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in the margins:

black history month winter/spring 2019


in the margins is a magazine that strives to celebrate the beauty that exists within marginalized voices in the lawrenceville community. this magazine will use fashion and commentary to highlight different cultures and explore their modern day social-political contexts. notes from the editors: in the preface to “feminist theory: from margin to center,” feminist writer bell hooks expresses “being in the margins is not to be part of the whole but outside the main body, and much more than a site of deprivation…it is also the site of radical possibility.” we began this publication to explore this place of radical possibility and openness, and provide a space for any lawrenceville student who feels their identity has been pushed aside, hidden, or gone unnoticed for too long. our first issue, in honor of black history month, focuses on black culture at lawrenceville. we would like to thank our faculty advisor, ms. martinez, as well as mr. cuthrell, mrs. cunningham, dean eldridge and dean kosoff for their continued support in the realization of this magazine. - EA credits: editors in chief: esha akhtar devin carr laila bell head photographers: isabela ricardo ankita suri

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copy editors: ijeamaka achebe houston kilby


in this issue: feature: the gingered peach ………………………………………………………………...…………… 4 interview with samuel washington …………………………………………………………………… 6 the rich man’s converse ……………………………………………………………………...…………… 7 ijeamaka achebe editorial: 1920s harlem renaissance …………………………………………………..…….…...…. 8 models: alice aloo, breanna barrett, ava conyer, souleymane diarra, john weaver, allison williams album review: when i get home - solange ………………….……………….…………………….. 10 esha akhtar playlist: 28 days of black girl magic ………………………………………….……………………… 11 mykael canady + editor’s picks playlist: 90s rap …………………………………………………………………………………...………… 11 jasmine bright editorial: 70s soul train ……………………………………………………………………….…..…….. 12 models: alice aloo, breanna barrett, ava conyer, amaris hernandez, bernice hightower, gabby medina, jay swindell black stereotypes in sports ………………………………………………………………..……………. 14 idaya chambers sya france: my experience ………………………………………………………….…………………… 15 megan shuriah editorial: civil rights + black panther era ………………………………………………..……….. 16 models: amy aririguzoh, kalah brown, mykael canady, natalie carr, william murray, miles williams being black in the arts at lawrenceville …………………………………………………….……… 18 gabby medina poetry ………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….. 19 emilia onuonga editorial: modern day ……………………………………………………………………….…………… 20 models: kwesi adu-diawo, devin carr, gabby hemenes, jermaine marshall, kalah miller

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feature: the gingered peach

Joanne Canady-Brown is the owner and head baker at The Gingered Peach. A recently named James Beard Fellow, Ms. Canady Brown will be cooking soon at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. Editors at In the Margins had a chance to catch up with Ms. Canady-Brown and talk to her about Lawrenceville’s favorite Main Street bakery, what it’s like being a black-owned business and a black female entrepreneur, and her plans for the future. When did you start baking? “I baked when I was young with my grandmother, I can’t even remember how old I was at that point. I guess my earliest memory is at Thanksgiving, and baking biscuits on a kitchen table because I didn’t grow up with mixers in the house. I was probably around seven or eight at the time. I started baking professionally in 2011 when I took it to a different level and decided to learn more and educate myself as much as possible to really dive into baking.”

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Can you tell me a little bit about the history of The Gingered Peach and how it ended up in Lawrenceville? “I went to Rutgers and got a degree in Economics with a minor in Statistics. As I was getting my MBA in Marketing and Supply Chain Management, I was also working for a large whole-foods retailer in their Corporate Operations Department, and my job was to open new stores all over the country. While I was doing

that work, I really found that I didn’t like it. It was challenging, it was fun, and I was good at my job, but it wasn’t fulfilling in terms of what I wanted in life. I just felt like I couldn’t express myself creatively, and to decompress from work, I found myself baking. One day I said ‘I think this is what I want to do with my life,’ and I made the really difficult decision to leave my corporate job, which was crazy. I spent a year or two just practicing: trying to master croissants, work with different breads, stuff like that. One day I just took the little bit of savings I had and opened a small shop in Ewing, which was called Let Them Eat Cake. My focus there was cake and cupcakes, but over time, we saw that customers wanted to see more of brownies, cookies, croissants and things like that. The space was super small, less than half the size of what The Gingered Peach is now. I decided at one point, in order for us to grow, we needed a bigger space, so I closed that location and was brought to Lawrenceville by my landlord. A bakery has existed in this location under different owners for the last 50 years. They wanted to keep it a bakery, and offered me space to bring my business to Lawrenceville. I think it’s a great location because it was close enough to Ewing that our old customers could still come to us, but we now have new customers from Princeton, the main road, and Lawrenceville high school.” What’s the story behind the name The Gingered Peach? “My grandma Johnnie is from Georgia, and she was this really soft, humble, Southern lady, and always referred to herself as a ‘little peach from Georgia.’ I grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey where I pretty poor; I was one of five children, my father was disabled, and my mom was a high school teacher. We didn’t really have a lot, and my grandmother, being the beautiful, delightful person she was, didn’t want to draw attention to that. So whenever we were baking --we never had everything we needed to make whatever crazy thing I wanted to, we just never did-my grandmother would just respond, ‘It’s okay darling, we’ll just ginger it up!’ Her mindset behind using ginger as a verb was to work with what you have and still make something delightful. That is the concept behind The Gingered Peach: keep it simple, but find different ways to work with the ingredients


that you have so that a different part of the recipe shines. So while The Gingered Peach was named after my grandmother, it is also our philosophy for baking.” What are your future plans for The Gingered Peach? “The Gingered Peach opened in December of 2014, so it will be 5 years this December. I planned to be in this location for 10 years, but thanks to the beautiful people of Lawrenceville and the school, we’ve outgrown this space. Our first plan is to support Lawrenceville better. Right now, if you asked for a cake a month in advance, we are booked up, which is a problem, but it is the situation we are in right now. We want to invest in a commissary, a straight kitchen space with no storefront. Other coffee shops like Small World Coffee, Rojo’s Roastery and Cargot Brasserie, a French restaurant in Princeton, also carry our products. Before we even open, all of our products are baked here and then delivered to our off-site locations, and then we open at 7AM for the people of Lawrenceville. While more seating here would be amazing, we need to produce more, which a commissary would allow us to do.”

“To help us afford a commissary space, we are working on getting investors for a new concept we are trying to bring to Lawrenceville called Marmalade. Marmalade will be an old-school, affordable American luncheonette: think grilled cheese, fries, and milkshakes, with a twist. Imagine a Jersey diner without that ridiculously long menu -- a curated menu of really well-done food that is reminiscent of the past, but has been updated for a more modern approach to food and my interpretation of what the New America is. You won’t just see a plain cheeseburger, but you’ll also see Korean influence, you’ll see Puerto Rican influence.My dad is African-American, my mom is Italian, my Grandfather is Puerto Rican and my really good friend is Korean. I grew up with these people and I learned to cook their food, so I want Marmalade to serve as a reflection of the America I know, with all

these cultures and all these different types of people. We are hoping within the next two years, Marmalade will be the newest Main Street eatery. If you want a quick bite, you’ll come to The Gingered Peach, but if you want to sit down with a group of friends and celebrate a birthday, you’ll go to Marmalade.” How has your experience been as a black-owned bakery in the predominantly white area of Lawrenceville? “This is such a hard question to answer because if you go to the South, then that meaning of a predominantly Caucasian area is very different than Lawrenceville, New Jersey. My answer to this question will be very different from how the average African-American entrepreneur in the South might answer this question. I would say that my identity as a black woman really hasn’t changed anything. I am also saying this after four or five years, and I’ve earned the trust of the community. But I will tell you in the beginning, there were some people who didn’t believe I was the head baker. They would say things like, ‘There’s no way you make a croissant like that,’ because that’s not what we’re expected to do! We are expected to make cornbread or cupcakes. There are people who look shocked when they ask to talk to the owner and I walk out, and there is gender and race bias that exists there. It’s difficult in the sense that I have to work harder than everybody else. If I was a white man, people would probably believe a little easier that I made that croissant. But overall, even though this is a predominantly white area, there are a lot of minorities living here. And the best part of being in my position is to be seen. I’ll have people come from Trenton and they are just like, ‘You’re doing it. You are shining!’ and it’s so cool because I realize I’m doing this for all of us. Just to be able to say, ‘Yeah, here I am. We can do this too.’ Lawrenceville is an amazing community! They are immensely supportive and they understand my struggles. People here are woke, and try to make it a little easier. Sometimes customers have actual conversations with me about it, and while it can be uncomfortable, it’s still, like, a necessary evil. I’m grateful to be here because people let me do my craft and have enabled me to hire a staff of 20 people, which might not have been the case if I was in Florida or Texas. The positive so far outweighs the negative that when it does happen, I’m kind of just like, ‘Whatever… keep it moving. Have a cinnamon roll and take a seat.’ Lawrenceville really is a special place.”

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faculty feature: director of multicultural affairs samuel washington ‘81 P ‘14 ‘17 Director

of Multicultural

Affairs Samuel Washington has been a part of the Lawrenceville community since 1977, and has the unique perspective of experiencing Lawrenceville as both a black student and faculty member. Arriving at Lawrenceville in 1977 through A Better Chance, a few years after The Civil Rights Act was signed and Lawrenceville became integrated in 1964, Mr. Washington was one of the first students of color programs like A Better Chance recruited to attend prep schools across the country.

When

the

school

first

integrated in 1964, they established a pattern of bringing two or three new black students every year. But, in Mr. Washington's class, there were eleven. He remembers how “all eleven of us rallied together our senior year to elect one of my best friends as Lawrenceville’s first black President.” Yet, Lawrenceville today is not the same school Mr. Washington attended 40 years ago. “It may be in the same location, that gate is still there, and that’s about it. When I showed up at Lawrenceville, it was all boys, it was 95% white, there were only two female

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faculty members here, and one black faculty member, Mr. Maxwell. It was a campus filled with wealthy, white males, and is a much better place now.”

Washington

describes the

most significant changes to Lawrenceville as “there’s a lot more support for everyone. When I came here as a student, it was ‘here’s your books, here’s the key to your room, good luck… they threw us into the deep end.’ The school treated everyone more-or-less the same, but didn’t realize that this was a little different for some kids. For kids, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather went here, Lawrenceville was what they were used to, but for others, this was a real transition. The school understands much better now the differences between a wealthier

“The faculty should reflect the student body, but it doesn’t come close.” While the Penn Fellows program has helped, “it’s a heartbreaking moment when fellows of color establish these close relationships with students of color but end up leaving in two years. It’s a sort of hole that can’t be filled.” student and a student on financial aid. Lawrenceville today is accommodating towards the differences in how an individual’s identity affects their experience of this institution.”

Washington

never

saw

himself working at Lawrenceville. “I avoided working here because had issues with Lawrenceville, I used to teach at a school just 20 minutes down the street, Moorestown Friends School, and politely declined offers to come back to Lawrenceville year after year.” Instead, I chose to work at a Quaker school because “the Quakers understood things like diversity, and I didn’t think Lawrenceville did.”

Despite all this, there is still much work towards diversity of faculty members that needs to be done.

Some

final words from

Mr. Washington: “To all the people ‘in the margins,’ don’t ever let anybody should on you. don’t let other people’s ideas of what black people should be define you. When I was a student, I shoulded on myself. My housemaster in Cleve, Mr. Chambers, tried to convince me to play lacrosse. He would say ‘It’s like basketball Sam!’ Mr. Chambers didn’t understand there was no way he was going to talk me into playing lacrosse because I was black, and black people don’t play lacrosse. It’s a white people sport. I played football, I played basketball, and I ran track- I did what black people should do. I often find myself thinking to this day what could’ve been if I hadn’t let these stereotypes get to me.”


the rich man’s converse Ijeamaka Achebe I had a hard time bringing myself talking to that someone went How come you proudly wear to write this article because I know that talking about socioeconomic status and white privilege in the Black History Month edition of this magazine may set us up for even more people conflating poverty with black people—and I don’t want that. However, something needs to be said and someone needs to say it.

Knowing that the majority of the people on our campus come from wealthy backgrounds and as a student on nearly full financial aid, I’ve become hyper-aware of the brands that people wear. Before Lawrenceville, I had no idea what brands like Canada Goose or Patagonia were, and the only time I had ever heard of Moncler was from a song by 21 Savage. Back home, people only cared about Pink, North Face, and Jordans. What even is Lululemon?

The same goes for Golden Goose, or as I like to call them, The Rich Man’s Converse. These $400-600 shoes come in colors and designs for everybody and they are hard to miss with their signature star and GGDB branding. I’m not going to lie, they’re cute--or maybe I am saying that to fit in-- I don’t really know. My first encounter with these shoes was in the mailroom when I quietly commented to the girl I was

out of their way to buy shoes with duct tape on them. Little did I know that everyone had them.

Common knowledge told me that these were expensive shoes because of the people who wore them. But who actually pays hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes that look years older than they actually are? Sure, they look trendy and I guess the “distressed” look is in, but when and where do we draw the line? For example, ripped jeans are cute and are worn very frequently. You can also purchase them for a very cheap price. However, when you choose to buy a pair of dirty “converse” for $400-600 despite there being people who dream of getting the clean pairs of shoes that we seem to take for granted—you need to sit back and assess your privilege.

The last pair of Converses I owned lasted me years. They had holes in the soles and they looked just like a brand new pair of Golden Goose shoes. Yet, while I saw my worn-out sneakers as a source of embarrassment, more affluent students are spending hundreds of dollars appropriating this look and being praised for it.

your $530 beat-up sneakers as a “flex” while I hide my old Converse out of shame? This disconnect may appear trivial, but it manifests itself in a way that mocks poverty and makes irony out of the reality of lower-income students. This should be a problem by any standard, and the fact that it isn’t one on the Lawrenceville campus does not shock me, but instead, upsets me. Our school loves to boast about how culturally aware and diverse we are, but we lack the awareness necessary to understand what the problem here is.

Clubs like the Bridge are making important strides in the conversation about socioeconomic status, but we still have more to do. I am not saying stop wearing your shoes, after all, they were super expensive. Yet, I am saying that before you put them on, think about what the duct tape on your shoes actually represents. I want to encourage a student body that is socially responsible and held accountable for our fashion decisions.

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Welcome to the 20s The 1920s were home to The Harlem Renaissance; the creation of Harlem, NYC as a mecca for Black American culture. This culture flourished in literature, music, performance and various art forms. Poetic breakthroughs from writers like Claude Mckay, and Jean Toomer paved the way for the work of the most notable poets of his time: Langston Hughes. Jazz, the groundbreaking music, originating from the

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the Harlem Renaissance is best remembered through the musical works of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith. Jazz music played a central role in creating and was manifested in Harlem nightlife. Other important black figures of the time include performer Josephine Baker, visual artist Aaron Douglas, and photographer Van Der Zee.

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solange: when i get home album review esha akhtar

“Black skin, black braids. Black waves, black days. Black baes, black days. These are black-owned things. Black faith still can't be washed away. Not even in that Florida water” Solange muses about black ownership on Almeda, the standout Pharrell produced, Playboi Carti featured track of the singer’s fourth full-length album: When I Get Home. Released midnight on March 1, Solange bridged the gap between Black History Month and Women's History Month by dropping the highly anticipated album following her 2016 masterpiece: A Seat at the Table. Where A Seat at the Table began the conversation on the intersectionality of identity through the gentle introspections of songs like Cranes in the Sky, Mad, and Don’t Touch My Hair, When I Get Home continues the theme of exploring blackness and womanhood while paying tribute to Solange’s hometown of Houston, TX to form an abstract, dreamlike homecoming.

The

19 track release feels more a cluster of

half-finished thoughts than it does a collection of fully realized singles. Reminiscent of Frank Ocean’s Endless or Tierra Whack’s Whack World, the transitions between the beginning of the song and the ending of the next are often blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. When I Get Home is a collage of the singer’s feelings that at times rarely linger long enough to fully register. It is like “channel-surfing through a restlessly innovative artist’s mind”

Solange begins the album through repetition, a theme that carries over throughout the album. As she “saw things [she] imagined,” the opening track invites the listener to join Solange as she explores the concept of home amidst a journey of evolution. Solange uses repetition to form a Houston and sense of home that defies time and definition within the wider context of Black culture. My Skin My Logo is a lullaby where Solange juxtaposes lulling verses with Gucci Mane’s “nursery-rhyme flow” to create a song that through repetition, ingrains a seemingly endless chain of alliterated Gucci ad-libs into the listener’s mind.

The

track listing features references to Third Ward

Houston and Solange’s childhood. In an Instagram post

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by Tina Knowles, Solange’s mother alludes to Binz Street, where the Knowles family grew up, or “hitting up Nola’s on ‘Almeda’ before jogging on the bayou on ‘S McGregor’” In Way to the Show, Solange’s voice flutters atop images of “candy paint down to the floor,” referencing candy car paint jobs, a staple of Houston culture.

Familiar

faces like Tyler, the Creator, Steve Lacy,

Sampha, and Earl Grey inspire the vision and aesthetic of the album, rather than detract from it. Interludes throughout feature samples ranging from Princess and Diamond from Crime Mob to Goddess Lulla Belle, a “Voodoo spiritualist and healer” touting the benefits of holy ‘Florida Water’ while repeatedly reminding the listener to do ‘nothing without intention.’

Accompanying

the

album

is

a

33-minute

long

audio-visual project released on Apple Music, “a vivid swirl of cowboy culture, Afrofuturism, and Southwestern American land art” that edges into the realm of avant-garde. Yet, the project offers careful breaks in aesthetic. In Binz, Solange’s vocals bounce atop an equally energetic beat where she longs to “wake up to the Sun and Saint Laurent.” The music video reflects this carefree, joyful attitude as it features several clips of Solange dancing recorded on her iPhone. Rough drafts, these videos offer an inside look to her enjoyment of not just movement, but the art of creation itself.


28 Days of Black Girl Magic: Mykael Canady + Editor’s Picks a playlist that highlights black, female artists, from legends like beyonce to up-and-coming rappers like tierra whack and leikeli47. black girl magic never sounded so good. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Django Jane - Janelle Monáe Almeda- Solange ICY GRL (feat Kehlani) - Saweetie Needed Me - Rihanna Holy - Jamila Woods ft Noname Hungry Hippo - Tierra Whack Shea Butter Baby - Ari Lennox Attitude - Leikeli47 Tyrone - Erykah Badu Doo Wop (That Thing) - Ms. Lauryn Hill Scuse Me - Lizzo Diddy Bop - Noname Big Brazy - Molly Brazy Independent Woman, Pt 1 - Destiny’s Child Don’t Touch My Hair - Solange Formation - Beyoncé Q.U.E.E.N - Janelle Monáe ft. Erykah Badu No Scrubs - TLC Countin Up - Rico Nasty Rollercoasters - Tank and the Bangas LEAVE ME ALONE - Kari Faux Fire in the Booth - Megan Thee Stallion Blk Girl Soldier - Jamila Woods I’m Every Woman - Chaka Khan Throw a Fit - Tinashe 7 Rings - Ariana Grande ***Flawless - Beyoncé, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie LLC - Nicki Minaj

90s Throwbacks Jasmine Bright 90s hip hop and R&B were both defining moments for their respective genres. often described the “golden age of hip hop,” this throwback playlist celebrates some of the most iconic songs of the decade. 90s R&B 1. Ex Factor - by Lauryn Hill 2. Killing Me Softly - Fugees 3. This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan 4. Motownphilly - Boyz II Men 5. Back & Forth - Aaliyah 6. Pony - Ginuwine 7. No Scrubs - TLC 8. Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe 9. Love Like This - Faith Evans 10. So Into You - Tamia 90s Hip Hop 1. Juicy - The Notorious B.I.G 2. If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) - Nas feat. Lauryn Hill 3. Fu-Gee-La - Fugees 4. Nuthin’ but a G thang - Dr.Dre feat. Snoop Dog 5. U.N.I.T.Y - Queen Latifah 6. California Love - 2Pac feat. Roger Troutman & Dr.Dre 7. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) - Jay Z 8. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) - Missy Elliott 9.It Was a Good Day- Ice Cube 10. CREAM - Wu-Tang Clan

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The Soul of The 70s

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“welcome to the hippest trip in america”


bell bottoms, platform shoes and afro puffs. cultural movements that grew out of 60s led to a cultural renaissance that placed african americans at the intersection of the widespread hippie culture of the 1970s and the black power movement.

second-wave feminism of the 70s combined with civil rights created a platform for African-American women. Margaret Sloan, a founder for the National Black Feminist Organization famously quoted in 1973, “There can’t be liberation for half a race.” artists like marvin gaye, the temptations, minnie riperton, michael jackson, stevie wonder, and earth wind & fire provided the soundtracks for one of the most prolific periods of black artistic expression in america.

the influence of 1970s soul music is still felt today, with Migos paying homage to Soul Train in their music video for “Walk It LIke I Talk It.”

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black stereotypes in sports Idaya Chambers In

both the National Basketball

Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), more than 70% of the players are black. Such a statistic suggests that black men are undeniably more likely to play professional sports such as basketball and football. However, the stereotypes interlinking black men with sports like football and basketball standardize the belief that black athletes possess “superior athletic abilities that enable them to excel”, which holds black athletes to an unfair and problematic standard.

While these beliefs may at first come off as praise, it is wrong to allow these stereotypes and their racist implications to exist freely in our society. 30 years ago, CBS Sports commentator, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, was quite blunt in his commentary on black athletes. In 1988, Snyder stated that the black athlete is superior "because of his high thighs that go up into his back," making the claim that during slavery “the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he would have a big black kid.” The mentality behind this comment and its connotations is rooted in the racist notion that black men are subhuman. More specifically, Snyder’s use of the word “breed” dehumanizes black men, comparing them to animals.

The

toxic notion that accepts black

men as simultaneously superhuman and subhuman can have extreme consequences. Take the case of Jordan McNair, a University of

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Maryland football player who died of heatstroke in June 2018 after being forced to run sprints in 100+ degree heat despite showing signs of extreme exhaustion. McNair’s death was the result of a “blatant, racist disregard for the safety of black students,” and even more so black athletes.

However,

A

Furthermore,

more

seemingly

innocent

stereotype is in the mere association of black people with sports such as football, basketball, and track. This stereotype although statistically supported, limits black athletes, marginalizing them from a vast variety of other sports, and especially those that deemed “white sports.” Nationally recognized athletes like tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, golf champion Tiger Woods, and Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles prove that black athletes can excel in any sport.

These

sort of stereotypes place

weight and restrictions on the lives and choices of black people in various inner-city communities across the U.S. Many members of these communities struggle with access to a good or extensive education in comparison to those in wealthier areas. In these cases, many black boys turn to and rely on playing sports as a source of income in the future.

this expectation almost

sets black children up for failure as it is very difficult to play in the NBA or the NFL. These black boys, who are not lucky enough to make it in these professions and already deprived of resources and career options, are left with nothing. these race driven

stereotypes and their surrounding notions place “stereotype threat” on individuals. This “stereotype threat” is evident when black athletes become self-conscious about both fulfilling and not living up to the high standards expected of these marginalized groups, further, undermining black athletes while marginalizing those who fall outside of such standards. At a prep school like Lawrenceville, this is demonstrated when black athletes are fetishized for their achievement. Furthermore, some black students limit themselves to stereotypically “black” sports such as football, basketball, and track-- and are hesitant to try sports like lacrosse, crew, or squash. Such tendencies create essentially segregated playing fields, evident in our community and many others.


sya france: race and my experience Megan Shuriah I would say that I came across an array of different peoples throughout my year abroad which made for a lot of unique memories and experiences. I remember this one time early on in the year (maybe mid-November) when I was waiting for the bus to go back to my host family’s house and two African men approached me. Half empty beer bottles in hand, they swayed a bit as they struck up a conversation with me, questioning my parents’ country of origin as they caught my American accent. I found them to be a bit funny and charming, albeit having my guard up because they were ultimately strangers. Those around me did not share the same sentiment; I noticed people tense up as they clutched tighter to their belongings and took two steps away from the people in question. Once they left, a middle-aged man near me let out a deep breath he was holding and whispered to me, “You should be careful of those types of people. They’re trouble.”

incidents with racism throughout my time there, though, I did witness actions that made me feel secondhand discomfort. How do you tell your friend’s host family that their stereotypical “jokes” come off as really insensitive and offensive when that’s what they’re used to? That’s an issue I struggled with while abroad, especially when people didn’t really realize the gravity of the small jabs they made from time to time.

Overall, I think moments like these really

Like in most other countries, race is a complex topic in France. I would say that the emphasis is placed more on one’s “country of origin” than anything else - something that took me a few months to realize. I am particularly thankful to say that I did not experience any substantial

reminded me of the way that cultural differences can manifest within society. It made me think more about the idea of tolerance and what that means on both sides of these types of situations; while I had to acknowledge that things like these happened because they were deemed to be socially acceptable, it was also a simultaneous moment where I could decide to step in and give my own perspective on how those seemingly tiny actions affected a sizeable population of people living among them. Understanding where people are coming from is really critical to being able to meet others halfway - especially if that middle point is thousands of miles away.

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Black Panther Party

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“You can jail a Revolutionary, but you can’t jail the Revolution.” Such were the battle cries of activist Huey P. Newton, who alongside Bobby Seale, founded the Black Panther Party in October of 1966 in Oakland, CA. A political group that fought against racism, capitalism, and police brutality, The Black Panther Party practiced revolutionary socialism by following the Ten Point Program. The Black Power Movement, largely created by The Black Panther Party, adopted a militant approach and promoted a sense of racial pride in the face of integration efforts of the 60s.

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being black in the arts at lawrenceville Gabby Medina If

I could describe Revisit Day at Lawrenceville in one word, it would be comforting. Coming from a school that was less than 5% black, I was amazed by the number of black students I saw on campus that day. I had a rough 8th grade year in my previous school, having to deal with a group of white students who made shockingly racist and anti-semitic comments online about a friend of mine and me. I knew that if I chose Lawrenceville, I would be choosing a school that provides me with a support system, and the opportunity to make lifelong friendships with people like me. But I also chose Lawrenceville because of Periwig, and the opportunity to further my education as a performer.

intimidated by that role because I didn’t think I could do justice to that character. I didn’t see how I could because at first all I saw was that there was no one in that play - not that character or any other character that looked like me.

Going into the audition I felt terribly insecure. I was a

black freshman girl who was auditioning with white senior girls for the role of a perky white girl. I knew that in order to audition, I had to dig below our dissimilar packaging and find the humanity that we shared.

That was the first experience I’ve had at Lawrenceville

where I was unsure if I belonged in Periwig. It was a bit difficult to find people to talk to about this experience who could empathize because I was the only black person in the musical. Fortunately, when the cast list came out, my best friend Allison was also going to be joining the musical, so I became one of two black girls instead. Despite the fact that there was a healthy number of black students at Lawrenceville, virtually none called Periwig home. Broadway is traditionally a very white space and so I felt like many if my close friends in the black community couldn’t relate to my artistic interests.

I first became interested in acting and singing when I was in 7th grade. At that time in my life all I did was sing around my house and watch Broadway shows, but in my final year of middle school I decided to take a leap of faith and audition for my 8th grade musical in the fall. I ended up getting the lead female role, and since then, performing has become one of the primary aspects of my identity. I have been watching Periwig musicals since I was 10, when my brother appeared in several at Lawrenceville, so I was obviously extremely excited to audition for Freshman Shakespeare and the musical. But walking into callbacks last year for Urinetown, I couldn’t help but notice that I was the only black person in the room. I did feel uneasy about that, but nonetheless I wanted to appear confident and firm, especially considering many of the people in the room were a lot older than I was. I remember watching clips of Urinetown on Broadway to study the character I was called back for, and what I watched was a perky rich white girl. I was

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I

think the biggest thing that saved me from this mindset was Hollywood. I’ve always been equally interested, if not more so, in TV and film as I am in Broadway. In this age, we have an abundance of black men and women represented in Hollywood with inspiring stories about how they got there. The genius of performers like Prince, Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, Lupita Nyong’o, and Tupac transformed the way I look at my art. If I have even an ounce of the amount of dedication they have for music and acting, there is literally nothing that can come between me and what I am passionate about. Because if theater is what I have dedicated so much of my time to and makes me happier than anything else, then I already belong. Right now in my life, I don’t view being black as something that hinders my versatility as an actress, but rather something that propels it because I bring such a unique presence to this stage that nobody else can. So I encourage you to incorporate all aspects of your identity into whatever you’re passionate about even if you’re not represented in your particular environment. Talent has no race, so keep auditioning and performing and do it unapologetically, too. Because different is good, and you belong wherever your passion is.


Poetry Emilia Onuonga “Sweet Ol’ Robert E. Lee” Bodies I saw bodies through the screen on the ground and I can't comprehend why America loves sweet ol’ Robert E. Lee

So, when you Neo-Nazies White supremacists And racists Look up to this Lee I wonder how it feels to be consumed by hate

For some it would be a nightmare to stare into the eyes Of Neo-Nazies, White supremacists, racists But for me It would be a dream Some sort of twisted fantasy

Why is it hate that you love? Do you find it beautiful when it dances With discrimination? Do you find it pretty when it plays With prejudice? And tells you that hate is love So you hate even more Bodies

I would say to them... if only you could take a moment to realize that this skin of mine does not make me an enemy of you If only you could acknowledge that this skin of mine does not put me below you And you above me Yet you presume yourself to be superior and me inferior to the statues And monuments that mirror chains And sing their songs of oppression Tell. me. why. children of color Children of charlottesville go to school and see those sweet sweet statues looking down on them Debasing their identity Disregarding their humanity

I saw bodies through the screen On the floor It all seemed to In one, two, three swift scenes. One.

When that car drove backwards I heard the moaning slaves Cry loud as blood gushed out I saw the slaves fall to the ground And I heard the rattle of the chains ring ring ring ring Bodies History says that the north won the civil war But it is the south who truly won Because we still have those statues That ring ring ring Their songs of oppression.

Africa Still Stands My 10 year old cousin tells me that he does not want to be Kenyan only American And I cannot pretend to be When the followers of shocked sweet ol’ Robert Lee he grew marched for Lee up in a society I saw Black Bodies shot by Which told him that police Black. was. not. good. I heard my mom tell my enough brothers “To be careful in this world And that his skin color which has the cards stacked was. not. Light enough. They tell me up against you” Two. that she When the car drove into the is full of third world no-good back hand dirty protesters countries I saw hoses strike down They tell me black bodies to the ground that Africans are stuck in I heard the police dogs their ways barking’ People who keep on keep I saw cotton on drumming and singing I heard the whip strike To useless tunes. But once, strike twice, I heard when I the whip strike the slave look into the eyes of Africa out. Three

I see her striving to live in a world which told her to leave the dinner table Only to put her on the platter and serve her as the main meal the next day. All because of the color her skin They tell me that her ebony, cinnabon, mocha co-co chocolate colored skin is inferior But when I see ebony and smell That cinnamon I feel strength embedded within Yet despite this Despite being kicked down by slavery Severed off by colonialism Beaten down again and again by racism Africa still stands Africa still sings Africa keeps on keeps on keeps on drumming When Africa speaks It is in parables Telling concrete truths in abstract terms. When Africa dances She moves with the intention Of shaking the devil off her back Every hip thrust, head nod, low dip is a spiritual awakening When Africa dresses Her bold blues and daring yellows make her ebony skin Shine bright They told her to stop her hips from swinging To stop her lips from singing, but Africa still stands Africa still sings Africa keeps on keeps on keeps on drumming

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modern day

UNITED WE STAND.

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black empowerment is about making space and celebrating adversity. it is about recognizing strength in the face of historical challenges, and uniting all people.


DIVIDED WE FALL.

it is not our differences that divide us. it is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. - Audre Lorde

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Profile for In the Margins

In the Margins: Black History Edition Winter/Spring 2019  

In the Margins: Black History Edition Winter/Spring 2019  

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