Syracuse University Spring 2017 Volume 1 Issue 7 Black General Interest Magazine
S witc hin g
These past four years have been something else. I’ve seen myself challenged and grow more than I thought possible, and Renegade was a big part of that. Who knew that attending the first-ever Renegade staff meeting freshman year would result in me writing an editor’s letter four years later? Who knew that Renegade would allow me to collaborate and connect with so many other talented students who may have otherwise been overlooked? To me, Renegade has been a threshold. It’s our threshold between the liminal spaces where black folks live. The Renegade serves as a way for us to connect with each other and serves as a place where people can contribute what’s important to them, from personal poetry,( page 50) to dissecting Kendrick’s latest album, (page 40) to being able to explore their own intersectional identities (page 13); we’re here for it all! The words and images that you leave to represent you now are more powerful than you think. Don’t be afraid of your own power. Living in those liminal spaces means living with uncertainty. Renegade has helped me, and I hope it may have helped some of you to identify yourself or recognize who we are, who we can be or who we want to be as people who are sometimes living in the spaces between. Change is inevitable and can foster panic, and even chaos, but I’m offering an alternative to panic as I leave SU, and leave Renegade to discover new chances to experience and reclaim ourselves. Starting now. Honestly, it’s really weird ending letters like this, when there is so much more to be said, but for now I’ll make it simple. For the final time, (!!!) thank you to anyone who has ever put time and effort into making Renegade a product to be proud of semester after semester. I’m excited for what’s to come! Thank you to Earica, my fellow EP-in-chief for always holding it down and being refreshingly real, and thank you to anyone that has bothered to pick up a copy. This is power. Stay hydrated. Stay moisturized. Stay woke.
Elen Marie Pease
C h anne ls
There’s a glitch in the American government system, one that has plagued the minds and bodies of citizens alike, especially those of marginalized identities. This “glitch” is known to be the white, heterosexual, able-bodied male. He’s like a computer virus, and the media has done nothing but reinforce his colonial attitudes. Troubleshooting this defect in the system is damn near impossible, considering the years of oppression ingrained in American soil. Have you noticed that the population of students of color here at SU seems to get smaller and smaller? That’s not by accident. It’s time to wake up, people. We must stick together. But it’s hard to do so when there’s fifty million black student-run organizations on campus with similar missions, goals, and attributes, breaking off and doing their own thing (sometimes, for personal gain). As these orgs emerge, they kill off other orgs that have historically been known to uplift the black community and that maintained longevity up until this point. Let that sink in. It’s so damn hard being person of color in a predominantly white space. But we cannot let our place in society continue to discourage us from seeking our full potential. We can’t continue to separate ourselves from one another. We must reclaim our power and redefine what it means to be Black in America in a time where people like Donald Trump become the Fascist leader of the free world. In 2017, we have films like Get Out (which still has me SHOOK to this day) that go above and beyond in getting people to understand the horrors of oppression, and show that progress in racial disparities are not yet attained. Through celebrating the ghetto girl, to looking at the different waves of social action on this campus, let this issue of Renegade challenge your thoughts and perceptions on the world around you and give your blackness a new meaning. I really hate goodbyes, so I won’t treat this letter as one. Instead, this is me leaving a piece of myself on Syracuse University’s campus. Stay woke. Be humble. And may your edges stay laid, sis.
Earica R. Parrish
TABLE OF Contents Corporate Acivism 07 08 #Blackwomenatwork Black businesses in Cuse10 12 trademarking ebonics Intersectionalty13 14 Find our girls athletes: The New Slaves15 16 Protest & Police An inconvenient Truth 18 20 Q&A WITH BRAzz It takes a Village 22 23 ode to the ghetto girl GET out Movie REVIEW 29 30 Blackflix & Chill Iconic Black Movie Scenes 31 35 We. Are. Noir N***** In Paris, London, and Florence 37 38 THE FRANCHISE WILL NEVER DIE EDITOR’S CHOICE: Her MIc SOUNDS NICE 39 40 Damn, Kendrick. Reclaiming Our Power 42 44 BEware of them Hotep Brothas! Black Power 46 48 Blerdism Art + POetry Submissions 49 51 Renegade’s Choice
Renegade Editors - in - Chief
Earica R. Parrish and Elen Marie Pease
Managing Editor Cameron Jenkins
Fiscal agent JEan Degraphe
Front-of-Book Editor Elena Whittle
Culture and Lifestyle Editors Melissa Marks and Mandisa Shields
Features Editor Daisia Glover
Back-of-Book Editor Jamaya Powell
Fashion Director Ibi Langudoye
Production Assistants: Lauren Merriwether and Darianny Abre Brand Coordinators : Mya Marti and Henna Kulaly Stylists: Amaya Hunt and Alรกnne Stroy
Creative/Design Team Blake Duncanson Eliana Rooney Elliot Srikantia Erica Jules Maddy Fetzko
Cole Sutton Adriana Cummings Gerald Brown
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Corporate Corporate Activism Activism by Mandisa Shields
hat would you do with $1.2 trillion? You could buy a few cars, your dream house, or raid Rihanna’s closet. Or you could engage in activism. When most people think about fighting, resistance, and activism, they probably envision protests, picket signs and sit-ins. While those forms of resistance are incredibly important for raising awareness about issues impacting the black community, activism can take on several different forms, one of them having to do with money. Whether we like it or not, we live in a capitalist society and is driven by money. Money determines health care, educational access, economic privileges, and power. If you look at the racial makeup of most positions of power — law enforcement officers, corporate executives, and politicians, just to name a few — it would appear that black people do not have much power. But that is wrong. This year the black community has the buying power of $1.2 trillion and that number is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020. Every day we hear stories about CEOs of giant corporations funding and supporting policies, ideologies and campaigns that do not align with or that are outright detrimental to the well being of the black community. Take John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa John’s Pizza. He has funded and publicly supported the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump (#NotMyPresident). Whether we mean to or not, when we support these companies and subsequently these CEOs, we are also supporting their agendas. And when those agendas don’t benefit black people, we’re supporting our own detriment. This is where corporate activism comes in. Instead of buying Papa John’s Pizza and putting money into Donald Trump’s pockets, you can order from Pizza 57 in Brooklyn, NY and support black entrepreneurship. Buying black is not just about funding and financially supporting the black community; it is about validating and uplifting our community as well. Despite the fact that this country would not have been built without the labor of black people, our work and labor has historically been undervalued and unrecognized. Buying black tells entrepreneurs, artists and creatives that their work is seen and valued, that they are seen and valued. In a world where Beyoncé can be completely robbed for the masterpiece, Lemonade, our validation and recognition of each other is incredibly vital. It is important to recognize that there takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to boycott companies or to buy exclusively black. Age, class, disability and other identities impact the choices one can make about where they shop. Even if you cannot boycott harmful companies or buy black, other actions like protesting or raising awareness via social media are just as valid and important. Black people’s skills, time, labor and art are highly valuable and powerful. It is time that we redirect that value and power into our community so that we can support and uplift each other. What would you do with $1.2 trillion? If you ask me, I would buy black.
#BlackWomenAtWork #BlackWomenAtWork by Bianca Hayes
ur Aunty, Congresswoman Maxine Waters had to remind imbecilic folk that “[She] is a strong Black Woman, and [she] cannot be intimidated. [She] cannot be undermined.” I am sure that you have all come across #BlackWomanAtWork Twitter hashtag. Let’s not forget, folks, that there is a system established by the powers that be that want to intimidate and undermine Black women because they believe that we do not deserve to be the remarkable beings that we have always been. Conversations around race and gender always interest me because they instantly remind me of my childhood. Growing up, I was aware of the attacks on the Black Woman’s body and spirit, but the intensity of this did not become apparent until I entered college. My experiences with race and gender were disparate, being that I was always transitioning from two antithetical worlds. I attended predominantly Black schools, while I was raised in a predominantly Jewish community by parents who stood strong in their Blackness. While I was raised under these influences, I still had internal struggles that I unfortunately began to normalize. While I experienced microaggressions growing up, I was still very in touch with my Blackness. But I would minimize my struggles, and convince myself that the things that were happening to me were not real. But you can only run from your issues for so long, and it was in college where they caught up to me. What I’ve learned is that microaggressions ain’t really that micro.
k This idea of respectability politics has to go out of the window. I do believe that you should want to represent yourself well and carry yourself with a level of decency, but to assimilate to make others feel comfortable is unacceptable. Regardless of how hard you work to homogenize and accommodate White privilege, not only are you losing your sense of self, but you will never find fulfilment. You will always be searching for ways to coexist in a manner that does not cause anyone to be uncomfortable, but the truth is that because of the principles that the USA, and most Western civilizations were founded on, these tensions will exist indefinitely. Our ability to overcome these tensions and obstacles intimidate some, and it is from this that #BlackWomenatWork was birthed. There is no reason why I should be reading tweets about Black women not receiving appreciation from their supervisors in public settings because supervisors do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or that a nurse decides to criticize the Black doctor for wearing her white overcoat one too many times. If it is not about being ignored in a board meeting, or having your accomplishments minimized, it is your hair. Your Blackness and Womaness will always be an aimed target, as it is a threat to the institution and functionality of this society. Through looking at the hashtag, I was able to witness my growth in real time as I have accepted the fact that the personal is political and the political is private, meaning that I would be doing a disservice to myself and my fellow Black sisters by staying silent on certain issues. The “micro” and macro aggressions I encounter are not merely personal, but a reflection of the society we live in. There are different methods that can be used to rise above this abuse, but never allow outside forces who are threatened by your strength to have you doubt yourself or your identity. So what if they think that you don’t smile enough, or they see a problem with you speaking up too often? If someone has the audacity to come at you crazy, you have every right to read them with a smile and keep it moving, or hit them with a “homie, I don’t play that!” Walk with pride, for this system is working to degrade you and violate your spirit because they cannot stand to see something so magical be so sure of themselves. 9
black businesses in
cuse cuse Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to get your edges laid, or eat some bomb Jamaican cuisine, check out some of the black-owned businesses right here in the Syracuse area.
BY: FATIMA BANGURA
Right Hair on State This local salon caters to natural, transitioning and relaxed hair clients. They specialize in wash & sets, silk presses, flexi and perm rod sets, relaxers, color treatments and cuts. 1211 N State St, Syracuse, NY 13208 | (315) 479-6438 Aissa’s Professional Hair Braiding Aissa’s is the go-to for protective styles, especially when non-stop winter weather hits ‘Cuse. Here you can get box braids, Senegalese twists, crochet, Ghana/Goddess braids and faux locs.848 N Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13208 | (315) 426-1903 Kreme of the Krop Kreme of the Krop is for our long hair, don’t care, bundles-on-bundles girls. They specialize in full, partial, and vixen sew-ins/extensions as well as closure and frontal installations to prevent heat damage on the crown of your hair. Instagram: @kremeofthekrop15 | kremeofthekropbooking.com | (315) 4804031 Zel Ent. We can’t forget the fellas! Y’all probably hit him up already, but Zel Ent. is a mobile barbershop, providing fresh cuts, fades, and line-ups for men and women on campus. For the LeBron James’, Jamie Foxx’s and Safaree’s of world, Zel Ent. also specializes in hair enhancement (aka get your hairline back) for men. Instagram: @zel_ent | Website: styleseat.com/DJZel
For the cooks and lovers of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, both the African Market and
the Global African & Caribbean Market sell uncooked ethnic foods and natural products like raw coconut oil and shea butter. If you need to pick up a dashiki or African movie, African Market is your spot. African Market: 344 N Salina St | (315) 473-1588 | (315) 473-1588 Global African & Caribbean Market: 2806-08 James St | (315) 883-0236 Jerkhut When you’re tired of Chipotle, Varsity, and the new Indian spots on Marshall, get you an authentic, flavorful Caribbean meal from Jerkhut. You know jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, rice and peas, Ting. 440 South Ave, Syracuse, NY 13204 | (315) 478-5303 Ruby’s Soul Food For classic soul food, hit up Ruby’s. They prepare fried chicken and Tilapia, collard greens, mac & cheese, yams, cornbread. Unfortunately, they do not deliver, but it’s def worth the trip. 4418 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13205 | (315) 469-3338
Hooked on Ebonics O by Lena Allen
n January 31st, Atlanta rapper 21 Savage’s Twitter fingers turned to trigger fingers as he laid claim to what he says is the most used word of 2017, “Issa”. The word came about in Savage’s wildly popular VLAD TV interview as he alluded to the tattoo on his forehead saying, “Issa Knife”. Whether or not the rapper was being serious in his twitter rant the question he raised isn’t unfounded. Hip Hop culture is more than dope beats and rhymes it is the way in which artists use vernacular derived from their own communities in their music. Yet in recent years the overwhelming popularity and monetary success has not been on behalf of the artists who have created these terms but rather the corporations who aim to profit from them. After Young M.A’s song OOOUUU received much success, 4 white guys decided to take one of the most popular words of the entire song, Headphanie and brand it as a new kind of Hennessy. The culture vultures received a lot of backlash via social media, many expressing their discontent over someone other than the creator of this word being able to profit from this product. The worst thing about it was that the product Headphanie Hennessy was actually legit, well for about 36 hours, until the cognac Hennessy company came forth denouncing any affiliation with the 4 young men or the Lilac Company, whose name jointly appeared on the Headphanie Henny bottle. While the culture vulture’s didn’t get away with it that time, how can we stop outsiders from cashing out on black people’s creative property? The irony of it is that the way in which African-Americans speak was, and in some cases, still is used an excuse to discredit or discriminate against them. Cultural colloquial vernacular is not only a tool for discrimination but also a device used to discern geographical location. Slang differs based on your location, whether your mans is gettin you tight in NYC, you jih like bout to yeah in DC,(...) can be used as a means to decipher(...). Ebonics is now the road most traveled; popular African-American vernacular can be seen in Sprite commercials, political feuds, and even late night talk shows. TV Land’s newest talk show “Throwing Shade” cohosted by Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi pokes frivolous fun at issues that plague women and members of the lgbtq community. To be clear these are two middle class white americans gossiping in a way that is foreign to them. The term “throwing shade” comes out of the black and brown.
intersectionality Where LGBTQA+ Experiences and Black Identity Meet By Iris Crawford
“Black LGBTQA+ persons cannot separate their Blackness from their lived experiences.” These words by Sharon Lettman Hicks of the National Black Justice Coalition sums up the all-too-familiar narrative that many LGBTQA+ people in the Black Community endure. At this point, more than ever, intersectionality is a necessity for further advancement of minority rights. A term coined by civil rights advocate Kimberle Crenshaw, intersectionality is used in critical theories to describe multiple oppressive systems (ableism, classism, sexism etc) and how they are interconnected. Looking at this from a historical perspective, we must start with the Black Church and its roots in Christianity. Anything dissonant from the set, gendered roles of the church, was looked down upon as the devil’s work. It adds another layer to the many sufferings the Black Community has faced at the hands of Christianity. LGBTQA+ advocates during the Black liberation struggle such as Bayard Rustin, Alice Walker, James Baldwin and Langston Hughes had to separate their Blackness from their sexual identity in order for their efforts toward the struggle for equality to be taken seriously. For leaders such as Rustin, his sexuality forced him to take a back seat instead of being at forefront of civil rights movements. For others such as Baldwin, their true characters were only allowed to surface once they were no longer in the United States. Black persons in America already have structural oppression intertwined within their experiences.
For Black LGBTQA+ persons, oppressions such as wage discrimination, increased risk of brutality, housing discrimination and health care discrimination are prevalent. In terms of recognizing and protecting against these biases, only 19 states have laws in place prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 3 states (one of which is New York) have laws in place protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation. There has been recent acknowledgment of LGBTQA+ community in the Black Church. For example, Charleston Leader Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the unfortunate victims in the racially motivated mass shooting at the AME church in South Carolina of 2015, permitted same sex marriage in his church. This came shortly before the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage. Another outlet of support is with the NBJC (National Black Justice Coalition) which is a civil rights organization striving for the empowerment of Black LGBTQA+ persons. The main methods for a more inclusive future for minority rights is to dispel this singular way of approaching minority rights. True equality cannot be achieved on some levels while being forfeited on others.
FIND OUR GIRLS.
Dozens Of Black Teenage Girls Go Missing In D.C. by Dante Scott
n the midst of Trump-mania, there is a major epidemic in the nation that nobody is talking about. Within the first three months of the year, the District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them Black or Latino. However, the mainstream media is completely silent. It’s ironic because such problem reminds us that human trafficking is not just overseas. It’s happening here, right now, in neighborhoods where nobody would ever believe. Minority youth are the face of modern day slavery in the United States. Unfortunately, the lack of media coverage is not surprising, because based on the myriad of examples that show the treatment of blacks, it is evident that the white community’s general reaction to black issues is dismissal. In media, there is a double standard against missing minorities. Their stories do not get the same treatment as the stories as missing white woman. When Natalee Holloway vanished in 2005 without a trace during a graduation trip in Aruba, we heard about her disappearance daily and decade later primetime news still brings it up. But what about Yahshaiyah Enoch and Aniya McNeil?
Upon learning the recent news that the FBI tracked down and found Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl 51 jersey in Mexico, actor D. L. Hughley tweeted “If only all those Black and brown teenage girls reported missing in D.C. had jerseys on!” He makes a valid point about the inequity between America handling the white elite in comparison to missing minority youth. Entering 2017, it seemed as if this year would be the year of Women’s Empowerment. Feminist led the Women’s March on Washington because they were shook to the core because Donald Trump said he was going to grab someone’s genitals. They had an authentic and emotional reaction to the relatively minor issue. Having said that, when it came to all these young minorities being raped, killed, and probably having their organs harvested in the same D.C. Metropolitan area, there is no uproar. American media’s lack of coverage among minorities is beyond disrespectful and is becoming too blatant. None of this is okay, and it’s up to black people as a race to use their voice any way they can and stand up for those victims in efforts to initiate the conversation about the issue at hand.
Athletes: the New Slaves P by Fanta Cherif
rofessional sports for African-Americans has been a way out of poverty for decades, giving them an outlet to play the sport that they love for large sums of money. But recently, the parallels to professional sports and slavery have been brought to light. In spite of African-American majority playing on sports teams, there is still lack of representation in the ownership and management of professional teams. Currently, there are only two Black major owners of NBA teams. With a system of predominantly white owners, drafts can resemble slave auctions. On Pro-Day, the owners will come in and watch their athletes perform. This entails the athletes to run up and down fields to prove how clever and fast they are, in hopes of being bought. The athletes are bought and sold as property of the school, and/or franchise. The limited freedoms of athletes resemble the strict ownership of slaves in American history. With the collective bargaining agreement college athletes are prevented from learning about competing institutions that offer perhaps more playing time or better coaching, information to which free laborers are entitled. NCAA policies don’t allow their athletes to work or seek ulterior income, or seek economic opportunities off-campus. They also deny athletes a voice in rulemaking. The NCAA and the universities own the players’ identities and receive payment from the labor of the athletes in various forms, including selling shirts and other officially licensed gear with their names, faces, and identification numbers, while
prohibiting the players to earn any money. From the disparaging comments received when NBA players wear “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts over their jerseys, to Cardale Jones being told to “just stick to football”, it is made very clear that athletes are expected to have one sole purpose. Enslaving Blacks to be the entertainers of whites can make living in the world of professional sports feel like living on a plantation. Often times, slave rhetoric is used when describing coach-player interactions. An example of this is when coaches are expected to “take care” of their “boys”. This is only effective until the usefulness of them wears off, then they are discarded (traded). Although athletes are subject to long-term injuries, there are no funds set aside for players who suffer concussions, broken limbs, etc. Athletes are subliminally controlled by their teams, sports endorsement contracts, agents, and managers collectively. They are being used to bolster the economy and support the lifestyle of those who own them.
“Enslaving Blacks to be the entertainers of whites can make living in the world of professional sports feel like living on a plantation.”
by Olivia Zimmerman
olice are called to protect and serve the American people. But what happens whenthey fail to do their job? Protests. Marches. Pain. Power. People pour into streets of big cities, shutting down traffic, exercising a constitutional right to free speech that was long fought for. And the common police response to these demonstrations? Pepper spray. Rubber bullets. Tear gas. Broadcast news shows the few violent outbreaks between police and demonstrators, overshadowing the fact that most of the thousands of people are typically protesting peacefully. The relationship between protesters and police is one built on a power struggle. When we challenge an institution of authority —holding a clearly unregulated entity accountable for its injustice— we take away its power. Police response to protests, particularly those relating to their failures, is an effort to regain control over public fear. They arrest protesters of color in an attempt to reduce a movement to just another band of criminals violent by nature. This is an experience unique to people of color. As it relates to people of color, to law enforcement, there is no such thing as peaceful protest in their eyes. The perception of Black people being inherently violent saturates American society. This is to the extent where even when we stand peacefully to mourn the loss of yet another brother or sister through gun violence or police brutality, or, as in the case of the Standing Rock protests, protect our livelihoods, we are seen as a danger. The Baltimore protest, following the wrongful death of Freddie Gray, was covered nationwide as rioting. People gathered to challenge the police, but instead of covering the solidarity in mourning Gray’s death, images of fires and smashed windows permeated CNN and other major networks. The Women’s March, following the inauguration of Donald Trump, displayed just how white privilege plays into the relationship between protesters and police. The media flaunted the fact that there was not a single protest-related arrest that day. But, looking at the population of those who attended, that makes complete sense. White women flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. wearing pink hats, and vagina costumes, raising signs with bubble letters, screaming “Not my president”. And there was no pepper spray, riot gear, rubber bullets, or tear gas in sight. Because there is a certain kind of solidarity between white protesters and police. There is a respect for the constitutional right to free speech, that, in theory, all Americans are afforded. But recent events have proven that those rights are only protected for those that government institutions have chosen. As protesters of color, we must not be discouraged by the disparity in treatment by police. In Ava DuVernay’s 13th, she discusses how the protesters of the Civil Rights movement sought to be arrested to force police brutality into the public eye. We should not make ourselves martyrs of this movement, but we must persist- in spite of the inequality yet because of the inequality. We must continue to raise our voices and hold accountable those who are supposed to protect us.
An Inconvenient: Environmental Discrimination and Its Impact On Communities Of Color by Iris Crawford
:Truth “The framing of black, brown, red and yellow folks’ community struggles are often simply tagged “civil rights” or “human rights” or battles against racism and xenophobia and white privilege, or for immigration reform, better education, healthcare, housing, voting rights—without a “green movement” tag attached. These words by Denise Oliver-Velez, an adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at SUNY New Paltz captures the essence of narrowly discrimination is open defined in regards to person’s of color. What often fails to get any attention is the environment in and around the living and educational spaces of communities comprised predominantly of people of color. This is what we call environmental discrimination, the process whereby environmental decisions, policies and actions result in racial advantages or disadvantages. Two studies coming out of the United Church of Christ and The U.S. General Accounting Office prove that communities of color have an increased likelihood to be exposed to environmental hazards and experience negative impacts of environmental policies. For example, there is a deliberate placing of toxic facilities in communities of color, indirect discrimination that places minority workers in more dangerous lines of work, as well as unequal access to environmental services. On a recent Reveal podcast with Al Jetson, his team explored a community in New Jersey where the pollution for the heavily trafficked highway and recycling facilities left many of residents with asthma. According to the family featured on the podcast, they said that cannot even open their windows for fresh air but instead have to rely on pumps and filters. In 1977, Sidney Howe, the director of the Human Environment Center discussed that those in poverty were exposed to the most pollution. Ironically enough, those that pollute the most reside in the least polluted areas. In the late 1980s, the environmental
equality movement was started to address issues of racial, gender and environmental class issues. The movement concerned itself with distributive justice as it responded to pinpointing past racial infringements while searching for a quest to future solutions through channels such as worker-community relations and local governments. In most recent incidences, we can refer to the water crisis in Flint Michigan. As you may or may not know, the fresh water source (Lake Huron) was switched to the toxic Flint River to cut costs. Another example is Mike Pence’s response to the extremely high levels of lead and arsenic found in the water of residents in East Chicago. These levels tested to be some of the highest in the nation. Our new Vice President did nothing in his power as the governor to help this community which coincidentally is a community of color living in highly concentrated poverty. These incidences continue to degrade the quality of life in our communities of color. Environmental racism is sadly another form of the structural oppression that manifests in daily lives of persons of color. Some ways that communities are petitioning against the siting of hazardous waste facilities in close proximity to schools and housing complexes. Other simple ways that we can make this issue more present in our minds is going back to own communities and deepening our understanding of environmental discrimination and how it may be present in these spaces. Something as simple as creating pamphlets on awareness can make a huge difference. As with other forms of discrimination, this one is of particular importance because it is not outrightly blatant. Thinking about this on a wider scope, many issues stemming from environmental discrimination affect the overall quality of life. I hope that this piece sheds a bit of light to help you become more critical and curious about what is going on in your own communities.
Q&A with Brazz by Camila Bencosme photos by Nico Gilmore
William Baucom II, also known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brazzâ&#x20AC;? is a junior Information Management & Technology major with a focus on Digital Retail Management and Project Strategy. He is already making strides within art creation, working as the creative director for fashion stylist Law Roach.
When did you start to show an interest in fashion? “I have always been interested essentially in style. It started off with shoes; I’m from the DMV so shoes were a big thing. You couldn’t be wearing shoes without having something cool to wear them with, you know, so I started to get into clothes like Margiela because the shoes were a hit and stores like Barneys and now it just formed to where it is. Instagram and the Internet are a big part of that too.” What is it that you enjoy about fashion? “I can express myself emotionally without having to say a word. Some people express themselves through crying, while others express themselves by wearing a polo t-shirt and khaki pants with six thousand dollars shoes; that’s their expression of them crying. I know that may sound weird but for example, if somebody’s sad they may cry, but if I’m sad I may wear black with a hint of red instead of crying. I am crying inside. It can be the same thing for happy or scared or nervous. You don’t have to cry if you’re sad and you don’t have to smile if you’re happy; there’s different ways to express yourself. Clothes give you a little more character.” How would you describe your style? “I honestly don’t pay that much attention to it. My style is just based on how I feel, so that means if I have to go home in the middle of the day and change my clothes I will do that; as long as it makes me express myself and feel better. If I don’t dress to how I feel consistently then I’ll be fucked up the rest of the day.” How did you begin to work with a figure like Law Roach? “That’s my big brother and my mentor. It actually started here; I was part of this group called Fashion Conscience my freshman year and we had a fashion show where we had a panel of four judges with Gianni Lee, model Shaun Ross, Coco & Breezy, and celebrity stylist Lawrence Roach. I was able to connect with all of them but me and Law just saw eye to eye. I got his contact information and I went to Los Angeles for that summer where I contacted him. My friend Nia was actually interning for him, so I went to his house and he asked me what I wanted to do and I told him exactly what I wanted to do. He gave me that opportunity so after that I work with him doing mood board
visions and I talk to him about ideas. There’s things he thinks I should do to progress as well.” Is it hard to be involved with these projects and keep up with school? Do you have to travel often? “Not really; school is something I know that I have to do so it’s part of my everyday schedule. I won’t understand how it is without school until I graduate, and then I can think about it for a long basis. When I graduate I can think about things in that perspective compared to thinking that I have a certain amount of time till I have to go back to school so I have to put a certain amount of time into work. I think it will be interesting when school stops. I sometimes travel for things I must do but I also travel cause you get to see everybody else’s perspective on things, so yes I travel a lot, mainly Los Angeles and New York City.” Why Brazz? “Freshman year I was wearing this ‘Brazzers’ hoodie which is this porn website. I was just like fuck it, I’ll just wear the hoodie, which was given to me my senior year in high school by my friend. I was actually scared to wear it in high school cause I would’ve gotten in trouble, so I kept it and once I graduated I wore it here and I was like ‘I kinda like this.’ So I went to New York City and my friend Lake Len, who’s a producer and is my roommate, told me ‘you should go by Yung Brazz.’ Simple as that. So we immediately had a photoshoot and that’s when Yung Brazz was created.” Do you have other interests apart from fashion? “It’s not even fashion I like but more so art and expression. I honestly like a lot of stuff; I couldn’t give you a full list. I like anime, live theater (Phantom of the Opera is my favorite play), music… There’s just so much that I’m into.” Is there anything you see yourself doing in the future? “Winning a Nobel Piece Prize and just making sure my family and friends don’t have to worry about anything. Also, I eventually plan on doing music, taking pictures, leaving America and studying chakra healing for like three years. I plan on doing everything; I’m interested by everything as long as it changes my perspective of the world.”
it takes a village by Shariah Walthour photo by Blake Duncanson
ou may see “The Village” watermark under your event photo, your favorite fraternity promotion video, you may have even gotten a tattoo at their “Link and Ink” event. The Village popped up in the Syracuse community during the 2016-2017 school year, consisting of freshman and sophomores with different talents, majors, passions, expertises and backgrounds. First it was three, then three became six, and then in order to solidify zthe group, they found three more members. The Village is made up of all underclassmen, who all jumped in the Syracuse University mix quickly. One thing that all nine of The Village members have in common is that they shared the vision of developing a visual platform that is Instagram-based, and is a space for the members to take their craft and showcase them on a higher level. The purpose is to showcase the creatives of Syracuse to the wider world, while allowing people to explore their talents.
“We are different because we really get hands on. We listen to their stories and try to promote them as much It took as possible. We want to use members of Village every outlet that we can in The a few tries order to get their message to come up a solid out there. with name that represented — Anthony Obas who they
are and they
do. They played around with a couple of words that would give off a “community vibe”. The meaning behind The Village is that it takes all types of people to create a complete Village. The Village consists of a wide variety of students, and the purpose is to be all-inclusive. Their platform is more than just about the 9 who work within them, but it’s about the SU community as a whole. Recording a step show or taking photos at a banquet is just as much about the photo quality and video editing as it is about the people actually being honored, or performing. They’re fresh, they’re different, and they’re about the culture. They do what they do and aren’t focused on making a profit. “Our big deal is that we want to be engaging. There are a lot of platforms out there that will create the contact and then let you do what you want with it, but that’s not what we want to be. From that star, Obas has been out here reaching out to different orgs, and different people,” says member Bobby Manning. The Village’s goal is to eventually expand off of SU’s campus. By the end of their time at SU they want to have inspired other students everywhere to create similar platforms. They want to leave The Village here, and teach incoming students the ropes, because at the end of the day they are a part of The Village, too. Something that all of the members are most passionate about is inspiring others, and to leave a positive impression on all of those that they’ve worked with.
to the Ghetto Girl photos by Erica Jules
Laid edges. Hair grease. Bamboo earrings. Spray painted t-shirts. The “ghetto girl” has always pushed creative boundaries, whether in hair or clothing. She rarely receives credit for being the original “carefree black girl”, but this is a homage to her and all that she inspires.
GET OUT: THE ‘BLACK’ AMERICANHORROR STORY by Asia Lance
ordan Peele’s made his directorial debut with Get Out on February 24th, a fitting release date for Black History month. Get Out is hands down one of the most important films of the year. Yeah, it is a horror movie but not in a the traditional sense. It’s a social thriller that has so many deep layers to unfold. This is a film that everyone needs to watch, as it brings light to and represent the scary reality of being Black in a White world. The film focused on the themes of Blackness and racism. Through the usage of the ‘Sunken Place’, the auction party, and the scenes where Chris learns about what is about to happen to him, Peele was able to convey the larger message with his audience. When I first saw the movie, I felt what Chris was feeling like in the Sunken Place, it reminded me of the effects of sleep paralysis and not being able to move or do anything about your current state. Shortly after the release of the film, Jordan Peele tweeted his purpose of the Sunken Place, stating that as Black people are “marginalized, no matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.” The systematic and institutional racist systems, that is. The party scene was very strenuous to watch. I caught on to all the little comments that the party-goers were saying about Chris’s physical features and other references to common Black stereotypes. I probably made the exact same faces as Chris in the film as I was watching the scene. And it is that kind of racism is the type that White people don’t realize is racist. One of the biggest takeaways of the film is that some White people love to appropriate Black culture. They want our music, our bodies, our art, all the things that look Black without actually being Black. They admire our strength and athleticism, and this is all rooted in the oppressive structure of racism. There’s so much in this film to unpack, and this isn’t even the half of it. Get Out is the movie that everyone, Black and White, should be watching. It can be watched so many times and each time you’ll unpack more and deeper concepts.
BLACKFLIX & CHILL If you say you’ve never Netflix and Chilled, or at least thought about it, you are lying. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. No shade to Netflix, but it appears to be slacking in terms of casts with diversity. Renegade has provided a variety of Netflix and Chill movies and TV shows that star people of color. Get straight to the Netflix, or straight to the chill. we don’t judge. by Nia Chanel Scarboro
This movie received a lot of hype when it was first released back in 2015 and with good reason. It’s seductive, it’s exciting, and includes humor that will potentially add to a sensational night in. Dope tells the story of “blerd”(a black nerd) navigating his way in the crime-stricken, inner city of the Los Angeles area with the help of his two best friends. Dope is one of those movies where if you happen to miss a few scenes, it’s totally okay.
The Get Down
Not only is the title of this series deemed appropriate for the situation, but it’s a must see! If it’s 70s nostalgia that gets you in the mood, along with all the music, hairstyles, and fashion that comes with it, look no further. In The Get Down the main character is followed as he tries to pursue the girl of his dreams, while she is pursuing stardom (complicated I know). But due to the fact that this includes a love story, it should set the tone between you and your significant other. I would also like to point out that the first episode is a whopping 93 minutes in duration. You know what that means...anything can happen in that amount of time.
Making my way downtown, walking fast, faces past and I’m Netflix and Chill bound (see what I did there?). If you haven’t seen this movie you’re truly behind. Where do I even begin with this movie? A true classic if there ever was one, this movie is the perfect Netflix and Chill movie for many reasons. This hilarious cast featuring the Wayans brothers and Terry Crews is a match made in heaven. Besides, if your date is anything like me the chances are very high they have already watched it a million times. Which means they will be paying less attention to the actual movie and more attention to you.
Finally! Marvel has a black superhero, and his name is Luke Cage. If you’re an action fanatic, then this show is for you. It’s intense enough that you’ll want someone close, but it’s not too scary that you can’t just chill. Mike Colter is a fabulous actor in this series. I have no doubt in my mind that this movie will set the vibe for you and your lovely visitor. Much love for my girl Shonda but there is more on Netflix besides Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.
WOOD From best friends to best men.
Friday a lot can go down between thursday and saturday...
photos by Erica Jules
WE. ARE. NOIR.
The Paris Noir Program gives students from all backgrounds the opportunity to explore the Black Diaspora in France
t was Bruce Miles who realized, two days before it was due, that the walking tour on their syllabus was mandatory and counted as their midterm. “I called everybody and I was like, ‘Look, we have to do this tour, and we have to do it right now,’” says Miles, currently a senior economics major. “Get your shoes on we have to go now.’” One of their tasks was to find a building with the name of Aimé Césaire, a writer during the Négritude movement. They went all around Paris, looking through the streets for hours. Then the realization set in. The building was next to the place where they attended their panel discussions every Wednesday during the program. “That’s the thing about it,” Miles says. “I thought I was observant, but she hit us on the head with this.” The lesson was that the observant person isn’t necessarily an aware person and what you can’t see isn’t always invisible. Janis A. Mayes, an associate professor of AfricanAmerican studies, explains to them that
when you’re observant you see, but that doesn’t always translate into being aware of what you’re seeing. Mayes has been dishing her Paris Noir students with knowledge for the past 17 years. She created the summer study abroad program because students needed a program that at its center was about Black studies. When it started in 2000, the program coincided with her research on Francophone, French-speaking, literature and she wanted to afford students an experience like her own. Research and pedagogy played a part in Mayes creating the program, but at the root was a sense of responsibility. “There was a responsibility that I thought I had as a black scholar to establish something new that would help students, all students not just black students, move forward in a new world,” says Mayes. Students interested in the program are hesitant at times because of the cost. For undergraduates the the estimated total cost including tuition, program fee and personal expenses is about $14,000.
But, as Miles put it, “You just have to figure out a way to finesse the system…even if you have to bombard the financial aid office because sometimes they like to play.” He added that anybody who is interested in the program should apply and worry about the money later. The money will come and Mayes will work with you. “Once you start and you step foot in Paris you’ll be happy that you did everything that you did to get there,” says Imani Wallace, a 2016 Syracuse University graduate. For Miles, Paris Noir came at a time when he was struggling with his identity. “You never really know who you are until you leave the space that you’re comfortable in and set yourself outside of that zone,” Miles says. “… it showed me the type of person that I am and the type of person that I aspire to be.” Paris allowed him to experience his black identity on a transnational
level and to get less caught up in the western way of thinking about black as a singular experience, it also put into perspective how he saw social injustice. While in the United States he says he felt the pressures of race everyday. Miles was becoming numb to the reality that black bodies were disposable. But in Paris, he was able to decompress and feel some of that carefree #BlackBoyJoy. Paris re-sensitized him and put the work of a social activism at the forefront of his mind. “I literally wish that Paris Noir could turn into a movie,” Wallace says of her experience. For Wallace, the program opened up a side to Paris that she had never knew before. When she thought of the city, the food and fashion was what first came to mind. Now, it’s the experience of black artists, the role they played in advancing artistry in Paris and how they shaped the city’s history. “It was a way of understating that there are black people connected
to you in other parts of the world,” Wallace says.Near the end of the trip all she wanted was to have at least one more week, but she knows that she’ll be back. After 17 years the goal of the program — to give students a sense of who they are, where they are and how they can effect change — has consistently touched students how Mayes intended. Paris Noir alum have gone on to law school, become educators and earn doctoral degrees — among many other things. They still stop in to her office hours, come back to visit and call her to share how their experiences have affected them or sometimes just to kick it with her. “I have a special place in their hearts and they have in mine,” says Mayes.
N***** in Paris... London, and Florence
Syracuse University students share their personal stories about how their blackness was perceived while studying abroad by Isaiah Nins
e’ve all been there. “Can I touch your hair?” “What’s up my n*gga?” followed by, “I can say that I have a black friend.” Often times it isn’t intentional, there just isn’t a, “How To Speak To Minorities For Dummies,” gracing Barnes and Noble shelves these days. I interviewed a few SU students who have studied outside the States to see how they dealt with racism across the globe, and my results varied. I spoke with Shaquille. He felt passionately about the city, praising his experience as, “....completely different socially [from the U.S.].” Following that, I asked if he had any run-ins with racism and he was quick to say it didn’t come up once. He recognized a great Black population in London (8%) so he wasn’t seen as an outsider, though that population is lower than NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago (25%, 10%, 33% respectively). In any case, long live the queen!
Studying in Florence, we find Vita. Though her overarching experience was, “one of a kind”, she did have some bizarre encounters. “In Italy there isn’t many Black people (just 1.5%!), so they do tend to look at you weird, says Vida. “One time on the bus my friend and I were sitting in the front of the bus and two young women who were locals demanded our seats! They said to us, ‘We want to sit down, and we know you aren’t from the area, so you should get up from your seats.’ I don’t know if it was only because we were black, but it was unbelievable.” Mamma mia, this definitely wasn’t her finest moment in Italy. Being Black abroad, you will probably experience some eccentric moment. Suspected treatments and bias shouldn’t halt your travels, as long as you stay safe. But all in all, as Ibn Battuta puts it so excellently, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
After the eras of the 50’s and 60’s, when the mass community of white people realized that we were the kings and queens of entertainment, there was still a fear of losing a deal or audience by the content produced. The 70’s allowed for more comfortability, but as African Americans eased their way into control, nothing came full force, noting that it wasn’t time for the full takeover because we weren’t the ones owning the businesses that kept the music in rotation. Then, they fucked around and signed N.W.A as rap music became a part of everyone’s playlists. Suddenly, the businesses were no longer in control. So following, artists in the 80’s and 90’s could say what they wanted, to who they wanted, with no repercussions because the only people who controlled the releases of the music or its content, was us. Through the music, we were able to prevail. Then the 2000’s came and as dance music started to take over, as did the struggle for maintaining a high status. Music was now made for party scenes and if it wasn’t made for a party, then it was made to drive video content through dance crazes. No one talked about the job of the
president, the power of unity, the consequences of ignorance and racism,etc. Now the business aspect of music took precedent once again and instead of artists having their true freedom, they were once again restrained to abiding by the demand of executives and sales. So the era lived on and suddenly in the early 2010’s, the class of new school rappers decided to ride a different wave. As each demographic steadily built upon their own army, each had a leader: Kendrick from the West Coast, Chance from Chicago, Joey Badass from New York, and Waka Flocka Flame from Atlanta who were all willing to make the music uncensored and satisfactory to their desire. We could now note an environment where music was made not for people to dance, not to be or remained signed, but for fans to simply enjoy. It seems like the power was lost because, like most of our culture, people on the outside just don’t understand. There has been a constant battle with regaining this power and as a community, we definitely took a hit back in 2014 when Kendrick lost his well-deserved Grammy for Good Kid M.A.A.D. City to Macklemore’s The Heist. Once 2016 hit, Chance the Rapper became a household name. Our stance was solidified and we now hold the torch once again through the music we were able to make for ourselves, with pure artistic freedom. From an era where you had zero to no chance of getting signed to a label, to an independent artist like Chance taking home three Grammy’s, comfortability now sits within control. The resurge of power came within the realization that we can and will do whatever we aspire to when it comes to the art of our music because the industry will constantly continue to challenge that. But where our music and its artists are headed now, you can’t tell us shit.
As Hip-Hop becomes more commercialized, black artists must finds ways to take back their power and control of their vision and presence in the industry
usic is an outlet that has allowed for us as black people to speak in volume over the crowds of rejection. As the battle for power and authority has constantly fluctuated, one place where one could prevail despite the challenges was in the studio. Yes, my parents are in their mid-sixties so I know a little about growing through the troubling eras of the mid to late 1900s, but that’s not my story. I found the power in music when I was about 7 years old. I know y’all remember Like Mike. My favorite scene was when Calvin and Murph went to Tracy’s house for geometry lessons, which eventually turned into a paint fight. I know, this sounds a little insignificant but the song that played in the background of that scene was “Rule” by Nas. Being so young, I was attracted to the smooth melody and lyrics but as I got older, I recognized the raw content portrayed in the track. Looking at the broader picture, the 80’, 90’s, and early 2000s provided a comfortable platform for artists to speak up about, simply put, what they didn’t fuck with.
By Kemet High
HER MIC SOUNDS NICE 10 QUESTIONS WITH MÉLAN photo by Nia Gibson
The 23-year-old audio arts graduate student from the Bronx, NY is prepared to add some compassion and truth back to the music scene. The EPs of Renegade got to sit down with the up-and-coming artists to know about her future plans, what turns her off, and her thoughts on Hip-Hop culture today. 1. How has the Bronx influenced you and your life? Just being in the environment and just knowing the history of where Hip-Hop was birthed from, I felt like I already had to own up to it and live up to the expectations that the Bronx had already created in HipHop. Just the scenery itself, it just gives you content to talk about. And it’s not as easy. The Bronx is still going through what it is. It’s one of the hardest places to gentrify right now. They’re really trying to gentrify the Bronx as much as they can, and people are not trying to leave. 2. Favorite NYC rapper? Ooooh that is tough, but I would have to say Biggie…I mean right now I’m definitely diggin’ Joey Bada$$ 3. Who is your role model? My role model I would say is my momma. She definitely is a strong woman. She pretty much took on most of the toll. She always told me to have a tough skin. I can’t be out here lookin’ soft. Even though I talk about really soft things, I still have to show that ‘I don’t play that…” 4. Biggest struggle as an upand-coming artist? Getting people to get on board, and stick by it….That’s like everybody’s struggle as an emerging artist. If I had a team, I think it would be an entity where I can move forth and fans will gravitate towards things that are more structured. 5. What’ song were you listening to on your way here? I was listening to “For However Long” by Bryson Tiller. I love R&B actually. I listen to more R&B than rap. Neo Soul is my shit.
6. Pet peeve? People who chew with their mouth open. Like, close your mouth. That is atrocious. 7. Something that attracts you to a person? Their smile. Just because it just tells me that it’s genuine…even though I barely smile because of that “New York City grill.” 8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In five years I seem myself touring everywhere, internationally. People knowing what my name is, wearing my grin. Giving back to the community. Being a role model to other people, of course. And just, doing more for music. 9. Do you think Hip-Hop is dying? Why? I think Hip-Hop is lowkey dying... because I feel like people aren’t listening enough. I think people are only waiting for that beat to drop…hear that catchy catchphrase and then it’s stuck in your head. But it’s not telling you to do anything. It’s no call to action, and I think that’s what HipHop really was at the time. We were hindered and blocked from a lot of things, and Hip-Hop was our outlet to release that…If there’s things that’s going on in the neighborhood, let’s talk about it. Nobody’s bringing up conversations. It’s the same ol’, same ol’ thing like “I popped a xanax and a molly,” or “I got a bitch and she from Hollywood. 10. Where did you name come from? My aunt always spelled my name with an É, every Christmas. First my stage name was M.i.l.i. Which was an acronym, but my mom didn’t like that so i thought ok I might as well embody how yall pronounce my name, Mélan it’s kinda like the rebirth. 39
DAMN, Kendrick. 40
by Phelicia Ball
K-Dot did it again, never reluctant to challenge racial barriers and lyrically taking jabs at the media for reinforcing false narratives about Blacks. Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album DAMN., might just literally leave you speechless, left with nothing to say but, “damn” Similar to Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly and untitled, unmastered, DAMN. is charged with racial commentary, challenging the false narrative that Amerikkka has so diligently drafted for people of color. DAMN. is a simple, yet emotionally compelling. Although the message is pretty straightforward, don’t confuse his critique of the Black experience for pandemonium and uproar. Th e a l b u m c o m m e n c e s w i t h “BLOOD.” in which Kendrick narrates a story of him being caught off guard by a blind woman whom he thought had dropped something, prompting him to offer his assistance and ask if she has in fact lost something. The blind woman’s response may be shocking to some, but for a person of color, it is not the least bit surprising. “Oh yes, you have lost something. You’ve lost your life,” she says. Kendrick is left with no room to respond, but is rather intercepted by what most of Black America is already familiar with, the sound and coercion of a gunshot. The intro then subsides with a sample from a FOX News clip, where a reporter criticizes Kendrick for his performance of “Alright” at the 2015 BET Awards. Interesting how a song about hope for our humanity is translated into a message of terror, violence, and hatred. Nothing new though, right? Kendrick takes multiple jabs at the media in the 14-track LP.
community needs when we are bombarded with America telling us that the color of our skin deems of less worthy. “I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA”, are characteristics that Kendrick embodies and has inherited from the Black community. Marking his first collaboration with Rihanna, “LOYALTY” suggests that although the dollar bill says “IN God We Trust”, society is trusting in money first. Remember when that U2 album magically appeared on all of our iPods and was virtually impossible to remove? Well, U2 makes an appearance on “XXX” and it’s fire. Kendrick again takes a jab at FOX News for their perpetuation of Black bodies as dangerous and aggressive beings. Ending with “DUCKFACE”, Kendrick connects the first track, “BLOOD.” by including the first line of the album. Kendrick continues the pattern of storytelling with this last track, linking an overarching message that regardless of race, humans have the ability to be violent and kill, in which this case the Black man in the story, Anthony is the killer. Kendrick’s decision to reverse the track back to the first line in the album could signify humanity as a whole being capable of brutal acts—it’s not just Black bodies taking Black bodies. FOX News would claim otherwise though, even if it’s coming from a Black man who is an embodiment of these experiences. DAMN. is fearless and genius, personifying conscious hip-hop. Kendrick lyrically and sonically once again delivers a social critique of being Black in America. His honest attitude and failure to be complicit and silent is what makes him such an inspiring and possibly the best rapper alive. His rhymes are effortless and avoid the trends of mainstream hip-hop that we are all familiar with today, plagued with misogyny, homophobia, and violence. Kendrick has gracefully taken the position to be a voice for the voiceless and word on the street, there’s a part 2.
Although the message is pretty straightforward, don’t confuse his critique of the Black experience for pandemonium and uproar.
Kendrick’s master storytelling is what makes his lyrical palette so uniquely compelling. The entire album is filled with stories, personifying the pain that Black bodies are subjected to on a daily basis especially due to the false narratives perpetuated in the media. Failing to identify himself by the color of his skin, he notes in “DNA” that he is a reflection of the contents of his DNA and not the color palette of his skin. This encouragement of Black pride is everything the Black
RECLAIMING OUR RECOUNTING THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS HERE AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, AND HOW THEY’VE HELPED REDEFINE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A STUDENT OF COLOR ON THIS CAMPUS.
n September 26, 1970, nine black Syracuse University football players (Syracuse 8) boycotted the 1970 football season in a collective effort to demand change and promote racial equality within the University football program. On November 3, 2014, a student-run organization called THE General Body began an 18-day sit-in to address the lack of transparency in administrative decision-making, and the lack of value of and support for marginalized students on the Syracuse University campus. These were acts of protest. This was how these students reclaimed their power. According to Merriam-Webster, a protest is a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action. There have been instances like this throughout Syracuse University’s history in which students have had to protest to have their voices heard. The student activists who became a part of the Syracuse 8 and THE General Body wanted to create change and put
their education, careers and lives at risk for their cause. The Syracuse 8 only requested four things which included better medical treatment for all athletes, better access to academics for all athletes, fairness and the diversification of the coaching staff. This protest cost the players their chances at a professional athletic career. In an interview with The Players Tribune, a member of the Syracuse 8 Ronald Womack said “The members of the Syracuse 8 were highly competent and skilled athletes, who had the potential and the goal to play football in the NFL. The loss of playing football hurt deeply and curtailed us from achieving our athletic goals. Although we suffered this great loss, we did not lose sight of ourselves as college students with the purpose of obtaining an education.” This was 46 years ago yet in this era students of color and other marginalized communities face similar plights. The General Body echoed the same sentiments as the Syracuse 8 in the Fall of 2014 demanding not only better treatment of students but they hoped to discuss issues such as the lack of transparency, privilege, oppression,
By Rukayat Abiola Oloko
intersectionality, mental health, disability, heterosexism, transphobia, racism, the ‘ivory tower’ disconnected from the larger community, and sexism on campus. According to members of the organization, the students were harassed, intimidated, confined, surveilled, ignored, explicitly and implicitly threatened, and controlled by administrators and the Department of Public Safety. These students like the Syracuse 8 stood their ground and pushed for their demand to be met. “When you are the person being marginalized, you better come correct,” said Jerrel A. Burgo the Coordinator of Mentoring Programs in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Syracuse University. This is the first step of getting your voice heard, Burgo said. Burgo believes that THE General Body’s sit-in isn’t the only one way of protest in 2017. Unlike the civil rights era in which marching and boycotts were prevalent ways of protesting. In 2017, trying to get your voice heard could be as simple as a Facebook or video post, Burgo said. He added that being an activist is not only about participating in protests where you march or die-in. It could be speaking up for an injustice in class, choosing a paper on a social issue or just speaking up against macroaggressions or microaggressions in any space. People often consider protesting in a literal sense which is sometimes an extreme view. “In reality, something as simple as wearing your natural hair is an act of protest.” In October 2016, a die-in on the Syracuse University promenade gave a graphic protest of black and brown bodies being killed at the hands of law enforcement using unnecessary force. Bruce Miles, a senior majoring in Economics and minoring in African-American Studies helped orchestrate the die-in but he also believes this form of protesting is not the only way to reclaim power and have their voices heard. As students, he believes working in the community as well as on campus is important. Miles who grew up in Chicago
said he hasn’t always been the activist he is viewed as but his understanding of Marginalized communities from his hometown along with his education has propelled him to being the leader he is. “People in marginalized communities don’t choose to live the way they do. It just so happens that they have been placed in these circumstances and the only way to survive is to do whatever,” said Miles. Miles strongly advocates for students to work in the communities in which they go school and help those Marginalized communities as well. For Miles, the things he has seen on and off the university’s campus wasn’t something he could ignore and this for him was how he reclaimed his power. By working in the community he hopes to make a change. “We just have to hold people accountable,” Miles said when addressing how we could help reclaim our power. Throughout its 146-year history, Syracuse University has had students come and go bringing forth different backgrounds and issues. Some these Students have been vocal about their disdain for marginalization on and off campus silently or piercingly. For Miles and Burgo protesting and being an activist can be done in any way but it’s important to do so because this is the only way we can reclaim our power. So the question now is how will you reclaim your power?
Beware of the Sit back, as Renegade gives you a crash course on how to swerve these Hoteps, sis. By Fatima Bangura
e’ve all seen one. This obscure creature. His social media avatar bares the classic still of James Baldwin or Malcolm X because he’s conscious. His posts are masterful. His words are laced with the sentiment of proBlackness and reiterate the literary genius of African-American greats like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. He loves his Blackness and yours. At first glance, you may think this creature is extremely aware of intersectional activism and is down to fight for all Black people. But a closer look reveals he champions the rights of Black men only, while simultaneously disrespecting and blaming Black women, Black LGBT people, and non-heteronormative identities for the everyday struggles and injustices they experience. He is pro-black, but antiprogress. He conceptualizes and analyzes from only the Black male perspective. He can go on for days about the detriment of white privilege, but underestimates the way his male privilege oppresses other groups. He does not see nor comprehend (whether intentionally or unintentionally) how Black women and Black trans-women are becoming victims of state violence at alarming rates. He’s so caught up in “not f*cking with that gay shit” that he cannot fully understand actual intersectional identities, activism and lived experiences.Who is he? You guessed it, he’s a Hotep. You know, a devout follower of conscious community leader, Dr. Umar
Johnson, and self-proclaimed Prince of Pan-Africanism…and problematicism. “Hotep” is an ancient Egyptian greeting meaning “Peace” or “I come in peace.” The term is historically positive and usually associated with powerful Egyptian men and women, and peace being upon the nation. But the rise of digital media and contemporary influences have wrapped the word in more negative connotations. The Hotep’s bible is the Book of Big Words, of which he uses to confuse us. He wants to make us think he is wise beyond his years and shares the lineage of actual conscious leaders Malcolm X and Kwame Ture (formerly known as Stokely Carmichael). Or he might throw out the only James Baldwin line he knows: “To be Black and conscious is to be in a constant state of rage.” When in actuality, he is just a regular, degular, schmegular boy from [insert local inner city/ county here]. He does that thing where he puts the word ‘Black’ in front of absolutely everything! Yet, he somehow forgets to put the word ‘Black’ in front of trans-woman/man, woman, disabled, and LGBT. He wants to further convince us that he’s about the upliftment of all Black people, when he’s actually far more interested in replacing dominant white heteropatriarchy with Black patriarchy.
em Hotep Brothas! As stated earlier, the Hotep brotha is sly and possesses the
ability to use, bruise, and confuse. Here’s what to look out for (and if any of these sound like something you either do or have done…then you a Hotep boo): 1. He has the best one-liners: quick, witty, funny so-called gems he drops on you. For example: Why be eye candy when you can be soul food? Or he calls you his rib (the Adam and Eve biblical reference), but can’t tell you what God created on the third day. Do better. 2. He wears wooden jewelry. Most notable the Ankh or a cross. You know… the long necklace with the beads. We see you. 3. He proudly sports a dashiki and tries to get educate you about the history and richness of the motherland…while the tag on his dashiki reads: “Made in Taiwan.” Nice try. 4. He refers to women as females… and on a good day “queen.” And don’t get me started on the Hotep brotha’s ability to deflect. In his eyes, he’s never wrong or at fault. He is unable to take responsibility for his actions. He quasi-wisely finds a way to place the blame on the (say it with me) Black woman! Hotep says “Well, if she didn’t dress that way, I wouldn’t have done this, or “I wouldn’t have did this to her if she didn’t allow me to.” *Black girl confusion* Okay, I understand the
responsibility women must have for themselves, but it is also the man’s responsibility to treat women how he would want his grandmuva, muva, or sister to be treated. When provided a platform, Hotep brothas know exactly how to use it. They walk the walk and talk the talk, and will have you thinking ‘Yes he’s woke, hip to the game, down to dismantle white supremacy.” But then back at the house party, he recites all the lyrics to the trap song calling Black women *in my Momma Dee voice* a B-I-C-T-H, and doing that notorious hyper-thrusting move when the Caribbean music comes on. I understand multiple identities can reside in the same body and that we can take a break from being #BlackLivesMatter fighters, but it’s about respect, loyalty, and consistency.
BLACK PO W ER
With Marvel blaming their decline in sales on the racial diversification of characters, we must be informed on the impact of Black superheroes in the comic book universe, and society as a whole. by Kendiz Moore
Not every young boy and girl wanted to be a superhero when they grew up. Some kids wanted to grow up and be an astronaut or scientist. Others wanted to be doctors or lawyers, or rather their parents wanted them to be doctors or lawyers. Whatever the case, all of us had figures in our lives that acted as the catalyst for our moral guides and values. For me these were superheros. Much like mass media, representation in comic books can be one sided. While it has gotten better over the last few years, this was not the case growing up. It is this reality that has driven me to write this piece. Rather than harp on the fact that comic book history has left black characters out of the mix, I want to highlight and celebrate those who are here. That being said, I wouldn’t be a true Blerd, Black Nerd, without starting with the first black superhero in comic book history. First appearing in Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #52 in the year 1966 T’Challa or Black Panther was history’s first black superhero. Apart of the Marvel Universe Black Panther is King of the African Country of Wakanda, a fictional society that is prized with being the most advanced civilization in the world. Credited for being one of the most impressive superheroes in the world master of all forms of hand to hand combat as well as weaponry. To add to his repertoire of amazing ability and skill, T’Challa is also a brilliant scientist, credited with the creation of his own scientific field, Shadow Physics. This combination of ancient magic and modern science has added to the importance of T’Challa within the Marvel Universe. Additionally, with Wakanda being the home of the world’s strongest metal, Vibranium, T’Challa’s home is credited for being the source of many iconic symbols including Captain America’s shield and Falcon’s wings, both created out of the metal. Ultimately, The title “Black Panther” is a rank of office, chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan. As chiefdom the Panther must be of royal blood to eat a special Heart-Shaped Herb which, in addition to his mystical connection with the Wakandan Panther God, grants him superhumanly acute senses, enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, healing, and reflexes. The next individual that I want to touch on is another iconic figure of the Marvel Universe. She also so happens to be the wife of T’Challa and founding member of the X-Men. First appearing in Giant-Size X-Men #1, Storm is one of. Real name Ororo Munroe, Storm was born in Harlem, New York but moved to Egypt with her parents when she was five. It was in Egypt where Orora’s life would change. After her parents died Orora, would travels throughout Africa. During this time she meets T’Challa who would later become her husband, as well as discovers her mutant abilities to control the Representation is weather. She is the first black female superhero to appear in comic books and in later issues would go important. It is who on to become leader of the X-Men team, a team that historically, in comics of course, to be lead by you see each and every white males. day that allows you Of course Marvel is not the only comic book franchise to craft the type of to recognize the need for representation within their stories. Detective Comics or DC another pioneer in person you are going the world of superheros create their characters to reflect the times. Unfortunately, this was not in favor to be and what values for Blacks. Unlike Marvel, who created characters like the X-Men, to represented the Civil Rights Movement you hold dear. of the 60s; DC took an entirely different approach Originally developed and named Black Bomber, the character that would become the iconic character Black Lightning, The Black Bomber was created as a white racist who would turn into a black superhero under stress.
Ultimately, DC would as a franchise and would not only produce characters like John Stewart, “The Black Green Lantern” Cyborg, and Static Shock. However the I want to take note of is probably the most underrated character in the DC universe. Known by his superhero name, Icon, Augustus Freeman was originally born on the planet Terminus. Crash landing on Earth in the year 1838, Freeman landed on a plantation in the deep South. While the time in which he arrived on Earth is impressive, it is the fact that writers made Freeman a black man. His ship picked up the first life form, a slave woman, and changed the physical traits of Augustus Freeman forever. Becoming one of Earth’s greatest heroes Freeman would go into law and become a lawyer both on Earth and intergalactically. Representation is important. It is who you see each and every day that allows you to craft the type of person you are going to be and what values you hold dear.
The Evolution of the Black Nerd
by Keith “Buckets” Fulcher
Blerd…Black. Nerd. Basically, the best way to describe the Black nerd is through a few levels and some adjacent types. What kind of ‘black nerd’ are you?
Urkel. Shouldn’t have to say more than that. When you think of a Black nerd you think of this calculator toting, thick glasses-wearing, suspenders/flooded pantssporting character. A more modern example would be Chris from “Everybody Hates Chris”, who really took us into psyche of being nerdy in the Blackest of spaces. Unnoticed. In the shadow of a naturally cool Drew. We all know a Drew.
Dewayne Wayne from “A Different World”. Everyone knew he was a nerd. Phi Betta Kappa. Flooded pants, weird glasses, and Jordan’s. A peculiar style that didn’t necessarily fit into the mainstream. But clearly understands the culture. Think Shamiek MoXQore in “Dope”. Don’t think Shamiek Moore in “The Get Down”.
Childish Gambino. Jaden Smith. Issa Rae. Their style and influence transcends the limitations that were placed on that Blerds who paved the way for them. Jaden Smith introduced a new wave of Black androgyny and wokeness, but was also the ultimate “get your ass beat by a bully and rise up” character in his younger days. Gambino operates on multiple mediums—his music gave Blerds a voice, his image popularized the style, and his authenticity in “Atlanta” shakes the norm of the Blerd. Issa Rae… “Awkward Black Girl” and “Insecure” has given a light to Black girls who I’ve always seen in real life, but never get enough representation in mainstream media.
Artwork by Adriana Cummings
Artwork by Cole Sutton
Purple, black, teal by Gerald Brown
Purple, black, teal. That's the colors of her weeping black eye punctured from all the truth she's seen. She is oh too familiar with all the blood that pools in the streets. Everyday she parts the Red Sea on her way to and from school. Looking for a better future for her people, she's majors in african American studies. I guess you can call her an optopcy. She studies black bodies, mostly dead. She unravels their stories. Their accomplishments their strengths their thoughts their last breaths their heart beats per mins their wishes for their children their image of themselves their dreams for this world. But what makes her different is that she actually uses her tools to discover the body. She uses her magnifying glass to enlarge the hidden lies that are draping over the individuals name. She uses her flashlight to shine the light on the darkness that haunts their lives. And I'm not referring to the beautiful melanin that ruins through their veins but the deep hatred that rues the day that blacks are seen as equal. Dusting for finger prints, she finds the malicious palms of society pressed against the victims body, leaving ancestral marks for generations to come. They pass down these family heirlooms, just hoping the young will grow into them like oversized sweaters. Sweaters that are itchy, hard to breathe in and not made for their skin.
“Renegade to me is a safe space for #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy #blackgayslay for us to acknowledge and uplift ourselves, while critiquing the institutions around us. And we do it in the most cognizant and eclectic way.” — Fatima Bangura, Staff Writer “In the dictionary a Renegade is a person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner and that’s just what we are. We don’t follow the rules and take direction, we are a magazine that gives a voice to the black community at Syracuse in an unapologetic stylistic way.” — Nia Gibson, Event Coordinator “Renegade is a unique scope that brings to light the interests in the community of color and its many multilayer-ed interconnections. To me, renegade is a safe space where all topics and affairs concerning blackness can be voiced and treated with concern. Lastly, renegade is that extended family that you don’t get to see too often but when you do, it’s all love.” — Iris Megan Crawford, Staff Writer
WHAT DOES RENEGADE MEAN TO YOU?
“To me, Renegade is a place to bring light to the beauty of the colored community and to express ourselves to the fullest.” — Melissa Marks, Culture & Lifestyle Editor “Renegade is a space to grow, and discover something new about yourself. What I love about this magazine is being able to be unapologetically myself.” — Ibi Lagundoye, Fashion Director “To me, Renegade is a safe space to showcase Black excellence, love, strength, creativity, vulnerability, and intelligence. “ — Daisia Glover, Featrues Editor “Renegade to me is a place where I can freely express my thoughts, without my opinions being bashed or critiqued. Renegade gave me a voice.” — Fanta Cherif, Social Media Director
“To me, Renegade means black expression!” — Lauren Merriwether, Fashion “Renegade means being a badass Team and stepping outside of comfort zones to make a statement. That’s “To me, Renegade means giving a what this magazine does and that’s platform to marginalized voices.” — Elena Whittle, Front- of - Book why I love writing for it.” Editor — Asia Lance, Staff Writer
RevolutioN will now be