February 2022

Page 1

VINDICATOR Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

FEB 2022




Eric Seitz


has no plot relevance) stems from the fact

aul Thomas Anderson’s newest film, the

a distinctive beginning, middle and end, it presents

that audiences aren’t meant to actually

absurdly named “Licorice Pizza,” follows

itself as a series of vignette-like scenarios that the

feel that great about the idea of a

the lives of two individuals in the San

two main characters find themselves in.

28-year-old and a 15-year-old

WE’RE LOOKING FOR A film that comes together like toothpaste and orange juice

Fernando Valley during the 1970s. Ala-

The star of the show is, ironically, the stars of the

na Haim (of the band HAIM) and Cooper

show — Haim and Hoffman. At 18 years old, Hoffman

Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) each make

delivers a performance with the nuance highly nec-

their film debut in this story of an aimless 28-year-

essary for the character Gary Valentine. His acting

old photography assistant (Haim) and her relation-

and line delivery paints the 15-year-old as at once

ship with an ambitious 15-year-old boy (Hoffman).

mature-beyond-years and eye-rollingly childish. The

The film spends most of its runtime teasing the au-

slightly misogynistic remarks he directs toward costar

dience with the intriguing yet somewhat unsettling

Haim feel appropriate for the social landscape of the

prospect that these two people might end the movie

time, but they strip his character of the emotional

in each other’s arms.

connection that he could have to the audience.

A R G PHIC “Licorice Pizza” is as perplexing as its name suggests.

Haim’s character Alana (yes, she’s eponymously

At one moment, it paints highly unconventional yet

named) is the film’s emotional core — much thanks

endlessly believable main characters, and the next

to the performance of Haim herself. While Hoffman’s

moment, it expects viewers to uncomfortably laugh

Gary is mature beyond his years in many ways, Haim’s

at a character’s racist actions. While the film benefits

Alana is notably immature for her age; when the film

from the incredible premise director and writer Paul

begins, she is coming to the realization that maybe it’s

Thomas Anderson has built, the plot beats feel grafted

okay that she isn’t ready to be done being a kid. If the

onto one another, rather than forming a full, coher-

film has a plot arc at all (which it kind of doesn’t), it’s

ent storyline. While a traditional film is composed

the story of Alana realizing she’s immature enough to

of three acts, “Licorice Pizza” doesn’t seem to know

find romantic interest in a 15-year-old, then deciding

where to stop — to the point that the end of the movie

she wants to grow up, then attempting to find her

doesn’t really feel like the end, but simply when they

place in the world, and…well, I won’t spoil the

decided to stop filming. Rather than the film having

ending. Alana shines in that her critical


engaging in a romantic



“moist.” This choice in title (which, by the way,

what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Introductory Poem


Meet Our Contributors


Licorice Pizza Review

Arts 7

D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” by CARA ROBBINS


A Voice That Was Locked Away


Felines on Film






The Vindicator Magazine needs more designers! Our team is looking for someone with great design skills, a passion for social justice, cultural topics, and is eager to help our publication grow! Could that be you?




The Power of Collective Word: Rally Chants at BLM Protests by HALLE ELDER


Opportunity for Whom? by CAMERON MAYS



Community - Spotify Playlist by LYNN NICHOLS

Fashion + Wellness 27

The Real Trend-Setters by JILLIAN VANDYKE



• Following direction

• GPA of at least 2.75

• Creating spreads each month

• Excellent InDesign skills


• Working with writers

• Basic knowledge of Illustrator


• Attending all meetings

• Interest in arts and culture topics

• Meeting all deadlines

• Strongly encouraged Experience working with print or editorial design


Do Your Part, Take Care of Your Heart! by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC


The Cleveland Civil Rights Trail by LYNN NICHOLS


Date Ideas for Lovers or Friends by ABIGAIL PREISZIG


Send your portfolio and resume to editor.vindi@gmail.com


The Challenges of Video Game Preservation by KRISTINA MARKULIN

Poetry 37 Riots by ELARA

23 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 2




w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

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Concert What a way to bring joy into your monday evening! General Admission Concert 7:00 PM HOUSE OF BLUES

Licorice Pizza Review

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Find a Career at our FREE Cleveland LIVE Career Fair. It’s a must attend. Meet top hiring and recruiting companies in Cleveland. LIVE RECRUITING/HIRING EVENT


“While a traditional film is composed of three acts, “Licorice Pizza” doesn’t seem to know where to stop — to the point that the end of the movie doesn’t really feel like the end, but simply when they decided to stop filming.” — ERIC SEITZ

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2/14 Kyle Concert

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The Cleveland State Vindicator was founded as a Black student newspaper in January 1970.



2021 INAUGURAL POEM When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry. A sea we must wade. We braved the belly of the beast. We've learned that quiet isn't always peace, and the norms and notions of what "just" is isn't always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken, Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried. That we'll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division. If we're to live up to our own time, then victory won't lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we've made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare. It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it. This is the era of just redemption. We feared at its inception.

to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over

But within it we found the power to author a new chapter,

Jillian VanDyke Art Director

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Sheila Kiss Arts Editor

Kristina Markulin Culture Editor

Lynn Nichols Copy Editor

Cara Robbins Social Editor

Samra Karamustafic Fashion & Wellness Editor

Abigail Preiszig Online Content Editor

catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us? We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain. If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children's birthright. So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the golden hills of the West. We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.

WRITERS Samra Karamustafic Cara Robbins Eric Seitz Halle Elder Reem Abumeri

Lauren Koleszar Abigail Preiszig Kristina Markulin Cameron Mays Lynn Nichols

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover. And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.

Eric Seitz Editor–in–Chief

Amanda Gorman 2021 INAUGURAL POET



Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart

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 5 | VINDICATOR




D.W. Griffith’s

“Birth of a Nation”



Cara Robbins

rand special effects portraying the “heroes’’ of the Confederacy. A white woman feeling honor-bound to kill herself after being raped by a Black man. Gratutitous depictions of

Black slaves being lynched, played by white actors in blackface. A massive army of Klansmen riding

Is CSU’s School of Film and Media Arts telling a revisionist history of America’s most controversial film?

through town triumphantly. D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” (1915) was a film that left a deep feeling of nausea in my stomach for hours after viewing it. As a film student at CSU who, as part of the study, has watched quite a few disturbing films, it is the only film to ever leave such a strong and lasting sense of disgust on me. Yet, within the film school, it is a movie that is brought up time and time again. After all, “Birth of a Nation” is so vital to education (both within and outside film classes) because its effective crafting spurred massive social change. Its construction was so impactful that to this day it serves as the foundation for every film made since. It has shaped everything in filmmaking, including camera and production techniques, special effects standards, acceptable film length, shot construction and cinematography, story structure, editing and more. In this way, Griffith’s film has irreversibly embedded anti-Black racism deep within the process of filmmaking. Its impact on the course of human history cannot be forgotten, either — during the height of its popularity, it became one of the most universally watched movies of all time, costing $110,000 to make (about $3 million today) and bringing in $15 million (about $142 million today). This is especially astounding considering the fact that during this time, watching movies — especially three-hour long epics — was PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES

not yet a common hobby or pastime for the everyday


American. Griffith’s film, unsurprisingly, also struck a chord with white supremacists across the country. Finding validation and the elevation of their ego within the film, white supremacists were able to rally forces together to reform the Ku Klux Klan, which had died down and become mostly dormant since Reconstruction. Thus, “Birth of a Nation” is almost single-handedly responsible for the KKK’s rebuilding

and the subsequent terrorization of Black Americans.

of recruitment and indoctrination well into the late

Yet the emotions that I felt during and after watch-

1960s. Less pernicious socially, but perhaps ultimately

ing the movie — shock, revulsion, shame, nausea,

more destructive was the enormous financial success

guilt — were privileged feelings. After all, I am a

of the film, which seemed to valorize Hollywood’s

young white woman from a “respectable” family,

taste for the emotional, sensational, and melodra-

precisely the demographic that Griffith’s film sought


to protect and romanticize. My feelings of nausea and

“Birth of a Nation” simply must be discussed in

disgust did not come from self-preservational fear,

film classes at CSU. Its racist legacy cannot be for-

but instead from the realization that my whiteness

gotten — it has had a ripple effect on the structure

intrinsically connects me to Griffith’s driving theme

of the industry. But is CSU’s approach to teaching the

of white superiority and solidarity. Griffith had made

subject effective? Does it cause more harm than good,

it clear that the film was made to benefit the future

and does it also brush Griffith’s racism under the rug?

generations of the white race — and no matter how

The danger of showing Griffith’s piece in film analysis

much I want to distance myself from it, I am part of

classes is in encouraging film students to approach

that future generation.

it strictly with a technical, production-focused gaze.

I dwelled in thoughts like these for a while after

CSU’s approach permits students — particularly

finishing the movie, staring at a blank Word docu-

white students, who can easily distance themselves

ment. I was supposed to discuss the historical, so-

from race-based trauma — to separate the art from

cio-political and economic conditions that inspired

the artist, which simply cannot be done here. The

the movie. That wouldn’t be too hard. But I was also

film is self-reflective — Griffith’s personal history,

supposed to discuss the film’s use of parallel editing.

ideology, and perspective are too ingrained in the

I was drawing a blank. I had completely forgotten to

film to be considered separately.

pay attention to the editing. I was too distracted by the overwhelming horror of Griffith’s film.

Furthermore, the high and praising language that Cook’s textbooks (and some professors) use can also be

Yet it’s not uncommon at CSU’s Film school to

problematic. Glorifying his work as one of the greatest

be faced with questions regarding the filmmaking

films of all time, as Cook does, comes dangerously

technique behind Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation.” And

close to glorifying Griffith himself. And if the film

though “Birth of a Nation” is taught in critical race

school teaches students to glorify filmmakers like

theory and history classes at CSU as a significant

Griffith, it may also inadvertently encourage them

event contributing to the solidifying of institutional

to reframe their concept of history to protect their

racism in America, the same movie is taught in film

glorification of figures like him.

schools as the prototype for film students to try and

Teaching Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” effectively is

recreate — the very first “perfectly constructed”

a difficult but necessary tightrope walk. CSU’s School


of Film and Media Arts needs to balance practicality

Filmmakers and textbooks are more than willing

and sensitivity to teach the subject accurately, with

to admit that Griffith is racist, of course, but most

an awareness towards students who are still suffering

tend to portray him less as a white supremacist

the generational consequences of Griffith’s contri-

whose relentless drive for racial purity drove him

bution to systemic racism. Students must recognize

to making propoganda film, and more as a film-

the techniques that Griffith compiled and how his

making genius with a rather shameful character

work inspired countless filmmakers over the next

flaw. One example is David A. Cook’s fifth edition

decades, while also understanding that his work is

of “A History of Narrative Film,” the textbook that

not revolutionary — he was an innovator, not an

CSU requires most film history classes to be based

inventor. The techniques that he used can be found

around. Majorly downplaying Griffith’s flaws, Cook

across countless films and pieces of art around his

writes that “Griffith was essentially a paradox. He

time period.

was unquestionably the seminal genius of narrative

Above all, understanding and teaching Griffith’s

cinema and its first great visionary artist, but he

film requires debate and discussion. CSU will need

was also a provincial southern romantic with pre-

to listen to the voices of its students and professors,

tensions to high literary culture and a penchant for

both those within the School of Film and Media Arts,

sentimentality and melodrama” — the only reference

and those from other departments.

to his anti-Black sentiment hinted at in the vaguely

In the words of famed film critic Roger Ebert, “‘Birth

dog-whistle phrase “southern romanticism.”

of a Nation’ is not a bad film because it argues for

Cook also has a habit of redirecting attention away

evil …It is a great film that advocates for evil. To

from Griffith’s violence towards Black people by

understand how it does so is to learn a great deal

emphasizing what he believes to be more important

about film, and even something about evil.”

...the same movie is taught in film schools as the prototype for film students to try and recreate...


problems: “according to the Klan’s current leaders, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ was used as a key instrument





the label altogether stopped pushing out her music. Her life reached a turning point at 18, when she met with the president of Blackground Records. He asked her to look healthier, but in reality, he was just asking her to become skinnier. She was paired with a nutritionist, put on a 500-calorie per day diet and given injections that purposely suppressed her appetite. Unsurprisingly, JoJo rapidly developed body dysmorphia and began to rely heavily on drugs and alcohol. While all this was happening, she thought that it was her own fault that her music was not being released, and that maybe, if she looked a certain way, people would respect her again. Time and time again we as consumers feel like we deserve the content that celebrities put out. And we tend to forget that some of these celebrities are literally minors, who are developing much quicker than we ever had to, all under the spotlight. Once we do find out what they have gone through, it’s often too late. At this point in her life, JoJo and her team wanted

FROM “JOANNA” “But these days You don’t really sound the same Do you still have the same range That you did when you were 14, girl?” “You peaked Sorry to get deep, but Heard your story before, it’s not unique You’re sounding resentful, take a seat It must be something that you did” “You were supposed to be somebody You were supposed to make more money Make us proud Nobody likes you in Massachusetts You should just hurry and drop your new shit Hurry and drop your new shit”

to back out of Blackground Records, but legally, they owned her voice, and she could lose the rights to her songs. It wasn’t the money JoJo cared about, but the ability to connect with her fans again through her music. The hashtag #FreeJoJo became very popular among her fans and the rest of the world. Her ongoing legal battles came to an end when her lawyer found a New York law stating that a minor can’t be kept in a personal service contract for more than seven years.

Reem Abumeri


Records. Not only had they put out amazing singers like Aaliyah, but the studio finally offered stability in JoJo’s life. The label felt like family, even buying a house for her and her mom. By 13 years old, JoJo had

oanna Noëlle Levesque, known professionally

famously recorded and released her first hit single,

as JoJo, always knew she wanted to pursue

“Leave (Get Out),” which became a number-one hit.

music. And no, don’t get her confused with

JoJo started performing and opening for artists like

the also really cool Jojo Siwa — they are two

Usher on MTV, writing more hits like “Too Little, Too

completely different people, and this JoJo was

Late” or “Baby It’s You,” and she started branching

the OG of my childhood.

out and did some acting. Some of her notable movies

Raised in Foxborough, Massachusetts, JoJo grew

include “Aquamarine” and “RV.” It was the beginning

up poor. She was close with her mom, who always

of the rest of her life — until her label completely

supported her in her pursuit of a singing career. She


landed an opportunity on a competition show called

In the documentary, JoJo recalls learning of internal

“America’s Most Talented Kids.” Her raw talent at age

problems developing at her label and people telling

11 was breathtaking. While on the competition show,

her to leave as soon as she could. Even JoJo’s mom,

JoJo lost to a violinist, but luckily people in the crowd

who was also her acting manager, became vocal

still saw her talent and knew it couldn’t be wasted.

about her hatred for the music industry. Concerned

Eventually, JoJo and her parents flew out to LA and

her mother might risk her future, JoJo made the

met with various different labels. JoJo was getting

decision to let her mother go as her acting manager.

into a whole new world when she was just under 13

“It’s not meant for people with a sensitive soul,” JoJo

years old! JoJo recalls in a documentary with UPROXX

said, sharing that the decision was the hardest thing

Studio how she and her family knew nothing about

for her at the time. Things didn’t stop there: as JoJo

the music industry and had no connections. JoJo would

became more successful, the label became greedier

eventually sign on to her first label, Blackground

for her earnings. When she was around 15 years old,


JoJo was finally able to put out music again! In 2016, JoJo released her first album in over 10 years, titled “Mad Love.” She also re-recorded some

Even JoJo’s

of her older songs, so she would have the rights to

mom, who

the album, “Joanna.” This song not only shows how

was also

the raw emotions she has been holding in for so

her acting

them again (similar to Taylor Swift). One track from talented of a singer she is but also is able to capture many years. Flashing forward, JoJo has now won her first Grammy in 2020, has a much happier support system, and


has recently announced on Instagram that she is now


I, like many of her fans, are incredibly happy for


hear her new music in the future, and if you haven’t

about her

want to miss!

engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Dexter Darden. her and have never given up on her. I can’t wait to caught my message yet, JoJo is an artist you will not

hatred for the music


Blackground Records would eventually settle, and






Lauren Koleszar

Jillian VanDyke

Whether it’s the trained cat actors in top-tier cinema

WNBC station. When RCA was testing its first televi-

or a papier-mache statue of Felix the Cat, cats have

sion broadcast in 1928, a papier-mache Felix figurine

been the subject of film far longer than many would

rotated around on a turntable for two hours a day on

think in the age of the viral cat video. The next time

W2XBS for engineers to test television’s capabilities

you see your feline friend, consider taking out a camera,

of a high-definition picture. The image of Felix was

just in case (not that you wouldn’t already) — it may

captured by a mechanical scanning disk connected

be their turn to break a new record in film history.

to an electronic kinescope receiver. The same Felix figurine was used in the first public demonstration of television at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, earning Felix multiple titles as one of the most significant cats in the history of film. Years later, cats continued to be popular subjects, even as film expanded into art house cinema. Avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren, most famous for her 1943 short, “Meshes of the Afternoon,” often teamed up with her then-husband, Alexander Hammid, the latter who led the production of a 22-minute experimental documentary film called “The Private

The history of film and video is littered with cats, from the beginning of motion pictures to the first YouTube videos.


he concept of the cat video seems like a relatively modern phenomenon — even if it quickly feels outdated every time your great aunt sends you a ten-second video on Facebook Mes-

senger saying, “Made me think of you! The cat and the puppy are friends… LOL.” Contrary to this assumption, cats have appeared on camera since the earliest days of motion pictures, and have frequently been the first or most popular subject at every stage of film history. Starting at the very beginning, scientists toyed with the concept of the motion picture for its promising utility, especially for those seeking to understand animal and human motion in greater detail. Eadweard Muybridge was an English scientist whose expertise extended to photography as he learned to use the art form as a means of studying the motion of his subjects. Most famous for his photography plates titled “The Horse in Motion,” Muybridge produced a series of images breaking down the motion of a galloping horse, to disprove the accepted notion that a horse’s legs are always in motion during a gallop. Muybridge’s photographs proved that there is a moment during a horse’s run in which all four legs rise above the ground and tuck beneath the horse’s body. “The Horse in Motion” is a popular choice when teaching Muybridge in art classes, but it often goes unnoticed that his studies extended to human subjects, as well as other animals, many of them cats, in his series titled “Animal Locomotion.” His most famous study of cats, in 1887, is a series of 24 plates that captures


a cat running, which could be viewed in stuttered motion on an early form of the projector. Muybridge set the groundwork for filmmakers’ long fascination with feline subjects. Two films produced in 1894 hold the title for the first cat video, meaning the first cats caught on film rather than in a series of photographs. In France, scientist Étienne-Jules Marey wanted to determine whether, and, if so, how, cats always land on their feet. Marey’s 1-second film, “Falling Cat,” shows a cat dropped from just above the frame and, incidentally, landing on its feet. Meanwhile, in the United States, Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope, an early movie camera, captured multiple documentary and entertaining short films, including “Boxing Cats.” The 20-second film records two cats pawing at one another with boxing gloves, as part of Professor Henry Welton’s touring cat circus. Edison’s film was the first of its kind to serve the purpose of entertainment through innovative technology rather than science. Marey is credited with the first cat video, but Edison was certainly the first to introduce the cat video as the silly entertainment we know today. Film evolved rapidly over the next two decades, and by the turn of the century, new subjects, styles and means of viewing filmmaking were on their way. The first animated short, “Feline Follies,” was released in 1919, starring the world’s first animated film star: Felix the Cat, created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer. It wasn’t until a full eight years later that the world would meet Mickey Mouse in the 1928 short, “Steamboat Willie.” By that time, Felix had already scored another record in film history. Not only does Felix hold the titles of the first animated film star and first animated cat, but he also bears great significance in the history of broadcast television. A figurine of Felix the Cat was the first image

Life of a Cat” in 1944. Through intimate and creative vignettes, the film shows the lives of the couple’s house cats, namely the female whose live birth of a litter of kittens is covered in groundbreaking, graphic detail. Considered “the best experimental film about cats ever made” by The Atlantic, Hammid’s film may also be the first real documentary film ever made about cats.

...but the screen has been delighted with the presence of feline companions in some of the most popular and acclaimed films of cinematic history.

In commercial cinema, people are the popular choice of subject, but the screen has been delighted with the presence of feline companions in some of the most popular and acclaimed films of cinematic history. Holly Golightly’s famous cat companion in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), named Cat, accompanies Audrey Hepburn on-screen in many of the film’s most beloved scenes. Most notably, Cat appears at the centerfold of the film’s final shot as Holly and Paul embrace in the rain, with Cat tucked securely between them. Other major films accompanied by cats include “That Darn Cat!” (1965), “The Godfather” (1972), “Day for Night” (1973), and “Alien” (1979). In the age of the Internet, cats have again claimed their place at the center of attention. One of the first videos uploaded to YouTube in 2005, “Pajamas and Nick Drake,” features the titular cat, Pajamas, pawing at a string toy to the rhythm of a Nick Drake song for 30 adorable seconds. Pajamas was not only the first cat to appear on YouTube, but also the subject of the eighth video ever uploaded onto the website. Nowadays, cats rule over all video platforms as the



purring, leaping and meowing cats.

Electric Station W2XBS, now known as New York’s


transmitted over U.S. television through the General

subject of some of the most viral videos. The original “Nyan Cat” (2011) is the most viewed video of a cat on YouTube, with over 194 million views, and the most viewed video of a real cat goes to the 17-second “Surprised Kitty,” which currently ranks in with over 79 million views. Across cinema, television and Internet videos, film is absolutely saturated with






as possible, while also trying to protect themselves

gained popularity during recent protests have roots

power brought by protests. These chants are simply

Halle Elder

from violence from police and counterprotesters.

that reached deep into the 20th century.

tools used by masses who are trying to have their

Rally Chants at the BLM Protests and their connections to the Civil RIghts movements of the past.

Chants From the Past

However simple they may be, they carry undeniable

responded. However, there was one thing that linked

Freedom Now!

power when you listen to them with your own ears.

the protests, no matter where they occurred: rally

Caller: “What do we want?”

Those feelings brought to life can be a catalyst for

chants. Whether it was the streets of Minneapolis or

Response: “Freedom”

the changes that the protesters seek.

Seattle, Belgium or London, those gathered at pro-

Caller: “When do we want it?”

tests could be heard far and wide, chanting together,

Response: “Now!”

sonal weight during protests. In this chant, a caller

using the power of word to accomplish a united goal.

Black Power!

would shout “Say His Name” and the group would

Communication is something that unites people, and

Caller: “Say it Loud!”

respond with a name of someone that was lost such

dered by an officer of the Minneapolis

words, especially when they hold a powerful meaning,

Response: “I’m Black and Proud!”

as “George Floyd!” This chant was heard nearly

Police Department. His death created

have the ability to change the world.

a shockwave of social movement and a reemergence of the Black Lives Matter

Single Line Chants:

protests, often referred to as BLM. The BLM move-

These simple, yet powerful chants are spoken in

ment originated in 2013 with the death of Trayvon

unison by protesters or repeated back to leaders.

Martin and gained national attention after the deaths

“Black Lives Matter”

of Michael Brown of Missouri and Eric Garner of

“I Can’t Breath”

New York. At the forefront of this movement were

“Take Your Knees off Our Necks!”

the founders of the project — Alicia Garza, Patrisse

“The People United!” “Will Never Be Divided!”

Khan-Cullors and Opal Tometi — which began with

“No Justice, No Peace” “No Racist Police”

a simple hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter. Together, these

“Hey Hey! Ho Ho! These racist cops have got to go!”

and strength, which reached a worldwide stage after

everywhere BLM protests took place, even across The use of “Freedom Now” and “Black Power” at

oceans. The response was changed depending on the

protests was first documented in the 1960s during

location and brought awareness to those who lost

the Civil Rights movement. These chants stood the

their lives because of police brutality. This chant is

test of time and continued to be heard in the BLM

not only one that united protesters, but it also forced

protests of 2020. This powerful connection shows

anyone listening to pay attention to those whose lives

that despite the progress that has been made, there is

were lost. Everyone must pay attention to the social

still a long way to go when it comes to social equality.

issues occuring in our world and Say Their Names,

However, it also demonstrates once again the power

so that those lost may never be forgotten.

that single-line chants hold when said by people Another chant that was present in 2020 was one

For more in-depth information on the Black Lives Matter

that had origins in the 1990s, surrounding the death of

organization, visit their website at https://blacklivesmatter.com

and “Take your knees off our necks” sprung up in

Malice Green. This chant was “No Justice! No Peace!”,

In the U.S. alone, Civics Analytics reported that

response to Floyd’s murder. These chants were di-

which has taken on many variations over the years,

roughly 23 million people showed up to over 550

rect representations of the events, and their truth

like the one mentioned above. Green was yet another

BLM protests in 2020. The power of this movement

and rawness allowed for a deep connection among

African American man who was killed at the hands

included a worldwide call to action, with over 60


of police officers. His death is strikingly similar to

the devastating death of George Floyd.

countries joining in protest against social inequality

Not only do these chants provide a means of

that of Floyd, showing a connection both between

and police violence. All of this coincided with the

connecting the people at a protest and protesters

the chants themselves and the roots of their usage.

height of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Protesters

across the world, but they have created a powerful

The chants mentioned above are just a few of the

took to the streets in masks, trying to stay as safe

connection to the past. Some of the BLM chants that

many that have spread across the world to aid in the

However, there was one thing that linked the protests, no matter where they

banding together for a worthy cause.

Many of these chants, such as “I can’t breathe”

three women created a space for Black empowerment


The “Say Their Name” chant bears a deeply per-

n May 25, 2020, George Floyd was mur-



voices heard after so many years of being silenced.

especially when it came to how different countries

There were many differences from protest to protest,

occurred: rally








Cameron Mays

Jillian VanDyke

One persistent pryer looks to find answers in Cleveland’s newest road November 12th, 2021. I could’ve made that date 1941 and it would make little difference. I had just stopped by my office in the Caxton Building. It’s a nice little room, just enough for me and my business associate Mendelson. We run what you could call an information firm, Mays & Mendelssohn. We’re not private detectives, we’re snoops that operate outside the legal system — tax purposes! Mendeloson came in late that day, which stood out to me because he never comes in late on the 12th of the month, always early. “Better have coffee if you’re coming in this late,” I cleverly spat. My jokes missed this sanguine youngster like a second-rate trumpet player trying to copy Cat Anderson. “Yeah, well, I’ve got something better.” I leaned forward with interest. “I’m interested.” “You ever hear of roads?” he said as he reached for his briefcase. “The thing buses drive on?” He opened his briefcase. “What if I told you there’s a whole new one?” “Surely, you must be joking.” He tossed a couple pictures on my desk. Despite his inability to properly adjust the F-stop, I was able to make out the image: a big road. “That’s the good stuff, not the crap you pave in your basement,” he irreverently referenced. I threw the pictures on my desk. “Strongsville built 15 | VINDICATOR

a new highway, so what?”

He shook his head. “Beachwood?” His skull kept shaking. “Westlake?” Another guess shot dow n by the tremble of his temples. After listing every suburb, village, and census-designated place in Cuyahoga County, I finally got my answer. “Cleveland?” I said, not wanting to know if I was right or wrong. His eyes grew big, and as he slowly nodded his head, I refused to believe it. A five-lane, divided highway in Cleveland? Built in the last five years? Surely a city designed for the general public wouldn’t take urban planning advice from cities designed for General Motors. Like an injured horse I hopped out of my chair for the door. I opened the door, then exited through it. I pressed a button which opened the sliding door of the elevator and after riding it down to the first floor, the doors reopened and I exited through them. I pushed open the doors to the street and headed for Tower City. I took the Rapid dow n to the East 79th station. Upon exiting, I found Mendelson was right: a new, suburban road blasted right through the neglected neighborhood. Yet, something seemed odd about this road. Sure, it had road signs, traffic lights, dashed lines, everything one comes to expect from these newfangled freeways, but something seemed odd about this one. Like anyone who snoops, I did what I do best: snoop. What did my snooping find? Check out the video I made on thevindi.com to find out!


The Vindicator Staff


n this issue of The Vindicator, our writers explored the idea of community: the community we live in; the community that welcomes us; and the community that we strive to change for the better. Members of the Vindi staff contrib-

uted their favorite songs to evoke feelings of community, and we also took to social media to ask our readers, “what songs connect you to your community?” This playlist represents a community effort to capture what that means for all of us — especially during Black History Month, knowing that “community” can signify cultural belonging and solidarity. For a compilation featuring selections from a variety of artists and genres — everything from Beyoncé, to Billy Joel, to Broadway — check out our February issue playlist on Spotify @vindi_csu!



’S V I G L R


V IO S N Jillian VanDyke

“Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH

Virgil Abloh pushed the boundaries of what was capable for fashion, all while silently battling a long two years with cardiac angiosarcoma.


n November 28, 2021, Virgil Abloh passed away in Chicago at age 41 after changing the ideals of fashion. His death was confirmed by his family, and his passing was

unexpected by the masses of people who looked up to him and left people with the jaw-dropping legacy he had created. As the artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear as well as the founder of his own brand, Off-White, Abloh was a prolific collaborator with outside brands from Nike to Evian, and a popular fashion theorist whose expansive and occasionally controversial approach to design inspired comparisons with everyone from Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons. Abloh successfully sought to change the perspective of what artwork on clothing was and made sure everything he did stuck to the belief that everything becomes art made by a maker. He believed that clothes were not just to be worn or viewed, but they were an identity. “Everything I do is for the 17-yearold version of myself,” his wife quoted him as saying in an Instagram post. He believed deeply, she wrote,


Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a statement. It seemed he never stopped working towards his goals and efforts to improve the world he once lived in. While doing a long-list of things he considered himself to be making work and not label himself as a designer– due to the ties with creativity this word has. His efforts made it very apparent that he was more interested in carving his own path and ideals than following the lead of anyone before him, because he cares about the future and advancement of artists in the field of fashion specifically. Born on September 30, 1980, Virgil Abloh was surrounded by skate culture and hip-hop, both very influential to what he had done growing older. Ironically he did not seek out the pursuit of fashion and actually earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2002) and his master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (2006). While studying at IIT, a fashion building was built and made him rethink

“ Abloh successfully sought to change the perspective of what artwork on clothing was.

“in the power of art to inspire future generations.”


the direction of his work. He learned some basics following from his mother, a seamstress. Abloh became successful and known very quickly. Only a few years into his pursuit did he meet Kanye West. Three years after graduating with his masters he flew with him to Paris where West signed a sneaker collaboration with Louis Vuitton. The pair and their creative team quickly talked about how what they made differed from others. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 18


er told GQ, “but the sort of chatter at dinners after

picks up where Pyrex left off, and is sold at pretty much every luxury retailer on planet Earth.

shows was like ‘Fashion needs something new. It’s

Progressing in the works he continued to create,

stagnant. What’s the new thing going to be?’ That

Abloh did not want to be defined by any of his works

was the timeline on which I was crafting my ideas.”

and he did not want those works to be confined ei-

Abloh and West began a six-month internship at

ther. He did not want to be known as ‘the creator of

Fendi, making $500 a month, and learning the busi-

the streetwear brand Off-Whit’e and did not want it

ness from the inside out. In 2010 he became creative

be called this either.

director of Donda, Mr. West’s creative incubator, helping turn Mr. West’s ideas into actuality.

Years later in 2018, Time magazine named Virgil Abloh one of the most influential people of the year.

Remember Pyrex Vision? Back in 2012, Virgil Abloh

“Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between

made his first foray into high fashion, with a small

the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” Michael

collection of Champion tees, hoodies, basketball

Burke, chief executive of Louis Vuitton, told The New

shorts, socks and flannel shirts, plastered in colle-

York Times when Abloh became the art director of

giate lettering and Renaissance artwork. Considering

the brand. By 2019, Abloh became very overworked,

he was using low-cost blanks, Abloh charged as-

but this is not something that stopped his work-eth-

tronomical prices, and Pyrex Vision’s flannel shirt-

ic. Even as Abloh was hospitalized with the illness

ing became infamous when it later emerged (via

that would kill him, he had plans to travel to Miami

Highsnobiety’s own Jian DeLeon, back in his Complex

for a Louis Vuitton men’s wear show.

days) that Abloh was just slapping his logo onto old

According to The New York Times “Just last July,

Ralph Lauren shirts and charging $550 for the plea-

he had been promoted to a new position with-

sure. Virgil would later shut the brand down, and link

in LVMH that would allow him to work across the

with New Guards Group, a crew of Italian clothing

group’s 75 brands, making him the most powerful

moguls, to start OFF-WHITE. Virgil’s latest venture

Black executive in the most powerful luxury group in the world.” He is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister


are people around this room who

Edwina Abloh, his parents — and a legacy he defined

Virgil Alboh for “Thre Broadsheet”- How the Creative Polymath Is Pushing Fashion to New Heights.

during his first Louis Vuitton show, held in the gardens of the Palais Royale in front of an audience that included Kanye West, Rihanna and ASAP Rocky, as well as 1,500 students. “There are people around this room who look like me,” Abloh said to The New York Times. “You never saw that before in fashion. The people have changed, and so fashion has to.”

look like me. You never saw that before in fashion.

“Streetwear wasn’t on anyone’s radar,” Abloh lat-


Virgil’s exhibition when open in Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.





Designing for Off-White Virgil Alboh’s final Louis Vitton show in Miami Virgil Abloh channels brutalism for concrete Efflorescence furniture series Kanye West and crew (Abloh at far right) at Paris Men’s Fashion Week in 2009.

I didn’t make a conscious decision one day that I wanted to be a designer. —Virgil Abloh 21 | VINDICATOR



Andrea Brazis U.N. delegate, opera singer, speaker, educator, and all-around-icon Zelma Watson George was an African American woman whose connection to Cleveland includes a local skating rink named in her honor and a foundational relationship with the historic Karamu House Theatre.


ow do you summarize the life of someone e x t r aord i na r y? A ny combi nat ion of ca ref u l ly-c hosen words a nd u n ique p u n c t u a t i o n c a n’ t q u i t e c o v e r a n extraordinary person’s life. Summarizing

their life events and including sentimental memorabilia doesn’t do it either. Extraordinary people are so much more than words on a paper. Zelma Watson George was extraordinary; she was a hero in a chapter of a story that will never truly end. George was an African American woman who served multiple roles in her lifetime: U.N. delegate, opera singer, speaker, educator. George wasn’t a Cleveland native; however, she’s undoubtedly left an important legacy, not only in Cleveland, but throughout the United States. Zelma Watson George was born in Hearne, Texas on December 8, 1903, to Samuel E. J. Watson and Lena Thomas Watson. In her early childhood, she had the opportunity to hear multiple prominent Black men and women speak at her father’s church, including Booker T. Washington, Carter Woodson, Mary Branch Terrell and Walter White. These speakers influenced George’s thoughts and knowledge regarding the role of Black Americans in society.



Contrary to popular Americanized beliefs, fame

took place at the Karamu House Theatre in Cleveland.

isn’t everything. Fame frequently follows the idea

This community-based nonprofit arts and education

that celebrities, influencers, actors, politicians and

institution was founded in 1915 by two Oberlin College

public figures have it easy. However, what isn’t always

graduates, Russell and Rowena Woodham, and was

shown in celebrity personalities is damaged reality.

originally called “The Roaring Third.” Their mission

Think about it: no one wants to watch the pauper’s

was to create a common ground where people of various

struggles before becoming rich and important. People

races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds

just want to see the prince, the successor, in whatever

could come together to share similar interests and

fantastical imagination of reality that sparks their


interest and slightly flawed beliefs. George was no

It wasn’t until 1941 that this spot was renamed the

exception. While her fame is glorious and intriguing,

Karamu House. The word Karamu is actually derived

many pieces of her past experiences linger in the

from Swahili, meaning “a place of joyful gathering.”

shadows of her life.

The Karamu House Theatre is currently listed as the

Growing up as a female African American in Dallas,

“oldest black theater company in America,” according

both her and her family experienced prevalent forms

to the African American Registry. Today, the Karamu

of discrimination including aggressive verbal and

House Theatre still serves as a popular venue not only

physical threats from a variety of dangerous sources.

for African Americans, but Hispanics and Americans,

While living in Texas, the Klu Klux Klan predominantly

as well.“The Medium” wasn’t the only production

controlled the area. In an attempt to avoid the KKK,

that George starred in; she was also a part of “Power

as well as various vigilantes, George’s family moved

and Imagination,” a Black version of a 1946 Menotti

to Topeka, Kansas in 1917, where they would be free

work, which she later performed in New York. Zelma

from overwhelming discrimination and could live

Watson George was the first Black woman to take a

safely and independently. This is also where she

role on Broadway.

continued her high school education.

George’s life was beautifully chaotic; every obstacle

Shortly after graduating high school, she enrolled in

she faced, every discriminatory interaction she had,

the University of Chicago, where she would further her

only made her stronger. Eventually, at age 91, she

academic career. At the time she attended UChicago,

passed away in Shaker Heights, OH. However, George’s

Black women and white women weren’t permitted

rich legacy has continued to thrive and inspire people

to share a dormitory, so she lived with her family

all over the United States, even decades after her death.

all through college. In only a few short years, she

She was passionate in everything she did; she had

graduated from UChicago with a bachelor’s degree

drive and worked hard to achieve greatness. Zelma

in sociology.

Watson George not only made history, she changed it.

Following her graduation, she attended multiple other colleges to pursue musical interests. She studied the pipe organ at Northwestern University from 19241926 and was also a voice student at the American Conservatory for Music in Chicago from 1925-1927. In 1943, George received a master’s degree in personnel administration and, in 1954, a Ph.D in sociology, both from NYU. Additionally, she received honorary doctorates from Heidelberg University, Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University. Following her college graduation, she ser ved as a social worker for the Associated Charities of

Located off of Martin Luther King Boulevard, in Cleveland, is the Zelma Watson George roller skating facility. Like many others, the owners were inspired by George’s achievements and contributions to her community. For any skating fanatics out there,

The word Karamu is actually derived from Swahili, meaning “a place of joyful gathering.”


this is a prime spot — they offer state-of-the-art sound systems, live DJs, a cafe, and so much more. Their mission is “to make dreams come true by providing the perfect environment for people of all ages, organizations, schools, clubs and groups to have incredible parties for all types of events!”

Evanston, Illinois, as well as a probation officer for the juvenile court in Chicago. She was also the director of personnel administration at Tennessee State University. It wasn’t until 1942 that she received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and finally moved to Cleveland. George quickly became an active member and leader within the community, assisting with various organizations such as the Council of Church Women, the Girl Scouts, the NAACP, the YWCA and the Fund for Negro Students. Aside from being a classy public figure, she also doubled as a performer. She earned the lead role in a 67-night opera, Menotti’s “The Medium,” which





Eric Seitz A film that comes together like toothpaste and orange juice



flaws are what make her so relatable — everyone has

relationship. The film does everything in its power

felt at some point like they are too old to be where

to convince viewers that “it’s not like that,” but the

they are in life.

real-world social overtones are inescapable; and the

Paul Thomas Anderson based many of the events in

film’s insistence that this relationship is okay makes

the film on the real life of his friend Gary Goetzman

its entire premise feel just a little bit icky. “Licorice

— particularly the events that relate to Hoffman’s

Pizza” obviously does not set out to confront serious

character. Knowing this begins to give context to

topics like this, but to ignore it entirely makes the

some of the unusual story choices made later in the

writing team appear negligent.

film. As the film reaches the hour-and-a-half mark,

The film basks in nostalgia that firmly places it in

it nears its logical conclusion. However, the runtime

the 1970s California social scene. From period-accurate

goes far beyond that point, tacking on seemingly

filming techniques to adhering to the fact that no one

disparate events for the sake of jamming true-story

in the San Fernando valley regularly wore makeup

elements into an already all-over-the-place narrative.

in the 70s, I began to feel nostalgia for a time that

Minute 90 to minute 120 drudge on unnecessarily like

existed 30 years before I was born. Further, it plucks

the last 60 seconds of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr.

moments from history like the oil crisis, the waterbed

Blue Sky” — they add nothing of consequence. In fact,

craze and the ban of pinball machines, exploring how

the film’s charm comes in the fact that, effectively,

the characters would react to those events.

none of it matters — it is a microscopic perspective

“Licorice Pizza” engages its audience right out of

of two nobodies in 1970s California. So extending the

the gate, thanks to stellar performances by Cooper

runtime for the sake of “And this part was based on

Hoffman and Alana Haim. While it stumbles with plot

real events too!” ends up detracting from the story’s

development, message and pacing, watching its two

beautiful nothingness.

stars play off of each other and command the audi-

The term “licorice pizza” evokes an uneasy feeling — one similar to how people feel about the word

Licorice Pizza engages its audience right out of the gate, thanks to stellar performances by Cooper Hoffman and


Alana Haim.

ence’s attention through truly heartfelt performances makes the film both moving and memorable.

“moist.” This choice in title (which, by the way, has no plot relevance) stems from the fact

aul Thomas Anderson’s newest film, the

a distinctive beginning, middle and end, it presents

that audiences aren’t meant to actually

absurdly named “Licorice Pizza,” follows

itself as a series of vignette-like scenarios that the

feel that great about the idea of a

the lives of two individuals in the San

two main characters find themselves in.

28-year-old and a 15-year-old

Fernando Valley during the 1970s. Ala-

The star of the show is, ironically, the stars of the

na Haim (of the band HAIM) and Cooper

show — Haim and Hoffman. At 18 years old, Hoffman

Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) each make

delivers a performance with the nuance highly nec-

their film debut in this story of an aimless 28-year-

essary for the character Gary Valentine. His acting

old photography assistant (Haim) and her relation-

and line delivery paints the 15-year-old as at once

ship with an ambitious 15-year-old boy (Hoffman).

mature-beyond-years and eye-rollingly childish. The

The film spends most of its runtime teasing the au-

slightly misogynistic remarks he directs toward costar

dience with the intriguing yet somewhat unsettling

Haim feel appropriate for the social landscape of the

prospect that these two people might end the movie

time, but they strip his character of the emotional

in each other’s arms.

connection that he could have to the audience.

“Licorice Pizza” is as perplexing as its name suggests.

Haim’s character Alana (yes, she’s eponymously

At one moment, it paints highly unconventional yet

named) is the film’s emotional core — much thanks

endlessly believable main characters, and the next

to the performance of Haim herself. While Hoffman’s

moment, it expects viewers to uncomfortably laugh

Gary is mature beyond his years in many ways, Haim’s

at a character’s racist actions. While the film benefits

Alana is notably immature for her age; when the film

from the incredible premise director and writer Paul

begins, she is coming to the realization that maybe it’s

Thomas Anderson has built, the plot beats feel grafted

okay that she isn’t ready to be done being a kid. If the

onto one another, rather than forming a full, coher-

film has a plot arc at all (which it kind of doesn’t), it’s

ent storyline. While a traditional film is composed

the story of Alana realizing she’s immature enough to

of three acts, “Licorice Pizza” doesn’t seem to know

find romantic interest in a 15-year-old, then deciding

where to stop — to the point that the end of the movie

she wants to grow up, then attempting to find her

doesn’t really feel like the end, but simply when they

place in the world, and…well, I won’t spoil the

decided to stop filming. Rather than the film having

ending. Alana shines in that her critical

engaging in a romantic





T he Real

a frequent day-to-day accessory for women of color during the Black Power movement

T rendSetters


Jillian VanDyke

Trends created by the Black community that continue to influence the fashion industry at large


lack culture holds high significance in fashion today, yesterday and tomorrow. You may be unaware of how some of your staple pieces came to be. The relationship

between the Black community and pop culture trends is complicated due to the nuances of the trends’ cultural origins. Discussions of Black contributions to trends must respect the fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, and avoid exploiting or tokenizing African American culture. Below are just some fashion trends with connections to Black icons in pop culture. Acrylic Nails The acrylic nail set you may be wearing as you scroll on your mobile device or flip through the pages of this magazine originated in 1950. Donyale Luna, the first African American woman on the cover of Vogue, made

Monogram Print

Hoop Earrings

The use of monograms has been popularized by many

In the jazz age, hoops were notably worn by Amer-

luxury purse brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton,

ican-born, Black French Jazz performer and civil

and Coach. This trend began in the ‘80s and grew

rights activist Josephine Baker, an iconic figure in

into more of a commonality in 1990 by luxury brands

history who symbolized the beauty and vibrancy of

wanting to make their branding into a pattern. A lot

Black culture in 1920s America. Baker became known

of people, however, do not know that ‘Dapper Dan’

for wearing large hoop earrings. Fast-forward to

was screen printing monogram prints onto clothing

the 1960s, and hoops were a frequent day-to-day

items in a unique way never done before. Streetwear

accessory for women of color during the Black Power

culture is something that has helped this trend stay

movement, with many also choosing to wear and

strong with the continuation of monograms on pants

celebrate Afrocentric dress and natural hairstyles.

and such.

They were also a popular style with both singers of color and white singers, including Diana Ross and


Cher. This, in turn, led to the “statement” hoop of

Sneakers and streetwear gained popularity during the

the 70s, which became widely associated with the

Black-led hip-hop movement of the 1970s. Each pair

disco and soul scenes (also driven by Black artists).

of sneakers has a niche story behind it. If you talk to

During the rise of rap and hip-hop culture in the

any sneakerhead, they should be able to go into more

80s, hoops got thicker and grew in size, birthing

detail about the creator and designer of the specific

the “door-knocker” and bamboo styles of hoops. In

shoe. This created overall appreciation for the work

the 1990s, this trend evolved into large hoops with

across racial and ethnic communities. The Air Jordan

gemstones, nameplates or phrases that were worn by

1985, however, was predominantly worn by kids of

artists of color. Iconic artists such as Missy Elliott,

color. The explosion of signature basketball trainers

Lil Kim, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Eve and Eryka Badu

birthed a generation of sneaker collectors, while the

all contributed to the popularization of hoops at this

hip-hop scene elevated their credibility as symbols

time and paved the way for the continuation of this

of status. So, “sneaker culture” became associated

trend, from the early 2000s to present day.

with young Black men, even though young Black men are far from the only ones to wear sneakers.

an iconic appearance in 1966 on the cover of Teen Magazine wearing a fresh set. Since then, artificial nails have only been gaining popularity, with people still habitually making appointments for fills today. 27 | VINDICATOR





The Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding screen


the commercials and your elementary school D.A.R.E.

time before bed, as blue light can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Back away from the Marlboros In case you haven’t heard it enough times from program: smoking is not good for you or your heart. As the CDC notes, cigarettes are a major cause of heart disease due to the serious damage that they can do to your heart and blood vessels. Luckily, the ear-


Samra Karamustafic Jillian VanDyke

Check out these heart-healthy tips that you can implement in your life today, just in time for American Heart Health Month!


hen you think of February, there are probably a few significant dates that come to mind, like Black History Month or Valentine’s Day. But did you know that

February is also American Heart Health Month? So, while you’re thinking about those conversation hearts to give to that special someone for Valentine’s Day, it’s the perfect time to think about your actual heart, too! A Little Bit of Background February was first proclaimed as American Heart Month by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963, as a way to raise awareness about heart disease to the public. This heart health movement is meant to encourage Americans to implement healthy habits in order to help reduce their risk of heart disease. Subsequently, another heart-related campaign kicked off just four decades later: National Wear Red Day. Occurring on the first Friday in February, National Wear Red Day was established by the American Heart Association as a way to raise awareness about heart disease in women, specifically, as it’s the leading cause of death among women in the United States. Why does this matter to me now? If you’re in your late teens or early 20s reading this, you might be wondering: “Isn’t it a bit too early for me to start thinking about this?” While yes, adults age 65 and older may be more likely to be affected by heart disease than someone in their 20s, it can still impact anyone at any age. But, the good news is that heart disease isn’t inevitable; there are plenty of tips and steps that you can take to decrease your risk of heart disease. It’s never


too early to start implementing habits into your day-

lier you quit, the better off you’ll be. In fact, the FDA

to-day routine that can help protect your heart from

states that within just four years of quitting, your risk

today through the rest of your life. In fact, the sooner

of stroke drops to that of a lifelong nonsmoker.

you begin getting into the habit of healthier eating

Enjoy a heart-healthy diet

and other wellness practices, the easier it will be for

A great diet is key when it comes to taking care of all aspects of your health, including your heart. The

you to continue on that trajectory as you get older.

American Heart Association suggests a diet that consists of heart-healthy food groups, like fruits and

Ways To Protect Your Heart Move your body

vegetables, whole grains, minimally processed foods

You probably knew this tip was coming, but it’s the

and healthy sources of protein. These are all foods

first on the list for a reason! Exercise is crucial when

that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet

it comes to having a healthy heart. As MedlinePlus

and won’t break the bank or require an extra special

explains, exercise helps improve blood circulation,

trip to Whole Foods. You can even have a little fun

which in turn raises the oxygen levels in your body.

with this by looking up some delicious heart-healthy

But when

rate into your diet right now include:

stress hits


Not only does this lower your risk of heart disease, but it can lower blood pressure as well. Life is busy, but try your best to squeeze a little bit of movement into your daily routine. It doesn’t matter if that’s going on a run one day and then cleaning around the house the next. All that matters is that you get your blood pumping for at least a few minutes each day. Get Zen Stress is an inevitable part of life – we college students have certainly come to learn that during the last year-and-a-half. But when stress hits the “chronic” stage, that’s when it can become an issue. In fact, the American Heart Association notes that chronic stress can be linked to higher blood pressure, which can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Investing in a few stress management techniques, such as yoga, time in nature or a quick deep-breathing session, can help to lower your stress levels. In turn, lower stress levels can help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as lower inflammation. Catch up on ZZZ’s After countless studies and probably a few first-

recipes and treating yourself to some new meals that you may not have tried before! Several heart-healthy foods that you can incorpo-


the “chronic”


stage, that’s


when it can


become an issue.


Fresh herbs (cilantro, basil) Legumes (beans, green peas, edamame)

FRUITS Apples Avocados Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) Grapefruit Oranges PROTEIN

hand experiences, we all most likely know by now the

Fatty fish (salmon, tuna)

impact that sleep has on our overall health, including

Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, cashews)

our heart. In fact, did you know that poor sleep quality has been linked to not only high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol but poor diet and even diabetes, too? As college students, we’re all bound to experience a few late nights or all-nighters here and there, but that shouldn’t turn into a habitual sleep pattern. On the nights when you find that you can get some extra shuteye, wind down with a good book or some warm chamomile tea before calling it a night.

WHOLE GRAINS Brown rice Buckwheat Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut) Popcorn (unfortunately not the super salty and buttery kind) Whole-wheat bread or crackers




UMC was the largest Black church in Cleveland of the ful.’” The Cleveland Restoration Society connects time, which brought a wide audience for speakers Dr. King’s message of empowerment, perseverance including W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, Louis and nonviolent protest to the Black Lives Matter Lomax, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. The movement, with hope that the marker at Glenville church was also a site for local voting rights orga- High School will continue his message of inspiring nizing, and a frequent meeting place for Cleveland’s young activists. civil rights coalition, the United Freedom Movement (active 1963-1966).

The third historical marker will be placed in the Hough neighborhood, on the east side of Cleveland.

FreshWater’s Kelly Quinn Sands reported on the The historic neighborhood was the site of massive December 10 unveiling ceremony, which featured riots in July 1966: “the most significant urban uprising speeches about the historical significance of the site. in Cleveland,” according to the Cleveland Restoration One speaker was Prester Pickett, coordinator of the Society. An entry for Case Western Reserve UniHoward A. Mims African American Cultural Center versity’s online Encyclopedia of Cleveland History at Cleveland State, who recited from speeches by Dr. describes the riot’s inciting incident on July 18, when King. Kel Shabazz, a Cleveland-based poet and CSU a white bar owner refused to serve a glass of water alum, also presented part of Malcolm X’s speech, to a Black customer. After that, a crowd of citizens “The Ballot or the Bullet.” As the Cleveland Resto- of all ages assembled, throwing rocks and bottles in


ration Society notes, Malcom X actually gave the first protest. As the Cleveland Restoration Society points version of the iconic speech at Cory UMC on April 3, out, though, the uprising had still deeper origins in 1964 — before his famous appearance at King Solo- systemic racism against African American residents, mon Baptist Church in Detroit. At the ceremony, Civil including “substandard housing, criminal injustice, Rights Trail chair Natoya Walker Minor emphasized and the lack of public accommodation.” the importance of this marker to our understanding

Over nearly a week of riots, hundreds of people

of Cleveland’s history. The purpose of recognizing were arrested, dozens were injured and four were Cory UMC, she said, “is to bring awareness to our killed. The exact number of injuries is contested


community. Cleveland Restoration Society president

Lynn Nichols

Kathleen Crowther told News 5 that each marker will include a QR code, which visitors can scan to find out more information about the historical site.

An ongoing project recognizing local landmarks for Black history


by Thomas Campbell, Olive Deany Tabor and Maxine Goodman Levin (namesake of CSU’s College of Urban

n December 10, 2021, the Cleveland Restoration Society and the Ohio History Connection unveiled the first of 10 historical markers on Cleveland’s African American Civil Rights Trail. The trail,

which is on-track to be completed later this year, will honor buildings, neighborhoods and events pivotal to the civil rights movement from 1954-1976. The project is funded by a $50,000 federal grant from the National Park Service, which the Cleveland Restoration Society received in October 2019. The 10 markers will serve as educational resources to the


According to the Cleveland Restoration Society’s website, the organization was first founded in 1972

Affairs), with the goal of preserving and restoring Cleveland’s historic buildings and other landmarks. For example, Karin Connelly Rice wrote for FreshWater that the Cleveland Restoration Society has previously worked to honor Cleveland’s Black history, in a 2012 project titled “The African-American Experience in Cleveland.” The first site recognized on the African American Civil Rights Trail was unveiled at Cory United Methodist Church on East 105th Street. From 1950 on, Cory UMC hosted many civil rights leaders and activists. According to the Cleveland Restoration Society, Cory

street [they] can remember and never forget.”

ple were injured. All the people killed were Black,

The second marker on the trail will be at Glenville and police brutality in the city’s response included High School, part of the Cleveland Metropolitan incidents in which officers shot Black families and School District. After the election of Carl Stokes, bystanders. After the uprising, government officials Cleveland’s first Black mayor, Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights organizations argued over the cause gave a speech to the student body of Glenville High of the unrest, with the mayor and other city officials School. He delivered the address on April 26, 1967, blaming outside influences, or Black nationalist and almost one year before he was assassinated in April communist organizations. Black community leaders in 1968. Dr. King spoke directly to his audience of young the 1960s as well as today’s historians recognize the people; we can hear laughter in the first minutes of uprising as a consequence of racial inequity, which the audio and cheers later as he engaged them with is why the Cleveland Restoration Society named the jokes and narratives. He focused his message on the site as essential to Cleveland history. power of youth to further social change, pointing to

The city of Cleveland is home to a long and rich

Carl Stokes’ election as a sign of opportunities for civil rights history, encompassing systemic racism progress in Cleveland.

and struggle as well as resistance and progress. As

Dr. King structured his speech around the three the Cleveland Restoration Society continues to select essential steps all his listeners should take, “in order and unveil sites, all of us can learn from these landto be truly free”: knowing their self-worth; exercis- marks and feel inspired to further activists’ legacy ing every right and freedom available to them; and through the Black Lives Matter movement of today. taking action in the civil rights movement. “Every

For more information on the Civil Rights Trail,

Black person in this country must rise up and say: visit www.clevelandrestoration.org/african-ameri‘I’m somebody,’” he urged. “‘I have a rich, proud, and can-civil-rights-trail. The project site includes news noble history, no matter how painful and exploited coverage, updates on selected markers and community it has been. I am Black, but I’m Black and beauti- events, as well as the complete audio recording of Dr.


young people so that . . . when they walk down this in historical records, but between 30 and 50 peo-

“is to bring awareness to our young people so that . . . when they walk down this street [they] can remember and never forget.”




If you want to help animals:

Date Ideas for



Volunteering with animals is a bigger commitment

Karaoke is a great way for you and your date to

because you are typically required to go to prior

have a laugh and enjoy yourselves, whether that is

training sessions, and this can be a good test to your

by pushing one another out of your comfort zones to

relationship — are they willing to commit?

sing in front of strangers, or simply observing those

Berea Animal Rescue Friends is looking for volunteers

brave enough to perform. Many bars host weekly

to feed, exercise, socialize and train animals, clean

or monthly karaoke nights, but at Corky’s Place in

and disinfect cages, and participate in community

Lakewood, every night is karaoke night. The drinks

awareness programs and adoption events.

at this dive bar are cheap, and the atmosphere is

Secondhand Mutts is a volunteer-operated cagefree and friendly dog adoption center.

fun and casual. Karaoke begins at 7pm, and be sure to get there early if you want to sing — the roster fills up quickly.

If you prefer nature:


Parma, OH. With a wide array of social activities,

Abigail Preiszig

Little Birdie Wine Nest always has something fun

Guy in 10 Days, Wedding Crashers, and Bridesmaids trivia. Some other fun events in February include a Valentine’s Day Wine & S’mores Party (2/11), Galentine’s

If you and your counterpart are into physical challenges, then rock climbing may be perfect for you! Nosotros Rock Climbing gym has both a Lakewood and Cleveland location. An all-day pass and gear rental costs about $23. With this pass, you can bounce between locations and come and go as you please throughout the day. If you visit the Lakewood gym, you can also visit Ohio City Burrito across the street after you finish working up an appetite. Nosotros is a nonprofit — their mission is to “use rockholds to help households” by donating time, money and services to communities in need. There are 100 different climbing routes, each with their own start and end tag, making this the perfect gym for beginners. Shaker Rocks is located in Shaker Heights. An adult day pass including rental gear will cost about $33. This rock climbing gym is much larger, offering 14,000 square feet of climbing, over 200 routes, 40-foot roped walls and bouldering. Their mission is to “improve people’s quality of life by providing opportunities to experience joy, and to create connections to a caring and supportive community” through climbing, and their purpose is to “provide a unique opportunity for sport, camaraderie and civic pride.” Wine or Coffee Flights Little Birdie Wine Nest is a great place to connect and have fun with your date. It is a “retail wine and tasting shop that features a coffee bar, fitness classes, a unique gift shop, and sip + create art studio” in 33 | VINDICATOR

Day brunch (2/12), and a Sip & Style Valentine’s Grazing Board Workshop (2/14). Thrift Shop Challenge How well does your partner, bestie or crush know your style? For this date idea go to a thrift store of your choice and take 15 to 20 minutes to find each other an outfit. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories and more! Meet up at the fitting rooms and try on your creations, or buy the clothes and

Dinner and

and do something good for the community at the

If you want to help people:


leave around 7:15 to help prepare, serve and clean up. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to sort and repack donations, assist in preparing lunches, refrigerate donations, and distribute food to the community. They list various volunteer opportunities throughout the month on an online calendar.

instead? Near West Theater is located in Gordon Square.

to all on the weekend, but only open to parties of 10

Their mission is to “build loving relationships and

or more on a weekday.

of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and

Both Corky’s Place and Galaxy KTV are 21+ and

in community, through accessible, affordable and

sadly, there are no karaoke bars in Cleveland that

transformational theatre arts experiences.” This

allow people under 21.

February 11th and closing February 20th. The suggested price for tickets is $15, but they have a “pay what you can policy” to make tickets affordable to all. Gordon Square is also a hub of many trendy and delicious restaurants such as The Boiler 65, Blue Habanero Street Tacos and XYZ the Tavern.

see a play or musical

Volunteers are asked to come between 5-5:30 and can

serve a variety of food and drink. The lounge is open

by going to

same time.

St. Malachi Parish serves a Monday Night Meal.

tray. For the public lounge, there is a $10 cover. They

so why not spice it up by going to see a play or musical

performance will be on weekends only, opening

there is, spice it up

area. This is a great way to get to know your partner

from $40 to $90 and each room comes with a fruit

Dinner and a movie is the most basic date there is,

love written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. The

basic date


and there are plenty of opportunities in the Cleveland

rented for up to two hours, and can accommodate 4

a story about two children tricked into falling in

the most

so why not

back to the community, volunteering is usually free

lounge and 15 private rooms. A private room can be

own accord.

February they will be performing The Fantasticks,

a movie is

wear them out — no excuses.

If you and your date are broke or looking to give

and Asian styles of karaoke through their public

you and your date can always pick up litter of your

engage diverse people in strengthening their sense

Indoor Rock Climbing

If you can’t formally volunteer with the Metroparks,


February themes include Golden Girls, How to Lose a

opportunities that typically take place in the spring.

- 20 people (great for a double date). Pricing ranges

and wine flights, and they host trivia nights at 6:30

Whether or not you have a valentine this February, you can still have fun with these out-of-the-box date ideas.

If you desire privacy and a more upscale experience, Galaxy KTV in Cleveland combines both American

Support local theater

planned. They blew up on TikTok for their fun coffee every Tuesday with various themes. Some upcoming

The Cleveland Metroparks have many volunteer



the manufacturing of old games and systems began





Kristina Markulin How a medium defined by technology is struggling in an advancing world.


ne day when I was in high school, on the rare occasion I cleaned my room, I found my old copy of “Pokémon Emerald.” It was a childhood staple in my household, so I lent it to my sister when

she couldn’t find her own copy. She played it for a few days, and then came to me with a puzzled look on her face. “The battery died,” she said. “The game won’t save anymore.”


This was my first brush with old video game

the Blade of Light.”

to cease. It isn’t cost-effective to continue manu-

This is to say that many fans, in dissatisfaction, take

facturing outdated tech when new games are being

game preservation into their own hands. Pivoting from

made on new hardware. Video games are uniquely

consoles to online games, there has been a massive

fragile in comparison to other forms of media. Books,

uptick in fan-preservation projects of online-only

when well preserved, can last centuries. Studios like

and online-compatible games. As online servers

MGM and Warner Bros. keep master copies of their

go down, tech-savvy fans build their own private

films, so when a re-release or remaster is slated for

servers to play on, as is the case for “Phantasy Star

distribution, those original films are kept intact.

Online.” Some fans of the 2006 Bethesda game “The

Music is similar, with master recordings used as

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” have started a project

the basis for all re-releases. But what makes video

called Skyblivion, creating a mod remake using the

games so vulnerable is the very technical limitations

Skyrim engine. Many 2000s and 2010s online games

they were built on.

have fan-built and fan-maintained rebuilds, such as

Video games are not viewed by the public with

Cartoon Network’s MMO “Fusionfall” and Disney’s

the same legitimacy as other forms of media. The

Virtual Magic Kingdom. But these fan-built projects

interactivity can throw some people off, but being

are in many cases legally dubious, with the unau-

interactive doesn’t negate the artistic integrity of

thorized use of copyrighted material being central

the medium. Still, even almost 40 years after the

to these projects.

release of the NES, the “toys vs. art” argument still

Legal issues include piracy, hacking and emulation.

bubbles to the surface of public discussion from time

Emulation, in layman’s terms, is taking a game,

to time. Video game companies, collectors and con-

converting it to run on a hardware that it wasn’t

sumers have been working to preserve these games

intended for, and then playing the game on this new

for future generations, all with varying methods

hardware. Emulation doesn’t always entail piracy or

and success rates.

hacking (emulation can be done with a legally owned

Video game companies tend to be a bit sheepish

copy of the game), but the three are closely related

when it comes to re-releasing old video games. Some-

to each other. To be clear, piracy is illegal. But many

times this is due to issues with hardware and source

consumers turn to it for older games that are a) no

code. For example, the PlayStation 3 was a wonky

longer in print, and b) inaccessible due to hardware

console, and almost every game on it is difficult to

limitations, price, etc. Many of those consumers who

bring over to any modern system, requiring intense

emulate older games would be willing to buy them

reworking of a game’s code to make it work. In some

re-released on newer hardware, but are unable to,

instances, like in the case of “Kingdom Hearts,”

usually because the hardware is failing or expensive.

the source code (i.e. the master that all other copies

A lack of access is a major issue for many consum-

are printed from) was lost, and the game had to be

ers, and the apprehension of video game companies

reverse-engineered and rebuilt from the ground up

to re-release older games remains a huge point of

for subsequent re-releases.

contention in online discourse.

Other times, this comes from a place of prestige.

Cartridges die, disks rot, and servers go offline.

For example, Nintendo garners a lot of criticism for

It’s the nature of technology. As newer games are

how it handles preserving older games. Nintendo in

manufactured and older games cease to be, large

the mid-aughts and the 2010s would release older

swaths of the medium are at risk of ceasing to exist.

games digitally for newer systems under its “Virtual

Vintage collectors and preservationists are working

Console” branding. However, since the release of the

to keep these games alive, but without intervention

Nintendo Switch in 2017, they have begun to restrict

by the IP owners, it’s likely a lot will be lost.

older titles’ availability to a monthly membership to

That’s not to say old games aren’t around anymore.

Video games are one of the newest forms of media

Nintendo Online subscription service, with access to

Over winter break, I visited a second-hand media

currently in production. From the creation of Tennis for

select titles for the NES and the SNES game systems.

shop, and in one of the display cases was a copy of

Two in 1958, to the mainstreaming of home consoles

However, many Nintendo fans online have expressed

“Pokémon Emerald,” proudly priced at $150. I thought

in the 1980s, all the way to the present market, video

dissatisfaction with the game selection, pointing out

about my own copy of the game and how it no longer

games have constantly evolved. As the technology

that the Virtual Console not only had a wider selec-

works properly. And I couldn’t help but wonder how

advanced, so did the games, in graphical, technical

tion of games but also a wider selection of systems.

long that cartridge had left.

and narrative complexity. What was once restricted

And most recently, Nintendo has put some of its

to a bouncing ball on a bulbous glass screen is now

re-released titles (notably the original Fire Emblem

a medium with graphics so realistic, the likeness

and the compilation Super Mario 3D All Stars) on a

of actors such as Norman Reedus can be replicated

time-restricted sale on the Nintendo Switch eShop,

near photogenically.

increasing the scarcity of highly demanded, and in

technology failing.

That technical growth, however, has a downside. As

Fire Emblem’s case, further restricting the availability

technology advanced, so did video game storage, and

of the NES title “Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and

Video games are uniquely fragile in comparison to other forms of media.







Jillian VanDyke

Riots are how revolutions began. Riots are an outcry, A consequence for sin. An outburst of anger Or rage and betrayal. Wouldn’t you be angry if you were on that trail? What would you do if your brother was killed? How many of us can say with honesty that we wouldn’t seek for their name to be heard? Now multiply that brother by millions upon millions more lost. Don’t you understand the need for revenge? Don’t you understand the reason is them? The riots are not the starting point, They are the last case scenario. They are what happens when voices are silenced for a millennia. These people are not fighting just for the fun. They are fighting to be treated the same as the rest of us. When peaceful protests are heard. Maybe then the fires will no longer burn. But until then I will stand up tall and fight alongside my brothers and sisters as well.

poets writers artist writers artists poets artists poets writer poets writers artist writers artists poets artists poets writer poets writers artist writers artists poets artists poets writer FEBRUARY 2022


Because no matter what the color of my skin, I am a human, And our hearts beat the same within.

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