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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Future Readers, I love writing words, reading words and sharing knowledge! X&I Fashion Magazines are designed for college students interested in Art, College News, Fashion, Entertainment, and Politics. Creating this issue from the energy of my thoughts and contributing talents in the East Coast area, we bring students their official college carry magazine. In 2008 I made a drastic decision to work instead of continuing school, sadly paying bills was a priority and deferred my education, instead of waiting for my college years to pass I decided to put the future into my own hands. Why wait for someone to hand it to me? There are countless amounts of college graduates without work, and why? It is because we are trained to wait in line to pursue our dreams or careers instead of creating our own! Life is full of chance, opportunity, bad decision making and growth, but one thing I have learned from creating X&I is sometimes waiting for opportunity to be handed your way can end up being too late. So go create your own! Xpression & Innovation is made for the person that takes a stand to create opportunity for themselves and others. Your official X&I Fashion carry around mag! THE INNOVATORS ISSUE! EXPLORE. LOVE.ENJOY. LOVE BETTYA BURGESS


Esau Howard I am currently a senior at Morgan State University pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with interests in working within the media industry specifically within the sports and political journalism fields. I am a New Jersey native, and also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Antonio Johnson My name is Antonio, and I am not only a writer, but also a documentary film maker and alumni of Morgan State University. During my future endeavors I plan to influencer of Public Policy. Bettya Burgess I am Bettya Burgess, creator of X&I Fashion Magazine and a current student of Morgan State University. My hobbies are reading, sharing knowledge and having a good time with friends and sometimes family. Follow me on Twitter: @XIFashionMag and @BETTYA2020. Peace Shaniqua McNeil I am Shaniqua born and raised in West, Baltimore, MD. Currently I work part-time and go to Morgan State University fulltime majoring in speech communication, studying a minor in journalism. My ultimate goal is to become an entertainer. Ryan Lyons I am an alumnus of Morgan State University, creator of Baltimore Love Thing and a music lover. Check me out and leave your words.



PHOTOGRAPHERS Jazzy Photos Jazzy Photos specializes in Fashion Photography. It’s never a photographer working one on one with a model. We are photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, model stylists, wardrobe stylists, designers, and a boutique that pull ideas from each other to create an individual but collective fashion statement. Phillip Datcher I am a Morgan State graduate and freelance photographer from Washington, DC. Reach me Siobahn Philemon I am a DC Photographer by the name of Siobahn Philemon and “It’s as simple as Perfect...”if you don’t believe me. Try me!





It doesn’t matter if you’re walking across the Bridge or eating in the canteen and happen to catch an African American girl square her eyes in the direction of an African girl dressed in traditional garb, clearly you can sense that something is up. Maybe you’ve even felt the cold interaction between the Nigerian cashier and the African American student when you’re standing on the long “wrapped-around-the-corner line” at school. No matter where you happen to be on campus, you can feel the simmering beef between Africans and African-Americans. You would expect that with Morgan State University’s 143 year history, the issue of who’s more authentically Black would be irrelevant. The notion that Africans come from savage villages and chase lions while AfricanAmericans are viewed as materialistic with no gratuitous attitude for education still remains; but why? Does the unspoken tension go back hundreds of years ago to the slave trade or are African-Americans disconnected from the racial make-up they claim to identify with? Whether you’ve taken part in or witnessed the ongoing beef between Africans and African Americans, the reason is unexplainable. The underlying issue is that according to some, the majority of Africans believe they’re more authentic because of a richer blood line. However, African Americans say they too are culturally enriched and while they aren’t from the African continent, they don’t deny


that their roots are deeply imbedded there, well some at least. To understand where you are, you have to know where you’ve been. For Africans and African Americans they both share an extensive history that’s full of oppression, struggle and a determination to overcome the opposition; an opposition that includes slavery, war, lost tradition and history. As a result of a sordid past the two have both added and created new customs. While native Africans appear to have a heightened sense of familial and pride for country, they blame African Americans for distancing themselves from the race. With a resilient “No,” African Americans claim to have not turned their backs on Africa. For over 400 years Blacks in America have been enslaved and oppressed. Nonetheless, African Americans have through resistance birthed their own culture; a culture that prides itself in freedom of expression. Activist Kwame Ture says that throughout the world in mostly in Africa we must remember that “we are an African people” and maintain our original value systems. It’s important as a community that we remember this in order to not fail our ancestors. According to Ture, our embrace of the English language has been example of resistance. It’s something that we have never mastered because it doesn’t belong to us. The only issue is that on the grounds of 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, neither Africans nor African Americans allow themselves to see that they are equal. For whatever reason, both fail to realize that it’s their love for who they are and from where they come that unites them. From assessing the experiences of others, my own and the unfortunate reality of the situation it’s clearly evident that due to African Americans having such a significant struggle in finding their proper place in America concerning respect, academia and economic stability they find it extremely difficult to identify with Africans. Political Science major Brandon Johnson, a junior from Sharon Hill in Pennsylvania says, “I’m Black so I can say it. They’re jealous; we suffer from a huge identity crisis. It’s really sad but is true. We’re lost with no direction as to who we are as a people.” This is largely attributed to the fact that for years they have fought and to this day tirelessly continue to classify what they would like to be called. History shows that for several time periods they have changed their racial classification to suit the



African Amercians vs. Blacks is not always the case especially at Coppin State University.

condition of the community in times of oppression and pride. After the untimely and tragic death of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., “The God-Father of Soul” James Brown inspired millions. The Soul legends riveting “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” attempted to mend the nation’s broken hearts. Without question, the soulful anthem did mend the people. While they still mourned the passing of Dr. King, James Brown offered the community something they could feel was theirs – a name. From Nigra to Negro, Colored to Black, finally Brown offered the community something they could feel was theirs – a name. However, while many who still felt the term was fitting, there are those who rejected the name because “black” is the absence of light– not a race. It wasn’t until the 1980’s when Reverend Jesse Jackson coined the term which is primarily

used to this day, African American or Afro-American. Whether it’s the music, fashion or vernacular the “culture” that the community creates in times of strength and weakness, is always stolen. Dr. Jared Ball, a professor at Morgan State University states often that Black people, or African Americans are the original Pop-Culture. A senior Psychology major from California, Danielle Barton reiterates that point in saying, “Black people or to be politically correct, African Americans have this issue. They have something and it will be so good, but they can never maintain it.” During a discussion led by myself, Barton says she gets why the two have such a difficult time connecting. As she puts it, they’re both looking for “this ‘thing,’ but they don’t realize it’s each other.” The conversation included Barton who was both opinionated as well as candid and three other students, one who happens to be Senegalese; Omar N’daye.



A budding cartoonist, skilled video editor and trained martial artist N’daye’s rich dark skin complexion, broad nose and “big lips” as he calls it, has been an issue since the day he stepped foot into a classroom. “Blackie,” “Tar-Baby,” and “Burple” a combination of black and purple, means so black that it appears purple, all too familiar. “I would come home and cry – everyday. They teased me so bad in school. White people, Black people, everybody.” Growing up in a rough section of the DC area, N’daye grew up around African Americans who as he puts it were just “ignorant.” He recalls a time when he played baseball with a group of boys both Black and White and no one wanted him on their team. Even African Americans who were a “shade” lighter gave the impression that he, someone so dark could not possibly share the same team. “That was it. I lost it. Why were the same people who looked just like me treating me this way? I really didn’t understand,” he said. When asked to look back on that time and think about the reasoning, he still has no idea. The only conclusion he could articulate was that “I was an easy target. I was from Africa; they must have wanted to pick on me so they wouldn’t be picked on.” The 21 year-old senior has come to a place where he hates all things even remotely close to National Geographics, “It’s like they’re in the business of perpetuating this idea we swing from trees and live butt-naked in villages. That shit is so wrong.” With the educated bunch on the campus of Morgan State, the same notion is alive more than ever. “I see it and hear it all the time. My favorite line is ‘All these Africans’.” Omar makes it clear that statements like this make us “sound dumb.” Of course there are a lot of Africans. It’s a HBCU.” However, N’daye does take into consideration that Africans are not picked on “just because.” Speaking only from his perspective, his attitude of superiority is a “defense mechanism,” a tactic of let me get you before you get me. As a result this method of action only intensifies the struggle of arriving to a place where we can all assemble and respect each other’s differences and embrace our similarities. The cultural divide takes an even more interesting aspect when people from the Caribbean are added into the equation. “It’s weird because they [African Americans] find it easier to accept ties to this community


but in reality we came from there too,” adds Shane Senior who’s from Jamaica. Senior was also a part of the conversation that delved into the topic. After deeply discussing the issue, which at certain points became very heated Shane broke up the monotony by jokingly adding, “I guess it’s cooler to be from the islands, they want to be like Bob Marley.” While in whatever “cooler” thing is, does that diminish the coolness or significance of political activist Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years? Does the nomadic Masai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania known for their heavily adorned beaded jewelry not measure up to the blue waters of the Caribbean coastline? Is it distasteful to classify yourself with the ancient Egyptian people whose pyramids have stood unwavering for thousands of years or is it shameful to proudly claim to share the same ethnographic location as the aforementioned whose mythology is believed to be the foundation and precursor to the Bible’s Ten Commandments. After long hours of attempting to come up with a legit answer, it’s not surprising that there will be no answer. For most, the idea that this separation amongst people of the same ethnic origin is rooted in an ideology that there is a system set in place that wants us to hate each other. Critically acclaimed Nigerian author Chinua Achebe writes in his 1958 novel “Things Fall Apart,” “The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.” -Antonio Johnson





Loud voices screaming, “Ahha your team sucks, what are they doing?” or “You know we are going to beat your team no matter what!” Are the chants heard if one is present at an all knowing Coppin State University vs. Morgan State University rival game. Speaking from firsthand experience, walking through these friendlytension felt games automatically the division between the schools are apparent. It is beyond the school color difference and the unfamiliar faces of the rival fans, but the expressions on those faces and the attitudes of the people wearing the rival colors.


Being a Morgan State student it has come across that not everyone is present for just the game but also to show off their fashion sense, if any, for the season. Some fans come to be rude and obnoxious to the other team; the crowd gets hype and the fans go wild, throwing things onto the court or even a fist through the crowd! It just gets out of hand. Don’t get me wrong, at times we do stray our attention away from the game, blocking the view to capture our precious Face book, “lol” moments but in this age that is natural. But in a gym mixed with students surrounded around family and friend supporters for both teams, does anyone think it is rude for someone’s mother or grandmother to hear yelling, cursing and screaming? Through all of these actions, every year students prove to those looking in, that it is not just a school rival…so what is it? Is it because both Coppin and Morgan State University are located in the same city but different areas? Or is it related to personal East and West side beefs? Newsflash! Both schools are located in areas surrounded by drugs and crime! And both schools offer many courses and opportunities for their students achievement purposes and both schools also contain thousands of students that struggle, have insecurities, children, and daily obstacles to overcome while being a student. Instead of everyone coming together to greet and re-unite with those that seemed to have fell from the face of the earth, people choose to lack sportsman ship and act ignorant. The beef between Coppin and Morgan is silly! Many fell to realize that “through the state, sports generate expenses for the school, which in turn makes a school more attractive,” according to Antonio Hill, a CCBC graduate.* ”It aint really a problem they are just our city rival, like City v. Polly”, says Russel Geater, a MSU senior majoring in information systems science. Others felt different “Honestly I just don’t care for Morgan at all”, states a Coppin sophomore that would like to remain anonymous for whatever reason. “My thing is, I go for the crowd, the excitement! The old and new faces and the rush! I never played any sports growing up as a child, but when I watch my school play I feel like I shot the ball, or like I caught the rebound”, she says. Game rivals should be clean, not chaotic, so for those who attend school basketball games, football games, or hell even lacrosse, be supportive to the athletes by keeping your personal beefs where they belong, at home! And remember, “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.” -Shaniqua McNeil



CIAA weekend is considered by some to be a second Homecoming for many of the schools. In the world of college sports, March Madness has always been synonymous with the over abundance of basketball played that month. College teams across the country spend the month competing against each other in their respective tournaments, but very few are as publicized as Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association showcase. The name may catch you off guard at first, but that’s because it’s mostly known simply as, “The CIAA”. A historically black collegiate sports conference, the CIAA tournament is one that has gained popularity greatly over the years. Despite being a season ending basketball tournament for many of the conferences schools, it has expanded into so much more. Since the first tournament in 1946, the CIAA has grown into a premier event.

The conference includes HBCU’s such as Bowie State University, Lincoln University, as well as Virginia State University to name a few. Every year these teams travel to North Carolina to compete in a week long tournament which has become a nation’s treat. Though the historically black conference boasts small schools that often get over looked in the NCAA system, the history of the CIAA has proven that it stands as tall as the best of them. In fact the CIAA is the third most attended event in collegiate sports behind the ACC and Big East respective tournaments. It’s a chance to catch some intense basketball action, but the CIAA has expanded into more than just a sports tournament. It’s a festival in itself which receives national recognition. This past March, in addition to the actual tournament, the weekend kept the thousands of people who made the travel entertained in all aspects. Music stars such as Tank and Jagged Edge took the stage and performed in concert, while media personality Tom Joyner even hosted his own segment during the weekend. The Charlotte, North Carolina area was turned into a showcase of entertainment, with tourists from the across the country making the trip for the festivities. Some of the biggest celebrities have been known to come out and get in on the fun that comes with the historical event, sorority and fraternity step shows, live music, comedy shows, and a chance to reunite with old friends as well as making new ones, which is always a win. When the games are over, the parties just don’t stop! The draw for the weekend is that the CIAA has always been a great excuse for people to plan early vacations. The weather starts to warm up around this time, and HBCU alumni are eager to support their old schools. Even people who have no strings attached to any of the universities competing make their way there simply because, it’s a great weekend! Whether you are a basketball fan, current or former college student, or even just a person who loves to be entertained, there’s something for you at CIAA weekend. This year both the men and women basketball teams of Shaw University claimed a victory in their tournaments. CIAA 2011 Tournament boasted over 100,000 people in attendance for the weekend, and expects even more in 2012. It should be noted that 2012 also marks the 100th year anniversary of the CIAA conference, and is sure to be memorable if not more than previous years. So if you’ve never had a chance to see what the hype is about, this is one event that you can surely say, “There’s always next year,” to find out. -Esau Howard



It was a cold November night full of hope and unification. But it seemed as if nervousness was the most tangibly felt emotion amongst the young Democratic voters during Presidential 2008 primary election. Liquor stores were either swamped or empty and everyone on behalf of “blue” popped a bottle to celebrate the Democratic triumph. Have you ever felt like you were embracing a moment that would last forever? Or witnessed an event that had the potential to not only alter the history books but also change the world? There is a long hunt of justice that evolves from the top of the class cloud, and many stipulations that stop the truth from trickling down, but in order for truth to evolve it must first surface to air. A lot of knowledge has been held from our society and has infected our communities with disorder, destruction, and disunion. The big question so many people ask is, “Where do we start?” It starts with knowledge, followed by awareness, and remaining consistent, thereafter. Young voters show that they do not prefer the particular notion of staying informed about their local politics but it is vital to be politically informed in order to understand

and readjust decisions that affect your life. In 2008, over 4,000,000 votes around the world helped make the mass decision to initiate President Barack Obama into the White House. We are now two and a half years into his historic term and numbers for the 2010 general election show Democratic suppor ters diminishing, along with their faith. Speaking to local voters between the ages of 18-26, it came to be that the majority does not keep up with politics on a consistent basis. So what were the true goals of the young democratic voters electing President Obama into office if they did not plan to keep him there? Some stated they voted for him because he was going to become the first Black President, and others just lost trust in the Republican Party and wanted a change. Either way each party is looking for a better change and to convict change you must continue your participation in the race for justice. Inconsistency creates a gap in progress and only taking part in primary election is not the answer to solving constitutional or community problems. After speaking to former Democrat employee for the House of Representatives, Anthony Tait brought to light the goals the blue office did reach in such a short term period.



During the first two years in term, Democrats held MAJORITY power in the House and Senate, they got the chance to extend unemployment, make health care accessible to the unqualified, bail out the banks and save the automobile industry. At this very time, in 2011, Democrats suffer to hold positions in office due to their sour 2010 general Congress election. Millions of government workers lost their jobs, and the Republicans are back in Congress and Senate seats ready to block any important legislation that helps the people in genuine need, like repealing the new Health Care reform bill. So where were these voters during the crucial general election? Asking around led me to most answers like “I had to work,” says 21-year old Monique Alexander, or as Catherine Washington stated “I don’t understand politics, and I have to, for it to interest me.” However, not every young voter felt the same. The group of people interviewed that did vote claim they find it important to exercise their right to vote and be able to take part in decisions being made in their country. The majority of African Americans who voted claimed to vote because it was a privilege gained from their ancestors fight through the Civil Rights Movement. Realize the motive of America. We live in a country that traps you in personal choice. Politics are dry and boring for a reason, they don’t want us to vote, so they will make it as uninteresting as possible to the majority that has lack of consistent unity in the community. We live in a fast paced world, which has developed society to fend for themselves and want everything quick. We as a people forget that quality work takes quality time, especially the recovery of an eight-year shamble. America can be fixed in many ways but not quickly. The younger voters are not concerned with general elections, which is when essential community and constitutional decisions are made. Instead of using voting as a trend, use it as a tool to keep justice upheld. Check out your latest government news frequently and speak out about decisions being made. For a leader to convict his promise he must have the support of his followers. President Obama can only do so much in two and half years for a tainted and corrupted government. It is the voice and vote of the people that carry on the message and set the example for the uninformed American. Young voters are a group so powerful, yet ignorant of their capability that held the general election of 2008, which proved that there is possibility for a political shift. Unite and motivate each other for the 2012 election, as it is vital to our freedom’s future. - Bettya Burgess (Edited by: Kanika Vann)

Survey of Political Opinions Around Campus Alexis Webb Junior Print Journalism Political View: Democratic Party How do we feel about the following events of 2010/2011:

Oil Spill: BP should face steeper consequences. Phylicia Townes Junior Broadcast Journalism Democrat Tsunami in Japan: I feel like the situation is devastating and extremely sad. I also feel bad for theJapanese that lost their home and suffer from the radiation spill. Ashley Cox Junior Journalism Political View: Neutral Gay Marriage: This should not be an issue in America; Gay people are protected in the same constitution as all other americans. Personal views should not be imposed on these who are different. Albert Philips Junior Journalism Pan Africans Revolt in Egypt: Revolution is always good. I wish black people in America did the same.



Beware of the CHEMTRAILS Your grandmother is going to die! The sweet, caring greyhaired woman, you call Granny, Nana or Mom-Mom; the vessel that brought one of your parents into the world, is on her way out. Don’t be alarmed. Grandma Betty won’t be alone; she’ll be gone away with many others her own age, soon enough. Breast cancer could destroy her joyful spirit, a stroke could ruin the warmth of her smile but at the rate some things are going, our beloved matriarch; the holder of the precious proverbial light that keeps our family so tightly knit will be dead in a few years from complications of Alzheimer’s. Severe, irreversible and incurable dementia will make her forget how to make the sacred “bring you to your knees” macaroni & cheese but, most importantly, she’s going to forget you. Are you afraid? Well, you should be. Everyone needs to be alarmed. There’s a frightening practice that’s well under way called, Geo-engineering. The concept billed as a ploy to alter Global Warming is paired with something else just as startling; Chemtrails. Let’s go on a mental journey and use some of our photographic memory. Remember when you would see an airplane in the sky that would leave behind a trail of jet exhaust? The white lines appeared surreal. Often times you may have asked yourself in amazement, “How is that done?” Simply put, when the exhaust heated fumes are cooled in the earth’s atmosphere they become small drops of water which appear to the naked eye as clouds -- thus forming white lines. However, according


to the Environmental Protection Agency, this “harmless” action hasn’t posed any major threats to humanity besides dropping trails of perchlorate, which can be found in the water we drink and bathe in. The chemical can adversely affect the growth and development of the thyroid glands but as of late the human species “seems to be doing just fine.” Fast-forwarding to the last decade, there’s been an influx of grid-like clouds loaded with chemical and nuclear agents, specifically, massive amounts of aluminum and barium. For most this serves as a pointless truth. Nonetheless, when understanding the damaging effects of both agents these truths should evoke some emotion. Trails of barium chemicals are rapidly disseminated into the air. Scientist for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) state that barium is utilized in efforts to combat the harmful effects of earthquakes and volcanoes through electromagnetic waves. The aluminum used is a fiber-coated metal. It’s also used in high amounts in everything from cookware, deodorant, toothpaste and water purification. While this may be essential to our daily sustainability, over exposure to the metal in high forms is proven to build up in the brain. Subsequently, it causes neurons in the brain to die -- resulting in some cases as memory loss and others as Alzheimer’s Disease. Most of the African-American community silently suffers from a deficiency of magnesium. In terms of health, this could be potentially dangerous to the protection of nerve cells in the brain and heart. In addition, kidney disease, insomnia and diabetes are all directly correlated to the limited amounts of magnesium in the makeup of the body. Dealing with the issue of Alzheimer’s, the deficiency of magnesium and increase of aluminum could further advance the process of the brain altering disease especially for Blacks. Maybe it’s too much to comprehend; possibly it’s a conspiracy theory designed to make us crazy. If so; good. Collectively this should stir something inside all of us. Depending on the interpretation, crazy could mean passionate. Passion for most is a trait of caring and as Dr. Seuss says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” If we can, let’s make it better for each other and most importantly, our beloved grandmothers.--Antonio Johnson



Amber Jade Presents...





Plastered in paint from her shoulders’ to her hips, Ryan returned from the bathroom feeling gorgeous. Ryan was the beautiful model/client for body artist, AmJaLé, that day. Despite her nudity, she felt confident and comfortable for her photo shoot. “I got in the mirror and said, ‘Oh,

pretty,’” she said.


Hearts roamed around Ryan’s torso in the shape of a clover. White clouds bordered the vibrant sky blue shading painted perfectly over her breasts and were complemented by the colors of the rainbow. “A lot of people think the rainbow is a gay symbolization, when really it represents a promise from God,” AmJaLé said.


When asked about the inspiration for the shoot, AmJaLé stated that the art represents “Peace and Love with a Promise.” Ryan is a spiritual person and wanted something that signified her experiences from the past year. Subliminally painted on her body, Peace and Love with a Promise fit the description. AmJaLé, whose real name is Amber Jade Levy, began drawing within the classrooms of Suitland High School in 2003. “I used to doodle and draw in class, but the body painting fell in my lap really,” she explained. After being scoped out in a club by a model/friend, aware of her artistic ability, the door of opportunity opened, allowing AmJaLé to begin her journey in art.


At first glance, one may not understand her art. It’s something rare, and propels your tangible observation into a dazing confusion of thoughts and astonishment, through shapes and colors, boggled by a display of her perception. In 2003, Amber began to gain requests for personal canvas art, body paint parties and photo shoots. And before long, AmJaLé was born. Amjalé and I met in a vibrant studio painted with deep red walls, dim lighting, and feel-good music. The studio was ready to go, fully equipped with lights and cameras while everyone waited for the models’ finishing makeup touches. When we chatted before the start of the shoot, she began to explain the creation of her company name, AmJaLé.

“My artist name is Amjalé: A-M-J-A-L-E with an accent over the E,” she spelled. “It’s an acronym for my entire name, Amber Jade Levy. We pulled everything together and it worked out.” Despite her obvious talent, AmJaLé is quick to point out that she didn’t always have dreams of being an artist. “I never really thought it would get to this point; it was just something to do while I was in class,” she said with a chuckle. Ironically, her decision to pursue art has taken her away from the exact same place that spurred her initial interest in drawing: the classroom. She reminisced about her professional artistic beginnings, and shared some genuine food for thought. “It’s not like I wanted to do this. I wanted to get into architecture really, but I can’t sit in a classroom,” AmJaLé admitted. “That’s my hardest thing. That’s a challenge for me.” Like many artists, she feels that creativity is too broad for traditional classroom settings. Her religious beliefs have helped her come to terms with a decision that some may consider risky. While she has a full understanding of her constant internal struggle between attending school and pursuing her natural gift in art, her only solution to the dilemma was simply, “I give it to God.” So where do the ideas for AmJaLé’s work come from? Her creation of art formulates by listening to the depiction of thoughts and feelings her clients want displayed, and she completes each piece by adding her own complex outlook and design. But now that painting is in such high demand, the only relaxation Amber gets is painting personal art for herself. “If it’s something that I am doing for myself, it’s relaxing, but business is pressure because I have a time frame for it.” Yes, she is all about her art but as any other person she is ‘bout her money’, charging substantial prices for her

art. My advice to my art lovers, “Get it while the prices are affordable because the value will eventually increase.” AmJaLé is headed nowhere but up. Her broad clientele is pleased with all aspects of her creativity and vouch for her commendable work. But where did these ideas come from? They come solely from her heart and mind. The only inspiration sought by her eyes was Bob Ross, a canvas painter who appeared on television back in the early 90s painting plants and houses on canvases. “I used to watch Bob Ross growing up. Everybody watched Bob Ross, the man people used to think painted in jail,” she said, lightly chuckling. “I realized that he knows what he is doing as far as blending is concerned, but that was it.” Admiring his work, Amjalé also found conformability with creating precise lines and paying attention to pattern and detail through corn-rowing and braiding hair. Her originality and her blunt demeanor arehighly appreciated by her surrounding crew. They are all about getting the job done and making the buyer happy. As easy as it may look to some, Amber’s path to finding AmJaLé was more complicated then imaginable. She tried to find her niche in three different schools and also went to the military for some time. “I went to college ‘bout four times, I ain’t gon’ lie,” she said with a laugh. “When I first got out of Suitland, I went to Bowie (State University). I didn’t like it; dropped out. Then I went to P.G. (Prince Georges Community College), did a semester, completed it, made honor roll and all that, but I was working two jobs and going to school full-time. All my classes were on the weekends, and I got burnt out, and ended up going to the military.” When Amber decided to come home, she tried school two more times. She first took online courses at University of Maryland and then took another spin at Prince George’s Community College one last time, but ceased her enrollment at the end of the semester due to financial difficulty. Nevertheless, the untaught talent is yet to suffice her degree; Amber has a plan of attack to later return to college and pursue a degree in Architecture for the benefit of her artistry and technique. “You just have to be happy in life,” AmJaLe said. “Finally, I just realized you have to be happy with what you really want to do. The money may not come right away but if you put enough work into it, it’s definitely going to turn around.” Continuing to point out that marketing is a key factor for any entrepreneur; she also recognized marketing to be the most vital for any business. Her impeccable drive has allowed her to overcome the



obstacles pricking her on the way, but AmJaLé does not let circumstances tear her down. Instead, she has turned her trauma into triumph by starting her own business, which continues to stand strong in its successful running. Amber pointed out, though, that many do not realize the broad aspect of art.

“Whether it’s cooking, whether it’s the way somebody walks, art is all around you,” she explained. “It is on where your eye is. People should sit back and learn to appreciate things, from the small things like typing to the big things like the entertainment industry.” In the future, AmJaLé has definite potential for company expansion; she talks about her prospective projects and interest in creating murals and dabbling into the fashion industry. “I don’t want to do body painting forever,” AmJaLé pointed out. “I want to be a name in the game, and establish myself, but I plan on getting into the fashion side of it because people always say my paint looks like clothes.” Amber continues to grow and spread her message through art. She wants those that get the opportunity to experience her work to become inspired to fulfill their artistry. She expressed her belief of people creating their destiny, and holding a certain something that stands unique against commonality. Take Amber’s advice and use your natural gifts for the benefit of life. Find yourself and your talent; market it, and expand financially, to shoot beyond the stars, because loving what you do is fulfilling, but doing what you love is priceless. -Bettya Burgess


PHOTOGRAPHY by BNB Photography


I am an Artist that is purely a product of my environment. My art is my pleasure, my passion and my pain. Working in the mediums of ceramics, painting and photography-- my Truths are expressed. Sharing the birth date of the great Alberto Giacometti [October 10], I have always known that the wideworld of arts was the Home for me.

“Enjoy my volumesin-full-color!” Currently I have several pieces on tour with the Decked Out art show that is raising funds and awareness to produce a documentary to show-case the urban skateboarding scene. Thus far it has traveled to Washington DC, Chicago and Baltimore. Recently I won 1st place at the Prince George’s Community College Student Art Exhibition for the Ceramics category, as well as part of a group show at the Herman Marill Gallery at the University of Maryland College Park. At the present time I am a resident of the Washington DC Metro Area...

Shaymar W. Higgs Dude Skateboards::The Movement [m] 240.244.6115 [@] [Tw]



X&I: How old are you? DJ Diamond: I never tell anybody my age, you know

what I say, guess (lol). People guess crazy numbers and I’m like yea that’s it? Of course I’m younger, if I were older I would have kids, falling back doing the family thing.

X&I: How did you start your journey of becoming a Disc Jockey?

DJ Diamond: I pretty much got started, growing up I “When I was in college everyone was saying “Aww Tina you always leaving and going to Philly on the weekend, you need to stay in school.” And I am staying in school during the week, but on the weekend I’m not going to be sitting right here watching movies and popping popcorn with ya’ll, I’m going to Philly and to Sneaker villa, and take that trip from Pittsburg every weekend. That is pretty much what you have to do, stay focused and OWN what you do.”

played different instruments. I played the flute, I played the drums but not serious but the flute is something I played for a long time. Turn tables was something I wanted to try next and my dad was really into hip hop so he said “you want try to DJ?” And I said DJ, yea I really want to do it. He brought me my first set of turn tables. From there I just fell in love with it and been a DJ ever since.

X&I: What did you do with your first starter kit? DJ Diamond: I had a Gemini starter kit and I would set

it up on the two dinner tables. I brought one record each and my father was like “Tina you know you got to buy two of each record so you can mix the records in if you want to play around with them” and I was just like “Ahh I don’t know what I’m doing”. He had his friend Perry P come by and drop off these big crates of records. After that it was on! DJ Diamond started hanging around DJ Fat Cat at the downtown Philly record stores

DJ Diamond: They pretty much brought me in and put

me under their wing amongst the DJ that were doing their thing in the city. That is pretty much how I got started and just really loving and studying the art of being a DJ.



X &I: How did you promote yourself as an early aspiring DJ? DJ Diamond: The love for it, especially while I was in college I wanted to continue to stay relevant here so I would drop mix tapes and put them out down here and come home for work at Sneaker Villa every weekend, just wanting to be in the loop of things made me want to continue to drop these mix tapes. I’m like if I don’t drop these mix tapes I am going to be setting myself back. I’m good with school I want to do school but this is what I want to do also, I was pretty much setting myself up so when I did get out of school I would have something to fall back on that I really wanted to do. X&I: So right now you are touring with one of the biggest names in the industry, how did you start collaborating with Team Nicki? DJ Diamond: Nicki is just like family because I have been supporting Nicki from jump, since people weren’t playing her records like that. I think that is the reason she came back and got me saying “Diamond you always supported me from day one.” Rolling with Nicki is a good learning experience working for an artist that is different. I am learning to be more on point as a DJ. You cannot half step on Nicki, she is a perfectionist and wants everyone to be just as great. “The first time she asked me I was on The Deal and really deep in TV, so when she came back and said Diamond Im going out, you think you can do it? After that I was ready to go.” X&I: Why do you think DJ’s are important? DJ Diamond: DJ’s are important because when we come on we are not playing what is in regular rotation. We are playing what is in the club or music that people ride around and listen in the car and listen to instead of repetitive songs.



Chuck Brown is a trend-setting mogul from the Washington D.C. area. He has inspired many to continue the path set and led by no other than himself, the GodFather of Go-Go. Anxiously awaiting the 4:15 phone call scheduled from Chuck Brown, nerves overwhelmed my calm as the phone began to ring.“Hello?” Picking up the phone was not as awkward as I dreamt, but I was still a little flustered.


“Hi, this is Chuck Brown here.” Listening to Mr. Brown, on the same phone line as me was extremely invigorating, especially considering his down to earth, mellow expression. He started his story from the beginning of Go-Go, “They had Go-Go clubs and Go-Go girls, but you did not have Go-Go music back then. We gave it that name because it just goes and goes and goes, same locked groove on from one beat to the next. It caught on through audience participation, and that is what we like, for the audience to get into it!” Curiously, waiting to create an innovative tune in the early 1970s, Chuck Brown collaborated Latin sounds with his personal African inspired beats, and then there was Go-Go. His musical career took off in 1972; Chuck’s first major hits, “We the People”, and “Blow the Whistle” blew the D.C. listeners out their seats and onto the dance floor. As time passed, the new sound of hard bass and repetitive drums carried along, inspiring many Go-Go bands to continue the groove. “After that everyone started getting on to it and everybody liked it, so wow here it goes!” exclaimed Chuck. His deep stern voice, almost therapeutically soothed me as he spoke each word. “Anybody can listen to it, you don’t need to practice to groove to Go-Go.” On a mission to spread the Go-Go culture around the world, Chuck Brown refused to confine his message to the metropolitan area. He has performed across the country leaving his too-smooth D.C. demeanor behind in many places, including Japan and Switzerland. “They show a lot of appreciation in every country we go to. But one of the most exciting events for me was playing in Las Vegas. I don’t think anything is more exciting to me than playing in Las Vegas!” Never forgetting where he is from, Chuck slid into a quick notation, “But there is no place like home,” he says, as he chuckles. Representing his hometown a regular basis, Chuck never forgets to embrace his African roots through his music. See; Go-Go is not only church inspired sounds, but, also includes African beats. “Congo’s came to me from that African feel, and that Latin concoction combined put that together you see, and that is what we came up with and it has been working ever since.” Chuck favors achievement from his younger protégé bands that create new consistent bands and sounds, he exclaimed in so many words. “My man E, Sugar Bear played with me when he was about 16 years old; he had his own band, ya know?” Impressed by Sugar Bear’s mature act, Mr. Brown carried Sugar Bear and his band to concerts, playing for Chuck in opening acts for celebrity bands like the Chi-Lites, Skylight, and the O’Jays.

Chucks positive attitude and dues have reflected on both former and present bands such as Junk Yard Band, Backyard Band, Total Reaction Band, Critical Condition Band, and many others. “A lot of young teenagers created their own band, and I admired that. Junkyard Band, these others are our innovators! They came up with the buckets, and cans with such great rhythm. All the bands that came behind us, EU, Trouble Funk, Junkyard, Backyard, and TCB will never be forgotten, they are very inspirational.” Nominated for his first Grammy Award, Brown, who is 74-years young, is elated at the results of the final nominations. He feels blessed to possibly receive an award that tangibly acts as the ultimate pentacle of success in the music industry; one that will likely serve as the cherry atop his 40-year music reign and give him a life-changing recognition. Brown enjoys the new changes of the Go-Go genre and gives his protégé’s compassionate advice to “Keep the sound going, and stay positive.” Yes, Brown has settled down in his career, but vows to stay in the music game until the end. Not only has he been around during every Go-Go sound change, but continues to grace the studio/stage with his presence on a daily basis, releasing his most recent songs, like “Chuck Baby” and many other hits. Bettya Burgess


Graphic Designer/.Advertising Designer



LYRICS WITH A CAMERA It began with parties and picture taking at local go-go clubs when Amen Haddis realized he was a deep contributor to a goldmine. X&I: What inspired the name Lyrics with a Camera? Amen: I was dating this girl at the time and asked

everyone what would be a good company name. My girl got mad at me one night and said “you should name your company Jerk with a Camera (as he laughs out loud) I kinda liked the flow of the name. So I thought to myself I write, many people don’t know. Mostly storytelling, and photography is also a form of storytelling, so I replaced the word ‘Jerk’ and came up with Lyrics with a Camera

X&I: What made you start a photography company and what is your favorite craft?

Amen: One of the worst things I hate about me is I have

that thing they call ADD(Attention Deficate Disorder)! I do so many things, and I am always trying to learn something new. If you ask me what my favorite is I would have to say writing.

Haddis went to American University for Journalism and after attending realized journalism was not for him. Amen: Journalism is not the same as it use to be. When I read papers like the Washington Post, its not what it used to be anymore. And honest journalism does not pay well.

X&I: What is honest journalism?


AMEN: Honest journalism is having facts, and getting the

real story, and you know you are determined in what you are writing. Nowadays people make stories off speculation and rumors. Also a lot of journalist now-a-days include their bias in a story.

X&I: Instead of giving up journalism for photography, did you ever think you could save ‘new’ journalism?

Amen: I don’t think it can be changed. People under-

estimate technology. I can come out with a million news approaches and get all the hard official facts, but that has nothing on citizen journalism which posts things instantly with only assumption. But they would get the credit first.

X&I: How did you start photography? Amen: American University is where I took my first

photography class and it taught me that you can tell stories through pictures. My Professor use to make us work on angles, lighting and motion. “You can make a person look anyway you want depending on the angle of the lighting and the facial expression”

X&I: How have classes helped your photography grow? Amen: It was a fun class; he made us do so many things

that now, when I see pictures I look at them with a different eye. I also talk to my clients in a detailed briefing of the photo shoot to get a better feel of what the model wants to convict.

Tasks are time consuming but Haddis still finds time to help the youth, mentoring males at the ‘Concerned Black Men National Organization’ X&I: What type of relationship does your company have with the community?


Amen: I give high school and college students interested in photography a chance to learn the business from an internal aspect by doing paid interning and having them do things like book appointments, bringing in cliental and actually handling the camera.

X&I: What company challenges did you face during your start-up?

Amen: Paying for the equipment and keeping it safe. We

have to use things like cameras, backdrops, lighting and you don’t want to be careful with those things because equipment is expensive but essential to a photographer

X&I: What are your goals for 2011-2012? Amen: This year we are making goals to reach, which is 10,000 this year. Including overall cliental brought in through me and the employees.

Statistics tell that many young ethnic men are in jail, selling drugs and so forth, but as you can see, some choose to go against the odds. Amen Haddis is a perfect example of commitment growth and genuine charity.



Albums You Should Be Listening To: Most of us can’t wait to get home after a long day of work. But instead of going straight home, we sit idly on public transportation, or get stuck in rush hour traffic. Well, why not make good use of some of those menial hours? Instead of honking horns, talking or texting-while driving, or displaying our terrible road rage, we could spend some of that time listening to some of the best albums music currently has to offer. From the innovative Baltimore clubbased Blaqstarr to the raw menacing raps of Compton-bred Emcee, Kendrick Lamar; we’ve got you covered.

Blaqstarr: "The Divine E.P." Blaqstarr has played in the background long enough, providing some of the most hypnotizing hooks and beats for rap rebel M.I.A. It’s time for this new Interscope/N.E.E.T. signee to step out from behind the boards and get behind the mic. Already deemed a legend in his hometown, his new project “The Divine E.P.,” is just a taste of what’s yet to come. While lis-ten-ing to the six tracks-long EP, it’s def­i­nite that Blaqstarr’s in a dif­fer­ent place. The man who is arguably Baltimore’s greatest club pro­ducer has left some of the club aesthetic behind. The record is more R&B inspired and the sound closely resembles Kanye West’s “808” and “Heart­breaks.” “Rider Girl,” which is a re-visit to his under­ground smash, “Ryda Girl,” has been re-tooled, but it still harbors the same club vibra­ tion you heard when it first came out. He’s broad­en­ing the club sound and bring­ing those ele­ments to the masses.

"The Divine E.P., is just a taste of what's yet to come."



Kendrick Lamar: Overly Dedicated

"Lamar is one of the brightest talents shining in the west right now."

Over the years, California has had one of the nation’s most diverse selections of Hip-Hop; ranging from N.W.A. to The Pharcyde. So, it should be of no surprise that the culture has birthed emcees like Kendrick Lamar who continue to push the envelope creatively. Lamar is one of the brightest talents shining in the west right now. As soon as his voice hits the instrumental, it’s obvious you’re hearing Compton. But what makes Lamar interesting isn’t his accent; it’s the fact that we have a Compton resident rapper touching on topics in a way that we’ve simply never heard before. His sound produces remnants similar to those of Kanye West’s, using cosmic instrumentation and melodic structure, but is also reminiscent of the late great Tupac Shakur. Kendrick Lamar shifts between conscious parables and feverish street tales like a neo-Black Panther. Equally as interesting as his street narratives, is the fact that Lamar produces hits. With notable features from some of Cali’s best, it’s evident that this is a west coast connection.

Written by: Ryan Lyons ( follow me on twitter @RyanLyons) Edited by: Kanika Vann







CROSSWORD PUZZLE Esau Howard Antonio Johnson Bettya Burgess Shaniqua Ryan Lyons Phillip Datcher Siobahn Philemon Julian Pierre Boney Kanika Vann Joel Brown Amber Jade Chuck Brown Shaymar Higgs Amen Haddis DJ Diamond Kuts Sommore Baby Sharn





Jessica Simpon STYLE EYES


Steve Madden Duffle Bag

Steve Maddden Sandal 79.95




Polo Blue

69.00 Combat Boots

54.95 8.00








It is funny how a person’s ego can totally contradict their self and still have fabulous results. Tagging along through the city of Washington DC with the most modest, unique, vision extraordinaire in the east coast; my ultimate goal was to find out just how extraordinary he really was. Starting as a TAG student for the Arts at Suitland High School Julian Pierre Boney was challenged by his teacher to enter the annual Suitland High School fashion competition in 2007, and after that as he says “It was on!” He blew the audience and his teacher away by placing first for his designs and styles. The years have trickled by and ‘Julian Pierre Boney’ is now known around the east coast as “The Visionary”. How has he claimed his title? He hustles around the fashion world partaking in all potential photo shoots, convicting each style on every model worthy of its art. “I have been working with Julian for a while and I love his creativity, his pieces, he always thinks outside the box’’, says photographer Tony Veloz. Boney is a self taught designer and stylist that goes with the flow of his vision, “I like to plan ahead but nothing ever goes to plan, so I try to always have different ideas ready for whatever happens.” Later Boney started working at Arden B as a part time job and ended up co-styling with his boss independently. The first question she asked was “What is your favorite magazine, and after he said W, I said oh let me get your paperwork, “ as as former boss Tenniel Cordae chuckles. His personal style gives an 80’s consignment tease, but when he exonerates his ego’s vision (styling vision) for the camera he delivers spice, funk, and culture. He works along side of the hottest photographers and trains the most elegant looking models. “Sometimes


the best looking models are the least experienced,” he explains. “A models body should be like a hanger, letting the clothes flow on the body. For some amateur models that don’t have direction they can look at magazines and see how mainstream models pose for inspiration and make it their own. When you are creative and don’t have a guide and the model is able to move and remember their face is important, those models are really good”, says Boney. Julian Boney lives, eats and breathes styling, designing and traveling. When asked about his other interest, he paused and said “That is all I do, I don’t do anything else but design, style and travel, and oh yeah I do closet cleaning and personal shopping.” Clothes are his life, literally. Boney began sketching designs and also taught his self how to sew and create. With the push of his teacher telling Boney, “You are going to make that sketch or you are going to fail my class,” he started sewing on the double. In 2007 Boney placed 2nd place for the MU business Plan and Presentation Competition for the NFTE (National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.) His most recent accomplishments stand tall with winning the 2010 State of Maryland fashion competition for the area and was honored in NY for 3 days recognizing his accomplishments and work.

Styling the Shoot

Styling the X&I Fashion Mag. photo shoot, Julian expresses the need for bringing earth tones into the spring, “the first look is a floral jumper that gives a monotone look and enhances the height of the model. The second look is a fun fashion everyday look that is a lace top with puffy sleeves & a metallic skirt.” He adds a school girl feel with ankle socks and button covered pumps. “You have to have confidence to wear this outfit”, he says. -Bettya Burgess


Model-Anna Sizykh Photographer-Joelle Phillips Swimwear Designer/Stylist- Julian Pierre Boney Makeup/Hair Stylist- Monae Everett



PhotogTonyVeloz Hair: KahlilOliver MakeUp Artist: KimReyes ModelSheilaJohnson.jpg



Model-Aaron Sanders (forever young agency) Photographer-Joelle Phillips Makeup Artist-Monae Everett




MODEL PROFILE Model Profile Name: Sherita Dehonney School: Towson University Major: Special Education Classification: Sophomore Height: 5’10 Weight: 118 Modeling 2 years, Niemen Marcus ad, DC Fashion Week, Jody Davis fashion show, Swerve Magazine & Jazzy Studios Hobbies: Clubbing’ with her sisters Goals: “If I get signed dropping out of school, but for now I plan to graduate with a degree in Special Education” Graduation dropping out School for now, if not I will Graduate in special education.” Dreams: Contract with Ford, Wilhelmina or IMG agency. Favorite Color(s): Yellow, blue red, pink & purple “I just love all colors”





Struck with the natural assets of beauty Porsche Collins was born July 28, 1988, in Washington DC. She began modeling XPRESSION + INNOVATIONby age 4, and hated it. More so influenced by her four broth ers, her childhood was nurtured by both parents, Nakita Washington and Greg Collins. She channels an aggressive demeanor from her masculine surroundings, but her 5’2 stance on camera tells a different story. Even though she is an outgoing, strong minded, down to earth person, she is still a harmless flirt and a hopeless romantic. But her mind is first focused on building her path to success. As her childhood years passed so did modeling. In 2006 Porsche attended Saint Francis University in Loretta, Pennsylvania majoring in English/Communication. Her classes ran smooth but problems lurked at home. Requiring her to return home to help her mother, Porsche she needed to keep busy and relieved of stress, so she re-dabbed into modeling joining a local urban modeling troop, Models Inc. For 3-years Porsche stayed with Models Inc, departing in 2009. She left the troop and returned to the industry as a free agent. Modeling for freelance and editorial photographers, her demand in the DC Metropolitan area grew making Porsche Collins, Pretty P. Collins. There is more to Pretty P. Collins than a cute face and flawless body; she is a quiet beast lurking in the midst, silently taking over the industry. She explains, “I am building my portfolio, plan to get published in Maximum Magazine and Dime Piece Magazine and print my own fiction novel by 2013.” With her plans in the making being voted one of 2010’s best DMV models of the year only stamps the beginning of her takeover. -Bettya Burgess


Pretty P. Collins





FLY is an understatement when it comes to Comedian/Actress Sommore on and off the stage! Waiting in front of the glass doors of the Washington DC, Ritz hotel she stomped out the left corner elevator in her snaked skin, tan and cream 4 inch Michael Kors, shining in diamonds as usual. As we walked back to the lounge area of the Ritz hotel, we sat down and immediately while she started telling her secret “Stay Fly” tips for women.

SOMMORE: “The key to staying fly is accessory, I think a woman can wear a Hanes tank top, a pair of nice jeans, throw on some accessories and still look nice.”

X &I: Do you have a favorite designers or clothing line? SOMMORE: I wear anything that fits (laughing). If

it doesn’t fit then its not for me. I like to be comfortable and sassy at the same time. I also make sure I buy quality clothes, which is very important.

X& I: What is your favorite accessory? SOMMORE: Sunglasses are a must! I also love to collect watches; I have over twenty watches apart of my jewelry collection. My favorite watch is a Rolex watch, which was 35,000 dollars.

X&I: When stage time comes, how do you choose your stage costumes?

SOMMORE: Everything I wear on stage is costume

made. One of my favorites is this showered diamond shirt I have worn on stage.

X&I: What colors do you least like wearing? SOMMORE: I don’t like wearing black, and I would

NEVER wear all black unless it is an elegant dress or outfit. I love white! I always wear all white especially in special events. -Bettya Burgess



Erika Canty Julia Naismith LillyanPeter Ryan Nicole Sheila Johnson Sherita Dehonney

Picture Credits African vs Blacks Adam Dorsey Sean Carter Marcus Tabb Hariff Adebohun Andrew Cheveers


Hair Justin Marcel

Editor in Chief Bettya Burgess Kannika Vann

Editor at Large Bettya Burgess Ericka Danois


Kanika Vann Joel Brown

Advertisments Baby Sharn Lynn Elaine Broccli City Demenor Casey Renae

School Credits

Coppin State University Morgan State University Shaw University

Featuring Stories African V Blacks Amber Jade Levy Chuck Brown


Chuck Brown Shaymar Higgs



Make Up


Julian Pierre Boney

Justin Marcel

Amen Haddis DJ Diamond Kuts


Baby Sharn Black Starr Kendrick Lamar










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