Syracuse community and decided she needed to do something about it. She used her love for cooking and the support from people who had the pleasure of eating her food to fuel W.A.G.E. a service, that gives back to the city of Syracuse through Carribean food plate sales and catering at SU. Jahnessa believes, “If I, we all gon’ eat.” It’s her mission to raise awareness for and increase action in underserved communities facing food insecurity. At the moment its just Jahnessa, slaying, but she is looking for a team. She has had so much success she has to cap the amount of meals she makes each week – about 20 – 30. She has sold over 100 plates since she started in September and generated over $1,000 in revenue. On Sunday’s she drops the menu for the coming week. Contact her through Instagram – @nessa_ storm - to be order a $7 plate by 8pm on Tuesday. On Wednesdays Jahnessa cooks the food and distributes the plates which can be picked up from a few different locations. W.A.G.E collaborates with Project Grind who distributes lunches, made by Jahnessa, to the students at Nottingham High School in Syracuse. Jahnessa not only provides for high school students in the community. She makes community dinners at various centers in Syracuse to bring people together around music, dancing and food. She also recently provided a $100 Tops gift card to a Syracuse family who lost their 2 children in a house fire. Fall 2016|Renegade 11
segregation By: Elliot Srikantia
espite having a fairly diverse student body here at Syracuse, we far too often fall into the trap of limiting our social circles to those of the same ethnicity. Whether intentional or not, it is clear from just a short walk around campus that self-segregation is an issue facing Syracuse University. Growing up white in a suburb in Cleveland
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with a high school that was approximately 50% black and 40% white, I naturally grew up with a very diverse friend group. In fact, it wasn’t until we were shown a movie about the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in elementary school that I was introduced to the concept of race as a dividing factor. This is not in any way to say that the district was free of racial issues, but rather that they were recognized and focused on. Looking back on my first few days in Syracuse I think it’s actually quite funny how taken aback I was by the sheer number of white people there were at orientation events. I knew that the demographics were very different than back home, but I quickly realized there is a huge difference between reading the numbers and actually experiencing them. An experience that sticks out to me was when in my very first night staying in the dorm, a white guy casually used the n-word in conversation and nobody batted an eye. I expected someone to take offense or correct him, but people simply acted as if nothing had happened. Upon me bringing it up with him, he simply told me that everybody in his town says it all the time. When I asked him if he worried about offending any black people I was informed that there were only two black kids at his high school and it wasn’t a big deal. Something else that made an impression on me was the repeated use of “ghetto” by white students as a dismissive term for music, clothes, or anything else derived from black culture, something that would get you very sternly admonished at home. Of course, the racial attitudes and ignorance on campus are not always blatantly stated in such clear ways as my previous examples. When looking around our classrooms, people of similar races or ethnicities will generally tend to sit together forming almost completely homogeneous social circles. This is also apparent in the dining halls, sporting events, or any other
school event or gathering. Even in campus social life, I have heard people decide not to go to parties based on whether they see them as “white” or “black” parties. Upon arriving in Syracuse I was disappointed to see the widespread selfsegregation, but I can understand why it happens. If I were black I can only imagine arriving to a completely new environment such as college and not knowing who held racially ignorant, bigoted views or who was understanding. Unfortunately, an easy way to determine this is by skin color. This is the same not only for black students at SU, but racial groups in any situations across the country whether it be campus life, a workplace, or even entire neighborhoods. Familiarity is a key factor in whom we choose to meet and interact with even if it is oftentimes primarily subconscious. Being half Indian, I notice that I am much more comfortable striking up a conversation with an Indian person than anybody else. I know that we will most likely have common experiences and an almost instant level of familiarity and understanding that can’t be guaranteed with a non-Indian without getting to know them first. I can imagine that any other minority or person of color can relate to this. Self-segregation cannot simply be reversed just by having people of different races hang out with each other, but rather by continuing to educate people about tolerance and understanding that different races have different experiences and respecting that. The first step towards solving any problem is admitting to its existence and this is no different. My hope is that as a campus we continue to develop an open dialogue, not only about self-segregation in particular, but about any and all racial issues that challenge us. In my opinion, this is the only way to hopefully bridge the gap from the current atmosphere to true, unforced, self-integration.
The Other Side of the Dome By: Weston Stroud
n my way to school, I listen to the likes of Madeintyo, Kodak Black, Gucci Mane, and of course the phenomenal Playboi Carti. I find myself constantly adjusting my neon pink Nike Elite backpack to fit properly over my vintage Men in Black II t-shirt. My Girbaud jeans, strapped tight around the ankles, the black and white striped long sleeve longline undershirt, and my burgundy Dr. Martens compliment Will Smith’s face oh so well. I think to myself, my fit is so tough Ian Connor might get me to style him. With over 20 gold clips in my dreaded comb over, I am just as abstract and absurd as the idea of a black environmentalist. I must admit in most places I would not fit into the societal norm. Here at SUNY-ESF that is especially true. There are moments when I can feel the eyes of my peers intensely follow me as we pass each other then cut away to avoid unwarranted interaction. I notice how professors strike a confused look when we lock eyes, not knowing whether to say hello or to keep walking often times choosing the latter out of ease. Here I am, the only African American undergraduate graduating this year. ESF is a hard school, no matter the skin-color. I have seen every black male who was here with me my freshman year leave. Granted that’s only five people. Retaining students
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of color is the biggest problem we face. Of our student population, 19% are of color and 1% identify as African American. At ESF we move off campus usually after the first year, so if you don’t find friends that look like you at SU during freshman year, then you’re shit out of luck. When you move off campus it’s harder to stay involved with campus life. The toughest part about being black at ESF is, you know what you’re coming into when you come to ESF what you don’t find out is how difficult it is to make friends on the other side of the Dome. I have friends at ESF who dedicate their most of their free time to finding friends of diverse backgrounds at SU. When students feel like they have to leave campus and devote themselves to finding people of color to befriend, that’s an issue that should be addressed. If I could get any message across in this article it would be a plea to the people of color at SU to extend a welcoming hand to the people of color at ESF. We feel your pain and we fight for a lot of the same issues and we need your help. The students of color here at ESF want to be involved at SU and want to be with people who care about similar issues. Go to Moon Library and see it from our perspective on the other side of the Dome.
Let’s Face it
By: Courtney Jiggetts
Reasons Why African Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change
hy is it that Americans, and in larger numbers, African Americans, disregard the overarching importance of climate change when in fact the health of our soils influences the sustainability of our species? Last year, 2015, was recognized as being the hottest year on record since scientists began keeping record of global temperatures in 1880 (Nasa). Why are Blacks, who are often victims of the most severe environmental complications so withdrawn from conversations about climate change? While many overly complicate understanding climate change and what is at stake, the science behind global warming isn’t overly complex. Fossil fuels, which are critical with regards to continuing to foster our era of technology, are detrimental in abundance. Scientists refer to The Greenhouse Effect as a medium used to describe the root of global warming. Sunlight, in the form of energy, is absorbed almost entirely by land and water. However, the remaining fraction of this energy is reflected back into the atmosphere. Naturally, it should escape the atmosphere. But, when the surface of the earth warms up, it reflects a different type of energy called infrared radiation. As this energy travels back towards outer space to escape Earth’s atmosphere, the abundance of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere (from our excessive use of fossil fuels) capture this energy, and re-emit it, ultimately warming the surface (GEO 103). If our earth’s surface heats up too quickly, the
living conditions for the human race and the host of other species our world is home to, are affected. We don’t pay attention to global warming primarily because we aren’t mentally programmed to interpret what seems like future complications as immediate issues. It always seems as if the intensification of severe storms is happening elsewhere. It’s someone else’s problem, not ours. Engaging in the fight against climate change costs, too. Sustainable living is expensive and for many African American families, it’s difficult to incorporate the necessary elements of maintaining a green lifestyle into their budgets. Another reason why Black people don’t take heed to climate change? There aren’t enough prominent African Americans, whether scientists, politicians, or entertainers, who engage in the climate change debate. Often times, we as a community, need influential individuals as propaganda in order to change our thought process and ultimately our direction. While the image of a polar bear floating on a melted icecap in the middle of the ocean is the first picture many of our brains have begun to associate phrases like “climate change,” or “global warming,” with, the condition of our world is far more expansive than this. It is important for African Americans to begin to be willing to expand their scope regarding global warming so that we continue to live as informed global citizens.
the joke is over By: Jean DeGraphe
Middle-aged black male friend: How’s this for uplifting… I was walking from a grocery store, having purchased: crackers, cheese, and an actual pineapple for $1.50, when a car load of sorority girls pulled up alongside of me, stuck their heads out the window and yelled, “We got your back Mr., don’t worry. Have a great day!” They then smiled broadly and gave me a thumbs up sign. #trustory Me: Yea, there’s a few good whites out there . Middle-aged black male friend: Really!? Let’s write a screenplay: A Few Good Whites Me: That’s actually a good title tho. Middle-aged black male friend: I’ll send you a draft… You can have a co-Executive Producer credit! Me: Speaking of draft, I’ll send you one of the election essay I’m writing for Renegade.
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he results are in and America has spoken. Donald Trump, yes Donald J. Trump, is President-elect of the United States...in case you haven’t already gotten the memo. After a close, hotly contested campaign, the unlikely native New Yorker has pulled off what may be the most stunning electoral upset in modern American history. This in after opinion polls predicted his democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to win from the moment either accepted their party’s nomination. General consensus suggested Clinton would secure landslide victories among Blacks, Hispanics and, well basically everyone who isn’t a non-college educated white male. General consensus was, for the most part, wrong. While Clinton did retain much of the Black, Hispanic, millennial, and female vote for her party, she failed to match the success of her predecessor. Exit polls showed that while she won the female vote 54%-42%, Barrack Obama won 55%-44%(significant considering she’s the first female presidential nominee in the U.S.’ 240-year history). Voter turnout for women even dropped one point after accounting for 53% of the electorate in the previous race. Not even the former Celebrity Apprentice star’s vulgar remarks about *pause* “grabbing em’ by the p***y” ...or numerous allegations of sexual misconduct derailed him enough to make a meaningful difference in favor of the Clinton campaign. Clinton also saw her party’s numbers slip among voters 18-29 from 60%-37% in 2012 to 55%-37%, from 93%-7% of the Black vote in 2012 to 88%-8%, and 71%-27% of the Hispanic vote to 65%-29%(despite Trump’s treats of mass deportation and allegations of them being criminal aliens). Those few percentage points she missed out on could’ve made a difference in key swing states. Though Hillary did win the popular vote, in the end, it wasn’t enough. Ironically, the guy who said the election is rigged from the beginning and promised to eliminate the electoral college system WON with the second-most votes.
All this plus being ostracized by the Republican establishment equaling in a win has seemingly defied the laws of political science. However, Trump did do something right. He tapped into the anger of a declining middle class and used it to forge a message of economic grievance. And while Hillary didn’t garner as many votes from her base supporters as her camp would’ve hoped for, Trump did. With the exception of college educated white women, white people regardless of age, gender, or education level chose Trump. For white men, the real estate magnate appealed to their economic troubles and related to their cultural identity. Promising to bring jobs back to Middle America is reminiscent of a working class that wore hard hats and labored with their hands. In an economy where manufacturing jobs are no longer abundant to a people who heavily rely on them, new industries appeared in places they didn’t live, requiring skills and education they didn’t have. From 1975 to 2014, according to census data analyzed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, white male workers without a college degree saw their median incomes fall by more than 20 percent, after adjusting for inflation (Tankersley, November 2016, Wall Street Journal). The “taking our country back” mantra is the backlash of a rural America that feels the Democratic Party, which is supposed to be the party of the working man, has turned their back on them. In a globalizing economy and an increasingly diversifying American population, he gave voice to a demographic who felt their political and economic power decline. For white women, Trump had long pissed off anyone who wasn’t going to vote for him. The rest were unbothered and at the end of the day, it turned out that race was thicker than gender. Tragically, the way in which he appealed to
most of those anxieties also gave new life to the waning existence of terrorist hate groups, the most prominent of them being Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalist, and militiamen. The fact that he refused to immediately disavow them is a bad sign to say the least.
“He tapped into the anger of a declining middle class and used it to forge a message of economic grievance”
This is not to directly connect the ideals of every person who voted for Trump to white supremacy. Actually, many women justify
pledging their vote to the Republican party by their stance on abortion, for example. But the fact they could get past the unrelenting fear mongering and scapegoating gives people who were targeted by that kind of rhetoric a sense of betrayal. Electing someone for which North Carolina KKK is planning to hold a “victory parade” is reminiscent of an America that lynched Black folk, gave no rights to women, carried out racially exclusive immigration laws against East Asians, refused to grant political asylum to Jews during World War II, and well, the list goes on... That’s not great I wanted this article to be analogous to this election cycle so I started with a joke. But what started out as comical has gotten uncomfortably real. Real Time talk show host, Bill Maher put it best when he said “having Donald Trump as president is like having to live with someone you hated,” a flashback to all your freshman roommate troubles. In a country now so visibly divided, neither side is willing to acknowledge, let alone talk to, the other(and for good reason). To make it even worse, there’s an uneasy tension and a question of uncertain safety when you’re in the same room. The only caveat is moving out isn’t the simple solution. With more and more millennials having trouble moving out of their parent’s home each year, relocating to Canada isn’t an option, guys. Your bank account simply won’t allow it. In other words, here we are; jokes over.
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Where Melanin Comes First, Makeup Second. By: Olivia Zimmerman Photography: Noahamin Taye
“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we don’t exist,” proclaims MELUX, through an Instagram post. The quote, formatted in bold, gold, glittery letters, defines MELUX’s brand; they sell makeup for the girls with magic skin that deepens with the sun and hair that defies gravity. MELUX is for the Melanin Baddies. In a world where melanated beauties search through aisles of drugstore and high-end cosmetics alike, only for brands to not have their products that suit their needs, MELUX provides an oasis where these women of color can find their correct shade for their skin tone. Syracuse seniors Kristina Taylor and Kyla Brown created MELUX on the principles of “melanin luxury.” After two diehard makeup junkies failed to find a place that held lesser known, minority’s owned brands, Kristina and Kyla decided to start their own. They recognized that many women of color are forced to choose from the narrow selection of deeper toned foundations, concealers, blushes, and lip colors from major cosmetic companies because brands tailored for the skin of WOC are so obscure. MELUX sells and shows how to use the products featured, giving more choices and knowledge to consumers. Kristina and Kyla support black businesses, giving them a platform to thrive in and us an opportunity to find what we need without having to wade through the sea of a thousand shades of beige. Kristina combined her technological expertise with her passion for women of color, made evident by MELUX’s motto, “Melanin First. Makeup Second,” to create a brand “devoted to exposing women of various skin tones to new high quality cosmetics they’ve never heard of or tried”. The most impressive thing is that they developed all of this while both students took 18 credits of courses with the added responsibility of work study. Kristina states that
“A lot of sleep was sacrificed but [she] would do it all again the same exact way.” She goes on to say that starting her own business helped her “prioritize [her] time and focus on what’s important to [her] long term.” Kristina actually mentioned that the original idea was to build an app (that’s currently in development), but that she and her business partner decided to develop the website in the meantime. All of her hard work will soon pay off in the relaunch of the MELUX website. IG: @meluxbrand
Black Is The New Pop
By: Jasmine Ude Photography: Noahamin Taye
In September, ColourPop Cosmetics came out with their “Sculpting Stix” that made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Names like “Yikes,” “Dume,” and “Typo” were assigned to the contour stick shades that were the darkest in the range, and Black Twitter lit up. Black women were outraged by the choice of words used to describe the darkest shades. Once it gained coverage, ColourPop Cosmetics quietly changed the names
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of the products and shortly after released an apology to the public. This problem is not uncommon in the makeup industry. Recently, there has been backlash against Jeffree Star, makeup artist and CEO of Jeffree Star Cosmetics, and his disrespectful comments made towards black women. Specifically, joking about throwing battery acid at a black woman to make her skin look lighter so it would match her foundation, referring to them as apes as well as calling them countless derogatory terms over the years. These problems show why the growing presence of AfricanAmerican women in makeup is important. Their emergence in the makeup industry is bringing more awareness to the shades that the industry has been neglecting for so long. In the past few years, African Americans have carved their own path in the makeup industry-- particularly through YouTube. Even though white people dominate the massive group of content creators on this platform including makeup and lifestyle areas black women have made their mark and millions of subscribers have tuned in to their videos. Content creators such as Symphani Soto, Jackie Aina, and Jayla Korian have accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers and have each brought something unique to the platform that separate themselves from the rest. Black female content creators have made an impact in the makeup industry by coming out with their own collaboration products with personally picked colors that work for all skin shades, such as MakeupShayla’s Tarte Contour Palette and Karrueche Tran’s now discontinued KaePop Collection from ColourPop Cosmetics that are popular. They have been recognized by brands, invited to conventions such as BeautyCon and Generation Beauty by ispy cosmetics. They’ve overall gained a fan base and created their own community that is still growing. The impact these creators have on the industry has definitely made girls like me more interested, and feel more included and encouraged to participate in this industry that has made girls like me feel excluded for so long. I hope to continue to see their successes onscreen and off.
Bare Essentials Photography: Chi Fei (Flora) Chen
Stripped backed and simply posed, through the emphasis of form and detail, Bare Essentials seeks to celebrate that of P.O.C which is often appropriated. Fall 2016|Renegade
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Pull a Seat at the Table By: Lena Allen
For Solangeâ€™s third studio album she harmoniously embodies the harshness, pain, and self-created joys of black womanhood. A Seat at the Table signifies the reclaiming of a space for identity to exist and flourish, while spilling all the tea once seated. Solange cements this album in the complex identity as an African American woman. The idea of an unapologetically black female is equivalent to an elusive secret. Only those who believe in it and hear it are aware of its existence. The album is painted with themes of overcoming adversity and plays on mutualities associated with black womanhood. Namely, her track Donâ€™t Touch My Hair seemingly exemplifies angry black girl realness; however, not in the way you would typically expect. The track is a soft and soulful testament to the rejection of eurocentric beauty standards and those who have no right to question the authenticity of black bodies. Her ode to hip hop is apparent in those whom she chose to collaborate with on the album rap/ soul vets like Master P who lends his own story as a southern self- made rapper who grappled early on with remaining an independent artist or selling out to the record labels. She also works with the likes of Q-Tip, Questlove, and Raphael Saadiq as well as new artist like Kwes, Kindness, and Sampha. All in all, the album is as sonically intricate as it is intimate, the table is not only a place from which decisions descend it is also a place for family to share, love to 26 Fall 2016|Renegade
flourish and to feel vulnerable. Her heaven sent harmonies discuss what it is to struggle with how to express oneself and embody pain as an essential feat on the path to successfully becoming an individual. The album reiterates the notion of vocal, cultural and visual aesthetics as an indicator of commonalities experienced amongst most black women making this an album, for us, by us.
The myth of esreveR racism By: Fanta Cherif
Reverse racism is a concept in which discrimination is placed against a dominant racial group. It inevitably misinterprets racial prejudice. Racial prejudice may be directed at white people, however in terms of discrimination, the concept is illogical. Black people can have ignorant thoughts about non-black races, however racism is far more complex than that. The systemic relationship between racism and power structures make it unrealistic. Racism operates on both an individual and institutional level. Reverse racism doesn’t exist because of the hierarchy in which African Americans do not have the power to commit racism without larger institutional support. When someone has lived with white privilege their whole life, even a tiny glimpse of equality will have them feeling oppressed. The reverse racism argument is a way that reveals that some racists and subconscious racists have intrinsically a deep need to constantly deny the idea of having any type of privilege as a way to justify injustices. A person who claims that reverse racism exists is outing themselves as someone who has little to no experience and knowledge on what racism actually is. Racism is based on historical, systemic oppression bigotry and power. White people in America have never been persecuted simply for the color of their skin ever. White people have not been enslaved, colonized, or forced to segregate on the same scale that black people have in American history. They don’t face housing and job discrimination, police brutality, poverty, or mass incarceration on the same scale that black people have. Therefore making their minor experiences on the same leveling field to those of black, brown, and Indigenous people is quite outrageous and insulting. Racism throughout history has been embodied through slavery, colonialism, thefts and violence on systemic proportions. Now imagine this long line of history being compared modern-day hurt White feelings. Reverse racism is based on semantics rather
than facts. The reverse racism card is often pulled by white people when people of color call out racism and discrimination or create spaces for themselves. The exclusion of white people in spaces created for minorities such as BET is a controversial topic that often comes up in the debate. But why is it that a place created for black people to have a conversation amongst themselves, to display appreciation for Black culture has to be centered on white people? A myth associated with reverse racism is that affirmative action takes jobs and scholarships away from white people. This seems to not account for the fact that the need for affirmative action came from a systematic flaw where there have been decades of under representation of people of color in the academic and professional setting. Affirmative action doesn’t favor people of color over whites, what it simply does is ensure that people of color are considered EQUALLY in a system that was never made for us to flourish in. Another myth is that white culture can be appropriated to .The need for black people to conform to Westernized beauty standards is a result of needing to survive in a society where if your hair isn’t “tamed”, it can cost you landing a job. And just as an FYI, black people can naturally have blonde hair and freckles. As soon as you de-center whiteness, it becomes about people being anti-white. Imagine how it feels to be a person of color in a country where you are not valued and protected. We may be all we have sometimes. If every person of color woke up one day and decided to proclaim a hate for white people, it wouldn’t affect a white person’s ability to get a job, get into their dream school, or increase their chances of getting charged with a crime. If reverse racism actually did exist perhaps this world would actually be a better place. It would mean that we would live in a society where all racial groups had an equal amount of power. Fall 2016|Renegade
BLACK Masculinity The individual focus of what a black man can be
All Black men are different, yet they are all given the same stereotypes: tough, dangerous, strong, intimidating, apathetic. They are constantly measured by what society thinks makes them men, instead of what they think makes them themselves. None of the stereotypes that society links to being a black man compliment his talent, unless it is athletic. What about attributes like intelligence, creativity, inventiveness, compassion, courage, and so much more that Black men possess? I spoke with a Black man, Robert, about what it means to be a Black man today: It’s like these unwritten rules of do’s and don’t’s. Anytime you try to express the way you feel about something or what you think about something and you try to talk about it, they [other men] see that shit as being more girly. People just expect you to deal with shit like that on your own. Or at least not talk about that with other men. Like that’s not what men talk about. When it comes to emotion within the man, the social construct of black masculinity does it’s best to stifle it. When a person feels like they cannot talk to another person that they identify with, they are forced to bear their issues on their own or not at all. As a woman from the outside looking in, this stigma of masculinity that is pushed onto the Black man from the moment he is born is extremely detrimental. Where can black men go to grieve? To feel? How can black men and black people as a whole be unified if they cannot even talk to each other about what is really going on inside? So what creates this inability and unwillingness of black men to express their feelings or listen to other men express theirs? In a nature versus nurture battle, nurture definitely wins. All babies cry, but male babies are typically shown less affection when their tears fall. Boys are always told to be “a man” and stop crying. In the case of the black man 28 Fall 2016|Renegade
By: Daisia Glover Photography: Felicia Vasquez
specifically, this tough-love treatment paired with society’s teaching of black men having nothing to offer but physical strength or intimidation, there is no room for black men to let go of their feelings. The only exception to that is anger. In our conversation, Robert also touched on this topic, “I think that anger is the one emotion that black men are allowed to show. They’re allowed to get angry but that anger can never cross over into being sad. And too happy is a little gay.” Here we see a phenomenon that transcends black men, but is also very important in this discussion of black masculinity. Homosexuality in the black community has been a touchy subject for a very long time. A strong tradition of the Church presence in the black community, as well as other cultural ideals, has reinforced being gay, whether male, female, or otherwise, as taboo. That, along with stigmatized gender roles and sexism, aids in the perpetuation of black masculinity. Men that are perceived to be stereotypically feminine (emotional, sensitive, passive, dainty, etc.) are often automatically categorized as gay, even though all gay men do not embody those traits. Since homosexuality is often a negative in the black community, black men, both unconsciously and purposely, perform in a way that will prove they are heterosexual and not feminine. In actuality, one narrative of a black man and how he should show his masculinity cannot truly exist. There is nothing wrong with being sad and emotional, but men under the restraint of typical black masculinity are kept from that realization. Society tells black men that they must behave a certain way so many of them believe and perpetuate that behavior without even knowing about the systems working against them. Those that challenge this idea of what it means to be a black man are, thus, often met with surprise and/or disbelief as if it is impossible for black men to be different from one another. For the sake of mental health, individuality, and happiness, it is imperative that we shake this stereotypical, fixed notion of black masculinity and open it up to more characteristics. Black men can be masculine in their strength, but they can also be masculine in their vulnerability.
BLACKOUT Photography: Erica Jules
Inspired by Campus Black-Outs and October’s Die-In Demonstration, BLACKOUT explores the intersectionalities between personal style and activism. In every which way, SU’s Black community has exemplified a beautiful increase in solidarity. As a collective…yesterday we wore black, today we wore black, and tomorrow we will wear black. 30 Fall 2016|Renegade
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What can we do as a community to stay united? By: Syracuse University Students Photography: Erica Jules
“I believe we should have love and compassion for people who we don’t agree with. We need to remind ourselves that the “other side” is made up of people who love and hurt just like us. The more we look each other as human beings and not as members of a groups we don’t belong to; the easier it will become to try to settle our differences and unity as a community.” - Carole Niyonzima “So often we’re caught up in our own ideas that we fail to see others. I think by listening to each other we can better unite.” - Ibi Lagundoye “The key to staying united is supporting one another! It’s simple. If we are all in for our own self interests what will we really be accomplishing. I’m all for the collabs on campus because it shows that we have respect for one another’s art and ideas. It’s beautiful to see the black community leave the beefin’ bullshit behind to help create something bigger than just us. We might not recognize it but we impact the world. What better way than to start here.” -Amariah DeJesus “As community we can stay united by appreciating ourselves and what we have. If we take time to love ourselves and being grateful for our opportunities then we would understand how important it is to protect that freedom and making sure everyone has it as well.” - Javier Cabral “As a community we have to move with a sense of urgency. Our faith in one other has been tested and we need to support each other now more than ever. We need to listen to each other and stand up for one another. By building stronger bonds in our communities nothing can overpower us. Collective progression is needed at this time and it all starts with us coming together and listening to each other’s problems. From there we can find solutions to our problems that will allow us to progress but as a unit.” - Bruce Miles 34 Fall 2016|Renegade
kcalB By: Cameron Jenkins 36 Fall 2016|Renegade
Black. Lives. Matter.
a movement itself: the New Black. People who fall under this category are those These three words make up a phrase who fall out of line with the structure of that has been chanted across the the movement. Some feel that BLM is not country. It is not simply because all other doing enough to create change, while lives do not matter but more because it others feel as though the movement has has been made evident that in the eyes no direct impact on them. of some law enforcement today, that My personal first encounter with this black lives specifically do not. If you have perspective happened this past summer, been paying attention to recent media during a family outing. Around this time coverage, you should be familiar with protests had become commonplace several names attached to hashtags that in the nation’s capital and on college have come to represent the hundreds of campuses. We all started to discuss the black lives that have been lost to acts recent events and I was caught off of police brutality. These hashtags and guard when one of them referred to this movement represent the lives and BLM as “a joke.” I was offended by her legacies of many whose tragic stories comment and asked her to explain what have been told on our TV screens for the she meant. past few years. Whether you are in support of this Though most would agree that the movement or not, it is important that we BLM movement is greatly supported by all come together to stand up for what the black people whose lives it aims to is right. Especially in light of the current protect, that however, that is not the presidential election, black solidarity is case for some. In the celebrity sphere more important now than ever. We need and in smaller social circles some black to continue to educate each other and people have expressed their discontent to lift each other up. with the movement and its goals. Some of the most recent offenders would include, A$AP Rocky and Lil Wayne. A$AP stated that all lives matter and that he was “I am a young black rich motherf*cka’,” he noted. “If that not there when injustices don’t let you know that America understands Black lives occurred therefore he cannot speak on what matter these days, I don’t know what does.” happened in Ferguson to Mike Brown. Lil Wayne, despite previously being featured on Solange’s new album “A Seat at the Table”, shared his views on the movement claiming that he had no knowledge of it and that it did not affect him. In his “Nightline” interview, Wayne said, “These celebs are not alone. There seems to be a new phenomenon of blacks diminishing the movement. It is seemingly Fall 2016|Renegade 37
Hey Big Head
From All The Girls In Your DM XOXO By: Rebekah Roberts Photography: Chi Fei (Flora) Chen
Fuckboys. We all know what a fuckboy is; we may even know one personally. We’ve received the texts, the Snapchats, and countless DM slides. Then there’s the “Hey, Big Head” or “Wyd” messages at 2am. Some even have the audacity to request nudes. So what separates a fuckboy from the rest? Let’s start with the fact that in most cases, they have absolutely no interest in getting to know you (or the other five girls he’s been texting) before midnight. Add in a touch of misogyny and an overinflated ego, and you’ve got the perfect recipe. In a purely physical context, a fuckboy can quickly be identified by his apparel. “If he’s wearing tan Timbs, khaki pants, or anything from Vineyard Vines, walk the other way,” says junior film major Omari Ashley. However, some students would argue that there’s no singular appearance. According to Brittany Isdith, a junior studying Industrial Design, “It’s on a spectrum between Sperry’s and Timbs.” She said, “he’ll wear designer clothes from head to toe; or he’ll be dressed like a reject from an early 2000s hiphop music video.” Although there are exceptions to the rule, you can generally spot a fuckboy when you see one. Aside from their distinct sense of fashion, a fuckboy can be discerned by their manipulative behavior. The problem isn’t the fact that they have multiple sexual partners (this is 2016 people!), but rather that they avoid commitment, and exploit the individuals they hook up with in the process. “He plays nice and sweet until he gets what he wants, then switches up and goes ghost,” says junior Nina Ali. Any man that blatantly lacks respect for women is a fuckboy. Plain and simple. If he completely ignores a girl after a hook-up, and then goes on to describe as her a “slut” or “whore,” he is a misogynist asshole and a hypocrite. So what do you do if the guy you’re seeing has some or most of these qualities? In all honesty, don’t even waste your time. It’s both tedious and exhausting to go through the motions of dealing with a fuckboy: engaging with one only serves as positive reinforcement to their shitty behavior.
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Sexual Healing By: Nardos Zecarias Photography: Chi Fei (Flora) Chen
One day, I was at work bumping to 90’s R&B music and doing homework, when I suddenly decided I could use a snack to keep me motivated. As I paused my music before removing my headphones, I overheard a piece of my coworker’s conversation that ultimately broke my heart. The reality was that they needed to be tested for HIV, and that was a thought that my mind couldn’t walk away from. In the four to five years that students spend in college, they spend the majority of that time releasing their inner “Dora the Explorer” whether they’re looking for drugs, alcohol, the most suitable study room, or in this case, the coziest bedroom. Studies completed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that young adults in the African American community “tend to become sexually active earlier, engage in sexual activity more frequently, and be less likely to use condoms the first time they have sexual intercourse.” Fair enough, black people want to gain more satisfaction out of the sex scene. However, that comes with certain consequences, some more life changing than others. The truth is, if young adults within any community would like to have sex without condom-use, then they should be allowed to, as long as each person involved is aware of their sexual health status – maybe even consider the first date be a trip to the doctors? Sounds like a turn-off, huh? I suppose there’s an alternative, but it’s one that many people find rather difficult to do: talk about it. To be 200% honest, it is always easier being said, than done. How is one supposed to start that conversation when we are in the heat of the moment? Considering the fact that a large portion of sexual activities on college campuses occur as a result of parties, people may find it even more difficult to discuss sexual health when they’re highly intoxicated and their hormones are pumping. So what shall we do? I propose that we, the black community, should reflect on our sexual pasts, whether it’s been highly active or shamelessly inactive, and move forward with an open mind. Each person has been granted the power to maneuver their body however he/she pleases, and that is a power we often take for granted. Nonetheless, if you’re reading this article, it is NOT too late. In the event that you find yourself in a predicament where something sexual is about to go down, think back to this article. Remember, the beauty of having sex is that the choice to participate is 100% yours. That’s empowering. Talk about it with the people around you and maintain a healthy, sexual life.
The Olympics and Black Representation By: Asia Lance
40 Fall 2016|Renegade
he positive representation of Black people in mainstream media is something hard to come by. This summer during the 2016 Olympics, Black people couldn’t help but feel inspired by the overwhelming presence of Black gold medalists. Gold was won in a variety of sports, from track and field to fencing, swimming, and gymnastics. What’s even more spectacular about the overwhelming amount of gold medals won this summer is that Black women were leading recipients. Black girls around the world became inspired overnight to participate in some of these sports and Olympic dreams began to form. Posts on social media circulated of young girls who wanted to be gymnasts and swimmers. They wanted to grow up and be the next Simone Biles or Simone Manuel. Three of the Final Five were women of color – Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and Laurie Hernandez – this is the first time in US history that the Olympic gymnastic team has had a majority of women of color. Black athletes are also susceptible to much criticism. Gabby Douglas has been ridiculed for her appearance, attitude, and lack of patriotism. Her hair “wasn’t combed” or “too nappy,” she was perceived as having a bad attitude, and was deemed unpatriotic because she didn’t place her hand over her heart during the presentation of the flag. Critics did everything to bring her down and hold her back, yet she still pushed through and won gold with her team. While they were criticizing Douglas they reveled over the talent of Biles, similarly like they did for Douglas during the 2012 Olympics. Black gold medalist from the 2016 Olympics include: Simone Manuel (USA swimming), Simone BIles and Gabby Douglas (USA gymnastics), Daryl D. Homer (USA fencing), Carmelo Anthony (USA basketball, Rafaela Silva (Brazil judo), Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia track and field), Ibtihaj Muhammad (USA fencing), Michelle Carter (USA shot put), Usain Bolt (Jamaica track and field), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica track and field), Kristi Castlin, Brianna Rollins, and Nia Ali (USA track and field), Clareesa Shields (USA boxing), Alyson Felix (USA track and field), and Daliah Muhammad (USA track and field) Fall 2016|Renegade
Colin Kaepernick Takes A Knee By: Asia Lance Illustration: Noahamin Taye
an Francisco 49ersâ€™ quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, in the eyes of some, is viewed as unpatriotic for his refusal to stand during the National Anthem. But, what does it mean to be patriotic? Does it mean standing up for a flag that was created to symbolize a nation in the midst of slavery? Does it mean standing up and supporting a nation that continues to oppress Black lives? Patriotism goes right out the window when people criticize Kaepernickâ€™s 42 Fall 2016|Renegade
peaceful protest, burn his jersey, and refuse Black athletes get criticism often when they to play him. Pundits are actually right to label take political stands, told that they should just him as unpatriotic. Though the definition focus on their sport and shut-up. Kaepernick of patriotism is national pride, as a Black feels like his place as an athlete is a source for person in this country, it’s hard to be a proud voicing the opinions of others who don’t have American when you feel like your people are as much as an impact. The protest would being targeted and oppressed. Kaepernick is not have had the same impact if someone exercising his right to the First Amendment, yet not in Kaepernicks position had sparked the people are being hateful and threatening to flame. However, it should be noted that this his usage of his rights as an American. isn’t the first time a professional athlete has Despite the haters and critics, Kaepernick refused to acknowledge the flag, in 1972, has made an impact. Many other athletes Jackie Robinson wrote in his autobiography, and sports teams have started making their “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I know own variations of kneeling during the Star that I am a Black man in a White world.” In Spangled Banner. Teams have taken a knee 1968, during the Olympics, American runners, while holding fists in the air, laid on their backs Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists with their hands up, and stood while raising the instead of putting their hands over their hearts power fist. Kaepernick’s protest has not only during the National Anthem. Let’s not forget impacted the NFL, but also college and high that this summer everyone was celebrating school athletes, professional soccer players, and admiring Muhammad Ali’s bravery and and bands playing the national anthem. He ‘patriotism’ for his strong stance on race has as many, if not more, supporters than issues and refusal to fighting for a country that people against him. doesn’t stand up to it’s standards. Kaepernick’s message is clear and unwavering. “They [soldiers] fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, “They [soldiers] fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People in vain because this country are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody.” bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody.” Detractors of Kaepernicks When this country was created, they motion aren’t fully listening and understanding claimed freedom and liberty for all, except for the message behind his actions. We live in a when it came to Black people. Black people country that’s suppose to be free, open, and are often stripped of their rights as Americans, accepting to all, but that’s not the case. the rights that this country supposedly stands Black people are being oppressed, Muslims for, so it’s not a shocker that Black people are are being profiled and discriminated against, refusing to stand for something that doesn’t and immigrants are being harassed and include them. People are neglecting the treated as if this country refuses to accept fact that the full version of the Star Spangled them. There are people who refuse to look Banner mentions slavery. It’s almost as if it’s at the facts and continue to defend these okay for black people to peacefully protest, oppressive systems. People will see a young but only when it doesn’t inconvenience child killed by the police and will try to justify White lives – isn’t that interesting. Kaepernick, the officer’s actions instead of mourning the and his supporters, will continue peacefully fact that a grown adult who took an oath to protesting, despite the death threats and protect and serve has done the opposite by hatred they’ll receive for standing up for stealing the life of a young boy and damaging something that matters and is important and his family. People in this country instead idolize they should, so shout out and congratulations a symbol and ignore the reality of what’s to those taking a stand, or rather, a knee. going; they’re refusal to support Kaepernick is a reassurance of that idea. Fall 2016|Renegade
By: Kemet High
44 Fall 2016|Renegade
onald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) has been rather ghost ever since he released his mixtape STN MTN/ Kauai back in 2014. Despite the rumors of his retirement from music, we did hear word that his next project would be executively producing a show dedicated to his hometown, Atlanta, GA. An ode to the black culture and its daily minor to major tribulations, Atlanta premiered on FX in September and has kept us glued to the TV every Tuesday night since. It’s interesting to think how something so real can be so comical and captivating but just like his music, watching Atlanta feels like having a one on one conversation with Donald Glover. Atlanta is about two cousins navigating their way through the rap scene of the city, consciously making an effort to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Rotating behind 4 prominent characters, Donald Glover plays “Earn”, a Princeton dropout turned manager who is trying to get Paper Boi’s career off of the ground. Earn is that character that symbolizes growth. No matter how high things are looking up, there always seems to be some shit happening. Paper Boi is his cousin, played by Brian Tyree Henry. As a hypothetical and growing artist, Paper Boi is constantly struggles between understanding the line of real life and street life. Paper Boi is influential to us because he refuses to accept the system but still attempts to glide through it; this is conquering the black American dream in a way. Paper Boi’s right hand man is a watcher favorite, Darius, played by Keith Stanfeild. Now we all have that “Darius” friend, especially when there is grass in the rotation. Necessary to the healthiness of thinking, viewers click with Darius the most because he represents a lot of things we fail to acknowledge. He doesn’t pick sides or roles, in fact, Darius is easily relatable because overall, he is at peace. And lastly, Earn’s girlfriend is played by Zazie Beetz. As a female you probably snap when she talks and as a male, you’ll probably take a deep breath analyzing the stress that comes in your interactions. These characters together provide the blueprint of an urban family. Casting a full house, the content serves to be just as strong as the characters. Watching
Atlanta is like putting on glasses with a lens that’s only tailored to the black community; if the prescription wasn’t for you, you won’t see. Donald Glover was somehow accurately able to portray an area like Atlanta where you have spontaneous conversations with homeless people on bus, those lemon pepper wings that are more than a food, in fact essential to the soul, that busy ass airport with those navy blue uniforms; probably flying Delta, or even those hot heads who will come and kick the mirror off of your car at the gas station. No situation is far stretched, providing a perfect balance between magical entertainment and realism in our city of Atlanta. It’s almost impossible to speak upon everything the city entails because you don’t know to expect. If you ask anyone from Atlanta, I guarantee they rather show you then tell you; Donald Glover showed us all. Not only did he shine by depicting the rawness of the city, but he also shined in the fact that he created a media that only we would understand, for us and by us. He reenacted things like mental illness, transphobia, cultural appropriation, struggle, brutality, social media, that one friend that made it, etc. that we don’t even expect to watch on TV because it’s so naturally embedded in our everyday lives. It’s hard for me to gain any other critiques because for the first time since the 90’s - early 200s, we have our media back, hitting the soul like a water break at basketball practice. Now lastly, let me touch upon the music. For a show that has no theme song, the music was undeniable the most reflective aspect of the show and our culture. I swear these playlists could not have been curated by somebody who hasn’t spent 10 plus years in the city of Atlanta. Each episode had its own theme song and they all were songs that are essential to not only the ear, but the soul of the south. When we hear “Knuck If You Buck”, “Real Sisters”, or even “Law” outside of the city, our eyes bulge in shock. Every song they used will be heard parading through cars all up and down the east and Southside of Atlanta, GA. And from the songs you might not hear being played now, it’s a fact that your parents played them in the house before y’all started cleaning up on the weekend or Fall 2016|Renegade
on your way home from school, whether that be a CD or Kiss 104 FM. With the musicality of Donald Glover, I’m not surprised how diverse the playlist was but I am surprised at how through sound, we could close our eyes and be 1000 miles away, back home in Atlanta. Like I always say, I have to let the music speak for itself but damn, they show couldn’t be more complete without the perfect soundtrack. With a media that’s constantly shedding a dark light where we attempt to shine, Atlanta changed the color and proved that only us knows how to create a show that’s transcendent to the entire race, much less the city. If you’re from Atlanta, of course you’re a little biased but if not, you will see yourself still in all 30 minutes of an episode. Even outside of Atlanta, we must praise this one for the culture. Iconic.
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Black Perception In The Media The Pro’s & Con’s of Legend of Chamberlain Heights By: Iris M. Crawford
By: Keith Fulcher
There’s a brand new series that airs every Wednesday right after the infamous South park on Comedy Central. The main characters Jamal, Milk and Grover are freshmen at Michael Clarke Duncan High School. They dream of becoming basketball stars but as of now are freshmen still learning the ropes. For 21 minutes, it is pure laughter. The first episode opens up with the cleanest yo-mama joke (a joke that’s probably not been heard since the 6th grade). Throughout each episode, Black English vernacular is sprinkled tastefully. The show keeps with the trending topics of today while giving a hearty dose of old-school humor. For those that have watched the first few episodes, thoughts toward the show can skew either way. It can be viewed as emphasizing stereotypes and exaggerating black inner city culture. But why can’t we at times, just laugh? Especially with some of the issues that we face today, we sometimes just need to laugh at things. At the same time, it offers a sense of raw honesty about a certain kind of blackness. It also always stretches for some kind of heart-warming sentiment. The aim of the show is not to discredit social consciousness but instead explore a raw honesty through humor about the many personalities of blackness.
The Legends of Chamberlain Heights bring into question who has or does not have access to being “woke”. In the heat of issues going on, should every show that highlights the notion of blackness be obligated to fight against oppression. Should every show, once getting across its own agenda (even those on comedy central) seek to teach about overt racism and microaggressions? This show has a character for every kind person in the black community and lays it all out there in the open. It does not push an ideal on you that some shows try so hard to believe. What really more could you ask for after a long day?
More Than Money & Hoes
By: Iris M. Crawford Photography: Aaliyah Lambe
Rappers Who Give Back To Their Community
48 Fall 2016|Renegade
The image of rap has created a certain perception about the depths of “black life”. Rap as a voice allowed the black community to show the outside world some of its harshest realities while shaking up the rulings of the music industry. For some, rap is not just music but instead a culture. It has influenced the community in such a ways because it is rooted in delivering a message. After these artists finish giving you their genius and heart in their music, they are busy putting their hearts elsewhere. And that is in their communities and outreach beyond. For Waka Flacka, his outreach includes the creation of a kickstarter campaign named Waka Waka Base that funds the product Waka Wake. It is the world’s first portable charger and ultra solar flashlight. It provides over 150 hours of life from a full charge and is hoped to be of particular value in places of the world where such precious amenities are scarce. This product’s sustainability and value should be receiving mainstream attention. Kendrick Lamar received a Generational Icon Award from the California State Senate. He has continually supported programs and charities aimed specifically at keeping youth in his hometown of Compton off the streets. Chance the Rapper, similar to Waka Flocka went into pioneering a smart innovation as well. He started a collaboration Plan with a non-profit to create ENPWR coats. One coat can be converted into a sleeping bag, backpack and winter coat. This project is specifically for the homeless in his hometown of Chicago. This project has created jobs for the homeless and has helped to decrease the amount of weather related deaths by 20% this past winter. Lastly, we have Ludacris who created his foundation Ludacares to inspire lives through memorable experiences. The foundation’s 3 keys areas of focus are Community Outreach, healthy living and education. For these men, being shown a different light makes the impact of their music that much more meaningful. It also helps to shed light on the fact that Bradgelina are not the only ones using their wealth to help save the world. Their community outreach especially reminds their listeners that outside of the facade of celebrity life, they are aware and being active in changing some of the very real issues affecting the world. In addition, despite our hectic lives, we should be doing even the small things that we can to incite positivity and thoughtfulness towards others. They remind their listeners (especially those who live their music’s truth), that their are more ways than one to get out of that tough never-ending cycle. WIth their community work, they also remind us all that it starts with you.
submission from NuRho Poet Society HURRICANE Our love was strength & our passion was the hurricane. Our hearts were the church & God brought us back to life. Welcome to the rebirth. Of time & space merging consciousness Into a new beginning Of the queens quest to loving herself. For the traveler turned to two roads Similar in taste but different in healing Prowess flowing ever so calmly Into the age of elements The elements of earth since & fire Lotus flowers tattooed on my side Reminders of every kiss Iâ€™ve felt burning And destruction as making love. I never thought I was weak. Never thought I was worthy either. When the sky fell I called the wind. And when he fell I stood for him. But I guess thatâ€™s what you get When the light runs the east And temptation hides behind closed doors Waiting for you to fall & pray for your own demise. Amen.
by: Kelsey May
My biggest W of 2016 was landing an internship with the Atlantis Project in Athens, Greece. - Fanta Cherif
My biggest W of 2016 is graduating a semester early - Kennedy La Nier My biggest W of 2016 was getting accepted for the Hong Kong study abroad program. - Nardos Zecarias
My biggest w of 2016 was landing a temporary job at Smithsonian right after college before senior year began - Taylor Hicks
My biggest W of 2016 was being able to go on Safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa - Iris M. Crawford
My biggest W of 2016 was not letting all the L’s I’ve encountered stop me from pushing harder towards my goals. - Asia Lance
Renegade’s 50 Fall 2016|Renegade
My biggest W of 2016 was being chosen as the lead intern to help run a show in fashion week and a job offere there after college. - Alanne Stroy
My biggest W of 2016 was flying to Atlanta and meeting my cousins for the first time, and also getting accepted to go study abroad next semester! - Carole Niyonzima My biggest W of 2016 was being offered an assistant designer position after I graduate at Express - Amaya Hunt
My biggest W of 2016 was finally being able to go abroad and visit five countries in South America. -Daisia Glover My biggest W of 2016 is driving from Chicago to Los Angeles - a city I had never been too - by myself to relocate for a summer internship which was super empowering -Analise Sesay
My biggest W of 2016 was getting into Syracuse University over the spring. - Maya Hartwell
Biggest W of 2016