The Renegade Magazine | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Spring 2019

Page 1



Spring ‘19 Issue

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS We are all storytellers in some way, shape, or form. We have our own unique histories, traumas, accomplishments, and backgrounds that help shape who we are today. Renegade Magazine is the embodiment of creating an outlet that’s intended to tell and share those stories. As the first and only Black general interest magazine, the goal is to represent unapologetically. This semester’s issue is all about toxicity, it’s meant to make you feel away, make you think, and make you have conversations. There’s a lot of negativity and toxicity around us and it’s time that we start addressing things and talking about them. The articles in this issue aren’t just stories from the perspective of the individual writers that wrote them, they’re stories that reflect a community. It’s been an honor to be a part of this magazine since my freshman year starting as a staff writer to now serving as co-editor-in-chief. It’s been an amazing time full of ups and downs, but I can’t wait to see the legacy of this magazine continue to be unapologetically Black and share the stories of our community. Stay Black & Stay Beautiful! Asia Lance


This one is for us. For everyone who’s problems are regularly down played and not taken seriously, for everyone who has ever had a bad experience with a friend, a lover, a family member, co-worker, etc; for everyone who has ever been spread too thin and felt as if you were going to crack, for everyone who dares to be different despite objections from peers, society, and family members. You made this issue happen, so shout out to y’all! Toxicity. A word that holds many meanings. Please proceed with caution when reading this issue as it may have some triggers based on different experiences you may have encountered. I said this once and I’ll say it again- Renegade is a magazine made for us BY us. This is for me, this is for you, this is for US. I love everything that we went through to create this magazine, the incredible ups and the dramatic downs, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. It was an honor and a pleasure being Editor-In-Chief of the first and only black magazine here at Syracuse University.

For the last time, Be kind to each other Live your dreams Never stop being you Nia Gibson

NIA 2 | Renegade

STAFF LIST Co-Editor In Chief................................................... NIA GIBSON Co-Editor In Chief................................................... ASIA LANCE Creative Director...................................... BLAKE DUNCANSON Art Director......................................................... ELENA DEMET Photo Editor..................................... SIMONE “MONEY” AYERS Fashion Director............................................. SONIA GOSWAMI Front of Book Editor.......................................... CHER BECKLES Back of Book Editor................................ CAITLIN JOYLES EASY Features Editor............................................ SARAI THOMPSON Sports Editor......................................................... JALEN NASH Fiscal Agent....................................................... JULIO BURGOS Copy Editor...................................................... JASON GRUBER Managing Editor............................................ NADIA SULEMAN


Toxic Energy Social Media Weight Loss Journey Expectations Black Business Student Spotlight Student Spotlight

Black Church New Slaves Hatred of Black Women Slahsing Creativity Slashing Creativity Activism Campus Orgs Toxic Advertising Call to Action Renegades Choice


TABLE OF CONTENTS 6. 7. 11. 15. 19. 21. 23.

25. 27. 29. 31. 32. 34. 37. 38. 40. 46.


now Now K t ’ n Y o D

ou w Kno

If Y ou



ENERGY By: Isabel Fabree Toxic energy is a buzz term that has been brought to light in society and can been seen and used in our everyday lives. When I think of toxic energy, social media instantly comes to my mind. While social media fosters relationships and engagements, it can be both constructive and destructive. Social media is not only misleading but it is also grossly unrealistic. While scrolling through Instagram for example, it is very easy to start comparing yourself to someone and wishing you had the same lifestyle. Constantly seeing an unrealistic perception of individuals can mentally affect your self esteem and negatively impact your health. I believe that in order to control toxic energy your mindset has to be in the right place. The two types of mindsets are fixed and growth. People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up easily and feel threatened by the success of others. Social media is a massive platform that can easily trick you into believing different things are normal or acceptable. The second type of mindset is a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, learn from criticism and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. When you change your mindset, you allow yourself to look at your life through a different perspective. I’ve learned that redirecting my negative thoughts to positive ones has been extremely helpful for me. The change really does lie within yourself. For me, I stopped comparing myself to other women on instagram and stopped looking for others approval. I started focusing on my energy 100% of the time and participated more in things that made me happy. When I did this, it made it that much harder to fall into the negative thoughts. For example, if something happens that instantly makes you angry or upset, instead of reacting with anger, take a second and ask yourself, “What is this event trying to teach me”. Having a “this is good because” attitude will easily allow you to prevent toxic energy (and people) from changing the quality and meaning of your life.

6 | Renegade

Doing What for the Gram? By: Kamey Gomez As people, we can often gage when something or someone is real or fake, but social media has changed the game to when it comes to our perception of ourselves, others, and what life is truly supposed to be like. Whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, the content we intake from social media can positively or negatively influence the way we live our lives, develop relationships, and see the world. It’s fair to say that toxicity is at our fingertips. However, it is only through strengthening the relationship with yourself and others that we are able to healthily interact with social media and stay free of toxicity all 2019 and beyond. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Luiz helps with this all. Let’s start!

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD & DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY These days, 90% of Instagram stories are quotes ranging from topics about matching energy to working really hard. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that we live in a quote/mantra dominated society. Sometimes we may forget that some of the quotes and sayings that we see and agree with in the moment, may actually not be healthy for the way we behave and interact with other people because it consciously and subconsciously implants those ideas into our thought processes while we’re navigating situations. Thus, creating toxicity. Perhaps, if we continue to “match” everyone’s energy, when do we have the time to identify, protect and preserve the energy that we desire and that is authentic to who we truly are? There is a difference between allowing people to treat you however they desire and a difference between behaving in ways that are in alignment with your core values. Doing so will allow you to be responsive rather than reactive. It will also strengthen your decision making because you will then be acting from a source of truth and integrity, which is what being impeccable with your word is all about. However, to start acting like you believe what you believe and not what social media tells you to believe, it starts with reflection. Take a look at the tips below to get your life: 1. Identify 5 of your core values in life: Loyalty, authenticity, honesty, playfulness, creativity, hard work etc. 2. Watch a video on YouTube that you’ve never seen before and without reading the comments, come up with an analysis of what you think of that video. Did you like the video? Why or why not? If you did like the video, does it reflect any of your core values? Try to get into the habit of having concrete reasons as to why you may like or dislike something. This should be completely unfiltered by any external opinions. 3. Don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements” says that being impeccable with your word means to say only what you mean. This sounds basic, but it’s true. Ask yourself if you are really meaning what you’re saying when discussing your opinion. 4. The next time you see a quote or saying on your Instagram feed or Twitter account, ask yourself if the post is relatively negative or positive? Is it talking about a pet peeve that makes you reminisce about what you dislike in people/ or is it an encouraging/uplifting message that makes you generally feel good? 5. Unfollow accounts that do no post content that are in alignment with what your core values are. It’s 2019, don’t feel bad for doing what is best for you and don’t get offended if you’re the person who gets unfollowed. The Four Agreements says that not taking anything personal means that nothing others do is because of you but is a projection of their own reality.



You have to understand that everyone is living a reality that is much different from your own. Everyone’s problems, flaws, and strengths are different, and that information isn’t always showcased on social media because apps allow us to create a perception of what our reality is or what we want our reality to be. Whether that is having an account that has a lot of traveling photos or accomplishments or nice outfits, as social media consumers we may never know what it took to achieve the creation of alternate reality. Because we don’t know this information, we tend to make assumptions and take on the burden of judging or comparing ourselves thus, lowering our own self esteem which isn’t fair to us and creates toxicity in our lives. Don Miguel Luiz says that “always doing your best will allow you to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” So, in order to do our best and live our best lives, see the tips below: 1. Confidence is the root of all things. When you’re confident you’re not acting from a source of fear. To eliminate fear, you must take action on something that scares you. Boosting your confidence means betting on yourself and your ability. So, try something new every day! A food, mending a relationship, an activity, a new style. Nike said it best, just do it! 2. Express gratitude! In the notes section of your phone, in your planner, or on a piece of paper, write down all of the things you’re grateful for. When you reflect on the blessings you have, you’ll never feel like you’re in a source of lack, which helps boosts your self-esteem. 3. Focus on solutions! Instead of scrolling on social media, day dreaming and wishing to have something someone else has – take action! Save the content that is making you feel negative and turn it into inspiration and action so you can see results. This can be anything from working out, saving money for your next trip, or opening yourself up to get into a new relationship, which we’ll talk about right now *winks.* Keep on reading!

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS Someone once said, “the quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” You felt that, right? It’s fair to say that once social media was introduced, the dynamics and expectations of relationships did a 360! Back in the day, R&B singers used to be singing their heart out about how much they love and appreciate their partner. Today, it seems to be the opposite. Even being in parties, do you notice how many people are sitting down on their phones? If not, take observe your surroundings the next time you’re out. The whole point of building healthy relationships is to pour into them and nourish them, but we can’t do that with our heads down. Most of the downfalls of relationship come from miscommunication and because we aren’t clear of what we need in order to feel good in the relationship. This is where not making assumptions comes in handy. Miguel Don Ruiz says, “find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want and communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. Now, let’s step up the quality of our lives.

TIPS FOR RELATIONSHIP BUILDING 1. Be committed to not being on your phone during a social gathering, except if it’s for photos. Doing this will make you look friendlier and more approachable. 2. Instead of talking through direct message, FaceTime someone or meet with them in person. 3. Introduce yourself to someone when you’re in a new setting. 4. Turn off push notifications so you’re less likely to check your phone while in the middle of a conversation with someone. 5. Set up a time during the day when you’re not on social media, whether that is in the morning so that you can have a better start to your day or at night so you can truly unwind. Doing this will make it easier for you to stay off of your phone while in company. 8 | Renegade

10 | Renegade

THE TRUTH About Weight Loss Journeys By: Taylor Bradbury & Nia Gibson

QUICK FIXES: First and foremost - everyone is beautiful regardless of their shapes and sizes! To start, please be aware that size does not define beauty. It is important that we take care of our insides while not dwelling on how we look on the outside. It is okay to have body goals but keep in mind that a nourished body should come first and body goals can come later. Also remember that products that are branded to make you “lose weight” ultimately want to make money! Weight Loss is temporary. Lifestyles can be forever. Wanting to lose weight quickly can often result in being focused on the wrong things. You don’t want to find yourself going to desperate measures just to lose weight. Instead of a weight loss journey, a wellness journey may be a better phrase to incorporate into your life. Maybe just adopting healthy eating habits, a consistent sleep schedule and exercising regularly could be your main focus, and weight loss can come later. Achieving a weight loss goal quickly may sound appealing, but pacing yourself while taking the steps to achieve that goal will allow you to form healthy habits and avoid burnout. Research shows that many people who temporarily diet, struggle to keep the weight off After losing weight, many people struggle to maintain their weight loss because of inability to stick with their diet. It is important to not go on drastic diets and to, instead, choose a diet that you know you can stick to after losing weight. You are the pilot of your life. Your wellness journey should not be a race While we never promote body shaming, we shouldn’t enable any of our friends unhealthy eating habits to have a certain curvature. You can have a fat ass and a good cholesterol level. You can definitely go to the gym and get whatever other priorities you have done. You can very much be beautiful/do you AND be healthy. Get the friends that will call you out. What do I mean? Those friends who will RESPECTFULLY tell you “hey, haven’t seen you eat a vegetable in a while” or ask, “when was the last time you drank some water” or even ask about your last doctors’ appointment. Get those friends who urge you to find out your medical history, so you know the do’s and don’ts according to your body. As black and brown people we are more susceptible to certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers such as breast and lung cancer; some attributed to our eating habits and lifestyle choices and some simply being hereditary; but monitoring it and having people around you that will check you is so important.

12 | Renegade


By: Dassy Kemedijo I don’t know much about parenting. Growing up as a second-generation immigrant in the suburbs, many times it felt like my parents were learning how the world worked at the same time as me. It wasn’t as if they were uneducated or inexperienced, it was simply the fact that America was radically different from Cameroon, so they were forced to adjust and adapt. On top of all of this, I was the oldest child, meaning that I had to contend with being Black in America, being a young woman in America, and being the child of high-achieving immigrants. My upbringing was multilayered and messy, contented and complex. I definitely didn’t have a similar childhood to my White counterparts, but it also didn’t necessarily line up with the experience of my Black friends. The cultural differences combined with the pressure to always be the best could be stifling, even when I recognized that it was well-intentioned. Like I said before, I don’t know much about parenting, but I do know how I was raised—and I have a good idea of what I would have changed. Let’s go back to what I meant by “high-achieving.” My dad is a French professor at the top university in my city, and my mother is a nurse manager in one of my city’s major hospital systems. They both have post-graduate degrees, and they both worked incredibly hard to get to where they currently are. I was always proud to have successful parents who, to me, embodied the concept of Black excellence, and it consistently made me push myself in all aspects of my life. That constant demand to be perfect (or as close to perfect as possible) by not only my parents, but also the pressure I was putting on myself was detrimental to my confidence and my mental well-being. At times it felt like grades were the only thing that mattered, whether school was in session or not, and that I always had to strive for something more, something higher, something greater. Looking back, I don’t believe that I was allowed the opportunity to fail enough, or for it to be alright that I wasn’t the best at something. Both of my parents are headstrong people who can be difficult to argue with, so it was a matter of being actually listened to, and not just heard. My father, ever the intellectual, would often dismiss any argument or viewpoint that didn’t have academic research backing it, which left me at a loss when I was a ten-year-old who barely knew what research was. My mother was extremely protective, sometimes to a fault, which meant no sleepovers or late-night outs. I could understand this when I was in elementary or even middle school, but by high school I had grown to resent it. Their restrictive rules and ever-growing expectations left me feeling caged in, and that feeling still lingers within me. To this day, it’s hard for me to speak up for myself to my parents. I don’t want to worry them, make them angry, and I especially don’t want to disappoint them. The disappointment is the absolute worst. Where anger incites and energizes me, disappointment shuts me down, makes me feel rejected. I was always comparing how they treated me to how they treated my younger brother, and I felt that it was unfair. The burdens of expectation were unequal, and I believe that implicit gender roles factored into that. I had to be the model child, the flawless big sister, paving the ideal path to perfection. But who is perfect? Who is without fault? For a long time, I felt like I couldn’t communicate if I was feeling inadequate, if I was feeling human. I’ve gotten better, but it’s taken plenty of time and self-reflection. I need to force myself to be heard and it’s not easy, it’s never easy, but it’s necessary. To be clear, I don’t begrudge my parents. They did the best job raising us with the resources they had, with the backgrounds they had. My siblings and I are all healthy young adults, and we’re on the way to doing great things in this life. The pressure could be toxic, but it also shaped me to be an ambitious, hard working person. The distance of college has allowed me to take a step back and reflect on the true reasons for everything they ever did, and I appreciate them. While I wish that we had had more open communication, I can only change what’s happening right now. So I take what I have learned, and I grow. I grow with them, but I also focus on my own growth. Of course I love them for all they’ve taught me, but most importantly, I’ve learned to love myself—and that is the most vital lesson of all.

14 | Renegade

I X O T C I X O C T By: Jalen Nash

TOXIC expectations can kill you. With expectations set too high or too low, many fall into lives marked by anxiety, confusion and stress. Low Expectations are often rooted in fear. Whether they lacked support as a child, suffer from low self-esteem or have been defeated by failure, those with low expectations often sell themselves short of an ideal life and fulfilled potential. The fear of rejection or failure often restrains, leading many to make “comfortable” or “practical” decisions. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”- John F Kennedy. The key to a happy life is passionate fulfillment. While it is often scary, unpredictable and shaped by failure, a life lived without the shackles of fear is the only path to personal freedom. For example… the passionate artist, who feels stuck in their public health major. The student may justify their choice, arguing it was more practical or realistic, but ultimately she may always be haunted by thoughts of what could have been. By shying away from risk, or living without due confidence, many people fall into a lifestyle determined by the world around them. That said. It is important to live intentionally. Perhaps more toxic than the complacency and doubt of low expectations, are the dangers of ones set unrealistically. Placed without measure, high expectations can take you away from the moment. Take the Ancient greek myth of Icarus. Son of the great craftsman Daedalus, Icarus spent his childhood imprisoned within the walls of the Labyrinth. Determined to escape, the great craftsman’s genius needed escape. He made two pairs of wings with feathers, wood and wax. Giving one pair to Icarus, he warned that flying too near the sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became ecstatic with the ability to fly and ignored his father’s warning.

The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea. Without reasonable measure, high expectations can heighten the value of your ego and create a life dependent on progress, achievement and delusion. While these expectations sometimes lead to highperformance, many fail to properly appreciate their moment. Beware the accomplished yet unfulfilled lifestyle. Artists like Kanye West are a good example of this. With a nearly two-decade long career, Kanye has already solidified himself as one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. Despite his pioneering accomplishments, West’s rants, interviews and hot takes often reveal his sense of insecurity and lonliness. His insecurity is likely fed by his own high expectations. In an interview, he stated, “When I think of competition it’s like I try to create against the past. I think about Michelangelo and Picasso, you know, the pyramids.” Attempting to fill the shoes of giants, it often seems like Kanye fails to recognize the times he was the best, seeing his accomplishments as a matter of course instead of properly appreciating them as masterpieces. Expectations are natural. They are built from a natural need to find pattern and consistency in our lives while shaping our standards, desires and relationships. A popular saying in Ancient Greek stoicism is “man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them.” In other words, life is not dictated by your environment, but rather how you interact within it. It is important for every person to be sober-minded, unafraid and authentic when approaching the expectations that will govern their lives. Know yourself, stretch yourself and be aware of the power of your expectation.


IC “



X E S N O I T A T C E 16 | Renegade

Photos By; Simone Ayers



18 | Renegade


By: Isaiah Nins Not since the turn of the 20th century has Black business been so bright. The current economic success in the U.S. has not missed the Black community, with historic lows in Black unemployment emphasizing that success. President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has created the lowest top marginal tax in 80 years, encouraging small businesses. Add these features together and you’ll find a renewed sense of entrepreneurism in Black business. Black students in the Central New York area are taking advantage of the new opportunities, with youthful ideas for marketing and merchandising. Take Uyi Omorogbe and AB Sanogo from Colgate, who are looking to change the world with their clothing company, NaSo. NaSo creates minimalist African clothing, fit for nearly every occasion, with their proceeds going to building schools in Africa. They’ve already built a primary school in Nigeria, fit with four classrooms, using recycled carbon products, and employing local labor. Similarly, their

shirts are locally tailored in the Urhokuosa Village, where Omorogbe’s roots lie. When asked of their future aspirations Uyi said, “To become a well-known brand, a global brand.” His partner, AB, stated that he wants NaSo to be remembered as “a company that produces ethically, and [is] known for changing the world…. We’re employing local tailors, building globally, and developing underserved communities.” Representing Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire respectively, these like-minded Econ majors have secured substantial backing, and are looking to spread their developments across the African Continent. In parallel, Lloyd Ansah is one of the creators of Jiggy By Nature, a new, urban streetwear company, looking to bring versatility to its brand. Many people may be wondering, “What is Jiggy?” As Lloyd tells it, “ Jiggy is a way of life, and Jiggy By Nature is more of an idea than it is simply a brand.” The sophomore Marketing major explained, “[if] your personality is Jiggy, it’s effortless. It’s effortless because it is your nature.” The versatility comes from the individual more than it does from the fiveman team that created JBN. To this effect, JBN refuses to be monolithic, or restricted to typical urban design; it will be expansive in its range of outreach and representation. He isn’t wrong. In 2012, there were approximately 1.9 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. In 2016, over 2.6 million. A 2017 survey of Black business owners by Guidant Financial showed 30% of those surveyed stated the opportunity of business presented itself, and they took advantage. Lloyd echoed the same feeling, recognizing that today is “a great time to execute if you’re willing to do the work.”

focus on diversity in her dolls, which she says is absent in doll production, even today. “Dolls are part of child development, and they don’t usually encourage differences.” In a competitive market like toy production, it is important to stand out, and Victoria has a design that would blow past any contention. “The workshop is yours, both online and onsite, not forced or premade.” Focusing on individuality and uniqueness, the dolls will have intricate customization, including skin tone, hairstyle, body art, and even disability accessories such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses, and hearing aides. The theme of usergenerated production is certainly growing. Venturing into the tech department, Syre Tech is taking public transit into the new millenia. Syre Tech is a data driven marketplace that makes it easy to access public transit windows, to display static/digital media, and measure the effectiveness of each campaign & placement. Let me put it like this: what do you see on public transportation beyond the patrons? Random law ads, for-profit college enrollment dates, and your favorite local car salesman with a brandnew deal, just for you! Zachariah Reid and Caleb Obiagwu are tired of these antiquated spaces, and are looking to replace them with digital sports highlights, news clips, and light-hearted media. “People tend to focus on their destination, not their journey,” explained Zachariah, a junior Systems and Information Science major. Caleb, a junior Computer Engineer, continued, “This will allow them to become informed, entertained, or just be surrounded by a positive atmosphere.” They’ve found a “gap in the market”, and are looking to capitalize on the vacancy. On being Black in the tech field, Caleb insisted, “there is failure all around the business, and that only pushes us to work harder. Beyond us, seeing other Black individuals in the [tech] arena is inspiring.” The two are in contact with both Centro and Ithaca transit to implement the technology soon. The future is rapidly approaching, but these entrepreneurs have one foot in tomorrow’s world, today.

“We’re in a great position now; doors are open for Black business.”

Build-A-Bear Workshop will soon face stiff competition from a cultural staple in children’s toys taking a customized approach to production: Dolls. That is, if Victoria Gordon has anything to say about it. The junior from SUNY Oswego is the creator of Make a Doll Workshop, a toy shop specializing in custom-made dolls, offering an interactive workshop where customers create their own personalized doll. Victoria wants to hold a

20 | Renegade

Photo By; Simone Ayers


By: Cydney Lee

For Eduardo “Eddy” Gomez, life is about giving back and never forgetting where you come from. During his time at Syracuse, he hopes to empower his underrepresented peers through leading by example. Gomez is a junior sociology major with a passion for finance. Having interned at Morgan Stanley last summer, this has helped him gain more experience in the finance industry. Gomez aims to provide a voice for fellow minorities by obtaining leadership positions on and off campus. Recognizing the lack of representation of people of color in many institutions, he uses this as motivation to uplift. “I really felt like I could have an influence and an impact on campus and that’s something I’ve always been really passionate about,” he said. Gomez is currently the president of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). He is also a brother of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. and on the finance board for Student Association (SA). Hailing from The South Bronx, Gomez cites his tough upbringing and his mother as motivation for wanting to succeed. Having been raised by a single mother, he always admired her selfless character and resiliency through hard times. Last winter break, Gomez created and held The Gomez Toy Drive in his hometown of Hunts Point alongside fellow SU junior, Kamey Gomez. Despite being able to successfully raise money and provide toys for many Bronx youth, his main goal was to act as a role model to the children in his community. “My motivation for that was to give hope and inspiration to a group of kids who just get classified as being in poverty and being black,” he said. “For these students to see that someone who still lives in Hunts Point, someone who grew up in The Bronx … I’m still here and I still care about making an impact in my neighborhood and I’m still attaining goals.” In the future, Gomez hopes to work in the finance industry and eventually start his own business. For now, he is using his leadership roles to encourage SU students of color by allowing his passion drive him to achieve his goals. “We all need to be able to have something,” he said. “No matter how hard times can get for you, you’re still going to have your ability to give back. If not me, then who?” 22 | Renegade


By: Cydney Lee

From basketball to broadcasting, Isis Young has her hands full on and off the court. A graduate student in Newhouse, she has been able to combine her love for the two and follow her dreams head on. Hailing from Berlin, NJ, Young transferred to Syracuse from the University of Florida during her junior year. She said she made the switch to be closer to home and for basketball. Young graduated from Syracuse in 2018 but is pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism. Staying here for graduate school has allowed her to remain involved in some of her favorite extracurricular activities here on campus. Young is #23 on the SU women’s basketball team. She is also vice president of Light on Ebony and hosts her own broadcasting show where she reports on and discusses women’s sports at SU. “I always believe that women need more media (coverage) and attention because the men get a lot of it,” she said. Having worked as a correspondent for the ACC Network, Young has been able to gain real-world experience in her field of interest. Last summer, she was accepted into the Rising Media Stars program in which she was able to improve her on-camera skills by covering sports in Atlanta. “I love to play basketball and I love to broadcast,” she said. “It’s a blessing that I found something that I can do that combines the both of them.” The name “Isis” has proven fitting for Young as she remains determined in her endeavors. She said that she is loosely named after a DC Comics heroine of the same name who had a similar role as Wonder Woman. However, many of her friends and teammates call her “Ice,” a nickname that her dad gave her. In the future, Young’s goal is to possibly play professional basketball overseas. Off the court, her dream job is to work for ESPN – dabbling in different areas of sports broadcasting similar to that of Maria Taylor. “The goal is to eat,” she said. “It helps me get through everything. I know I have a lot on my plate but the goal is to eat because that’s what it is.”

Photo By; Simone Ayers

24 | Renegade


Photo By; Simone Ayers

By: Shelby Smith Cemented. The root of toxicity in the black church is simply the fact that it has not progressed. All doctrine is not taught which leads us as a community to studying, dwelling and living in untruthful teaching that we categorize as God. Majority of doctrine taught is repetitive from centuries ago- no progressive or forward-looking revelation. This is stuck. Historically, the black church has been a safe haven. From slavery to civil rights, the black church served as a place for encouragement, hope and peace for a better future. Even when parts of our bibles were removed to maintain oppression, blacks still had hope from what was presented. Encouragement was the core of all messages, which was great for that time period, but sadly, I feel it is the same message today. We focus so much on comforting the individuals in the pews that we neglect the real and raw gospel that’s intended to advance us. In this opinion piece, I will elaborate on the toxicity of the black church which in my assessment is stemmed from the messages preached. Mental, emotional, spiritual, physical- holistic progression, is God’s mandate for believers (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). As a church (not the entity, but anyone who considers themselves a believer) we lack wholeness. For example, how many times have you heard, “what happens here, stays here?” That is not biblical (Ephesians 4:25). The bible clearly mentions transparency as a way to deal with issues. If traumatizing events, dysfunctional family issues, financial struggles or insecurities are continuously kept secret, the enemy (the opposer of God) has the opportunity to torment you about such situations. This leads to mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical instability. When the core of issues are not handled, people turn to suppressors such as over eating (obesity), emotional hardness and judgment (attitudes of sort), void filling attention or drugs in lieu of putting in the effort to dismantle such issues through Christian counseling or transparent/non-judgmental fellowship. This creates surface level Christians who have not experienced the true healing power of God because help outside of Him still results in voids. The black church has not promoted or provided such services and then wonders where they lost this generation. The black church has not only advanced false doctrine but omitted important doctrines. The book of Acts is the foundation of Christianity and the heart/ works of Jesus are what we are expected to mimic yet majority of black churches do not operate in the supernatural- gifts of healing and miracles, practice deliverance- removal of unclean spirits, exert patience and love at the core of correction, preach repentance or communicate with the Holy Spirit around decisions that are representative of HIS entity. As a body of believers, a community of colored folk, we must progress in sound doctrine. Without it, we breed cookie cutter, surface level Christians who do not experience nor understand the pure, true, relational, heavy love that Jesus Christ died to offer us. Now THAT is toxic. It is not easy, it takes maturity and sacrifice- but we must remove traditional and religious mindsets (Mark 7:9) to follow God and His scriptures. As I conclude, I want to make note that this piece was not to bash the black church. Majority of our values and morals are rooted in the church. This simply offers solutions to breakthrough spiritually and progress the community. God loves the church and you. So, how can we progress forward? Preach all of the bible and not some of it. As stated earlier, parts of the bible were stripped from slaves, so they taught from what they knew and felt. Now, we have access to the totality of the book. It is time to use it. It is an insult to God to preach part of His spirit breathed book. It is an insult to God to seek partial revelation on how to apply the word to today’s day and age. Address mental health, break generational curses, operate in supernatural activity, highlight holistic health and wellness, everything that can propel people forward today. The black church needs way more than encouragement in this age. We must learn how to adapt to that.

26 | Renegade

NEW SLAVES Four years a slave.

By: Ciara Keitt When I grow up I want to be… There are over 7% of high schoolers that go on to play sports at a collegiate level and only 2% gain a spot at the Division I level. The small proportion of the bunch to make it to the Division I level may seem like “the chosen ones” or lucky toys that get picked off the shelf but in reality, it’s all a struggle. Act up you could get snatched up…forreal. City Girls were not playing when they sent the message out fellas, especially to our athletes. The Dino era of Syracuse’s own football team was hands on experience for a lot of us to see the highs and lows in the life of a modern-day slave. Just this past football season we were able to obtain a bowl championship, but after a cold war of dismissals and disloyal treatment to various Cuse players. A lot of times in the media we’ve seen players get stripped of everything they have for mistakes that can’t be forgiven unless the school can profit from them. Not all are dismissed, but they’re simply not given the opportunity to demonstrate their skill sets in order to have a chance at achieving a spot in the pros to further their life aspirations. Instead, there are many cases of athletes sitting in classrooms with little to no interest in their majors; majors they wouldn’t know how to capitalize on in the real world. Not to mention the random drug testing aka, “War on Drugs pt.2: College Edition”, that our players, who dedicate their bodies, minds, and souls to their universities face just to get penalized for usage of a drug like marijuana to cope with struggles they face daily. Institutions fail to set up sanctions to properly assist these players issues. It all sounds too familiar. If the rules of our outdated state legislature are trying to change the narrative around the usage of marijuana for the general public why wouldn’t the NCAA do so for a large population of athletes who use its medicinal purposes. But hey, we here at renegade don’t push the agenda we just state the obvious. Make your own conclusions with the facts, but something has to be wrong with the fact that Kentucky’s Coach Calipari was offered a lifetime contract with other benefits to be paid as a university ambassador…while never having dribbled a ball on the court or sacrificed his body all 10 years of his coaching there. We deem it necessary to create new rules meaning more checks flowing through the hands of the players that are proportionate with the profit they generate for the schools. Meaning creating more systems in the universities that dedicate to the mental welfare of the players. To finish with the, “oh so lastly, but not least” step, the conscious awareness of our friends becoming modern day slaves must become a topic of discussion now more than ever. 28 | Renegade



BLACK WOMEN By: Ayana Herndon

Picture thanksgiving at your grandmother’s house. Your parents park the car downstairs and you take the sweet potato pie in your hand as you walk up the steps to your grandmother’s door. Licking your lips you proudly knock on the door only for Uncle Moe to answer it, saying “Hey come over here girl and give your uncle a hug!” Slowly rolling your eyes you hug him while trying to pry his hands from your widening hips and your young figure. Why does that story sound so familiar? More specifically, why do we allow Black women to endure sexual abuse? With the recent surfacing of the Surviving R Kelly Documentary on Lifetime, Black families everywhere are having open discussions about sexual assault in the black household. A victim of sexual abuse himself, Robert Kelly was molested and raped by his 16 year old sister from the age of 7. As he got older and rose to his music mogul status, he allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct for two decades with many of underaged girls in the process, the majority of whom were Black. Aside from the frenzy that this scandal created in the media, all I saw on my timeline was constant victim shaming of these young black girls, like “Where were the parents when these young girls were with him?” “These fast young girls” and “Here they go again trying to tear a black man down.” Instead, the black community should be blaming themselves for constantly holding up Black male masculinity and pride when it comes to the abuse of our Black female children. Allowing that male family friend to come over knowing his predatory intentions, allowing your young Black girls to stay over at a friend’s house that you have never met in person before, and telling your Black daughter to stop making things up when she is honest with you about her abuse needs to end. Too many of my Black friends have been sexually molested, abused, and even raped as children, and some of their parents knew but still swept it under the rug to avoid confrontation, or actually dealing with the trauma and counseling associated with sexual abuse. This rigidness and sense of hardness that some Black parents strive for their black daughters to have specifically, even in light of traumatic experiences is not right. Instead of seeing jokes on my timeline about R Kelly’s remix to Ignition turing into “The Remix to conviction R Kelly’s going to prison”, how about hashtags like #protectourblackchildren and #youokaysis?. We need to learn about our toxic traits as Black parents, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters and brothers, so we can identify the signs of abuse against the Black people we love and protect them.

30 | Renegade




By: Asia Lance The purpose of the educational system was to offer the youth of America the basic tools and skills they would need to be active participants in the real world. Our education system has become so political since then. Now certain schools are underperforming and underfunded, teachers are either undervalued or don’t care enough, and instead of students feeling inspired to want to learn more, they become robots only receiving information just to spit it out on a test. Education has become less about making sure students are engaged by and retaining information and more about making sure students know how to pass a test. The emphasis on testing, especially standardized testing, in the American school system is the breeding ground for stripping creativity out of students and training them to be robots in a sense. These tests are intended to be an assessment of how well you retained the information of what was taught over a period of time. The issue with this is that tests aren’t always the best reflection of a student’s ability to understand and retain information. Everyone has unique learning styles and often, not every teacher is catering to each student’s unique style; as a result one uniform way to assess how a student is learning isn’t the best. Personally, I’m someone who would rather write a paper or do a project that demonstrates I understand the information I was taught. When I have to take tests, I find my studying just ends up being attempts for me to memorize information and not actually learn — it feels robotic in nature. Growing up we have the idea that college is the space where we get to do what we want; and while that is true in many aspects, there are certain things that can be restrictive to potential creativity in college. On this campus there are so many different majors, programs, and schools that you would think the options are endless. Reality hits when you realize you can’t combine your love for graphic design and film by being a dual Television/Radio/Film and Communications Design Major. Even in blatantly creative majors, you’re likely to encounter a very “structured but creative” experience. You’ll sit in classrooms and be taught a series of things that are acceptable by the creative industry you’re intending to enter, but the gag is many of the trailblazers in these creative industries broke the rules. In college, wanting to break free of the box that we’re told to stay in for a majority of our academic careers becomes a strategic hustle. You really have to not be afraid to step out of the box and use the resources around you to allow yourself to break the mold and express creativity. You’ll be surprised to find people around you who are willing to break the mold with you. Up until recently, I found myself playing it safe with my academic experience. I decided to go abroad and participate in a program that really encouraged creativity and immersed me into the industry I plan to pursue. Spending a semester away from the traditional academic setting will really open your eyes to how our creativity has gradually been stripped away from us. I found myself in an environment where I didn’t have to ask permission to do anything outside the norm and I was in an environment where my professors only cared about if we actually retained the tools needed to succeed in our careers and not if we could pass a test in a classroom. This is the type of experience that should be present consistently in our academic journey in order to allow us, as students, to think creatively.

32 | Renegade


DEAD. By: Joshua Deckard

Personally, I wouldn’t consider the notion an overstatement that 2017 was the genesis of social media losing its damn mind. For those who’ve seen the evolution of Twitter and Facebook since high school in particular, I believe a generous portion have witnessed once lighthearted platforms with the occasional drama become arenas of vicious nothingness, crowded with pseudo-politicians and credential absent educators looking to undermine whoever falls out of alignment with their half developed opinions. Who’s to blame? Is it solely the existence of problems which originate from things that should be common sense, like gender and racial equity? Is it the election of Donald Trump, who unearthed American hypocrisy and stupidity on an international scale? Or is it also the lack of capacity in those who embark on advocacy efforts to effectively neutralize those that oppress? Unfortunately, all and then some play a respective role. But with the undesirables come a reality that spreading messages has never been more accessible, and as such opened the door for significantly progressed forms of activism if handled correctly. Why then does it seem as if very little is actually getting accomplished at times? A few reasons. Some people don’t genuinely care about the issue as much as winning an argument. And it shows. According to NBCNews, since 2009 over 55 billion hours have been logged on to Facebook. One might think with that level of engagement happening consistently, we’d be able to have discussion that penetrates through stubborn ideologies currently harming certain people groups, such as successfully campaigning for qualified leadership in government. Antithetical to this, only 14% of Americans, based on a Pew Research Survey, reported having changed opinions through social media on a range of topics in 2018 that include but are not limited to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements in addition to support of Donald Trump. In order to foster the permanent eviction of long held dangerous views on these and other subjects, it requires a goal; we have to make a decision to want the growth of ignorant people more than we want to look smart. We don’t actually know what we’re arguing for and confuse awareness with understanding. So knee jerk reactions and Cancel Culture pervade until profitable discourse evaporates. People enter discussions they haven’t read about, offer cloudy insight that wasn’t solicited, become enraged when the response in fact matches the tone in which they originated a discussion, and once again division is further solidified. But for example, in a climate where information has never been easier to reach and media circulates 24 hours, still 25% of white Americans believe racism is no longer a pressing issue. Though it’s not our mandatory duty to educate, we shouldn’t ignore opportunities to help our cause, us being minority groups. We can’t do that if we ourselves fail to precisely in tune with what we’re angry about and the reasons why. We use anger as a motivator. And anger wants one thing: justice, a quality that by nature requires the hypothetical or literal shedding of blood. It is impossible to healthily contribute to anything when that mentality becomes a foundation for subsequent organizing. Be passionate about seeing the wellbeing of sisters and brothers rather than the suffering of they that cause pain. By all means be angry, but do so with the intent of creating a greater society instead of drawing callous life out of rage. This isn’t an essay, so I don’t have a conclusion paragraph. Just remember: think before you think before you speak, and especially before you type.

34 | Renegade



Photo By: Cherilyn Beckles

Friendships are supposed to be a beautiful connection between two people filled with support during the bad times and fun and positivity during the good ones. But sometimes friendships are based upon behaviours that create tension and stress, or better known as toxic friendships. These kind of friendships bring out the worst in people and cause unnecessary pain If you are not sure whether you are in a toxic friendship or not here are a few signs that you may or may not be in one. You only get a call when they need something. If you are only hearing from a friend when they need a task from you, or something from you then they are not truly your friend. Friendship is not a one way street and one person should not be doing everything for one person and receiving nothing back. Being a good friend means checking up on your friends without having to ask for something while you’re at it. They overly criticize you. No one is perfect and here and there we all need someone to pull us aside and tell us when we are heading in the wrong direction in life. But if you have someone in your life who judges heavily upon your decisions and always has something negative to say about what you are doing in your life it becomes stressful because then you don’t feel the need to update them on your life or even trust them with information in fear that it might turn into an argument or a “roasting session”. They don’t support your goals and ambitions. As my wise 9th grade English teacher always used to say “Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer” and through my experience there has been a lot of people in my life who have chosen a more creative path such as dancing,

rapping, drawing and ect. While it is a “risk”, as some would say to get into these careers like any career path it has its ups and downs. If your friend is one of those creative people look at their work genuinely, and give them constructive criticism. Put the cellphone down and actually take time to digest whatever creative work they are showing you because as a creative myself, it is already hard to show people my work. If every time your friend is distracted when you show them your work and does not have anything valuable to add about your work they probably do not support you. The conversation always comes back to them. Opening up and sharing parts about yourself and things going on in your life to someone is intimate and personal. Now imagine being this vulnerable and your friend constantly redirects the conversation about them not giving you a chance to express yourself fully. This type of behaviour is plain out toxic. It means that you always have to sacrifice your emotions and indulge in your friend’s life constantly. It is even worse when you are constantly the one giving the good advice and being the friend that they can depend on but never receiving that same treatment. Surprisingly, you can find that you are closer to someone you just met versus someone you have known for years. Remembering to not allow a timeline of experiences keeps you entangled in a toxic friendship and is the first step to first breaking one or at least opening up about it. All friendships are different in their own special way kind of like a flower and only you know what you want from a friendship, so if the people around your life are not helping you to grow then it is time to find a new garden of friends.

36 | Renegade



“MAKE CUSE GREAT AGAIN” By: Jalen Nash To be toxic is defined as poisonous, extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful; exhibiting symptoms of infection. Toxicity often begins subtly, like a drop of ink in a glass of water. Seemingly inconspicuous, as time progresses, this drop permeates through the water, slowly overpowering the formerly pure glass, converting it to black. The subtle approach of the ink drop, is the same approach utilized by administration to poison and limit the experiences of its students of color. Black and Latino students and organizations continue to be harmfully, often maliciously, limited compared to their white counterparts. They subtly poison our communities with fewer resources, less support and harsh oversight. These issues conflate over time to negatively affectthe experiences, skills and outcomes of talented students of color.

our administration pushes about their commitment to diversity and inclusion, Black and Latino students consistently receive fewer opportunities to join such historic campus groups, while being given fewer resources to empower the creation, and sustenance, of our own. Using criteria such as tiers and event turnout to determine financial approval, in a school with Blacks and Latino’s making up less than 15% of the population, white students and organizations are systemically advantaged. With these biased measureables, publications like Jerk Magazine can justify the monthly production of issues, while Mixtape Magazine and Renegade Magazine are limited to only one per semester.

“If you don’t show support you will get dubbed at the door”

The toxic limitations our community faces, stand in stark contrast to the supposed legacy of Syracuse University. The history of student organizations on this campus runs as far back as the university’s establishment in 1870. Soon after the institution was established, students began organizing themselves into honor societies, political parties and hiking clubs. As time progressed, more and more organizations came to campus, from Greek organizations like Delta Kappa Epsilon or Gamma Phi Beta, to registered student organizations like the Daily Orange or Student Association. These organizations have developed some of SU’s most talented, accomplished alumni. While the university prides itself on this strong legacy, the benefits from this history have rarely been extended equally to Black and Latino students. Despite rhetoric

The freedom by which students control which other students join their organization only complicates the issue. While the university might face public pressure for blatant discrimination, the recruitment and admission processes for student organizations are largely immune to any criticisms of this sort. Students are not held responsible for continuing this aspect of the university mission, the result, a high majority of the highest-resourced student organizations are almost exclusively white. Despite our “diverse and inclusive” mantras, fewer than ten Black or Latino students work at top positions in University Union, Student Association or the Daily Orange combined. While admissions material refers to this campus as, “a house away from home,” Black and Latino students are forced to build community off-campus, as not one National Pan Hellenic Council or National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations campus chapter owns a Greek houseon main campus. The environment that we as Black and Latino students, and organizations, are expected to thrive in is itself toxic. We stand outside

“You a lame if you dont show”

TOXIC ADVERTISING By: Cydney Lee Advertisement has the tendency to lure its audience in based on perpetuated, and accepted, stereotypes that we buy in to. It often raises questions on the value of material possessions over personal fulfillment.In recent news, Gillette released a commercial that positively dissuaded many of the traits that our society often relates to masculinity. In advertising, this can be seen with males depicted as overly masculine, which can be displayed in several ways, predominantly their physicality. The issue with defining masculinity in such a rigid manner is that it leaves no room for those who don’t fit the cookie-cutter definition. Youth, ages 13-19 are the main target group of consumers for many companies. However, cognitively this age group is very susceptible to accepting what they see perpetuated as truth and as the “standard”. Therefore, how advertisements represent men as whole is imperative to how this upcoming generation of boys will grow up to understand themselves and treat others. The way women are represented in advertisements is problematic as well, because often the female is overly sexualized to be appealing. The intersectionality of race and gender as comes into play in many ads. There aren’t enough advertisements that represent women or people of color in an inclusive and flattering manner. Therefore, if every time the television is turned on, a magazine is opened, or any form of advertisement is observed – if the standard for women is shown to be thin, sexy, blonde, and flirty and for men the standard is shown as being muscular, having a deep voice, possibly facial hair, and possibly objectifying a woman, they are underrepresenting their audience members and over-emphasizing toxic, cliché ideas of femininity and masculinity. These representations leave no room for other identities and also aren’t wholistic. These images emphasize appearance, specifying behaviors and attitudes that don’t apply to everybody. Studies have shown that such images in advertisement can affect how people act, what people accept, how they view themselves and how they treat those around them.

38 | Renegade


“It’s an evil world we live in…” Isn’t it? Not to be super radical and what not,

but are we going to keep it real, or keep it on the playground? It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, who’s all over the media, or who won what titles, this world isn’t meant for us to survive. Think about it: how could a country built on hundreds of years of oppression, change within decades? It won’t. But over time we do have the power to increase our own worth and value. I can confidently say that now more than ever, colored people are refusing to be set aside in all realms. Our wins are drastically increasing, and our names are being carved into the same blocks of history that our caucasian counterparts have chapters in. However it’s not the fact that we just started winning, because our contributions make this world go round too. What’s happening now, is the real takeover. It’s no longer a fight, or a question like it has been. You are going to see, feel, and hear us, by all means. Our campus-wide experiences at Syracuse University has led us to feel astray, as if both the student body and the faculty don’t care about the few minority groups that they elect to admit. This is a campus where students have been reinstated after blatantly breaking the law and being overtly racist, and even more recently, where black students are being tormented and belittled with pistols. Obviously there are a number of conversations that take place that we don’t hear, so maybe we can’t speak on those conversations. What we can speak on however, is the effect because I, like a lot of students, only see a spurt of change every few years, like Frank Ocean and his music hiatus. When will we learn? It’s not on them. It’s on us. Keep the following in mind.

IT’S NEVER TEMPORARY, SO STOP MAKING IT. Minority communities at SU love to preach solidarity when something happens. The thing is, it almost never lasts more than a week. If they never cared, why would we stop? Please, for the sake of your skin, keep that same energy.

STOP THE NARRATIVE OF FEAR. You don’t have anything to lose, really. You protesting or being overly honest about a social injustice, does not make you any less of a student, nor will it get you kicked out of this school. Imagine this: Syracuse tries to expel you for calling out injustices. Now they’re all over the news, donors are pulling out, and the school is losing credibility. If this school does one thing, they try to cover their ass. They always have more to lose. Never forget.

IF WE’RE GOING TO FIGHT, WE ALL HAVE TO FIGHT. Hold each other accountable! It’s not just about your close friends on campus, or your roomates. We have to hold people in power accountable as well too, and I’m not talking about Kent. Despite how low the numbers are, there are still plenty of colored staff on this campus. If we’re going to demand any respect and power, we have to have sources within. Next time your colored profesor begins class with a brief discussion on the injustices that happened during the past week, respond with asking them this: What are YOU going to do about it?



42 | Renegade

44 | Renegade



TOXIC TENDENCIES “Stigmas surrounding mental health” - Asia Lance

“Experiencing self doubt due to the influence of social media” - Sonia Goswami

“Reacting instead of communicating” - Simone Ayers “Toxic assumptions” - Julio Burgos

“Lack of diversity in media and fashon houses” - Sarai Thompson

“Seeking Validation” - Nadia Suleman

“Mean girl mentality” - Patricia Douglas



THAT END WITH US... “Friends built around common insecurities” - Ciara Keitt

“Lack of self reflection/ awareness” - Jalen Nash

“Reaching out only when you need something from someone else” - Cherilyn Beckles

“Believing social media is bigger than me” - Blake Duncanson

“Letting people take advantage of me” - Elena Demet

46 | Renegade

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.