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Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

FEB 2019


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FEB

25

what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online

4

Calendar

5

Letter from the Editors

6

Meet Our Contributors

A SPLASH OF COLOR BY MIKAYLA GARY

Arts 7

The Fig Tree by GRACE ROBERSON

9

Behind the Scenes on Record Labels by TABITHA TIMMS

11

Culture

The 2019 Academy Awards Radar by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC

13

Black Women Traveling by BRENDA CASTAÑEDA YUPANQUI

15

How Much Force is Too Much Force? by TYISHA BLADE

19

NOT–SO HIDDEN FIGURES BY RENEE BETTERSON

17

To Grandmother’s House We Go by BRIANA OLDHAM

Beauty + Wellness 33

Nine Perfect Products for that Special Day by IMANI STEPHENS

35

Hair and History by THYRA CHANEY

Poetry 43

Sudden Death is What You See When You Look at Me

23

by V

Social

44

37

45

A New Danger in Ohio: Stand Your Ground by SHERMAYNE DIXON

39

41

Black History at Lakeview Cemetery

They Lit The Way by BRIANA OLDHAM

It’s My Turn by AMALEHATMAATI TYEHIMBA

by JOSCELYN ERVIN

THE APPRECIATION & CONTRIBUTIONS OF CLEVELAND STATE LECTURER

Groove This Black History Month

DR. DONNA WHYTE

by THE VINDICATOR STAFF

BY TYISHA BLADE

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 2


EDITOR’S LETTER

OUR BLACK HISTORY ISSUE

B

T

A

a hot summer’s eve. I see my ancestors and

articles that are powerful in their message and

successful Black woman I saw and wanted to be

their tenacity as they fought for what was

delivery. They will challenge you to revisit

like was Oprah. This is what makes what The

right. Writing for The Vindicator, I have been

ideas about race identity and what it means

Vindicator is doing so important—showcasing

able to reference the strength of historical

to be Black in America during these turbulent

blackness from different aspects to genuinely

Black female journalists, such a Ida B. Wells.

times. Ultimately, I pray you’ll choose to let

show what being Black is and can look like. My

The beauty in her power shed light on the

hope lead you. Allow it to guide, motivate,

favorite poet Maya Angelou once said, “There

injustices that Blacks faced in the South.

and propel you into action. Let us celebrate

is no greater agony than bearing an untold

The power in her words paved the way for

together the story of a people. Let us choose

story inside you.” I love being a woman, I love

student journalists such as myself to come

to take action in the face of injustice instead

being a Black woman, but there is nothing I

into any battle ready and armed with my pen.

of shying away. Let us all choose hope.

love more than being a Black woman who can

lack is bold. Black is beautiful. Black is daring and unafraid. Black is passionate and sensual. I look in my mirror and

witness a golden glow radiating like noon on

he late Nelson Mandela said, “May your choices be led by your hopes and not your fears.” Contained in this

issue are the hopes and fears of a generation,

Our triumphant history is our guide to our

s a Black girl, I remember that growing up I never saw any part of myself represented on television shows,

movies or magazines. Looking back, the only

be seen and heard.

prosperous future.

TYISHA BLADE MANAGING EDITOR

5 | VINDICATOR

RENEE BETTERSON CULTURE SECTION EDITOR

IMANI STEPHENS BEAUTY & WELLNESS SECTION EDITOR


FEBRUARY 2019

Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart

MEET OUR

CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Editor–in–Chief

Tyisha Blade Managing Editor

Andriana Akrap Art Director

Alexia Carcelli Asst. Art Director

Greg Elek Multimedia Manager

Michella Dilworth Online Content Editor

Alana Whelan Arts Editor

Renee Betterson Culture Editor

Imani Stephens Beauty/Junior Editor

Dorothy Zhao Social/Junior Editor

Grace Roberson Copy Editor

WRITERS Grace Roberson Tabitha Timms Samra Karamustafic Tyisha Blade Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Briana Oldham

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Renee Betterson Mikayla Gary Imani Stephens Thyra Chaney Shermayne Dixon Joscelyn Ervin

Michella Dilworth Gia Paulovich Jillian VanDyke

Austin DiLorenzo Anna Oprisch

ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Mikayla Colston Antonio DeJesus

Kyra Wells Max Torres

POETS V

Briana Oldham

AmakhutMaati Tyehimba

Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 6


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FEBRUARY 2/9 Benefit

Now That’s Classy: A Formal Night Under the Sea Dress in your most aquatic formal outfit and swim down to Now That’s Class for an undersea party like you have never seen before. Participate in a costume contest as you dance to DJ Hama’s beautiful tunes. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Rape Crisis Center.

2/15 It’s Time to Talk 2019

Join CSU grad and founder of the Haha Institute, Karen Williams, as she gives the fifth annual It’s Time to Talk (ITT) forum on race and unconscious bias at Cuyahoga Community College. This year’s talk will ask the question: can humor heal?, and will offer attendees the chance to understand race better and find solutions to the harm racial profiling causes.

2/23 Polar Plunge

8:30AM–1:30PM, 4250 RICHMOND RD

9PM–2AM, 11213 DETROIT AVE, $5 AT THE DOOR

2/20 Forager/Dante Elephante/Mild Animals

Jump into the lake and freeze your butt off, or come watch as people participate in the Polar Plunge this winter. The plunge is in support of Special Olympics Ohio. 10AM, EDGEWATER BEACH, DONATION–BASED

2/24 Fundraiser

Catch pop-rock, surf band, Forager, at the Happy Dog for some sunshine and good vibes this month. Enjoy a hot dog while partying like it isn’t winter and watch these Clevelandnatives, along with fellow Clevelanders, Mild Animals and LA-based Dante Elephante put on the indie rock show of your dreams. 9PM, 5801 DETROIT AVE, $6

Head to the Winchester Music Tavern and meet your fellow, local environmentalists to get ready for the Great Cleveland Clean-Up in April. This will be a benefit concert for the LitterBugz, who aim to pick up litter in the county by April. 3PM, 12112 MADISON AVE, $15 ADV/$20 DOORS THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 4


WRITTEN BY

Grace Roberson GRAPHIC BY

Austin DiLorenzo

Making sense of modern dating through the literature of Sylvia Plath

I

a student at Smith College in 1951. As a sensitive, confessional poet, one of the main themes in Plath’s work was love, in multiple stages—blossoming, failed,

shut my eyes and all the world drops dead /

or unrequited. The way we define and talk about

I lift my lids and all is born again / ( I think

love, and the way we look for love has undoubtedly

I made you up inside my head)” Sylvia Plath

changed in the past half century or so since Plath’s

wrote “Mad Girl’s Love Song” while she was

time, especially for college–aged women.


Several biographies have been written about

history to be a single woman: We have more power,

Plath since her death in 1963. In the 2013 New

autonomy, and choices than ever before.” While

York Times Book Review article, “Lady Lazarus,”

this is true, dating (speaking in terms of the Digital

Adam Kirsch dives into Carl Rollyson and Andrew

Age) has never been so complicated—with dating

Wilson’s Plath biography, “American Isis.” In this

apps, hookup culture, and more people afraid of

biography, Rollyson calls Plath “the Marilyn Monroe

commitment due to all of the options we have

of modern literature,” and Kirsch is quick to call out

access to. More women are choosing to establish

the absurdity of this statement based on Monroe

their careers and prioritizing professional (albeit

and Plath’s differentiating paths to fame. However,

financial) success rather than succumbing to the

he makes a compelling point about both women:

pressure of settling down at a younger age. However,

“But as a statement about the kind of work the

this poses a challenge for finding a partner, and

two figures perform in our culture, there may be

perhaps hinders the want to date in the first place.

something to it. It’s no coincidence that Plath and

A more famous analogy made to modern dating,

Monroe both lived and died just before the advent

in relation to Plath’s work, is the season one finale

of 1960s feminism. Both were in a real sense victims

of Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series, “Master of None.”

of patriarchy, and both became important symbols

In this episode, Ansari’s character, Dev, attends

for thinking about how women could and could not

a wedding with his longtime girlfriend. After the

live and achieve.”

wedding, Dev evaluates his life and the commitments

Additionally, in another Plath biography, “Mad

he is and is not ready to make. Dev and his girlfriend

Girl’s Love Song,” Andrew Wilson makes the point

are 30, an age that is validated by the stability of

that more can be learned about Plath and her internal

settling down. Perplexed by this, Dev goes to see

struggles through the years—namely her high

his father, who tells him to read “The Bell Jar” by

school and college years, during which Plath had

Sylvia Plath, and to pay attention to the passage

a steady dating history—before she married fellow

about the fig tree:

poet, Ted Hughes. In “Lady Lazarus,” Kirsch says

“I saw my life branching out before me like the

of this revelation, “Wilson’s chronicle of Plath’s

green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every

early relationships with boys and men allows

branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future

readers in a very different era to understand the

beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband

regime of repression and hypocrisy under which

and a happy home and children, and another fig

she suffered. Plath had a strong sexual appetite

was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant

that she felt bound to deny and hide in the name of

professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing

feminine virtue, even as she went out on countless

editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and

dates with aggressive, sometimes assaultive men.”

South America, and another fig was Constantin and

As an English major, I’m both passionate and

Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with

analytical about most things in my life, but no amount

queer names and offbeat professions, and another

of reading could have prepared me enough for love

fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond

in the age of Millennials. In high school, literature

and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t

more or less shaped my romantic expectations. The

quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch

words I absorbed from the pages of my beloved books

of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I

allowed me to dream, to want love stories of my

couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would

own, complete with poetry, love letters and grand

choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but

gestures. But of course, that changed as I got older

choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat

and experienced different connections on my own.

there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle

Sometimes I ask myself a silly yet valid question: how would my favorite literary heroines react to

and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

modern dating culture? Would they be intrigued,

I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing

horrified, disappointed, or all three? Would they

one meant losing all the rest. Living in a time where

be amazed or overwhelmed at the growing power

we have more options in several areas of our lives

of women, and the multitude of choices they have

provides a paradoxical sentiment—our freedom can

for their future other than marriage?

limit us. But when it comes to love, risk is a choice

Nonetheless, a lot has changed for women since Plath’s time. In the Girlboss article “Why Is Modern Dating So Hard—Especially For Ambitious Women?” published last June, Elizabeth Kiefer points out, “There has arguably been no better moment in

we should be more willing to make.

... literature more or less shaped my romantic expectations. The words I absorbed from the pages of my beloved books allowed me to dream...


ARTS

WRITTEN BY

Tabitha Timms

An inside look at record labels.

A

that artists can feel safe with and that allowed for ll of your favorite records have been produced

While the idea of starting a label seems light–hearted

studio in a band’s living room or a high–end

and breezy, James faced some obstacles while trying

that they’re proud of and will entertain your ears.

to get it up and running. “We had quite a few challenges when we first started.

This process may leave you wondering what someone

One of the biggest was finding great people to work with

who runs a record label looks for when signing someone,

to build our team,” James said. “I took quite a while

or what key elements upcoming artists should embody if

finding the right people that love the label as much as

they want to be noticed. With every label being different,

I do. The other problem was finding the right bands to

it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what every label is looking

build our family of artists.”

for. The Vindicator had the chance to talk with Peter

Since April 2018, Manic Kat Records has signed a

James, owner of Manic Kat Records in New Jersey, to

few more artists and anticipated at least 3 more by

see what he looks for when searching for new talent,

the end of that year.

and what kind of future he has planned for his label. Owning a record label can be a huge undertaking, but for James the inspiration behind getting Manic Kat Records off the ground runs deeper than being afraid to take on this difficult task.

When looking to build the MKR family, James had certain qualities he was looking for while trying to sign artists. “We always look for unique characteristics in every band that we sign,” James said. “We look for things

“I grew up playing in bands in the Northern New

that not only separate them from the rest of the bands

Jersey pop punk scene and have always supported it. I

out there, but also distinguish them from the rest of

think that was one of the main reasons why MKR was

the bands on our roster.”

created,” James said. “After dealing with the runaround 9 | VINDICATOR

creative growth.”

somewhere, whether it be a do–it–yourself

studio. Each artist takes the time to create something

SPECIAL THANKS TO

of major labels in the past, I wanted to create a label

As MKR continues to find more talented musicians,


FEBRUARY 2018

the label continues to grow. You would think this

said. “With Thieves’ ‘We’re Literally Almost There,’

would change the way they scout talent, but James

their melodic hardcore/punk sound brought something

says otherwise.

new to the table for our catalog in 2018.” He continued,

“We still look for the same criteria as we always have. “We were eager to see how much Wired for Havoc had

If you think

The only thing that’s changed is the influx of demo

grown from their debut record, ‘Roll with the Punches,’

submissions,” James said. “We love getting demos and

and they most certainly did not disappoint. ‘I Don’t

listen to every single one that’s submitted through

Belong Here’ brought out a more vulnerable melodic

our website.”

side of the band that they until now had not explored.

There isn’t a singular quality that James and the

you can run a label

MKR staff look for when signing a new member to

into the metal-core world and much to our excitement

their ever–growing family.

was our first artist (we hope of many to come) that

“There are many factors that go into signing a band,” James said. “First, we all need to love the music and

and work a ‘day job,’ believe me,

the band as people. In addition, their willingness and ability to tour aggressively throughout the year is critical for us to work with a band.” While James admits that their criteria for signing

— PETER JAMES

reached Billboard’s Heatseeker Chart for their debut week,” he added. With all that being said, James did leave some advice for anyone looking to start their own label. “Be prepared to devote everything you have into it, and that includes all your time. If you think you can

artists stays consistent, the label has been attracted

run a label and work a ‘day job,’ believe me, you can’t,”

to more ska–influenced bands.

James said. “The main reason I can say we have grown

“More recently we just announced the signing of

you can’t.

Finally, ‘Make It Last’ by The Anchor was a first dive

California–based ska band, For the Record. They bring

as fast as we have is because I am fortunate enough to run the label full–time.”

a broadening of genre to the table with their addition

If you’re looking for record labels in Cleveland to work

to our roster.” James said, “We’ve all been huge fans

with or seek help from, check out Abydos Productions,

of Reel Big Fish, and have been eagerly searching for a

MC Records Unlimited CC and Starlife Entertainment

similarly fun and talented band to join our family. For

for more information.

the Record is definitely one of the bands I’m personally looking forward to releasing in 2019.” MKR has many fresh–sounding bands to check out from bands such as melodic-hardcore band When Thieves Are About, to pop–punk band Right On Kid. James is elated to share all of their hard work with fans and new listeners alike. “Much like each band, each release brings something unique to our roster’s catalog. For example, Right On, Kid!’s, ‘Forever Missing Out,’ was these guys’ debut release with us. They brought a younger, carefree pop punk vibe to our catalog that we were missing,” James

ABYDOS PRODUCTIONS 26391 Curtiss Wright Pkwy Ste. 44143 (216) 377-1070

STARLIFE ENTERTAINMENT 19111 Bella Dr, 44119 (216) 446-7143

Mc RECORDS UNLIMITED PO Box 1788 Huntington Station, NY 11746 (631)-754-8725

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 10


SECTION

THE 2019 ACADEMY AWARDS RADAR A STIFF COMPETITION FOR

THE OSCAR WRITTEN BY

Samra Karamustafic

I

t seems that 2018 has been quite a fascinating

been revealing their own Oscar predictions, causing

year for film, especially in terms of The Academy

an uproar in discussions and mixed opinions—but

Awards. Many that were thought to be disregarded

isn’t that what makes it even more entertaining?

by The Academy are now holding strong positions

This past year’s movies have certainly created a tight

on seizing a nomination (we are looking at you,

competition, and after comparing a few different

“A Star is Born”!), while some other highly anticipated

opinions and seeing some performances, I have

“Oscar-bait” movies fell short on their expected box

decided to gather up some more predictions for the

office performance, throwing early–year predictions

winners of the three most popular categories: Best

out of whack. Nonetheless, with the awards coming

Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture.

up shortly, various magazines and film blogs have

Best Actress

Glenn Close “The Wife”

While it is true that 2018 has treated us well in terms

just for her performance, but because it is time to?

of film, it has especially given us a lot of captivating

Olivia Colman and Yalitza Aparicio, however,

performances from many actresses in leading roles—

have been huge favourites (I could not resist) among

making it a very tricky task to predict who could win

critics and fans alike for a majority of this award

the Oscar this year. But, after analyzing performances

season. Starring in two of the year’s most talked about

and comparing other’s opinions, I have:

films, newcomer Yalitza Aparicio gives an amazingly strong and emotive performance in Alfonso Cuaron’s

Will Most Likely Win: Glenn Close, “The Wife”

“ROMA,” quickly garnering her fame; meanwhile,

Should Win: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” or

Olivia Colman completely steals the show in Yorgos

Yalitza Aparicio, “ROMA”

Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” as the somewhat hysterical Queen Anne—not the easiest task when you are

Olivia Colman “The Favourite”

Yalitza Aparicio “ROMA”

11 | VINDICATOR

Although “The Wife” has been a bit under the

partnered with both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz,

radar throughout this award season, Glenn Close’s

as well as being surrounded by beautiful costumes and

performance certainly has not. Critics left and right

scenery. This category holds a very tight competition

have been praising her role, and after winning a

since it really could go any way. Close may be nearing

Best Actress Golden Globe and giving an enthralling

the “I deserve this at this point” mark, but Colman

speech, Close has quickly garnered the spotlight in

and Aparicio have been gaining a lot of headlines for

terms of winning. Plus, many predict that this could

their performances—Aparicio even broke records by

be her “overdue” Oscar; after all, she has missed out

becoming the first indigenous Mexican actress to be

on six previous nominations in her career! Could she

nominated for an Oscar!

end up pulling a Leonardo Dicaprio and winning not


OCTOBER 2018

Best Actor

Christian Bale “VICE”

This categor y holds yet another tight race, but

mimicked not only his singing, but Mercury’s small

there have been a few big favorites and stand–out

mannerisms as well. But, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was

performances for the “Best Actor” category. My

not dealt with very positive criticisms; analysts and

thoughts? Out of all of the nominees, I believe that:

other blogs have been commenting on how Malek’s chances could decrease because the overall film was

Will most likely win: Christian Bale, “VICE”

not “up–to–par” with usual Oscar standards. Plus,

Should win: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

The Academy seems to be loving “VICE” (they gave it eight different nominations!) and Bale’s performance

Rami Malek “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Amongst both critics and audiences, Rami Malek

as Dick Cheney has amassed lots of love from film

has been the talk of this category. His depiction of

critics. Although Bale’s performance is not as well

Freddie Mercury has been one of the main topics

known with the public as Malek’s, “VICE” has certainly

of this awards season—there has even been a video

been receiving Oscar buzz for a while. However, both

that garnered fame on Twitter that edited both his

Rami Malek and Christian Bale won the Golden Globes

performance and the actual Freddie Mercury side–

for the two lead actor categories, so at this point it

by–side just to emphasize how well Malek learned and

really is up to The Academy.

Best Picture

“ROMA”

This year’s contenders for the most popular category of

tweet from 2016 (when one of the leading actors in

the night are quite diverse, making it even tougher to

the film is Muslim), it would be a bit risky for The

pin down some predictions. However, for this category,

Academy to offer its highest award of the night to a

the “most likely to win” ends up in a three–way tie

film surrounded with controversy.

for the strongest contenders. I have:

“The Favourite” is also on many predictors’ lists for possible Best Picture winner, and it is no surprise -

Most likely to win: “ROMA”, “Green Book” or

the film has tied with “ROMA” for most nominations

“The Favourite”

(ten!), so clearly The Academy has been eyeing it for

Should win: “ROMA”

a while too. With captivating performances from the three female leads to Lanthimos’ iconic dark comedy,

“Green Book”

“The Favourite”

“ROMA” has been a stand-out film for this awards

“The Favourite” (like its character, Queen Anne)

season, giving Netflix its first ever ‘Best Picture’

definitely stands out, but that could be both positive

nomination, being the first foreign language film to

and negative to its chances. The dark and witty humor

be nominated for this category, and making Yalitza

may rub some voters the wrong way, and Lanthimos’

Aparicio the first indigenous Mexican actress to

endings are known for producing some hit–or–miss

be nominated for an Oscar. Plus, “ROMA” has been

opinions from the audience.

receiving praise for almost every aspect of the movie,

Either way, this year’s Best Picture nominees are

from the performances to its diverse cast to the

fortunately very diverse, offering so many possibilities

stunning cinematography. The only factor that could

for winners that it is sure to entertain and/or surprise

possibly set it back is that it is a foreign language film,

us the night of the Oscars.

and unfortunately, no foreign language movie has

Now all that is left for us to do is to wait until the

ever won in this category. But, that was in the past,

official award show on February 24th! Will The Academy

and with the attention and love “ROMA” has been

“stay on course” and pick many of the most–talked

receiving, I believe it has a strong hold on winning.

about movies, or will they slightly veer off course and

“Green Book” has recently been accumulating a lot

surprise us? Nonetheless, everyone involved with the

of Oscar buzz (and awards) as well, but the events of

films that have been released in the past year deserve a

what has been happening behind–the–scenes could

round of applause for their work, having gifted us with

ruin its chance of winning. From the backlash the film

a multitude of amazing work focused on important

has been receiving from certain audiences who believe

conversations, people, and events in the world, as

the film was giving a “white savior” trope, to the

well as giving us diversity. Happy awards season!

findings of co–writer Nick Vallelonga’s islamophobic

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 12


CULTURE

BLACK WOMEN

TRAVELING

WRITTEN BY

Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui

Black travelers are taking it upon themselves to create communities that showcase their own narratives.

W

hile it may be considered a pretty simple luxury these days, the ability to travel freely is something that was incredibly rare for many not so long ago. When one

is considered “other” even in familiar surroundings, this feeling of “otherness” can be amplified when leaving these spaces and entering completely different environments. For Black people who are traveling, especially Black women, this feeling may be doubly amplified; not only would they face struggles based on their race, but also their gender. These struggles may range from subtle forms of discrimination to physical violence. However, in the past few years, the Black Travel Movement has emerged to disprove outdated stereotypes that people of color face, and empower them to become world travelers. This movement encompasses a lot—travel companies, online communities, social media trends, and everything in between. One group central to this effort is Evita Robinson’s NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, whose mission is “to show the world that travel has no racial, gender, religious, economic, or interest limitations through our community representation and relevancy.” Catering specifically to the Millennial minority demographic of travelers, this community has grown to 20,000 members over the past eight years, most of whom are Black and brown women. Like this community, there are countless others, like Black Girls Travel Too, Sisters Traveling Solo, and Travel Noire, as well as informal online groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. These travel companies and communities grew out of necessity, seeing as Black people and other minorities are grossly underrepresented in the travel market. The travel and hospitality marketing firm MMGY Global has reported that the intent to travel among Black Americans has jumped 14 points over just three years, to 19 percent in 2016. According to the Mandala Research firm, 17 percent of Black Americans take at least one international trip a year. However, despite spending over $48 billion annually on domestic travel alone, Nielsen reported that less than 3 percent of all advertisements in 2017 showcased Black Americans.

13 | VINDICATOR

This lack of representation led to the creation of

Film & Media Arts major,

this travel movement and all its proponents, whose

Taylor Wallace at the Meiji

social media presence has brought national atten-

Shrine in Tokyo, Japan (top).

tion to the issue. Using social media, not only are these communities of travelers able to showcase their experiences, they are also able control the narrative around them. They can dispel the beliefs about Black Americans in the United States and around the globe,

Mathematics major, Saiida Bowie-Little at the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Cultural Village in Tafi, Ghana (bottom).


FEBRUARY 2019

asserting that they are not an impoverished, ignorant

The Black Travel Movement is so much more than

and violent population; instead proving that they have

purchasing a luxury trip or a vacation, especially for

long been financially stable and educated enough to

Black women. It does not only signify the financial

travel. As Robinson tells CNN, “ ...It wasn’t that people

autonomy of people of color and their importance

of color weren’t traveling, it was that mass media

in the travel market. This movement empowers and

wasn’t documenting it.”

gives a heightened sense of freedom and agency to

Additionally, members of the Black Travel Movement are able to educate those abroad, consciously

these travelers—experiences, so intangibly meaningful and powerful.

making the effort to counter the misrepresentation of Black Americans as uneducated, violent, and lesser-than. Those who are part of this movement see travel as transformative experiences not only for themselves, but also those who they may encounter abroad. Because so much of the perception of Black Americans worldwide arises from the images propagated by mass media, Robinson views instances where she and her group are the only Black people around as valuable opportunities to challenge those perceptions. In her TED Residency Talk, she explains an inherent burden and responsibility that she believes Black travelers have. She says, “That, is the realization that when we go abroad, we are immediately either perpetuating or diffusing bias placed on us by negative media depictions that our country has ushered out to the rest of the world.” Robinson knows that these misconceptions often lead to uncomfortable encounters with culturally ignorant people abroad. However, she treats them as teachable moments, using the opportunity to educate others. She goes on to say, “We’re showing the world that Black people do travel everywhere and we aren’t a monolithic people… simply showing up allows the world to hear our stories from our mouths.” It is important to recognize that this sense of freedom found in travel was hard–won. Not long ago, Black American travelers felt so unsafe that traveling in their own country required a handbook. “The Negro Motorist Green Book” was published annually starting in 1935 by Victor Hugo Green, and was a travel guide for Black American travelers. It provided them with lists of safe spaces, including restaurants, lodging, information on Jim Crow laws per state and county, as these tended to differ from place to place. The last edition of the Green Book was published shortly after the Civil Rights Act. However, these dangers have not simply vanished, but reared their heads in new ways. Black American motorists are still met with the dangers of unduly violent police officers—think of the deaths of Sandra Bland and Philando Castile. Modern technology has brought new problems for Black travelers, as well as other racial minorities, who are often met with racial bias when booking lodging—think of the numerous accounts of cancellations by racist Airbnb hosts. Stop–and–frisk programs, racial–profiling tactics—these are among the modern dangers faced by the Black and brown traveler just in the United States alone.

Clinical Mental Health

This movement empowers and gives a heightened

Counseling master’s student, Tiffani Fields is in front of the Colosseum in Rome during her 2015 travels (top). Political Science & International

sense of freedom and

Relations major, Zion

agency to these travelers—

Omobuwa in Cuba (bottom).

experiences, so intangibly

rest stops or gas stations. It also provided important

meaningful and powerful.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 14


SECTION

HOW MUCH

FORCE

IS TOO MUCH

FORCE

27 | VINDICATOR


OCTOBER 2018

I am not snatching away

WRITTEN BY

E

Tyisha Blade

xcessive force and police brutality have been a continued structure within the African-American community for centuries. Activists are adamant about having their voices heard in response to the injustices

an entire community confronts with those sworn to uphold and protect. According to definitions.uslegal.

com, excessive force is “the use of force greater than that which a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under the circumstances is generally considered to be excessive.” Law enforcement officers are in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights when excessive force occurs. The duties of law enforcement personnel become methods filled with fear tactics in many routine traffic stops that lead to magnitudes of unexpected psychological and physical strategies that confuse innocent citizens. As a citizen abiding by the law, complying during these stops becomes frustrating when the demands of compliance render infringement to a human being’s civil rights. In that, the lines of routine searching can also be blurred when searching becomes sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as any form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. This violation also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, as well as the federal government. In a recent incident, I was stopped by Highway State Patrol, and asked to step out of my vehicle. Without

properly identifying me, I was searched and, while only wanting to comply, I questioned the policy and procedure of this so-called protector.

This time,

It was an early Saturday morning, and I was headed out to work around 8 a.m. I decided to drive down St.

with very

Clair, passing through 105th Street of the Cleveland

inappropriate

area. In my rear-view distance, I saw the red, blue, and white lights rotating atop a vehicle. I slowed my vehicle from the 25 mph speed limit, approaching a

touching,

stop to let them pass. Much to my surprise, they did

he told me

me to step out of my vehicle. Hesitant, I asked if

not pass. After he walked over to my car, he asked everything was alright. He again instructed me to

repeatedly to

get out of my car. So, I complied. “Ma’am, I need you

spread my

said. “But, why?” I asked. In his response, I was to do as I was instructed. Walking me over to his police

legs wider,

vehicle, he asked me if I had ever been pulled over by

grabbing my

arm.

to step over here to the front this police vehicle,” he

state troopers. “No,” I replied. After my response, he instructed me to place my hands on the hood of his car. He began to search me after asking me if I had anything on my person that could stick or poke him. When the search began, I asked him if I was being

instructed to sit on the ground. Politely, I told him, no, and that I needed to know why I was being pulled over. He interrogated me for a few minutes, insinuating that I was lying about who I was, and that I was not the owner of my vehicle. After his questioning, he instructed me to put my hands on the hood again. This time he told me that he was about to perform a search and seizure. When I asked why, he told me to keep my hands on the hood. A search and seizure, according to dictionary.law.com, is “examination of a person’s premises (residence, business or vehicle) by law enforcement officers looking for evidence of the commission of a crime, and the taking (seizure and removal) of articles of evidence (such as controlled narcotics, a pistol, counterfeit bills, a blood–soaked blanket).” Aware of this procedure, I asked why it was needed. With no response, he stood behind me and began searching my person, once again. He did not search my vehicle. This time, with very inappropriate touching, he told me repeatedly to spread my legs wider, grabbing my arm. I flinched. “Don’t snatch away from me,” he exclaimed. This routine traffic stop was a violation of my constitutional rights. After the disconcerting process, I was told that I was pulled over for not having a front license plate on my vehicle and given a ticket. Recently, Euclid Department Police Officer, James Aoki arrested Shajuan Gray after she had gotten out of the shower. According to news5cleveland.com, James entered Gray’s apartment without probable cause, used excessive force, and arrested her. Gray alleged that she was only wearing a bath wrap at the time of the incident which had fallen off while Aoki assaulted her. Gray also reports the officer did not allow her to get dressed before he took her to the police department. Gray suffered wounds from the arrest. This is another case of confusion and excessivity. According to Dominique Kizer, police forcefully entered her Euclid home in search of a criminal whom they told her had taken residence in her house. Answering the door, they never asked Kizer for identification, and accused her of lying about hiding this unknown criminal. After realizing that they entered the wrong home, the police inexplicably left the residence leaving Kizer traumatized.“After they left my house, I was so shook up and angry,” Kizer said. With so many instances of excessive force, one can only wonder where the boundaries of protection and escalated enforcement become factors regarding citizens’ safety. Force is not even de-escalated involving the women of the African-American community. Events of excessive force have been an unsettling recurrence in the minority community. How much compliance can be kept when an individual can’t have their rights respected? How much force is too much force?

arrested and why I was being pulled over. He began citing my Miranda warning. After this search, I was THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 28


CULTURE

TO GRANDMOTHER’S

HOUSE WE GO WRITTEN BY

Briana Oldham PHOTOS BY

Antonio DeJesus

One Cleveland home showcases the city’s history and countless family memories.

T

o leave a legacy, one typically plants the seed of hard work and helps nurture and facilitate its growth by having a plan to thrive, especially in the difficult times in which we live.

Sometimes we are not aware of the ways to do this, but as we mature, incorporating the wisdom and sage advice of those around us, the task at hand becomes that much easier to do. To create and preserve a legacy involves having more than just stories to tell—it entails possessing something you can call your own and being able to pass it on to someone else. If you ride down Lakeview Road on Cleveland’s east side, right before the intersection at Saint Clair Avenue, you’ll find a gray and white house, which, unlike most of the homes in the area, sits up on a hill far from the street. Also uncharacteristic is how

17 | VINDICATOR

big and somewhat scary the house looks. Don’t let the appearance fool you; this house is known for the warmth it gives to every person who has step foot in it and is filled with rich memories that only the owner, Ms. Elouise Oldham, can gingerly tell. The Oldham family is led by their matriarch Ms. Elouise, who originally hails from Montgomery, Alabama and is a vivacious 83–years–young lover of crossword puzzles and “Family Feud.” Ms. Elouise enjoys quiet afternoons reading the newspaper, and evenings full of laughter with family and usually a basketball game of some sort. On the evening I sat down with her, “Wheel of Fortune” was on simply for show, as the volume was barely above a whisper. I had so many questions, I honestly didn’t know where to start. I figured, for as much as this house meant to her, she means more to her family. It was this “aha” moment that began the interview with questions about her and where she came from. From


FEBRUARY 2019

That’s the thing about a legacy—

She knew this was where she wanted to spend the rest

important family is to her and why she is, as another

of her life. “[My son] Calvin keeps asking me about

family member remarked, “the glue that holds it all

moving but I’m just not ready to go yet. Just about

together.”

everyone has lived in this house. If you ever needed

Ms. Elouise came to Cleveland when she was 19 years old. She chose to come here to better her educa-

a place to stay, you could come here too,” she looks at me and grins.

tion. Staying with relatives when she initially moved,

Of course, I know this to be true, because this is

she moved around quite a bit before meeting the man

the house where I grew up. The first memory I have

she would later marry and start a family with. The

is waking up on a Saturday thinking I was running

running joke with her cousin is that her aunt would

late for school and smelling pancakes (which I love

move every time the rent was due. She laughs and her

more than the cake). I knew at that moment, since

face lights up as she recalls moments from decades

pancakes were a weekend staple, that I must have had

ago like they happened yesterday, and instantly trans-

my days mixed up. It was at that time, while dashing

ports me to the past. Until she moved to Lakeview, Ms.

down the narrow stairs that I was met with her warm

Elouise’s favorite place of residence was 113th Street

voice telling me to slow down and asking where the

in Union. “I liked it there because we knew everybody

fire was. “Go change, it’s alright, I got something for

and we were all like family,” she explains.

you when you come back,” I remember her telling me.

When asked what her favorite thing about this

Her words became a motto for family near and

house is, her answer was short and sweet and helped

far. If they ever needed anything, a place to stay, a

provide more insight into her hobbies. “The kitchen,”

warm meal, or endless laughs and love, they know

she replied, “It’s big and nice for all the cooking I

they could come there and find what they needed in

do.” Besides her love of sports and puzzles, she also

that house. That’s the thing about a legacy—the most

enjoys baking and making meals for herself and her

important gems you inherit aren’t just material things.

family. A popular favorite in the Oldham house is her

They are also the things that make that big historic

7 Up cake. I asked her daughter, Ms. Ophelia Jacobs,

house a home; the things that can’t be bought or sold.

the most important gems you inherit aren’t just material things.

the moment we started speaking, it was clear how

about the infamous cake and she said, “The aroma is one you can smell soon as you walk through the door and the love you can feel soon as you take a bite.” In addition to the love in the food, you can feel it from the moment you step into the home. An old Victorian style design with high ceilings, stained glass windows, a chandelier, and crystal trimmings. The home has six bedrooms, three fireplaces, and two–and–a– half bathrooms, complete with a fully–finished attic as big as the house. The house is considered a historical landmark due to being over 100 years old and very close to the original condition. For Ms. Elouise, the appeal of the house and its location is the spaciousness and privacy that having a large amount of yard space affords her. She didn’t get out in the yard as much this past summer as she would have liked due to being diagnosed with breast cancer. She has made a full recovery since, and is looking forward to planting her flowers and watching them bloom. Ms. Elouise’s late husband Ollius purchased the home for their family upon the advice of a friend who lived across the street. From the time Ms. Elouise saw the house, with a few minor exceptions, it was perfect. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 18


FEATURE

NOT–SO

HIDDEN FIGURES WRITTEN BY

Renee Betterson PHOTOS BY

Antonio DeJesus

Candid conversations about diversity, representation, and purpose.

I

n 2016, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) surveyed colleges across the nation to find the ethnic breakdown of their faculty. The NCES found that, on average, Black men and women combined made up less than six percent of full-

humanities, you understand that it is a basic truth about people and their potential. Later I started to recognize figures and typology in African–American literature that were unlike anything I’d ever been taught,” she elaborated. Here, Gosselin’s classical training in the Arts melded perfectly with her identity as an African–American scholar.

time faculty and staff, according to nces.ed.gov. I

sat down with a few of Cleveland State University’s

distinguished Black leaders to discuss their journey into academia. They shared with me their stories; the struggles, triumphs, and joys that come with being a member of that six percent. Adrienne Gosselin, Ph.D. Associate Professor, English Dr. Gosselin grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a small, rural town that was ripe with rich African– American history and education—a tradition she eagerly embraced. After high school, Gosselin went to California where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation, Gosselin began working in advertising until she realized that her dream was to go back to school. “I was in an automobile accident and once I realized that I wasn’t dead, my first thought was, ‘I’m going back to school,’” she explains. With a new sense of purpose, Gosselin moved to Ohio to study for her Master of Arts degree in English but the lack of cultural diversity in the Midwest during the 1970s would prove to be a challenge. Far from

19 | VINDICATOR

Thomas Bynum, Ph.D. Director and Associate Professor of History, Black Studies

her hometown, and the sanctuary of her studies in

For Dr. Bynum, his path to academia was clear even

California, Gosselin felt isolated and out of place

as a young boy. “As children, my siblings and I used

until she discovered the works of Henry Louis Gates.

to love playing school together. I was always the

Finally, she had found her place; in literature. “What

teacher. I knew I wanted to teach classes related to

I saw [in Gates’ works] was a sense of kinship; a

African-American history,” he remembers. After high

shared sense of humor and intelligence. Gates made

school, Dr. Bynum attended college in North Carolina

it easier for the people who came behind him. [We]

with a plan to teach history in middle or high school.

didn’t have to start from scratch explaining ourselves,”

As an undergraduate social studies major, Dr. Bynum

she says. After that, Gosselin dove into the works

nurtured his passion for African–American history

of the Harlem Renaissance where she discovered

and activism. During his time in school, Dr. Bynum

the work of legendary Black writers such as Charles

served as president of the Black Student Union where

Chesnutt and Rudolph Fisher. “If you believe in the

he used his platform to speak out against racism


FEBRUARY 2019

in his community. In his senior year, a professor suggested that he go to graduate school and teach higher education, and that’s just what he did. Later, Dr. Bynum began working at Middle Tennessee State University, where he received a research grant for his study on Black student retention, titled Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers. Not incidentally, the title of Dr. Bynum’s research study has been the constant theme of his career. Here at Cleveland State, Dr. Bynum has continued to break barriers as a professor and the Director of the Black Studies Department. Since arriving at CSU in 2017, Dr. Bynum has expanded the department, more than doubling the number of majors in the program. Ultimately though, Dr. Bynum is driven by his desire to help students discover the same passion he has found in education.“To teach and to see students connect with that information; to see that light bulb go off, that’s my passion. It lets me know that what I’m doing is worthwhile,” he said. Valarie Hinton Hannah Director, Student Conduct & Advocacy For Mrs. Hinton Hannah, it was the idea of connecting with students outside the classroom that drew her to work in higher education. “Everything I do is about giving hope to students and getting them to graduation. wanted to help students get their degrees,” she said. Before coming to Cleveland State, Mrs. Hinton Hannah worked as a school social worker for Cleveland Public Schools. While she was there, Mrs. Hinton Hannah had a case that would change her forever. “There was a little girl I worked with, a first grader who was suffering from separation anxiety. Her entire first year in school, no one heard her speak. So I worked with her and worked with her,” she recalled. Later, when the girl was in the 3rd grade, Mrs. Hinton Hannah got

a call from the school’s principal inviting her to the

school assembly. “When I got there, that little girl I’d worked with, who was too afraid to speak, was the emcee for the ceremony,” she remembers. Later, Mrs.

I am going

Hinton Hannah began working in higher education

to get my

give them the support they need to cross the finish

with the same goal, to connect with students and

degree and

line to graduation. “[In higher educat ion] we need more people concerned about students. People who understand how

turn pre–

important it is to develop interpersonal relationships”,

dominately

Mrs. Hinton Hannah added. She began work in the Counseling Center at Cleveland State, eventually moving to her current office as the Director of Student

black

Conduct. “I always tell students, ‘I’m going to be here to see you graduate. If you need anything, my office

schools

is on the third floor of the Student Center’,” she said.

around.

Steve Johnson Interim Coordinator, Viking Vets Office

I made a conscious effort to come here because I

— STEVE JOHNSON

Mr. Johnson first encountered the Viking Vets office by chance. After being elected to the Euclid School Board in 2015, Johnson realized that he could do much more for schools with a degree. “I am going to get my degree and turn predominantly Black schools around,” he vowed. In the summer of 2017, Johnson came to Cleveland State to work towards a Ph.D. in History. During his first year as a student at Cleveland State, Johnson asked around campus looking for a quiet place to study. A friend recommended the Veterans Center, and the moment he stepped

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 20


FEATURE

through the door, Johnson was at home. After 20 years of service in the Army, the Veterans Center became more than just a place to study. For Johnson, as for many other student veterans, it is a place to belong. “The U.S. military is the only organization that takes people from all backgrounds and socioeconomic systems and produces excellence, and a big part of that is accountability,”Mr. Johnson noted. As Coordinator, Johnson has worked toward making the Veterans Office a welcoming gathering place for people of different backgrounds to receive the support they need to succeed. Ultimately, Mr. Johnson’s hope is to bring that same unity to his work in childhood education. On the school board, Johnson has been a strong advocate for diversity, encouraging the board to hire more teachers of different backgrounds. “We need Black teachers, LGBTQ teachers...If you don’t have those voices at the table we can’t expect kids to learn,” he said. Victoria Winbush Ph.D. Associate Professor, Social Work “The beauty of social work is that it brings it all together: organizations, communities, individuals—my work seeks to bridge all of those areas,” Dr. Winbush says. It is no accident that Dr. Winbush’s career has allowed her to work on each of those levels of engagement. Before becoming a college professor, Dr. Winbush enjoyed an extensive and fulfilling career in social work. In 1987, Dr. Winbush served as the Executive Director of the MetroHealth Medical Center. In 1993, Winbush began working as the Director and Trainer of Cleveland’s Multicultural Training Institute, where she led the cultural competency program. Now, as a professor at Cleveland State, Dr. Winbush uses her research and prior experience to inform her work in education. “I see my job as a teacher as the integration of my knowledge and experience into a package that will help students better grasp the material. Just like in social work, as a professor, I meet students where they are and get to know them as individuals,” she said. When she isn’t in the classroom, Dr. Winbush spends her time researching the social effects of diversity and cultural competency. According to Dr. Winbush, professors and academics are tasked with “creating and passing on knowledge. Often, as academics we want our research to be objective, but in the case of

diversity and its effects, the research is more reflective. As academics, we must be responsive to creating knowledge that reflects actual lived experience,” she explains. Currently, Dr. Winbush is organizing a conference that will focus on cultural sensitivity and older Black adults. The conference represents the revitalization of a conference which had been sponsored by the CSU School of Social Work annually for nearly 30 years. The event, called the Anna V. Brown Conference Forum, will be held in May 2019. Anne Berry Associate Professor, Graphic Design “Growing up, education was very much a part of the culture in our home. Both of my parents were educators, so they always stressed the importance of going to college,” Berry says. Even with a strong background in higher education, Berry explains that teaching wasn’t initially part of her plan. She says, “Going into college, I had no interest in becoming a professor. I knew I loved design, so I went to school to become a graphic designer.” Ultimately, it would be Berry’s experience in college that led her to explore teaching. She studied at Goshen College in Indiana, where her father taught in the Political Science department. During her time as an undergraduate, Berry was struck by the lack of diversity in the university’s faculty. “In four years of school, I only had one Black Professor—my father,” she recalls. After graduating, Berry returned to school to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. As a graduate student, Berry was mentored by several professors in the department. The relationships and support she gained helped Berry to understand the importance of mentorship for academic success. “Mentorship and guidance can change everything. But the tough thing about it is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And

21 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2019

that’s especially true for many students of color,”

Berry says. Armed with this knowledge, Professor A nne Berr y came to

Even one

Cleveland State with a

professor in one class

mission. In addition to teaching and mentoring, Berr y spends her time resea rc h i ng d iver sit y issues in teaching and

can make a

graphic design. “Part of

difference.

a diverse community of

— Anne Berry

my work here is building designers that bleeds into academia, and a huge part of t hat is mentorship. I’m t r y i ng to b e t hat very thing that I didn’t have as an undergrad.

Because even one professor in one class can make a difference,” She said. Dr. Ronnie Dunn Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor, Urban Studies Dr. Dunn first stepped onto Cleveland State’s campus in 1980 as a freshman in Urban Studies. After his first semester, however, Dunn was left feeling disillusioned and out of place. “As a first–year student at Cleveland State, I never really felt included,” he said. Much of this was due to the severe lack of African–American professors on campus. “During my undergraduate experience, I never had a Black male professor. Not even one,” Dr. Dunn recalled. Unable to see himself represented in the faculty, Dunn decided that he

TOP & BOTTOM LEFT, & TOP RIGHT PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PROFESSORS

had no place in higher education. After serving in

the U.S. Military, in 1991, Dunn returned to school to complete his associates degree in sociology and transferred back to Cleveland State. Dr. Dunn’s mentor, Dr. Wornie Reed, a professor in the College of Urban Affairs, would play a vital role in encouraging Dunn to excel in school, and ultimately work in education. “Dr. Reed allowed me to see possibilities that I’d never considered before,” he recalled. Needless to say, Dr. Dunn’s time at Cleveland State showed him exactly how important it is, “For young people to see themselves in faculty,” he said. Unfortunately, for many students of color at our university, that simply isn’t the case. Dr. Dunn’s research as Chief Diversity Officer has shown that while Black students make up about 16 percent of Cleveland State’s population, Black professors only make up about 5% of its faculty. According to Dr. Dunn, this disparity is what leads the “equity gap” between Black and white student retention rates. Currently, Dr. Dunn is working on the Diversity Action Plan, a policy that would seek to make Cleveland State more proactive in hiring Black professors. According to Dunn, the plan is in its final stages, and he hopes to see it rolled out in the next few months.

After speaking with a few of Cleveland State’s most distinguished Black faculty and staff, I noticed a common thread that wove each of their stories together: connection. At some point during their journeys, these pioneers found that connection was paramount to their success as academics, professionals, and individuals. For some, it was seeing themselves represented in faculty and university leaders who showed them the full extent of their own possibilities. For others, it was connecting with a mentor who guided them through the difficult path to higher education. For still others, it was finding a sense of purpose in building relationships with other people of color. What each of these incredible leaders seem to be saying to Black students and academics everywhere is simply, “We need each other.”

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 22


FEATURE

WRITTEN BY

Tyisha Blade PHOTOS BY

Max Torres

Celebrating African–American history with legends of the present.

A

pillar in the community of Cleveland State University, Donna Whyte, Ph.D., is notable for many contributions to the student population as well as the upward mobility of Black Studies. Coming back to the Cleveland

area and wanting a career in higher education, she brought her knowledge and experience gained from

Ohio State University, Temple University, and various other institutions to contribute to the advancement of an often overlooked Black culture. Dr. Whyte’s continued ambition and education led her into a field that had been calling her along her journey. “I always knew that I wanted to teach,” she said. Equipped with leadership experience and wisdom, Dr. Whyte started her work at the university in 1985 as a coordinator in Career Services. “I had decided, very deliberately, that I needed to work with the students,” said Dr. Whyte. “They would be students who would benefit by communicating with individuals who cared about their success.” While employed with Career Services, Dr Whyte founded the LINK Program, an academic support program that prepared students for placement in co-op positions and ultimately successful careers in business and engineering. In 1989, hired by Raymond Winbush, Ph.D., she transitioned to the Office of Minority Affairs. Along with many others of the time, Dr. Whyte strived to make a joint effort with community leaders that still, to this day, consider advancement as a teaching of heredity and prosperity. Retiring from her full–time position in 2013 as Director of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, she began teaching, part time, in the History Department. After the unexpected passing of Black Studies Director Michael Williams, Ph.D., in 2016, Dr. Whyte accepted the position as director of Black Studies. “Because of my love for the university and Black Studies, I said yes to becoming the interim director,” Dr. Whyte said. Chairing the search committee that looked to hire current Black Studies Director, Thomas 23 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2019

Bynum, Ph.D., Dr. Whyte continues to stay in touch with the program. “I am flattered that Prester Pickett continues to invite me to events such as the Kuumba Arts Festival,” Dr. Whyte said. “The work of Black Studies is something the university and community are aware of.” Dr. Whyte also enjoys seeing the support and consistency of the program. “It is a strength and part of what the program was built on,” she added. In her co–authored book published in August 2016, “Boycotts, Busing, & Beyond: The History & Implications of School Desegregation in the Urban North,” Dr. Whyte writes about the significant amounts of AfricanAmerican youth that came from the South and the practices against these youth that ensured there was less opportunity to advance through education in urban areas. Co–authored by Ronnie Dunn, Ph.D., Mittie Jones Ph.D., and Adrienne Hatten Ph.D., and NAACP attorney James Hardiman, they discuss strategies that were used to keep students from being integrated, such The book also focuses on Cleveland as a point of reference to acknowledge and analyze the racial, social, economic, and political factors that determined many educational experiences of America’s diverse racial and ethnic groups in the urban North. Other topics include academic performance by race, historical overviews of influential court cases throughout the nation, effects of busing and more. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, busing, a term also referred to as desegregation busing, is “the practice of transporting students to schools within or outside their local school districts as a means of rectifying racial segregation.” Although American schools were technically desegregated in 1954 as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision determined in Brown v. Board of Education, there was still massive amounts of discrimination and segregation in school systems. A major topic throughout African–American history, busing has had immense effect on the history and present state of education. The book has contributed to the acknowledgement of the harsh and unfair treatment

of Black youth attempting to further their education.

In addition to being an author, Dr. Whyte plays the piano. Dr. Whyte continues to expand her knowledge taking piano lessons at Cuyahoga Community College.

When I see

“I decided to play because there are three pianos in our family and nobody was playing them,” she said in an email. “I started lessons again after I retired. It’s

the light

something I do for my own enjoyment and challenge.” While she agrees that her talents aren’t reaching the

bulbs go

level of Beethoven, she does play for audiences in intimate indoor settings. In her spare time, she likes

off in the

to read and spend time with her three grandchildren. She just recently read “The Underground Railroad,”

students,

by Colson Whitehead. For his novel, Colson won a

that’s when the magic

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction and the Goodreads Choice Awards’ Best Historical Fiction. “I will read whatever has words,” she said. “One summer I read ten books just for fun.” Dr. Whyte continues to be an inspiration to the

happens.

Cleveland State student population and a distinguished

as special transfers and consistent policy violations.

— DR. DONNA WHYTE

faculty member. With her love of working with students, she shows great passion in her lectures and dedication to the university. “When I see the light bulbs go off in the students, that’s when the magic happens,” she says. Dr. Whyte has remained with Cleveland State for nearly 35 years and consistently contributes remarkable qualities that make her a role model for so many.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 24


FEATURE

A SPLASH A photographic exploration of Black womanhood and colorism’s social and mental effects.

25 | VINDICATOR

WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY

Mikayla Gary


FEBRUARY 2019

OF COLOR

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 26


A

Splash of Color” is an exploration of Black women and colorism, which focuses on revealing the unique side of Black women. Today, we rarely see the various facets of Black womanhood due to it being restricted by racist and misogynist beliefs. “A Splash of Color” focuses on bringing different shades of Black women together to display the uniqueness that Black women have. Black women do not only deal with labels imposed by society that diminish their worth; colorism is another form of marginalization that can take away their worth. By definition, colorism is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color. Often times, we can see that lighter-skinned women are socially accepted over their darker–skinned counterparts. When closely observed this is a significant problem; but because it is unconscious, we must first acknowledge that it exists both intra–culturally and interculturally. Colorism has been an issue for centuries: during slavery, intercourse between whites and Blacks would result in mixed children, many with white European features. It is important to recognize that the majority of the time, intercourse between Black women and white men at this time was non–consensual. Through this, mixed children had a social status that placed them above those that were enslaved. Typically, slaves with lighter skin were assigned domestic tasks, while those who had darker skin were forced to work outside in the fields. Lighter–skinned African Americans maintained a family and community ties that divided them from darker–skinned African Americans. During the Civil Rights era, there were many tests that discriminated against Blacks in America such as the Brown Paper Bag Test, which compared an individual’s skin tone to the color of a brown paper bag. Another was the Comb Test, which was a method of finding out if a person’s hair was afro–textured. In this examination, a comb would be pushed through the person’s hair to determine how straight the person’s hair was. These tests placed a value on white European features, which are pervasive in our culture today. Even now, there are also skin bleaching creams such as Olay White Radiance Brightening Intensive Cream Moisturizer, Kaya Pigmentation Reducing Complex and Neutrogena Fine Fairness Brightening Serum that Blacks are urged to use in order to be a lighter shade, so as to be accepted by society. In essence, colorism, like racism, is the result of white supremacy. Colorism is a factor that can affect us in realms such as education, self–esteem and economic opportunities. Colorism in the Black community, especially felt by women, affects their overall health and wellness by creating a strain on their self–image. It is also a way to prevent women

27 | VINDICATOR

FEATURE

from living in a true sisterhood. Being a double minority—Black and female—means that Black women are doubly affected by these phenomena. Colorism is an issue that Black people rarely pay much attention to and is constantly tearing Black womanhood apart. I’ve had the opportunity to reveal the beauty within Black women through photography. In my exploration, I focus on body appreciation, hair texture, and skin shades to showcase the value of Black women. For many of the models, this was their first time being in a setting where different shades of women came together. By the end of the shoot, the models became very close and created a bond with one another. “A Splash of Color” displays Black women being free–spirited and embracing the natural beauty they withhold, expressing their true identities and existing in fellowship with one another.

A THANK YOU TO OUR MODELS Alexis Smith Amakhut Tyehimba Ariana Rogers Brittany Harris Callie Middlebrooks Domonique Bell Imani Stephens Kym Früt Sankofa Guy Shatara Jordan Ste–Aira Hatchett Vivica Satterwhite Thank you to Black Valve Media for offering us the space to photograph this story.


FEBRUARY 2019

To be able to see the different shades of skin colors up against one another was inspirational.

– AMAKHUT TYEHIMBA

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 28


FEATURE

29 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2019

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 30


FEATURE

The most exciting part was being able to be in a safe space of women with different hair styles, body sizes and skin tones and feel united as one.

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– IMANI STEPHENS


FEBRUARY 2019

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 32


BEAUTY & WELLNESS

NINE PERFECT

PRODUCTS

FOR THAT SPECIAL DAY WRITTEN BY

Imani Stephens ILLUSTRATIONS BY

Andriana Akrap

Shop local products for your partner this Valentine’s Day.

V

alentine’s Day is that special day to get something for your significant other. Included in this article are nine products to shop locally by three local brands for that

special someone. Whether it is a body scrub, a bath soak or a body lotion, any of these products would be the perfect buy on any budget.

THE GLISTEN EFFECT FOUNDED BY Deja Abrams

Shop now at theglisteneffect.com BODY BUTTER $12 Renew your skin with this unique blend of natural products such as Shea butter, sweet almond, coconut oil, and more. This body butter softens and moisturizes dry, cracked skin. The lavender oil soothes muscle aches and helps with acne—it inhibits the bacteria that causes infection. Whether you’re shopping for a great moisturizing product for a loved one or shopping for yourself, be sure to shop The Glisten Effect! SUGAR SCRUB $10 Renew your skin with this unique blend of natural products that comes with a variety of essential oils and real lavender buds. This sugar scrub softens and exfoliates dry dead skin cells. It also helps to get rid of excess oil in the skin while leaving your body feeling smoother, looking healthier, and rejuvenated all in one. It makes a great gift for a loved one or even yourself. BEARD OIL $5 The Glisten Effect caters to all genders and with that being said, the Beard Oil would be a good idea for the man in your life. It promotes growth while still nourishing your beard and has a scent that others want be able to resist. No one likes a dry, patchy beard.

33 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2019

REVIVAL

FOUNDED BY Nicole Dzurko Shop now at revivalbodycare.com GODDESS CLAY MASK — GLOW $19.95 This product is a delectable blend that is ideal for any skin type looking for a deep antioxidant and nutrient boost for an all over glow. This rich clay mask will draw out impurities and bacteria in the skin, while deeply nourishing and regenerating the cells. Skin will have improved texture, clarity and circulation, leaving you with a clear, glowing, hydrated skin. IMMERSE SOAKING SALTS — HIMALAYAN $19.95 Immerse yourself in a warm a bath filled with mineral rich salts and aromatic, therapeutic essential oils. An exotic blend of Himalayan, Alaea, Dead Sea and Epsom Salts, along with Sweet Almond Oil and Essential Oils of Sandalwood, Vanilla, Rose, Absolute.

DorNee’ NATURAL BODY LUXURIES

FOUNDED BY Torrian Denise Shop now at dornee.com, Whole Foods Market, and Mustard Seed BODY LOTION — HAWAIIAN ROSE $10 Perfect combination of Hemp Seed Oil and Shea Butter which provides unparalleled hydrating properties due to high amounts of essential fatty acids that assist in protecting and restoring elasticity in dry skin.

LIP SCRUB TRIO — INCLUDES CINNAMON + SUGAR,

This ultra rich and thick lotion is also infused with

PEPPERMINT + SUGAR, AND ROSE & VANILLA +

organic Coconut Oil that allows deep penetration

SUGAR $21.95 Exfoliating your lips with Revival Lip Scrubs is your solution! Our all natural lip scrub removes chapped, dry skin for a perfectly smooth pout!

to thirsty, parched skin without feeling greasy. LUST ULTIMATE SHEA $26 This top sell is a combination of sweet apricots, red roses, geranium, and lychee. It is time to start a new skin–care love affair as you massage your body with this exquisitely luscious blend of whipped Shea Butter, Vitamin A, B & E enriched Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil that closely resembles the natural sebum within the skin, and other loving ingredients that will melt into your skin for a luminous glow. African healers have used Shea Butter for thousands of years as treatment to assist in moisturizing dry and aging skin. HEEL SHIELD FOOT BUTTER $15 The ultimate in moisturizing dry, cracked feet. This foot butter is packed with skin nourishing Cocoa & Kokum butters and Organic Virgin Coconut Cream Oil for intense moisturizing. The essential oil blend including Tea Tree is added to assist with sweating and odors. This formula penetrates the skin to maintain soft and supple feet. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 34


BEAUTY

WRITTEN BY

Name PHOTOS BY

Name ILLUSTRATIONS BY

Name CONTRIBUTIONS BY

Name

WRITTEN BY

Thyra Chaney ILLUSTRATIONS BY

Anna Oprisch

HAIR & HISTORY Looking back at the history of Black hair in America shows that hair can be more than just hair.

27 | VINDICATOR


FEBRUARY 2019

M

adam CJ Walker revolutionized Black hair

ricultural workers in the early

care in the early 1900s by creating a line of

1900s following slavery, work-

products for Black women. Walker, being

ing in the cornfields is where

the first person in her family born after

this style gets its name. This

the emancipation of Blacks, lived in a time when many

style, in which hair is braided

African Americans struggled to care for their hair due

flat against the scalp, can be

to lack of consistent access to running water and other

worn for fashion or for con-

resources. She created products to address the needs

venience due to its versatility,

of Black women, beginning with a miracle hair growth

giving the wearer a variety of

treatment, which included several ingredients native to

options, from thick to thin, flat

Africa. Walker’s affordable products gave Black women

to raised, textured to beaded,

the opportunity to look presentable according to society’s

or otherwise adorned.

standards, and have confidence in their appearance.

The history of dreadlocks,

As her business grew, Madam CJ Walker created

or locs, has been shown to

many opportunities for other Black women to earn a

span ethnic groups and re-

living selling her products or training in her beauty

ligions for much of history,

schools. As the first Black millionairess, she inspired and

traced back to Hindu gods and

empowered many, leading by example as a self–started

Egyptian pharaohs. In more

businesswoman who came from humble beginnings.

recent history, dreadlocks are

The rich history of black hairstyles in the US— intentional or unintentional, radical or benign—hair does make a

The smooth, straight, chemically–altered style

most commonly associated

achievable through Madam CJ Walker’s products became

with the Rastafari movement,

the norm for Black women in pre–Civil Rights America.

a Jamaican religious move-

Sleek and shiny, wavy or bobbed, the dominant image of

ment dating back to the 1930s,

the ideal hairstyle for Black women did not reflect the

inspired by the teachings of

naturally kinky texture Black people are usually born

Marcus Garvey. Garvey strongly urged Black people

with. Booker T. Washington challenged Walker and this

to return to Africa and live in societies independent

convention, criticizing the styles as being representative

of European influence. The African–centered religion

of a desire to conform to European standards of beauty

wore locs to represent a lions mane, symbolic of a pow-

in a white society. Instead, he called for Black women to

erful leader and representing their interpretation of

wear their hair in natural styles more representative of

the second coming of Christ. Locs worn today come in

their African heritage. Walker, however, always defended

many types and can be formed in many ways, ranging

Black women’s right to choose how to present themselves.

from twisting or braiding to washing without combing

The debate surrounding the implications of hair

statement.

for an extended length of time.

perming or straightening, through chemicals or heat, and

The afro is a style popularized in the Black Power

whether the choice to wear straight hair is representative

movement of the 1960s and 1970s, during which activists

of a submission to Eurocentric ideals, continues today.

and activist groups such as the Black Panthers called

Hair is just hair, but the history of Black hairstyles in

for a return to natural hairstyles and a re–familiariza-

America is about more than just what grows from your

tion with Black cultural heritage. This style was worn

head. Even though the roots of many common Black

by political activists such as Angela Davis and Huey P.

hairstyles go back farther than the presence of Black

Newton, and was imbued with a very political conno-

people in the United States, within the African–Amer-

tation. The afro, picked high and wide, was a symbol

ican experience, hair has always been a way to express

for asserting one’s place, claiming one’s space, and

individuality or simply fit in, to challenge power struc-

standing out proud, ready to voice one’s convictions. It

tures, or to safely operate within them. Dominant hair

had a resurgence in popularity as a prominent symbol

trends change with the times to reflect shifts in mood

of the Natural Movement occurring in the 1990s in

or convention. Due to the rich history of Black hairstyles

contrast to the clean lines of the geometric braids and

in the US—intentional or unintentional, radical or be-

fades popular in the 1980s.

nign—hair does make a statement.

There is a long history in the U.S. of discriminato-

In early African civilizations, braids and other styles

ry school and workplace policies prohibiting natural

were used to indicate a person’s tribe, social status, or

hairstyles such as locs, fros, and braids. Understand-

even family background. When the Atlantic slave trade

ing the legacy of these hairstyles, their history, and

brought thousands of enslaved African people to North

their cultural context is crucial to understanding the

America, African traditions of hair care and styling

implications of Black and non–Black people wearing

came with them.

these hairstyles.

Cornrows, a style of braiding used today, has roots in Africa and was used by early African-Americans to protect their hair from the elements when working in the fields. Since many Black people made a living as agTHEVINDI.COM ­­ | 28


SOCIAL

BLACK HISTORY AT

LAKEVIEW CEMETERY WRITTEN BY

PHOTOS BY

Joscelyn Ervin

Jillian VanDyke

In their yearly program for Black History Month, the cemetery’s foundation highlights a few of the Black Clevelanders who are buried there.

I

nterning at a cemetery sounded like a very odd job when I first heard about it a year ago. It still sounds like a odd job when I mention it in interviews or with new friends, but it wasn’t as weird or creepy

as you’d think. I was accepted to start as an intern for the Lakeview Cemetery Foundation in January of 2018, and I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. As I learned pretty quickly, the Lakeview Cemetery Foundation is different from the actual cemetery itself; it’s the non–profit branch of the cemetery. The description of the internship tasks were a little vague, describing it as including some editing, writing, and research, so I was open to almost anything that fit in those categories. It turned out that the majority, if not all, of my internship would be helping with the tours and programs that the cemetery hosts throughout the spring and summer—which included research and writing for an event that they were organizing for Black History Month in February. Since I didn’t start my internship until about the end of January, the Black History Month program was my first assigned task. Most of the programs and presentations were already somewhat organized, but there was still some research and writing that I had to do. The tasks that I carried out during my first couple of weeks opened my eyes to what I would really be doing and learning at Lakeview. The Foundation was planning to host four lectures hosted by four different speakers, and they planned to broadcast these talks to a bunch of schools from around the Cleveland area. I was given a list and short descriptions of the designated occupants to go over at the time. I remember the impact that it made on me, being my first assignment and also opening up my awareness of what the Lakeview Cemetery Foundation did for the Cleveland community. Every one of the subjects that I researched were impressive— even though most of them didn’t make the cut for the presentations. Although this event is not the only educational program that the Foundation hosts, it was certainly one of the more inspirational ones that

39 | VINDICATOR

The President Garfield Memorial is a grand building in the Lake View Cemetary, with many signs leading to the significant historical dome.


FEBRUARY 2019

I worked on; it was one of the first to open my eyes to Cleveland’s local history. Instead of creating a program based on the overall history of African–Americans in Cleveland, however, the Foundation wanted to dive into the details of specific Clevelanders. The Lakeview Cemetery Foundation hosted an educational program for Black History Month that focused on four people buried at the cemetery who were prominent Black members of the Cleveland community. Throughout the month of February last highlighted one Black leader buried at Lakeview. Each lecture focused on their lives and their successes, highlighting the impact that each of them made and why they should be remembered today. The first lecture, at the beginning of the month, featured Zelma George. Although George was not born and raised in Cleveland, she began her life in Texas and made major accomplishments in her career by living in Cleveland. She was an alternate in the United Nations General Assembly, a musical and stage success, and was the first African–American to star in a role that would usually given to a white actress. While she was prominent in political circles, George was an advisor in President Eisenhower’s Administration in the 1950s. I had never heard about her previously, but the description of her life that I read while I was doing research, is fascinating. About a week after the first lecture, another scholar spoke about Lethia Cousins Fleming. Fleming directed national campaigns for three Republican presidential candidates. Two out of the three, Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover, succeeded. After moving to Cleveland in 1912, it didn’t take Fleming long to become actively involved with many political and community organizations in the area. She also attempted to run for her husband’s seat on the Cleveland City Council after he was imprisoned. Second to last was the history and story of Fannie

Throughout the month of February last year, there were four

The tower of the memorial has tremendous detail and is a key spot to visit in the Cemetery.

individual speakers

growth of neighborhoods around Cleveland. Her hard

that each

into the Ohio Women Hall of Fame in Columbus in

work and passion was honored after being inducted 1996.

highlighted

Lastly, the Foundation wanted to highlight the life of William Otis Walker. Walker was a Republican reporter

one Black

and publisher who came to Cleveland to manage the Call

leader buried

& Post. He was a councilman for about seven years, and

at Lakeview.

in state government. Each lecture was prepared and

year, there were four individual speakers that each

was the first Black man to hold a cabinet–level position given by wonderful speakers, who have worked with the Lakeview Cemetery Foundation previously. I was unfortunately not able to attend these lectures at the time. Although no events for 2019 have been announced on the cemetery website as of yet, I have

Lewis. Lewis, like Fleming, was intensely involved with

heard that another program is in the works. I don’t

politics in the Cleveland area. She was a representative

have any details about they’re planning to do for Black

on the Cleveland City Council for almost 30 years, and

History Month this year, but I’m sure it will be just as

was passionate about helping the development and

fascinating as the lectures from 2018.

Above the enterance of the Garfield Memorial is Garfield himself, along with many others behind him.

THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 40


A NEW DANGER IN OHIO STAND YOUR GROUND


FEBRUARY 2019

WRITTEN BY

ILLUSTRATION BY

Shermayne Dixon

Andriana Akrap

Another law that makes murder justifiable.

R

ecently within the last two months, the

occurred in 2018, when Michael Drejka, 47, went up to

possibility of an extension in gun rights

McGlockton’s car to argue with Brittany Jacobs, girlfriend

has been increased. The bill, who some wish

of McGlockton, as to whether or not they should be

will evolve into a law, is known as “House

parked in the handicapped parking space. McGlockton

Bill 228.” The bill lies under the Senate Government

was in the store during this time. The dispute came to

Oversight and Reform Committee, as well as the House

a climax when McGlockton saw Jacobs get out the car

Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee. What

to address Drejka, and ran out of the store to shove

is this bill? And why should Ohioans care?

him away from his vehicle. The dispute then came to

House Bill 228 was originally called the “Stand

a tragic end when Drejka pulled out a gun and shot

Your Ground Law.” Another nickname for it was the

the young father as he was stepping away from him.

already take a guess about what the bill is and what all it entails. This law establishes a right by which a person may defend one’s self or others against threats, or perceived threats, even to the point of applying lethal force, regardless of whether safely retreating from the situation might have been possible. These were the original grounds at which this bill stood. Terrifying, right? What’s more terrifying is the violence that could come with this possible law–to–be. As a country, we’ve seen the injustices. The brutal killings of fellow United States citizens have been broadcasted throughout social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat were littered with these brutal killings whenever these came to pass. It’s no secret that this probable law has a high possibility of racially charged violence—as if there wasn’t enough in this country already. This isn’t the first time a bill of this kind has been spoken of. Florida currently has a law similar to it, which was passed in 2005. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” allows the person to use lethal force outside of their home, without a duty to retreat. This hypothetical circumstance sadly sounds familiar— George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin (rest his soul). The “Stand Your Ground Law” worked well in Zimmerman’s favor; however, his lawyer, Mark O’Mara, stated that he didn’t use it in Zimmerman’s defense.

Because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law,” this unjust killing could actually be considered warranted and adequate self–defense. This is a cycle that needs

It’s no

to end before it has a confirmed start.

secret

House Bill 228, the two main points were: the ability

There’s more to this, however. In Ohio’s original

that this

to use lethal force outside of one’s home and having

probable law

revision is also known as the “Stand Your Ground”

has a high

no duty to retreat. The bill has since been revised. This provision. The revision includes the removal of the citizens having no duty to retreat in heated situations.

possibilty

This also results in persons who participate in the

of racially

They wouldn’t have to prove that their use of lethal

use of lethal force having to prove their innocence.

charged

force was justified. That responsibility is passed onto

violence,

was committed, which is already law in all 50 states.

prosecutors who would be required to prove a crime

as if there

Even though the “Stand Your Ground” provision subtracted the civilian’s no duty to retreat, this bill

wasn’t

still poses a threat and a danger to many—especially

enough in

of the race issue, Ohio’s “Stand Your Ground” law can

“No Duty to Retreat Law.” With these names, you can

this country.

in the cases of racially charged violence. Even outside cause plenty of violence and mischief. Innocent people have died already, thanks to the terms of this law, and it needs to stop. The law was facing “threats of veto” from the past Governor, John Kasich. The veto of this bill would be beneficial to all Ohioans. Without sufficient knowledge of the bill, the misuse of a lethal weapon

This case as a whole, sparked the focal point on racial

is possible. Americans looking at the title can simply

disparities if stand your ground laws were to become

run with it. In a way, people may take away the fact

common in the United States. With this in mind, it’s

that they may use lethal force outside of their homes,

reasonable to want to combat this bill.

and have that charge their urge for violence. Claiming

Another unfortunate case that comes to mind in which stand your ground laws were to blame. The Florida

their rights to use lethal force during a dispute can end badly, especially in a courtroom.

law was tested once more when Markeis McGlockton, a 28–year–old father, was fatally wounded in front of his children over a parking space. The dispute THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 38


GROOVE THIS BLACK HISTORY MONTH The Vindicator staff collaborated to create a playlist for you to enjoy in the month of February.

S

o much of what we enjoy now—artists we admire, films we watch and music we listen to—would have never come to be without

the influence of Black artistry and talent. Almost every piece of the culture we consume and take part of is by, inspired by or appropriated from Black culture. Yet it is this community that is one of the least recognized and most marginalized in our country. During Black History Month, we have the opportunity to shed a spotlight, not only on unresolved issues that affect the Black community, but also on the strength and beauty found within it. Music, especially, has a deep effect both socially and personally. Here’s a list of our staff and contributors’ favorite songs by Black singers, rappers, musicians and bands.

1

Best to You

BLOOD ORANGE

2

Real Love

MARY J. BLIGE

3

The Weekend

SZA

4

Wait a Minute!

WILLOW

5

Good as Hell

LIZZO

6

Lost

DANNY BROWN

7

Up Up & Away

KID CUDI

8

Forrest Gump

FRANK OCEAN

9

Love Lies

NORMANI&KHALID

10

One By One

RUBY AMANFU

11

Happy Without You

CHLOEXHALLE

12

HUMBLE.

KENDRICK LAMAR

13

Run to You

WHITNEY HOUSTON

14

Foxey Lady

JIMI HENDRIX

15

Tightrope

JANELLE MONÁE

THIS IS JUST A TASTE! CHECK OUT THE FULL PLAYLIST BY SCANNING THE QR CODE OR TYPING THIS LINK! HTTPS://GOO.GL/T3G9HW


We specialize in high quality videography, photography and editing and we all have a passion for documenting special moments in people’s lives. Starting out by taking photos of our friends and loved ones, we now want to bring the same feeling for other couples in Cleveland and Ohio.

blackvalveweddings.com


POETRY

Sudden death is what you see when you look at me WRITTEN BY

V

My mask, my mask Keep me sane Saner that I’ve ever been Feel my blood pumping into my veins Feel my heart and rhyme it with yours My mask, my mask Keep me sane What if you understand my silence, feel my absence Would you recognize my soul like Keaton does? Unbeaten in action, what if you are my distraction What if our hearts have a common fraction. My mask, my mask Where have you been I’ve been wondering Am I sane? Or am I lost? In a field An empty field of roses. My mask, my mask Bring me back to the time I took charge To the time you were stapled to my skin To the time I didn’t recognize the suffering The loving. But you are holding the scalpel and I’m on the table unaware Distracted by your voice, my rapid judgment You cut me open And I start chocking, because I’m the one who’s words got stolen By my favorite cigarette when I’m smoking.


FEBRUARY 2019

They Lit The Way

WRITTEN BY

ILLUSTRATION BY

Briana Oldham

Kyra Wells

My strength lies In their soulless eyes Which have seen dark days My unwavering hope Comes from the slippery slope That I’ve long traveled unafraid My fear of the fight Due to the great heights I dreamed of and was destined to soar to My mind embraced the path paved Despite the denials and delays I didn’t lose sight of what I should do I dug deep within To ensure I’d win In order to succeed I called on my ancestors They helped me realize what’s at stake And that in order to be beyond great I must keep focus and not succumb to the pressure I am eternally grateful to them For the lessons and subtle gems I am encouraged to become exceedingly better


POETRY

It’s My Turn

WRITTEN BY

AmakhutMaati Tyehimba

Shirley Anita Chisholm, you were the first black woman elected to the United States Congress Creating laws and policies To shake our system of inequality Building a path for us to follow So that we may see brighter tomorrows #BlackWomenLead We need to do more to get our children off these streets


FEBRUARY 2019

Black women make me feel invincible Always instilling values and principles Can’t stop us from having a voice Can’t move me from making that great political choice I choose you black women The image of self-penetrating all scenes

PHOTO CREDIT: UNSPLASH

Can’t hide anymore behind bigots dreams Teach me, black women, Trying to be like Michelle Obama


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The Vindicator - February 2019  

The Vindicator - February 2019