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THE TEAM

contents

Editor in Chief: Jewél Jackson

I Am

8 - 9

Creative Director: Annie Blay

What is a Female?

10 - 11

Stop Saying This Shit Glossary

12 - 13

The Rage Playlist

14 - 15

Learn My Name, Say My Name

16 - 19

systems of Colorism

24 - 25

Dear Breonna

26 - 27

A Memorial to Our Sisters

28 - 29

The Allyship Problem

30 - 31

it Is What It Is

36 - 37

When Abusers are Respectable People

38 - 39

R.A.G.E

40 - 43

Acknowledgements

44 - 45

Executive Editor: Haniyah Philogene Senior Editors: Ashley Blanco, Nhari Djan, Jasmin Gill PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR: TORIAN LOVE PHOTO EDITOR: Destiney Sandle executive Magazine Designer: Tanvi Reddy Assistant Magazine Designers: Payton Campbell & Bailey Kretschmer Social Media Coordinators: Adia Gist & Djeneba Kouyate

Writers: Marnie Muñoz, ALEXANDRIA W., Ifetayo Dudley, Adia Gist, Ashley Blanco, Nhari Djan, Jasmin Gill, Jewél Jackson


letter from creative director

letter from editor in chief

To the Femme Noire Family,

To the Femme Noire Family,

There has been no shortage of things to be angry about this year. Black women especially have had a lot to be mad about. When we decided to make this issue the rage issue we had no idea the extent of police brutality, political unrest and social injustice that was soon to take place. But here we are, with still so much to be mad about, and that’s okay.

Last year when we decided on the concept of a “Rage” issue, we were upset about Syracuse University’s response to #NotAgainSU. We were upset that our fellow peers were sleeping on cold and hard floors in order to have their voices heard. We were upset that our livelihood was not treated with the same respect and safety as our white peers. We were upset. And while the protests were one part of our anger, we still had a lot to be angry about in our individual lives.

Black women often aren’t allowed to express anger without being labeled as aggressive and problematic, but the truth is in a society that continuously deals us the worse cards and expects us to save the game, we have a right to be mad. For some women rage is red, hot and explosive, for others it’s quiet and pensive. Some women need to be alone when they’re angry, other’s misery loves company and their rage is best expressed with other women who understand where they’re coming from.

Then COVID-19 came and our reality quickly changed. And in the midst of a pandemic, we clocked into our social media accounts and saw that our brothers and sisters were being murdered, again, by police all across the nation. We were angry.

In thinking about the visuals of this issue we wanted to evoke a feeling of familiarity and solidarity in the feelings of rage and anger. We want you to see the images and graphics and feel seen and justified in your anger, however it presents itself. However you get mad, we see you. We have a lot to be mad about. With Love,

Annie

But the thing with anger and women of color is that we are not allowed to express it. We are taught to hold it in because we do not want to make others uncomfortable. That our emotions are too overwhelming. That essentially our emotions are dangerous, a joke, an over exaggeration, and not real. But yet, Black women and women of color are the ones to listen to you and comfort you in times of need. We are present for you even though you are not always present for us. We are nurturing, forgiving, and loving even in times when the world continuously puts us down. But that changes with this magazine. This magazine isn’t just about the hot red rage that is racing through us. It’s about all of our emotions that we have quickly learned to abandon. This is us in an unapologetic form. To the previous editor in chief and our co-founders, thank you for trusting me with a magazine that I have loved since my freshman year. I am honored to bring your vision, our vision, and the vision of so many women to life. To the women who are reading this magazine, I hope you can see yourself in these pages. I hope you can release what has been built up inside you. This is for you, this is for us, and you are not alone. With much love and thanks,

Jewel M. Jackson


Ramatou Y.

Ramatou Y.


I am Ifetayo D udley I am a Black women I am the roots of a tree I am the current that sweeps you along the waves I am the gravity that holds you from drifting away I am the bitter taste of your first sip of whiskey I am the beaming light that shines through your slightly opened curtains I am a BLACK WOMAN

I am BITTER I am SWEET AND FEARLESS Yes, I am a BLACK WOMAN With skin so tough, that the whips from their ancestors could not Break our backs I am the same skin of our ancestors that we are still PROUD to SHOUT and CLAIM I AM A BLACK WOMAN I AM A QUEEN

With sweet honeysuckle skin that gleams ever so bright That will never dim I am what they hate, but admire so much That it pains them to see us for what we are… Yet again I reign because I am a BLACK WOMAN

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9


What is a Female? Alexandria W.

These tweets usually come from men, but this isn’t always the case. Women are guilty of using the word in this connotation too, often the result of internalized misogyny, or subconscious sexism against women. They may not even realize they are disrespecting themselves as well. When used properly, the word is an adjective primarily meant to describe an animal’s sex. However, it’s increasingly common usage as a noun has a dehumanizing, negative connotation that puts many women on edge (even when they can’t articulate why), and rightfully so. Female is now a safer and politer way of saying b*tch, and while it may not evoke as great of a negative reaction as its explicitly profane synonym, it’s disrespectful, nonetheless. The term “female” is extremely weird and aggressive. No one calls men “males” unironically. When used as a noun, “female” is often meant to be derogatory, and disrespectful, just like calling a woman a dog. You’re bound to find several tweets on Twitter where “female” could be substituted for b*tch and not change its meaning. “I hate when females have an attitude for no reason all the time.” “I hate a sneaky female.” “Females hate for no reason.”

Whenever I hear the word female, my shoulders automatically tense. When I see the word while I’m scrolling on Twitter, I roll my eyes and let out a sigh. Then, I’ll look through the replies and see if anyone else was irritated by the tweet like I was. Tweets like these will earn you an unfollow from me, nine times out of ten.

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Regardless of who uses the word, the connotation is generally disrespectful and implies a certain contempt. If you respected the person you were referring to, you would describe them as a woman, not a female. For those that still might not understand, I’ll ask you this: Would you call your mother, grandmother, or sister a female? No, because even if you can’t empathize enough to understand why it’s disrespectful, you still know it’s weird. Stop referring to women as females.

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all of it...immediately

STOP SAYING THIS SH*T We are tired. Here is a glossary of terms to remove from your vocabulary ASAP.

We do NOT want to hear.... 12

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ot “She g

“It is not that serious” “Yall make eve rything into a situation/proble m”

hair” d o o g

s er mine nd und a m is r to textu ent. It Plays in l hair movem h a thing as a ur suc ose the nat there is t a h t hair is lo s e d t o a o u g t in ins that is d tha ything air” an “bad h bad hair is an ailey W H d curls an e curl or coil s o not a lo

A Black woman ’s rage is built up of anger, disappoi ntments, and ot her emotions. Whe n even a little bi t of emotion is show n, it becomes a problem. Yet w e digest everyo ne else’s emotions. - Ram atou Y

“Your dad’s from Mexico? So are you illegal?. ... Just kidding

Most immigrants are not illegal ... and even if they are illegal, they are still humans and it is disrespectful and extremely invasive to ask som eone if they are illegal. - Sofia Gutierrez

“Calm Down”

“Townie”

A local Syra cuse residen t who is looked at in a negative li g ht as if they aren’t a part of th e Syracuse community as well. - Nicole G raine

e meaning A widely used verb phras ething less som “to make someone or invalidate to d agitated” but also is use nnock Re e Zo someone’s feelings. -

“Wow! Your hair is natural?!”

tch” * b a e lik ity “Actingtes the toxic mahscicuhlinleads

There is a common perception that all Black girls “buy” their hai r. The fact that people congratulate us for wearing our natural hair is ann oying. Oh thanks Karen, is your hai r natural too?! - Katie

stra dy w Demon y men embo lack of n d a that m nal issues an an let’s not m io t u o h m a e to u’re o .Y n io s expres that. t e rdson g r fo Richa e n i - Jazm

“Exotic”

“THAT BOY SUS

It is suggesting that a male-pres enting person is gay or homosexual. St op saying that! It’s homophobic af and is used to confine masculinity. -A sh

rd if you The N-wo ack aren’t bl

if you not your word The n word is inger G ple as that. not black! Sim

t was used One of the first words tha d to the ive arr I to describe me when ently qu fre s wa Syracuse campus. It “doesn’t me na t las a en thrown around wh color and hair is sound white,” when skin ed, and when anything but WASP-affiliat friends, peers seemingly well-meaning pliment you com to and professors want m. roo e for being in the sam - Mar nie Muñoz

“Sis” ( bu people t when wh ite say it) Referr ing

in AAV to people a sS E BIPOC but also gen is is commo n erally a -- it’s w m say it. Sound eird when wh ongst s like t mockin hey’re ite people g us. copyin N g/


Smack A Bitch

SULA (Hardcover)

Don’t Hurt Yourself

seasonal depression

Rico Nasty

Beyoncé ft. Jack White

Triggered (freestyle)

Song 33

Switch’d Up

Noname

12 Problems

Jhené Aiko

Tink

Zoom

Rapsody

Leikeli47

BALENCIES

Friendly

So Gone

StickUp!

Set It Up

IKYK

CHIKA

Monica

City Girls

Kari Faux

Kamaiyah, Trina

Tia Corine

Warning Shot

Go Gina

Reminders

I’m Not OK

Bust Your Windows

By Any Means

Breaking Point

Open Up

Hood Brat

Mariah the Scientist

Jazmine Sullivan

Keri Hilson

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Chynna

Weak Flo Milli

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Jamila Woods

SZA

H.E.R

Jorja Smith

UMI

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Learn My Name, Say My Name Adia Gist

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had people mispronounce my name or I’ve had to correct them multiple times until they eventually got it. When I was younger I actually hated my name for the fact that no one could pronounce it. I thought if I had a simpler or more “normal” name, that my life would be easier. Sometimes it got to the point where I didn’t feel comfortable correcting people on how to properly pronounce my name because it was awkward and uncomfortable. Over time I’ve gained more confidence in correcting people,

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but it’s still uncomfortable. When I was in middle school I had a mentor and when we met I introduced myself with the correct pronunciation of my name, but for some reason she kept mispronouncing it. After correcting her a few times she still didn’t get it and it got to a point where I just felt too uncomfortable to correct her again because too much time had passed. Everyime she would mispronounce my name I internally cringed and went along with it because I didn’t want to go through the awkward conversation of, “oh you should have just corrected me,” — but I did, you just didn’t catch on. I have dozens of stories to tell regarding my name and its mispronunciation, but along with that, I also have met people who express how much they love my name. Now that I am older, I definitely have more confidence in myself, my name, and being able to speak up for myself.

So when you put it all together my name essentially means “I am a gift from God who was born on a Thursday” My first name is Adia (uh-deeuh) which means “gift from God” in Swahili. My middle name, Aba (ah-buh), means “born on a Thursday” (and yes, I was born on a Thursday) in Swahili. So when you put it all together my name essentially means “I am a gift from God who was born on a Thursday”. About two years ago I got a new hairstylist and we so happened to have the same exact name — pronunciation and all. When we were talking she helped me to take pride in my name. She made me realize that your name is who you are, it is your whole identity. My name and its meaning has power that no one can ever take that away from me.

tells us a lot about Black culture. Our name spelling changes and unique names helps to create a cultural bond because of the many things we have lost throughthe slave trade. But even in our efforts to create our own, we are still being teared down for it. For the girls out there who have a unique name, please don’t be afraid to speak up! Your name is a part of your identity and the identity of those who come before you. It deserves to be said and heard correctly. Yes, at times it’s going to be uncomfortable but over time I promise that you will become more comfortable expressing how you feel. Please take pride in you.

Within the Black community, the names of Black men and women in our community have a deeper significance than we think. When our ancestors were slaves, we were given “normal” names by the slave owners; these names were usually biblical names such Isaiah. Over time, Black people began to reclaim their culture by revolting and misspelling, which

I decided to get some insight from other Black women within the Syracuse University community who have also struggled with having a unique name.

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Name: Valkyrie (val-KUH-re) Meaning: German (old norse): “chooser of slain” In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie is one of a host of female figures who choose which warriors will win or die in battle

realize I mean business and I really won’t respond if my name wasn’t said correctly even if I am paying attention.

What has been your experience with people mispronouncing your name? Have you found it easier to correct people over time or is it still uncomfortable? (If it ever has been uncomfortable)

How would you like people to go about learning to pronounce your name?

When I was younger people mispronounced my name all the time. The most common mistake was “Val - Kyrie,” saying it as two separate names instead of one cohesive name. Sometimes people don’t even bother to say my name. For example, if a substitute teacher was reading my name off in attendance they would just say, “last name hardy.” Literally not even an attempt is made! Sometimes people would say my name has too many syllables — it only has three. So to make up, they would ask to call me Val. Up until high school I would always put up a fight. Whenever someone would say, “can I call you ...(whatever their hearts desired) instead”, I always replied, “you can but I won’t respond.” I’m so envious of my younger self because she was so cut throat. Eventually they’d

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As of right now, I don’t put up much of a fight when people mispronounce my name. I’ve honestly just got lazy. Most people I know and interact with on a daily basis know how to pronounce my name or they just call me Val or Valk. However, if someone calls me Valerie, I’ll definitely check them. That’s one mispronunciation I won’t allow because that’s not even my name, that’s a completely different name. I pay attention to who calls me Val, Valk, or Valkyrie, and the situations that they choose to call me those names in. However, I always find it interesting when a person who typically calls me Valkyrie switches over to calling me Val or Valk. I don’t know if they know I realize, but I do. But secret confession; I love hearing my full name and I wish everyone said it, it’s a pretty name. I don’t get why people always want to shorten it because it’s really not that long.

Name: Djeneba Kouyate (Jen-uh-buh) [the D is silent] and her last name is (Cooyah-tae) Although her name doesn’t have a direct meaning, it comes from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and the name of one of his daughters which was Djeneba. What has your experience been with people mispronouncing your name?

For people who don’t have this problem with their name, understand some tips/things to do when you come in contact with a name that is unique. The first thing is, if you cannot pronounce someone’s name off bat, please ask them how they pronounce it. I promise its okay to ask first. We would rather you ask the first time than pronounce it wrong and for you to think you got it right. Second, if someone corrects you on their name, don’t make it a big deal, just make sure not to make the same mistake again. Third and lastly, be conscious that just because someone’s name might not be common to you, it is still someone’s name. Make a conscious effort to get it right because we notice when you’re actually trying versus when you truly don’t care.

My experience with people mispronouncing my name has started since kindergarten. I’m used to people mispronouncing my name but I always correct them. But some people, no matter how many times I have corrected them, still mispronounce it. Also in public places like restaurants where they take your name, I will change my name just so I don’t have to deal with them saying it wrong. In Starbucks for example, I don’t use my actual name when they ask for my name, instead I use names like Genesis or Jen for short. For my girls out there with unique names, I just want to remind you How would you like people that you’re beautiful, your name to go about learning how to is beautiful and don’t let anyone pronounce your name? else tell you otherwise! I just would like people to simply ask how to say it or say, “I’m sorry I might mess up your name”, and proceed to ask how it’s pronounced. That to me shows that they care enough to at least ask.

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Left to right: Eden Tefera, Hawa Soumounou, Nicole Miller Makeup: Paige Adebeo & Sandy Ynhu Cao

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Systems of Colorism Marnie Muñoz There are many ways to feel lonely in a crowd. Women of color know this, myself included. At primarily white institutions like Syracuse University, and in most spaces besides our own communities, we are often visibly alone. Combined with colorism and other arbitrary cultural and colonial boundaries that constantly erase the other women of color alongside us, isolation can consume a person until they feel as if they don’t belong. I felt the same way when I first arrived on campus. Wrapped up in false, preconceived notions of what the average Latino person is ‘supposed to look like,’ the feeling followed me as a minority body on a predominantly white campus. Looking back now, I realize that I never needed to. Colorism, as defined by MerriamWebster, is prejudice within racial or ethnic groups that favors lighter skin community members over darkerskinned ones. More broadly, colorism among communities of color, is a futile struggle for whiteness and its privileges, the pursuit of eurocentric beauty standards. But when colorism among Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, and other communities of color turn us against ourselves, we do more harm than good. Shivani Reddy, a junior newspaper and online journalism major and Indian international student, first experienced

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colorism as she watched advertisements for fairness products that indirectly promised beauty, success, and light skin to dark-skinned women like herself. The best Bollywood stars and public celebrities were fair skinned, so Reddy began to wonder why she shouldn’t aspire to the same. As a child, Reddy’s mother occasionally urged her to bleach her skin at beauty salons — a common practice in India — but Reddy said she never wanted to. “Even then I knew it was wrong and I knew that I did not want to get my skin bleached. I didn’t want to change my face to a different color,” she said. “It’s just a thing you do to be fairer. That’s what angers me: just how normalized everything is.” Andrea Sanchez, a sophomore policy studies major and first generation Mexican-American woman, says colorism is an attack on your own people. Sanchez, who grew up in the Bronx, N.Y. among many other Latino families, said her journey of coming to terms with her identity as a woman of color was at times confusing because of the binary ‘Black and white’ way America conceptualizes race. The abrupt transition to a wealthier, whiter environment like SU from her life in New York City later escalated Sanchez’s struggle with her identity.

“Even within your own communities, you’re still catering to that white standard of beauty of trying to be lighter and having straight hair and the blue eyes,” she said. East Asian communities also often emphasize the desirability of white features, leading some Asian women to try double eyelid surgeries, extreme weight loss diets, and dyeing their hair lighter shades, said Katie Itoh, a Japanese sophomore international relations and broadcast digital journalism major. Growing up very light skinned in a community with many other people of color, Itoh didn’t have many issues with her perception of herself as a woman of color. Still, she noticed certain patterns of discrimination at SU when she first arrived. Despite her frustration, Itoh said she was proud of her identity, no matter the negative stereotypes other people might attach to it. Within the Black community, discrimination against darker-skinned women is often disguised as a romantic preference, said Mykenna Maniece, a Black woman and sophomore magazine news and digital journalism and international relations major. Media representation for Black women especially demonstrates prejudice against dark-skinned women. Eronmwon Osagie, a senior television, radio and film major, said it took time for her to feel beautiful and seen as a dark-skinned Black woman in different non-Black spaces throughout her life.

Osagie, who grew up in New York City, began to see how difficult it is to be different at her predominantly Latino elementary school, where classmates and teachers struggled to pronounce her name. “During that time I started to be invisible,” she said. “Like, little details like that didn’t matter to me because I didn’t feel like I was worth the correction.” Osagie later transferred to an all-Black school, where she felt more seen, she said. But in many ways, arriving at SU, where she noticed some students negatively referring to dark-skinned Black girls as ‘too loud’ among other negative stereotypes, resurfaced old feelings of isolation. Colorism plays out differently in other communities of color than among Native Americans, said Angelina Shenandoah, a member of the Oneida Nation and sophomore photography major. Shenandoah used to be insecure about not looking “Native enough to be Native,” but now recognizes that Native Americans can have different, unique features. Colorism does more than just divide women of color. It breaks us and our communities down until we are just images of everything that whiteness stands against. But our faces, stories, and skin are physical reminders that our communities can survive and thrive despite it all. Beyond the harms and rage that come from colorism, our very existence is a testament to our strength as women of color.

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Dear Breonna I’ve been replaying in my head, what

to say in this letter. I’ve been at a loss and am still confused on how to put my emotions into words. Do I start by saying that my anger wants me to see my hometown, Louisville, burn in flames and be burned to ashes so that maybe we can restart all that we’ve done wrong? That for a while, I was embarrassed to say I am from Louisville, Kentucky, a city that fills my heart with unexplainable joy and has helped raise me alongside my mother. Or do I say, that I constantly think about your family, your mother, your boyfriend and how their faces appear on TV screens as they try to grieve but also demand justice in your name. That I was embarrassed to be a journalist because I knew how your name was being used for clickbait, views, and merchandise. Or do I do what I’ve been doing, and say that I’m sorry, because I know that we have failed you. That no matter what deal is being constituted in a court room, justice will truly not be brought. It’s

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hard to put the entirety of my emotions into one letter but let this serve as a start.

“Deaths and names of our Black brothers and sisters have received minimal attention in hopes that they will be glanced at and forgotten.” Let’s start with June 5th, our birthdays. You turned 27 and I turned 21. Happy belated birthday Breonna. Louisville looked beautiful in your honor. Blue and white balloons were released, the grills were brought out to the parks, and people celebrated your life from sunrise to sunset. That day we celebrated you and forgot the ugliness of the world and of the city. We remembered you for your smile, for your ability to give back as an EMT worker, and your overall existence as a human being, a daughter, a lover, and a Black woman. You have brought the city of Louisville, cities all over the nation, and parts of the world together in

ways that I have never seen before. For years Louisville has been hurting. Deaths and names of our Black brothers and sisters have received minimal attention in hopes that they will be glanced at and forgotten. They have pointed the fingers at us and have labeled the West End as a crime driven part of town that cannot redeem itself. As if, the crime and poverty that exists within the city is not a direct consequence of their policies to displace and not care about our wellbeing. But we haven’t forgotten, the families haven’t forgotten and your presence was the boiling point to show that. You have been a unifying symbol for all of us. You have reminded us of the inherent will we have to survive and to take care of our own. Your presence and our collective presence has instilled fear into their hearts and have shown them that we will not be satisfied with the bare minimum that is used to shut us up. That we will demand and have better for ourselves. Your presence has been a symbol for all the families who have lost theirs and can grieve alongside yours.

“I am sorry that in the name of “justice” they have tarnished your name because you are Black and a woman.” You have reignited the heartbeat of Louisville and of our Black brothers and sisters. I have seen children, teenagers, and young adults recognize the power in their voice because of you. You have reminded us that we are not alone in our experiences or in our emotions.

However let me say this again, I am sorry Breonna. I am sorry that justice has not reigned in your name, in the names of all those who have come before you, in the name of all the women who have been killed by those who are sworn to protect us. I am sorry that your name and your images have been used to fuel the paychecks of those who do not care about your story. I am sorry that you have become another statistic among us Black women. I am sorry that your family has not been given the time, privacy, and peace to mourn you. I am sorry that in the name of “justice” they have tarnished your name because you are Black and a woman. I am sorry that this is the narrative that many will remember. And while there is much ugly intertwined into this story, I am choosing to not remember you by that. While it is a shame that again a Black woman is killed and used as a reminder of the injustices we walk with daily, it is nothing new. We know this and we are angry. We see ourselves in you and are reminded every time your name is spoken across someone’s lips. We know this reality because it is our reality. I choose to remember you as Breonna Taylor, a 27-year-old woman from Michigan who has the world in her hands and so much to explore. Explore and enjoy the paradise that you reign in. We’ll continue the fight here.

From Your Fellow Sister(s) With Love, Jewél Jackson

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REST IN POWER

We will NEVER forget you.


The Allyship Problem Adia Gist Gist & & Marnie Marnie Muñoz Muñoz Adia So your white friends, or acquaintances, text you after another Black Lives Matter protest. They say that they want to “check up on you” and that they’re just as angry as you are. But you have a feeling that this is all for show, for them to feel better, and not because they actually care how you feel. The fight for justice for Black people in America is not new news. But during a pandemic and stay at home orders, the Black Lives Matter movement gained the attention of the world and became something that people could no longer ignore. After the death of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, Black communities and its allies began to protest in cities all across the nation and world. But with all of the protests occurring, something that was equally noticed was performative allyship. So what does it mean to act performatively? Performative activism is vocally supporting a cause when it’s convenient for you, but failing to publicly and privately uphold that same support when it’s needed in real time. Genuine allies defend the truth and protect the people that truth is stolen from — no matter the social, political, or personal costs that follow. But performative allyship happens when a person, brand, or institution publicly claims and benefits from the title of allyship, but fails to take the necessary steps to help contribute to an inclusive solution. Performative allyship happens when America chews up the names and faces of women of color without hesitation and spits us back out for public view until the next tragedyinduced news cycle. Performative allyship happens when ubiquitous billboards and social media posts preach about justice for women of color through hashtags like, #BreonnaTaylor and #VanessaGuillen, but fails to fully include us in the conversation. Performative allyship is when you post a black square on your Instagram page for Blackout Tuesday, but have never spoken up about the injustices that Black people face, before or after creating the post. There are different levels to performative allyship, but it is all very telling on whether it is genuine or not. We are at a point where we would rather you not say anything at all than pretend to be a part of a cause. On one side of the spectrum, the online spaces we engage in often serve as platforms to elevate our own voices. In 2018, 53% of Americans said they used social media as a way to be civically active in issues they were interested in, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center study.

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In the wake of George Floyd’s death, many social media users chose to show support through their Instagram accounts in early June. Public support for the movement rose by 11 points in just 2 weeks as nationwide protests against racism and police brutality continued as stated by the New York Times article, “How Black Lives Matter Has Moved on Black Lives Matter.” During the height of the movement when brands were beginning to show support via social media, Jackie Aina, a popular Black YouTuber, severed ties with brands who failed to genuinely support the movement and even used her platform to call out fast fashions brands like Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Thing. It wasn’t until after she called them out, that they decided to publicly make a post and speak out on the issues occurring. But yet, these are brands that capitalize off of Black beauty, fashion, and culture. And even on our own campus with over 33 racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic incidents in the past year, as reported by The Daily Orange, many student protesters pointed out that the university’s response to #NotAgainSU and their demands were performative as well. Time and time again, we have seen how the SU administration claims that they want to see change within the community, but have yet to provide substantial or efficient changes. Once the protests moved to Course-Hinds, the SU administration tried to portray a different story than what was actually occurring through their social media platforms. Most notably, leaving out the fact that they were starving students and not providing needed aid. If the SU administration truly cared about its students they wouldn’t have lied about what was happening and wouldn’t rely on the efforts from the NY state attorney to investigate and ultimately solve the issue for them. At the heart of conversations about equality, allyship is not a comprehensive solution. Allyship will never be a silver bullet that guarantees moral character and simultaneously mends the physical and emotional wounds that systemic racism inflicts on women of color and our communities. Ultimately, true allyship has nothing to do with the people who claim it, but has everything to do with the people and communities who need it most. The most effective, dependable allies never use spaces meant to uplift the stories of those who are never heard for their own personal gain. Performative activism doesn’t do any good to our community. If anything, it makes our fight and efforts go unnoticed. So the next time you send that check up text, please know we already know if your intentions are genuine or not. that “friend”

heyy, just saw the blm protest stuff, just wanted to check in

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Pictured above: Ashley Lambert

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It is what it is... Ifetayo Dudley

I don’t know when it became a norm to mask our problems, hide the tears, cover the scars and swallow the lies. We’ve become so blind, making justifications for unfair treatment, masking our problems and troubles with, “it is, what it is.” At what age, did it become OK to hide our truth and pain? As Black women, it’s like we have to always keep the ball rolling, when problems enter our lives, we have to roll with the punches regardless of how we truly feel. We begin to take on your own personal issues behind closed doors, not wanting to worry or bother others with problems going in our own lives. Women for centuries have received the short end of the stick, because men believe they are naturally more powerful, stronger and smarter than women. They

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think they deserve more pay, more rights, that they can make better decisions than a woman. They think they can make better decisions for a woman, trying to control our bodies as if those bodies belong to them. We know about the unequal treatment of women. Now add being Black, African American, AfroLatina, a minority woman; we take on that and more. We constantly take less than what we deserve, waiting for our turn both figuratively and physically – better wages, employment, opportunities and spaces that we hope to eventually accept. Black parents, teachers, mentors — leaders in Black communities — teach that discrimination, unfair treatment, stereotypes projected at us and overall racism are wrong but also an inevitable part of life. We hear, “go put on some clothes,” when an uncle, brother or any male figure is around. We hear, “boys will be boys,” not that boys should know right from wrong. Some of us have heard, “well, what did you expect dressed like that?” But dressed like what? Who makes these rules and decides what’s appropriate and what isn’t? Why can’t I wear my fitted jeans, my cropped shirt? A piece of clothing should not mean that a woman is subject to harassment, unsolicited treatment, discrimination, pedophilia or rape. Black girls are experiencing life at a faster pace. We’re having to grow up faster while our nonblack peers enjoy a childhood. Our bodies are sexualized and criticized from a young age and we’re seen as delinquents. We learn that our societal status is not OK, but that’s how things are. It is what it is. Many of our mothers were raised in a manner that accepted mistreatment, disrespect, physical violations and inequality in all dynamics of life, passed down from generation to generation because we have to be “strong”. But why do we have to always be strong, or have thick skin? Why can’t I be emotional, express my concerns, wants and needs? The idea that we can’t take time to ourselves and enjoy leisurely activities, mental breaks or have alone time has placed a weight on us. Black women: You are loved, cared for, and you will always bounce back, come back stronger and more forceful. But we also must take time to sit with our pain. Self-care isn’t just the candle-lit baths, lavender body lotions, sage, or spa days, they are also the ugly days. The days we don’t want to get out of bed, the times where we spend a few days in baggy sweatpants, hair tied up with a scarf, binge watching our favorite shows, eating ice cream and chips, taking long showers while listening to music and pouring our emotions out. The emotions which we may not want to show the world right now, but at least acknowledge it for ourselves. Our power is not in our ability to be numb, but in our ability to care, feel and be in the moment.

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What Happens Happens What When Abusers Abusers Are Are When “Respectable” “Respectable” People? People? Nhari DJAN DJan NHARI ***Trigger warning: piece deals with violence and sexual violence*** We hold a lot of respect for abusers. Abusers are in respectable positions and do respectable work. The most widely known example of this I can think of is the #MeToo movement. Celebrities are put on pedestals because of their fame and notoriety, their accomplishments and awards, and we think they are inherently harmless because of that. At Syracuse, we have campus celebrities too. Those who hold an E-board position in multiple organizations, those who are considered activists and advocates for students. These people are only magnified in the smaller, underrepresented communities at this university. And we are surprised when we learn they can be harmful too. I’m coming at this from an abolitionist standpoint when I say that the binary of good and evil human beings is reductive and unproductive when we are talking about abuse. We are all capable of hurting others, and if we want to hurt someone, our life experiences have taught us exactly how to do it. If I look intrinsically, I am not the “best” nor the “worst” person that I know. I am much too complex for that, and so are you. Families are supposed to be filled with the good people, but the term “domestic violence” exists. Sexual assault perpetrators are supposed to be villainous strangers on the street, but the reality is that they are mainly acquaintances and significant others. The vast majority of people that experience sexual assault are already familiar with the person that did it.

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The people we call abusers are usually liked and loved by others. They probably have a network of people who are willing to vouch for how good of a person they are. They may have fans and followers. They can be someone’s hero. When @speakoutsu provided a platform this summer for survivors to out the people that sexually assaulted them, I was not struck by the amount of male campus leaders being outed. What struck me was the insistence that these people were incapable of harming others. Someone’s boyfriend could not commit sexual violence because he always practiced consent with her. Someone’s friend was not a repeat abuser because he volunteered to help the less fortunate. As if individual acts and individual experiences exempted them from the conversation. They were just too well respected to do something so awful. It’s difficult to learn that the people we thought were only good have committed heinous acts that only bad people do. Abusers have told jokes that we laughed at, they have danced with us at parties, they have set good examples to us as mentors and role models. We may feel guilty for liking them upon learning of the trauma they caused someone else. But our feelings do not absolve them of what they did. Our happy memories associated with a Biggie song don’t erase the fact that he was violent with Lil’ Kim. Chris Brown could produce a million hits in his lifetime, and it will never mean he didn’t almost kill Rihanna while the world was waiting for them on Grammy’s night. Your relationship to someone does not mean that they could never harm anyone else. So now, what do we focus on since we know everyone can harm? And although physical abuse is weighing heavily on my heart, I want to acknowledge that the pain we can cause others can come in many forms outside of the physical and can be just as harmful. Our focus must shift to the ones who have experienced abuse. Because whether or not we debate endlessly about who is good and who is bad is irrelevant to the person who has already been through someone’s bad. A survivor has needs that should be addressed. Those needs should be our directive. How do we hold their abuser accountable and how do we help a traumatized person heal if we are pressed about respectability and reputation? Let’s grow up and move on from what we think we know about how an abuser is supposed to look and behave. Our energies are better placed in conversations and actions that uplift the survivors in our lives.

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R.A.G.E Ashley Blanco and Jasmin Gill Everyone knows that four-letter word. The one that we feel in the heat of a moment. RAGE. We have seen vengeance, stereotypes and enemies come from our rage. Rage is connected to how we perceive a situation and our reaction to it in real time. While it’s important to feel our emotions, it’s also important to find ways on how to overcome them so that we do not give them the power to define us. Here are some methods to destress a stressful situation.

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est

This is one of the most crucial steps to take! Life is stressful and it takes more than we can give sometimes. THAT IS OK! Resting can be a short moment of peace, a nap you take on your couch after having a bad day, or a full-on sleep and ending your day at 4 p.m.. even when there’s daylight outside. Rest brings you tranquility even when you feel like it did nothing. You never cope with your rage while still having remnants of those feelings inside your mind, heart and soul. You deal it with once your mind has relaxed, once your heart has stopped beating so damn fast and once your soul is open to the prospect of positivity.

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ffirmations A

Always be sure to scribble down affirmations for yourself. You can’t let a situation where rage took over define you. Tell yourself it was a moment you needed in order to look at a situation more clearly. Affirmations help you stray from self-sabotage. Once you believe in them, you start to believe in positivity as well. According to Chicken Soup for the Soul’s originator, here are the 8 steps to creating your own daily affirmations. Start with the words “I am.” These are the two most powerful words in the English language. Use the present tense. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want. Keep it brief. Make it specific. Include an action word ending with –ing. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.

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G

ravitate

Working towards bettering yourself involves understanding that the energy you keep within and around you. Let’s start with the energy you keep within. Day to day tasks and responsibilities can be stressful and time consuming, however, keep in mind that these tasks should not negatively impact your wellbeing. The person you spend the most time with is yourself, your inner self specifically. Your aura is the energy you keep within that emanates outward; this aura is what gravitates others energies towards you. Therefore it is crucial that the energy that you keep within, is reflected outwards is what you want to receive from others.

E

scape

While we often take pride and feel the most productive doing work and staying busy, taking an escape from your current stressors will allow for you to see the bigger picture or even notice the little details of life that are often ignored. This is easier said than done, especially when life calls for you to be present in your daily tasks, but any amount of time allocated that can allow that escape is enough. Taking 10 minutes to do your skin care routine, with products that you handpicked and love to use, is a form of escape. Taking a morning walk or run, with a playlist that uplifts your mood, is a form of escape. We often see on the media that people take vacations to escape. A vacation is only a form of escape if you’re mentally free from the stresses of life. Therefore, anything can be a vacation if you make it! So take that solo date, buy yourself a satisfying lunch and sit with yourself, watch your favorite, take the longer route run, or even find a good book to become engulfed in. Find your own vacation!

RAGE. We can all agree that we feel this emotion sometimes. Translate that emotion into what you can actively do to reflect from that period of time. These four words: rest, affirmation, gravitate and escape, are just a few starting points one can take to progress mentally. Translate the other emotions that you feel, once it’s time to reflect, to ways you can better yourself in even the smallest ways.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO : Ramatou Youssou Valkeyrie Hailey W Sofia Gutierrez Zoe Rennock Nicole Graine Katie Jazmine Richardson Ash Ginger N

All readers and supporters

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FOR WOMEN OF COLOR BY WOMEN OF COLOR 46

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Profile for Femme Noire Magazine

Femme Noire Volume 5  

In the 5th installment of Femme Noire Magazine, we take back and showcase our RAGE in its various forms as women of color. Rage is not only...

Femme Noire Volume 5  

In the 5th installment of Femme Noire Magazine, we take back and showcase our RAGE in its various forms as women of color. Rage is not only...

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