The Vindicator - February 2017

Page 1

Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

FEB 2017

THE BLACK HISTORY ISSUE


FEB 2 Letter from the Editor 3 Contributors 4 Online 5 Calendar ARTS 7 2016 in Gaming 9 Her: Movie Review CULTURE 11 F inding Comfort on Campus 13 H ough, the Phoenix of Cleveland 15 Love Has No Boundaries 17 D on’t Forget the Soul in Soul Food FEATURE 19 B lack Lives Matter in Cleveland 21 Battle of the Bans 23 The Rebirth of Black Power 27 The Real Black History SOCIAL 33 Black & White 35 The Reality of Being Sad 37 Celebrating Diverse Books POETRY 39 Watercolors 40 Deeply Rooted Love 41 I nnocent Kissing Between Smalls with Wings 42 Illusions of Love

27 Black History

Analyzed and de-whitewashed


EDITOR’S LETTER

SHIFTING HISTORY

W

hen looking back on history, we like to look at the things that seem definite and accuratethe things that we are promised to be true. But sometimes we need to look at history and understand what is being talked about and what isn’t. This is especially true for the history of black americans in this country, and the stories that are being overlooked in certain spaces in our society. It’s more clear than ever, that history can and will repeat itself unless we thoroughly understand it and actively work to combat it. This is why it’s important to keep a dialogue moving forward through discussions, analysis and expression. Dwayne Castleberry’s cover story for this month is an in-depth piece outlining the side of Black history you might not have known about, including

reasons as to why that is. Chau Tang discusses the importance about acceptance of all types of love in her article about interracial relationships. Our culture editor, Elisabeth Weems, shares her perspective on being biracial in her personal piece, Black and White. Additionally we have stories about soul food by Joe Schmittgen and a detailed overview of Black Power and how it came to be, why it’s important and where it’s going, by Kelton Latson. All of the above pieces, including others, help reflect on the history we’ve left behind and help notice the shift in history that is happening at this very moment in time. I hope you all enjoy the first issue of the Spring Semester and the first issue of a new era. I hope it makes you think and even motivates you. Whether it’s through our writing, our studying, our art or organizing-one thing is clear: there is a lot of work to be done.

ARBELA CAPAS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 2


Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Media Specialist Daniel Lenhart

CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-Chief Arbela Capas Art Director Nicole Zollos Managing Editor Holly Bland Multimedia Manager Evan Prunty Culture Editor Elisabeth Weems Arts Editor Benjamin Heacox Feature Editor Alana Whelan Online Editor/Junior Designer Michella Dilworth Assistant Art Director Andriana Akrap Junior Designer Alyssa Miller Contributing Writer Greg Elek Contributing Writer Jakob Brenkus Contributing Writer Joe Schmittgen Contributing Writer Chau Tang Contributing Writer Caitlin Cole Contributing Writer Kelton Latson Contributing Writer Dwayne Castleberry Contributing Writer Sage Mack Contributing Writer Holly Bland Contributing Writer Elisabeth Weems Contributing Writer Dorothy Zhao Contributing Writer Alana Whelan Contributing Poets Joy McKinney, Ar’yana Allen, Chau Tang Poem Designers Jessika Williams, Rebecca Petro, Mikayla Colston

Disclaimer Magazine theft/fraud is a crime. Single issues of the vindicator are free, to obtain copies contact the Vindicator or student life. 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. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216 687 2118

3 VINDICATOR | FEBUARY 2017


THEVINDI.COM Watch our coverage of the #NoDAPL Protest in Public Square

“I am transgender. I identify as female, was assigned male at birth, and was raised in a devout Catholic right-wing family. I was not allowed to express my identity throughout my childhood. I did not even learn what the term ‘transgender’ meant or that it applied to me until puberty had already affected my body irreversibly.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE

Check out our new and improved website!

@JournaLizst: I seriously geek out every time I watch the pages come to life. #ReadMore #studentartists

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM! @VINDI_CSU AND SEND US YOUR VINDI PICS! WITH THE HASHTAG #VINDI

Read past issues and other stories that made the blog!

DECEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 4


what’s happening in...

1

FEBRUARY 10

Running all month long, blackand-white photographs from the Center for Documentary Expression and Art show works of nine photographers from the Southern Freedom Movement documenting the experiences of people who stood up to change America—unmasking the battle against race-based disenfranchisement. Displayed at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, from 11am- 5pm everyday. Students get in for $10! February 1-26

9

11AM-5PM, 2929 RICHMOND RD

Repairing a Nation at Karamu House Running on weekends, Karamu House is putting on “Repairing a Nation.” It’s 2001 in Tulsa, Oklahoma—and the Davis family are seeking reparations for the Tulsa Race Riots that devastated the family 80 years ago. Ticket prices vary, but students under 25 with an ID purchase tickets for $15! February 9-26

7:30PM FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS, 3PM ON SUNDAYS, 2355 EAST 89TH STREET

Homesafe / Life Lessons / Chase Huglin at Mahall’s 20 Lanes The rock band Homesafe from Oak Lawn, IL will headline the show at Mahall’s. Accompanied by the touring pop-punk band Life Lessons from Oklahoma City and acousticindie artist Chase Huglin from Fort Wayne, IN—the new up-and-coming alternative rock Cleveland-local band Up to Nothing are also on the lineup. A medley of genres to enjoy! Bowl and jam-out. All ages are welcome, tickets starting at $10 on ticketfly. February 10

6 PM, 13200 MADISON AVE

12

Cleveland’s First Donut Fest at Redspace Chicago-based baker Bobalky & Gnocchi, LLC, will be the hosts of Cleveland’s first ever donut fest. Similar to ones in Chicago and New York are known to sell out in hours! Local restaurants will bring what they’ve got to the table competing for the title of “Best Donut in Cleveland.” So far local participants include Brewnuts, Becker’s Donuts, Jubilee Donuts, and more! Sounds like it’ll be pretty sweet. February 12

WWW.DONUTFEST.COM, 2400 SUPERIOR AVE 5 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

17

The Hungry Games: Battle of the Districts The 10th annual Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week is running February 17 through the 26th. Downtown Restaurant Week will have over 50 participating patrons in the downtown area, all offering meals between $15, $30, and $40 lunch and dinner specials. Restaurant Week goers will vote in four categories, awarding restaurants with “Judge’s Choice,” “Best New Restaurant,” “Restaurant of the Year,” and “Best Dining District.” February 17

#DTCLERESTAURANTWEEK

22

Accelerate 2017: Citizens Make Change at Global Center for Health Innovation An annual event put on by CLC gives an opportunity for every individual in Cleveland to share and act on a personal vision to change our region. Submit a pitch in one of five broad categories: 1. Quality of Life 2. Economic Development 3. Educating for Tomorrow 4. Community Change 5. Transformative Arts and Culture. Pitches go through a number of panels and judges—the winner to receive seed funding to help bring their vision to reality! Do you have a vision to help make Cleveland better? February 22

5:30-8PM, 1 ST CLAIR AVENUE NE


READ THE VINDI ON IPAD*

ADVERTISEMENT

Download the ISSUU app on the App Store and search for The Vindicator − visit THEVINDI.com for more information.

*OR ANY OTHER DEVICE!


Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen

2016 IN GAMING 2016 brought the industry a few steps forward, while still making major flops. // Jacob Brenkus

I

t seemed like most of the games that

research facility on Mars where someone

This installment in the Dark Souls franchise

were expected to disappoint this year

has opened a portal to hell. Your goal is to

managed to take many familiar cues from

turned out great and many of the hyped

close the portal and send the demons back

the first one and improve on them in many

games turned out poorly. These are some

to where they came. The real strong suit

ways. One surprising improvement was the

games I found really noteworthy this year

is the gameplay. The original DOOM helped

combat. This game managed to make the

that stood out for me and affected my views

create the first person shooter (FPS) genre

best combat system in role playing games

on gaming and its consumer culture.

and was also controversially violent, thus,

even better by adding more depth to the

the 4th installment in the franchise has a

mechanics and fixing some bugs that were

lot to ride on. Thankfully, it delivers and

present in previous installments. It also

The original DOOM from 1993 holds a

delivers well. Gameplay is a mix of fast

developed a lot more world building and

special place in my heart, being one of my

frantic movement while shooting large

brought more light to stories and characters

favorite games of all time. Although I was

hordes of demon foes with no penalty to

from the first game while also developing a

born 3 years after its release, I have fond

your accuracy while moving, and coming in

world of its own.

memories of playing browser ports of the

for a close quarters kill with a chainsaw or

The game also recently received an ex-

game I found in the 6th grade. Since then,

using your hands to rip a demon to shreds.

pansion, Ashes of Ariandel, which I have yet

I’ve played the game countless times

The violence in the game is off-the-wall,

to finish. The expansion is phenomenal so

but the challenge makes it oh-so-reward-

far, and brings some very disturbing imag-

tial E3 reveal of the new DOOM, or really

ing. At a first glance, some may say there is

ery to the already frightening, yet beautiful,

DOOM 4. I was completely ready for full

unnecessary gore or overbearing amounts

world found in Dark Souls. I look forward

on disappointment and prepared to see a

of violence, yet the game makes combat

to the second expansion that will conclude

classic franchise butchered. The 20 second,

so challenging that achieving the more

the entire series. This game is highly rec-

gameplay disrupting, killing animations and

gruesome kill animations are essentially a

ommended, but only if you’ve ever played

boring, slow pacing with hardly any im-

reward for managing to be good at the game

at least the first installment in the fran-

pressive enemies or variation shown at E3

and it all honestly looks and feels stunning

chise, as the second is mostly ignored when

were completely different from the quick,

when playing at a high skill level. This

it comes to story elements.

fast paced, and challenging game we ended

game collects the best of both old school fps

up getting. Nothing about this new DOOM

games and modern ones into a phenome-

Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen: Best PC Port

game shown at E3 resembled the classic

nal package. Even if you’ve never played

Oh PC gaming. While many people have

series, yet once I saw reviews pour in and

a DOOM game before, I highly recommend

machines that can make games look visually

witnessed the violent, intense gameplay I

this one.

stunning and run much better than on con-

DOOM: The Biggest Surprise of 2016

I was hesitant when I saw the ini-

knew I had to get this game. DOOM is pretty light on the story side

soles, such as the PS4, they are often given Dark Souls III: Best RGB of 2016

the short end of the stick when games get

of things, which is honestly very refresh-

Another favorite this year. I was highly

moved over to PC at a later date from the

ing. In a nutshell, you are trapped in a

anticipating this one, and boy did it deliver.

console release, or even the same date. This

7 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


configurations which, when not accounted for, can lead to horrible framerates, graphical glitches, and crashing. Dragon’s Dogma was a game released to great reception for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012. While the game may not be the prettiest by today’s standards the PC port is a great example of what can be done. The game runs very well and has mod support, which is essential for PC gaming. Overwatch: Best Multiplayer Experience Multiplayer oriented shooters often don’t have much to offer visually as the focus is mainly on an experience to get players competing against one another. With the rise of popularity in e-sports, there is an oversaturation of games trying so hard to be the next “big thing” competitively.

an art style similar to a Pixar film and gives to play as. Each of these heroes has different abilities, weapons, skills, and play styles. Unlike similar games, it discourages sticking with and getting good at one hero as there is a heavy teamwork dynamic that makes for flexibility in play styles. In one match you might be helping the whole team

such as multiplayer, factions, air animals,

2017 looks promising already, but we won’t know until it hits, until then be optimistic...

Overwatch managed to stand out with the players on the team themed “heroes”

and how the developers lied about features

is due to the many possibilities found in PC

on the amount of planets - planets which felt empty and unmemorable, aside from

the first one a player will start on. After a while, the wildlife and types of planets start to repeat and all become a mish mash of the same thing. After the game’s release, it was hard to avoid the disappointment around it

water animals, and many more. This game served as a perfect example of how hype culture and pre-orders begin to ruin the art of making games, making them more of a commodity than art. Overall, 2016 had its ups and downs in games that were released. Some other games that released this year that are worth note are Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Furi, Hitman Season 1, Civilization VI, Superhot, Enter the Gungeon, & XCOM2, as well as many other releases that have gotten praise. It’s also worth noting that VR headsets have finally made a major push into the market this year, although it seems the novelty may be fading already. Overall this year was certainly an interesting one, with many twists and turns and great advancements. This year was certainly much better than the past few years and it seems a lot of developers are learning what not to do in regards of design and consumer relations, with incidents such as No Man’s Sky being an even bigger push into hopefully the right direction on video game hype culture. 2017 looks promising already, but we won’t know until it hits, until then be optimistic but don’t jump on the hype train just yet.

by healing them and the next you could be racking up the most kills around a checkpoint. This unpredictable variety keeps matches fresh and requires you to stay on your toes. I highly recommend this for anyone that wants to get into multiplayer shooters but doesn’t care for the military themes many are going for. No Man’s Sky: Biggest Disappointment Talk about disappointing. I didn’t get to play this game due to the ludicrous $60 price tag that it carried for the amount of content. Still, this game was hard to avoid hearing about for the larger part of 2016. The hype around it was insane. People were expecting the best game ever made, and the vague interviews with developers and falsified trailers didn’t prepare anyone for what was about to happen. The game was initially going to be an open-ended space PHOTOS BY JACOB BRENKUS

exploration simulator with an endless number of planets for players to discover and an endless combination of animals and biomes on said planets. This was to be done with an algorithm that randomly generated these planets and their features. However, the game really only delivered

Overwatch

MARCH 2016 | VINDICATOR 19


HER

WHAT MAKES A MOVIE GREAT An open review of the movie Her, including spoilers. // Greg Elek

H

undreds of movies come out

shots to look cool, or have a very blurry

ing I just assumed it was about Theodore’s

each year, and the majority of

background because it makes lights look

operating system turned love interest,

them will be forgotten with-

pretty, but Spike Jonze doesn’t go for the

Samantha (Scarlett Johansson)—but there’s

in months, but sometimes a

easy shots or something looking cool for the

actually a lot more to it than that. While at

movie will come around that

sake of it looking cool, he goes for meaning

its core the movie is about a man’s struggle

never leaves. There’s a reason film schools

in every frame—which is rare. There are

to connect and find love, we are constantly

are still showing the nearly 75 years old

far more ways he accomplished this like

getting reminded of him not being so great

Citizen Kane even though some would argue

use of color, when he decides to flashback,

with the women in his life. Right off the bat

that it’s vastly overrated. It’s because it did

what all of the extras are doing—but we’d

he calls a phone sex line and the women

be here all day if we went over all of the

(Kristen Wiig) that he gets connected with

well-done techniques.

is a little bizarre to say the least. Later

when he’s setting up his operating system

There Will Be Blood, and it’s important that we understand why not only from a filmmaking perspective, but also from a societal perspective. Before we get into anything too heavy, let’s look at a few very basic things director Spike Jonze did right from a basic filmmaking perspective. Her follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) a rather lonely introvert who’s having a difficult time getting over his divorce. To help show his disconnect whenever we see him talking to another couple, they’re always framed together and Theodore is in a separate shot from them. Another minor but significant technique Spike Jonze takes advantage of is the depth of field, which is how blurry everything that isn’t in focus appears. When

he’s asked about his relationship with his

The biggest thing that will keep a movie around is its’ impact on the viewer.

so much right. Her is the best movie since

mother, he starts to criticize her before getting interrupted. Later on he has a blind date (Olivia Wilde,) but when he suggests they cut the night short she lashes out at him and calls him creepy. Later on we see that Theodore has Samantha pick out a gift for his goddaughter’s birthday. Late in the film we see Samantha get in contact with a surrogate (Portia Doubleday) so Theodore can have some kind of physicality in their relationship, but it doesn’t work out. Those are the minor ones. The three major ones are Samantha, Amy (Amy Adams,) and Catherine (Rooney Mara.) With Samantha we see Theodore’s struggle to maintain

Theodore is progressing in his life and

One way to get your movie to stick around

what seems like a good relationship, with

growing the background isn’t blurry, but

is how much is in there for us to think

Amy we see Theodore’s struggle to main-

the majority of the movie in the background

about, and for me the name of the movie

tain what seems like a good friendship, and

is very blurry, to show his disconnect with

does that. Her, simple yet telling, but who

with Catherine we see Theodore struggle

the world. A lot of filmmakers will frame

is the title referring to? On my first view-

with what seemed like a good marriage and

9 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


not being able to maintain a good relation-

is clearly autobiographical. Fast-forward

lets us look at society. Is it bad that we’re

ship with his ex-wife. The only person that

ten years later to 2013 and we have Her, a

becoming so reliant on technology in our

Theodore seems to get along with no issues

movie about a lonely man who can’t seem

day to day lives to the point where people

during the entire movie is his work buddy

to get over his divorce. Both movies have

might form friendships or even relationship

Paul (Chris Pratt,) and if you couldn’t tell

several shots of their main characters star-

with their operating systems? The movie

from his name—he’s a man. I just went on

ing out windows looking at huge cities, as

never really gives us much of an opinion,

a tangent about the name of this movie and

if their longing for something, or someone.

it knows the viewers are smart enough to

that’s why something as simple as that is

Her ends with Theodore looking out at the

interpret and think about things on their

so important—it’s just one more thing to

city writing a letter to his ex-wife where he

own. The only thing that I think the movie

think about. I don’t hear anyone intrigued

discusses why he’ll always care for her, as

really wants you to take away from it is

with what Dude Where’s My Car really

if it was Spike Jonze’s final goodbye to Sofia

that you shouldn’t criticize people for being

means.

Coppola. An entire article could be written

with who makes them happy, or doing what

on how these two movies are connected,

makes them happy.

Her has some engrossing real life lore surrounding it. This doesn’t make a movie

and I definitely think it’s worth looking into

better, but it does help its lifespan and can

if you’re even a slight fan of either of these

Really hard. Making a masterpiece is its

make them seem more iconic when there

movies—it really adds something.

own beast entirely. To not only write, but

PHOTO FROM GOOGLE IMAGES

is depth behind the making of them. The

The biggest thing that will keep a mov-

Making a movie, good or bad, is hard.

to masterfully shot a movie that can make

aforementioned Citizen Kane has several

ie around is its impact on the viewer. Her

us feel every emotion and think about our

books about the making of that movie. It

admittedly had a slight advantage going in.

own lives is something to be celebrated. The

seems like you can’t mention Jaws to a film

A romance following a lonely protagonist

only way this can be done is attention to

buff without them mentioning everything

is something we all can relate to, but it has

detail and making sure every single thing

that went wrong on set. Her doesn’t really

so much more to say. First off by Theodore

in the movie has a purpose. In my opinion

have any interesting on set stories that I’m

being in a relationship with his Operating

Spike Jonze went above and beyond with

aware of, but it does have an extremely

System as opposed to another human allows

Her. It’s important that when looking at

interesting connection to Sofia Coppola’s

us to follow him completely so we can re-

classic movies—where you agree with their

Lost in Translation. Sofia Coppola and Spike

late and feel to him completely as opposed

status as classics—that we look at why

Jonze were married in the late 90’s going

to other romantic movies were we might

they’re considered that way not only from a

into the early 2000’s. Lost in Translation

be inclined to pick sides. The relationship

filmmaking standpoint, but from a societal

came out in 2003. It follows a young woman

isn’t the main goal of our protagonist, his

standpoint. I can’t wait to see what master-

(coincidentally played by Scarlett Johans-

desire to live a better more fulfilling life

piece we get on the big screen next.

son) who has a very lonely trip to Japan

is. This is what separates a lot of good and

because her big hot shot husband doesn’t

bad romance movies, but then we go a step

seem to have much time for her. This movie

farther. The aspect of the operating system FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 10


FINDING COMFORT ON CAMPUS Cleveland State has made big changes to give sexual assault victims better on-campus resources and support. // Caitlin Cole

about what it would be like to graduate high school and move away to college. I was told that college was

supposed to be a time for young people to expand their knowledge of the world and discover things about themselves. I got to college and it was more than I thought it would be. Between classes, making friends and taking on new responsibilities, college has been (and definitely still is) a challenge for me. In the midst of learning to balance all of that, I experienced something that I had never expected—I was raped. The emotional and physical damage affected everything in my life. This experience has led me to be passionate about making sure victims are aware of and offered the resources they need on college campuses. Our very own Cleveland State University is working harder than others to help students who have experienced this. In December it received 100 percent on improvements to sexual assault prevention and victim services, from Ohio’s Department of Higher Education. CSU has made big

CSU has made big changes in the past few years in response to high rape statistics on college campuses.

changes in the past few years in response to high rape statistics on college campuses. According to the Rape Abuse & Incest

These alarming statistics put the state

F

or most of my youth, I had dreamed

or rape. It is three times more likely for a

of Ohio’s Department of Higher Education (ODHE) into action and the “Changing Campus Culture: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence” plan was created and launched in late 2015. Since then, over 70 Ohio college campuses have joined the movement and the types of campuses range from community and private colleges to technical colleges. Cleveland State was recognized for meeting all five of ODHE’S criteria; the use of data analysis, empowerment of students, faculty and staff, effective communication techniques and response to planning and survivor–centered resource. The campus went from seventeen reported forcible sexual offenses from 2011 to 2012 to five from 2013 to 2014, according to Cleveland State’s Annual Security Report. So how did CSU make such a drastic decrease in these numbers, before the “Changing Campus Culture” plan was even released? The answer lies within the advances in prevention training by the Title IX office and the university’s early relationship development with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Mariah Butler Vogelgesang is CSU’s

National Network (RAINN), 23 percent of

female college student to be sexually as-

Title IX coordinator, within the Office for

undergraduate, female college students

saulted than other women of that age and

Institutional Equity, and has been at the

and 5.4 percent of undergraduate, male

every four women out of five do not report

university since October, 2013. Vogelgesang

students will experience sexual assault

these incidents.

said that each year new faculty and chair

11 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


members receive in person Title IX train-

any other parts of the legal process after

university with a liberal motto, but the

ing. The office extends services to part-

an assault.

staff doesn’t always reflect that,” said

time employees, providing live training

French. “A female that was assaulted by a

to the entire campus and also specialized

campus, with flexible hours and programs

male athlete for example would most likely

training to individual departments.

are offered to educate the campus commu-

be thrown under the table.” Most students

nity. Programs include specialized classes

are unclear on how to report an incident

community with information on victim

for fraternities, dorm resident assistants,

and where to go for help or they don’t feel

blaming, the definition of consent and how

police officers and any individual with a

comfortable reporting it.

to support a friend who has experienced

professional role.

Online training provides the campus

sexual assault. “Our training programs

CRCC is addressing the issue of un-

Patricia Concepcion, a senior education major at Cleveland State, thinks that

are a continuous conversation and we are

reported assaults by doing more to make

similarly to Miami, CSU students are not

always looking to improve and strengthen

its services known to all students. “The

well informed. “I think many students are

our messaging,” said Vogelgesang.

goal is to advocate available services more

unaware of the correct process to report

by appearing at events like Magnus Fest

or often feel afraid,” she said. “I would not

of unreported incidents by finding ways

and buying more signage,” said Leslie.

say this is due to negligence on CSU’s part

to reach out to more students and make

The center has had the most success with

because, or at least my impression is, The

services more known. “OIE seeks to reach

advocating its services by “word of mouth,

Office of Institutional Equity wants every-

the CSU community through a number of

student-to-student referrals and one on

one to know they are there as a resource.”

avenues including: live presentations on

one interactions with students,” he said. He

Concepcion said she would be confident

campus; in-person and online trainings,

encourages students to refer friends, attend

in reporting an incident to CSU police and

such as Campus Clarity in the University

training and join groups on campus like

that on-campus jobs have provided her

Life course, tabling at events on campus,

the peer education program.

with needed informational sessions

The Title IX office addresses the issue

the OIE website and the Title IX website,” said Vogelgesang. Another way of showing the support

According to Vogelgesang, Cleveland State funds these programs through OIE,

from OIE. As a Cleveland State Student, I am very

the Provost’s Office through the Sexual

proud of my school’s efforts to improve

CSU has for victims of sexual assault is the

Violence Prevention (SVP) Council, the Uni-

campus safety and resources.

“Creating a Safer U” publicity campaign.

versity Compliance Office, an ODHE grant,

Vogelgesang said the campaign’s purpose

student affairs and State funding through

is “to educate students on how to create

CRCC.

a safe and inclusive campus for all.” The

“Changing Campus Culture” plan have

working closely with Student Affairs, the

made great progress, which is shown by

Police Department and the academic units.

the assessments released by ODHE, but not

One part of the “Changing Campus

all have advanced as quickly as CSU.

Culture” plan is to create a partnership

Alex French, a senior at Miami University,

between a college and the area’s local crisis

feels that Miami has made progress but

center. Cleveland State’s Counseling Center

there is still work to be done to improve

had a partnership with CRCC in advance,

education. “I believe they need to do more

before Ohio Higher Ed released any of

with the sexual assault issue and make it

its plans. This agreement has broadened

more apparent of how common it is, even

services tremendously for student victims

on our campus,” said French. “Beyond

and it gives even more educational and

preventative emails and stuff, they don’t

volunteer opportunities for the university’s

do as much with anybody above freshman

entire community.

status.” French is involved in a research group

CRCC for more than 10 years and said CSU

that holds events to educate students on

and CRCC made an official agreement in

sexual assault prevention, the frequency of

February of 2016. “The crisis center con-

sexual assault on campus and victim ser-

sists of four main goals: therapy, advocacy,

vices. Attendance is low, even though the

outreach and programs,” he said.

university requires that frats and sororities

The center works to make sure stu-

need to attend a certain amount of these

dents feel comfortable reaching out for

presentation’s events. “The ones who did

help, by tailoring these goals to an individ-

come were changed by what we presented

ual’s situation. Therapy is offered either on

to them because we gave a clear definition

campus or off campus to protect student

of what assault is, what can institute it and

privacy. CRCC staff assist students with

setting boundaries,” said French.

filing police reports, going to hearings and

RESOURCES FOR HELP

The other colleges involved with the

Title IX office has made these advances by

Alexander Leslie has been a part of

PHOTO BY KAREN TUBB

Outreach specialists have offices on

“Miami is generally a conservative

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 216-619-6192 CRCC offers support to victims of rape and sexual violence, as well as fighting to decrease the rates of violence.

CSU Maryjoyce Green Women’s Center 216-687-4674 The Women’s Center provides students with an array of services to fit their needs by connecting them with on-and-off-campus resources.

National Sexual Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE RAINN is a hotline service that provides victims with immediate support and information. For more resources, visit our blog at www.thevindi.com

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 12


HOUGH

The Phoenix of Cleveland The story of the birth, downfall, and rebirth of the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland. // Dwayne Castleberry & Chau Tang

H

ough, one of Cleveland’s oldest

The neighborhood took an ugly turn

ed guns at the crowd, inciting a historic

neighborhoods was settled in

as white citizens pulled their resources.

1799 by Oliver and Eliza Hough.

Businesses left and racial violence plagued

The city became a hub for the

Hough. In 1966, the United States Commis-

the neighborhood’s buildings. After police

wealthiest citizens in Northeast Ohio and

sion of Civil Rights publicly declared that

set up a post in the E. 73 area, the gunfights

was incorporated into the City of Cleveland

Hough was plagued with racism and police

began. Citizens destroyed police cars and

in 1873. The Hough neighborhood is located

brutality. The unemployment rate for Black

seized a fire truck. The uprising was only

within the blocks of E. 55 and E. 105, be-

males in Cleveland reached 68 percent.

quelled by a midnight thunderstorm, which

tween Euclid Avenue and Superior Avenue.

Many expected that racial tensions would

forced protesters inside. The Ohio National

lead to something worse.

guard was called in for the first time to stop

houses and top-rated private schools, including the Laurel School for girls. The beauty of Hough was compared to the fancy streets of France. The neighborhood was known as “Little Hollywood” and was a key section of Euclid’s “Millionaires Row,” which used to be home to some of the nation’s most influential people. It was considered to be the “Showplace of America” by Baedecker’s Travel Guide. The Fall of Little Hollywood In 1910, Cleveland was the sixth largest city in the nation and much of the population was centralized in the Hough area. As the population grew, the infrastructured of Hough was not maintained. Buildings became overcrowded by European immigrants who had lower incomes and couldn’t maintain the lavish buildings. The Great

Black citizens unleashed their pain on

a civil uprising caused by racism. In the end, around 50 people were injured and four

Businesses left and racial violence plagued Hough.

It was initially populated with extravagant

uprising.

The Hough Uprising

were killed. All of the victims were Black including Benoris Toney, who was shot by a white mob that was later captured and arrested by police but soonafter released. The heavy rains of Cleveland ensued, keeping people inside. The National Guard proceeded to withdraw in the weeks following July 26. Mayor Richard Locher blamed the incident on Black Nationalism and Communism but Major General Erwin C. Hostetler of the National Guard said that “there [was] nothing to substantiate [Locher’s] statement.” According to WKYC, Cleveland residents Bennie Jean Johnson and Elaine Jones lived in Hough as teenagers when the uprising happened. Johnson remembers the anxiety of traveling with the threat of

Depression of the 1930s devastated the

The uprising began at the Seventy-Niners

being shot. Both women still remember the

neighborhood as European immigrants

Café, owned by the Feigenbaum brothers.

“dark days and long nights” as frustrated

fled the neighborhood and displaced Af-

It took place from July 18 to July 23, 1966.

citizens rebelled against the city. Johnson

rican Americans moved in. Urban renewal

The Feigenbaum’s were witnessed arguing

remembers when the army trucks arrived

and freeway construction in the 1950s

with several Black patrons the day of the

and people realized it was time to get inside

helped gentrify the Central neighborhood to

riot including a man whom they refused to

of their houses. During an intense encoun-

the west, forcing Blacks to flee to aban-

give water to. The restaurant owners put

ter, Johnson’s hearing-impaired 5-year-old

doned neighborhoods. The Black population

up a sign reading “No water for niggers”

brother randomly ran down a street until

of Hough rose greatly from 14 percent in

on the front door. An angry crowd gathered

a police officer secured him. Bennie recalls

1950 to 75 percent in 1960.

in front of the store. The brothers point-

the officer being intent on helping them.

13 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


Johnson’s home is one of the few remaining

land to create the Vineyards and Biocellar

houses left from the uprising. Even though

of Chateau Hough. The vineyard consists of

it has been 50 years since the incident, the

294 vines organized into 14 rows, residing

memories of the hatred and racism still

next to a dilapidated building representing

hurt her and other residents.

the decades of decay and the renewed vigor of the residents who are grinding daily to

The Phoenix Awakens

refurbish the neighborhood.

As many tried to redevelop the area, polit-

In a stroke of ingenuity, Frazier con-

ical red tape hindered the process. Robert

verted an abandoned house connected to

Weaver, secretary of the United States

the vineyard into a biocellar which will

Department of Housing and Urban Develop-

grow mushrooms. He plans to repurpose

ment refused to rebuild the area. According

more abandoned properties to create jobs

to Jeffrey Adler, author of Cleveland Mayors,

because he said that poverty creates crime.

Weaver “withdrew a previously committed

Many view Hough as the place that

grant of $10 million, and he rejected an

rioted, but Frazier said he wishes to change

application for Model Cities money because

that trope. Just the mention of the word

it was incomplete.” Attempts to redevelop

“riot” aroused Frazier as he boldly declared

Hough didn’t occur until Carl Stokes was

it an uprising of the people.

elected mayor in 1967, the same year the

On November 10, 2016, The America

Hough Area Development Corporation was

Scores Poetry Slam was hosted at Cleve-

formed. The decrease in the tax base led to

land State University. The Elementary

federal funding cuts for organizations and

school competition was won by Wade Park

projects.

Elementary, located in the Hough neigh-

Hough was also hit by President Rich-

borhood. The students performed with a

ard Nixon’s “War On Drugs.” The one-sided

political ferver, beyond their years, dis-

war created tough-on-crime drug policies

playing a passion for making their home a

that disproportionately affect Black males.

better place. 10-year-old Madison Reid won

President Ronald Reagan intensified the

the individual contest with audience capti-

nation’s focus on Black males in the 80s,

vating pieces. She ended the night with an

leading to mass incarcerations unrivaled in

surprisingly deep poem that talked about

modern history. The Black communities of

her dark side. She reassured the audience

Cleveland were devastated.

with a cute but courageous quip, “I will

The Hough Community Development

never let you [darkside] show out, I will

Corporation (HCDC) was formed in 2013

always keep you inside.” Her showman-

after many organizations’ unsuccessful

ship and confidence was reminiscent of a

attempts to rebuild the neighborhood. The

young Shirley Temple with a bit more soul.

HCDC came under scrutiny in 2015 for not

Madison started performing with America

sharing how it spent its funds. According to

Scores 3 years ago and has helped Wade

News Channel 5, City Hall Councilman TJ

Park keep their dominance of the poetry

Dow, who presides over the Hough area, has

competitions. Although Cleveland can be

not offered details on finances. Dow insists

depressing sometimes, there is hope in

that the money is being spent wisely.

witnessing the excellence of future leaders like Madison.

MIDDLE PHOTO TAKEN BY ANDRIANA AKRAP

The Phoenix Rises

With the development of Cleveland’s

Mansfield Frazier, a Hough resident, has

downtown area and its surrounding neigh-

taken it upon himself to help build Hough.

borhoods, Hough seems prime for a resur-

An activist and journalist, Frazier has used

gence. The building of the Euclid Corridor

his voice to reach students and people

has broadened access to the neighborhood.

re-entering society after prison terms. Fra-

The City Club of Cleveland has partnered

zier himself served time in prison where he

with Cleveland State University’s Maxine

founded a writing group. He compiled his

Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

writings in his publication, “From Behind

to provide a Hough Neighborhood Trolley

Walls.” He has turned his experience into

Tour. Although the city’s poverty and crime

a tool to help others, serving as a prisoner

still plague the neighborhood, its future is

reentry counselor.

in the hands of some very capable citizens

In May of 2010, Frazier led a group of community volunteers to clear a plot of

both young and old.

Historical photos courtesy of Cleveland Memory Project FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 14


LOVE HAS NO BOUNDARIES L It is unfair to judge love by race and sexuality, however in families within certain cultures, this judgement remains a problem. // Chau Tang ove can be heartbreakingly beau-

100 percent Asian so they don’t lose sight

ship with someone because of who they are

tiful. Love to me is about having

of their roots. It seems as if we always try

and I wouldn’t want to say, “Oh, I like you

someone to care for, love, and a

to abide by our parents rules because they

but I can’t date you because of your race.”

friend indeed. It’s about two souls

are our parents after all and in the Asian

That’s disrespectful and I would rather date

intertwining and that also com-

culture, we, as the children should always

whomever I please. Some of my relatives

pliments each other. I say it can be heart-

listen to them and if we don’t then we’d be

can be old fashioned when it comes to love

breakingly beautiful because sometimes

seen as disrespectful kids but what about

meaning that since I’m Chinese-Vietnam-

people fall in and out of love, they can break

our vision as young adults?

ese, they expect me to be in a relationship

up while the other person might feel pain or

I just learned that my father is against

with either a Chinese American or Vietnam-

are just not compatible with each other and

me dating anyone outside of my race but he

ese American as long as either one of those

may not realize that until years later. The

doesn’t mind if his nieces or nephews date

are of Vietnamese and Chinese descent. I

idea of having a partner for the rest of our

someone out of their race so that to me is so

think it would be alright if I was with some-

lives is ideal for many people while others

hypocritical. Then I asked my mother why

one outside of my race but I don’t think

may just want to date around. A relation-

because she was the one who told me this

they would be full blown excited but more

ship simply won’t work if one person is

and she said that it was because they would

of a subtle, “Ok, as long as you find a nice

invested in it more than the other person. It

want their grandkids to be 100% of Asian

person.” Now, my dad would probably be

takes two for it to work. I say that because

descent. Even if I did date or even mar-

going a bit mad at the idea of me being with

there are some who haven’t experienced

ry someone out of my race, I don’t think

someone outside of my race but I hope that

love yet, but there people who fall in love

the kids would be less Asian if they were

one day I could persuade him to have more

without meaning to. In life, nothing is ever

mixed of another race. So, that confuses me

of an open mind but I suppose time will tell.

guaranteed so we live each day like it’s our

because would the kids be less of a certain

last. We make friends, we laugh and we cry,

race than the other if they were mixed? I

would want to be portrayed but there is a

and those are some of the moments that we

don’t think so! This angers me because it

line between trying to be respectful and

live for. So why should love be restricted by

feels like they are restricting me to be in a

controlling when it comes to someone’s life.

whom we choose?

relationship with someone outside my race,

As kids, we would always hear our par-

Love isn’t about needing to marry a person’s “own kind,” it’s about who the person is, regardless of their race. There are some families out there, and

Being disrespectful is not how anyone

ents telling us to do chores and of course, I would hope we would obey but having our parents demand us to do chores and who our hearts choose are completely different boundaries. Even though Asian parents would want their grandchildren to be one hundred percent Asian, our hearts may not always lie with who is the same race as us. Hearing parent’s say that you should be

I mean, you can’t help who you fall for so

with someone from your own kind and if

I’m not speaking from the viewpoint of

it’s kind of sad that I would have to obey

not then the parents would disown us or

all Asian families, but there are some who

them or they could potentially move away

love us less. That is not ok to hear because

disapprove of an Asian marrying or even

from me because of that. I want to be re-

so what if a person loves another from a

dating another outside of their culture. I

spectful but at the same time, I would want

different race? So what if our hearts lie with

understand that some Asian families want

to date someone that’s kind, considerate

someone who our parents disapprove of

their child to see another person from their

and it wouldn’t matter to me what race

because of their race? The race shouldn’t

culture so their children will be able to be

they are. I would like to be in a relation-

even matter because we are all humans. We

15 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


all have feelings so why can’t parents and

feel as if it is wrong to feel that way and

their order because of the homophobic

families just open their mind and hearts

they should be ashamed. But why should

baker. Even though these are all actors and

to see what kind of a person they are? Say

they be ashamed of having romantic feel-

I’ve never seen anyone stand up for anyone

that there is someone who is in love with

ings for another human being? People can

before, it was nice to know that there are

someone from a different culture, if they

fall in love without understanding how or

some people who would stand up for love.

agree that they want children then the child

why it happened. When you tell another

No one should have to be in a situation

will have a mixture of race in their blood

person that they should be ashamed of how

where they are belittled for whom they love

and that is ok because we all live in a world

they feel or that they are going to hell for

since love is love and it has no gender.

where different cultures come together so

it, you are restricting the person to be who

that we can learn from one another. This

they are and they may feel trapped, like

out as gay, or bi, or transgender, but they

can only be benefited since couples can

they should be the person that someone

have been shunned by their family mem-

learn and understand each other’s culture.

else wants them to be. Making someone

bers because how ashamed they were of

feel bad for how they feel is not ok. Let me

their kid. They were ashamed because the

legalize interracial marriages. There was

ask you this. Why do you have feelings for

family members didn’t see their kid as an

a study on December 5th, 2015 that stated

your spouse, lover, or crush? It’s because

equal but as different. While other families

there was an 8.4% of marriages were inter-

you love them, is it not? Everyone wants

do not mind their sexuality and still love

racial from breitbart.com. This just shows

someone to spend his or her life with and

them anyways.

how love has evolved from having the

shouldn’t everyone get that chance? People

mindset of needing to marry someone of

deserve to be with someone whom they

why bother living a life that parents and

their own race to marrying other races. Love

truly love without having to have their skin

families have painted for you? Life has a

isn’t about needing to marry a person’s

color in mind. Everyone just wants someone

mind of its own on where it will lead you.

“own kind,” it’s about who the person is,

to grow old with and wants a friend that

You can’t expect to fall for another that a

regardless of their race.

will be around until the end of time.

parent or society expects you to be with.

In 2000, Alabama was the last state to

PHOTO BY ALYSSA MILLER

It’s not just some families such as in

This reminds me of a scenario I

I’ve seen stories of people who’ve come

Everyone lives and everyone dies. So

Human beings are not born so they can

the Asian culture but in the LGBT as well.

watched on a tv show called What Would

be controlled. If they were, they would’ve

Feelings are not something that we can

You Do? The scenario was 2 lesbian lovers

come with a remote. The way I see it, we

control easily. So what if a person is in love

wanted a wedding cake but the bakery

are born to follow our dreams and live a life

with another that happens to be the same

refused to prepare a cake for them sim-

surrounded with people who care about us

gender? There are people in the LGBT

ply because they are lovers of the same

and lift us up. Our parents, family members,

community that are shunned and being

sex. They are actors but their acting was

and friends may be supportive of our future,

disrespected not only by family members

realistic enough to have customers who

so when it comes to love, why should it be

but by society as well. Those family

witnessed the situation get angry. Most of

any different?

members, society, and even friends may

the customers said that they want to cancel FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 16


time, and it’s no secret why: It’s the years of practice; the years this dish has been passed down from generation to generation. This recipe of poultry, dredged in buttermilk and bathed in hot oil is ingrained in the culture. Whenever I would look in the fridge in the morning and see pig feet or turkey legs on one of the shelves, I had no doubt what was coming later that day. Great green leaves known as “collards” are thrown into a big pot along with these proteins and enough red pepper and Louisiana hot sauce to clear your sinuses for the next month. Who knew that pig feet, ham hocks and maws could make such a contribution. Of course you can’t forget the dish that gets your grandpa or grandma excited. Cleaned and prepared intestines of the pig are slowly cooked and eaten. As an Afri-

DON’T FORGET

THE SOUL IN SOUL FOOD Sometimes you can learn so much from those who had very little. // Joe Schmittgen

“chitlins” is almost like a rite of passage, and you need a great amount of hot sauce and vinegar to make it through. Last, but not least: grits. A food made from ground corn into a meal which is then boiled. Even though some eat it plain, I highly recommend adding other ingredients. You can use cheese, bacon, bacon fat and more animal fat to add flavor. To indulge in such a meal, you may think you’d need to go to a restaraunt. To cook such a dish takes a proven chef with training and experience. However, these master chefs are known as mothers and grandmothers. Cooking and food culture have always been important to me. As Black History Month has arrived, I try to think about how Black history has affected me as a Black male. Some of the best memories I’ve had were in my grandfather’s little brick house in the southside of Chicago, connecting with family members I hadn’t seen in months over a hot plate of soul

T

food. Because of such entities like fast food,

cooks that never use timers or measure-

ty much based around food. It brings us

ments, because they’re doing it based off of

together to reconnect with each other and

feel and heart. They’ve been cooking this

share why we are thankful for one another.

dish for years and it’s that connection to

Through food, we can also look into our

the food that makes it easy for them to tell

history and see where we came from. The

when it’s time to flip and take the chicken

importance of maize/corn in Latin Amer-

out of the pan. It’s perfectly cooked every

ican food is so evident in it’s Ancient me-

sssssst,” is the sound chicken

I understand that we as Americans don’t

makes when it hits the oil in a

always see the value in food past its utili-

hot pan. You can tell a lot about

tarian use for survival, but food is so much

a person from what they eat and

more. It brings us together.

how they cook. I’ve always admired the

17 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

can American, to eat this dish known as

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is pret-


soamerican history. The creation of pizza

large parties where the whole town would

whether the “soul” is in it, whether the

reflects a history of worldwide contribution

come together to feast.

heart is in it. When you can taste that love

and trade. Yams in Nigerian culture (seen

and heart in the food, that’s the difference.

in the book, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua

of these recipes spread as African Ameri-

Television shows sometimes give the illu-

Achebe) reflect how well a family is put

cans migrated throughout the nation. Some

sion that the culinary scene is this elitist

together. You are well-respected among the

cite the Great Migration as the root for the

clique of individuals who are the experts

village if you can grow yams correctly. But

broadest spread of this food. We can see

of all kinds of food who recommend these

as children of diaspora, what is soul food?

the results of the Great Migration of soul

posh places to dine. On the contrary, the

Where does it come from and what does it

food in restaurants like Sylvia’s Restaurant

best places where I’ve eaten soul food were

say about us as African Americans?

of Harlem, possibly the most famous soul

in people’s homes and small restaurants in

food restaurant in the country whose roots

small towns in North Carolina, cooked by

come from the south.

normal people with big hearts.

When you can taste that love and heart in the food, that’s the difference.

The term “soul food” was coined in

LEFT PHOTO GOOGLE IMAGES, RIGHT PHOTO FLICKR

After slavery was be abolished, many

What I find so interesting about this is

to take from this moving forward is to

where today in the modern culinary scene,

remember where we came from and how

and are almost trendy. Everyone is doing

far we’ve progressed, but it can be this

it, not just African Americans. However

attachment to the past that humbles and

this once culinary art that was developed

inspire us to strive in whatever we do. As

based off of cheap, unwanted ingredients

Latson said, slaves made something out of

is now sold at expensive prices. You can go

nothing. So when we as African Americans

to restaurants like the Oak Barrel in Valley

find ourselves in some down situations, we

View, Ohio where the Amish Chicken and

need to remember that just like our slave

Waffles is offered at a price of $16-20. You

ancestors did, we can do the same: Make

can go to Hodges Restaurant on Euclid Ave.

the best of what we have.

and East 6th St. in Cleveland to order crispy chicken and polenta (grits) for $22. What does this mean now that this once inexpensive way of cooking has become so profitable? There are positives and negatives: On one hand, it can be seen as sort of an acceptance of our culture to be enjoyed and celebrated by all as it has made it to the world of fine dining. Yet on the oth-

the mid-1960s. The word “soul” at this

er hand, as these new renditions of these

time was a common term used to describe

dishes are made and sold at more expen-

African American culture. So as the food

sive prices, one poses the question as to

became more popular during this time, it

whether the spirit of soul food has survived

became categorized as “soul food.” Even

throughout time. I’m definitely in no way

though the name was birthed during this

doubting the taste of these dishes at these

time, the recipes and the origins of the

restaurants because I’ve eaten these menu

food dig much deeper and can be traced

items at these establishments before and

all the way back to Africa, the motherland.

support local Cleveland businesses. At the

The use of rice, okra and yams were cooked

same time, as this is a part of my culture, I

during the times before European contact.

do not want soul food to lose what makes it

After having contact with Europeans and

what it is.

during slavery, slave owners would often

Kel Latson, Black Studies major at

feed the slaves the cheapest foods, or the

Cleveland State University, described Soul

parts of the animal that were unwant-

food the best way possible. “Soul food

ed. This is where we see the introduction

to me is the food that helps fill the soul

of collards, oxtail, ham hocks and the

of black folks,” Latson said. “It’s part of

intestines of the pig, and the dishes we see

our tradition. During slavery, it was food

today were developed. The common tech-

that lifted slaves’ spirits up. Slaves would

niques in cooking soul food were developed

be handed scraps and then they made

during this period, like pan-frying. In the

something out of nothing, and that’s what

Carolinas, smoked whole hog is king. The

makes it special.”

original pit masters were the slaves who would spark these fires and cook the pig at

What we as African Americans need

that soul food dishes are virtually every-

Ultimately it isn’t the price that decides whether something’s good, but it’s

MARCH 2016 | VINDICATOR 19


BLACK LIVES MATTER IN CLEVELAND Herstory of activism and the BLM movement in Cleveland. // Sage Mack

O

n a rainy night in a residential

for it. You can be killed for looking like you

book. “It was a response to the anti-Black

community of Sanford, Fla.,

don’t belong where you are; for the crime of

racism that permeates our society and also,

black 17-year-old Trayvon Mar-

being black, punishable by death. This case

unfortunately, our movements.”

tin was walking home from the

showed much of America that racism is not

corner store when he was stalked and mur-

over and that there is still a lot we have to

dered by neighborhood watchman George

do to gain racial equality in this country.

Zimmerman. When Zimmerman was

Like many great movements today

Activism in Cleveland Cleveland, a large industrial city that has grown into a diverse community of folk

put on trial for Martin’s murder, he was

including the Natural Hair movement and

from every walk of life, has a history of

acquitted of all charges on the grounds of

#BlackGirlMagic the phrase “black lives

racial injustice and violence. The decline of

self-defense. This case changed American

matter” originated from social media. It

the steel industry in Cleveland during the

history as it sparked a large public outcry

was posted via Facebook status after the

1950s resulted in higher unemployment

from not only the African American com-

jury decided that Zimmerman was not

rates and the rise of African American

munity, but all peoples around the country

guilty. “I created #BlackLivesMatter with

residents moving from the central area of

who demanded justice for Martin. It wasn’t

Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of

Cleveland to the outer regions of Cleveland.

just a case of a black teen getting killed,

my sisters, as a call to action for Black peo-

Many white inner-city residents moved out

but a clear portrayal of the lack of concern,

ple after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was

of their neighborhoods and into suburban

care, acceptance and general respect for

post-humously placed on trial for his own

homes. Neighborhoods like Glenville on

black lives. As an African American, you

murder and the killer, George Zimmerman,

the east side went from a predominant-

can be doing something as innocent as get-

was not held accountable for the crime he

ly Jewish middle class neighborhood and

ting an Arizona sweet tea and Skittles from

committed,” Alicia Garza, a Black female

quickly turned into an impoverished Black

the corner store and get killed in cold blood

who started the hashtag, posted on Face-

neighborhood.

19 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


to accomplish such an injustice. Tamir

change on every level. In November, BLM

as the school district tried to address racial

Rice was a 12-year-old African American

Cleveland held a post-election strategizing

segregation by busing African American

boy against whom police committed a

meet and greet to see what we can do as a

children to predominantly white schools

drive-by shooting under the gazebo of the

community to stay safe, and to protect and

and integrating. Parents in neighborhoods

Cordell Recreation Center on November 22,

uplift ourselves through this harrowing

like Little Italy were so upset by this that

2014. Tanisha Anderson was a mental ill

presidency. BLM Cleveland also organized a

they rioted and refused the entry of any

37-year-old African American woman who

successful Black Future Month in February

African American children to their white

was killed by Cleveland police officers after

of 2016, which was a series of weekly work-

schools and jumped or beat any Black per-

they used forceful tactics, slamming her

shops held at Cleveland State University

son that entered their neighborhood.

so hard into the concrete ground that she

to introduce themselves to the commu-

During the mid-1960s, Cleveland

died from a severe head injury. There are

nity and really help organize change and

introduced Carl Stokes, the first African

many other cases of Cleveland police kill-

awareness of the injustices that marginal-

American mayor in the nation. During this

ing innocent unarmed black civilians. This

ized groups face.

time, Black Power groups in Cleveland

has led to an uproar of protest and activist

formed, like the Black Nationalists of New Libya (BNNL), which gave hope to the poor Black neighborhoods. They disagreed with many of the police tactics carried out by racist Cleveland police officers. On the night of July 23, 1968, a shootout occurred between the police and members of BNNL after a brief encounter between the two during a BNNL meeting. This shootout lasted until the next day and resulted in the death of three members of the group, three police officers and one bystander, while wounding others. As the shootout was happening, hundreds of residents came out of their homes and took to the streets. Police vehicles were set aflame as well as other vehicles driving down the streets of Glenville. Soon stores were looted and a full riot was ensue. At 8:30 a.m. on July 24, Mayor Carl Stokes met with 100 African American civic leaders at City Hall to discuss ways to pre-

groups growing in Cleveland.

The Glenville Riots were a marker in Cleveland’s history. The explosion of not only racial tension but also tension be-

injustices happen in his city. He has spent time organizing meetings and trying to

Cleveland has a rich history of racial injustice enacted by the police.

vent the violence from flaring up again.

Nafi said he joined Black Lives Matter after he was tired of sitting by watching

Racial tensions escalated in Cleveland

The Black Lives Matter group of

enact change towards racial equality in Cleveland. During his work in the community, Nafi and other BLM leaders have been working on the consent decree, a way of reducing excessive force that CPD has practiced. Protest in Cleveland As someone who has attended a protest for justice for Tamir Rice, there is a beautiful feeling when watching humans from all walks of life—various races, ethnicities and genders—come together and fight for what is right. In December, 2014, a group of almost 100 people—including myself and my little sister—marched through downtown Cleveland from around 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. The march ended at a vigil at Cordell Rec Center, the site of his killing. During the protest, Cleveland Police came in full force. It seemed as if for every protester, there were almost 2 police cars.

tween poor African Americans and Cleve-

Cleveland has four leading members and 15

Policemen on horses followed us where po-

land police officers left Glenville unable to

other members, according to Abdul Kareem

lice cars couldn’t fit and there were officers

completely recover from its detriments and

Nafi, a BLM leader. It is also led by Latonya

among us during the protest.

property loss. It also pushed the Cleveland

Goldsby, prominent community activist

Police Department (CPD) to be more racial-

and cousin to the late Rice.

ly inclusive when policing African American neighborhoods such as Glenville.

Black Lives Matter is trying to address

When it was time to attend Tamir Rice’s vigil at Cordell Rec Center, we were welcomed to a beautiful scene: a group of

issues in Cleveland such as Cleveland police

about 50 people, all holding candles or ted-

arrest tactics, getting body cameras on

dy bears to place under the gazebo. After

officers, Black administrative involvement

a beautiful prayer from a family member

Cleveland has a rich history of racial

in Cleveland’s local government, mass in-

of Rice, we all conversed until it was time

injustice enacted by the police which has

carceration of Cleveland’s black youth and

to go. There was a selection of vegan food

been recognized by the U.S. Department

getting Cleveland’s marginalized groups

and groups of people gave away bread for

of Justice as CPD underwent investiga-

mobilized to enact change.

protesters to bring home to their families.

Black Lives Matter of Cleveland

tion for their excessive violent practices.

This organization has made huge

Cleveland is a great city, and though

According to mappingpoliceviolence.org,

strides towards equality, BLM Cleveland

we have a lot of work to do toward equality

CPD killed exclusively black people in

organizes protests and attends community

of all peoples, there are people here work-

2015, one of 14 major cities in the nation

wellness meetings, making sure to enact

ing toward that goal.

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 20


f o e l t t Ba s n a B e th The uphill battle of abortion bans and access in Ohio // Holly Bland

T

wo little blue lines faintly appear

Since Governor Kasich has taken office

include counseling, free pregnancy tests,

on cold, white plastic. This isn’t

in 2011, he has enacted 17 anti-choice pro-

ultrasounds, adoption services and other

what you were expecting—the

visions that have severely affected access

free or low-cost services. In reality, the

outcome is potentially life-chang-

to reproductive health care throughout

pregnancy tests they offer are usually over-

ing. “But—how? Me? I took all of the pre-

the state, according to NARAL Pro-Choice

the-counter at-home tests. Meanwhile,

cautions, this can’t happen to me—at least

Ohio Foundation’s State of Choice Execu-

other services are conducted by untrained

not now.” Scenarios flash through your

tive Summary of 2016. As we witnessed in

volunteers which may inaccurately portray

mind while searching for answers—damn

December, Kasich allowed that number to

the development of the fetus (NARAL.)

do the roadblocks seem endless—but it’s

reach 18 anti-choice provisions, as he ush-

The adoption services they claim to offer

only just begun.

ered in the 20-week abortion ban.

typically consist of a list of phone numbers

While receiving medical care in the U.S.

rather than actual adoption counseling or

typically only has the annoying lags in the

On the Outside

information about the adoption process.

waiting room, a patient seeking an abortion

Before someone even steps into an abortion

needs to go through a battle of bans in or-

provider’s office, it’s likely they have to do

formation on abortion—shaming, confusing

der to even get close to the doctor’s office—

some research to find a location. Ohio is

and delaying those considering terminating

not to mention the way their treatment is

currently down to just nine abortion clinics,

their pregnancy. In conjunction, misleading

regulated by law rather than medically ap-

leaving 91% of counties without access to

an individual seeking information about

propriate. Wanting an abortion immediately

one (NARAL.)

abortion services can be harmful—the cost

puts you in a separate group in America—a

In addition to this, there is an influx of

CPCs often delay access to accurate in-

of abortion increases while entering later

group of patients that aren’t guaranteed to

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs.) CPCs are

stages in pregnancy, sometimes even by

have fair health care.

often run by, or are affiliated with, reli-

hundreds of dollars, preventing some from

gious institutions that disguise themselves

accessing the procedure they would have

sion of Roe v. Wade in 1973, the legality of

in phone books and online as abortion care

chosen (NARAL.)

an individual’s right to have an abortion

providers. They do not provide abortion

Ohio provides $500,000 annually to

under the Fourteenth amendment has been

services or other medical services they

CPCs (NARAL)—a lot of these funds coming

affirmed—but the right to have an abortion

claim to offer, usually obtaining no licensed

from TANF, money that is supposed to go to

doesn’t guarantee access to one.

medical professionals at all.

helping mothers and children—money that

Ever since the Supreme Court deci-

Ohio is notorious for unnecessary

It’s common for CPCs to target loca-

is seemingly spent doing neither.

abortion bans, and has been under the

tions in a radius of college campuses, or

There are other roadblocks many do

spotlight more than ever with the passing

even close to legitimate abortion clinics.

not consider—including protesters. Pro-

of the 6-week abortion ban known as the

These locations further disguise themselves

tected by the First amendment, free speech

“heartbeat bill” through both the house and

as legitimate resources for anyone seek-

includes the right to protest. Streets, side-

the senate. The bill, which would ban abor-

ing an abortion service, or any alternative

walks, parks—you name it. No matter the

tion before most people knew they were

pregnancy and parenting services for that

controversy, you have the right to exercise

pregnant, has been vetoed by Governor John

matter.

your free speech and opinions as you see fit.

Kasich. 21 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

CPCs also advertise that their services

Unfortunately, even at the cost of another


person’s privacy. Signed into law by the Clinton ad-

ten transfer agreement with a local pri-

legal abortion does not drive down abortion

vate hospital, but doesn’t mandate that a

rates, it just forces patients into desperate

ministration in 1994 was the Freedom of

hospital accept such agreements (NARAL.)

circumstances that may include illegal or

Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) “making

This is designed to “protect” patients in

unsafe methods of abortion.

it a federal crime to use force, the threat

case full hospital services are needed in a

of force, or physical obstruction to prevent

hurry. However, with a complication rate of

sich show his anti-choice agenda. The 20-

individuals from obtaining or providing

<0.05% (Guttmacher,) abortion is among

week ban prohibits abortion past the 20-

reproductive health services.” Additional-

one of the safest medical procedures.

week period—a time when various testing

ly, some local clinics have enacted “buffer

Recent bans enacted by Governor Ka-

To further prove the point of futility,

can be done to detect any fetal anomalies or

zones” to protect patients and workers

public hospitals are banned from signing

threat to the person carrying the pregnancy.

from protesters like in Columbus, Ohio at

transfer agreements, and an abortion pro-

It also has no exception for rape or incest,

Planned Parenthood.

vider cannot operate without an agreement

and is otherwise unconstitutional.

Although it may seem many an-

—we know most private hospitals to be

ti-choice protesters are just exercising their

anti-choice and very unlikely to enter such

right to free speech given they disagree

agreements, or simply “not wanting to take

with abortion, the clinics they end up protesting are clinics that not only provide abortion services, but other reproductive healthcare services that a large amount of the community depends on. As someone who has also had an abortion herself—who has spent time vol-

Planned Parenthood (PP) for the second

Accessing Abortion in 2017

time in his administration. Defunding

You must wait 24 hours between your initial appointment with a provider, and the day you have your procedure

funds for life-saving preventive care.

unteering and working with numerous prochoice organizations, as well as with a local abortion provider in Cleveland—I have first hand experience with these aggressions. A lot of protester’s language outside of the clinic are racially charged—even going as far as claiming that abortion is “Black genocide,” and other wordy phrases that are not appropriate to print in a campus magazine. Not only are there harsh words thrown at patients as they enter a clinic, but signs and graphic photos—that aren’t representative of science and reality— are often plastered alongside protesters and con-

planned parenthood blocked one of our most-trusted healthcare providers from House Bill 294 that was passed by the Ohio General Assembly takes funding used by PP health and education programs and

An ultrasound is mandatory, even if medically unnecessary. You also must be asked if you want to view/keep a copy of the ultrasound A doctor is required by law to give you medically inaccurate information Private insurance can’t cover it, even if your health is at risk. Medicaid can’t cover your costs, even if your health is at risk Courtesy of ohioabortionfacts.org

suming the front of clinics. These tactics

instead redistributes it among potentially hundreds of other providers. These are funds that any city or county health department that works with an independent abortion provider or contracts with a hospital that performs a single abortion in which the pregnancy is not due to rape or incest, or does not endanger the person that is pregnant’s life would be blocked from these funds: The Violence Against Women Act, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, the Infertility Prevention Project, the Minority HIV/AIDS initiative, Infant Mortality Reduction or Infant Vitality Initiatives, and the Personal Responsibility

haven’t been proven to be effective in

sides.” We are seeing this situation in To-

discouraging abortion.

ledo, where ProMedica did not want to sign a transfer agreement with its last abortion

TRAP Laws and Bans

Defunding Abortion Providers In February of 2016, John Kasich defunded

Education Program. What Now?

clinic, which would have forced patients to

Abortion is legal but not accessible—and

In an attempt to push the anti-choice agen-

travel to places like Michigan if it were to

it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any

da and make abortion access unachievable,

close (NARAL.)

better. All of these roadblocks, along with

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Anti-choice organizations and pol-

so many more, are just another attempt to

(TRAP) Laws are implemented to impose

iticians claim that TRAP laws protect

control women’s bodies. They single out

unnecessary and burdensome regulations

women’s health and safety, but these are

groups beyond the binary that also need

on abortion providers (NARAL.) These regu-

actually dangerous for reproductive health

access to reproductive health care and is

lations are not imposed onto other health-

care. These limitations prevent access to

further restrictive to them and groups that

care providers and professionals, further

many lifesaving cancer screenings, family

are disproportionately affected by abortion

proving it as an attempt to make abortion

planning, and sexually transmitted infec-

bans and access to health care in general.

unattainable and to drive doctors out of the

tion testing and treatment—all at the cost

People that need an abortion need access on

practice.

of politically motivated regulations.

demand and without apology—it’s not just

Aside from TRAP laws being designed

A majority of the country have no

to overregulate abortion providers with

abortion provider (NARAL) and TRAP reg-

medically unnecessary restrictions, Ohio

ulations are geared to make it even worse

mandates that each clinic have a writ-

and obsolete. Cutting access to safe and

a “women’s issue.” It’s proper reproductive health care, a basic human right. *Information mentioned was pulled from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Guttmacher Institute

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 22


THE

REBIRTH OF

BL ACK POWER

Check out the extended story on our blog, thevindi.com // Kelton Latson


F

ifty years ago, Kwame Ture

Black and brown people to take back what

power to control and dictate life; and lastly,

made the call for Black Power

is rightfully ours, which is our humani-

the system of racism, which reflects the

in a speech he gave in Green-

ty. The steps to doing so require learning

thinking of the so-called founding fathers

wood, Miss. after the shooting

about Black culture in its true light and to

of this nation. That thinking, supported by

of James Meredith during the

embrace it.

the Constitution and laws, is that this na-

March Against Fear. Around this time, a lot

tion is to only benefit white people and that

of the younger black youth were no longer

Patriarchy and Capitalism For centuries, we have allowed White

stance on being nonviolent. Ture said in his

America to tell us what our culture is and

speech, “This is the twenty-seventh time I

that their idea of culture is more acceptable.

Along with learning about our culture

have been arrested and I ain’t going to jail

Our culture is vital to our people and must

comes our history. History will tell us why

be protected at all cost, because without

we are in the conditions that we’re in and

white men from whoppin’ us is to take over. What we gonna start sayin’ now is ‘Black Power!’” Black Power emphasis. We as Black and brown people must make collective decisions about which changes we need to make politically. We can’t have Black Power by depending on a system that goes against us and politicians who work for that system. The Black Power Movement ended in the 1970s and consisted of mostly young high school and college students. They no longer wanted to follow in the footsteps of the older generation who led the Civil Rights Movement because it was deemed as too passive and not progressive toward

ting rid of those conditions. We must learn about true Black history so that we can bet-

We must learn to accept who we are...

Black liberation. The Black Power Movement was considered as militant and gained

Black History & Lack of Education

will help us move toward solutions to get-

no more! The only way we gonna stop them

ter understand our true selves. Our history did not start with us being slaves to white people, even though that is what is taught in our history books. Before we started speaking the English language and taking English names, we had our own language. We even had our own religious practices before the white man came and “civilized” us with Christianity, which was used to instill the belief that white people are the closest thing on Earth to God. The education system teaches us to have an inferior mindset. If we are convinced that all we ever were was somebody’s slave and that we have never accomplished anything, we’ll

a negative perception from white society,

culture we are a lost group of people look-

never be motivated. We definitely won’t

and also from some within our own com-

ing to fit into something where we do not

be motivated to do anything about our

munity due to miseducation. During this

belong. Black Power requires Black people

oppression if we are being taught to be in-

movement, Black liberation organizations

to decolonize our minds of the concepts

ferior. They teach us about the leaders who

such as the Black Panther Party of Self-De-

that White America deems acceptable. We

believed in reform and nonviolence, but not

fense—a grassroots organization formed in

must decolonize our minds from Western

the leaders who believed in dismantling the

the inner city Oakland, Calif. area by Huey

civilization, because it is simply code for

system. Why? Because if we continue to be

Newton and Bobby Seale—were formed to

white domination. One of the key elements

nonviolent towards our oppressor, they can

protect Black residents from law enforce-

of it is Capitalism, a bloodthirsty system

continue oppressing us without fear of a

ment and to educate the Black community

that has exploited and capitalized off the

revolt. They won’t teach us about our more

on laws and their rights. The Republic of

labor of poor people, and nobody has been

radical leaders, let alone the truth about

New Afrika was formed to fight for the

more exploited than Black and brown peo-

them. The words “radical” and “militant”

reparations owed from the U.S. govern-

ple. Slavery here in America was an early

are associated with dangerous, scary, and

ment and to build a nation within a nation.

example of the capitalist system, which has

destructive, and they want us to think of

Many other grassroots organizations also

made billions on the backs of Blacks since

our more radically thinking brothers and

emerged. It also produced politically con-

then.

sisters as counterproductive and figures we

scious leaders such as Huey P. Newton, Fred

PHOTO FROM GOOGLE IMAGES

all non-white people are to bear the burden.

willing to settle with Martin Luther King’s

Another system that has build up

should stay away from.

Hampton, Assata Shakur, Kathleen Cleaver,

Western civilization is patriarchy, the belief

Mark Clark, Angela Davis, and numerous

that only men should have power. Tradi-

that we don’t need reform. Reforming is not

other leaders seeking to advance Black

tional African principles proposed the equal

the way to Black liberation, only revolution

people.”

balance of power between men and wom-

is, and history supports that. The Mau Mau

an. Western societies are a combination of

drove Britain out of Kenya by force when

slogan because with Black Power, there

anti-Black systems. They are a combination

they grew tired of being oppressed. The

are Black actions. This means to actively

of Capitalism, which helps keep the wealth

Haitian Revolution was the most success-

do things for the betterment of the Black

lopsided and into the hands of whites; pa-

ful revolt that happen here in the West.

struggle, Black people, and for the indi-

triarchy, which that makes sure that more

Haitians were willing to shed blood in order

vidual. The movement made the call for all

specifically, it is white men who have the

to get rid of the French. France was also

‘Black Power’ is more than just a

The truth that we need to understand is

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 24


forced out of Algeria in 1962. The National

was the governor of California, he signed

of reverse racism. White supremacy has a

Liberation Front got the Algerian men and

the Mulford Act, which prevented carrying

way of conditioning us to think that Black

women to come together and fight for their

loaded firearms in public. This is because of

people teaching each other about having

liberation, by force. We should even look at

the sightings of the Black Panthers pa-

pride in, love for, and acceptance of our-

America’s history, because when America

trolling Black neighborhoods, making sure

selves is a form of “Black supremacy.” If

wanted independence, it didn’t fight for a

that police officers weren’t overstepping

Blwack people refuse to assimilate to White

reform or scream that their lives matter in

boundaries, and was also to prevent Black

America, we are looked at as segregationist.

the streets. They fought what we now know

people from being armed anywhere at any

Black Power doesn’t mean we are superior

as the American Revolution.

time. That law was passed because the sys-

to anybody. Being pro-Black means to be

tem was scared of Black Power.

willing to stand up against the oppression

Self-Defense One of the controversial ideas during the

of Black and brown people, to tell the truth Economics

about white supremacy to its face, to be

Black Power Movement was the idea of

One of the most important elements that

proud of your blackness and to embrace

self-defense. Bearing arms and self-defense

shows Black Power is the control of the

it socially and culturally without the fear

is very important because it is a form of

Black dollar. We must control the resources

of worrying about what white people may

resistance, and when we as Black people all

in our communities and we must control

think about you.

resist brutality, it shows a sign of power.

the economics. In the bloodsucking sys-

The reason why the idea of self-defense

tem of Capitalism, we are consumers, but

eralism have resurrected something that

during the Civil Rights Movement was

are at the bottom of the economic scale.

should have never been buried. We have to

controversial is due to the fact that many

Black and brown people spend 95 percent

drop being identified as liberals and start

believe Martin Luther King Jr.’s stance of

of our dollars outside of our own com-

identifying as revolutionaries. Neo-Liber-

practicing nonviolence was a way of bring-

munities, according to Atlanta Black Star

alism is the same as Neo-Colonialism. The

ing change without having to experience

News. Even within our communities we

system of white supremacy takes a black-

any form of pain or suffering. Many Black

still don’t support our own. We let peo-

face and puts it in the right place in order to

people who identify as Christian believe

ple from outside of our community build

fool Black and brown people into thinking

in this concept because nonviolence is a

stores, restaurants, and other businesses

that we are progressing. Liberalism wants

teaching of the New Testament. This is also

and then take the money elsewhere. We

to reform the system so that it can fit into

why White America loves and paints Martin

have been conditioned to strive for what is

it. Revolutionaries want to dismantle the

Luther King as the face of the Civil Rights

called the “American Dream,” which means

system so that we can create a system that

Movement and as black people’s greatest

to have possession of expensive materials.

is truly just.

leader: he preached a doctrine that kept

The American dream is to be able to afford

Black and brown people from standing up

nice houses, cars, clothes and so on. We

must understand that we are fighting for

and fighting back. Once again, white su-

are constantly continuing to help build up

all Black and brown people globally. You

premacy does not want to plant a seed of a

a nation that does not value us by giving it

can say that this is similar to Pan-African-

rebellion in the mind of Black America.

our dollars. Black Power calls for Black and

ism, but both are actually one in the same.

brown people to invest in things that will

The word “Black’ is inclusive. When we say

X, younger black people grew tired of

help advance our people such as our own

“Black Power” or “power to the people,”

the nonviolent doctrine because it sent a

grocery stores, banks, schools and busi-

we mean power to every single Black and

message that we are submissive. Ture once

nesses. We must also control the politics in

brown human being who walks this Earth,

said, “In order for nonviolence to work,

our community by endorsing officials such

just like Pan-Africanism is for the global

your opponent must have a conscience. The

as councilmen and mayors that have Black

unification of all Africans. We can’t afford

United States has none.” It is a criminal

Power emphasis. We as Black and brown

to be divided by factions. When we spend

tactic to preach nonviolence to Black and

people must make collective decisions about

time worrying about bits and pieces that

brown people while at the same time not

which changes we need to make politically.

make us different, we lose sight of our

preaching nonviolence to white people. Law

We can’t have Black Power by depending on

common goal and who the enemy is. We

enforcement is our enemy; it is designed to

a system that goes against us and politi-

must realize that the one thing we do have

help feed the prison industrial complex and

cians who work for that system.

in common is that we are people of color,

In 1965, after the death of Malcolm

people. The Thirteenth Amendment and law

When fighting for Black Power, one

we want to be liberated, and that we have Education

the same oppressor who is keeping us from

enforcement help carry that idea out. With

The number one component to Black Power

our liberation. White supremacy doesn’t

the understanding of why law enforcement

is knowledge. White supremacy has been in

care what else we identify as. If you’re a

exists, and why it is heavily pushed in Black

place for long as it has because we as Black

person of color, you’re going to catch the

communities, it is up to us to keep them

people have lacked knowledge and un-

same hell that every other person of color

safe. We must patrol our own communities

derstanding of ourselves and our struggle.

is catching. In the year of 2017, we as black

because only we have the best interest for

We have been tricked into thinking that

and brown people need to start saying

our community. This is a form of power.

Black Power is the same as White Power.

‘Black Power’ again.and brown people need

When former President Ronald Reagan

We’ve been told that Black Power is a form

to start saying ‘Black Power’ again.

25 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

BOTTOM PHOTO BY EVAN PRUNTY TOP PHOTO FROM GOOGLE IMAGES

to make legal slaves out of Black and brown

These last few years under Neo-lib-


We can’t have Black Power by depending on a system that goes against us, and politicians who work for that system.

1975

2016


1966 hough, clev eland, ohio

Dr. Charles Drew


A

American psychologist Erik

memory, poem, and song. The enslaved Af-

start here in America nor did their accolades.

Erikson once said, “In the so-

ricans did an amazing job of preserving their

For every story of pain and oppression there

cial jungle of human existence,

culture as cultural rites and passages have

is a story of triumph and creativity. The

there is no feeling of being alive

been partially maintained albeit centuries of

enslavement of Black people is but a small

without a sense of identity.”

separation. Although the enslaved Africans

span of time on the calendar. This isn’t the

Identity is the strength of the people and

fought hard to keep their identity, ultimately

platform for a exhaustive study so I will try

without it they are defenseless against the

they weren’t much of a match for the brute

to highlight some key points to de-mystify

many wilds of the world. Erikson theorized

force and criminality of the colonial powers

the so-called African American.

8 stages of human development noting that

of Europe. Many African cultural elements

the pass/fail results of each stage will effect

may be gone forever.

the preceding stage, i.e., what happens to

The origins of so called Black people

Origin Most major human origin stories trace cre-

you as a child will shape your mentality as

is filled with controversy and isn’t covered

ation or existence to the landmass of Africa.

an adult. A person who grew up with the

often in mainstream academics. There are

The Genesis story of the Bible mentions that

comforting embrace of wealth is more likely

200 Black Studies disciplines in the U.S.

the African rivers, Euphrates and Tigris,

to possess a positive worldview than a per-

Historically, the lack of coverage originates

were located in the Garden of Eden. Modern

son who grew up with the weighty despair of

from the system of racism and modern

science traces the origin of modern man to

poverty. Knowledge of the triumphs of your

poverty. Lack of corporate resources and

eastern Africa around 200,000 years ago. A

ancestors leads to a special pride shared

political representation continue to stifle the

few scientists believe that life started in the

with others like you. On the other hand

progression of Black studies.

Middle East. The Middle East is a modern

there tends to be a shame with carrying the

Lack of interest is also a difficulty. Ac-

concept and in antiquity was considered

knowledge of a negative past. Some people

ademia’s over-emphasis on the slave-trade

Northern Africa. No one knows for sure how

convert the knowledge into strength while

has left many Black students disinterested.

long we have been here, but some scien-

others are either, corrupted or overcome by

This omission of Black accolades has robbed

tists date the planet to around 4.6 billion

it.

countless history classes of precious tales

years old. According to Scientific America,

and glorious heroes. These omitted artifacts

evolutionary geneticist William Amos, evo-

the stages of development for many African

stand as puzzle pieces that may never find

lutionary biologist Dr. Andrea Manica and

Americans. Stage 4 of Erikson’s theory states

its place. This journey may not complete

their colleagues at University of Cambridge

that during the early school years children

your puzzle but hopefully it will get you

in England conducted a study on 4,666

start to become aware of their competence.

closer to the finish.

male skulls from various places around the

The institution of Racism has altered

During this stage, people learn about being

On a more personal note, I have lived

world. The team found a connection between

superior and inferior in skills and accom-

most of my life in the Slavic Village neigh-

genetic diversity and physical variation

plishments. Public schools teach very little

borhood. The whole neighborhood was en-

depending on the distance from Africa, i.e.,

about Black history during this stage which

riched in culture. The atmosphere reflected

the further people lived from Africa, the

may lead to a feeling of inferiority due to

multiple decades of Polish culture including

less genetically diverse they were. Manica

lack of historic role models. Self-awareness

the stores, building designs, and festivals.

states, “We have combined our genetic data

grows and leads to the next stage which

What was missing for me was that there was

with new measurements of a large sample

is “identity versus role confusion.” This is

no place like this in Cleveland for Black peo-

of skulls to show definitively that modern

the stage where people build their identity.

ple. Gentrification and Racism led the Black

humans originated from a single area.”

People tend to build their identity from the

community to live a semi-nomadic lifestyle,

One of the issues of understanding

traits of those around them, mostly from

building neighborhoods from the scraps left

Black history is identity. African Americans

their culture. Black people have historically

by their fleeing White counterparts.

are a collection of people that originate

been given a choice to embrace their culture

Black communities began to solidify

or submit to the colonial powers. Embrace-

in Cleveland the 60’s and 70’s. Areas like

group is their common ancestry. Common

ment of Black culture has either meant

Union-Miles, Hough, and East Cleveland be-

ancestry can be a difficult measure because

danger or death for Black people in Amer-

gan to build despite lack of funding from the

of the timespan that many people have been

ica. Rejecting Black culture and embracing

local government. Political institutions like

separated from their distant relatives. An-

colonial powers gave many hope and helped

the Drug War that began in 1971 helped fuel

other binding agent is the cultural practices

many escape some problems that Blacks face

the destruction of many of these communi-

handed down through generations. These

often. Unfortunately converting to colonial

ties. During the 1990’s crime was rampant

measures can be difficult also because colo-

powers did not protect from the danger and

throughout the poverty stricken city. Police

nial powers have altered and banned many

death of Racism.

patrolled Black neighborhoods in similar

of these practices. Skin shade is another and

fashion to the Nazi raids of the Jewish Ho-

probably the most prominent element in

atically forced to forget their past. Banned

locaust. The currently active U.S. Drug War

the identity of Black people. The issue with

from academia and social life, African

which targets Americans of color, stands as

skin color and other features is that Africans

Americans had to build a new subculture of

the longest war in U.S. history at 46 years.

contain the DNA for every physical feature

African with looming oppression, little to no

The Vietnam War stands second at 19 years.

on the planet including light skin, blue eyes

For centuries Blacks have been system-

resources and knowledge passed down from

The displacement of Black people didn’t

from many places. One factor that binds the

and blond hair. Many Black Americans ap-

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 28


pear visually to be Caucasian mostly through

vs Negro. Some within the Black community

of Nubian history because there is evidence

mixed-race mating, but there are some that

felt that Negro was not accurate and was

that it may have been part of the oldest and

just have similar features related to ancestral

connected with slavery. Others continued

largest nation that ever existed. The Nu-

background. Another issue with identifying

to use both titles with a change in meaning.

bians of the kingdom of Kush predate Kemet

African-Americans is that the people we

According to Lerone Bennett Jr., author of

and are believed by some scholars to be the

know as Africans didn’t only inhabit Africa,

Before the Mayflower: A History of Black

connected to the indigenous people of the

but every known corner of the world.

America, Black Power advocates “adopted a

Americas and Asia.

In order to clarify this identity enigma,

new vocabulary in which the word ‘black’ is

let’s look at actually ethnic titles. Ameri-

reserved for ‘black brothers and sisters who

can communities seems to be at odds with

are emancipating themselves,’ and the word

The expanse of human diversity is often

what to call African Americans. Most people

‘Negro’ is used contemptuously for Negroes

characterized into identifying factors that

outside of the Black community can find part

‘who are still in Whitey’s bag and who still

we classify as culture, e.g., the French in

of their identity attached to a land mass.

think of themselves and speak of themselves

their art, the British in their military might

Irish Americans look to Ireland just like

as Negroes.’”

and the Germans in their science. If the

The land mass doesn’t only regulate identity but it also serves as a economic and cultural bank to ensure the empowerment of certain groups of people, regardless of their location. The distinction with African Americans is that most identify with their colonizers rather than Africa. Many have been convinced that Africa is an uncivilized dark continent and are filled with repudiation at the mention of the name Africa. Most psychologists would probably agree that identity is important to mental health. Identity is a big issue with modern African Americans, but what did their enslaved ancestors—who were closer connected with their native culture—identify themselves as. Evidence shows that Africans considered themselves Black. Various areas including Egypt, were called ‘land of the Blacks’. During the early 19th century

In 1988, several African American

Africans are the oldest known civilization,

leaders, including Jesse Jackson, met in

why aren’t they famous for anything other

Chicago to discuss an agenda for the Black

than being enslaved? A quick survey of pop-

ular academia in America is most likely to produce history of the colonial powers who

Many within the Black community began to separate themselves...

American colonial powers began to send free Africans back to Africa. In order to escape deportation many began using the title

German-Americans identify with Germany.

Misunderstandings

conquered the world through warfare with people of color serving as a side note. Colonial history followed a script that only James Cameron can direct. History—the perfect Hollywood story of the dashing European protagonist who saves the world from the darkies. Revised history may be the biggest culprit in the separation of Nubians and their history. Africa was called the “dark continent” by Europeans. Dark didn’t refer to skin shade, but rather the negative connotations that arose from ignorance. Fear and ignorance fueled a primitive view of the unknown continent. European colonial powers began to rewrite history according to their racist views. Colonists believed that Africans were not human, but were merely part of the native

“coloured” or “free person of colour.” Many

community. Jackson declared that the race

wildlife so they refused to acknowledge their

within the Black community began to sepa-

prefers to be called African American instead

achievements. Accolades of Africans began

rate themselves from their African identity

of Black. Jackson claimed that the identify-

to be buried into oblivion or attributed to

even to the point of removing the word Af-

ing term African American would give Black

other groups. Influential areas of Africa

rica from their institutions. There was even

people an ethnic pride like that of their

such as Egypt and the Middle East began to

momentum to the ideal of an official title of

Caucasian counterparts.

be viewed as non-African as many of the

“oppressed Americans.” The resistance to the title Negro appears

Many African Americans deal with iden-

natives were dispersed through wars and

tity issues due to slavery and colonization.

invasions. As Rome rose, it claimed many of

to have been active since the beginning of

Just the mention of Black or African will

the technologies of Africa as its own.

the slave trade. Through examination of

send many African Americans into a frenzied

writings of the enslaved, it appears they

tirade. Some reject these terms in hopes to

mostly called themselves Black or African.

separate themselves from the culture. Others

Most Americans have heard of Christopher

Bennett states that, “the first institutions

reject the terms because they feel Black is

Columbus and his so—called discovery of

organized by Americans of African descent

a negative political title. Black people have

the Americas. The popular story states that

were designated “African,” viz., The Free

went as far as physically deforming them-

Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain

African Society,” “the African Methodist

selves to appear more European. Many

sent Columbus on a valiant journey in 1492

Episcopal Church,” “The African Baptist

Black people currently identify themselves

to prove that the Earth wasn’t round and

Church.”

as Nubian, in reference to the kingdoms of

that led him to the discovery of the New

Kush and Kemet. Kemet is a prominent part

World. The story has seemingly religious

The 1960’s hosted the debate of Black

29 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

Columbus Lost in the West


This philosophy is seen in modern Pan-Africanism movements like Black Lives Matter and the new Black Power Movement.

U.N.I.A. Universal Negro Improvement Association

Led directly to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people

INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN FLAG Garvey also created the PanAfrican flag, also known as the Black Liberation Flag, or Bendera Ya Taifa.

MASS MEDIA

SELF LOVE

Colonial culture of the early 1900’s used to spread the negative image of Black people so the movement aimed to counter the psychological damage done.

MARCUS GARVEY

2 MILLION

without any pride.

W.E.B. DUBOIS

The rise of Pan-Africanism in the 1990s can be attribute d to these key leaders.

Members were estimated to be in the Universal Negro Improvement Association, in 1919, created by Marcus Garvey.


looking at Nubian people. Northern Africa was considered West India to some Euro-

cans weren’t civilized because they didn’t

synonymous for Nubian/Black people.

have a writing system. This was a remnant

lumbus is looked at as the father of America. A deeper look at the story reveals the tale of a brutal colonial criminal, lost at sea, who traveled the world terrorizing Nubian people. Leif Eriksson actually landed in North America five centuries earlier. By 1492 most influential scholars accepted the “round Earth” theory because Nubians taught that the world was round centuries before Spain existed. The Greeks, who were taught by Nubians, also taught that the Earth was round—debunking the “flat Earth” motive. Columbus located the Americas by mistake, as he miscalculated the size of Earth, and was only saved by crashing into one of the islands of Haiti. This is important because of the people he had seen in the Americas. Popular theory states that the indigenous people of America were all lightskinned Asiatic people. This is reinforced by popular media such as the classic TV show, “The Lone Ranger,” which gave us Tonto. A deeper look shows that early America had different ethnicities—with the earliest people being more connected to the Nubians of Africa. Columbus, who was eventually jailed and considered a tyrant, called the native people of Haiti, Indians. In modernity, Indian means either a person from the region of India or it is used as a racial term for the Indigenous people of the Americas. The term “Indian” was used for the original “Americans” because Columbus thought he was 31 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

of outdated history and confused me because

that the Indigenous people of America may

I wondered about the hieroglyphs from

have either been ascendants, descendants,

Egypt. Even though the movies always por-

or an extended part of Africa. There are more

tray Egyptians as Caucasian, if you look at a

pyramids in the Americas than there is in

map it is definitely in Africa. I didn’t think

Africa, they also appear to be made using

that was an issue until I learned that many

the same methods. The cultural clothing of

of my friends and colleagues didn’t believe

the Native Americans mimicked that of the

that Egypt is African.

Egyptians and other African cultures. Also

tones for many modern Americans as Co-

I was taught in history class that Afri-

peans. “West Indian” was a ancient term New discoveries in the Americas show

Lewis Lattimer

ish scientists.

The name Egypt itself is Greek. A more

early paintings of the Natives display many

proper name is Kemet or Khemet. Kemet lit-

dark-skinned natives that could easily be

erally means “land of the black people” and

mistaken for a Zulu warrior. Political, reli-

some translate it as “the black land.” Kemet

gious and technological advances all seem to

had over 30 known names including “Ta

point to a common culture between Indig-

Meru” which means “the beloved land” and

enous Americans and Africans. During the

“Ta Seti” which means “land of the bow.”

Colonial era, Europeans created the theory

Some researchers believe that the “black”

of race, separating people based on features,

in Kemet doesn’t refer to the people, but

primarily the shade of their skin. The darker

rather the rich soil of the Nile. Others believe

skinned natives were grouped with the

the name more likely symbolizes the people

kidnapped Africans and are now considered

similar to nearby areas with the same name

African Americans.

in a different languages. The kingdom of

The evidence actually shows that Africans may have traveled to the Amer-

Kush, south of Kemet, was called Ethiopia or “the land of the black people” by the Greeks.

icas regularly thousands of years before Columbus. Columbus himself wrote that

Black Inventors Who Shaped History

“Black-skinned people had come from the

The great Nubian inventors aren’t just an

South East in boats, trading in gold-tipped

element of ancient times, although enslaved

spears.” The false theory of Africa as a dark

and oppressed Black people continued to be

or simple-minded place has led many to

innovative. Black inventions are a part of

think that Africans didn’t have the intel-

daily life for Americans. Great inventors like

ligence or technology to sail to America.

Lewis Lattimer allow us to light our

This false view of Nubians doesn’t stand up

homes--he created. Lattimer created the

to history. The Greek historian Herodotus

filament that allows light bulbs that illumi-

documented in 445 B.C. of how the Egyptian

nated brightly.

Pharaohs had great seafaring skills. King

Dr. Charles Drew created the blood bank

Ramses III sailed to America in 1292 B.C. and

which has saved countless lives and elevated

in 1311 A.D. King Abubakari II, ruler of the

the medical field significantly.

Kingdom of Mali, sent 200 ships of men, and 200 ships of African goods.

Cleveland’s own Garrett Morgan’s impact on traffic safety is unheralded. Morgan, who is credited as the first African American

The Myth of a Non-African Egypt

in Cleveland to own a automobile, created

Europeans knew little about Africa until

his traffic device after witnessing a serious

the 19th century. During the 1800’s Africa

accident. He moved to Cleveland in 1895,

was systematically conquered and dissect-

where he worked in a sewing and shoe shop.

ed. American academia focused strictly on

Morgan also began making hair care prod-

the colonial history of Africa and either

ucts, including a hair straightener and dye.

dismissed or altered anything beforehand.

Morgan created an effective safety hood that

The effects of this systematic focus still

could prevent people from breathing in toxic

influences some areas of academia and the

smoke caused by fires. The device utilized

perception of many. The Civil Rights move-

a wet sponge to filter the air and tubes that

ment coincided with an influx of interest in

ran to the floor to gather safer air. His device

African history and artifacts by American

would eventually be reformed into the gas

scholars in an attempt to keep up with Brit-

mask which is now standard equipment with


tor, but he was also a hero. Using his safety hood, Morgan walked heroically into tunnel under Lake Erie to rescue victims of a explosion. . His deeds went unrecognized by local media and politicians because they didn’t want to recognize a Black man as a hero. The African Aesthetic A key part of African culture has always been music and art. The creativity of the African, often called the African aesthetic has always been celebrated. The African aesthetic consists of the rhythmic nature present in multiple areas of life including fashion and linguistics. The rhythmic linguistics of Africans, often mistaken as slang, may sound informal or incorrect to other cultures but in

The new Black Power Movement is about knowledge, health, and power.

the military. Not only was Morgan an inven-

reality is another form of English similar to the relationship between Spanish and Latin. The African Aesthetic is often called

negative and demeaning music. Songs like

“soul” or “flavor.” During slavery, Afri-

“I’m in Love” by LL Cool J, were replaced

cans were given undesirable food, but their

in the charts by songs like U.E.N.O. which

creativity transformed garbage into many

features Rick Ross rapping about drugging

famous delicacies. Slave owners wouldn’t let

and raping a woman.

them have instruments, so Nubians would

rate the forms of hip-hop to distinguish the

make music. (sidebar)

popular music from what some call real or and lecturer, Akala, compares pop culture

messages of freedom, but also methods.

hip-hop to institutions of the past stating,

These stories of heartache, tribulations, and

“Hip-Hop is a modern day minstrel show.”

triumph led to the creation of Jazz, Rock

Big corporations capitalize off of popular

and Roll, Hip Hop and many other genres of

stereotypes, changing the landscape of the

music. Whether it is a religious tribute or

genre.

chains of slavery, others have been here as longs as history can tell. Africans in the Americas have been given or taken many different cultural names but they are from similar backgrounds. The difference between a Haitian and a Black Clevelander may be a boat stop. The purpose of this journey was not to compare Africans with any cultural background in a better or worse sense, but it is dedicated to be a supplement for antiquity malnutrition caused by colonial history. Black history is world history so it must be treated as such. If we are to break the chains of the system of Racism then we must embrace our true history. This article is partially about race, but let me destroy my own story by saying that race doesn’t exist. We all come from a common ancestry regardless of our modern ethnicity, so show some love to your family.

Although pop culture hip-hop is mar-

art to carry the essence of the people. Every

keted everywhere, conscious hip-hop still

movement of Nubians in modern history

lives. The hip-hop culture isn’t just about

correlates with the rise of a Black art. The

music and has taught more about police

Garvey Movement’s message was partially

brutality and oppression than maybe the

spread using great hymns of freedom, just as

most elite university. Many new generations

Jazz, Funk, Rock and Soul became the voice

learn keys parts of world history through

of the Black Power Movement of the 70’s.

songs from artists like Immortal Technique

The Black Power movement gave birth

some came to America through the brutal

conscience rap. International Hip-hop artist

the realm of slavery, relating not just

legendary tale, Africans have always used

people of many humble backgrounds. While

The Black community began to sepa-

clap their hands and stomp their feet to Many motivation songs echoed through

but they were also hunters, farmers, and

and Lupe Fiasco.

to hip-hop which has been very influential in the last 40 years. Hip-hop arose during

In Closing

the early 70’s as Nubian youth needed a

With all that said, hip-hop culture isn’t new,

way to express themselves. The spread of

nor is it synonymous with hip-hop. It is a

hip-hop became a networking tool allowing

sub-group of a mass of people that come

many isolated Nubians to connect emo-

from amazing origins. The people called

tionally and spiritually with others. Many

Black, African, and Nubian have a histo-

political leaders were strategically depow-

ry bigger than many imaginations. If the

ered, leading the youth to the leadership

evidence wasn’t chiseled in stone, written in

of hip-hop. As hip-hop culture began to

books, told through songs and other forms

solidify, the ownership and creative control

of art, then racism may have destroyed

began to leave the Black community. Positive

the Nubian identity forever. The so-called

hip-hop was defunded and replaced with

African Americans were Pharaohs, scholars and legendary travelers of great import,

Garrett Morgan


BLACK &WHITE My struggle to understand my identity, despite the inadequate labels by which I am forced to define myself. // Elisabeth Weems

M

y story is that of a biracial,

and how people are treated. The strug-

I would have been sold into bondage and

American woman. It is that

gle continues, and similarly, my struggle

my beauty would have condemned me to

of a conscious, brown-

continues. Despite the progress that we

being raped by my slave master and forced

skinned girl who grew up in

have made and that which we proclaim, I

to bear his children. If I were born 100 years

a predominantly white sub-

know that when people first see me, they

ago, I would have been prohibited from

urb with an Italian mother and an absent

see me as an anomaly; a brown-skinned

cross-cultural love and barred from being

Black father. It is that of the descendent of

woman with European features. I don’t

treated with dignity; or if I were born in

both the oppressor and the oppressed; the

make sense to them. I know that people

Italy, I would have lived under Benito Mus-

European and African. It is that of a woman

have preconceived notions of my abilities. I

solini’s fascist reign. I speak about the past,

robbed of her African history, who is dis-

know that when people tell me I’m eloquent

but I am conscious of the fact that I con-

connected from both her Black and Italian

and well-spoken, it’s often that they’re

tinue to face oppression, that we continue

sides. This is my story, but it is yours too.

surprised by my articulation because they

to face subjugation and exploitation—we

are convinced that my brown skin means I

Blacks, we Italians, we people.

If our ultimate goal as a society is to overcome racism, we must speak openly about it. We cannot buy into the self-delu-

am uneducated. If I were born 400 years ago, I would

According to my legal documents, I am Black/ African American. What does it

sion that the Civil Rights Movement of the

have been kidnapped by deranged men

mean to be an African American? It means

1960s abolished racist institutions and ide-

who traversed the Atlantic Ocean to find

that I am an orphan, stolen from the womb

ologies. We cannot pretend that anti-immi-

free labor, and I may not have survived the

of my mother Africa. It means that I don’t

grant sentiment isn’t still a problem—the

voyage—but my ancestors did and now I

know the first thing about my African roots.

struggle continues. Today, we cannot fool

must carry on their legacy. If I were born

I don’t know where I come from. I embrace

ourselves into thinking that race is no lon-

200 years ago, I could have been killed for

my heritage boldly, however my lineage is

ger a factor in how our society is organized

owning a book. If I were born 150 years ago,

scarred by the horrors of slavery. Every time

33 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017


citizen of the globe. It is to be historically

photographs of my people being lynched

oppressed.

and laughed at while they hang from trees

“So you’re black and white, right?”

with ropes around their necks. I cannot

people ask me. “You’re so exotic!” they

describe what it feels like to envision being

say. “No really, like where are you from?”

in chains, being ripped from my family,

“Cleveland,” I tell them. But then I ex-

from my continent. I cannot describe what

plain that I am from Africa. I explain that

it feels like to be the only Black person in

my roots are in Italy. I tell them that I am

my neighborhood grocery store, and to

from the stars, as are they. I am human, as

have white men and women overlook me as

are they, and though I openly embrace my

though I’m invisible because they hate what

heritage, I refuse to be defined by precon-

I embody. I do not fit their mold of what it

ceived notions of people who, quite frankly,

means to be Black, and I will never fit into

have no idea what it’s like to be Black and

white America. I do not wish to.

biracial in America—and a woman at that. I grew up disconnected from my Italian

I cannot describe what it feels like to be robbed of my history. I know that my Black

roots because nearly my entire family on

ancestors have roots in Georgia, but before

my mother’s side resides in Italy. Until

that, their ancestors were kidnapped from

I was 16 and took my first voyage to my

Africa and sold into bondage. This lega-

motherland, I hadn’t been exposed to the

cy has left an entire population of people

er’s attempts to teach me Italian as a child, our Christmas (Natale) tradition of making tortellini by hand, and our annual trips to the Feast of Assumption on Murray Hill in Little Italy. When I visited four years ago, and again this past summer, I was referred to as “the American.” Few people saw past my brown skin and openly accepted me as a fellow Italian, especially because of my unfamiliarity with the language and customs. I struggled to find myself fitting into the culture, and while I was growing up, I found myself rejecting it altogether. I’ve never fit in as a Black girl, nor an Italian girl, nor an American girl.

without an understanding of where we

This is my story, but it is your story too.

But what was more difficult was my I have to fill out any document that asks me

inability to relate to my Black roots. I was

to indicate my race or ethnicity, I shudder.

not raised by my biological father, and in

come from. We are orphans, and our adop-

I feel like I’m lying. I check “other” and

his place has been my mother’s partner, a

tive parent, America, has committed horri-

even that doesn’t feel right, but it feels like

six-foot-four Black man with roots in the

ble atrocities against us. We must continue

protest. It feels like I’m rejecting a system

south. He and my older brother embody the

to tell our stories. We must tell children the

that tries to put me in a box, but then it also

long-standing depiction of America’s fears;

truth about Black history, and we must stop

feels like I’m rejecting my duality. It feels

strong, tall, muscular black men who are

pretending that racism doesn’t still exist.

like I’m claiming neither my Blacks roots

conscious of oppression. My mother used

We must stop depicting Christopher Co-

nor my Italian.

to tell my brother that he had a target on

lumbus as anything other than a genocidal

his back, and always emphasized how he

maniac, and we must stop pretending that

and my father is a Black American. It baffles

needed to be careful when walking on the

Abraham Lincoln freed Black people from

me every single time I am forced to simplify

street or when in the presence of police. I

slavery. I will not accept being labeled as

my complex heredity by checking boxes

never truly understood the oppression that

“Black” and “white.” I am more than that.

that couldn’t even begin to define who I am.

we face as Blacks because I was isolated

I refuse to accept the labels that have been

“Black” and “white” are titles, not defin-

from it growing up. There are no Black

imposed upon me. I refuse to accept that I

ing, concrete categorizations. Black and

cultural centers in Brook Park, my home-

am just an American and that I don’t have a

white are colors, not kinds of people, and

town, which has a Black population of 3

rich, dualistic heritage. I am not Black, and

race is a socially constructed concept based

percent. I couldn’t understand the culture

I am not white. I just am, and I set myself

primarily on physical appearance, which is

of the ‘hood, or police brutality, or system-

free from the labels that enslave me. I want

based primarily on the sun and geographic

ic racism. I never learned about true Black

people to see me, and for people to see oth-

location. But to be Black is more than just to

history until I studied it in college. It is an

ers, for who they are, not for who society

be dark-skinned. It is to be a second-class

indescribable feeling to see for the first time

tells them to be.

My mother was born in Bologna, Italy

PHOTO BY ELISABETH WEEMS

culture or language; except for my moth-

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 34


THE REALITY OF BEING SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder Understanding how Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts individuals, explained by someone who experiences it firsthand. // Alana Whelan

A

re the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the

rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.” -Gustave Flaubert When I was younger, I never really understood the reason I felt gloomy on cloudy, cold days. Until I lived through multiple winters and summers, and saw a difference in the way I felt and even how productive I was, I didn’t know that having seasonal depression could be the cause. Though I personally haven’t been specifically diagnosed with SAD, I have experienced similar symptoms to those affected by seasonal depression. When my mom told me she had seasonal depression, I became more aware of how prevalent the disorder is, especially in places with typically longer winters, like Ohio. According to the Journal of Psychiatry, seasonal depression becomes more common as latitude increases. So, it is more likely that someone living in New Hampshire will become depressed during the fall and

18 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2016


winter than it is that someone living in

children, but it is much more rare. Though

Florida will become depressed during the same time. Most people can agree that clouds and rain have a correlation with depression, which can be really scary for those

one would probably think seasonal de-

Symptoms Apathic attitude

who experience SAD in the colder months

Appetite changes

of the year. It is common to dread the few

Difficulty concentrating

months after Christmas, when there doesn’t

actually the opposite. More suicides happen during the late spring and early summer than any other time of the year. However, the correlation between suicide rates and

Feelings of hopelessness

season is not always reliable. Experts point

seem to be much to look forward to, and

Increased irritability

out that there is more of a link between the

hardly any sun shines, but for those with

Declining energy

amount of sunshine and suicide rates, than

seasonal depression, the feeling of dread can be a much more severe feeling. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD,

Increased oversleeping Oversensitivity to rejection

is a sub-type of Clinical Depression that is

though it can also occur in the summer.

Treatments Medication

pression, many of the symptoms exhibited

Psychotherapy

different from those with Clinical Depression. Some symptoms of Seasonal Affective

any time of the year, and seasonal depres-

understand how hard it is to get over feeling

While it is extremely similar to Clinical Deby people with SAD are consistent, which is

this, suicide is still a very pressing issue at

Anyone who has been depressed can

The majority of people experience SAD around November through March or April,

the temperature and suicide rates. Despite

sion can often play a role.

most common during the winter months.

Change habits Cognitive behavioral therapy

sad, unworthy or unmotivated. Even though it can be extremely difficult, there are still many ways to combat it, and it starts with the individual’s desire to get better. Distractions are usually the most helpful way to feel well. Rather than just waiting for time to pass and hoping that the weather

Disorder include oversleeping, apathy,

will change, being able to find activities to

overeating and irritability. Though all of

distract oneself is important for people with

these symptoms can be experienced by peo-

seasonal depression. However, it is often

ple with Clinical Depression, the symptoms

difficult to find those activities that will

people with Clinical Depression have can also include insomnia, under eating and weight loss. It can be extremely difficult for people with any type of depressive disorder to overcome their depression, especially because it is caused by something mostly out of their control. Because Seasonal Affective Disorder is consistent throughout a particular time of year, it doesn’t just come and go like normal sadness. It is an unexplainable feeling caused by various factors that don’t always add up. The most difficult part for people with seasonal depression, as well as with other types of depressive disorders, is that they usually do not know exactly why they feel that way. It is normal to feel down

Tips to Feel Better

be distracting enough to help. Sometimes it can be hard to convince the brain not to

Use light therapy: There are lamps specifically made for seasonal depression.

overthink everything that is happening,

Exercise: Running on a treadmill, going on a walk,or going to the gym are ways to get blood flowing and endorpins rushing.

are struggling. Some such forms of therapy

Make a healthy meal: Food plays a big part in how we feel, eating a healthy meal can give the body the vitamins and energy it needs.

and to focus on something else. For that reason, various other forms of therapy and medication are available to help people who include light therapy, which is the use of an artificial light to mock the light one would normally be getting from the sun, and cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing the patient’s perception of the world or themselves. If no other form of therapy is making a difference, antidepressant medication is usually recommended. Seasonal Depression is a very real illness that is experienced by many peo-

because of a bad grade or a dispute at work,

ple. It can affect quality of life and bring

but that does not always mean the person

on suicidal thoughts, so it is not an illness

experiencing it is depressed.

that should be looked at lightly. Though it

Many people who are affected by

can be very difficult to deal with, there are

seasonal depression experience it every time the weather changes for the season. According to Psychology Today, seasonal depression affects around 10 million PHOTO BY ALYSSA MILLER

pression correlates with suicide rates, it is

many ways to fight it. Because more people

More Ideas

seem to becoming aware of how prevalent

Try writing

those who are dealing with it. No matter if

it is, it is much easier to find ways to help

Americans every year, and it is usually

Listen to music

it is seasonal depression, major depression,

more prevalent in women than it is in men.

Take a hot bath

or any other form of mental illness, it is

Most people begin to experience it around

Read a good book

extremely important to be aware of how it

the age of 20 and continue to later on in

Create something

affects us, as well as the people around us,

life. Seasonal depression can affect

Get coffee with a friend

and what we can do to help.

FEBRUARY 2017 | VINDICATOR 36


CELEBRATING DIVERSE BOOKS The Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to the understanding of racism and human diversity, books such as Beloved by Toni Morrison. // Dorothy Zhao

T

he Anisfield-Wolf awards, established by Cleveland philanthropist and poet Edith Anisfield Wolf in honor of her father and husband in

1935, stand out as the only American book prize that focuses on works emphasizing diversity and challenging racism. Amidst the turmoil of recent years, and during the celebration of Black History month, it is especially pertinent to shine a spotlight on the Anisfield-Wolf awards. It is also worth noting that since 1963, the Cleveland Foundation has been sponsoring and administering the prize. By recognizing books that give readers a better understanding of differences in society, these locally-based awards directly encourage authors to utilize their voices for elucidation, for justice, and for change. From nonfiction to poetry to biographies, the Anisfield-Wolf awardwinning books span a myriad of genres, as well as discussing diversity and the authors themselves. Topics ranging from the LGBTQ community, Civil Rights Era, and Apartheid exemplify how these awards promote diversity and honor every unique experience. Winners in the past include both relatively unknown to better-known authors, such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King Jr., and Toni Morrison. Last year’s Anisfield-Wolf awards ceremony took place conveniently on September 15, 2016, at Playhouse Square. Cleveland State freshmen in the Mandel Honors College received the extraordinary chance to attend the gala event. Cassidy Reaser, one of the attendees, enjoyed the experience and said “hearing the author’s stories and inspirations made their narratives come to life.” The “importance of diversity,” and how this subject applied to “our own lives” was noted by Reaser as the main theme of the gala.

37 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2017

Beloved Book Review

is one of tragedy, love, and slavery. Sethe,

Published in 1987, Beloved is an Anis-

the novel’s protagonist, tells the audience,

field-Wolf award-winning novel written

who is initially unaware of the repudious

by Toni Morrison. Most interestingly, the

act of infanticide, of both past and current

major event the novel foreshadows is based

events. Other characters -- such as Den-

on a true experience. The facts that a slave

ver, Sethe’s living daughter, and Paul D, a

named Margaret Garner genuinely did

former slave -- add their perspectives as

choose to kill her own daughter rather than

well. An extremely ambiguous character,

send her back into slavery, that Toni Mor-

Beloved, is a young woman who suddenly

rison herself is a black author, and that the

appears in Sethe’s life nearly two decades

Anisfield-Wolf awards has recognized many

after her escape from slavery. These four

books about being African American since

main characters lend differing perspectives

the twentieth century means that Beloved is

of the supernatural, symbolic, and slavery

a fitting book to analyze for Black History

components in Beloved.

month. The story that unfolds in Beloved

Reading Beloved by Toni Morrison


2016 Winners changed my perspective on just how horrif-

Sethe? Is she Sethe’s dead daughter come

ic slavery was and how slaves, former and

back to life, as much of the book suggests?

freed, were so negatively affected. There

Additionally, I would ask Morrison what

are no simple explanations for what slaves

she personally would have done in Sethe’s

suffered at the hands of their masters, and

case. It is challenging to put oneself in

as much as I understood that slavery was

such a situation, but one would be more

“bad,” I did not fully comprehend the depth

understanding in casting judgment. Since

of torture and imprisonment of every aspect

Morrison herself has two children, Morrison

of a slave’s life until reading “Beloved.” If

could relate to Sethe’s actions as a loving

Sethe was more willing to end her chil-

mother. Because the author also researched

dren’s lives than see them live their lives

Margaret Garner and emphasized the psy-

as slaves, then slavery must truly be worse

chological impact of slavery and the original

than death. When both Sethe and Paul D

true story of a slave who escaped slavery,

recall their punishments and daily life as

Morrison would be able to come to a deci-

slaves, graphic and harrowing images are

sion, however difficult.

conjured in the reader’s mind. Slavery is deplorable and reprehensible, and the novel centers on how the treatment of slaves led

Both the book Beloved and the Anis-

to a lack of identity for every slave. The loss

field-Wolf awards leave behind empowering

of self in Beloved is so accurately depicted

legacies. When Toni Morrison remarked

that, as a result, Morrison’s audience is

there was “no place you or I can go, to think

able to grasp that slavery had long-lasting,

about or not think about, to summon the

incredibly detrimental consequences for

presences of, or recollect the absences of

both the enslaved and communities of freed

slaves . . . there’s [not even a] small bench

and escaped.

by the road,” scholars created the “Bench

This novel also changed my view on a

have been placed in South Carolina, Paris,

ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all” to Paul D

France, George Washington University, and

when he accuses her of loving “too thick”

Oberlin College. The nineteenth bench is

by attempting to murder her own children.

conveniently close by -- in University Cir-

Her words resonated with me, because I

cle! This particular bench marks the history

never seriously thought of how a mother

of the Underground Railroad and serves as

shows her love to her children. It may be

a memorial to freedom seekers who passed

harsh, tough love, it may be overly- protec-

through Cleveland and the Clevelanders

tive love, and it may be deadly love in the

who helped them. Beyond bench-building, the Anis-

inely is no such thing as love too thick or

field-Wolf awards will only continue en-

thin. Like being and existence, love simply

lightening a myriad of audiences in the near

is, or isn’t. One is, or isn’t. Sethe did not

and distant future. As one contemplates

wish to sacrifice her beloved children to the

Beloved, it must be noted that its publica-

scarring scythe of slavery, so instead she

tion gave Morrison many an accolade and

chose the woodshed to end their lives. It is

significant acclaim. In addition to the award

difficult to view the concept of loving and

discussed in the article, Beloved also re-

her decision objectively, because human

ceived the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988.

emotions are invoked throughout the entire

This accomplished piece of African-Ameri-

novel. Ultimately, however, one can argue

can literature goes in accordance to Morri-

whether love is able to be laid on too thickly

son’s other novels: set in an isolated black

or thinly and debate if Sethe’s actions were

community, active beliefs and practices not

understandable to an extent.

marginalized by a white culture are forces

If I could interview Toni Morrison

The winner of the Anisfield-Wolf 2016’s award for fiction. This tale takes place in the Prohibition-era--a time of jazz, gangsters, and heated race relations. A thrilling story that gives a look into history.

The Gay Revolution By Lillian Faderman The winner of the non-fiction category for the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Awards. Faderman is a renowned scholar of LGBT history and in her book she discusses the noteworthy issues of the movement through 150 interviews.

that shape said community. In doing so,

about Beloved, I would inquire just who

Morrison ensures a focus on specific his-

Beloved represented. Even if Morrison does

torical events and black history as a whole.

not give me a straight answer and encour-

Ultimately, the recognition of diversity in

ages my own interpretation, the author’s

literature and blackness in Morrison’s nov-

explanation would be very reassuring. Is

els are quintessential and beneficial aspects

Beloved genuinely a ghost or a random

for a society observing Black History Month.

person who just happened to stumble upon

by Marry Moris

by the Road Project” in 2006. Benches

mother’s love. Sethe explains “love is or it

case of Sethe’s children, but there genu-

PHOTO BY TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS

Legacy of Anisfield-Wolf and Beloved

The Jazz Palace

Heaven by Rowan Richard Philips The winner of the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf poetry category. Phillips, who is a translator and multilingual author, wrote 38 poems for this book that discuss a multitude of topics, from George Zimmerman to Wu Tang Clan.


Water Colors By Joy Yayoie McKinney

ART BY JESSIKA RIANE

The clear color Above Green, Yellow, Pink, White, And Silver Reflecting Birds flying around And the moon behind the cloud. Reflecting colors, but shining With whichever color To be on.


Deeply Rooted Love Written by Ar’yana Allen

Marching through the parades Boycotting the bullshit Love that never tires Hands up for Black love Doesn’t kill to keep the numbers happy I want that Black love Love that goes deeper Than penetration Caresses my soul and leaves me tingling Black love That two parent household type of love Raising the kids together With morals and respect Black love Light, Brown, Black Color blind Black Love I want that type of love.

ART BY MIKAYLA COLSTON

I want that Black love. You hear me? Black love. That Will and Jada love, Started from the bottom, now we at the top Black love. That soul quenching, heart wrenching love I want the love that shares history Shackled up and planning an escape love Love that runs so deep it cracks my heels As I glance up at the sky and look for my Freedom love Love so real I’ll sleep with my Massa So my love can live I want that Black love Fighting against discrimination together So my kids will never have to live with segregation That integrated Black love Thick lips and full kisses I want that Black love with the Nappy hair and tough roots

MARCH 2016 | VINDICATOR 19


Innocent Kissing Between Smalls with Wings Written by Joy Yayoie McKinney Imagine innocent kissing between two human children like creatures and describe the situation by writing your own creative works or creating your own art by drawing, painting, or creating objects after reading a poem, “Innocent Kissing Between Smalls With Wings�.

ART BY MIKAYLA COLSTON

Just feeling for love By kissing Feeling the existence each other. By feeling the existence, The sense of happiness Comes up. Just feeling peaceful With innocent minds Feeling the heart each other No matter where Two small innocent minded Fly around.


Illusions of Love By Chau Tang

ILLUSTRATION BY REBECCA PETRO

Forbidden love, that’s what it was Hoping I would catch the early worm to fall in love But I see now, it wasn’t worth my pain Cause every time I see you, my heart breaks. Hoping you would feel the same but you’ve changed. I guess I have too but I tried my best to see you smile Seeing you with another one by your side. What we have left is a story to be told I remember we would sneak out half past dawn to dance until sunrise. We were two fools who couldn’t stop smiling But those smiles are fading when our families kept tearing us apart. No, please don’t go, my love. We will get through this together, I love you, do you still love me? But she said no, at first. So we went our separate ways, hoping the feeling of our love remains until the next time we see each other again

At 12:21, 10 years later we have met again in this little café where we first laid eyes on each other. This time, you had a child right by your side. I should’ve known, should’ve seen this coming She said I apologize but I couldn’t wait. I hope that you find another one that will wait, I just couldn’t cause, I had so much love to give. I couldn’t wait any longer, but the feelings for you still remain. Sorry, but I should leave. She said, please stop waiting for me. With those words, she left. My eyes filled with tears as it streamed down my face. Another heartache by the one that I adored My eyes were watching her walk away. How could this be? I thought that she would wait. Now you’ve left me in so much pain. I ran home and screamed, tore those pictures of us. Maybe, one day, I’ll find someone to love One who’ll wait for me, the way I’d wait for her.


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.