Table of Contents 7. Mumble Rap Takeover 8. Covering Our Roots
Staff List Editor In Chief: Nia Gibson Managing Editor: Nadia Suleman, Asia Lance Creative Director: Blake Duncanson Illustrator: Elena Demet Photo Editor: Simone “Money” Ayers Fashion Director: Sonia Goswami Front of Book Editor: Cherilyn Beckles Back of Book Editor: Caitlin Joyles Easy Features Editor: Sarai Thompson Sports Editor: Jalen Nash Fiscal Agent: Julio Burgos Models: Caitlin Joyles Easy, Krysta Gnidziejko, Jalen Nash, Julio Burgos, Mikayla Benseñor, Gayle Mendez,
10. The Downfall of HBCUSE 12. #Ad 14. Greek Evolution 16. Student Spotlights 20. A Seat at the Table 21. Canceled 22. More Than Just a Game 23. Black Sexuality Spectrum 24. FASHION 30. Redefining Beauty 31. Black Faces, White Spaces 32. Buying Black 34. Criminal (IN) Justice 36. The (Angry) Black Woman 37. Freaknik VS. Miami
Matt Moore, Lloyd Ansah, Eunice Boatng, Blake Duncanson, Tiffany Gerald, Justice Richardson,
38. Drugs Then VS. Now
Myles Morgan, Brandon Belton, Aru Banks, Torian Love, Kiara Molina, Zack Warden, Jala Wilson,
40. Changing Chanels
Oneysha Brown, Ifetayo Dudley, Kemett High, Kyliah Almedia, Payton Campbell, Jay Shavers,
41. Tatted and Talented
Cheyenna Trigg, Skeyeler Delva
42. Culture Vultures 43. Gentrification 43. Why Us? 45. Fashion Evolution 46. Renegades Choice
A Message From Our Editor
y first issue as Editor-In-Chief. Love. If you asked me how I felt writing this it’s genuine love. I love the ups and downs, I love the countless hours put into this, I love the relationships formed from this magazine, I love the people before me and the ones to come, I love the struggles we can experience with one another in and outside the classroom. Being apart of something so amazing, so raw, and so different has been a blessing. It was challenging yes, but an experience I would not trade it for the world. The theme of this semester’s issue is evolution- the gradual development of something. We speak about the evolution of fashion, style, politics, social justice, and anything else you can imagine with a splash of that unique Renegade flavor. I’m a lover of the old school and I appreciate the path created for the new school, millenials, generation x, or whatever you want to call us. It is truly an honor continuing to provide a space for us. As the only black general interest magazine on campus we have a duty to everyone to create a space where we are represented in the best light imaginable. We are artists, architects, politicians, leader, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, innovators, magical. We are powerful beings who has no choice but to spread our wings. Like DJ Khaled said “They kick you when you’re down, but they wanna kick it when you’re up.” We will not let the haters or naysayers bring us down. Regardless of who is “in power”, our political climate, or the next scandal we have to stick together. The point of this issue is to reflect on how being people of color has always been and will continue to be bomb. Be kind to each other Live your dreams Never stop being you
“Brothas and sistas are making their dreams into realities, and don’t think we haven’t noticed! Let’s shed some light on the movers and shakers who may not always be headline makers, and the stories from a culture that is strong,creative,and daring.You may not have heard...but if you don’t know, now you know.”
Mumble Rap Takeover By: Larry Mikanga From humble beginnings, to one of the most overbearing genres in the music industry, rap has kept its listeners at its beck and call for 40odd years. The drastic change from its inception into the music world to 2018 is one that no casual listener would have predicted and not many who listen for a living were able to foresee this. We have gone from political to fun and carefree to misogynistic to where we are now. One of the major changes in rap is the lyrical content that it’s consumers choose to listen to the most. When rap was first introduced, the uncanny wordplay and storytelling of the artists carried their careers and their fans followed suit and named the ones who had the best balance of both as the best at that time. Lyrics played a major role in the past because of how simple the beats were. The listener could hear every single word that was said and rap resembled poetry a lot more than it does in its current state today. Now, the age of the producer is at its peak. The producers were always on the come-up but they did not have such a huge impact until today. Producers like Kanye, Just Blaze, and Swizz Beatz were able to balance the wordplay with the production. However, the decline in the wordplay was definitely noticeable, but the rise of unique flows had made up for this. Now, production has taken complete control and neither flow nor wordplay matter. Artists are getting away with saying nothing at all, as long as it rides the beat. Lyrics played a huge role and slowly made its way out of the mainstream scene.
music a little bouncier. This added to the idea of “flow” I mentioned earlier. At the 1995 Source Awards, the gates for Atlanta were opened and the industry began to shift their focus away from West Coast vs. East Coast and focus solely on what they enjoyed listening to. This allowed areas such as the midwest, the deep south, the DMV, Toronto, and even the UK to get their time in the spotlight. Arguably, right now, many will say that Atlanta has reclaimed the rap game and is still holding on to it. I, personally, think that Florida and Texas both are producing the artists and flows that everyone wants to emulate/listen to. As a hot take to close this section off, the next area to hold the reigns will in fact be the Midwest, personally led by Zero Fatigue. (You heard it here first.) As you can clearly see, rap has moved, evolved, adapted, and even regressed in some aspects depending who you ask. No one really knows where it’s going to end up, but one thing is for sure: Talent will always stand above the rest. So don’t hate rap for what it has become, but enjoy it for what it is. But if you can’t, there are still artists who are keeping their favorite eras of rap alive in their music.
Another major evolution in rap is the major city/ area that ran the industry. Location played a huge role in the content that was both put out and accepted by the majority of listeners across the country. At its inception, New York City was the biggest contributor to the rap game. Rappers like Biggie, Nas, and Rakim were the big names coming out of there and are deities in the rap history. It was not until Death Row came into the scene that the west coast took some, but not all, the shine away from NYC. This added the funk element to the songs released which made the
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Covering Our Roots
1960’s We continued chemically damaging our hair to get a sleek, straight look, but now we were also adding tons of hair spray for a more voluminous style. The idea was the bigger the better so it was no surprise that afros were soon to come.
Power to the people. Are you down for the liberation of black and brown people? Organizations such as the Black Panthers were the face of the fro during this time as they made many strides for the civil rights of Black Americans. Being able to advocate for themselves, fellow brothers and sisters began to own their natural roots, rocking afros, twist-outs, and braids.
The Jheri Curl. A permed hairstyle created by hairstylist and entrepreneur, Jheri Redding. The style that left your perm looking shiny and moisturized. Jheri curls were seen worn by well-respected male artists such as Michael Jackson and Ice Cube. As the style gained more popularity, men and women began wearing it.
By: Alyssa Prescott
obby pins scatter around the drawer with pieces of broken off hair stuck in between. There are big hair ties with many colors. The hair cream, gel, mousse, leave-in, spray bottle, and brush sits comfortably in the drawer. The Conair blow dryer shimmers as the light reflects off the bathroom mirror. I pick up the blow dryer, gather a handful of bobby pins, grab the detangling hairbrush, and of course I can’t forget the rattail comb. I run back to mom’s room, she puts on a Lifetime movie as we get comfortable. This is our go-to channel when doing my hair. It helps her pass time. Helps me pass time, too. She sits at the edge of her bed with her feet apart just enough for me to sit on the ground. I place my cushion there, sit up straight and tall as she picks up the rat-tail comb and begins to part my hair in four sections.
1950’s The beginning of the straight hair era. Women of color wanted to have what was known as “good hair”. Good hair was a term that was created to oppress black beauty, conforming to the Eurocentric standards of what it means to be beautiful.
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Of course the 90s has to go to the era of the braids. Long, thick, and heavy as hell. Braids were not only a way for Black women to express themselves, but also the perfect protective style for their hair. Due to the coarseness of black hair, we tend not to retain as much moisture as other hair types. We see the current generation of the 21st century bringing back to life many trends from the 90s, one being hair. From box braids to micro braids they have tried it all. On the other hand, we now see white women in Western society culturally appropriating the cornrow hair style, claiming it as their own. The same hair that they used to mock, they now began to imitate.
The birth of the billion dollar weave industry started in the early 2000s as women of color wanted acceptance in society. Weaves gave black women the ability to be in public spaces without ridicule. It effected how these women were viewed in the workplace as many black woman wouldn’t pass interviews with their natural hair, even if it was chemically altered to appear straightened. We have women celebrities with the most expensive weaves and wigs influencing other black women to go out and buy the same. There wasn’t much appreciation of going natural until 2010s.
This is the beginning of the reclamation of black beauty. Slowly, we see more and more woman wearing their natural hair outside. As our society becomes more accepting and open minded, the black woman feels more comfortable to be her true self. Women of color in power is what gives us the courage to proudly show our identity, not caring what the hegemonic expectations are.
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The Downfall of HBCUSE
F By: Jalen Nash
ounded in 1870, Syracuse administration has long prided itself on the “diversity” of its student body, staff and faculty. Our school website confirms this sentiment, stating “Syracuse University has a long tradition of creating, promoting and enhancing a diverse and inclusive campus community”. While the administration has made momentary attempts at fulfilling this promiseintegrating athletic teams, banning “hate speech” or forming “Offices of Diversity and Inclusion”- throughout the decades, the black student body has consistently felt separated, disadvantaged or “othered” by our campus environment.
Records of this sentiments date back as far as the 1930s. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, an SU student who later became a Tuskegee airman, was one of the earliest star black quarterbacks in collegiate football. He dazzled with his amazing athleticism and driven mindset. While his legacy remains a proud part of black heritage, at the time, he was forced to deny his blackness, instead claiming he was Hindu, to avoid discrimination from his school and team. As this country and university progressed, and more black students walked the halls of SU, the black student experience evolved. Mirroring the impact of the Civil Rights movement, a lot of change came in the sixties and seventies, in large part due to the rise of black student activism. In a record-breaking season from 1961, Ernie Davis became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. In 1968, the student body elected Charles Hicks as their Student Government President, making him the first African-American to hold that position. And after a decade of clashes and protests, the university began the African American Studies program in 1972. “While the 1960s was a lot about revolution, the eighties and nineties were about getting into spaces today, to get to tomorrow.” This decade saw a sharp rise in the number of black college students. In 1995, black students made up about thirteen percent of the student body. And while their numbers were strong, class of 1996 alumni Ianna Small remembers, “our campus was very segregated. There were black/latino dorms and then white dorms. South Campus was
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the minority hub and it was always a joke that they put us on South to get away from us.” Ultimately, this segregation strengthened the bonds between many black students. “Even though we were in a PWI, all my friends were black all of the people I hung out with were black, so I did not feel like I was in a ‘white space’”. Students hosted events, threw parties, and hung out in Schine underground, with a strong sense of community. They found family and comfort in each other. Fast forward to the present, changes continued to be made in the class of 2018. Through this four year stretch- the (only) three black student magazines were founded, students organized successful protests and town halls, and SA has elected another black President, Ghufran Sahlid. The legacy of our predecessors can be seen all around us, from the Jabberwocky Café (soon to be replaced), to the MLK Library, to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Unfortunately, much of this legacy has been threatened by the shifting political, social and educational climate.
and its predominantly white staff an advantage over our, predominantly black publications.
Conflating with these other issues, last year’s Theta Tau incident, showed us that some students do not want us here. Despite that, we must persevere. Overcoming these trials will be difficult, just as it was for the generations before us. Nevertheless, we, the black student body, have a responsibility to pass the torch and push this campus forward for future generations of black students. Despite the obstacles ahead of us, plenty of examples of black student excellence have continued to shine through. That said, it is important that we support each other, in all endeavors, both big and small. Many feel like our black community stands divided, a far cry from the unity of students before us. The first step back into our legacy starts with each individual. Open doors for each other, say hello on the Promenade, go to org events and appreciate that we are the future of black success.
Coinciding with the rise of Trump and the attack on “others”, in recent years the university has cut down on its commitment to the POSSE Foundation and scholarship opportunities for black students. Within the last few year it has shut down locations in Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Class of 2019 POSSE scholar, and Atlanta native Kenny Buckner says, “for me, Syracuse wasn’t originally on my list, and without Posse, I would have never stepped foot on this campus, never would have had any of the unique experiences I’ve had here.” By cutting these programs, many talented but underprivileged individuals, most of them black, will never even get the opportunity to apply to SU. Black parties and events continue to be monitored, and often shut down, by DPS, leading many students to stay in rather than waste a night on a shut-down event. And many of our student organizationsfraternities, publications and groups- do not receive funding equitable to their white counterparts. This cycle perpetuates, giving both the publication, and its predominantly
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By: Dassy Kemedijo Photography By: Simone Ayers Hourglass. Thigh gap. Slim thick. These body image trends have populated society’s idea of the perfect figure, also known as “body goals,” for centuries. Film, television, music, and mainstream media promote certain body types and features that are generally unrealistic and don’t represent what women actually look like. For women of color, these supposedly ideal body types are coupled with Eurocentric beauty features. Westernized concepts of beauty such as lighter skin, smaller noses, and straighter hair have been idolized since the commencement of colonization. On the surface, body goals are sources of fitness motivation, especially in the United States, which is plagued by alarming obesity rates. On the other hand, they can also lead to detrimental, even sinister, methods that are damaging to our health. The view of having fat on your body as being a negative thing is a relatively new concept. Fat used to signify wealth and meant that you were being well-fed. Historically, the majority of society (which society) were working class, impoverished, or if you were black, a slave.
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However, fat started becoming visually undesirable in the latter half of the 19th century, and it began to link to health problems in the 20th century. Gradually, having more weight was synonymous with being ugly, and that problematic worldview persists to this day. In the 1920s, women secured the right to vote, and flappers were in style. For the first time in history, the traditionally “feminine” body type of curves and a large bust was traded in for a more “masculine” body type that rejected curves and encouraged thinness. Celebrities like entertainer Josephine Baker embodied this figure all throughout the famous Harlem Renaissance. Combined with the technological developments of bathroom scales and fulllength mirrors, the notion of “body obsession” was born. Men and women alike perpetuated these body stereotypes, and pop culture reflected this, just look at any 1920s issue of Life magazine. Fast forward to the 30s and 40s where the ideal type was still somewhat thin, although it was slightly fuller. No one wanted to look like they were starving during the Great Depression and subsequent World War Two. It wasn’t until the late 1950s into the 1960s when the perspective started to vaguely shift. As Motown was grinding out hit after hit, musicians such as Diana Ross and Gladys Knight were icons of the culture. Their bodies, still incredibly slim but, featuring a more sizable chest that represented the epitome of body image at
the time. Keep in mind that by the 60s, the civil rights movement was well underway, meaning that women of color were facing oppression on two fronts: the patriarchal “perfect” body image, and the subjugation of the white man. We now arrive to the 70s, the setting of the women’s liberation and hippie movements, as well as the emergence of the “blaxploitation” film genre, where sex symbols like Pam Grier were classic examples of what Black women aspired to be. Skinniness was still highly valued, but with an edge of androgyny, ushering in the “slim and flared” silhouette as disco culture rose to prominence. 1974 was the first time a Black model was featured on the cover of American Vogue, with model Beverly Johnson making her debut. Speaking of the modeling industry, the 1980s saw the reign of supermodels like Iman and Naomi Campbell. Of course, the term “supermodel” is tantamount to looking slim, bordering on emaciated. Yet, idols like Grace Jones challenged this body image with a more androgynous and muscular look, shunning the more commonly accepted svelte figure. At long last, we reach the 90s, an arguably revolutionary era in pop culture, beauty, and, of course body image. The supermodel era is thriving, and the “waif” style, which entailed looking extremely malnourished, is prominent.
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It was created for black men to have an escape from the daily tribulations that came with being outcasted. They wanted other people to know that from the ability to relate, they could create a home for one another. As men from all over the country traveled to spread Alpha across the map, the idea of fighting racial pressure was from the inside caught onto ears everywhere. The idea was” you can make us feel like we’re unwelcome or not at home, but you cannot shut us out. We’ll create a house, and in our house with our family is where we find our peace.”
The Alpha, The Omega and Everything Inbetween By: Kemet High Photography By: Simone Ayers As black people on a predominantly white campus, we need a safe space and a home. That home should be unapologetically black, and maintained by people that look like us. For those who don’t, a superiority complex seems to be prominent more often than not. It’s crazy to look back and think about how we used to be deprived of education, and academic necessities like reading and writing. Back then, college wasn’t an option until historically black colleges & universities came about. Syracuse is not one of those schools. Imagine coming to a place where no one looks like you, talks like you, thinks like you, yet is expected to guide you. College alone can make you feel isolated and as you’re figuring yourself out you are lost culturally as well and don’t have the resources to relate to. Even though schools became desegregated, this does not mean that things drastically changed for African Americans . Historically, numbers of black people at these institutions were nowhere near close to that of non-black counterparts. For the few black people that were at those institutions, the environment was so aggressive that it allowed for them to be bullied, ridiculed, or simply just excluded. So a few men at Cornell University decided to do what we always should: fight, but what was different about this fight was that it was internal, rather than external. In 1906, the first black greek organization, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded.
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In 1963, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, or “NPHC” was completed with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (1906), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (1908), Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (1911), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (1911), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (1913), Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (1914), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (1920), Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (1922), and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity (1963). Although each organization differs drastically, one thing they all have in common is the culture. There’s a certain flavor we drip on the culture. We’ve witnessed a few things like derogatory comments in a class on one hand, or on the other hand in a party where people aren’t throwing dubs to the radio top 100. As greek organizations made their mark and expanded across campuses all over the U.S., they emphasized academic excellence and self appreciation. The structure of support allows for to not only relate to one another more, but also for us to see and celebrate the successful things we’re doing. That support builds a mold that breeds confidence, and solidarity. It’s not just about greek life though. Schools boast about their “diversity and inclusion” but that always excludes us. So naturally, we began to form our own organizations that not only uplift those around us, but give a routed example to the things that matter to us. We create art through our dance and step teams, report on our culture through our urban magazines we brought into circulation, and our fraternities and sororities. Nobody has us but us. That’s why we dance, that’s why we step, that’s why we sing, and that’s why we write. We are the spirit to the culture, and noting how important and significant it is, why would we ever let that die? The black org is more than a band of people that work together. The black org is how we hold the light high, as our home can never be taken away from us, no matter how far it is.
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What are three words you would use to describe yourself? -One word I would use is fly. As a girl to get called fly by men is one of the biggest accomplishments for me. I have always wanted to appeal to men on the. Axis of you will respect me, and to me that is through my clothing. -Complex/Misunderstood- Being where I’m from in New York a lot of things I say come off as Hostile. That’s probably why guys don’t wanna holla at me because they think imma clown them. Complex a lot of people chill with me and think they know me but you don’t know me until you see me in my element. When your with me in those kindS Of spaces I’m open and when I’m sitting there I like talking and explaining myself to people. So I feel way more free to express myself. When people see me making my art they can see that it makes me who I am. When I leave college I don’t want to be compartmentalized into one thing. I’m not just one assumption. What was one of you greatest moments at Syracuse? “Definitely Mayfest last year at black castle. It was such a collection of black people in that room where I felt like okay i’m comfortable this is my safe space, I don’t feel uncomfortable at all. I felt so comfortable there like these are my people.” “Another was Black And gold.Performing in that pageant reshaped a lot of understanding for me because I didn’t think of myself as a pageant girl. When I got selected I saw three of us were thick as hell, and I was like wow this is not what I was expecting. I met an amazing group of women and I Truly felt apart of this campus. It really made me feel apart of this campus. Like y’all really support these women of color enough to be here and support me. I along with two other girls were thick modelling in a pageant that is usually done with women who are conventionally beautiful.” “Same way I felt when mixtape gave me the student spotlight. She deserves to be known she deserves to have her name out there. That’s all I want people to do is to just rock with me and respect my craft.It’s very important for people to understand my complexity. When I got put in Mixtape Magazine as a rapper for their student spotlight, I was like wow y’all never heard me rap but they know I be spittin.”
By: Ayana Herndon Photography By: Simone Ayers Misunderstood, Complex, Fly. Those are the three words that Ayaa Mesbah used to describe herself and I think she hit it right on the nail. In essence a city girl with the passion of a true artists Ayaa presented herself to me and the students of Syracuse University as nothing but the truth. A writer, musical artists, and a poet running her own radio show WERW, writing for mixtape magazine, creating a podcast called the Pre-Game (soon come!), working on her own mixtape, and majoring in CSD in the visual performing art school, Ayaa gives no fucks graciously, wearing her crown and wearing it well. I had the privilege of picking Ayaa’s brain and she basically gave me a Ted Talk. Shawty aka Ayaa the wonderfully aggressive woman gave me some inspiration in my own life so I definitely think yall should tune in.
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Who are your inspirations? -My mother. My parents split when I was 10, and growing up with two brothers my mom wasn’t a very feminine women. She ran a food cart in a male dominated field and now she owns three. My mom came into an industry that wasn’t welcoming to her and broke the glass ceiling. It helped with my gender identity, and now I present myself in a very androgynous manner. Not many parents raise you to be a successful person but to be a successful wife, and she still does that now but I’m happy that I grew up in certain environments to take certain aspects of what I wanted to learn from my mom. -Assata Shakur. She proved to me that there are no spaces made for us which is perfectly fine but your job is to demand that space. They taught me the idea that being an aggressive woman is a good thing, it’s making sure you’re not falling victim to toxic masculinity. My job as a woman is to break that barrier and say fuck that shit. As a black woman you are already painted as aggressive, but I’m fine with being seen as that because in my head it doesn’t mean extra or calm down to me it means you damn right. Sometimes you have to be aggressive because it’s the only way they’ll hear you. I’m queer, I’m muslim, and I’m a woman of color. I learned the strength of my voice and words from those two women. -I have a group of friends from back home that execute women empowerment so well. I just look at them and say wow you are a phenomenal group of women I see you doing great things. I just love girls who love other girls.
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Obas’ ambition has allowed him to ascend to new heights as he discovers his true passions. Don’t sleep on him as he has numerous projects and events on the horizon. Emulating a young Diddy, Obas is an independent brand consultant for up-and-coming artists. With help from other promoters, he also curates his own events in New York City and the Syracuse area to showcase new talents. What are you passionate about? “Like most things I do in life, if I am very passionate about it, I just pull up to the location and ask for information,” he told me. “I became an on-air host of my show Kickin It with DJ AO and over the three years it has grown. Now [with] another powerful host, OLD MILK, the show brings a ton of laughs, knowledge, and charisma to the mainstream music and the independent music scene. We discuss problems in the music, industry, [and] current events.” By: Cydney Lee Photography By: Simone Ayers “It’s Obass on the Obass rant time.” If you follow him on Instagram or Twitter, then you know his hashtag, #Obasrants. However, Anthony Obas brings a lot more to the world than amusing tirades. Hailing from Harlem, NY, Anthony Obas has an entrepreneurial drive that anyone can find admirable. A junior in Whitman, he chose to attend Syracuse for its various opportunities. Obas is heavily involved with the radio, music, and entertainment industries on and off campus. Since his freshman year, he has hosted his own radio show on WERW – Syracuse University’s only student-run radio station.
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How do you achieve such great things at such a young age? “Great things require greater works,” he says. “If you want to do great things, [you] must put in 150% of [the] work effort, I believe, to achieve those great things.” Can you go more in depth with what you do? “I either oversee or adjust various projects such as albums, events, single release, music videos, so the artist can tell their story clearer to their new and old fans. By reaching out to various press, I can deliver their content to their fans and mine as well,” he explained.
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A Seat At the Table By: Dassy Kemedijo Oprah Winfrey is possibly the single greatest example of a Black self-made woman in America, or even more broadly speaking, of self-made millionaires in general. Excuse me, billionaire. While today the name “Oprah” is synonymous with stacks of cash, the first Black multi billionaire in North America has humble roots in rural Mississippi. However, this trend of wealthy African Americans didn’t start with Winfrey. This history of Black new money began centuries ago, despite the oppressive systems of institutional racism. Although entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker is generally credited with being America’s first Black millionaire, she actually got her start from her mentor, Annie Malone, who was a multi millionaire by the 1920s as a result of the Poro brand, her largely successful black hair care product company. Still, even she was not the first. Technically, the first Black millionaire in America was William Liedesdorff, a biracial African American who was passing as a White man while working in the 1840s as a naval merchant in New Orleans. Between the pre-Civil War period and the rise of Walker, there were a handful of Black millionaires. Walker is attributed the misnomer of first Black millionaire simply because she lived lavishly in a Hudson Valley mansion and she frequently publicized her extravagant lifestyle as well as her charitable donations. Flash forward to contemporary America, where the number of Black multi millionaires has undeniably increased. Jay-Z, Diddy, and Dr. Dre all have a net worth surpassing half a billion dollars, while Michael Jordan is worth over a billion dollars. So why are there currently only three Black CEOs who head Fortune 500 companies, out of fifteen total Black CEOs in the history of the Fortune 500? The answer is that this is the result of systemic discrimination, starting with the earliest levels of education, while Black students are consistently discouraged and disciplined at a higher rate than their White counterparts. When Black people do eventually make it to the corporate level, they are scrutinized for their appearance as well as their demeanor. Black people are viewed as a monolith, so they are rarely given the chance to advance to the executive level. In a time when diversity is touted as a significant index of progress and growth in a company, the leadership of America’s corporations does not reflect this. The system of devaluing and invalidating Black people in the corporate, and in society in general, begins with the understanding of how these systems truly operate. It’s all well and good to tweet “let’s get this bread,” but when society doesn’t give us the opportunity to enter the bakery, we have a problem. To quote Beyoncé, it is not enough to be “a Black Bill Gates in the making”—let’s be the leaders that Bill Gates aspires to be.
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Canceled By: Cher Beckles “Oh nah they’re cancelled”, a phrase quickly circulating the Black community once they state an unpopular opinion. From Stacy Dash, to recently Kanye West, the community has found itself ostracizing or “cancelling” individuals who say controversial and sometimes even outrageous things. Sites like TheShadeRoom and BallerAlert, perpetuates these “cancellings” with their flashy headlines and hashtags with well intentions of stirring up the pot in their comment sections online. Beyond celebrities even non-publicized people are being cancelled. In this day and age it feels as though everyone in the African American community is sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to step out of line so that they can hit record on their cellphones and create a viral video. From there they can then receive millions of shares, likes and comments where people will brutally destroy their reputation. They are then bullied, stalked and have their entire privacy and life turned upside down as they are dragged into an unwanted spotlight. It has come to a point where some people are fearful of having an opinion because they do not want this kind of shame placed on them. In a world where Blacks are already segregated against, filled with disadvantages due to basic genetic makeup and limited in numbers in a country that once thought slavery was just, is there really time to cancel people? Instead there should be a focus on educating, expanding minds to new ideas and learning new things.
community and more importantly they are still Black and that should at least count for something because dragging someone is a drag into division. “Oh nah they’re cancelled”, a phrase quickly circulating the Black community once they state an unpopular opinion. From Stacy Dash, to recently Kanye West, the community has found itself ostracizing or “cancelling” individuals who say controversial and sometimes even outrageous things. Sites like TheShadeRoom and BallerAlert, perpetuates these “cancellings” with their flashy headlines and hashtags with well intentions of stirring up the pot in their comment sections online.
Divide and conquer. A reoccuring theme that has presented itself throughout all of history and here it is repeating itself in the form of cancelling. While it can be agreed that some opinions are just too far stretched, there is also a line that should be crossed with the negative comments. They are still a part of the
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More Than Just a Game By: Jalen Nash A contrast to the segregated schools, public spaces and workplaces that characterized much of the 1900s, for a long time, athletic competition served as one of the only viable means for us to gain respect, get treated (somewhat) fairly and achieve financial freedom. Many people, both on and off of the field, achieved a sense of freedom through sports. One of the primordial examples of this motivation can be seen in the rhetoric surrounding legendary boxer Jack Johnson. Throughout his boxing career from 1908-1915, he constantly overcame the overt discrimination, racism and evil that was encouraged throughout the Jim Crow Era. Despite these conditions, on July 4th, 1910, in the infamous “Fight of the Century”, Johnson beat formally undefeated white boxer James Jeffries, igniting a sense of humiliation for many whites and jubilation for many African-Americans. In response to Jeffries defeat, race riots ignited throughout the country. Nevertheless, the verdict was final, Jack Johnson fought his way to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. Despite harsh opposition, In 1947, Jackie Robinson, became the first black man to play in Major League baseball. Much like all black athletes of the time, he faced overt hatred and discrimination, nevertheless, he persevered, becoming one of the most important baseball players of all time and being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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In the 1960s, pioneers like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar continued to break barriers. Already a superstar before his name change, throughout the 1960s, Muhammad Ali polarized the country with his biting comments, black nationalist stances and otherworldly talent. He became a cultural icon, bringing to the forefront discussions about racism, violence and black power. Similar to how Muhammad Ali revolutionized boxing, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revolutionized basketball. A star player in college and later the NBA, his championship pedigree, paired with his courage, made him a formidable advocate for his community. Joining the Nation of Islam in 1971, he advocated for players rights, equal treatment and education for African-Americans, on his way to becoming the leading scorer in NBA history. These people revolutionized the game, not just through their athletic dominance, but by using their platforms to advocate for change in their communities. While dominating their respective fields, each was a supporter of multiple charities and social justice initiatives. Their example opened doors for future generations of blackAmericans, both inside and outside of sports. Flash forward to today, with athletes like Colin Kaepernick, Lebron James and Serena Williams stirring
up “controversy”. While the sports have evolved, as has our society, these examples draw clear parallels to the struggles of early black athletes. While each dominated their fields, they all still suffer from naysayers who see their progress as a direct threat. Whereas in the 1910’s Jack Johnson heard chants laced with the word “nigg(er)”, today Lebron is told to “Shut up and Dribble”. Whereas in the forties, owners passionately fought to keep black athletes out of the Major Leagues, today Colin Kaepernick is blacklisted for his belief that Black Lives Matter. Whereas in the sixties, Ali was drug tested more often than any other boxer, today Serena Williams is constantly asked to address demeaning accusations of cheating. Despite these obstacles, today’s athletes must overcome… and they do: opening schools, organizing movements and breaking glass ceilings. While society has evolved, and sports have evolved, the role of black athletes as leaders and pioneers has stayed consistent. The value of our pioneers can never be diminished or understated. Following in the legacy of the greats before them, they continue to create opportunities for their communities, both on and off the court.
Black Sexuality Spectrum. By: Torian Love
Ever since I could comprehend sexuality, I knew I would value it as an essential part of my personal identity. To this day, its hard to outwardly claim myself as a “sexual” person because of the connotations that come along with it as a Black woman; labeling myself as a person who is largely interested in the way people navigate sexual spheres doesn’t come with any implications other than that, despite several racist and misogynistic stereotypes that would claim otherwise. The process of reclaiming sexuality from a patriarchal and racially oppressive gaze is something that I’ve found extremely difficult but ultimately liberating regardless of the historically limiting behavioral standards often present in the Black community. I’ve learned that in a Black person’s discovery of themselves, accepting and loving this large concept of “blackness” is a main focus, and by all means is something to be fiercely proud of. However, when considering the intersections of our other identities along with our Blackness, like gender identities, sexual orientation and several others, it often feels as if Blackness cannot coexist with them. To claim the identity as a bisexual Black woman, who has a specific Black narrative because I am a woman and bisexual, this fact can often go dismissed in the general monolith we place around “Black”. I think, unfortunately, this is because we still compare ourselves and others to this archaic idea of the “Black norm” which consists of the straight Black man and the straight Black woman, both being heterosexual and cisgendered. One of the most troubling facts about still upholding this confining norm is that it limits the ways in which Black people comfortably define and express themselves. I believe presently, most of us have accepted Blackness as a spectrum in 2018; within Blackness there is the globalization of Blackness, we know there are several diverse and beautiful shades of Blackness that aren’t anymore Black than the other, and we know that Blackness comes in different shapes and sizes. However, we have yet to collectively expand this acceptance and understanding of Black gender identities and sexualities. Blackness is a spectrum, as well as gender, and sexuality. They all exist and function within each other and are foundational in what makes us the beautiful people we are. To exclude those who don’t fit into this norm is to strip our Blackness of its diversity and the various definitions within it. To neglect these identities also ignores significant advocates that have strengthened our culture. To name some icons, we’ve had our realities transformed by the contributions of James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson and several more Black lgbtq+ activists. I often think about how many public leaders in the struggle for Black liberation have felt the need to mask their intersectional identities out of fear of rejection. The understanding of Blackness and Black culture transforms and develops as the world does. As we take small steps forward in unpacking sexism, colorism, ableism and various other forms of oppression within our own communities, we have to realize we can’t approach true unification and prosperity until we confront ourselves first.
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Styles, fashions, and trends never die. 24 18 Fall | Renegade
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SHADES OF BEAUTY
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Redefining Beauty By: Ifetayo Dudley
WHITE SPACES By: Cher Beckles Photography By: Simone Ayers
Beauty…Beauty is something that comes from within, what’s natural, who you are as a person, and not just whats external. The entire concept and idea of beauty becomes more personal and specific based on what the person thinks beauty is. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Beauty in the black community used to be based on the character of someone, who a female was a person, or how she carried herself; holding her head high on her shoulders and not constricting so much to the beauty standards and stereotypes of typical beauty ideals. Beauty is now based off on socially constructed ideas of how women should look, what they should have, and what they bring to the table.
Many colleges in America are PWI or predominately white institution meaning that there is a chance that as an African American you would be placed in a program/class where many of the people do not look like you. Placed in that situation the first instinct is to not stand out or be “too black” in fear of being judged and ostracized by your peers. The feeling of walking on eggshells in your place of learning can be discouraging and quite frankly discriminatory. This is why when a Black person sits in a room the first thing they usually do is seek out another Black person and evaluate whether this person will be able to handle any potential issues they may arise or sometimes they will sit close to them to be in earshot or straight out right next to them.
In our society today, most of the beauty perceptions are influenced off of social media, celebrity lifestyles, reality tv shows, and white beauty normatives. No matter how much we grow socially, economically and politically history still has the biggest effects on everything we do.
Speaking from experience when I first entered undergrad at a SUNY school I was the only Black person on my half of the dorm wing. Many of the students on that side had never seen a Black person before or interacted with one. They would ask me strange questions like “Can I touch your hair” or “ What new rap songs are out, I am sure you know”. I lived like this for a year. In the beginning of my time there, I was scared to play my certain songs too loud or act a certain way because I did not want them to perpetuate whatever stereotype that they already concotted in their heads about me. Whenever I would get frustrated about typical college dorm issues like the bathroom being too messy or students coming in late drunk and disrupting my sleep they would say I was being too “aggressive”. That is when I decided I had to branch out and find my similar peers but more importantly I had to learn to how to be black in a white space.
White washing- a beauty phenomenon in the intersection of the fashion industry, digital photography, mass media, marketing, and advertising. In which the skin tone of non-white women(less of men)- when depicted in magazine covers, advertisements, commercials, music videos etc.- is digitally retouched or physically modified to appear to be whiter. As it was a new thing, white washing has been going before our time beginning at the course in slavery; we were put against each other with the method of Divide and Conquer to overpower us. We were taught that lighter skin, lighter eyes, lighter/longer curly/straight hair was better than dark skin, thicker/coiled hair, and big features were less than. Decades later we still see this divide in the black community with the big debate at once Lightskin vs. Darkskin and then shape sizes. What’s beautiful or better comes from what’s trending, we consider beauty based on what’s trending and what isn’t; not all of us but majority. People and many males may say they don’t agree to this but if they were able to build their perfect women comes from how celebrities. The slim waist, shapely hips/thighs, slim body/thick body, slim thick, nice breast size, big ass/fat ass, pretty face, long curly hair, light eyes and whatever else. They create an image of what they want based off of many times the video vixens in their favorite artist videos, famous people which then money can do so much for a person, the Kim K’s/Kardashian sisters, then the IG models. At one moment light skin was the thing now dark skin is in, as said before what’s trending. Some women then feel the need to convert and change themselves to fit in the standards of beautiful in America and what men tend to go for. Not all men think of beauty in women off of trends though they like the natural beauty; or they consider a female being unconventionally beautiful. “Group of women who were not considered beautiful until they found success in a profession that celebrates distinctiveness- like fashion. It’s a way of saying not really beautiful at all; used to call a women ‘ugly’ a paradox.”
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So what exactly does it mean to be black in a white space? This can mean not talking too loud, avoiding certain topics that may make your white peers feel uncomfortable or for some Black women, not wanting to switch up your hairstyles in order to avoid the attention it comes with. When it comes to being black in a majority white space for some it can mean erasing half of your personality and/or yourself in order to blend in with their community, expectations or standards in fear of being the “ideal ghetto” .. It means acting “proper” in order to not scare off the people around you and having two sides of yourself. The one side that you can be around your friends and other Black people and the other side that is a bit more reserved. This year I am in classes where I am the only Black person in my class and while I do enjoy my non-Black peers there are also times where I feel like I cannot truly be myself around them. Certain topics is already off limits in order to avoid confrontation and I am also worried that they won’t understand my interests. Being black in a white space is tough. There is not answer on when it is time to emerge into your “true form” as one would say, around your white peers. It is something that takes time to build into and courage.
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It’s for the Culture- @itsfortheculture
BUY BLACK By: Nia Gibson Syracuse University’s campus is full of innovators, people who finds something lacking on campus and does something about it. These three businesses did just that in a very unique ways. In Fall 2018 version of black businesses on campusRenegade got you to keep you up to date!
Juniors Judah Carter and Andrea Heeraman, both NYC Natives with Caribbean backgrounds, Barbados and Guyana respectively, stepped foot on Syracuse University’s campus in the summer of 2016 and immediately noticed that the dining hall food wasn’t it! After constantly wasting money to buy food outside of campus and gaining weight from the lack of healthy options there were, Judah and Andrea grew weary of the sub-par food Syracuse had to offer and vowed to make a difference. In their Sophomore year, after developing more as students, the creation of “It’s for the Culture” came about. Beginning with bringing caribbean culture to our taste buds they began integrating American food with it as well to be more inclusive. Judah and Andrea masters every dish they put out, selling out anytime they sell food, while being full time students. Andrea has great time management skills as she is the one who lays out their exam schedule along with their assignments to see when would be best to have their menu put out. Both made a delivery system so they can cater to those on south and main campus along with a pickup option for those close by. One thing Judah Carter and Andrea Heeraman learned was that PREPARATION IS KEY. In the future they hope to open a family franchise in New York City because of their outreach throughout all five boroughs. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and look out for their
Zoë Huff Fitness- @zozo.fit Junior Zoë Huff’s love for fitness started gradually as a teenager. She has always been athletic and into sports but never focused on her physique and what she puts into her body; it was in 8th grade she realized she could be doing more. Working out became apart of her lifestyle as opposed to a “to-do” and clean eating became automatic. Her motto is- “Mind over matter. I want to feel healthy and look good. My education is first. My second obligation is tending to my body.” She began to receive attention on social media specifically about fitness and that’s when it sparked that this could be a market for Zoë. Zoë’s program contains a free consultation where you explain your current state, where you want to improve on, and what your ultimate goal is. She then creates a personalized fitness plan and food suggestions (not to be confused with a meal plan, she is not a nutritionist... yet). Personally, she meal preps on Sunday or Monday night so she can be set to stick to her routine. She eats 6 times a day. The goal of her program is to have people to feel comfortable in their own skin. She wants people to have an equal balance of being healthy and happy. Zoë stresses the fact that being healthy is not something you do in an interim, it’s a LIFESTYLE. Post-graduation she plans on being a communications analyst and going to law school to work in corporate law in addition to getting her nutrition certification along with working at Equinox, a top tier and well-sought out gym.
BeauTish Extends- @beautishextends
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Senior Latisha Robinson is your Syracuse University Lash Plug! Latisha or Tish is a New Jersey Native majoring in Public Health. So how did a public health student get into lashing? Tish was never into makeup, but she has always used lash strips. She started getting individual lashes in 2016. Upon transferring from American University to Syracuse she noticed there was absolutely nowhere to get her lashes done. She took the initiative to learn how to do individual lashes herself. She began practicing on her friends and once she perfected her craft she offered it as a service. Tish wants to have her lash business grow into a beauty brand; in the near future she will be selling raw virgin indian hair and strip lashes in addition to her individual lash service. Tish loves her clients as she learns something new from them everyday. Personally she believes lashes make her eyes pop. Tish wants everyone to know that you don’t need lashes to look beautiful but just know you have access to it here on campus if you choose to enhance your beauty. Post- graduation she wishes to keep her business running along with having another business that her Public Health degree will cater to. After she completes her masters she wants to her own HIV testing center in Washington D.C., Atlanta, or New York City because these are the cities with the highest HIV rates in the country.
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By: Jalen Nash
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The rate of incarceration in the United States has more than quadrupled in the past four decades from just over 200,000 to 2.2 million adults, making it the largest penal population in the entire world. In 1975 the prison population was at about 240,000 people. With the election of Richard Nixon came the “War on Crime”, a policy initiative designed to restore the nation to “law and order”. In addition to enacting destructive bills and policies, this “War on Crime” perpetrated a rhetoric of urban, black criminality, which would define the lives of millions of black males in the coming decades. In 1985 the prison population experienced a rapid rise. A few years into the second term of Ronald Reagan came a modification of the earlier “War on Crime”, characterized instead as a “War on Drugs”.. Again pointed towards urban, black communities, with things like: specialized task forces, warrantless drug raids , heavy patrol in high-crime areas and exploitative sentencing, this war heavily criminalized the use and sale of certain drugs, primarily crack cocaine, marijuana and heroin. Over 1.5 million more adults were incarcerated by 1995. By this point, entire communities had been completely decimated by constant interactions with police brutality, unfair sentencing and the lack of proper legal defense. The effects of these policies continued into 2005. With systems like the school-to-prison pipeline, stop-and frisk, along with an increasing prison population, urban blacks continued to be disproportionately affected by efforts of “crime prevention”. They made up the majority of all police stops in the year 2006, 87% of which ended in total innocence. That same year, while sitting in his vehicle, an unarmed 23 year old Sean Bell was shot fifty times by police who falsely believed he had a gun. Altogether, the officers received a total sentence of zero years. Simultaneously influenced by terror attacks and wars overseas, the criminal rhetoric in this country, shifted to include people of Arab/ Muslim or Indian descent.
Labeled as “terrorists” or “jihadists”, people with these ethnicities were disproportionately subjected to “random” phone taps, enhanced search tactics at airports and higher rates of incarceration attributed to “ terrorist activities”. Today, we continue to see the narrative of criminality shifting. Recent political rhetoric around immigration has included many people of Central American, South American or Latin descent as “illegal aliens” worthy of deportation, separation and incarceration. The consequences of this rhetoric can be heard in the cries of the children separated at the border. Although examples like Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile and Sandra Bland have awoken many to the injustices of our criminal justice system, over 2,200,000 people (and counting) stand, right now, behind bars (many of them for minor drug offenses). While movements have been created, reforms have been made, and much of the harsh rhetoric has changed, our generation has been left with the responsibility to deal with the systemic obstacles put into place by our predecessors. It is only through knowledge, empathy and understanding that we can create these systems, not to decimate particular communities, but protect all of them. It is only through awareness, persistence and intention that we can lower the numbers of Americans locked in cages. This must be our goal for the next decade. Instead of a “War on Crime” or a “War on Drugs”, lets begin an era characterized by a “War on Prisons”.
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By: Asia Lance “The most disrespected woman in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected woman in America, is the Black woman.” Malcolm X once spoke these words in 1962. It’s 2018 and the irony is that almost 60 years later, these words still resonate with Black women across America, and have only been emphasized by the dominating presence of certain Black women who are positioned within platforms and have the opportunity to inspire future generations of Black women. This September, Serena Williams was used as a scapegoat to perpetuate the stereotype and trope that Black women are always angry. There’s so much emphasization on the idea that Black women are angry, loud, and aggressive beasts without a cause. The Serena Williams cartoon that was released after her loss against another Black tennis player, Naomi Osaka, characterized Williams as a monstrous Black person and Osaka who has brown skin and dark hair as a blonde haired and fair skin tennis player in the background. This seems like such an extreme approach to demonizing Black women, making one a monster and stripping one away of her mixed Haitian and Japanese identity. Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka may have sparked this
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conversation recently, but it is far from being a new issue. There’s so much focus and attention on perpetuating this trope of Black women, that there’s not enough attention on what Black women have to deal with on a daily basis that may lead them to be perceived as angry all the time. For generations, Black women have had to bear the burden of holding up and uplifting their community. Once we step away from the community and enter into our career or academic worlds, we’re then told that we aren’t good enough or we aren’t doing enough. It’s unspoken but understood, that as people of color we have to work twice as hard to get half of what our white counterparts get -- for Black women, sometimes there’s room for zero error in order for us to get the respect we deserve. There is so much pressure on our shoulders constantly but we’re never in the position to crack under that pressure and have the world forget about it. Serena Williams is considered one of the greatest athletes of today, she is on a huge platform hoping to inspire other little Black girls from Compton, Chicago, Brooklyn, or anywhere else in the world that they have the power and ability to achieve their goals and ambitions. That’s
dangerous and threatening to some, so of course, they would aim to demean Black Women and tear them down at every chance they get. Black Women aren’t angry just for the sake of being angry. If we’re being honest, I don’t think anyone that has to deal with the intersectionality of being both Black and a Woman in America would be able to not be angry. From birth, women are expected to conform within the oppressive structures society puts in place. Black women not only have to deal with how women are expected to act and look, but we also have to deal with social injustices and pressures that Black people have to deal with in general. The moments Black women break under the pressure are used against us all the time. Moving forward, we need to find ways to shift from accusing Black women of always being angry to going to the root and being mindful of why Black women are perceived this way; as well as recognizing that anyone having to deal with these pressures is justifiably upset or emotional.
FREAKNIK VS. MIAMI
The (Angry) Black Woman
By: Cydney Lee Spring break. The week of the school year that many dedicate to going buck wild to suppress the pain of their academic trials and tribulations. Many do so in the form of going on a trip, preferably to somewhere warm. All you need to do is gather the homies, secure an Airbnb, and your set to indulge in any and all promiscuous antics that come to mind. This popular desire to engage in spring break shenanigans hasn’t changed much from past to present. From Freaknik and BET’s Spring Bling to Miami present day, there is a universal sentiment amongst many spring breakers that looks like it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Freaknik started off as a modest picnic between students of Spelman and Morris Brown in 1982. It soon became a black cultural phenomenon, attracting students from other HBCUs nationwide primarily through word-of-mouth techniques. Every third week of April, thousands of black students flooded Atlanta streets ready to partake in some ratchet fun. Shortys sported finger waves or braids and twerked on top of pimped out Cadillacs, while the fellas probably spit mad game to them in their oversized jerseys and crew socks. This sexually-charged street party had men and women down for whatever as they were all there to have a good time and maybe catch a body or two while doing so. Although most attendees were there to party and forget about their school stresses, Freaknik was also a way for aspiring rappers and DJs to gain exposure, debuting unique sounds of a new genre of music. At the time, hip-hop was still a budding music category so it naturally became the theme music for the annual freak convention. Members of the Divine 9 were also in attendance, performing their infamous steps and strolls for their peers to watch. Freaknik met its demise in the mid 90s when it proved too much for locals and the city as a whole. Nowadays, college students nationwide flock to Miami for spring break. I’ve never been (never mind during spring break) but from what I’ve seen and heard, it sort of emulates the same energy as Freaknik, but only conceptually. One major difference is that Miami spring break is not exclusively black, all walks of life can be found. Additionally, a primary feature of Miami are the clubs and beaches so there are more turn up options. Despite the differences, both were/is a huge college party consisting of drugs, alcohol, sex, and virtually no limits.
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By the early 90’s, drug culture was everywhere in rap. From Cypress Hill’s “Hits from the Bong” and “I Wanna Get High”, to Dr. Dre’s award winning staple “The Chronic”, you couldn’t avoid it. But just as Scarface laid the groundwork, New Jack City built onto the mafioso genre, Using rappers and legendary Black actors like Wesly Snipes and a young Chris Rock, the media let the public know: the dealers had it made. As UGK brought the idea to Houston with “Pocket Full of Stones”, Jay Z began his debut album interpolating Scarface. As Biggie introduced the world to the 10 Crack Commandments, and had suburban kids all across America saying “Never sell no crack where you rest at”, the ongoing War on Drugs had seemingly missed a few confessions. Lyrics of drugs had skyrocketed from the 80s, as between 1994 and 1997, 69% of the top 125 rap songs included drug references (Per BerkeleyNews). As bad as the cocaine cowboy mantra is, how did we go from selling, to using?
By: Isaiah Nins Photography By: Fawaz Okoya The year is 2016. “Percocet, Molly Percocet!!” is being yelled out at a ‘Cuse house party, across the street from university buildings plastered with “We are proud to be a drug-free campus” signs. The infectious, flute-heavy melody, coupled with chanting repetition of “Mask on, fuck it mask off” distracts everyone from an explicit drug ballad. In a generation where a drug epidemic has returned in full force through the means of prescription pills, how can the public continue to celebrate drug abuse? While Future is certainly the headlining face of drug use these days, the “Codeine Crazy” star is but the most recent frontman to the drug problem in hip-hop. Nearly since its inception, drugs have played a part in hip-hop, though in the beginning, it was far cry from advocacy. In 1983, Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash released “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” in which he warns the public to keep their distance from buying and selling drugs. However, that same year, Scarface was released, introducing the world to Tony Montana and the wonders of life attainable as a drug kingpin, alongside his slogan “The World is Yours.” It’s no surprise that just a few years later, a similar glorification would manifest in hip-hop just as it had in movies, and most every other genre in American music.
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As we fast forward to the new millenium, the 2000s started to switch. While Paid in Full became a cocaine classic with an appearance from Cam’ron, The Clipse showed that Virginia kept that thang on ‘em too. Only a Pharrell production could have middle school boys and girls memorizing a beat and lyrics of an ode to pushing weight. Lord Willin’, next to RocA-Fella’s growing popularity with their hustler personas, saw more of the same. Bill O’Reilly would ensure Pepsi dropped their Ludacris sponsorship, stating he glamorized, among other things, drugs. Little did they know, Luda and the “Dirty South” would have a lot more to say. From Houston to Nawlins to ATL (heaux), the South introduced the world to purple drank, mainly through DJ Screw and Lil Wayne. Lean, the candy-flavored codeine concoction took over the mainstream, with everyone trying or imitating the purple drank. I’m sure we all know someone who emptied out the Robitussin in their cabinet back at home in an effort to get Chopped and Screwed. With lean, weed, and cocaine all holding circulation through the 2000s, some stars of the later years began a different journey through the drug habitat. The 2010s of rap has seen the rise of the users in the drug world. The scene of “Emo” rappers, alongside “mumble” rap has turned prescription drug abuse into a necessity for views. What sparked the seemingly abrupt transition? Via the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid drug dispensing increased threefold from 1991-2011, from 76 to 219 millions prescriptions. It’s no wonder that a Lil Xan or a Yung Lean could find success in this generation. Our SoundCloud era of fun and commercialization has comes at a price beyond overexposure, like “Trap Queen” hitting #2 on the charts, or “in the kitchen, wrist twistin’ like it’s stir fry” backing an Apple commercial. A string of drug overdoses in hip-hop through Lil Peep, Fredo Santana, and most recently, Mac Miller has many listeners concerned about the power of drug advocacy and abuse. With many rappers describing their struggles in addiction, including Eminem, Gucci Mane, and Kid Cudi, as well as younger rappers like Chance the Rapper and Lil Baby, hopefully the trend of popping pills and sipping lean gets smoked out.
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Changing Channels By: Fawaz Okoya
Tatted and Talented
The 90’s. A decade filled with the arrival of some of the most notable sitcoms in the black community. From A Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and A Different World to Martin and Living Single, many would describe this time as the golden age of Black entertainment. Alongside keeping the audience laughing these shows were praised for their ability to highlight black culture, history and, touch on contemporary social issues. It was a time where Black kids could turn on the tv and see men, women and, children just like themselves Some say that black entertainment of today could never live up to the glory of these shows. Are they wrong? Have we lost our way? Or has society limited the boundaries of our creative autonomy in this day and age? Despite the early success of several black tv shows, many of them were short lived. Gains in the representation of blacks on TV started to follow a disappointing reversal. By the early 2000’s this surge of black representation on TV dwindled for a number of reasons. One of which being the, “idea that these shows didn’t have enough ‘crossover appeal’ to be financially successful.” In other words, they were too black! One instance of this was the Queen Latifah-Led sitcom Living Single which aired in 1993 and was canceled only after a few seasons. Less than a year after the show’s airing, Friends, which can be referred as the Living Single for white folks, aired for the first time on NBC. As you can imagine when comparing the financial and commercial success of the two, Friends wins indefinitely. For two shows that were the same at their core, one continuing with 10 seasons and actors getting paid a million per episode while the other 5 seasons and a salary not even close to their white counterparts. Friends was actually criticized for its lack of black faces but that didn’t stop the network from running the show for 10 years. Shows like Moesha, All of Us, Girlfriends, and One on One, came and went; emphasizing this repetitive cycle of brief flashes on success. Networks began producing a large quantity of black shows in an effort to bring in revenue, but when that trend died so did the shows. Most recently The Carmichael Show was canceled by NBC after only three seasons. Despite the decline of these shows this generation has also seen the dramatic spike of black representation in shows like Atlanta, Insecure, Queen Sugar, Power, and Luke Cage. With this came the rise of black writers, directors, and showrunners who are dominating the screen currently. Much of this progression is due to the change in the world of television which has taken the focus away from sitcoms and has centered entertainment around reality TV and dramatic narratives. Although reality TV happens to be very inexpensive to produce and dramas have been more successful with audiences, there is still hope for black sitcoms to make a comeback. In the wake of troubling times in the black community, shows like Black-ish on ABC, which highlights black culture and real social issues, may be what we need to get back to the Golden age. With this in mind, the oppression of black representation on TV will finally become an issue of the past.
40 18 Fall | Renegade
By: Cher Beckles Photography By: Simone Ayers My parents warned me not to get a tattoo or an absurd piercing because I may not get a job. Five years later with three tattoos and two piercings, I have been a shock to them as well as those around me who know me well because my family had always been against them and I did not look like the “type to get one”. Tattoos and piercings have been associated with promiscuity and rebellion which dates back to the 1960s when women were getting tatted as a sign of ownership to their own body against men and others were getting them to show affiliation and loyalty to a specific organization. Both of these ideals still stand strong today but society still frowns upon the body ink. Even with an increasing amount of people getting tattoos, more than 38 percent according to USA Today, they are placed in a box of criminality which in turn affects their success at landing a job. Those seeking a job in this day and age will most likely be getting hired by someone much older than them with a more conservative mindset. Taken this into account when they see someone with a full sleeve of tattoos there are least likely hire them or take them seriously. Tattoos and piercing are a form of art and people get them for so many reasons: to
give homage, to mourn the loss of a loved one, to celebrate a new life, or to keep a meaningful symbol or message always on them. Times are changing and the rest of society and the generations before us need to change too; there was a time when a woman wearing pants was rebellious and now everyone is wearing jeans. So many people when entering an interview or even at their place of work feel the need to wear long-sleeved shirts to make others feel comfortable. The shift on the negativity of tattoos and piercing needs to change. I do not, however, agree with offensive tattoos being shown and not because of the message but by being visible because that can disrupt a workplace especially when you have someone who has an opposing view. It should be up to the workplace whether you get the job if your tattoo is “offensive” but not if you have them in the first place. While it is hard to judge what is offensive or not that can be dealt with on a case by case basis so that people who want tattoos and piercings can get them. Getting a tattoo and piercing already comes with a painful risk but nowadays it’s an even bigger one when your future could be on the line.
18 Fall | Renegade
Carribean Culture Vulture
By: Brianna Johannes Picture this: you’re at a UV/house party where everyone is standing on the walls vibing and sipping on Jungle Juice. Usually, parties start off calm and then get really hype when songs like “Mo Bamba” come on. Then the DJ smoothly transitions into Caribbean music. In an instant, girls are ready to whine their waists and guys are looking to catch a dub. Whether you’re Carribean or not, you can’t help but love the music and the culture at that moment. Caribbean music has always been appreciated in the music world. I know we all love Drake, but let’s be honest, he’s a Culture Vulture. Ever since “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” (2015) it’s been obvious. Rihanna; from Barbados (Caribbean Island), had an influence on your selection of beats since the pair was “WORK”-ing (2016) together very closely around that time. It can be argued that Drake is just bringing attention to the culture, but there is a difference between attention vs. appreciation. Drake is a trendsetter and as a result of this, he popularized Caribbean influenced music and influenced other mainstream artists to attempt to emulate the same style in their music, such as Tory Lanez. The line between appropriation and appreciation is something Drake has been dancing on for quite some time. When artists like Drake position themselves as Culture Vultures who have a heavy influence on mainstream content, an issue arises when it creates a limited perspective of what the culture is to non-Caribbean individuals. The culture suffers as a result due to the fact that being Caribbean became a trend. Exposure like this did well for the more well-known Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Trinidad (forgetting Tobago). Artists like Popcaan and Spice (both Jamaican) were brought into the limelight and given access to platforms that were previously unattainable. Popcaan’s album was #2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart and Spice became a notable addition to Love & Hip-Hop. On the other hand, American culture assimilates their sound and music to that of pop music. Just like music, Parris Goebel; a choreographer from New Zealand who performed in videos like Justin Bieber “Sorry”/ and with dance group Royal Family; took dance moves generally associated with Caribbean culture and called it “pollyswagg”. In an interview with Elle Magazine she went on to state that she “invented” this new style of dancing that she defines as “combining a sassy woman fire with aggressive inner strength”; never once mention inspiration from Caribbean artists. Individuals with little to no Caribbean descent have little knowledge of the culture in it’s entirety- which you can’t blame them for, because all they know is what they see and hear on TV through artists like Drake. So, when do we start to hold people accountable? Easy, do not take from a culture that already exists mold it into “something different” and call it your own. The Caribbean is filled with artists that have not gone mainstream yet that showcase different sounds from their native islands. It is through American culture and the habit of one-story narratives. By all means, dive into the Caribbean culture learn about the food, the music, traditions, and culture; appreciate don’t appropriate.
By: Ifetayo Dudley For so many years black neighborhoods and communities has always had a stigma about them. Black communities are described using words like “Ghetto” or “loud”; in addition to that, we are accused of not taking care of our community. New York City in particular, you are taking the train; and if you are an avid user of the train you always know the stops that are upscale with the population of that particular area being majority white. Once upon a time the last stop they would dare find themselves getting off is Upper Manhattan, or as we all know-Harlem. If they do happen to get off the train it’s either the most known streets being 125th street or 135th street, where they’re going “sightseeing” or looking around. As you get older, you start to see more white people in your neighborhoods, the places they once called the ghetto and described as ratchet, you start to see more businesses constantly coming in and out. You start to see unfamiliar faces walking in your neighborhood with their dogs, their children, sometimes even jogging, a sight you thought you would never see in a million years while growing up. All of a sudden there’s a new Starbucks around the corner where the corner store you used to buy candy from once was, you see the old liquor store change into a wine spot, you see more restaurants, new hookah spots, fast food places you only see downtown from 96th street and down. You become proud of your new community, “look at what Black people have done”, “look how far we’ve come. I remember when” but then you remember when half of your neighborhood doesn’t even look like you. There’s no problem with integration; but a problem arises when your people has to move out because landlords are raising rent prices. Or developers are trying to buy the home that’s been a part of your family for years to build newer and better-looking places that the original residents would probably never be able to afford. What you once knew as your home is now someone else’s, the place you once called home is new and not as cultured as before. It gets worse when the names on the streets where you live start to change, murals that had significance to the neighborhood get covered up, and all the things that made you love where you grew up no longer exist or are recognizable. If you relate to any of these things or can even think back to a community you used to live in or grew up in, then you’re not a stranger to this phenomenon called Gentrification. Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a house or a district so that it conforms to a middle-class taste. This movement is a contradiction to the “White Flight”, an area of the 1960s-70s where white homeowners were almost afraid or feared “their” neighborhoods would deteriorate at the sight of a minority family moving in. From running away to moving in and capitalizing on our neighborhoods; White Flight was an example of the prejudice stereotypes white communities had of middle-class minorities. As people, we shouldn’t run from environments because of beliefs your community is going to be destroyed or become just become simply different from your norm. On the other hand, coming into a neighborhood you once shamed trying to reshape it is not right. You take away from the history of the area by running people out, raising the rent, and pushing out family businesses to rebuild your own version of what you would like to see. Not cool.
18 Fall | Renegade
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle By: Haniyah Philogene
By: Sarai Thompson
D.P.S. Depending on your race, year, economic status and social status on this campus, those three letters symbolize a variety of things. This acronym stands for Department of Public Safety, the officers on campus whose sole job is to protect the overall safety of students. When you first walk onto campus as a freshman you are given their number and are told: “If you are ever worried about your safety call DPS”. However, what they fail to mention is the selectiveness within the department. Picking and choosing when and who they want to help, the Department of Public Safety is far from being Syracuse University’s superheroes...well at least not to communities of color on campus.
As I walked into a house party on a Saturday night, a few minutes down the street from Syracuse University’s main campus, I saw outfits that made me feel as if I time traveled to a the past. The sound of music filled the air, college students filled the rooms, and the outfits were multiplying. The 90s, 80s, and 70s attire, an attire that was once only seen by our parents, came to life. I stood for moment in deep fascination. Fashion from the past has once again returned to the present.
When asking students of color to describe their relationship with DPS, a multitude of them laughed, shook their heads and simply responded “what relationship?” or as one student stated, “Oppressor vs. Oppressed is the best way to describe it.” During further discussions, many of them expressed their frustration with the department’s lack of equality. Many of the students highlighted DPS’ strong presence on South Campus, where a large majority of Black students live. Constantly scouting and shutting down parties, they have become infamous for shutting down primarily ‘black parties’. Ironically, when one walks along “frat row”, a street in which students constantly go to party on a Saturday night, there are little to no DPS vehicles or officers in sight. Personally, I remember one Saturday when my friends and I were on south campus heading to what was supposed to be a party. As usual, everyone, including the DJ, was running on CPT so the party hadn’t even started yet. However, like 10 minutes after my friends and I entered the apartment a group of DPS officers pulled up and began banging on the door, flashing their flashlights in students faces and yelling “PARTY’S OVER”. Now, keep in mind, the DJ hadn’t gotten there yet, meaning there was barely any music playing, and the music that was playing was coming from a small Bose Bluetooth speaker. Despite everyone’s denial of there being a party, the officers still stood in front of the apartment waiting for students to leave. On the other hand, I remember attending a white frat party at the beginning of the semester. With music blasting, a mass of people occupying not only the inside but the backyard of the home and bottles of alcohol scattered all around the party, DPS blatantly stood in front of the house. The officers did not say anything, nor did they approach any of the students; they simply watched students party under the influence. In addition to shutting down parties, DPS officers make little to no effort to communicate with students of color, and when they do communicate with students it is very stoic. Now, in wake of the Theta Tau situation which occurred on campus, DPS’ actions raised a red flag. Understandably, the university wants to ensure students’ safety, and control the party scene on campus as much as possible. However, their concerns became problematic when they began to target one demographic on campus. Although the relationship between students of color and DPS is strenuous, there are a few DPS officers whom students deeply appreciate and consistently praise. When expressing their appreciation for these officers, students highlight the fact that said officers actually make an effort to speak to them and do not treat them as delinquents. Evidently, due to African Americans’ difficult past with law enforcement, communicating with students won’t mend DPS’ relationship with students of color on campus, but it is a start.
44 18 Fall | Renegade
From the time of using record players, to booming music through our cell phones, our style evolved. Men wore shirts that celebrated black icons or colleges and windbreakers and women rocked their high-waisted jeans and fanny packs. Today, Black men and women can be seen wearing shirts similar to that of the 90s with shirts like Haute Greek Couture’s famous, “Black By Popular Demand” shirts, bulky white sneakers, and biker shorts. Fashion is comparable to the trends in music, it evolved but, through its evolution, it always pays homage to the past and reverences its beauty. Throughout campus students are wearing clothing items that we once called a “thing of the past”. What was once an easy find at a thrift store is now sold for a premium price at the mall or in our parents closet.
On the Radar Tip: Fashion replays for the guys: The seasons latest trends for guys are plaid shirts, overalls, patterned or colored blazers and pants that are well tailored for special occasions. Puffer jackets in the winter gives us the P Diddy/ Bad Boy era vibes, Champion hoodies and shirts, and tracksuits. Fashion replays for the ladies: This season the trends for the ladies are velvet skirts, camo jackets and vest, cargo pants, boots with a chunky heel, vintage graphic t-shirts, padded jackets, overalls, and beret. These blast from the past are a reminder of the radiance of fashion. It is interpreted in various ways, and remixed to whatever you feel. You can pull a bandeau, pair it with our favorite cargo pants, and bring out your inner TLC while living in 2018. Fashion can never stay in the past, it’s a rotational record of the future. We are the DJ’s, the Master of Ceremony of our fashion lives. We are the trendsetters that make the old new. Here’s to a fashionably evolving future.
Could it be that we have an obsession with the things of the past? Most of the campus age demographics were babies in the 90s, non-existent in the 80s, and the 70s some of their parents were teenagers and focused on their school lives. But, thanks to fashion replays, our generation can finally wear some of our beloved pieces that could only be admired through photographs.
18 Fall | Renegade
BBM to iMessage -Cher Beckles
Lil Kim to Nicki Minaj -Nia Gibson
Lip Smackers to Fenty -Mikayla BonseĂąor
Blockbuster to Netflix -Simone Ayers
Kobe to LeBron -Jalen Nash
Madame CJ Walker Hair Products to Shea Moisture -Asia Lance Mapquest to Google Maps -Caitlin Joyles Easy
Apple Bottom Jeans to True Religions -Julio Burgos
Shopping in store to Shopping online -Nadia Suleman
Choice Perms to Natural Hair -Patricia Douglas
Abercrombie to Urban Outfitters -Blake Duncanson
Boombox to Earpods -Sarai Thompson Limewire to Apple Music -Sonia Goswami
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Old School vs New School: The evolution of everything, from then to now.