The Vindicator - November 2020

Page 1

Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

NOV 2020



what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors



Arts 7


Cozy Up This Fall by ERIC SEITZ




Bundling Up with a Bildungsroman by LAUREN KOLESZAR

A Flash in the PAN-demic


Native American Voices on Thanksgiving by LYNN NICHOLS


Popular Gaming Apps of Quarantine by JOSCELYN ERVIN

Beauty + Wellness 33


Body Dysmorphia by MEGAN BARANUK


Wear A Mask—But Make it Fashion by SAMRA KATAMUSTAFIC


And That’s the Tea by LAUREN KOLESZAR




Black Friday Canceled? by JOSCELYN ERVIN


Thanksgiving, Politics and You by KRISTINA MARKULIN


Music 43

Drive -In Concerts by JOSCELYN ERVIN


Poetry 44





A Nature Walk by HANNAH MOSLEY






“The archeologist turned schoolteacher, turned Plato’s Closet franchise owner took the leap and opened a green business dedicated to sustainable women’s fashion.!” — AMANDA LIGHT



Breaking Our Own Boundaries. “ I tell her that abiding by

Imposter Syndrome and How to Fix It. “Every morning, I wake up and feel like I’m choking. Or drowning. Or losing. I feel this overwhelming urge to give up entirely on school, my career and my future.” — DOROTHY ZHAO

the culture we came from does not mean we have to limit ourselves to being one dimensional; I tell my mother as women especially, we can be a million different things all at once.” — CLAUDIA UGBANA

#VindiAsks: How are you handling online learning?


60% I’M NOT.

@vindi_csu stay up-to-date with all things Vindi on Instagram


38% UGH. Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU


w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

N OV E M B E R 11/1-11/13 Olympics

11/18 Concert

Compete with your friends and against other students and community members each week to win a $25 gift card to Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more! 12PM– ONLINE

11/10 - 11/13 Give Back CLE+

Whether you are looking to learn something new, or practice skills you already know, join us for this fun (and free!) 6PM - ONLINE

11/24 SAVE Meeting

Give Back Cle this year will consist of CAB giving back to the CSU and Cleveland community by sharing our stories considering importance of mental health, restoring our perspectives on the things which connect us. Along with a series of virtual videos and ways to connect for students, CAB will also be creating a Before I Die... wall which we be dedicated to Cleveland and the students of Cleveland State. 12 PM - ONLINE

11/12 Movember: Mo-Men-Tum

SAVE is CSU’s Animal Rights club. They advocate for an end to all animal exploitation and the creation of a vegan world. Everyone who wants a better world for animals is welcome. 6 PM - ONLINE

Come jump on Zoom to watch speaker Tim Mousseau talk about changing the landscape of modern masculinity, as part of our Movember month of activities! 6 PM - ONLINE THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 4


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




he midpoint of the semester has come upon students fairly quickly. To most, August, or even March, seems so far away, yet time keeps turning, transporting us further into the year.

Thanksgiving will be upon us shortly, and students can take this time to reflect upon how they’ve been doing in classes so far, what they are thankful for, and spend some quality time with themselves or those they love. Unwinding is definitely needed after a stressful transition to a majority of virtual classes. Midterms have come and gone, a huge accomplishment for students while adjusting to remote learning. This time may be filled with uncertainty due to COVID and the 2020 election results (still undecided as I write this). As students, I am so proud of how far we’ve come, and the ways we’ve adapted to the strange new virtual atmosphere we’ve been presented with. Through the uncertainty, holding onto hope and keeping in mind how much we have to be thankful for, in spite of the world we live in now. Take time to care for yourself and those around you! This issue will definitely help you do just that, as we have content perfect for finding a glimmer of comfort and fun this fall and upcoming winter. Read about fall activities that will keep you cozy and occupied, how to approach politics with your family this fall, and stylish mask trends. I hope everyone has an incredible Thanksgiving, and make sure to spend some time taking care of yourself this fall!




Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Megan Baranuk Editor–in–Chief

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Eric Seitz Copy Editor

Asha McClendon Art Director

Miranda Tulcewicz Asst. Art Director

Vincent McIntosh Online Content Editor

Joscelyn Ervin Arts Editor

Lynn Nichols Culture Editor

Samra Karamustafic Beauty Editor

Claudia Ugbana Social Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Tabitha Timms Music Editor

Max Torres Multimedia Manager

WRITERS Megan Baranuk Samra Karamustafic Eric Seitz Joscelyn Ervin Megan Mullaly

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Lynn Nichols Claudia Ugbana Kristina Markulin Lauren Koleszar

Devin Benko Stefany Belasic Hannah Mosley Megan Mullaly

Alexandra Paquin Jillian VanDyke Emily Williams

POETS Hannah Mosley Lauren Koleszar

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


Cozy Up This Fall



Thebest bestways waystotoembrace embraceonly onlythe thecoziest coziest The vibesthe theNovember. November ofofvibes



listen to music? Podcasts are a great choice too, with options for everyone — from true crime to psychology talk shows to cult documentaries to book suggestions.

ith November’s arrival, autumn is

about to hurl at you all of the ways you can turn your cozy-

meter up WRITTEN BY


Miranda Tulcewicz

officially here, but it’s not stay-


ing for long. As the general pop-

Let it out! Journaling is a great way to deal with your

ulace heads indoors to coop up for

emotions, no matter how big or small they may be.

the winter, we as a society tend

Grab that notebook that you’ve been saving for a spe-

to turn a bit sentimental — looking for what might

cial occasion, lay it on your desk, set a fifteen minute

make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. That warm and

timer (or don’t!), and write. Since it’s November, try

fuzzy feeling might be literal, with pumpkin spice

making it season-appropriate by jotting down what

lattes or warm apple cider to sip on; or it might be

you’re grateful for. You’ll find that it makes you hap-

figurative with the activities that make us feel most

pier overall, and as a bonus, you’ll know exactly how

at-home. So throw on your flannels, hoodies and

to answer when someone asks what you’re thankful

beanies because we’re about to hurl at you all of the

for on Thanksgiving Day.

ways you can turn your cozy-meter up to 11 as we head into the end of the year.

Channel Your Inner Baker

Rewatch That One Movie Series

answer: bake! Baking is easy — easier than cooking

We all have it — a movie series that just reminds

— and a lot of simple recipes are easy to follow, like

us of fall. “The Lord of the Rings.” “Harry Potter.”

ones for cookies, cakes, and brownies. Baked goods

“The Hunger Games”. “Frozen.” “Twilight.” Maybe

like these are a cinch to give fall flair — consider

it’s because November is when all of those movies

adding autumn-colored sprinkles, decorating a cake

released in theaters. Maybe it’s just because the cold

by icing fall leaves, or adding butterscotch chips to

weather draws us back to what we know best. Snag

give chocolate chips cookies a bit more richness.

Ever wonder what to do with your kitchen? Here’s your

some of your favorite snacks (popcorn with candy corn and M&Ms if you’re feeling extra fancy), curl up with your warmest blanket, and dive back into your favorite movie series. With Disney+’s new GroupWatch feature, you can catch your favorite movies along with up to six friends, even if you can’t be together

Game Until You Melt Your Brain Despite what all the naysayers said back when we were growing up, playing video games can actually be quite beneficial. The way that some games challenge players’ minds and require them to think can help


to stimulate alertness while also giving people the

Embrace The Hygge

present in the nature of gaming as an activity solidifies

If you’ve never seen this word, no, it’s not a typo!

its place on the list of cozy activities. Another benefit

Hygge is a Danish word that means “the mood or

of gaming is that you don’t even need to leave your

essence of coziness.” Think: fireside, fuzzy socks,

couch to do it — with games on home consoles to

cuddling, fall-scented candles, and maybe some

Apple Arcade to basic mobile gaming, your options

hot chocolate. It makes sense that the Danish would

are ubiquitous and expanding.

chance to unwind and relax. The therapeutic qualities

have a word for this, since their climate is always November or worse. So hygge is the best they can really ask for. The word hygge also comes with a sense of contentment and general wellness, and as the end of the semester ramps up, we could all use

Unleash Your Creativity Feel a wave of creativity striking? Go out and make stuff. One of the best ways to explore the world is to create it for yourself.Creativity can come in many

a little bit of hygge in our lives.

different forms: painting, drawing, writing, redeco-

Go Driving

week, posting on social media, or reorganizing your

If you have a car, driving around is one of the best

spice cabinet. We can strike inspiration from just

ways to experience fall’s grandeur — mostly because

about anywhere, but when you do strike it, be sure to

you don’t have to brave the cold to do it! Drive through

take advantage of it! Imagine if J.R.R. Tolkein never

your favorite coffee shop, pump up your favorite jams

created anything special because he didn’t feel like

and head out in search of only the most picturesque

creating when he had the chance!

rating your room, choosing your outfits for the next

naturescapes. The areas south of Cleveland have some locations that were made for fall — winding roads,

I know, so many options! How will you manage to

charming old maples, and turkeys bopping around

choose just one? Well you’re in luck — because on

nearby. This activity was made for friend groups, if

the next page, you can take a quiz to determine what

you consider yourself a social butterfly. Don’t want to

the perfect cozy activity is for you. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 8


Which Fall Activity is for You? START HERE

Are you an introvert or extrovert?



Do you get jealous of all those perfectly curated Instagram feeds?


Are you active or passive?


Would you rather make something or experience something?


Embrace the hygge!

Do you take any opportunity to put on a fall jacket and leave the house?




Do you prefer the new or the nostalgic?




Go Driving!


Experience Have you eaten anything today?


Channel your inner baker!

Game until you melt your brain!

Rewatch that one movie!


Unleash your creativity!

See all of our fall suggestions on the next page! 9 | VINDICATOR



Once you’ve landed on the perfect cozy activity to partake in, take a look at our suggestions below!



Leaf-Shaped Cookies

Warm Blanket

Pumpkin Muffins

Fireplace — so you can roast all your friends

Apple Pie

Fuzzy Socks

Carrot Cake




Animal Crossing

Make a voodoo doll of your arch-nemesis

Among Us



Repaint your walls

Pokemon Go

Take up masonry

Journaling Poetry Ranked list of your best friends Short Stories Diary Entries

Movies Harry Potter Lord of the Rings The home video that you punched your sister in Frozen

Driving Winding Roads Into the sunset Along the lake

Now you’re equipped with all that you need to channel all things cozy this November. Go out and COZE!

Far from your problems


Bundling up with a ARTS

Bildungsroman If you were a sucker for “The Outsiders” in high school or rewatch “Dead Poets Society” every autumn, the WRITTEN BY


Bildungsroman is your niche. The German word Bil-

Lauren Koleszar

Devin Benko

dungsroman is a high-brow and more technical term for the genre of coming-of-age stories. These stories

Searching for a seasonal read? We’ve got you covered with nine atmospheric coming-of-age novels that will transport you everywhere from the romantic streets of Italy in the summer to the captivating nightlife of New York City streets, plus bonus recommendations for those already familiar with our list!

journey into full adulthood or realization of the true self. Because these stories revolve around topics such as young adulthood, identity and understanding, novels belonging to this genre are especially attractive to those already interested in subjects including psychology, philosophy, education or English. Navigating this genre can be more difficult than others; the Bildungsroman is not studied or taught nearly as often as other genres, such as horror or

ith the colder months ahead of us and COVID-19 still crippling our social lives, more people are turning to literature as a quiet companion while confined by

the walls of their living rooms. Isolation can be lonely, but consider the solitude a chance to finally get back into your book collection or a challenge to read something for pleasure outside of English class assignments. Maybe you’ve already decided to get back into reading, but now the challenge lies in determining which book you should read. If you’re looking for a story conducive to the autumn weather, you need a narrative that’s comforting yet thought-provoking—a work that understands your thoughts, but that can simultaneously transport you to a new setting and cast of characters. If you haven’t already done so, now is the ideal time to familiarize yourself with the Bildungsroman genre. Bildungsroman: a novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education Bildung: refers to German tradition of self-cultivation resulting in a harmonization of an individual’s mind and heart in unification of identity within the broader society roman: German word for “novel”


through a philosophical, emotional, and/or spiritual

science fiction. For instance, you probably started reading this piece because you were curious what “Bildungsroman” even meant. As you roam your bookshelves or browse online for a captivating read, consult the recommendations below. Categorized for your convenience are nine novels from the Bildungsroman genre, complete with plot summaries and reasons why they might be the cozy quarantine reads you’re looking for! “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath To call American poet Sylvia Plath’s only novel dark is a severe understatement. We follow Esther Greenwood as she navigates a magazine internship in 1960s New York City until her eventual mental breakdown takes us back to her hometown in Massachusetts, where she faces societal stigmatization of both her mental illness and what is expected of her as a woman. Not for the faint of heart, “The Bell Jar” is a riveting story of brutal depression, search for identity, and the painful, sacrificial road to recovery. Recommendations: “Girl, Interrupted” by Susanna Kaysen, “Hangsaman” by Shirley Jackson The Book Thief” Markus Zusak Zusak’s historical fiction novel lends itself to the Bildungsroman genre. Set in Nazi Germany, we follow little Liesel whose self-discovery is married with the



often follow a teenage or young adult protagonist


enlightening exposure to literature. As she reads and

“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

learns about the world and herself, Liesel’s own life

“Stay gold, Ponyboy” remains one the most quoted

is in danger because of the fact that her family is

lines of literature—and with good reason. Hinton’s

hiding a Jew from the Nazis in their basement. Zusak’s

writing is both evocative and easy-to-read, and

prose hints at magical realism when the audience


her story of gang rivalry in 1960s Oklahoma is a

this a chance

classes and violence through the eyes of one of the

to finally get

phrase, Ponyboy.

Betty Smith

back into

“That Was Then, This Is Now” by S.E. Hinton

“Call Me By Your Name” by Andre Aciman

your book

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”


Remember 2012, when everyone had the quotes “We

realizes that the gentle narrator of Liesel’s story is Death itself—whose voice is surprisingly thoughtful as he drives the narrative with an aura of empathy. Recommendations: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Antony Doerr, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by

You’re probably more familiar with the 2017 film starring Timothée Chalamet, but if you’re interested in reading yourself away to the streets of Italy in the

heartbreaking and poignant meditation on social gang’s quieter members and namesake to the famous Recommendations: “The Body” by Stephen King,

by Stephen Chbosky accept the love we think we deserve,” and “Ladies

summer of 1987, you should absolutely check out the

and gentlemen, I am below average!” on their over-

novel. Winner of multiple awards for its contribution

filtered Instagram feeds? Such quotes came from the

to LGBT literature, “Call Me By Your Name” tells

bittersweet novel and film of the same name, “The

the story of a romance between intellectuals Elio

Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and if you haven’t read

and Oliver, who find trust and love in one another

this yet, grabbing the book and crying for hours af-

during the summer that Oliver comes to study in

terward should be added to your bucket-list ASAP.

Italy, where Elio lives.

Recommendation: “The Absolutely True Diary of

Recommendations: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the

a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, “Looking

Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz,

for Alaska” by John Green

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward “The Catcher in the Rye” J.D. Salinger

The writing of Anisfield Book Award-winner Jesmyn

This is arguably the ideal example of a Bildungsroman.

Ward has been compared to that of legendary writers,

High-school dropout Holden Caulfield wanders

ranging from Toni Morrison to William Faulkner,

around New York City reflecting on his childhood,

and her writing has been compared to stories from

his life now and what will become of his future.

“The Odyssey” and the Old Testament. Ward’s novel

Holden is introspective, sentimental and childlike

of family dysfunctionality in the archetypical rural

but also cynical, angsty and confused. This beloved

America is extremely character-driven, and her

character’s thoughts are uniquely profound, speak-

writing is gorgeously lyrical.

ing to the last pieces of naïvete in the transitioning

Recommendation: “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morri-

teenage conscious. Pick this gentle, bittersweet read

son, “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner

on a breezy autumn evening when you find yourself reflecting and people-watching.

“Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Recommendations: “Franny and Zooey” by J.D.

by Zora Neale Hurston

Salinger, “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles

As Janie Crawford reflects on the relationships that have shaped her throughout her life, the influence

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

of gender roles and race reveal themselves to have a

This classic American novel follows the perceptive

lasting impact on Janie, as a forty-something Afri-

Scout Finch as she recounts the effects of racism and

can-American woman in 1937. Hurston manages to

prejudice as they unfolded in her childhood home-

write both conversationally and poetically in this

town in 1930s Alabama. Famous for its depictions of

novel, a staple of women’s literature and the Harlem

racial injustice and the quintessential father-figure

Renaissance. This Bildungsroman pick is for those

of Atticus Finch, Harper Lee’s masterpiece novel is an

looking for something beautiful but bittersweet.

enjoyable read at any time of the year, although the

Recommendations: “I Know Why the Caged Bird

autumn weather fits appropriately with the nostalgic

Sings” by Maya Angelou, “The Secret Life of Bees”

feeling of Lee’s writing.

by Sue Monk Kidd

Recommendations: “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee, “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas





Joscelyn Ervin

Asha McClendon

Some suggestions of fun gaming apps that might keep you busy in the coming seasons


taying with our theme of finding fun activities to take up in the colder seasons of this year, revisiting and finding gaming apps that have become popular over quarantine might pique your interest.

Some of these games are old favorites from years ago, while others are new and gaining popularity each day. Quite a few games became popular during quarantine, but the ones in this article are playable on mobile. For instance, “Animal Crossing” brought mass hysteria shortly after its release earlier this year. However, this was something that everyone was playing on the Switch, not their phones — even though the App Store has an “Animal Crossing” mobile app available. Some of the games that stand out are “Among Us”, “Subway Surfers” and

[P]opularity of this game might stem from streamers and YouTubers that have started to play


this game in

Among Us

large groups.

“Among Us” was developed and published by InnerSloth. It’s gained traction over the past couple of months with teens and young adults. This game is a multiplayer social deduction game that is playable on phone or Windows computer. Similar to the games Secret Hitler and Mafia, during “Among Us” you’re assigned a character type, either “crewmate” or “impostor.” Crewmates must figure out who the impostor is before the impostor kills too many players. “Among Us” will keep you on your toes throughout each game session—and it’s extra fun to play with friends. 13 | VINDICATOR



After the game starts, assigns you a role, crewmates must complete various tasks around the small map. Impostors, however, fake being a crewmate while they simultaneously attempt to kill other players and not get caught. When a crewmate finds a body—or if another player seems suspicious—players can call meetings to discuss what happened and if they want to vote anyone out. If the crewmates vote out the impostor(s), they win. If the impostor kills enough crewmates, or if they trick the crewmates into voting out other crewmates, the impostor wins. The popularity of this game might stem from streamers and YouTubers that have started to play this game in large groups. Some of these creators include Markiplier, PewDiePie, Corpse and Toast. Like these streamers, you can either choose to play with random people or find friends to make your own game. Either way to play is interesting and fun almost every time.

Minecraft At the beginning of quarantine, another old favorite became popular again. “Minecraft” has been around for years now, and has trended several times, but it came back in a big way for a handful of months, earlier this year. If you’re unfamiliar, “Minecraft”


Subway Surfers An old favorite from years past, “Subway Surfers” is similar to “Temple Run”. It’s a phone app in which players try to survive for as long as they can while running down train tracks. Players can unlock characters, collect hoverboards, and beat challenges as they play. This game is seriously addicting for anyone wanting to keep their hands busy during the day. Along with all the challenges and collectables, each month features a new destination where new characters or boards are available for players to win by collecting certain talismans while they run. “Subway Surfers” is definitely not a game to play with friends, but it’s a nice distraction. Players can keep trying to beat their high scores, try to finish all of the challenges and missions, or just collect as many characters and boards as they can—it’s a good way to pass time.

is playable on phone, computer or gaming console— single or multiplayer—and returned in part due to streamers and YouTubers such as PewDiePie and Markiplier. While “Subway Surfers” and “Among Us” have strict formats and rules, “Minecraft” is more of an open-world, open-mind game in which the player can essentially build or do whatever they want in their own time. While people such as PewDiePie typically play on their computers, many choose to play through the app and connect on shared worlds during quarantine. It was a great distraction when the pandemic started, and playing on a shared online “Minecraft” world with friends might be a fun way to spend your free time this winter.








Jillian VanDyke Exploring trends and our shortening attention spans







“Tiger King”

generating, regenerating and dying at a

Tiger King premiered on Netflix on March 20 and

quick speed. At the genesis of lockdown due

quickly became the bingeable docuseries of choice.

to COVID-19, you might remember trends

The series centers around Joe Exotic, his collection

such as the whipped coffee, the “SUPALONELY”

of infamous cats and his long-time feud with Carole

TikTok dance and homemade bread. TikTok is one

Baskin. Tune in to the Netflix original seven-episode

trend that hasn’t yet slowed or died in popularity,

series to see what the hype was all about.

unlike the other aforementioned trends. Let’s take a look at trends that saw immense popularity for a quick

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons”

moment in the spotlight:

The popular video game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was released on March 20, and the entire world

Whipped (Dalgona) Coffee

seemed to be talking about it. The game saw immediate

This trend rose to popularity around April 2020.

popularity, and memes and related trends sprung up

This special type of coffee is especially foamy, and

on all social media, especially Twitter.

can be whipped up at home. To create a homemade whipped coffee, the only ingredients are boiling

These trends died off just as quickly as they came into

water, sugar and instant coffee. By mixing these

the limelight. Trends continue to have an ephemeral

ingredients together and placing them over iced milk,

lifespan as of late. This may be due to society’s collec-

an aesthetically pleasing coffee transformation has

tive shortening attention span. Because of apps such


as TikTok, in which content is a minute or less, and the ease of scrolling quickly through content on Insta-

Choreographed TikTok Dances

gram and Twitter, our minds have grown accustomed

The “Renegade” was the first dance to go extremely

to receiving, interpreting and digesting information

viral, and this trend hasn’t truly died yet. However,

rapidly. This can partially explain why trends seem to

the dance of the moment was the “SUPALONELY”

be cropping up and then disappearing at record speed.

dance, a fun dance choreographed to the track

As the pandemic’s reign continues indefinitely,

by BENEE featuring Gus Dapperton. This dance

trends continue to climb the trending ladder only

is one of the easier dances to learn compared to

to find themselves replaced by the next trend. This

the other complicated routines that are prevalent

is likely to continue, at least through the pandemic.

in the app today.

Whether trends will begin to stabilize after life returns to (relatively) normal will remain a mystery until we as


a society reach that point. Introducing regular routines

The inner baker emerged during isolation. Confined to

back into our lives may stabilize the short attention

their homes, people baked a variety of breads. Banana

span the world seems to have when it comes to trends,

bread, sourdough, white bread and other baked goods

but only time will tell.

flooded the timeline at the beginning of quarantine. This may be because stores were running low on bread, and baking provided an escape from the social turmoil. Baking can be extremely therapeutic, and provide a tasty treat afterwards! Tie-Dying DIY clothing, especially tie dye, became a must-try over quarantine. Colorful tie-dyed sets, shirts, and sweatpants dominated social media and populated the streets. Bleaching was another clothing DIY that saw popularity throughout quarantine. On any given day, you could catch teens drawing designs with bleach onto jeans and other apparel items. Quarantine and isolation allowed people to find their muse, and

Quarantine and isolation allowed people to find their muse


people really let loose their creative side!





Lynn Nichols

Asha McClendon

Dennis W. Zotigh, who is a Kiowa, San Juan Pueblo and Santee Dakota writer, emphasizes that the spiritual and ethical principles behind Thanksgiving

Anti-colonialist, Indigenous perspectives about a complex and painful history


date back long before any colonists arrived in North America. In his in-depth 2013 essay from the National Museum of the American Indian blog, Zotigh writes

n November, most Americans prioritize two

that for “the original people of this continent, each

days over all others: Election Day and Thanks-

day is a day of thanksgiving to the creator.” Seneca

giving Day. Pop culture often doesn’t recognize

and Cherokee author Terra Trevor shares a similar

that November is also Native American Heri-

perspective in her 2017 editorial for HuffPost: “For

tage Month—and the Friday after Thanksgiving,

Native Peoples, thanksgiving comes not once a year,

November 27 this year, is Native American Heritage

but always.” However, Thanksgiving as a federally

Day. Not only are these observances rarely given

recognized U.S. holiday, celebrated in November,

the visibility that they deserve, but Native Ameri-

can hold a negative connotation for Native Ameri-

can Heritage Day can be bittersweet for Indigenous

can communities. Indigenous activist organization

people in the United States. When former President

Native Hope shares in an online essay that “for

Barack Obama signed the official observance into

many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of

law, Chickasaw Nation citizen Brian Perry questioned

mourning and protest.” The holiday as it is celebrat-

the implications of the day’s placement on the calen-

ed today evokes a painful history of colonialism in

dar: “Why must we take a backseat to Thanksgiving?

North America, and presents a false narrative which

Why not the day before Thanksgiving?”

ignores past injustices.


Indians’ narrative,” Sherman writes. Rather, he calls

trace Thanksgiving’s origins in America back to a

us to instead “focus simply on values that apply to

peaceful celebration in 1621, where the Pilgrims and

everybody: togetherness, generosity and gratitude.”

the Wampanoag people feasted together. This paints

We can acknowledge the origins of Thanksgiving and

an idealized image of a cooperative relationship

its strong basis in Native American spirituality and

between colonial settlers and Indigenous people in

culture without advancing colonialist ideology.

early American history. Historian James Baker traces

The most valuable resources on Native American

the mostly untrue origin story back to the education

history and contemporary issues will always be those

system of the early 20th century. According to Baker’s

written and run by Native Americans. Two of these

book, “Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American

organizations are Native Hope and NDN Collective.

Holiday,” the narrative only cemented itself in the

Their historical, educational and legal resources

collective national consciousness by 1920 as an aspect

can be found at and ndncollective.

of rising American nationalism and anti-immigrant

org. Always seek out Indigenous perspectives on

sentiment. This means that the story of the first

Indigenous issues.

Thanksgiving is relatively new. Furthermore, there

Every person in the United States is living on

are many reasons to reexamine it.

Indigenous land. With this in mind, one of the first

History shows that white European colonists caused

steps toward allyship and community support is to

upheaval, brought disease and inflicted outright

learn which nation’s lands you live on. Native Land is

genocide for Native Americans. As a 2018 National

a Canadian nonprofit led by Indigenous people. Their

Geographic article explains, the colonists of the early

website,, hosts an interactive map of

1600s brought a deadly epidemic to the Wampanoag

Indigenous territories all over the world, including

people, which made it possible for the Pilgrims to

the United States. This can be a great starting point

land at Plymouth Rock in the first place. Before the

for personal accountability.

1621 gathering ever took place, the Pilgrims stole

Critical awareness and education cannot be the

food and supplies from the Native Americans around

end of our allyship to Native Americans. Indigenous

them, even robbing Wampanoag graves.

nations across the country do not receive adequate

The popular narrative of the first Thanksgiving

support from the federal government, and their

reflects a symbolic peace between groups, but that

rights to sacred land are constantly chipped away by

peace did not hold. In a Time magazine story in 2018,

corporations and the law. Beyond history, research

Sean Sherman writes that less than two decades after

these contemporary legal battles, and participate

the famous peace gathering in 1637, Puritan colonists

in protests virtually and in-person. Everyone with

killed an entire Pequot village then held a Thanksgiv-

the financial freedom to do so should also consider

ing dinner to “celebrate their barbaric victory.” For

donating money directly in support of Indigenous

centuries since, colonists and their successors in the


United States government have continued to margin-

Advocates have created bail funds to free Native

alize, betray and massacre Indigenous people. Some

American protesters who were arrested while fighting

of these atrocities are well-known, like the murder

for their rights. Proceeds from the Black Hills Legal

and theft during the Trail of Tears set in motion by

Defense Fund at go to the legal

Andrew Jackson’s administration and the Wounded

expenses of protesters who were arrested at Presi-

Knee Massacre of the Lakota people by the U.S. Army

dent Trump’s summer rally at Mount Rushmore. In

in 1890. But government-sanctioned violence and

addition to legal injustice, Indigenous communities

colonialism did not end in the nineteenth century.

in the U.S. have been disproportionately impacted

This Thanksgiving, take some time to research other

by the pandemic while receiving little help from the

injustices in the history of our continent.

government. Many tribes and nations, including the

Knowing the history, allies to Native Americans

Navajo Nation, are accepting donations to COVID-19

have a moral obligation to think critically about

relief funds. These funds are hosted on GoFundMe and

Thanksgiving, and to reconsider just what it is we

on the websites for each nation’s health department.

are giving thanks for. This means respecting the

Thanksgiving is a reminder of the brutal history

many who see the holiday as a day of mourning,

of colonialism in our country. We gather together to

not a day of celebration. If we choose to continue

mourn that history, to celebrate cultural values or to

celebrating Thanksgiving, allyship also means being

recognize a duality of both aspects. But Thanksgiving

proactive in reframing holiday stories and traditions

cannot be the only day that we reexamine our history,

in our own families. Sherman, who is a member of

and reexamining our history is only the first step.

the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe and a chef focused on

Native Americans—and Indigenous people all over

Indigenous culinary traditions, concludes his Time

the world—deserve respect, solidarity and allyship

article with advice for Thanksgivings going forward.

on every day of the year.

—a painful history of colonialism in N. America, presents a false narrative which ignores past injustices.

Pop culture and most public school curriculum

“[W]e do not need the poisonous ‘pilgrims [sic] and




C ONSOLE W AR? CONSOLE WAR? With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S launching this month, a tonal shift in the nature of the classic console war looms.. WRITTEN BY


Stefany Belasic


s November creeps along and the end of


the year approaches, the hotly anticipated

In order to understand how the console war could

war between video game console makers

change, we must first understand what it has been.

reaches its climax. With Microsoft’s Xbox

Console wars are not new—they have existed as long

Series X and Series S releasing on November 10 and

as the consoles themselves. First, with Atari and

Sony’s PlayStation 5 releasing on November 12, the

Nintendo; and after Atari’s fall in the ‘80s, Nintendo

race to have the most successful gaming platform

and Sega. However, perhaps the most pivotal moment

looks on the surface to be just another battle between

for console wars was E3 2000. E3, standing for the

Microsoft and Sony—a battle that has repeated itself

Electronic Entertainment Expo, occurs each June

four times now. However, a closer inspection at the

in Los Angeles, where video game developers and

players, the stakes, and outside influences reveals

publishers make announcements about upcoming

that all may not be as it seems in the console war

games, hardware and other entertainment media.

of 2020—and it reveals how a console war might

But what made E3 2000 so special?

look moving forward.


By E3 2000, Sony had already revealed the PlayStation

Microsoft and Sony faced off the following year with

2 to the public; and while the original PlayStation had

November launches of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

not topped the sales charts, Sony had proven itself a

With Nintendo’s mid-generation launch of the Switch

worthy contender. Though not present at E3, Microsoft

in 2017, it effectively broke itself out of the console

sought to prove that an American company could

war; leaving Microsoft and Sony alone to duke it out

keep up with the big boys, announcing in 2000 that

for their next console releases, which brings us to

it planned to release its first console the following

the present.

year. With Nintendo allowing the Nintendo 64 to finish its run as it prepared to launch “Project Dolphin”


the following year (which would later become the

We’ll start easy and talk about PlayStation. Sony hasn’t

GameCube), Sony had the perfect opportunity to

changed its methodology much since it entered the

execute a preemptive strike—selling its PlayStation

console-making game with its original PlayStation.

2 for the holidays in 2000. Sega had launched its

Broken down to its core, Sony wants you to buy its

Dreamcast in 1999, and its lackluster sales would

console and buy games for that console. Boasting a

spell defeat for the Japanese gaming giant if E3 2000

slew of titles that are coming exclusively to PlayStation

couldn’t turn things around. Sega came out swinging.

5 in fall or the year following its launch, Sony knows

Its booth at the E3 show floor boasted a wide variety of

that games sell consoles—which leads to winning the

games as Sega hoped to reach as wide of an audience

console war (winning, which is something that Sony

as possible. However, all eyes remained fixed on the

is accustomed to, thanks to the massive success of

PlayStation 2. Sega would announce the next year

the PlayStation 4).

that it planned to back out of the console-making

Sony’s philosophy—that games sell consoles—

business, turning its focus to software development.

rings true throughout the history of the console

E3 2000 set the tone for the next twenty years—

wars. The Wii U was a commercial failure because it

Sega’s fall from grace proved that no one is safe—that

lacked third-party games. The PlayStation 4 thrived

newcomers could rise and old empires could crumble.

because of its lineup. The Gameboy sold like hotcakes

The system is volatile and unstable. Since 2000, the

when Nintendo ported its classic NES games to the

console war has remained slightly more steady—

portable device. Whether or not Sony’s rinse-and-

though it has rarely been consistent. 2005 saw the

repeat approach will succeed this generation remains

release of the Xbox 360, with Sony and Nintendo

to be seen—but Sony’s odds of success are likely not

following suit with releases of the PlayStation 3 and

in its own hands at this point…

Wii, respectively. The eighth console generation

Coming out of the previous generation in last place

began with Nintendo’s Wii U that launched in 2012.

as compared to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch,

Console wars are not new they have existed as long as the consoles themselves




Microsoft has a lot to prove. Lacking the dedicated followers that Nintendo and, to a degree, Sony boast, the Xbox Series X and Series S face the monumental task of turning supporters of the other consoles into supporters of the Xbox family—and their approach is…unorthodox. Microsoft advertises gaming as an “ecosystem,” touting the sentiment that where gamers play is not

Microsoft’s main concern. In an effort to make gaming more accessible, Xbox games of this generation will be playable on Xbox One, PC, mobile smart devices, and Xbox Series X or Series S. Supporting monthly subscription service that grants players access to all first-party Microsoft games, as well as many A A A games. It’s the Netflix of gaming, and to call it anything other than an amazing deal is foolish. Microsoft also boasts comprehensive backwards compatibility features for Xbox Series X and Series S, making it so that every Xbox game since the original Xbox will be playable on them.

The Switch's massive success has proven that a party that abstains from the war

their ecosystem philosophy is GamePass, Xbox’s

at hand can still win.

A MAMMOTH ACQUISITION Stirring the pot even further is Microsoft’s purchase of Zeni Ma x Studios, parent company of w ildly popular video game developing company Bethesda. Bethesda, creating iconic experiences such as Skyrim, Fallout, and Doom, will serve to beef up Xbox’s first-party games, which had been lacking until now. The acquisition cost Microsoft a whopping $7.5 billion. For reference, Disney bought Star Wars maker Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. What does this acquisition mean for the console war this generation? Normally, a console maker acquiring a developing studio would mean that the console maker now had the opportunity to put the


games produced by the developing studio exclusively

and publish games) essentially choose between

on its own console—and not on the consoles of its

focusing on selling more of their own consoles or

competitors. However, this is likely not the case

focusing on selling more of their own games. For

with Xbox. To start, Bethesda and Sony had come

example, Nintendo publishes a massive amount of

to a deal before Microsoft acquired Bethesda that

games—and they are almost entirely exclusive to

two of Bethesda’s upcoming games would come to

their console, the Switch. Nintendo is choosing to

PlayStation 5 exclusively before landing on Xbox as

use its games as a means of drawing people to its

well. This creates the almost oxymoronic scenario

system—if you want to play Mario, you need a Switch.

of Microsoft publishing a game that is exclusively

The other option—and the one Microsoft will likely

on PlayStation.

take—focuses more on the games themselves as a

However, the timing of the acquisition isn’t the

means of making money. If Nintendo released Super

most interesting part. This acquisition lays out a

Mario Odyssey on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch rather

prime opportunity for Xbox to prove that not only

than solely on Switch, it would undoubtedly make

is it talking the talk when it comes to gaming as an

more revenue on the game itself. With franchises

ecosystem, it’s also walking the walk. If Microsoft

like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls selling wildly on

wants to show the world that it is truly about making

PlayStation systems, Microsoft would be foolish

gaming accessible and letting gamers play wherever

to pass on releasing future installments of these

they want, it will release Bethesda-developed games

franchises on PlayStation 5; and conveniently for

on PlayStation 5, and potentially Switch as well.

Microsoft, doing so just so happens to fall perfectly

When it comes to publishing games, first-party

in line with their newly minted promise of gaming

publishers (companies that both make game consoles

as an ecosystem.



waving a banner that says “Follow us to the future!”

As Microsoft and Sony continue to clash swords and

the world waits, holding its breath, to see if Microsoft

trade blows, a third party marches on — seemingly

is accidentally marching off a cliff. Perhaps Microsoft’s

unaffected by the war at hand. Since it dove into

innovative new approach will prove to be PlayStation’s

the console-making game in the ‘80s, Nintendo’s

downfall, revealing that Sony’s unwillingness to

philosophy has been to challenge what has been

morph its approach in accordance with a shifting

and embrace what could be. Proving repeatedly to

society will spell its inevitable doom. Is Microsoft’s

be a wild card, Nintendo’s penchant for quirkiness

suave confidence blinding it from the truth of the

has made it the longest lasting console maker ever.

flow of the industry? Will Sony’s stubbornness and

Its tactics haven’t always been effective (see Virtual

attempts to stiff-arm the market into remaining the

Boy and Wii U), however, if Sony and Microsoft can

way it has been for the last twenty years fail?

learn anything from Nintendo, it’s this: no one ever

As next-gen becomes current-gen and what is yet

won a war by mimicking their opponent.

to be becomes what has been, the scroll will begin to

When it released the Switch with over three years

unravel; and at the inside of that scroll will be the

until Microsoft and Sony would drop their next console,

answer—to what will become of the war that we

Nintendo shifted the console war from a three-way

have so long witnessed. It’s what is written on the

face-off to a one-on-one matchup between Microsoft

inside of that scroll that will tell what will become

and Sony. The Switch’s massive success has proven

of this new generation of consoles—the nebulous

that a party that abstains from the war at hand

concept of gaming accessibility and the continuation

can still win, so this begs the question: why does a

of a method that has proven successful. Whether or

war need to happen?

not all the players involved will still stand at the

The Switch seems to market itself toward an

end remains to be seen, however, one fact is clear:

audience different than the one whose affection

those who follow the console war now will not

Microsoft and Sony are vying for. Nintendo may

recognize it when that day comes. The console war may

have made the decision to opt out of the console

finally have a winner.

game when it knew its system was unique enough to either appeal to its own audience or entice those who buy Xbox or PlayStation to purchase a second console. Assuming this leads to the thought that perhaps Nintendo has not removed itself from the game, but is so far ahead that we cannot recognize the game they are playing.

ITERATION VS. INNOVATION Summarized well by Sony’s naming convention for the PlayStation generations, gaming consoles until this point have been iterative: the PlayStation 2 was the follow-up to the original PlayStation; it contained enhanced graphics, higher processing power and faster load times. This method is what made sense. When a system becomes obsolete and technology exists to improve upon it, video game hardware makers create a new one to replace the old one. Sony continues this method, and who can blame them? It’s been working for them—this succession of slightly better consoles, all neatly numbered 1–5. However, this is an era in which technolog y can shift the way that an object works. Teslas can download software overnight to improve their drivers’ experiences. Who is to say that this is impossible when it comes to video games? Microsoft is showing their hand a bit by naming their console for this generation a “Series.” The name seems to indicate that the lines between console generations are about to become much blurrier. A re we w itnessing the final console war? As Microsoft marches down a progressive new path,



BENEFITS OF PLANTS How houseplants can improve your mental and physical health WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY

Megan Mullaly The popularity of house plants is on the rise, and it’s not just because of their aesthetic appeal. In this article, we investigate the health benefits of plants, what kind you should bring into your home, and the best places to find them in the Cleveland area.


hen I first moved into my own


apartment, I couldn’t stop buy-

Due to the increase of urbanization and lack of ex-

ing plants. Though the home and

posure to nature, the importance of house plants is

garden centers of Walmart and

growing because they offer significant benefits that

Home Depot were enchanting,

are hard to find in a modern world.

Urban Planting Cleveland was where the magic really happened. A plant would draw me in, and I felt as if

Memory and Concentration

we couldn’t live apart. If I knew the plant’s name as

One of the biggest benefits that plants provide is in-

soon as I laid eyes on it, that plant was getting buck-

creased memory retention and concentration. House

led into the passenger seat minutes later.

plants mimic the calming influence of nature, which

I felt bad for my roommate; I had already taken over

has been proven to lead to better and more accurate

the living room with succulents, orchids, and the top

work. Because of their calming influence, produc-

of a piece of corn that I thought might be growing into

tivity can increase by up to twelve percent when in

a stalk, but new plants kept popping up each week.

the presence of plants. A study from the University

I filled our apartment with bamboo, a dragon finger

of Michigan showed that memory retention can also

snake plant, and a money tree (named Lice, Draco

increase by up to twenty percent when a person is in

and Luigi, respectively). I was given a collection of

the presence of plants. Due to their calming influence,

succulents for my birthday, and my grandma gifted

plants allow for us to easily concentrate on the task at

me her four-foot-tall fiddle-leaf fig. I bought Wario, a

hand and better recall that information in the future.

three-foot-tall yucca tree; Starshine, a neon pothos; and John, a calathea ornata.

Stress Levels

Frugal is basically my middle name, and my ob-

Another important benefit of plants is their ability to

session with plants finally hit the point where I felt

decrease stress levels. Plants, especially those that

guilty for spending money. Why was I spending so

flower, provide a feeling of security and relaxation

much time, money and energy to buy and take care

that helps to reduce the stress levels of those in the

of plants — or glorified dust collectors, as my mom

immediate vicinity. This can be particularly bene-

likes to call them. It turned out that research from

ficial to those with mental illness, as it can reduce

the Washington State University Department of Hor-

the severity of issues like anxiety and depression.

ticulture and Landscape Architecture can explain why

A study by Washington State University concluded

I, like so many others, was compelled to surround

that subjects’ blood pressure levels were lower when

myself with plants. Their research shows that plants

surrounded by plants. Low blood pressure directly

provide numerous benefits that improve

corresponds with reduced stress levels, which the

a person’s health and well-being. This leads to in-

secure and relaxing influence of plants can provide.

creased happiness and fosters a higher quality of life. Healing One benefit that plants are most often used for is their acceleration of the healing process. According to a study by Seong-Hyan Park and Richard Mattson, patients who recovered in a hospital room with living plants were reported to have lower blood pressure, pain, anxiety and fatigue than those in rooms without. Living plants also positively impacted patients’ mindsets, which boosted their willingness to participate in the healing process. Nurturing plants can also benefit those who have suffered mental or physical trauma. By consciously partaking in the nurturing of a plant, 23 | VINDICATOR


a patient begins to subconsciously recognize and take


part in self-care practices. Because of their ability to

Some of the best beginner plants include lucky bam-

accelerate the healing process, plants have become

boo, snake plants and pothos.

an incredibly popular aid during medical treatment.

Lucky bamboo requires low light, which allows it to prosper in a variety of locations within the home.


Its leaves turn yellow when exposed to excessive

Plants can also improve a person’s relationships

sunlight, so it is best to keep lucky bamboo away from

because that person is subconsciously practicing

bright windows. This plant does require a significant

empathy and respect when caring for a plant. The

amount of clean, fresh water, and it should not be

keeping and nurturing of plants fosters other import-

left to sit in stagnant water for extended periods of

ant skills such as social-awareness, the willingness


to help others, and compassion. These skills grow as a

Snake plants are one of the easiest plants to take

person nurtures a plant and eventually carry over into

care of because they can survive in a variety of light

their everyday life and human relationships. When

conditions and do not need water often. Snake plants

a person possesses the ability to show empathy and

thrive in bright, indirect light, but can also live in

respect, their relationships tend to grow stronger

direct sunlight, moderate light, or even a shady

and last longer than those who do

corner. These plants also require little water, as they

not. Because the nurturing of plants allows a person

are prone to root rot. It is best to let the soil dry out

to practice empathy and respect, they develop the

between waterings and completely soak the plant’s

necessary skills that allow for the growth of strong

soil about once a month.

and healthy human relationships.

Another beginner plant is pothos, which comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Like a snake plant,

Quality of Life

pothos are able to survive in a variety of lighting

Having house plants can also provide an aesthetic

conditions, but they prosper in bright, indirect light.

that is associated with a high quality of life. When

A pothos plant also thrives when its soil dries out

nature is brought into the home or office, a person’s

between waterings and can survive a sporadic wa-

perceived quality of life increases because humans

tering routine, but it is best to water pothos every

associate nature and well-maintained landscapes

other week.

with a better living environment. A person’s overall

Due to the

mood and mindset become more positive when their


perceived quality of life increases, which can also lead

Plants that require a bit more skill to take care of are

increase of

to the development of an optimistic outlook on life.

jade plants, peace lilies and yucca trees.

Because houseplants increase a person’s perceived

Jade plants are one of the easier succulents to grow.


quality of life, their mood, mindset and outlook

People often misinterpret succulents as easy to care

improve when they are in the presence of plants.

for because they are known for their ability to survive dry conditions. This is a common issue when caring

… the

Noise Levels

for succulents, as they are often underwatered. Jade


Another incredibly useful benefit of plants is their

plants require watering after the top few inches of

ability to act as natural sound absorbers. When a person

soil has dried, which is about once every three to four

of house

brings a plant into their home or workspace, they are

weeks. Jade plants also require very bright, indirect

decreasing the noise levels in their immediate vicinity.

plants is

This can lead to increased concentration levels and


is especially useful in an office setting because they

light, making it difficult to grow in some homes and offices. It is best to place them in a south-facing window, as this is where the plant will receive the most light. If you don’t have a south-facing window, you should place your jade plant in the brightest spot in your home or office. Another plant that requires a moderate amount of skill is a peace lily. They require bright, indirect light and their leaves may burn if they remain in direct afternoon sun for too long. Peace lilies can be difficult to care for because they are extremely sensitive to their watering conditions. Their soil should be consistently moist, but not oversaturated. These plants can survive some dry spells, but their leaves may turn brown if neglected for too long. Peace lilies are also sensitive to the temperature of and chemicals within water, so it is best to water them with room-temperature, filtered tap water.

decreased stress. The use of plants as sound absorbers allow employees to work in close proximity to one another while maintaining appropriate noise levels. Using plants for sound absorption is also beneficial for those that live in noisy areas. Plants help control noise levels that can often be a nuisance when living in an apartment complex or near a busy road. Finding the Best Plant For You Purchasing plants can be overwhelming because of the many options available. While some plants require meticulous care that can be tricky to navigate, there are a number of gentler plants that are perfect for a first time plant purchaser.



More difficult to care for, the yucca tree thrives in full sunlight and may struggle if not in a well lit location. While direct sunlight is best, yucca trees can also survive in bright, indirect light. These plants are easy to overwater, making them difficult to care for. Like jade plants, yucca trees should be left to dry out between waterings. They also tend to thrive when neglected, as too much moisture can lead to root rot. Yucca trees grow best when they are potted in soil with a sand-like consistency and in a pot with plenty of drainage holes. Advanced Advanced skill is required when taking care of plants such as an orchid or fiddle-leaf fig. Orchids are one of the most popular flowers for people to have around the home or office because they can live up to 100 years, but that does not mean they are easy to grow. Different kinds of orchids require different amounts of sunlight, but most thrive in bright, indirect light. If you are unsure what is best for your orchid, place it in bright, indirect light, monitor its reaction over the course of a few days, and adjust its placement from there. Orchids also require far less water than expected. These plants should be completely soaked and then left to dry out between waterings. Make sure excess water drains out through the bottom of the pot, as letting the

over eight hours of direct sunlight a day, these plants will go into shock when transferred to an indoor environment where they are unable to get nearly the same amount of light. Instead of purchasing cheap plants from a big box retailer, look into local shops and nurseries that specialize in indoor plants. While they may cost a few extra dollars, these plants have been grown in facilities that mimic the indoor atmosphere they are intended for and will live significantly longer than their Walmart and Home Depot counterparts. Because plants from local shops and nurseries are grown in a secluded atmosphere, they are accustomed to the lower amount of sunlight available when placed within an indoor environment. My personal favorite local plant shop is Urban Planting Cleveland. They have a wide variety of succulents, cacti and tropical and domestic houseplants that work for every budget. Because their plants are grown in the proper facilities, the transition into a new home is seamless. I also love how often they get new plants; they always have something different and exciting every time I visit.


orchid sit in stagnant water can be fatal . Like orchids, fiddle-leaf figs are a plant many people desire but have difficulty caring for. These plants thrive in direct sunlight, which is the biggest obstacle people have when trying to provide a suitable environment. Placing them in a southern- or western-facing window that receives direct, afternoon sunlight is ideal, as six or more hours of direct sunlight allows the fiddle-leaf fig to thrive. Fiddle-leaf figs should also be left to dry between waterings and the soil should be saturated when watered, but not soaked. What makes these plants so difficult to care for is their sensitivity to humidity, drafts and pests.

Bremec on the Heights Garden Center Gale’s Garden Center Lakewood Plant Company Lakewood Garden Center Old Brooklyn Greenhouse Puritas Nursery and Garden Center STUMP: Cleveland Urban Orchid

If you are looking to care for a fiddle-leaf fig, it is best to do extensive research to be prepared for any issues that may arise. Finding Plants in the CLE Area When looking to purchase plants, do so from a source that provides healthy, high-quality plants that were grown in the proper conditions. While the Walmart and Home Depot Garden Centers offer a variety of plants at a low cost, it is best to purchase plants from local shops and nurseries that provide higher-quality plants for only a few extra dollars. Big box retailers often market low-cost plants for indoor use, even though these plants were grown outdoors. While the low cost is appealing, these plants will not live long when transferred to an indoor environment. Because they are used to getting 25 | VINDICATOR

Plants offer a variety of benefits that can improve the quality of life for those in the plant’s vicinity. They can improve memory and concentration, the healing process and relationships. They can lower stress levels and absorb excess noise. Because plants provide so many valuable benefits, everyone should try and bring a plant or two into their home!




The Vegan Doughnut Company WRITTEN BY

Sisters Kharisma and Kyra Mayo decided to open a

Claudia Ugbana

fully-vegan doughnut shop in 2014 after nearly a


doughnuts brought them to the realization that there

Asha McClendon

were very limited options of vegan doughnuts in

decade of being vegetarians. Their obsession with

Northeast Ohio. Their company is the first and only 100 percent vegan operated doughnut shop.

This list is far from exhaustive, but here are 60 Black-owned businesses and brands you can support this fall.

Dope Coffee was founded behind the idea that com-


munities and people of color can use capitalism, cul-

many generous donations from sympathizers to bail-

sold over 6,000 cheesecakes all over the country, and

out funds and organizations. As a result, the emer-

their business is growing larger each day.

he unjust killing of George Floyd on May 25, and the killings and torture of civil-

ture and commodities to change their communities, according to co-founder and CEO Michael Loyd.

ians in African countries such as Nam-

The Furlough Cheesecake

bia and Nigeria, amplified the growing

The Furlough Cheesecake was born after sisters Nikki

problem of police brutality. Thousands of

Thompson Howard and Jaqi Thompson Wright found

individuals were arrested for protesting, leading to

themselves unemployed in 2018. The sisters have since

Black-owned businesses was seen across the nation. The most direct way to aid Black individuals is by supporting Black-owned brands and businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Historically, Black-owned businesses have a harder time gaining loans and capital needed to start their businesses, and this is no doubt a result of systematic racism. Over the past months, many people have begun putting their money where their mouths are by purchasing products from Black-owned businesses and endorsing their brands. You can be part of the initiative to aid Black individuals by referencing (and hopefully purchasing products) from the large selection of Black-owned businesses listed below. These businesses have been categorized into four main areas: Food and Drink, Beauty/Lifestyle, Clothing and Bloggers.

Food & Drink McBride Sisters Collection Robin & Andréa McBride grew up on two different continents and knew nothing of the other sisters’ existence for half their lives. They eventually reunited in 1999 and discovered they both shared a unique passion for wine. They are the first African American

Baked By Jasz Founded in 2016 by self-taught pastry chef Jasmine, the owner has been immersed with a love for all sweet things since she was a little girl. Jasmine is now known for her signature Oreo Brownie and a variety of other sweet and savory desserts. A Dozen Cousins Ibraheem Basir started selling soulfully seasoned beans in how hard it was to find convenient foods t h at wer e b ot h healthy and auhe cultivates ipes that he sells through kets such as Walmart and Amazon.

Black and Mobile

a number of restaurants in Cleveland, turning her business into a local staple. She and her family have created a revolution of brands that are still going strong 25 years later.

loans and capital needed to start

retail mar-

of wines representing the places they grew up.

late 1970s. In 1986, she ventured out and opened

have a harder time gaining

natural rec-

Black and Mobile

Angie first started cooking soul food back in the

Black-owned businesses

thentic. Today,

sister duo to own a wine company. They sell a variety

Angie’s Soul Cafe

2018 when he discovered

their businesses, and this is no doubt a result of systematic racism.

is the country’s first Black owned food delivery services that partners and delivers foods made by Black

gence of an initiative centered around supporting


Dope Coffee

owned restaurants, in order to give them more exposure and reach a larger number of people. The company currently services communities within Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia.



Ivy’s Tea Co. Owned and operated by a first generation herbalist, Ivy’s Tea Co. launched in 2016 to amplify the idea that the tea drinking society should be as representative and inclusive as the hip-op community is.

Basbaas Foods

Exau Olive Oil

Hawa Hassan is a Somalian @




woman who was separated from ssa


her mother at age seven. Fifteen years later, she was reunited with her mother who inspired the

Me & The Bees Lemonade

authentic sauces and flavors

At just 15 years old, Mikaila is the found-

her company sells.

T he hu sba nd a nd wife duo, Giuseppe a nd Sk yler, a re both third generation but come f r o m d i f fe rent parts of the world. Starting E x au, a n ol i ve oil company, was the perfect way to bring their Calabria, Italy and California backgrounds together.

er of an award-winning

Beauty & LifeStyle

lemonade manufacturer. Me & The Bees Lemonade can

Juvia’s Place Chiche Eburu is the Nigerian-born owner

be found at wholefood stores such as World Market and H-E-B stores located in Texas, as

and founder of the makeup brand that has seen a

well as a number of restaurants, food trailers and

massive growth since the company’s launch in 2014.

food delivery services.

Juvia’s Place is known for its representation of Af-

Guidance Whiskey Jason Ridgel was inspired by whiskey culture and was

pigmentation of their eyeshadow palettes.

motivated by a deep sense of family and friendship

Melanin Haircare

when he created the company in October 2018. Only

Founded by sisters Whitney and Taffeta White,

two years old, Guidance Whiskey is sold in stores

Melanin Haircare aims to aid the growth of natural

located in Georgia and Tennessee, and ships to most

hair and proper care of the scalp with high-quality

of the U.S.

and natural ingredients. The company took six years

Iya Foods Iya Foods provides consumers with authentic Af-

to formulate and launch, but continues to expand each year.

rican-inspired dishes and recipes, while reducing

Beauty Bakerie

poverty and providing sustainable jobs. The company

Cashmere Nicole built this cosmetics brand from the

was founded by Toyin Kolawole, who also doubles as

ground up while raising her daughter on her own.

the company’s CEO and in-house chef.

This journey took her several years, but the brand is

Sol Cacao Three brothers from the Bronx came together and


rican countries and culture, the bold colors and the

now well-known across the country for its diversity and philanthropy.

created a company that manufactures and sells

Nekawa Beauty

quality chocolate bars made from two key ingre-

Nekawa Beauty started as a business school, but later

dients: cocoa beans and raw cane sugar. Dominic,

turned into a successful skincare line by Awa Diaw

Nicholas and Daniel Maloney strive to elevate the

and Chelsea Trotter. The two women put together

quality of chocolate sold in the U.S. by emulating

their love for organic shea butter and shrewd busi-

the chocolate they enjoyed in their home country

ness, creating a company that has garnered respect

Trinidad and Tobago.

in the skincare industry.


Uoma Beauty

Skin Buttr

Founded by Nigerian-born and LA-based Sharon

Skin Buttr is a hand-made skincare brand that sells

Chuter, the beauty brand aims to diversify and

natural body butters, scrubs and a variety of other

include all skin tones. Products from the brand are

skincare products.The company was founded by

also made with innovative technology that is both

beauty influencer Tatiana Elizabeth, with a mission

pleasing and suitable for all skin types.

to simplify, educate and promote healthy glowing skin, while pushing sustainability.

Latched & Hooked Latched & Hooked is the original creator of textured, pre-curled synthetic hair that matches the natural hair texture of Black women. The company is owned by Tiffini Gatlin, a former corporate bank executive who has a number of successful digital brands under her belt.

Nuban Beauty Stella Ndelike founded Nuban Beauty, the Nigerian-based cosmetics brand. However, she credits its success in the beauty industry to co-director Jane Ogu, who has a vast knowledge in the makeup and beauty industry for over 10 years. Both women partnered with one goal in mind: to bring quality

quality eyelashes for an affordable price. The company is owned and creatively directed by beauty influencer Taylor Lloyd.

Black Girl Sunscreen Tired of feeling frustrated by the lack of availability in sunscreen products that catered to melanin women, Sontay Lundy created the Black Girl Sunscreen that is

Travel Voiage

highly raved about in the beauty industry. The brand

Taisha and Eliza built a great friendship and travel

has expanded globally to provide all individuals of

business while on a trip to Bali, Indonesia. The

color with a product that protects them from the harsh

company handles everything from travel plans to

UV rays, and also being flattering against the skin.


been rebranded with a mission to create and sell

i nb u t t r

m vr




Originally founded in 2013, Your Lash Bar has since


makeup products to all makeup lovers within Africa.


Your Lash Bar

destination weddings, including flight bookings. Jay Beauty Cave Miss Jay is a Cleveland-based hairstylist with a large portfolio and years of experience. Her services include hair braiding, coloring and cutting styles for


all individuals of any race, age and gender. Mented Cosmetics KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson got the idea to create the beauty brand over a glass of wine one night, as they wondered why f i n d i n g t h e r i g ht nude for women of color was so difficult. They created Mented Cosmetics with Black women especially in mind, and continue to tell makeup products that are pigmented, vegan and cruelty free, and non-toxic.

This lifestyle brand is founded by Nigerian-American Youtube creator Jackie Aina. Although the brand launched

during a global pandemic, its products


continuously sell out. FORVR Mood sells everything from luxury scented candles to silk pillowcases and headbands to keep you looking bougie on a budget.

Hair By Janelli The hair company is a creation by sisters Ja nel l a nd Ja na i Wi l l is, founded on the basis of love and an inspiration to deliver qualit y hair ex tensions and custom wigs.



of body butters and cremes that enhance the natural properties of the skin.

The Honey Pot Company The Honey Pot is the first feminine hygiene company that provides a variety of products that cleanses, balances and protects a woman’s vagina. Bea Dixon got the idea for the company one night after her ancestor visited her in a dream with a vision of how to properly heal herself (and other women struggling with the same issues) by using ingredients made from the earth.

Clothing & Accessories KAI Collective The clothing company is a London-based womenswear brand founded by fashion blogger Fisayo Longe. Although the company was established merely four years ago, the brand has grown rapidly and is well on its way to being a top-leader in the fashion industry.

Soultanicals Ayo Ogun, a mother of six children, founded the company on the basis of simply making one’s hair and body feel good. She serves as the company’s creator, sistapreneur, ingredient stylist and mixtress. Coloured Raine Cosmetics Loraine R. Dowdy left her high-paying job in 2013 and founded the cosmetics brand that is highly respected and well-known in the beauty industry today. Coloured Raine sells highly pigmented lip products and eyeshadow palettes that are cruelty free and vegan. A Slay With Osay The hair company is owned by Houston-based college stylists Osayuwa Evbayiro. Each unit is custom made to provide quality wigs that fit every mood and style.


Farai London Created during a global pandemic, Farai London has already begun dominating the fashion industry as many high-profile celebrities such as Megan Thee Stallion and Jordyn Woods have been spotted wearing dresses from the brand. The clothing brand is owned and operated by London-based fashion designer MaryAnn Msengi.

Saints Swim

Newly founded by beauty influencer Aaliyah Jay, the resort-wear company is already

Chi Wrapz Chineme Ogbuefi is the founder of the accessory brand that sells quality headwraps and facemasks which feature a multitude of A frican prints and designs. All products are made in Nigeria but also sold within the U.S.

Telfar Tel fa r a re a un ise x fash ion br a nd b a s e d i n Ne w York but s old i nter n at ion a l ly. A lt houg h they sell shoes, clothing and jewelry, they are most famous for their handbags which continuously sell out w ithin a matter of minutes on each restock day. The company is owned and operated by Telfar Clemens.

highly raved about for selling quality swimwear at

Angeluxe Lashes Owned by Angel Adu, the self-named brand provides quality mink lashes that can be worn up to 30 times if handled with proper care. The beauty company also provides one-on-one business consulting to individuals who are interested in starting their own business.

affordable prices.

The Nu Bamboo Jusme Kamil is the creator of the accessory brand which produces handmade earrings constructed with bamboo. The unique earrings have been worn by celebrities and well-known influencers like Kehlani and Jackie Aina.

Arome Adeola Ogunneye had a daily struggle with her dry skin which led to the development of her skincare brand. The Arome moisturizing collection consists

Dirrty Store The international fashion brand is owned by Johnson Odimayo and Emmanuel Williams, who met by chance in Westfield, Stratford back in 2015. The duo have gone one to build an empire of clothing items that have received overall positive reviews from its peers and society. Riot Swim @t w i s t ed s aint s s w im


Monti Landers is the founder of this high-fashioned swimwear brand. The brand is known for its cheeky bikini bottoms and flattering one-piece bathing suits that are suitable for women of all sizes and colors.



The Wholesome Project

Supernova Momma

The Wholesome Project is both a Youtube channel

This Instagram account is run by Natasha, a veteran

and blog page operated by Mercedes Oyemenam.

mom of two who shares her experiences on mother-

The project was born behind the desire to provide

hood, self-love and family building.

a one-stop resource center for intentional growth

OG Goes Gourmet This food blog is owned by Oghosa Aburime, a Hous-

Corporate Queendom

ton-based homecook who captures her experiences

Mandu Mbride is a 25-year-old blogger who shares

trying a variety of Houston’s greatest dishes.

content on a millennial girl’s lifestyle in the corpo-

Eatwithbeentee This vegan food page is run by friends Tobi Idowu and Beulah Waritimi. The duo share unique ingredients and meals that push individuals to pursue a healthier and cleaner lifestyle. Gabby Whiten Gabby is an NYC-based digital creator and social media influencer. When she isn't vlogging or posting about the fast-paced lifestyle in one of the world's busiest cities, she is nestled somewhere in the halls of NYU where she is earning her Ph.D. FSuncensord Also known as F&S, this is a podcast hosted by longtime friends Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simisola Badiru. The Nigerian-based podcast discusses a multitude of topics surrounding entertainment, life experiences and opinions on pop culture. Black Girls in Trader Joes This food blog is run by Mercedes Davis, a Cleveland-based home chef and esthetician. Mercedes has a community around the brand that goes beyond the blog; but it is also an initiative centered around empowering Black women in a plethora of ways, starting in the kitchen. MikeAde Photography This photography company is a one-man business operated by Michael Adebamowo. The self-taught photographer captures all events, celebrations and personal portraits in the D.C. area. I Said What I Said Hosted by two highly influential women, Feyikemi Abudu and Jola Ayeye, I Said What I Said is a podcast channel detailing the experiences of Lagos millennials through the eyes of both women. Between Classes This is a Houston-based web-series following the lives of Black college students. The series is creatively directed by Amaka Egbe in collaboration with other individuals in the Houston area.



spiritual energy.


where she discusses relationships, cancel culture and


content varies from clothing hauls to sit-down videos

information on womanhood and Black culture.


Arayo is a lifestyle Youtuber based in the U.K. Her

rate world. The Houston-based blogger also details

Anywhere Media Anywhere Media is an outdoor cinema rental ser-



vice based in Houston, Texas. The media company




specializes in delivering unique experiences, while optimizing for social distancing at their events. They host a variety of parties, from New Year’s Eve events to couples date nights. Why it is important to support Black-owned businesses? Most of the businesses highlighted on this list are small, growing businesses. Their expansion depends solely on the support from the public. Furthermore, it is imperative we support these businesses to our fullest capabilities as Black-owned businesses within the U.S. fell more than 40 percent amid the current pandemic, the largest drop out of all other racial groups. No matter what city, country or continent you live on, this curated list ensures you are able to purchase goods sold by any of these companies. However, this list should not be the only place to find Black-owned businesses to support. Society must conduct further research to ensure the power of coming together. More than ever, it is important to not only shop Black-owned businesses this fall, but from here going forward.

More than ever, it is important to not only shop Black-owned businesses this fall, but from here going forward.

Arayo Ajeigbe


and development.







Hannah Mosley


Body dysmorphia becomes increasingly difficult to combat, especially during a worldwide pandemic.


enough to distinguish that photoshopped bodies are not the norm — especially when the majority of the world is under isolation. The dieting and cosmetics industry stands to make

irrors, photographs and self-per-

extreme revenue from the insecurities resulting from

ceptions become active minefields

BDD. When women suffer from mere insecurities, let

to someone suffering from body

alone a dysmorphic disorder, they often fall prey to

dysmorphia. In the throes of body

predatory companies that offer “miracle” products to

dysmorphia, a person reshapes the

cure their maladies — whether dieting pills, bronzers

image of their body at every glance, and they develop

that promise to slim one’s face or the latest diet fads

feelings of discomfort from the slightest irritation or

that guarantee a thinner body in days. The dieting and

intrusive thought.

cosmetics industry uses numerous communications

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) affects about five

and marketing methods to deepen the body- and

to seven million people across the world, primarily

beauty-related anxieties of everyday people. This

women and adolescents. BDD is becoming increasingly

rhetoric is harmful to not only girls but society as a

apparent in the lives of those affected, especially in

whole. When extremely thin bodies are the norm, a

light of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic

healthy weight and body shape are abnormal. Fur-

has changed eating habits and routines for many,

thermore, the major figures in film, photography and

and snacking is more frequent than in years past

social media have a certain type of body and typically

for some. When frequent snacking, stress eating

have eurocentric features. This ostracizes not only

and a plethora of free time collide, those with BDD

those with healthy bodies that may not align with

are prone to notice a new curvature in their jawlines

the über-thin ideal, but also alienates minorities and

and obsess over whether their stomach looks slightly

individuals of different ethnicities. Though many

more round than the day before.

forms of media and corporations have incorporated a

Furthermore, the pressure to conform can be suf-

wide range of diversity, thin and eurocentric models

focating when society places an extreme emphasis

remain the majority.

on achieving a thin figure. Social media delivers yet

To combat the effects of BDD, women often enlist

another level of staggering body image expectations.

the aid of cosmetic surgery in attempts to meet the

When social media users find themselves barraged with

current beauty standards. When the average cost of

images of photoshopped models, retouched pictures

cosmetic surgery totals around $5,000, capitalistic

of friends, and bikini pictures, feeling insecure is not

economies stand to profit from those with insecurities

uncommon. This rings especially true for younger

and disorders such as BDD. Cosmetic surgery is not

people, as their brains often have not developed

the answer to solving BDD, as a new facet of one’s


appearance will often become a new flaw to fixate

in the recovery process! Being open about personal

on. Furthermore, America’s capitalistic society has

struggles with body image can encourage others to

a history of pushing products promising to make

share their own self-perceptions and struggles.

a person thin, and therefore “desirable”. At a very

BDD and eating disorders are serious mental

young age, most girls are subconsciously exposed to

health conditions that require attention and care.

thin body types as the epitome of a “healthy” and

Identifying and being cognizant of the notions that

desirable figure in the media. Due to the overexposure

exist surrounding physical appearances can help

of these dangerous ideals, BDD and eating disorders

normalize one’s self-perception. By unlearning the

develop quickly at young ages in people across the

toxic standards imposed by the media, society can


manage BDD and eating disorders and eventually

Eating disorders and BDD fall under the mental

decrease their prevalence. Consuming media that

health umbrella but are often overlooked when dis-

highlights all body types and diversity of ethnicities

cussing the topic. When these issues are ignored,

and cultures will pave a path forward to a society

countless children, adolescents and adults continue

more comfortable with their self-perceptions.

to live with an untreated disorder, further harming their physical and mental health. Examples of issues related to BDD and eating disorders include anxiety, depression, reproductive issues, fatigue, and organ failure in extreme cases. Eating disorders can cause serious — sometimes irreversible — health problems, and even death. Spreading awareness about these issues is crucial to increase recognition. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of BDD or an eating disorder can help facilitate a conversation that may bring a friend the help they need. Friends who talk about

ev er

these issues and encourage those with BDD or eating

I’ll r ve ne

I’ll n

disorders to seek help serve as an important step

good enou e gh b !

w llo fo

h. ug ro th

Eating disorders fall under the

Th e

re ’s n



mental health




I m u st

but are often






Samra Karamustafic

Face masks are becoming cuter and trendier by the day — check out the most popular trends we’ve seen so far this year.


Animal Print Face Masks Animal print: you either love it or hate it. The classic print made a surprising comeback last fall, with stores stocked full of a variety of leopard- and cheetah-printed sweaters. This seems to be the case

ace masks — they’ve become this year’s

for this fall season too — just swap the sweater out

most unexpected must-have accessory.

for a face mask! If you absolutely adore all things

What began as just grabbing the first box

leopard print, you’re in luck! Because this is one of

of disposable masks you saw in the grocery

the most popular face mask designs of the season,

store has evolved into a fashionable trend

you can easily find a face mask to your liking on Etsy,

that not only helps prevent the spread of COVID-19,

Amazon, and even in retail stores like Francesca’s

but has put a spotlight on independent sellers across

and Forever 21. (Francesca’s Leopard Print Face Mask $10)

the nation, granting them the opportunity to unleash their creativity while making it possible to support themselves during this challenging year. Cloth masks are versatile — they’re washable, reusable and you can easily make your own at home with your favorite types of fabrics. But if sewing is not your best friend, it’s okay: a plethora of masks with various designs are available online (and instore). If you’re looking to have some fun with your face mask this season and you’re trying to add a little something-something to your wardrobe, read on to see what mask trends have been the most popular this year so far and where you can find them!


Autumn-themed Masks If sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween movie marathons aren’t enough for your fall-loving self, treat yourself to a cute fall-themed face mask! Not only will it make for the perfect combination with your favorite sweater, but just imagine how many adorable photoshoots you could have if you wore that the next time you went apple-picking or to a pumpkin patch! Retail stores haven’t quite hopped onto the “fall-themed face mask” bandwagon yet, but you can find hundreds of autumn-related designs on Etsy and Redbubble. (Etsy Fall Face Mask $13.59)


Floral Masks Whether you’re looking to add a little bit of color to your simple outfit, or you’re just a floral fanatic, Masks with a Message Let’s face it: 2020 has been a challenging year, especially in regards to our nation’s political, social, and cultural climate — and on top of that, we’re in the middle of an election year! As we are witnessing a monumental time in our history, more and more individuals want to showcase their beliefs, ideals, and values in any way they can — and face mask makers have caught wind of that desire. Thanks to independent sellers on Etsy and Amazon, you can find a face mask with nearly any cause or belief plastered

buying a floral mask is a must for you. Florals are one of the most popular types of patterns, and it comes as no surprise that floral masks have graced the face mask scene — they’ve been a consistent best-seller since March! A variety of sellers and retailers have floral masks fully stocked,, including a brand known for their bright and colorful floral patterns: Vera Bradley! If Vera Bradley simply isn’t your style, you can find more floral masks at Target, Amazon, Etsy, and more. (Vera Bradley Pleated Face Mask with Adjustable Elastic $8)

on it, whether that’s climate change, a particular presidential candidate, a social justice movement, or something else. (Bumper stickers and t-shirts are so 2019, anyway). (Etsy Love Your Mother Mask $14.95)

Rhinestone ‘Bling’ Face Masks Who doesn’t want to feel a little glam while wearing Pop Culture Masks To any and all diehard pop culture fans — this one’s for you. What better and more fun way to show off your favorite TV show, movie or movie franchise than

a face mask? Sparkly, bedazzled face masks are sure to add a little bling to any one of your outfits, whether you’re going for a (socially-distanced) night out or heading to class. (Etsy Rhinestone Face Mask $8.99)

with your face mask? Pop-culture-related masks are growing in popularity by the day, so much so that

Whatever kind of face mask you decide to buy, just

Redbubble, a company known for allowing different

make sure that it will do what it’s made for: keeping

fandoms to incorporate their art into t-shirt, sweat-

you and others safe. Double-check to see if it has a

shirt, and other apparel designs, have added a face

face filter that’s included in the design or a pocket

mask option to their website! This means that you

that gives you the ability to insert your own filter. If

can find a face mask for just about any fandom out

it looks to be just a thin and flimsy piece of cloth, try

there, whether that’s Harry Potter or even a celebrity.

to find a better alternative. Since it seems as though

Etsy is also home to a lot of face mask makers who

face masks are here to stay for a while, why not have

are a part of fandoms themselves and are making

a little bit of fun with them?

themed masks to prove it. (Etsy Harry Potter Mask $10) THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 36


And That’s The

Tea Ever wondered which tea is best for you? Check out this simple and organized breakdown of the tastes and health benefits of different types of tea, and get ready to brew a cup yourself!


nough people have asked whether you’re a coffee or tea person, but have you ever asked yourself what kind of tea best suits your needs? After water, tea is the most popular beverage on the planet, and it’s a

much healthier alternative to the sugary coffees so many of us are used to grabbing before work. WhethWRITTEN BY


Miranda Tulcewicz

er you’re a novice or maestro in your experience with tea, you can always learn more about the ancient and versatile world-favorite drink. All true tea is made from the same plant — Camellia sinensis. The five varieties of tea that come from this plant are what we call “true tea,” which differs from teas that are brewed using other spices or plants (e.g. herbal teas). True teas vary from one another based on the part of the tea plant used to produce the tea, as well as the environment of the plant and the process used.



True Tea

Oolong Tea

All true tea is made from the same plant — Camellia

If you’re unfamiliar with the name, it’s probably

sinensis. Five varieties of tea come from this plant,

because Oolong tea is much less common in Western

and they are what we call “true tea.” These teas

culture; though it is highly revered in China and

differ from those that are brewed using other spices

Taiwan. Its oxidation level lies somewhere between

or plants; technically, the phrase “herbal tea” is a

black (highly oxidized) and green (barely oxidized)

misnomer because it usually has little to do with the

tea, causing its taste and health benefits to fall

actual tea plant. True teas vary from one another

somewhere between these two more common teas.

based on the part of the tea plant used to produce the tea, as well as the environment of the plant, the process used, and the level of oxidation. Black Tea The most popular tea in the Western world, black tea, resulted from frequent trading between China and other countries. Tea traders discovered that when tea leaves were oxidized more than traditional green tea,

Taste Profile: Fuller-bodied than black tea; offers a wide variety of flavor, ranging from sweet to woody Health Benefits: Reduces risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes; sharpens thinking skills; increases alertness; boosts metabolism; aids in weight loss; acts as a natural pick-me-up; reduces stress; and counteracts tooth decay

the flavor lasted longer during lengthy trade routes.

How to brew: Like green tea, oolong tea should be

This is an example of how a mere difference in the

brewed just below boiling temperature, between

oxidation process results in an entirely different tea.

180� and 200�. Steeping time is approximately 1 to 5

Thus, highly oxidized tea became black tea, which is

minutes; for a stronger flavor and body, steep longer.

common among sweet and iced teas today. Some of the most popular flavored teas (Earl Grey, chai tea) use black tea as a base. Taste Profile: Bold, severe, malty, smoky, brisk, and earthy; a good choice for those who enjoy the bitter taste of coffee and are looking for a light caffeine boost Health Benefits: Boosts heart health; reduces blood sugar; improves digestive tract issues How to Brew: Boiling water will draw out the strong flavor of black tea, and it should steep for approximately 3 to 5 minutes Green Tea Praised for its abundance of health benefits, green tea is strongly associated with the traditional idea of a cup of tea. This is due, in part, to the fact that it was the original true tea produced from the plant, and all other varieties came after Taste Profile: More mellow than black tea; offers a dramatic assortment of flavors Health Benefits: Reduces body fat; provides antioxidants; deodorizes bad breath; improves brain function; decreases blood pressure How to Brew: Many assume all teas require steeping in boiling water; however, this is not the case for green tea. Using boiling water will result in a more bitter aftertaste than green tea should provide. Instead, use water approximately 180�, just below boiling temperature, and steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Pu-erh Tea Also known as “dark tea,” pu-erh tea is often skipped in discussions of true tea because it isn’t nearly as well-known as its counterparts. A semi-rare tea originating from the Yunnan province of China, puerh tea is fermented, meaning its flavor and value increase with age. Taste Profile: Generally smooth and slightly sweet, but can range from floral to bitter Health Benefits: Cleanses toxins; increases alertness; fortifies bones; promotes a healthy heart; prevents illness How to Brew: Heat water to 195� and steep for 2 to 4 minutes White Tea Made from the youngest buds and leaves of the plant, white tea is the most unprocessed and least caffeinated of the true teas Taste Profile: Sweet, delicate, light, floral, and sometimes fruity or vegetal Health Benefits: Contains anti-aging properties, protects teeth from bacteria, promotes skin health, improves calmness, reduces inflammation, establishes healthy hair and decreases risk of osteoporosis. How to Brew: The delicate nature of white tea requires the lowest water temperature of all true teas and should be brewed at just under 170� for 1 to 5 minutes. As with all teas, white tea will produce a stronger flavor when steeped longer.



Information on brewing temperature and steeping times can be overwhelming, but as a general rule, you should steep tea bags between 3 and 5 minutes. Steeping time has a large effect on both the flavor and health benefits of tea. Over-steeping will cause the tea to become significantly more bitter than it needs to be. More importantly, many of the health benefits of tea decrease as a result of over-steeping. If you’re ever uncertain, the box or tin containing your tea should include instructions on how long you should steep the tea bag to achieve maximum health benefits and greatest flavor.


Herbal Tea

paired with

that some pretty vital teas (peppermint, chamomile,

lemon or

other “teas” that do not fall into one of these five


come from the Camellia sinensis tea plant, rendering


into a separate category, the large majority of which

teas are

tea plant. Rather, they result from steeping herbs


Often paired with lemon or honey, herbal teas

for their

enchanting fragrances. More herbal teas exist than


the most important and popular choices as an intro-


teas share a few qualities: aid in the prevention of


and soreness. An added bonus of herbal teas is that


which means the flavor will not quickly turn bitter


Pure herbal teas and tea blends are distinct from one

Now that we’ve covered true teas, you may have noticed etc.) are missing from the list. This is because all categories do not qualify as true teas, as they do not the phrase “herbal tea” a misnomer. These teas fall are made from herbs and spices, as opposed to the and spices such as mint or chamomile in hot water. are popularized for their medicinal properties and categories of true teas, so we will only cover some of duction to the realm of herbal tea. Almost all herbal chronic disease, stress-relief and reduction of pain they’re much harder to over-steep than true teas, if the tea bag is left in for longer than five minutes. another, the latter of which feature true teas blended with various herbs and spices. Herbals teas on their own are either naturally caffeine-free or contain trace amounts of the stimulant. However, tea blends will usually have at least some caffeine because their base is a true tea. For instance, a black chai tea blend combines both black tea and chai spices; because black tea has caffeine, the drink will be caffeinated. If you are sensitive to caffeine or are looking for teas to drink closer to bedtime, make sure you either select a purely herbal tea or otherwise a specifically decaffeinated true tea or tea blend. If purchasing tea packets from a grocery store, the box will include a labeled indication if the tea is decaffeinated.



Chamomile Tea

Health Benefits: Eases muscle soreness; enhances

Note: Avoid this herbal tea if you are allergic to pollen

alertness; helps memory; reduces anxiety.

and/or ragweed! Taste Profile: Often described as soft or floral, chamomile tea is as relaxing as it sounds and has a flavor comparable to a crisp apple or light honey. Health Benefits: Increases calmness; aids sleep; reduces menstrual pain and inflammation; treats cold symptoms; aids in treating generalized anxiety disorder.

Saffron Tea Taste Profile: Sweet and distinctive; a flavor between spice and honey Health Benefits: Releases serotonin (produces feelings of happiness); boosts memory; relieves anxiety and irritability; acts as an aphrodisiac; improves memory in those with Alzheimer’s disease Turmeric Tea

Dandelion Tea

Taste Profile: Rich and bitter; similar to ginger

Taste Profile: Earthy and sweet Health Benefits: Releases serotonin and dopamine Health Benefits: Increases energy levels; reduces

(mood-enhancers); helps prevent Alzheimer’s dis-

inflammation; detoxifies liver; relieves bloating;

ease; helps brain-cell growth; lowers inflammation

reduces hormonal acne; slows aging and increases collagen production

Beyond these lists awaits an even greater variety of

Ginger Tea

true, herbal, and blended teas, which you can navigate

Taste Profile: The much milder, herbal taste of ginger

basics of tea and its categories. The next time you

tea will surprise those more familiar with the taste of ginger as a spice. Health Benefits: Boosts immune system; relieves nausea; combats respiratory problems; reduces stress; relieves menstrual pain; eases headaches. Hibiscus Tea

much more knowledgeably when you understand the can’t fall asleep, try a soothing cup of chamomile tea. When you need to de-stress without getting sleepy, shoot for some lemon balm tea. Green tea is always a solid go-to, but you probably haven’t yet tried oolong tea, which will enhance your thinking and memory skills. Next time you’re in need of a pick-me-up, you know the tea.

Taste Profile: Tart, slightly fruity, similar to cranberries Health Benefits: Helps digestion; contains nutritious minerals and vitamin C; lowers cholesterol; fights bacteria; promotes weight loss. Lemon Balm Tea Taste Profile: Citrusy with a hint of mint that makes it slightly sweeter than traditional citruses Health Benefits: Reduces stress levels without inducing fatigue Nettle Tea Taste Profile: Comparable to green tea; grassy and mellow Health Benefits: Detoxifies the body; supports eye health; treats arthritis pain; clears skin Peppermint Tea Taste Profile: Peppermint tea’s taste resembles the traditional peppermint scent. Just like the breath mint, peppermint tea is light and sweet, with a cool and refreshing aftertaste.






Joscelyn Ervin

Emily Williams

This holiday season, many stores have decided to change their major sales events to accommodate for safety risks due to the pandemic.


he entirety of summer and most of fall

Black Friday, shoppers could often find these sales

2020 have featured little social interac-

two weeks before and two weeks after the major

tion, and that likely won’t change any-

night. This wasn’t the case for every single item, but

time soon. Although many people have

it covered pretty much the entire store. A lot of the

found different ways to celebrate sum-

deals in the weeks following Black Friday were also

mer and fall while being cautious and socially dis-

better than the ones advertised.

tant, many large corporations decided that one fall

Like everything else going on this year, it’s an

activity is not worth the risk — Black Friday.

unprecedented time in history; and seeing how these

Instead of celebrating Black Friday as usual this

closures affect sales will be interesting. Coming from

year, with huge crowds, tightly-packed lines, and

someone who’s worked in retail for over 5 years, Black

essentially no room to breathe, these chains have

Friday is by far the busiest day of the year. Although

decided to spread out their Black Friday deals through-

the sales will be spread out throughout the month of

out the month of November. They’re hoping this will

November instead, I’m not sure that this will make

lead to smaller crowds throughout the month within

up for the single day that these stores will be closed.

their stores, which will slow the spread of COVID-19.

For a lot of people, Black Friday isn’t only about the

For specific details about these sales and deals from

sales and deals that they find — it’s also one of the

each store, visit their website or their social media.

ways they spend time with their family for the holi-

Many of them vary in terms of discounts and when

days. While companies have conjured ways to replace

merchandise will be on sale. On one hand, these

the monetary dilemma of closing on Black Friday, I

spread-out sales may be irritating for people who

think they neglected to consider the tradition and

like to get their shopping done in one day, but it’s

social aspect of the event. Either way, their decision

easier now to compare and determine what sales will

to close is ultimately that — theirs. We’ll have to see

be the best. For instance, Walmart is doing a variety

how bad — or good — the aftermath is at the end of

of sales each week of November. They’re starting off

the month.

with discounts beginning on November 4th through the 7th, then changing them every four or five days. On their website, which explains the schedule, they even give examples of what will be included on the sale for that week. While this decision is definitely a necessary one, and it’s good that these stores will be closed, maybe they should’ve been closed to begin with. COVID-19 is


a great reason to avoid Black Friday in-store shopping, but a multitude of other reasons existed to avoid it before the pandemic. For example, I can say from experience that most of the “sales” and “deals” that you think you’re getting were actually the same from about a month ago. I worked at JCPenney for almost three years straight — that’s three Black Fridays that I worked in one of the larger retailers with some of the most advertised sales. My family has never been one to participate in Black Friday, but after working for JCPenney and seeing the truth behind the “deals,”

Spo Dick ’s

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I was fully convinced it is a scam. During the months of October and November, JCPenney typically had its biggest sales of the year. While they often advertised to the public that the best sales were going to be on THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 42








Kristina Markulin

to teach them. The more informed the public is, the more likely meaningful change will occur. However,


do not expect everyone in your family to be receptive.

Asha McClendon

I know what it is like to have family members who

Thanksgiving is famous for political discussions, but we have to remember to be mindful of ourselves and others this year.

directly harm my friends and me. Becoming confron-

hanksgiving dinner has always been a

you directly challenge their beliefs. I’m not saying

hotbed for political debate. Its proxim-

to laugh along or agree without critical thought, but

ity to elections means the government

to instead avoid massive arguments for the sake of

is on everyone’s mind. Worsening the

changing their minds and thus maintaining your

matter is that Thanksgiving is a holiday

mental health.


believe in harmful ideas and ideologies, some that tational and starting fights over rights is tempting but will only deter those you argue with from ever having an eureka moment. People tend to get defensive when

centered around the settlement of our country and

Keep in mind, Thanksgiving is one day out of the

involves sitting at a table for long periods of time.

year. It’s unlikely you will change anyone’s political

Conversations are inevitable, and the chance of them

party over turkey and stuffing. People with differing

turning political is high. This fact is so well known

political views need more than heartfelt appeals and

that it’s been parodied many times on TV shows like

one-day lectures to change their entire worldview.

“Saturday Night Live.” Every year, the stress of pol-

It’s continued education, meaningful self-reflection

itics and the stress of family can collide in ugly ways.

and, most importantly, the want to be better that

These past four years have been some of the most

makes real change.

politically polarizing in recent history — Republi-

However, prepare yourself for the possibility that

cans moving further right, with President Trump

these discussions may arise. If you have a highly po-

displaying and endorsing white supremacy and alt-

litically vocal family (or someone who likes to argue

right hate groups, leftists becoming disenchanted

a lot in your midst), these topics are sure to arise.

with the current state of the Democratic party,

Unless you are a master debater and can shut down

and liberal Democrats trying to balance their own

any bad-faith arguments quickly and efficiently, steel

interests with the more moderate members of their

yourself for that moment.

party.. The events of the past four years have been

Often when dealing with these types of people,

wild, and this year alone has bred some of the most

they want to see you angry. They want you to get

intense political turmoil this country has seen in

upset. Bad-faith debaters with no intent of academic

generations. The political stakes have never been

integrity or sportsmanship purposely bring up these


topics to start conflict. The best defense is to try to

This all comes to a climax in November. At the time

keep your cool as best as you can while standing

of writing, the results of the election are unknown.

firm. However, for a lot of these instigators, having

If 2016 has taught us anything, polls are not enough

an angry opponent is validation of their beliefs.

to go by. Depending on how states collect and count

Do not succumb to passivity, let hate speech fester

votes, we might not even have a definite winner by

or be normalized, or allow harmful ideologies to

Thanksgiving. We also don’t know how the gov-

become the norm. Assert your stance and beliefs and

ernment (or the American people) will react to the

shut down harmful language. If you cannot overpower

results, whatever they may be. With all of this, we

the instigator without losing composure, change the

must employ a level of tact when dealing with those

subject and keep changing until something sticks.

who hold differing political views.

It’s not ideal, but if you’re not a skilled debater with

Even if we know the winner by Thanksgiving, the

experience in how to cut through the noise, it’s the

very nature of this election is so dire that unrest

best you can do.

is likely. Debate amongst the American people will

Remember, at the end of the day, people who do not

ensue at the very least, and it might not necessarily

want to change will not change; and sometimes that

be constructive. If your family cannot engage in a

hurts, especially if those people are family members.

healthy discussion of these circumstances, then these

Families are supposed to understand and support each

discussions are not worth having.

other, and when that doesn’t happen, it can cut like

I’m not saying to refrain from educating your

a knife. But people who don’t want to listen will not

family. We as political citizens have a duty to ed-

listen. Someone might make them listen, but don’t

ucate those around us about the problems that we

beat yourself up if it’s not you. At the end of the day,

face both in the country and abroad. If your family

you can’t control what the people around you do.

is receptive to these lessons, then I encourage you

And remember, Zoom has a mute button.

—this year has bred some of the most intense political turmoil this country has seen in generations.



A new concert phenomenon started to pop up during quarantine. WRITTEN BY


Danah Alshagdali


here are many ways people have found

on the other hand, cost on average about $100 to $200

to adapt to different social distance

per car, with varying limits of people per vehicle. This

guidelines of the pandemic. One of the

price is a bit much, considering these concerts are

most odd new events that began to pop

basically the same experience as a drive-in movie.

up throughout October and into the be-

Even though I think these concerts aren’t worth

ginning of November is drive-in concerts. While

the hype, this didn’t stop them from having their

there are only a handful throughout Ohio, they’ve

own little surge in popularity. Once everything be-

been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Even

gan to shut down in the middle of March, one of the

though multiple concerts have been advertised to me

most damaged parts of the economy was the arts.

personally since the middle of September, everyone

This includes everything to do with theatre, music,

that I’ve talked to about them have felt the same way

museums, and especially concerts. Musical artists

so far - it’s probably not worth it. All of my cowork-

were forced to cancel or postpone their concerts

ers and friends have the same thought that these

and tours until next year or so. However, once some

drive-in concerts, or drive-in events, are not worth

states started to gradually reopen, some smaller

the ticket price. Why drive out somewhere and stay

artists, and very few larger ones, thought it would

in your car when you can get almost the same expe-

be a good idea to try drive-in concerts. One of these

rience watching something at home? It doesn’t make

larger artists that gave this a try was Keith Urban.

sense. Especially when comparing the ticket prices of

These concerts mostly took place throughout

these concerts to tickets for drive-in movies.

the end of September and October. Now that the

To get into a drive-in movie in Ohio, tickets

weather is getting colder and colder, not many at

average from $8 a night to up to $15 a night

all are scheduled to take place in November. In fact,

for about two movies. That’s ridiculously

I couldn’t find any local ones that will happen near

cheap if you stay for both movies.

Northeast Ohio.

Tickets for drive-in concerts,

began to shut down … one of the most damaged parts of the economy was the arts.


Once everything


looking she waltzed in

eyes blue and lazy steps blue and lazy listening to lips she couldn't hear looking like lapis lazuli



Miranda Tulcewicz



HER VIRTUE Misunderstood by on lookers. She fi xed her crow n that almost slipped from her head. Breathing in slowly, She continued walking.



Asha McClendon



A NATURE WALK When the glow of dawns first hello rises through the peaks of the white clouds, And the birds dance and whirl between the winds that sing of love, When the ocean claps his hands against the rocky shore, Awakening the colorful creatures that flutter through his everlasting blue, And the smell of salty air that tiptoes through my nose, Sending a sting to my eyes, When the little critters scurry around my toes and ankles for a quick hello, Only to hide in the cracks and dark spaces beneath my steps, When the trees stretch their arms to the sun in praise for her beauty and sway when the wind blows, When the moon kneels over to kiss the horizon goodnight, And the stars cast their shine across the blanket of night, I know I found my peace.



Asha McClendon



Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine



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