Issue 1 Volume 1
Contents African American Student Union’s mission is uniting our community through diversity to achieve greatness. While creating support, friendships, and bonds that will last a lifetime.
Tribute To The Past Why Harambee? Why Now?.................................3-4 Young Alumni Update: Karen Castro……………….4-5 Habari Gani
AASU was formed in 1987, it was created to bring unity among the African American community. AASU wants to promote cooperation among African Americans and all students. Any person can be a part of AASU regardless of race or ethnic background. As long as there is a sense of respect towards the heritage and cultures of African American people.
Progress? ……………………………………………………...6 International Students’ Break/Ms. LaJoyce……...7 Past To Present…………………………………... ………..8 Opinion Slaves Once More ………………………………………....9
Featured Poet: Matthew Quinn……………………….10 I am NOT my Hair…………………………………………..11 Mark Your Calendar………………………………………………………………....12 Art and Entertainment Featured Artist: Benjamin Willis……………………..13 Helpful Hints………………………………………………………………………………..14 Otterbrown……………………………………………………………..15-16
Behind The Words…………………………………………………….17 Want To Be Featured in Harambee…………………………….18 Editor N Chief: Natasha Shorts Natasha.email@example.com Staff Advisors: James Prysock firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Phyllis Burns email@example.com
Contributing Writers Nana Agyepong Abi Agyepong Abdinajib Liban Cameron Change Lydie Dorelien
Heritage of Latino Americans (HOLA) promotes a sense of community and pride among Latino American students at Otterbein. The organization promotes friendship and cooperation among all students and fosters encouraging, academic excellence and cultural appreciation of Latino American students. The group sponsors a variety of events throughout the year. Notable past events include the Latin Fiesta Mixer and growing the salsa garden during the summer. Group outings have also been popular in the past. Men of Vision (MOV) is an organization of Otterbein male student leaders. Men of Vision promotes male leadership within the Otterbein community and recognizing the importance of developing and exchanging views and ideas among college men on campus. The goals are to encourage Otterbein males to become active in leadership roles and service on and off campus, in addition to enhancing and further developing the skills and talents of male student leaders. Men of Vision works collaboratively with other student organizations.
TRIBUTE TO THE PAST When I began to let others know about the idea of Harambee coming back into publication I received many questions about the purpose of a magazine dedicated to showcasing the African American culture and other minority cultures on campus. It is the same question that comes up when people wonder why there are such orginzations as African American Student Union, H.O.LA, and the like. Why Harambee? Why now? There was a time in our history that by law, African Americans were considered less than animals. We were stolen from our homeland of Africa, bought and sold like pieces of objects, raped and beaten into working for those that we were trained to believe we were inferior to. As a nation, have we grown from our times of slavery and even segregation? Of course we have, but just because we have grown in some ways, it does not mean we have completely solved the problem of race relations in our country. The repercussions of that time period have left impending damage on not only the way the African American views themselves but it has also taken a major toll on the way society views us. Our culture has become a joke and a stereotype instead of a natural way of life. Our music and our media glorify the thug lifestyle so much that not only do those outside our community automatically believe we act, talk, and think this way but we have come to see this lifestyle as being truly “black”. No matter how far we go in life, in this country, we will always have something to prove. The idea of a place for a student to pick up a magazine and feel like those who write it
Why Harambee? Why Now?
are writing it while they go through same struggles and hopes as them, is something that is rarely found on any campus. It is easy for those who have never been classified as a minority to not understand the purpose of a magazine such as this. When you are the majority, what the minority does can not only be looked at as different and weird but the hardships that they go through can be overlooked and seen as a nation of sensitive people. Therefore, we need this magazine to show our struggles. But we also need this magazine to show our triumphs! We Have Not Reached The Promise Land Just Yet Though we were freed by the 13th amendment in 1865 from slavery and freed from segregation laws, we have now imprisoned ourselves. We have bought into the lie that we are truly nothing more than second class citizens. We hold ourselves back and try to hide our culture because it is not accepted in the professional realm. We have refused to claim the lighter skin brother because his features and skin tone are too “white” to be black. We have demeaned the darker skinned kinky haired sister as holding less beauty, making her feel like she is a God given mistake. To make matters worse, not only have we held ourselves back but we did it while the world was watching. The repercussions of slavery have left the African American community wanting to leave their entire culture behind and embrace what the society around them says is the norm,
just to have success. This is why we need this magazine! This magazine is here to highlight the achievements of the African American community as well as to embrace who we are as people. While in every other part of our media we may be highlighted as ghetto, loud, criminals, or just overly sensitive, we will show our true colors. We will discuss issues that apply to our community openly and honestly. This magazine sheds the harsh truth about the problems that our communities have to face on a daily basis and also give ideas for solutions on how we as a community on this campus can actively make changes for the betterment of ourselves and our society. This magazine also hopes to highlight many of the people who are defying the odds and making changes in their community, their families, and just living up to the “Dream” Martin Luther King Jr. once talked about. Who is Harambee For? Harambee is the Swahili word that means pulling together and that is exactly what we hope to do with this magazine. We hope to bring together the different ethnic communities on campus through informing them on what is happening on campus, giving them a place to print their opinion, and encouraging them to freely live out their culture with a sense of pride and dignity. While at the same time having a place to discuss issues that target our communities from a political, social, and
TRIBUTE TO THE PAST
Young Alumni Update: Karen Castro
Why Harambee? CONT. economic view. Showing how these different views can play a role on our campus as college minority students. We will provide a home for minorities to freely express their frustrations and openly share their victories. This is a place where those who have never had the opportunity to learn much about minorities, can learn about the issues and causes that we deal with, can send in questions and get honest answers, as well as learn of different events that will help them get more plugged into ethnic life here on campus. This is an open platform for all those who are searching for a place to express their needs and desires as a student of color on a predominantly white campus. Harambee is here to act as a safe haven for students of color who are looking for a place that encourages their culture. Harambee is not here as a place to compete with any other magazine nor to demean other ethnicities or promote black supremacy. That is not our goal. We are here to enlighten, uplift, educate, and encourage. As you begin to dive into Harambee, our hope is that in the midst of these pages you find a place to be yourself! Natasha Shorts
Karen Castro is an Otterbein alumnus of the class of 2012.
and many other activities. Not only was she impacted by the campus, but she also left her own mark on Otterbein University.
Castro explains that being involved at Otterbein allowed her to gain valuable leadership and time management skills. In her Finishing school free time she also held a position at the early in December Office of Diversity as a Student Assistant to of 2011, Karen Dr. Lisa Phillips where she was instrumental walked as well as in helping out with projects that needed to spoke at the class be completed. of 2012 commencement cereAcademic Triumphs and Challenges mony. When asked what made her want to Karen Castro started at Otterbein University attend Otterbein, Castro explained she was as a Business Administration major with a the first in her family to obtain a bachelor’s focus in International Business and a minor degree so she had no idea where to begin in Spanish. She had the exciting opportunity when looking at colleges. Fortunately, she of studying abroad in Cordoba, Argentina, had supportive high school mentors who where she took a business class, which encouraged her to look at smaller private demonstrated another side of international colleges where she could grow and develop business that she rarely heard about. One as a person. One of Castro’s guidance counof the most valuaselors attended Otterbein and urged her to ble lessons she visit the campus; so that’s exactly what she learned was that did! some of the most Castro states, “When I drove to Westerville, successful U.S. I immediately fell in love with the small companies will go town atmosphere. When I arrived on caminto foreign counpus I loved the brick roads and the academtries to use their ic buildings. Aside from the superficial asresources, exploit pects, I enjoyed talking to everyone on my their employees, campus visit, the fact that people waved and pay corrupt “hello” to each other walking to class was politicians to relax pretty cool. It made me enjoy the warm and Karen with Congresswoman Joyce labor laws. She caring environment Otterbein has”. Castro was determined that she would not willingly found that the staff and faculty of the Uniparticipate in such malpractice. However, versity truly cared about her well-being. when Castro returned to Otterbein, she was thoroughly confused because she didn’t Student Involvement want to major in International Business any Castro speaks of her time at Otterbein in a longer. After consulting with her mentors very positive light. She was actively involved and her Otterbein support system, she realin campus life as founder of HOLA, and in ized that she wanted to do something that Shades Of Success, Tau Epsilon Mu Sorority would allow her to help people but still had 4
TRIBUTE TO THE PAST
Young Alumni Update: Karen Castro
international focus. Half-way through Castro’s junior year she switched her major to International Studies. It seemed like the perfect choice for her because she learned about politics, business, sociology, and international relations; all of the things that interested her. Experiences After Graduation Since graduating, Castro has been making her mark on the community. She was selected out of hundreds of applicants to be an intern in Senator Sherrod Brown’s office. She describes applying as the best decision of her life, though she was very doubtful of herself as she didn’t believe she knew enough about the government. There, she learned a great deal of life lessons and was instrumental in improving communication between the Hispanic community and Senator Sherrod Brown’s office.
“We may be minorities but our voices and actions are very powerful.” Through the internship Castro began to learn more about government, how it works, and the key factors for legislation to become law. She also served as a constituent response intern, which required her to keep track of the calls of
constituents to ensure they received a proper response. Connecting With The Community Since Castro was interning in the Columbus office, one of her jobs was to do outreach to constituency groups. At the time, the Columbus office was lacking outreach to the Hispanic community so Castro took the initiative to work alongside one of the Constituent Liaisons to contact and connect with Hispanic leaders in Central Ohio. She had the opportunity to make a significant contribution through her internship, which paved the way for future communication between the Hispanic community and Senator Sherrod Brown’s office.
supporting and representing her community. Castro’s tip for minorities is to get involved, find a mentor, educate others about your culture, and don’t be afraid to speak up when someone is politically incorrect in the classroom. Karen Castro
Karen Castron speaking at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony
Though Castro was busy learning about leaves us with this thought to ponder, government, her passion to directly im“We may be minorities but our voices and pact her community never went away. To actions are very powerful.” that end, she volunteered with the Center for Latin Hope, a non-profit organization Abi Agyepong that provides services such as free English classes to the Hispanic community. Castro states, “Volunteering at the center helped me understand further the problems of underprivileged families. I learned that there is a lack of opportunity and a lack of quality education in poor communities. This is something I want to change. These experiences validated that changing my major was crucial”. Words of Advice Castro is continuing to make her mark in the community and the workplace. She is currently working with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty as a District Aide. She believes that this position will create a strong foundation for her future, where one day she will be one of the few women 5
HABARI GANI Valentino Dixon, Attica Maximum Security Prison inmate, sits in his cell and masterfully concocts detailed pictures of golf courses. According to a documentary on the Golf Channel in July 2012, Dixon has always had an artistic eye and started creating his portraits early in elementary school. He did not begin drawing golf courses, however, until his Time in Attica Penitentiary. It came about when the Warden took notice of Dixon’s ability and asked him to create an image of the 12th hole of the famous Augusta National Golf Course. Impressed with Dixon’s portrayal of the course, the warden decided to give Dixon the materials and inspirational images to continue drawing his masterpieces.
it’s very possible that Dixon could have slain Jackson. But let’s check the facts: According to the case’s details, Dixon’s fingerprints were not on the gun determined to be the weapon used to kill Jackson and there was no gun powder residue on Dixon to indicate that he was holder of the gun when it was fired (Televised documentary on Dixon’s trial). Of the three witnesses introduced by the prosecution in Dixon’s trial, none of them could conclusively identify Dixon
The Fight That Started It All The year is 1991 and Valentino Dixon is a young man out passing the time with a few other friends on the streets of Buffalo, New York. After some time passes, a few other characters approach Valentino and his crew. Unfortunately, some unfriendly words are exchanged between the two groups. Tensions flare and before long an altercation occurs; escalating into fists and guns. A shot rings out and a young man by the name of Toriano Jackson loses his life and all fingers point to Valentino Dixon; who is arrested and convicted (Golf Channel 2012). Evidence Some might consider this a pretty open and shut case; a fight breaks out and a young man ends up dead. Dixon was opposite Jackson during the fight,
Some of the many portraits Dixon completed while in prison
as the shooter. Not long after the trial had concluded, the man responsible for Jackson’s death publicly confesses to a local news station. Even with all of this evidence indicating Dixon’s innocence, he is not released from prison where is just finished serving year 21 of a 39 year to life sentence. Clearing His Name Several years and three appeals later, Valentino Dixon is still incarcerated despite the appearance of several more witnesses willing to give a testament to his innocence. In spite of his bleak situation, there are still those willing to
fight for Dixon’s freedom. Dixon’s family has fought for 21 years to clear his name. Especially his daughter, Valentina Dixon, a Senior Earlychildhood Education right here at Otterbein. Even with all of this in his favor, there are still many obstacles that stand in the way of Dixon and his freedom. Obstacles like the apathetic New York legal system and the financial disparities that keep him from affording adequate legal representation. So for now Valentino sits in his cell and continues to create portraits of beautiful golf courses, hoping only for absolution and to one day be free to continue his life with his friends and loved ones. Cam Change
“Not long after the trial had concluded, the man responsible for Jackson’s death publicly confesses...” 6
International Perspective: What to do when stuck in the US?
Guangzhou, China is in many ways different than Westerville but Yongjun Zhi does not mind. Yongjun Zhi who goes by “Jackson” is an international student at Otterbein University. Born in China, Jackson studied in the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST), before attending Otterbein as part of his junior year study abroad experience.
Washington, DC”. She noted that the District of Columbia appeared less crowded and cleaner. At the U.S. Capitol she was elated to see the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), a non-profit organization which tracks study abroad statistics, Since most international students stay in the there were over 764,000 international United States all year long some students students that enrolled in U.S. colleges use Winter and Spring break as an and universities last year. On the other opportunity to explore the United States. hand, only a little over 270,000 Jackson spent the Spring break of the 2012- American students studied abroad. IIE 2013 school year in San Francisco. After his President Allan Goodman argues that American Airlines flight landed, like most American students should study abroad tourists, he was impressed by the city’s because it will better prepare them for iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate the global workforce. Since the majority Bridge. Besides sightseeing, Jackson also of U.S. students do not pursue a study reunited with friends that are currently abroad, he argues that the increasing studying in different campuses including San amount of international students on U.S. Francisco State University and UC Berkeley. campuses is a positive trend because it gives American students a chance to Fellow Juniors Luyi “Gloria” Gao and Yifan interact with someone from another “Kiki” Wu, both international students from country. the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST), also enhanced their Studying abroad can have its own set of study abroad experience by travelling during Pros and Cons. For Gloria, one of the spring break. challenges of studying abroad has been that it can lead to homesickness. Like Jackson, Yifan Wu also spent time on Gloria's favorite aspect of her study the West Coast. His journey included stops in abroad has been that she has San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas in encountered and learned from a diverse addition to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite array of people and cultures. Jackson National Park. Gloria, however, spent her enjoys his coursework and the ample spring break on the East Coast. After opportunity he has to practice speaking previously visiting Chicago in the Fall of English. 2012, she was eager to now see New York City and Washington, DC. Gloria described Abdinajib Liban New York as a modern city with a plethora of museums. Nevertheless she states, “I prefer
Who is Mrs. LaJoyce? Mrs. LaJoyce DanielCain has been the choir director of Otterbein Gospel Choir for 23 years. She has played the piano since she was a child. Mrs. LaJoyce is also a music teacher at A-Plus Art Academy, as well as the director for all the theater productions. She is also a vocal and piano instructor where she works with people of all diversity from children who have disabilities to adults who want to fulfill a childhood dream. Otterbein University Gospel Choir is a non denominational Christian based choir on campus. The Gospel Choir performs for many Otterbein occasions such as Homecoming weekend, the Martin Luther King Convocation, Ash Wednesday, and also Advent services. The choir has been filled with students from all backgrounds. The song selections are pieces from Mrs. LaJoyce's childhood and also songs suggested by students. “The biggest difference I’ve noticed are the ratio of students but, the faithbased and enlightenment of the student has remained consistent.” Mrs. LaJoyce said. Lydie Dorelien
Past To Present: 50th Anniversary of The March On Washington
Standing with their ears glued to each word every speaker began to say, eyes fogged by imagining the images that the speakers discussed, they watched captivated. Some only coming to the event for a class assignment, others just to support their theater peer as he spoke, they began to see the true reason of why they had to be at that program.
Dr Lisa Phillips introducing sophomore Jordan Donica before his speech.
It was the 50th Anniversary of The March On
Washington and the nation took notice. Thousands of people leaving their homes and going to the steps of the Washington Court House to hear various speakers discuss the progress and the continued battle since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his infamous “I Have A Dream” Speech. Dr. Lisa Phillips, Director of the Office of Diversity, and James Prysock, Programming Coordinator in the Office of Diversity wanted to make sure that the Otterbein community had the same chance to reflect right here on campus as the rest of the nation.
Used to the bright lights and large audience, Burley were so moved by the event that Donica enjoyed a different way to preform. they each accepted the opportunity presented to the crowd allowing anyone to “This was actually a little more casual for speak about what they just heard and their me than being on stage in front of people. feelings, each one left lasting moments. The atmosphere was different, because They each took what could have felt like a people were there to celebrate a great man very long walk up the Campus Center steps, and a moment in history that changed the stood behind the podium and each spoke nation. The experience was very similar to what was on their hearts. theater for me in the aspect that I was not giving the speech for my benefit, but in “I think the two students that came up on honor and celebration. We were all there for their own and spoke were pretty powerful.” a common cause, both audience and Dr. Phillips said discussing speakers, so it made for a very unique, Though the ceremony only drew about 100 almost rally-like, atmosphere. ” Donica students, the thoughts expressed, the remarked. history discussed, and the issues Wanting to make sure that he delivered the addressed left a lasting impression on speech with respect and dignity, Donica took the time to find his own way to present “We were all there for it. “I knew that there was no way to try to copy his dialect or how he sounded, so I a common cause, both instead examined his speech pattern and audience and speakers, the tambour of his voice, and tried to create so it made for a very my own interpretation through the many antithesis in the speech.” unique, almost rally-
But it was more than just an ordinary speech that Donica had to give, or just a another performance. Donica was able to really relate to the entire theme of the speech. “I can identify with speech, especially in today's society. Growing up in a So right on the steps of the Campus Center single parent, white household, I was it happen. Students and staff, in the always taught never to see other people as program, and spontaneously began to take "colors", but as people. I truly believe that is the stage and speak about what the “I Have the main emphasis in this speech.” A Dream Speech” and the March On Many students and staff that attended were Washington meant to them personally. more than moved by the performance of the Jordan Donica, a sophomore Musical speech that Donica presented and also the Theater major, had the privilege to do a other students and staff that spoke. rendition of the I Have a Dream Speech. Sophomore Amber Horton and Senior Will
like, atmosphere. those who came. Looking back on the program, Donica felt that it not only touched his heart but others around him. “Many of my peers came in full support and ended up staying through the entire program because they felt it was moving.” Donica said, “It spoke true to the character of those that I choose to surround myself with. It meant the world to not just me but to everyone that was involved with the program.” 8
OPINION A wise man once said “When you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions” (Carter G. Woodson). This holds painfully self-evident in the rap industry. Let’s turn on our radios for a second. What do we hear? First of all, tune out the mesmerizing beat in the background. That’s just inserted in the song so you don’t fully pay attention to the words. Now move on to the hook. The hook or chorus is a catchy grouping of words that “hook” you into the song. These hooks often become anthems to those who hear it. How many times have you heard someone say “I’m different, I’m different”, “Started from the bottom now we’re here” or “Gold all in my chain, gold all in my ring. Gold all in my watch, don't believe me, just watch”? You may not remember other parts of the song, but you remember the hook. However, if it’s alluring enough, you will soon find yourself memorizing other parts of the song which are the details of their message. Now at face value, these hooks don’t appear threatening or negative in any way. But as one delves deeper into the lyrics, you start to see more and more of what the artist values. The Truth Behind The Lyrics On the outliers of a chorus lies a set of beliefs. The chorus is just an anthem of those beliefs. In Trinidad James’ song, All Gold Everything we see how he values money as his god as well as his lack of respect for women. In 2 Chainz’s I’m Different, we see the same values as he references women in a derogatory manner, his love for drugs and how he is better than his competitors (his own people). This is just a
SLAVES ONCE MORE
microcosm of the values within the industry’s game. How Slavery and Our Music Relate In order to understand the present we must comprehend the past. Therefore, here’s a little history lesson. In times of Hip Hop Artist 2 Chainz slavery, slave masters would have competitions with their strongest male slaves. These competitions were called Mandingo Fighting. They would travel to different plantations and have their slaves fight each other to death. The slaves that succeeded were given special privileges, fame and compliments. For example, they may be given a special nickname or invited to eat dinner with the masters and gamesman. Some fighters took pride in their new identity and that they were the strongest and most skilled. Other slaves envied the fighter’s position or desired to be like him. Due to the perks, some of them overlooked the fact that they were being used as property and the masters were making money off of them. Does this sound familiar? Let’s fast forward to the present. The majority of rap labels are owned by someone other than an African American. The owners build characters and allow them to have nicknames like Trinidad James, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Chief Keef or Cash Out.
Now these characters actually become caricatures of what prejudice people already think about us, while also influencing individuals who are not to become prejudice. In addition, these characters feed the community with selfconsciousness, greed, hubris, materialism and false morality. For example, Nicki Minaj did not always look like she currently does. Thanks to plastic surgery, she has become the “ideal” woman with a pretty face and an almost impossible to naturally recreate body. She also did not always Female Hip Hop Artist Nicki Minaj rap the way she does now. She started doing underground real hip hop. However, when she was discovered, she was influenced to change her appearance and lyric content to appease the masses of mainstream rap. Secondly, 2 Chainz presents himself as an ignorant, uneducated rapper who boasts on his ability to be “different”. Ironically, his possessions, appearance and music content do not make him different. What makes him different is that he has a college degree from a HBCU. But education doesn’t sell records so he chooses to be another clone in the industry. The Result By building “successful” and commercial characters, the impressionable people in the community buy into the 9
OPINION Slaves Once More CONT. characters and follow suit. They are also awarded outrageously with money, cars, executive dinners and fame. And who gets paid on top of all of this? That’s right, the label owners and executives. Not only are they making money but they are capitalizing on a social dichotomy which causes consumers to hate and compete with each other. How better to destroy people than by orchestrating a system of division within the underrepresented communities. By doing so, people who want to kill us won’t have to because we are killing ourselves. We see seeds of this system in the simplest of situations. This mindset influences a woman to clutch her purse faster while at the same time dance provocatively in the club. This causes a man to carry a gun while simultaneously calling a woman out of her name.
Featured Poet: Matthew Quinn
living a gangsta life is validated. That’s why there is virtually no progression in a rapper’s message. An artist may come out with one “non-commercial” album such as Theater of the Mind by Ludacris or Paper Trail by T.I. Unfortunately, their full body of work speaks louder than the one album where they actually put more of themselves into. Especially since the albums that followed reverted back to their past commercial messages. Shared Blame
However, the industry only deserves a portion of the blame. Who deserves the rest? Let’s look in the mirror for that answer. We drive the industry. We decide what is popular and what is not. If we stop supportThe message of the mainstream ing, they will stop producing. We industry is to “tell everyone your have a choice of rather to follow rags to riches story so they can or to lead. Let’s lead. In times of relate to your past. Once they slavery, we were more forced to relate to you, they will look up to act according to someone else’s you. But the catch is that you plan. So the biggest question is have to keep your past relehow much have we truly provant”. If rappers keep their negagressed in society? The worst tive past relevant then people part about this is that now our will continue following, hence people actually choose to build some people in the African our own self-destruction. American community think that Anonymous drugs, degrading women and
Dead Conscious Dead conscious; As blood drips from her thighs to the floor I ask God “Why” Why does emptying her soul, replenish mine? She divides and I conquer It’s a matter of time, Or more like 5-12 minutes But a week is all I need to forget who she is;
You feel like she does, You feel like the sun’s rays decayed all the darkness in your world And you feel like Heaven, But in a week, you’ll forget who she is, Time flies I wonder, who taught us these lessons, I know my Father didn’t… Matthew Quinn
Time flies God, who taught us this? I wonder, who taught us these lessons, I know my Father didn’t But could it be? Nine months in the womb just so she can push us away, 13 years of providing just so she can push us away, “You’re a man now, take care of yourself. I can’t do everything for you anymore” This rings around our thoughts, as we cry “but I love you” “Silence” Then our resentment starts. And as she moans “I love you” Our response is silence But for 5-12 minutes you feel like she can,
I AM NOT MY HAIR Confessions of a Black Woman Gone Natural
I could not take it anymore! fact, my hair was made to I was tired of looking in the praise Him! Lifting its curly mirror and only thinking hands to the sky, it is in that I looked beautiful or in constant worship of His glory. style, or put together, if my He made my hair grow out hair was straight. I was tired and up, purposely defying of having unhealthy strands gravity so that people would surrounding my face and know this was God given. Too receiving compliments for it bad the rest of the world can’t just because my hair see my hair like this. Junior Natasha Shorts resembled every other race They pet it, they poke it, and most of all, they of people but my own. I wanted to look in the stare at it. mirror and see the beauty that God saw in It is a joke tossed around by the ignorant, me when He first created me. He did not make my hair fall assuming that since my hair is to the floor in curls or hang low proudly standing near my waist in out, I must be a stereotyped hip the straightest shaking-fingermost elegant wagging-attitude way. Senior Makeda Schulark having black He gave my hair rhythm, making it dance up girl. Giggling as I into the sky with the curly beats it dropped. walk into the room, He provided tension between my tightly wondering why I Junior Michelle Baffi wound curls to symbolize the struggle that I just will not straighten my hair. Clearly I would have to endure in my life. But just like must be a hippie if I rock my afro and hoop my life, I can patiently detangle the earrings. Or better yet I am “sassy”!! (Man frustrations and struggles out of my hair. how I HATE that word! But that is an article Combing away the self hate, moisturizing the for another day.) I cannot even braid or roots of my inner twist my hair straight back without their soul, leaving a soft eyes immediately filling with fear, thinking puffy afro. Filled with that I must be a part of some gang. Truth is the love of my I braid my hair to wear while I sleep culture, the love of and sometimes I decide to rock it the next who I was created to day. Days like this one just make me want be, and the love of an to ask God “WHY ARE YOUR OTHER amazing God who CHILDREN SO IGNORANT!” wanted to display His Junior Lydie Dorelien That is when I remember Titus 2:7 : “Show creativity on my head by using something as simple as my hair. In yourself in all respects to be a model of
good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” So that is what I do. While they may laugh or look confused, just like how I detangle my kinks, curls and knots, I patiently detangle their ignorant minds with words sprayed with the hope of educating just one person on black hair. Natasha Shorts
Top 10 Annoying Questions About Black Hair 1. How do you make it “frizzy” like that? 2. What is a “weave”? 3. Are you wearing a “weave” now? 4. Do you wash your hair?/How often do you wash your hair?/How do you wash your hair? 5. If you are both black why is her hair not like your hair? 6. How did you do that with your hair? 7. Can you straighten your hair? 8. Are those dreads? 9. Can I touch it? 10. Why do you pat your hair?
*Answers in the next issue 11
Mark Your Calendars!!! September 4 @ 7pm: Mix & Meet (with CAB & CSA) - This program provides students an opportunity to engage with other students through a quick and personable process that resembles "speed dating". Through guided conversation, students will be able to make connections on areas that bring out their similarities and differences. September 8 @ 1pm: Office of Diversity Cookout (Alum Creek Park) Come meet the staff of the Office of Diversity and learn about the diversity-based student organizations on campus. There will be games, food, and music.
a series of scenes that aim to educate and challenge them to think more deeply about issues of oppression. At the end of the tour, participants are provided with the opportunity to discuss their experiences with each other. Facilitators help participants reflect on their experiences and put their new found knowledge to use in their everyday lives. Before leaving, participants will receive information about opportunities for involvement in addressing some of the issues presented at the Tunnel of Oppression.
November 13 @ 6:30pm- Native American Heritage Month Program: Apache 8 (Towers 112) September 21 @ 5:30pm: Harambee Magazine Launch Event APACHE 8 tells the story of an all-women wildland firefighter crew (Roush Hall: Fisher Gallery) from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, who have been fighting September 24 @ 7pm: Crossing Boarders: Latino Culture (Towers fires in Arizona and throughout the U.S., for over 30 years. The film 112) As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize that delves into the challenging lives of these Native firefighters. Four what we call the Hispanic Culture, is really a combination of many extraordinary women from different generations of the Apache 8 intersecting cultures. Through an exploration of history, food, music, crew share their personal narratives with humor and tenderness. and dance this program will explore the influences of Hispanic culThey speak of hardship and loss, family and community, and pride in tures on our society. being a firefighter from Fort Apache (Retrieved from) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1326191/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1). This docuOctober 7 @ 8pm: Allow Me to Introduce Myself (Roush 114) mentary will be followed by a discussion. White or Caucasian, Black or African American, he, she or ey! There are numerous ways that we identify ourselves. In this program Otter- Thursday, November 21: Activism & Social Justice bein students will speak on how they choose to be identified and Activism has played a key role in the development of each country. explore the language that accompanies their identity. When we look at freedom and justice overall, we often see both rapid and slow progression of human rights. This event highlights October 23 @ 6:30pm: The “In” Crowd: Widening the Circle (Towers some of the many activists who have strived for human equality and 112) - This interactive program is designed to engage first year stuboth the successes and challenges of the rights they fought to imdents in meaningful and genuine conversations about the elements plement. In addition, we discuss our role in activism and the opporof identity, privilege and difference. Participants will have the oppor- tunities we have to further the progression. tunity to develop a better understanding of their own identity, hear about the experiences of others and discuss the influence of media, December 5 @ 12pm- Winter Celebrations community and institutional perspectives on issues related to incluCampus Center sion. There are many unique traditions, celebrations, and holidays that occur during November, December and January. This educational Monday, October 28: The Dream Continued fair is Otterbein’s own celebration of winter holidays from around During this program, students will have the opportunity to explore the world! This fair will introduce you to different cultures, as well as the dream within. We each have our own goals and ambitions that providing insight on the origins of the traditions we are most familiar drive our daily journey. However, there are social and institutional with! systems that we encounter which can prevent us from fulfilling our dream. This program takes an in depth look at the relationship between our dreams and the systems that have been put into place. November 7@ (4:00 -7:00 PM) – November 8 (1:00 – 4:00 PM) – Tunnel of Oppression The Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive event that highlights contemporary issues of oppression. It is designed to introduce participants to the concepts of oppression, privilege, and power. While the Tunnel of Oppression may be disturbing, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in the various situations. Participants are guided through 12
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Featured Artist: Benjamin Willis
Study of God. Created with graphite and charcoal,
Goddard. Using mixed oil and spray paint, Wilson is in the process of cre-
this a study of a homeless man depicted into a Godly manner.
ating this 4' by 7' mural. It is a painting inspired by a poem that is by Anis Mojgani called These orchards are heavy and these branches are fool
Contrast of Africa. Is an abstract expressionist piece depicting Africa.
Am I Something. A self portrait that shows the confusion of finding oneself
and the questioning that goes along with the search,
Portrait Of a Black Man. "Gomo" is an american bastardization of the black man insomuch, that is what the image symbolizes.
From Senior to Freshman: Tips on How to Survive In College
Time Management Procrastination and misuse of time is probably the biggest enemy to academic success. While it is good to be involved in campus and extracurricular activities, remember that your studies come first! Know when to say no to things and budget your time in a way that will maximize your study time. Create a study schedule, but don’t forget to leave room for chill time and sleep!
Get To Know Your Instructors Make it a point to go to office hours, especially if you are struggling in the course. It lets your instructor see that you are making a sincere effort to understand the material. It is also a chance to build relationships, because you never know what connections or insight your professor may have in a particular area. Recommendation Letters!!!
Take Advantage of your Resources! Otterbein offers a wealth of resources to help you achieve success. The Academic Support Center is one of such resources; they offer math tutoring, writing help, and tutoring in various other subjects. If you ever need help with anything, just ask! Someone will always direct you to the appropriate office. OhioLink is another resource that allows you to reserve books instead of buying them at the bookstore.
Don’t lose sight of your goals Remember who you are and why you are doing what you’re doing. It’s so easy to get caught up in school activities, work and your personal life, that sometimes we can forget why we are here in the first place. Use your goals to motivate yourself to succeed academically!
Balance your life Don’t neglect one part of your life for another. It’s important to maintain all areas of your life (academic, social, personal) to ensure that you can be the best you! Never give up!
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, so keep going! You got this! Nana Agyepong
Black History Trivia Game with Alliance
AASU Campus Carnival 2013
Justin Jordan poses at Shades of Success 2013
Leaders of Diversity programs at the Alliance Dinner in 2012
Amber Horton at 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
OSU Mime Team preforms at Gospel Fest 2013
Chris Butcher, Will Burley, and Jarrod Howelton at Night of Entertainment
Lydie Dorelien, Natasha Shorts, and Gloridely Tavarez
Diversity Sponsored Mix and Meet Program
Montana Jemmott and Khamali Bartlett at Shades of Success 2013
Aleth Pashi, Kayla Williams, and Sydney Smith hangout at the HBC 2012
Guest Speakers at the Black Men Forum 2013 15
Humble Dance Ministry 2012-2013
AASU, ISA,and HOLA at the Global Dinner Spring 2013
Cam Change at MLK Convocation Jan 2013
Gloridely Tavarez.,Kiersten Curtis, and Gloria Ure単a Sanchez with alum Sandra Urteaga
Tahirah Murphy Lydie Dorelien, and Jarrod Howelton winners of Evening of Entertainment
Students from all Alliance Schools at the Fall 2013 Alliance Dinner
Diversity sponsored Game Night 2012-2013
AASU Board with Allan Williams Advisor 20122013
Kiersten Curtis at the Evening of Entertainment 2012-2013
John Kengla speaks to Shades of Sucess Students Fall of 2013
Students enjoy bowling at with Shades of Success in 2011-2012
Alumni Tanya Wilhite and Maurice Tilmon singing at Gospel Fest 2013
Behind The Words Name: Natasha Shorts
Name: Cam Change
Major: Journalism and Media Communication
Major: General Biology
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Year: Junior Fun Fact: Dancing is my second love next to Jesus!
Name: Abena Agyepong Major: BMB Year: Junior Hometown: Worthington, Ohio Fun Fact: I love to sing in the shower!
Name: Nana Agyepong Major: Biochemistry Year: Senior Hometown: Worthington, Ohio Fun Fact: I was born and raised in Germany.
Year: Senior Hometown: Dayton, Ohio Fun Fact: I have gone bridge jumping during a storm.
Name: Abdinajib Liban Major: Economics and Political Science Year: Sophmore Hometown: Columbus, Ohio Fun Fact: My first name means servant of God. My last name means victory.
Name: Lydie Dorelien Major: Year: Junior Hometown: Columbus, Ohio Fun Fact: I never wear pants, I always wear skirts or dresses.
WANT TO BE FEATURED IN HARAMBEE?
Be a part of the movement! If you want to be featured in the next issue, join Harambee staff, or submit a topic idea email Natasha.Shorts@otterbein.edu for more information.
Let YOUR voice be HEARD!
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Phone: 614-882-1336 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 20