A PUBLICATION FROM THE KIDS OF
The Gen-Z Crew
Writer `n Chief Miles Thomas Senior, Collierville
Illustrator Navy Smith Junior, White Station
Illustrator Taylor Murry Junior, Germantown
Illustrator `n Chief Julianna Simpson Junior, Collierville
Illustrator Jada Brooks Freshman, SouthWind
Illustrator Luie Kimbrow Junior, Collierville
Writer Writer Writer Taylor Gladney Jamaea Nelson Angela Carter Senior, Bolton Junior, Lausanne Junior, White Station
EDITORS' NOTE MILES
We are living in times that
Being part of the Centennials or
many will never understand. From the
Generation Z, I believe it is time to
music that plays in our earphones to
change the mindsets of those who
the ever growing influence of social
believe that we are the generation of
media, our world is changing
lost childhood, technology, and
and Generation Z, are leading it.
lay-z. Although our generation may be
While this Zine isn't a complete
labeled with the last letter of the
guide into our world, it is a look
alphabet, we are definitely the first
at the deep complexity of who we are
ones they're depending on to lead
as a generation. While reading, I
America with our stunning talents and
advise you to look inward and remove
ideas. As Inspirationalists, Internet
all pre-conceived notions of who we
Experts, Overachievers, Competitors,
are. Throw them out the window, go
and Entrepreneurs we are
outside that window, and stomp on
creating created a globalist
them. We aren't just kids who
constantly stay on our phones, or are numb to the world. We are a huge
In this issue, not only will you
melting pot of activist, champions,
witness phenomenally creative poems,
social and cultural influences, and
illustrations, reflections, and music
those that shape the world we are
from future leaders,
apart of now.
but also experience an ambitious
segment of the Gen Z chapter.
- Miles T.
- Julianna S.
#Long LIVE LONG LIVE THE SMILING FACES. THE LAUGHS AND THE TEARS, THE NOISES ONCE HEARD, THAT WERE MUSIC TO YOUR EARS. ALL THAT YOU HAVE NOW IS MEMORIES. THESE KIDS ARE DROPPING LIKE FLIES. THEY HAVE NO REGARD FOR LIFE UNTIL THEY GET INCHES CLOSER. SOME OF THOSE “FRIENDS” YOU HAVE ARE YOUR ENEMIES. SEE, GROWING UP IN THIS GENERATION, YOU HAVE TO REFLECT ON WHAT YOU’VE SEEN AND REJECT SOME PEOPLE; SOMETIMES IT’S IN YOUR OWN BLOOD. ALL THE POSTS ABOUT “ONLY GONE MISS ME WHEN I’M DEAD”. PEOPLE CLAIM TO BE LOVERS AND NOT THE LOSERS THEY TRULY ARE. THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER. JEALOUSY TRUMPS ALL AND RUINS LIVES. “BOOM” SHOT…IN THE HEAD. THE ESSENCE AND PRESENCE OF YOU IS HELD ON TO SO TIGHTLY, YOU CANNOT WATCH, YOU MUST SEE. YOU HAVE NOW SEEN THE WORLD FOR WHAT IT TRULY IS, FOR WHAT IT STRIPS AWAY, AND WHAT IT GIVES. NOW YOUR BREATH HAS BEEN CUT SHORT THEY WISH FOR MORE, FOR YOUR LIFE TO THRIVE, BUT NOW YOU ARE A STATISTIC. #LONGLIVE
- Taylor Murry
Artwork by Taylor Murry
REFLECTIONS OF GEN- Z When earlier generations look at
As a 14-year-old going to school, I am
Generation Z, what do they see? They see
constantly surrounded by members of
dangers of “the Tide Pod Challenge.” They
Generation Z and have many experiences with
see money hungry adolescents with no
them. One such experience is the way violence
ambition. They see pointless dance crazes
and the glorification of violence makes its way
and violent delinquents. They see slaves to
into schools. While it is extremely
social media. It’s easy to judge from the
inappropriate to blame an entire genre of
outside looking in, but these aspects don’t
music for violence, it is reasonable to blame
accurately represent Generation Z.
the artists for glorifying terrible acts for a
Generation Z is Moziah Bridges, CEO of
crowd that’s underage and therefore lacking
Mo’s Bows, a very successful bow business
in certain reasoning skills. I see people often
based in Memphis, TN. Generation Z is
resort to the anger and hatefulness that is
Savannah Britt, creator of magazine
perpetually displayed in a wide range of
“Girlpez,” making her the youngest person
media, i.e. music, TV, video games, books –
to start her own publication. Generation Z
books can be super violent, trust me – etc.
are the students who work hard for straight A's, the students that value
To fix this, it is necessary for artists of all
education; the kids who create art instead
genres to gain awareness as to who their
of following trends, like Brandon Mensah,
audience is. It is also even more necessary that
creator of fashion INSIG - a Memphis based
childrean and teens understand what things
clothing brand run entirely by a 16-year
should be reenacted and brought to their real
old; the teens who speak their mind rather
lives. Differentiating between media
than shying away from the truth.
propaganda and real life can be hard, but it is
Generation Z is the future of this country,
important in order to decrease violence in
and the sooner we’re seen for what we
schools and amongst children.
truly are, the better.
- Jada Brooks
- Angela Carter
The workforce is a male-dominated industry: it was, is, and may continue to be this way if things don’t change. More women are being hired into rare jobs, but as a whole, women are not equally distributed throughout the workforce. The percentage is 47% women to 53% men. I want to contribute to this change. I aspire to be an athletic trainer for a NFL team. The typical stereotype for this job is a middle-aged, white male. In my opinion, my skin color, my age, and my physical appearance should not matter. I can do the job just as good, or even better, than a man. Seeing that the NFL job positions are mostly male is what causes me to want to make a change. I'm determined for my change to be remembered eternally, and for it to motivate others. - Navy Smith
4 BIG SEAN BY JAMAEA NELSON
Sean Adams, a 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;5, 340 lb. Guard at Memphis East High School died February 9, 2018. Adams underwent knee surgery days before his death. He began to experience difficulty breathing; he was taken to the hospital, where he passed a blood clot and died that day.
Before Adams’ injury, he played football for Memphis East. He started his sophomore year when the football team won the Class 4A State championship game. They were one of four teams in Memphis that won state championships that year. Adams was the 32nd best prospect in rankings. He received offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Austin Peay, Missouri, and Tennessee. Friends and classmates share memories and thoughts of Sean below: M.A.S.E. Student, Sidney Hall, Jr.(19) went to school with Sean in 8th grade at Bellevue Middle School. Hall recalls Sean making jokes and doing activities in gym. “He was like a cool, big, fun, gentle person. He had so much potential to get out of Memphis. I just can’t believe he’s gone.” Lausanne Collegiate School’s defensive tackle, Gary Walton (19) recollects being at a camp with Adams for football. Although Walton didn’t know Sean, he noticed something special about him. Walton said, “He was a very good player. He had a lot of potential and was determined to win.” One of Sean’s closest friends, Tarique Barnes, says, “Sean was one of my closest friends…He helped me keep my head on straight. He kept me going. I think it was so cool when he used to tell me that I had what it took to be great, and that he was going to support me every step of the way. Sean always had my back and he used to tell me he admired me. He made me feel important and appreciated. He was family to me.” Friends, classmates, and others said things like: “R.I.P. Big Sean. We’ll Miss You Young King and Fly High Sean.” via Snapchat. Another friend expressed his feelings, saying, “All he wanted to do was make his mother proud. He was the kindest person ever. He worked so hard for everything. I will never forget you Family. R.I.P.” It is very clear that this young man wasn’t just a regular person. To many, he was a kind angel that has gone way too soon. He was a hard worker and impacted many people with whom he made contact. Memphis will never be the same without Sean Adams. “He finally got his wings.” Rest In Peace. Well Done Big Sean.
SITITNARAS HSOJ YB LARUM LOOHCS HGIH LARTNEC FO NOSPMIS ANNAILUJ YB OTOHP
THE RHYTHM By Miles Thomas
The rhythm is something you won’t feel before Something Different from what you felt Three Claps, Me and My Guys Get Up with three high fives Shoot Shoot Shoot Shoot is all we see So, this just take it all away for me The bass, the drums, the sounds, Keep me from being lost and then found somewhere I ain’t ‘posed to be The way Drake touch my soul is the same way Marvin did yours Instead of telling her here, my dear, I tell her to take care Instead of sexual healing, I tell her it ain’t free But it ain’t all ‘bout the thighs and the dollar signs crossing my eyes We make a statement, we say something Like even when they pimpin’ our butterflies, we gone be alright Or Ask why Amerikkka Don’t Love Me Statements are what we make through the beat, The rhythm
Highlights of Gen- Z
The All-Around Champion: Simone Biles By Navy Smith
At only 21 years of age, Simone Biles has become the most decorated American gymnast. She has achieved 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, and expects more to come. In 2013, she delivered a historic showing at the World Championships by becoming the first female African-American athlete to win gold in the All-Around. In 2015, she claimed a record for three straight world All-Around titles. She also went on to lead the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team to win gold at the 2016 Summer Games. She is an inspiration to many in our generation, especially since she's an AfricanAmerican. Her achievements have not only inspired many, but has also set the mindset to work harder for what you want in life.
Highlights of Gen- Z
The Little Activist: Little Miss Flint BY JADA BROOKS
At the age of eight, Mari Copeny, more popularly known as Little Miss Flint, brought awareness to the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis by inviting President Barack Obama to Michigan to discuss the issue. Two years later, at the age of 10, Miss Flint was awarded a $10,000 scholarship to Central Michigan University for her work with the community. Recently, she referred to ‘President’ Donald Trump as a bully for his actions and statements. At the moment, she is raising money for 100 children in Flint to see the movie Black Panther. This fundraiser is due to her belief that it’s important for young children to see representation of themselves on screen. In a world where anger, hatred, and pain run rampant, activism is necessary. This is especially true for young people; the future of our society and world. The activism demonstrated by Mari is commendable. We must replicate these actions amongst our peers. Spread some joy between your peers and community members through donations, volunteer work, and through communication with members of your government. You can be an activist at any age, just like Little Miss Flint.
Highlights of Gen- Z
The Activist: RaSia Khepra and Project Orange Tree BY JAMAEA NELSON
RaSia Khepra is a college student who now campaigns against gun violence in Chicago. The death of his close friend, Hadiya Pendleton, motivated him to make a difference. Pendleton was shot and killed randomly a week after she performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration in January. Gunfire is very familiar in Chicago. Khepra knew several people who had been shot, but his dear friend inspired him to make a change. As he said, “I don’t think having somebody that close to you can ever leave your mind if they’ve been taken in such a way.” Khepra and some of his peers decided to create an anti-violence awareness campaign called “Project Orange Tree.” POT coordinates community activities to start the conversation about the causes of gun violence including the support of Lupe Fiasco, a rapper and entrepreneur.
THE FIGHT FOR SAFETY IN SCHOOLS By Taylor Gladney (with Photos by Luie Kimbrow)
The issue of gun control laws has risen once again after the shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 innocent teenagers dead. Many people are wondering whether guns are weapons that are used for self-defense against crimes or a catalyst for criminals to intimidate, injure, and kill innocent people. The controversial debate about guns has inspired everyone to find the root cause of gun violence and a solution to the problem. With many controversial perspectives, people have taken their own stances about the best solution that would prevent school shootings from happening in the future. According to MSNBC, our 46th president has recently made a proposal that included “school resource officers” -- or trained teachers being allowed to carry guns -- and even went further by saying that the teachers who carry guns should receive bonuses. He believes that guns are not the problem which has sparked a social media campaign known as #peoplekillpeople. Many students and teachers are opposed to the idea of teachers carrying guns, but there are students who think the idea is decent. After interviewing one of my peers, I learned his stance on teachers being able to carry guns. He believes that certain teachers should be allowed to carry a “concealed permit” and keep an “unloaded gun” in the classroom. On the other hand, an argument can be made for not allowing teachers to carry guns. It is a possibility that students can get their hands on the guns and seriously hurt themselves or someone else. More emphasis should be made on policy changes for resource officers in case of an incident like another mass school shooting. While most students have rather strong opinions about gun laws, there are some students who don’t take a side. After interviewing another one of my peers, I found out that her stance is rather neutral to the situation. She believes that having or not having stricter gun laws wouldn’t matter because “guns are so accessible now.”
Other students do not believe that to be true; the government should focus on a more stringent procedure when purchasing a gun and requiring a thorough evaluation of a person’s mental health before he/she is allowed to buy a gun. Certain guns such as “assault rifles” and “automatics” should not be accessible to citizens at all. Another point that should be brought to attention is the banning of Kinder Eggs. Kinder Eggs were banned in 1938 because the chocolate eggs contained a toy inside of them. Kinder Eggs are banned, but an 18 year old is able to buy an AR 15 rifle. An 18 year old is not legally able to drink alcohol, but an 18 year old is able to buy an AR 15 rifle. An 18 year old is just now able to have a voice in political decisions; yet, 18 is deemed an acceptable age to legally purchase an AR 15 rifle. As youth, we are told that we should not be able to drink until 21 because at 18 we are not trusted to drink responsibly. We are told that we are not be able to vote until we are 18 because we are too immature to make good decisions about electing our future leaders. Ironically, we are trusted to make good decisions with a military weapon at the age of 18. Banning guns altogether may not be the solution, but there should definitely be stricter gun laws.
© 2018 | MEMPHIS CHALLENGE PUBLICATIONS All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information, address The Memphis Challenge, 516 Tennessee St., Suite 422, Memphis, Tennessee 38103. Memphis Challenge unveils the third installment of the “Tell Me A Story” service project series. Aligned with the MLK50 commemoration, Memphis Challenge students created four electronic magazines (Zines), featuring prose and art relating to social justice. A portion of the project is funded by a generous grant from the Hyde Family Foundation, FedEx, and Pyramid Peak Foundation. Special thanks to the production team – Heather Bruce, Avery Cunningham, Eleazar Rendon, Caroline Warren, McKenzii Webster and Executive Director, Cassandra Webster – for your expertise, commitment, vision, and leadership. Parents, guardians and MC board of directors thank you for your trust and support.