Alice Vol. 6 No. 1

Published by UA Student Media Summer 2020.

Published by UA Student Media Summer 2020.


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

[ 1 ]<br />

[Cover Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

<strong>Vol</strong>ume 6 Issue 1<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume 6 Issue 1<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume 6 Issue 1<br />

[Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

[ 2 ]

[ 3 ]<br />

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

[Photographer] Alexis Blue<br />

[ 4 ]


editor in chief<br />

Annie Hollon<br />

managing editor<br />

Alexander Plant<br />

creative<br />

Creative Director A’Neshia Turner<br />

Design Editor Sarah Lumpkin<br />

Assistant Design Editor Autumn Williams<br />

photo<br />

Photo Editor Alexis Blue<br />

Assistant Photo Editor Keely Brewer<br />

writing<br />

Beauty Editor Christine Thompson<br />

Fashion Editor Gabby Gervais<br />

Lifestyle Editor Jennafer Bowman<br />

Entertainment Editor Hannah Taylor<br />

Food and Health Editor Lindsey Wilkinson<br />

Market Editor Evan Edwards<br />

digital<br />

Digital Director Ansley Segal<br />

Social Media Editor Kendall Frisbee<br />

Online Editor Brynna Mitcher<br />

Youtube Editor Mae Frey<br />

contributors<br />

Kelsey Bridgeforth, Kaila Pouncy, Kaitlyn Gabaldon, Hailey Wilson, Farrah<br />

Sanders, Sophia, Surrett, Jennafer Bowman, Olivia Bowman, Christine<br />

Thompson, A’Neshia Turner, Sarah Hartsell, Jeffrey Kelly, Hannah Taylor,<br />

Hannah Saad, Jonathan Knox, Kalei Burgess<br />

models<br />

Eboni Rollins, Kai O’Neill, Jacob Gorbis, Kaylin Flam, Gavin Hayes, Mia<br />

Karle, Sarah Nelson, Alex Holliman, Sophy Mangana, Kristen Sentell,<br />

Christian Thomas, Tamera Foster<br />

faculty<br />

Editorial Adviser Mark Mayfield<br />

Advertising Julie Salter<br />

Interim Director Traci Mitchell<br />

copyright<br />

Editorial and Advertising offices for <strong>Alice</strong> Magazine are located at 414 Campus Drive East,<br />

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.<br />

Phone: (205) 348-7257. <strong>Alice</strong> is published by the Office of Student Media at The University of<br />

Alabama. All content and design are produced by students in consultation with professional<br />

staff advisers. All material contained herein, except advertising or where indicated otherwise,<br />

is copyrighted © 2020 by <strong>Alice</strong> magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted without the<br />

expressed, written permission of <strong>Alice</strong> magazine.<br />

[ 5 ]

W<br />

hen I first<br />

began writing<br />

for <strong>Alice</strong> in 2018, I never<br />

pictured myself in this role or in the world we<br />

are currently in. I certainly never envisioned writing<br />

my first “Letter From The Editor” from my childhood<br />

bedroom and collaborating with the <strong>Alice</strong> team via<br />

Zoom call either. However, I see this as an opportunity<br />

rather than a hindrance for us to grow beyond the<br />

Tuscaloosa city limits and reach out to college women<br />

across the country, which we’ve already begun with this<br />

issue.<br />

Since our inception in 2015, we’ve worked diligently<br />

to represent and tell the stories of college women and<br />

have grown significantly since. Yet as we look back and<br />

celebrate everything we have achieved, we have had to<br />

take a good look at where we have failed our readers<br />

and team. <strong>Alice</strong> has for a long time claimed to represent<br />

all college women while our content showed otherwise.<br />

We only represented a certain kind of woman then,<br />

and as a magazine built by and for dynamic and<br />

incredible women, that lack of representation changes<br />

with the digital launch of <strong>Vol</strong>ume 6.<br />

Our cover word is an apt representation of how I aim<br />

to lead and encourage our contributors and readers. As<br />

a publication, we will work even harder to find stories to<br />

resonate with women from all walks of life, from BIPOC<br />

individuals to members of the LGBTQ+ community<br />

and beyond. Some of our contributors lent their own<br />

life experiences and<br />

beliefs to their wellresearched<br />

articles, marked<br />

with an <strong>Alice</strong> Opinion disclaimer, to allow their<br />

voices to be a part of the stories they share. With the<br />

launch of our advice and opinion columns “Ask <strong>Alice</strong>”<br />

and “<strong>Alice</strong> Asks,” we encourage you all to make your<br />

voices heard and be open to discussing life’s difficult<br />

questions so we can grow and learn together. We will<br />

reach out to journalists and students from every corner<br />

of the country to do what we can to represent every<br />

view possible and tell stories that extend beyond the<br />

Southeast and UA’s campus. We’re going to get real and<br />

honest with the content we produce and share, and I<br />

hope you’ll be honest and real with us, too.<br />

Change starts with us all and hopefully these steps are<br />

only the beginning of what we accomplish in the name of<br />

celebrating womanhood and the college experience. I’m<br />

honored to serve as the Editor in Chief of this magazine<br />

for the mystery that is this upcoming school year and<br />

hope we can all change for the better and for good.<br />

Annie Hollon<br />

[ 6 ]

9<br />

15<br />

19<br />

23<br />

27<br />

31<br />

35<br />

Change is Coming<br />

Bursting my Bubble Town<br />

Yays and Nays: LGBTQ+ Representation in Media<br />

Black Mental Health<br />

The Dismantling Period<br />

On The Frontlines<br />

Ask <strong>Alice</strong>/<strong>Alice</strong> Asks<br />

[ 7 ]

37<br />

43<br />

45<br />

47<br />

49<br />

51<br />

55<br />

Pandemic Passion Projects<br />

Intersectionality and the Resilience of Womxn<br />

She Well Read<br />

I Exist<br />

Use My Pronouns<br />

Black Lives Matter Through a Lens<br />

If You Like This, Try This<br />

[ 8 ]

[ 9 ]

On May 26, 2020, George Floyd, a Black<br />

man who was unarmed and pinned to<br />

the ground by four police officers was<br />

murdered. Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s<br />

neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds.<br />

Before Floyd’s final breath, he cried “please I can’t<br />

breathe.”<br />

Being Black is difficult in America and will be a<br />

challenge for those to come. Young Black Americans<br />

are tired of being treated as “animals” and “thugs.”<br />

In order for them to fight, they use their words.<br />

Black protestors speak from brokenness, strength and<br />

experience. The words they speak on the front line are<br />

true and are rooted by their ancestors. “Black Lives<br />

Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “<strong>No</strong> Justice <strong>No</strong> Peace”<br />

have been the chants for years and we are still saying them<br />

today just with another black person’s name attached to it.<br />

Though the cry for “Black Lives Matter” was already<br />

present, the death of George Floyd amplified the movement.<br />

Individuals from San Francisco to Atlanta created protests<br />

for thousands of other people to come out and voice their<br />

hatred of systematic racism and unlawful kills of African<br />

American men and women in America.<br />

It is not easy going to a protest knowing there are people out<br />

there that do not want to hear what the Black people have to<br />

say. Some people are willing to put African Americans in harm<br />

just for uttering their truth. This generation is bold, unshakeable<br />

and persistent. They urge others to speak out about the injustice<br />

acts and tell the nation that silence is too an issue. Like the ones<br />

before, this era is tired, and it’s demanding change on the frontlines<br />

of every protest.<br />

“As a Black woman, it is important to me that my voice is heard<br />

and the voices of people like me are heard,” said Love Lundy, a<br />

freshman majoring in political science at Spelman College and one<br />

of many young Black activists. “<strong>No</strong>t just as a Black woman, but as a<br />

queer woman and a disabled woman.”<br />

She participated in the protests in Huntsville, Alabama, and Leonia,<br />

New Jersey and is known for her determination to reflect her opinions.<br />

When it’s time to be the voice of the movement, she does not back down.<br />

[Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

[ 10 ]

[Photographers] Alexis Blue and Hannah Saad<br />

“I have been an activist all my life,” she said, “I know<br />

that a lot of the time when I am at a protest or a rally, I<br />

feel called to say something. If I have the opportunity I<br />

will do that.”<br />

Lundy organized, advertised and promoted the<br />

marches in Huntsville and New Jersey for other likeminded<br />

individuals to become known and speak on the<br />

gripes happening in America. When she spoke at her<br />

first protest in Huntsville someone yelled out “bomb.”<br />

They managed to set up a Bluetooth speaker in the area<br />

of the protest and play a recording of a bomb ticking.<br />

This interruption caused panic and dispersion. Lundy<br />

fled before the police tear-gassed the protestors in<br />

attendance.<br />

“I do not know what it is, but police most definitely<br />

become more aggressive at night and when there<br />

is a large group of people,” said Elana Daniels, a<br />

sophomore at The University of Alabama. “It’s like they<br />

are intimidated. It should not be a normalized thing<br />

to protest for black lives. You see people joke about it.<br />

People you thought you knew are backing the police and<br />

the media is exploiting the situation.”<br />

On May 31st, she and 2,000 other people marched<br />

on Kelley Avenue and NE 36th Street with their signs<br />

and flyers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The protest she<br />

attended was not only for the murder of George Floyd<br />

but also for the murder of Isaiah Lewis, a 17 year old<br />

mentally ill black man gunned by the police. During the<br />

day children attended, the community sang songs and<br />

State Rep. Ajay Pittman said encouraging statements to<br />

the crowd of peaceful protestors.<br />

The protest was overwhelming to Daniels, who was<br />

“on edge” for the entirety of the march. She watched as<br />

officers patrolled the area and became more aggressive<br />

as night fell. Around 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., she feared that<br />

something was going to happen to her. There were two<br />

groups of protestors. While Daniels was a part of the<br />

group protesting in front of city hall, the other group<br />

was on the highway. Oklahoma issued a 10 p.m. curfew.<br />

As people were attempting to leave, the group from the<br />

highway converged with her group of protestors.<br />

Police proceeded to use rubber bullets and tear gas to<br />

[ 11 ]

disperse the wide group of protestors.<br />

This country has been in the crisis of protesting<br />

for Black human rights for centuries, however, this<br />

generation has not. This era is not settling for the bare<br />

minimum anymore nor are they letting people take<br />

action for things that they can fix.<br />

“There is nothing more powerful and nothing more<br />

efficient than doing the physical groundwork,” said<br />

Lauren Perry, a freshman at Syracuse University.<br />

Perry attended the protest in Atlanta, Georgia, and<br />

demanded the application of physical pressure. There<br />

is more to do than just sign petitions and ballots.<br />

“Protest brings about more immediate change,”<br />

she said. “There are people who do not care and are<br />

compliant, people who do not want to put themselves<br />

out there or be an activist.”<br />

This is a call to action. If we do not go out there and<br />

voice our acrimony then no one will. We are building<br />

society in a positive direction once we take physical,<br />

meaningful actions.<br />

“We are past awareness,” she said.<br />

Silence does not help the movement or Black<br />

existences progress. Speak up and out about the issues<br />

that are present in America. Stand and fight systematic<br />

oppression. Bringing more attention to crucial problems<br />

will cause those in power to have a change in heart and<br />

to create a pavement of equality for African Americans.<br />

“The Black Lives Matter movement as a whole is<br />

about the visibility of all Black lives,” Perry said. “This<br />

time around compared to the civil rights movement we<br />

are making sure Black women and the Black LGBTQ+<br />

members are not being left behind. It’s not taking away<br />

from the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s making<br />

sure that in the modern movement everyone has their<br />

seat at the table.”<br />

Understand, that if this was not a real issue then people<br />

would not protest. Black men and women are being<br />

killed by police officers every day. The only difference in<br />

these cases is that they were recorded. What about the<br />

killings that were not recorded? What happens to those<br />

officers? What justice do those families get? Protesting<br />

will give us those answers.<br />

[ 12 ]

[ 13 ]<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

[ 14 ]

[ 15 ]

I<br />

was 18 the first time I was called an activist. This<br />

was a big deal to me because, in my own little world,<br />

it has always been one of my biggest dreams to be<br />

part of something so powerful, so influential and<br />

earn that title from others. To be considered an activist<br />

always seemed considerably distant from my reach. In<br />

my mind, it struck me as an exclusive, card-carrying<br />

social club where only the most diligent of the socially<br />

active would be allowed in and accepted. Thinking of<br />

myself as an activist seemed remarkably unconvincing<br />

until it simply wasn’t anymore.<br />

Growing up, I spent the majority of my childhood and<br />

adolescence in two small Georgia towns: Fayetteville<br />

and Peachtree City. I, a young Black woman, roamed<br />

in predominantly white spaces, driving around towns<br />

of small, family-owned, decorated shops and dodging<br />

trails paved for golf carts driven by white, upper-class<br />

families. Although my experience was not significantly<br />

diverse until I entered high school, I’ve always seen and<br />

recognized the importance and the value of differences<br />

in others from all backgrounds, and it was easy to see and<br />

accept the contrast in them whenever I left my bubble.<br />

Throughout my youth, I knew holding these values<br />

close to my heart were extremely important in order to<br />

simply be a kind person, but I never knew exactly how<br />

much they would affect me growing into the young adult<br />

that I am today. I am no stranger to empathy, as it is<br />

something I have possessed an overwhelming amount<br />

of since I was a child. My family can attest that I was<br />

always rescuing stray neighborhood cats and creating a<br />

positive kind of trouble at school by speaking my mind<br />

for what was right for myself and others.<br />

When Trayvon Martin was unjustly murdered, I was<br />

ten years old. As a young child, I couldn’t process why<br />

the world had gone up in flames. At ten years old, I had<br />

to learn why I couldn’t stay out after the streetlights<br />

came on, walk to the neighborhood convenience store<br />

and why the “But Mom, my other friends’ parents let<br />

them do it!” argument was no longer effective. At ten<br />

years old, I had to learn that carelessly strolling in<br />

the wrong areas could get me killed. At 12 years old,<br />

I witnessed the world harbor a similar rage with the<br />

death of Michael Brown, and at 12 years old, I had to<br />

learn this was going to keep happening.<br />

As I grew physically and intellectually, I acquired a<br />

strong passion for social justice, and that passion grew<br />

stronger with each passing day. Between then and now,<br />

I have watched the lives of people who look just like me<br />

come and go with a temporary public eruption of anger<br />

to follow. Each outrage, each speech, each protest and<br />

chant being more intense than the last without proper<br />

consequences given to the murderer to match. I’ve seen<br />

this on television, the internet, and in books for years.<br />

Looking in the mirror, I often wondered where society<br />

fit me in and exactly how much I was truly valued in<br />

these white spaces I called home. Additionally, it<br />

became apparent to me how the murders of the very<br />

Black women I resemble never get the same attention<br />

in the media. Black women carry a very similar burden<br />

to our Black men, yet still fight to be included and<br />

protected by a cause that is supposed to embody us<br />

conjointly when we proclaim “Black Lives Matter.” This<br />

creates an extremely heavy weight to be carried, but a<br />

weight often carried with such grace by Black women<br />

everywhere. Alas, I digress. Watching people of any and<br />

all causes organize spaces for their voices to be heard<br />

in big cities across the nation was never foreign to the<br />

American people. It’s so common and such a crucial<br />

part of our history that it’s something we all learned<br />

about as early as elementary school. Revolution is, and<br />

always will be, in our blood. When you think about it,<br />

Americans have obtained almost all the rights we have<br />

today by protesting. We, the people, have watched this<br />

happen many times throughout history, whether it be<br />

our fellow workers, our strong women, our beautiful<br />

LGBTQ+ community, and our people of color. The<br />

only difference is that Black and Brown people are still<br />

fighting an ancient problem in a modern world.<br />

I never thought I’d live through something quite as<br />

massive as what transpired after the tragic murder of<br />

George Perry Floyd Jr. I always imagined protests being<br />

reserved for people of giant cities; modern people who<br />

work in big buildings and finally decide to abandon<br />

them in order to storm the wide, shiny streets and<br />

walkways leading to state buildings to fight federal laws<br />

and injustice. Living in my tiny bubble town, I never<br />

expected to see something like this in my city. Even<br />

though I longed to be part of something so powerful,<br />

I had never attended a protest until the death of<br />

George Floyd. The week following the sad day of May<br />

[ 16 ]

25, 2020, I remained glued to social media, watching<br />

every city across the country, and eventually the world,<br />

explode one by one in protest. I couldn’t sit still or<br />

sleep. I watched people spewing hate at those who were<br />

simply pleading to be protected. I watched all of this<br />

happening through every screen in my household. My<br />

heart broke day in and day out. When my electronic<br />

screens transformed into watching through my own car<br />

windows, I realized that people in my town were just<br />

as outraged as I was. It became all too real for me. My<br />

bubble town had finally burst.<br />

Up until this point, I had acted from the safety of my<br />

room. I had signed petitions, shared resources, donated<br />

money, written letters, yet nothing felt like I was doing<br />

enough. I felt scared, angry and sad wondering if I<br />

should be out there with my fellow citizens experiencing<br />

the same pain and fighting the same fight. As a firstgeneration<br />

pre-law college student, I was terrified<br />

about how my current actions, or lack thereof, would<br />

affect my future. What if some person out there holding<br />

potential future authority over me doesn’t see things<br />

the same way I do when I speak my mind? What if I say<br />

the wrong thing? What if my lack of action hurts me,<br />

too? After much deliberation about the potential risks,<br />

I decided that I owed it to my ancestors, the deceased,<br />

my little Black brother, and myself to stand in unity<br />

with others and raise my voice. Besides, I came to the<br />

conclusion that I don’t belong in any place of business<br />

where my existence is not safe or valued. I watched<br />

my small, predominantly white town transform into a<br />

beacon of diverse unity, something I never thought I’d<br />

ever see in my life. When I arrived to join the peaceful<br />

protest organized by local residents, I had no idea what<br />

to expect to see, but I do know that I didn’t expect what<br />

I saw. I saw people of all skin tones, identities, and<br />

backgrounds raising their voice in support of Black and<br />

Brown lives in the courtyard of our tiny city hall. People<br />

with colorful signs, loud voices, and passionate souls.<br />

I soon became one of a countless number of people<br />

circled around individuals giving speeches, sharing<br />

their pain one by one as onlookers both observed and<br />

supported. As I moved closer to the center, I realized<br />

I was witnessing various people of color sharing their<br />

experiences with discrimination, informing the public<br />

on important topics ranging from voter registration to<br />

recognizing white privilege and sharing resources for<br />

anybody hurting or struggling. As I inched even closer<br />

to the center, brimming with bravery and feeling warm<br />

with support, I felt compelled to speak, share some<br />

thoughts of mine, and contribute to the conversation.<br />

I held a bullhorn in my hand and informed my<br />

community about the importance of holding one<br />

another accountable.<br />

Black lives matter. All of them. My education, social<br />

status, place of residency, interests or the people I hang<br />

out with are not what gives my life worth. My life matters<br />

simply because I am a living, breathing human being<br />

who walks this earth. I am Black and my life matters<br />

just as much as my white counterparts. As a friend, I am<br />

holding my non-Black friends accountable for proudly<br />

proclaiming this fact. In order for you to be a friend,<br />

you must believe wholeheartedly that my life matters<br />

the way I believe that yours does. As students, we<br />

must hold our places of education and fellow students<br />

[ 17 ]

accountable for standing up for our Black peers to help<br />

everyone who desires an education to safely achieve it.<br />

As employees or consumers, we must apply pressure to<br />

our places of business to value their Black employees<br />

and consumers. It is not enough to simply not be racist,<br />

we must actively be anti-racist. We must hold our non-<br />

Black friends accountable to act on behalf of those who<br />

are being condemned by hatred right now. We must do<br />

our individual parts to make the world a better, more<br />

just place for all. <strong>No</strong>ne of us will truly have justice until<br />

all of us have justice.<br />

The first time somebody called me an activist was<br />

right after my speech. The person who casually awarded<br />

me this title was a girl from high school who I had met<br />

in passing and didn’t know much about me, but she<br />

recognized my passion which made it a significant<br />

moment to me. I proved to myself I was able to put my<br />

comfort aside to better my community for others and<br />

stand up for myself. The moment I truly grasped how<br />

much my actions of courage affect and inspire others to<br />

speak up and do the same encouraged me to keep going.<br />

Becoming aware of that was what truly made me feel<br />

like the activist I had been dubbed.<br />

My first protest redefined what it meant to be an<br />

activist for me. To be an activist and to achieve a mindset<br />

of activism means to always be open to and participating<br />

in ways to make this world a better place. It means to<br />

wake up every day and be the change you want to see<br />

in this world and encourage others to do the same, no<br />

matter how big or small your reach is. Furthermore,<br />

this experience gave me hope in our communities to<br />

come together during hard, painful times like this.<br />

Watching as people became physically willing to step<br />

out of their comfort zones and potentially risk their<br />

safety to walk in support of BIPOC individuals, most<br />

of whom they’ve never even met before, became one of<br />

the most motivating things I have ever seen. It simply<br />

reminded me that there are so many people standing in<br />

the corner of love fighting against hate and I will not be<br />

standing alone. My first experience protesting was lucky<br />

considering it didn’t include tear gas, arrests, damage or<br />

injuries, but I will acknowledge the protestors putting<br />

themselves on the frontlines and I will stand with them.<br />

My experience has been safe, but it hasn’t been easy.<br />

It hasn’t been easy to watch my Twitter timeline turn<br />

into an obituary. It hasn’t been easy worrying if the<br />

name of somebody I love, or even my own, will become<br />

the next trending hashtag or headline. The fight has<br />

never been easy for anyone, but it will always be worth<br />

it. If you are able, I highly encourage you to stand and<br />

walk in support of your peers. Donate money to local<br />

nonprofits. Sign and share petitions boosting justice<br />

for those who have been harmed or murdered unjustly.<br />

Register to vote and write letters to your local legislators<br />

encouraging them to act. Whatever it may be, use your<br />

voice and platform to encourage others to do the same<br />

and make your stand.<br />

That day, I left the bulk of the crowd and sat on the<br />

edge of a water fountain outside of city hall. Soaking<br />

in the moment, I felt the warmth of the sun sparkling<br />

across my shoulders and felt content with myself, the<br />

color of my skin and my ability to help change the world.<br />

I repeated to myself, “I am a young Black woman, and<br />

there is nothing in this world that I cannot do.”<br />

[ 18 ]

[ 19 ]<br />

[Photographer] Kalei Burgess



uring Pride Month in June, you probably noticed<br />

an increase in LGBTQ+ representation in the media<br />

ranging from social media campaigns to magazine<br />

covers. With Pride having to be different this year<br />

because of the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling many celebrations,<br />

it’s more important than ever that TV, film and other media outlets<br />

bring the stories, experiences and talent of LGBTQ+ individuals to<br />

the forefront. Mainstream media showcases LGBTQ+ talent and<br />

characters more prominently than ever before, but is it always done<br />

in the best way possible?<br />

Take a series like Pose on FX, for example. Pose is revolutionary<br />

in how it authentically shares LGBTQ+ stories that are important<br />

to the community’s history while being the first show to feature<br />

transgender women of color in prominent roles on television.<br />

The praise for Pose is well deserved, as it brings the vibrancy of<br />

80’s underground Ball culture and delves into the struggles of the<br />

LGBTQ+ individuals in the show in an authentic way that many<br />

other series struggle to do. While Pose is an example of what<br />

LGBTQ+ representation in the media should be, many miss the<br />

mark.<br />

During Pride Month, and throughout the rest of the year, we<br />

need to be more aware and critical of how LGBTQ+ individuals are<br />

portrayed and treated in the shows we watch and the campaigns we<br />

see. While there’s still a lot more work to be done to accurately and<br />

genuinely share their stories and experiences in the media, here are<br />

some of the yays and nays of current LGBTQ+ representation in the<br />

media to think about.<br />

[ 20 ]

Give LGBTQ+ characters<br />

equal screen time as their<br />

straight counterparts.<br />

Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ characters serve as a plot driver for their straight, main<br />

counterparts. They’re the best friend, part of the friend group or in some cases, the onetime<br />

possible love interest (think Lucas from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.) They<br />

help the main character solve their problems or bring out their true selves, but they’re<br />

only shown from time to time.<br />

Toni Topaz, played by Vanessa Morgan on Riverdale, is a good example of a Black<br />

LGBTQ+ character whose main plot function is as a side character who drives the<br />

development of others. Her time on-screen increases around the second season, but<br />

as time goes on, we don’t see plots that center around her, nor does she have the same<br />

amount of screen time as her co-stars despite being upgraded to a season regular. With<br />

a greater need for Black LGBTQ+ representation to be more visible on television, we<br />

hope to see more of her in the upcoming season.<br />

Giving equal screen time to Black and LGBTQ+ characters is something that all<br />

shows and films should strive for in order to increase LGBTQ+visibility and make it<br />

commonplace in everyday TV and film. LGBTQ+ characters shouldn’t be stuck on the<br />

sidelines as plot drivers. They’re multi-dimensional, and many people can relate to them<br />

and their storylines. If you’re interested in shows with great LGBTQ+ representation,<br />

check out Sex Education on Netflix and Vida on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Starz.<br />

Only showing LGBTQ+<br />

representation during<br />

Pride Month.<br />

[Photographer] Kalei Burgess<br />

Pride Month is an exciting time to celebrate the<br />

LQBTQ+ community, but that doesn’t mean that<br />

representation ends on the last day of the month.<br />

Some brands will only include LGBTQ+ talent or have<br />

collaborations with them for the duration of month,<br />

but their commitments to the LGBTQ+ community<br />

should extend beyond Pride Month as well. Having<br />

LGBTQ+ visibility year-round is important for the<br />

community and should be incorporated into the<br />

media that these brands put out throughout the year.<br />

It’s not enough to just have it during Pride Month,<br />

and there’s no shortage of LGBTQ+ talent that these<br />

brands can help spotlight.<br />

[ 21 ]

Brands paying LGBTQ+<br />

individuals in “exposure” to<br />

create content for them.<br />

Brands often have large budgets of money when working with influencers to create<br />

content. During Pride Month, many brands reach out to LGBTQ+influencers to create<br />

content for social media with the goal of highlighting campaigns and products created<br />

specifically for Pride Month. While influencer collaborations are not new, what isn’t<br />

often known is that LGBTQ+ influencers, especially those who are Black, are often<br />

pitched collaborations in exchange for “exposure” on a brand’s social media. Lydia<br />

Okello (@styleisstyle), a queer Black creator, was recently asked by Anthropologie to<br />

take part in its #sliceofhappy campaign for Pride in exchange for a free outfit. Okello<br />

shared their typical rates for working with brands only to be told by Anthropologie<br />

that they didn’t have the budget for an influencer of their level.<br />

Exposure doesn’t pay the bills, and for large brands like Anthropologie, there’s no<br />

excuse to not pay LGBTQ+ influencers for their work especially during a month that<br />

is meant to highlight and celebrate them. Be mindful of how brands treat LGBTQ+<br />

influencers, and if you want to stay informed about this and other issues in the<br />

fashion and beauty industry, follow accounts like @diet_prada and @esteelaundry<br />

on Instagram.<br />

Hiring LGBTQ+ directors, talent,<br />

production staff, and writers to<br />

tell LGBTQ+ stories.<br />

There’s a plethora of LGBTQ+ talent in the industry waiting to make their mark<br />

on the screen and in the media. One of Hollywood’s biggest debates is having actors<br />

and production staff who are not members of this community telling the stories of<br />

LGBTQ+ characters. Out of the 25 actors who have been nominated for an Oscar for<br />

playing an LGBTQ+ character, none are openly LGBTQ+. The film and television<br />

industry is divided on the issue, with some actors like Darren Criss vowing to turn<br />

down future LGBTQ+ roles, while others like Ben Whishaw, who is gay himself, don’t<br />

see the issue with non-LGBTQ+ actors playing LGBTQ+ characters.<br />

While the debate continues, Hollywood should provide more opportunities for<br />

LGBTQ+ individuals to bring their talents to the industry in all aspects, especially<br />

when it comes to telling LGBTQ+ stories. People like screenwriter Steven Canals<br />

(Pose), director and writer Dee Rees (Empire, Pariah, Space Force), and actor<br />

Keiynan Lonsdale (Love Simon, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow) are paving the<br />

way for other LGBTQ+ individuals in the industry. Including their voices and talents<br />

in Hollywood makes it exciting to see what’s to come for the industry in the upcoming<br />

years.<br />

[ 22 ]

[ 23 ]

I<br />

know<br />

it’s hard right now. Rules have been enforced<br />

telling us to stay home to protect us and our loved<br />

ones, high school students have missed out on major<br />

life experiences such as prom and graduation, recent<br />

college graduates are wondering what their next step is,<br />

health care workers are risking their lives fighting for<br />

us daily. Those are only just a few examples of what we<br />

have been going through during the pandemic. If that<br />

is not enough to make your head spin, well, we are in<br />

another epidemic: a fight for racial justice and a call to<br />

action that has swept the world.<br />

Racial injustice is not a new issue to Black people and<br />

the effects of it is not either. Black Lives Matter and so<br />

does Black Mental Health. If you have found yourself<br />

not feeling like yourself, or the repeated incidents of<br />

police brutality have gotten you down, I want to help<br />

you. Here are some tips and resources to assist you with<br />

getting through this tough time.<br />

[ 24 ]


Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment, right<br />

here, right now and accepting it without judgment. While constant<br />

worries and thoughts of what is to come can keep you up at night,<br />

practicing mindfulness may come to your rescue. When done<br />

correctly, stress and anxiety can be managed dramatically<br />

better. Do not think about the past, and don’t try to have<br />

the future all planned out either. Let yourself be and go<br />

with the flow as life comes to you. It is ok to have an<br />

idea of what direction you want to go in within your<br />

life, but do not dwell on it too much. The most<br />

popular mindfulness practice is mediation.<br />

“I practice meditation myself and I highly<br />

recommend it to my clients,” Dr. Tamika<br />

Anderson, a private practicing psychologist<br />

said. “You won’t master it your first try, but<br />

each practice takes you a step closer to a<br />

healthier thought process.”<br />

If you want to try this technique,<br />

Headspace and Calm are two great apps<br />

to start with.<br />

UNPLUG<br />

To start, take a break from wherever you are getting<br />

your news, whether that is social media, Apple News<br />

notifications or the traditional local and national<br />

television coverage. I know that this can be a tough one for<br />

people to do, and can hear some people now, “Removing<br />

myself from social media during a pandemic?” I know.<br />

The main thing people are wanting and are being told<br />

to do is to stay connected. Which for a lot of people<br />

staying connected happens via social media. Start with<br />

taking one day off. Don’t watch the news, turn off your<br />

notifications and delete your apps. If this step is too<br />

drastic, put a time resection on your apps through<br />

your phone’s settings. While you are on your break,<br />

do something you enjoy. Watch your favorite Netflix<br />

series, tackle that thing you’ve been wanting to do or<br />

simply do nothing. The point of this is to give your<br />

mind a break from all of the information you are<br />

absorbing on a daily basis. In the meantime, stay<br />

connected and call your friends and family on the<br />

phone. Talk to them and check in with how they<br />

are doing. You never know, this could be just<br />

what you needed.<br />

[ 25 ]<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

LET IT OUT<br />

If you are feeling angry, sad or even alone, you have every right to<br />

feel that way. The last thing that you want to do is ignore whatever<br />

emotion you are feeling. Write down that emotion as soon as<br />

you can. Journaling is a practice that is widely used to help<br />

with emotional release and has been proven to help with<br />

anxiety and stress.<br />

“Journaling helps me analyze exactly where my<br />

thoughts are coming from since I can see them on<br />

paper,” said Ariel Sanders, a senior at The University<br />

of Alabama.<br />

You can use the notes in your phone or a<br />

journal. Grab some paper and something to<br />

write with and let it all out. There is no right or<br />

wrong way to do this. After you feel like you<br />

have gotten everything out, read it aloud.<br />


If you want to take the previous suggestion a step further,<br />

try therapy.<br />

“If you are comfortable talking to someone please do,”<br />

Makya Jenkins, a senior at UA said. “I know there is a<br />

stigma in the Black community in regard to therapy.<br />

Please know you are not broken by asking for help.”<br />

If you are new to the world of therapy, it can appear<br />

intimidating. Finding a therapist related to your<br />

particular needs can be hard. Don’t be discouraged<br />

because there are organizations catered to helping you<br />

with this process. Therapy for Black Girls, founded by<br />

Joy Harden Bradford compiled a useful directory of<br />

therapists who actually “get it.” The organization also<br />

produces a podcast, publishes a weekly newsletter,<br />

and hosts free support groups on Thursday nights.<br />

Inclusive therapists are equipped in racial trauma<br />

training to ensure that health care providers look<br />

critically at mental health. The organization has<br />

a database of professionals, many of whom offer<br />

reduced-price virtual sessions. These resources<br />

can be extremely helpful to find someone for<br />

your specific needs.<br />

We currently face difficult times, and it<br />

can be hard and even confusing to seek<br />

help for yourself. However, prioritize<br />

your wellbeing and take care of yourself.<br />

Remember that there are people<br />

advocating for a better and unified<br />

world for us all.<br />

[ 26 ]

[ 27 ]

[Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

T<br />

he quickly growing mass uprising against<br />

racial inequality is uncovering long-ignored<br />

issues of systemic discrimination in the<br />

United States. By way of traffic-stopping<br />

protests, widespread social media use and overdue<br />

conversations about race, a new era of understanding is<br />

fastly approaching. This is causing us to take a serious<br />

look at how we as a nation are holding onto the past.<br />

Protestors and movement leaders nationwide quickly<br />

identified confederate monuments and memorials as<br />

the first artifacts to fall in what historians are calling<br />

the dismantling period.<br />

These monuments have been subject to nationwide<br />

debate. It appears that every area of this country is<br />

being directly affected by this movement, including<br />

Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The University of Alabama is no<br />

stranger to this argument. Students, faculty and staff<br />

have historically led the discussion on the removal of<br />

monuments and the renaming of buildings dedicated<br />

to those with racist pasts. Hilary N. Green, associate<br />

professor of history and the Department of Gender and<br />

Race Studies, has centered her research around African<br />

American remembrances.<br />

“African Americans have rejected these monuments<br />

and the racial geographies implemented from the very<br />

beginning,” Green said. “Due to threats of violence, they<br />

had resorted to developing safe spaces and advancing<br />

clear counter memories to this ‘Lost Cause’ landscape.”<br />

The monuments that Green referred to are in<br />

various places on campus, gifted to the University<br />

as early as 1914. Given by the United Daughters of<br />

the Confederacy, a large boulder was dedicated to<br />

Confederate soldiers that were also given an honorary<br />

diploma. Since moving to its second location, the center<br />

of the Quad, this memorial has been the center of the<br />

removal controversy. Standing 10 feet in length, 10 feet<br />

in width and not far from the Little Round House that<br />

housed enslaved drummer boys during the Civil War,<br />

this mammoth of a rock served as a constant reminder<br />

of a dark past and the University’s persistent silence.<br />

As tension around the country grew, so did the pressure<br />

for change. On June 8, the UA System Board of Trustees<br />

authorized the removal of three confederate plaques<br />

on campus. A small council of trustees was created<br />

to review the current names of buildings and report<br />

recommended name changes. This announcement<br />

came as a surprise to the UA community, especially<br />

those who have actively fought for change.<br />

Teryn Shipman, university alumna and founder of<br />

For Black Girls Who Have A Lot to Say, feels bittersweet<br />

towards this moment but believes that these matters<br />

and more should be met with a lot of deliberation<br />

and reflection.<br />

“I believe that UA, it’s administration and it’s Board<br />

[ 28 ]

of Trustees must honor the lives of those who were<br />

enslaved on UA’s campus, specifically when we are<br />

talking about renaming buildings,” Shipman said.<br />

She recalls one of the reasons that she decided to<br />

attend the University was because of “its racist past and<br />

present.”<br />

“I felt I was called to help create real institutional<br />

change from policies to practices and even traditions,”<br />

Shipman said. “While there, I’ve gotten to work<br />

alongside many freedom fighters...I believe that this<br />

is just the beginning of truly creating a country that<br />

represents the people. Shoutout to my ancestors and<br />

fellow freedom fighters.”<br />

For decades, students, faculty and staff have found<br />

their own ways to contribute to awareness and progress.<br />

Shipman organized movements such as Bama Sits, Wake<br />

Up Bama and We are Done. A coalition of students and<br />

faculty, We are Done released a list of demands to be<br />

met by University administration in 2015. Their second<br />

demand called for the removal of the names of white<br />

supremacists, Klan members, Confederate generals and<br />

Eugenicists. The demands of the coalition can be found<br />

with a quick Google search. Shipman sees the demands<br />

as “still unmet or met but with the bare minimum.”<br />

Liz Foshe, a graduate student and teaching assistant<br />

of Gender & Race Studies, felt like now was a good time<br />

to push for change at UA again.<br />

“Essentially, there were two petitions circulating: one<br />

to change the racist building names at UA, and one to<br />

remove the confederate monuments from campus,”<br />

Foshe said.“Petitions like these have been going around<br />

for years since before I came to UA, but with everything<br />

going on with the Black Lives Matter protests all over<br />

the world, now seemed like the right time to really put<br />

pressure on UA to make change.”<br />

Foshe met with a fellow student, Anna Beth Peters,<br />

and together they created an email campaign. This<br />

consisted of creating a pre-written email that could<br />

The University of<br />

Alabama System<br />

Board of Trustees<br />

voted unanimously<br />

on August 5 to<br />

rename <strong>No</strong>tt Hall<br />

to Honors Hall.<br />

[Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

[ 29 ]

[Photographer] Hannah Saad<br />

be accessed through a shared URL. Participants could<br />

enter their names and send the prepared statement to<br />

various members of the administration as well as the<br />

Board of Trustees.<br />

To gain support, they reached out to various campus<br />

leaders and groups on campus, especially those who<br />

appeared to be in support of renaming buildings and<br />

removing memorials. Foshe recalls feeling disappointed<br />

that Student Government Association leadership<br />

responded in an email by saying they would like to<br />

support but there are “some aspects that the University<br />

cannot change.”<br />

[ 30 ]

ON THE<br />



[ 31 ]<br />

[Photographer] Keely Brewer

At the beginning of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, the country had started<br />

establishing lockdowns in place and<br />

spreading the word of the outbreak.<br />

Putting their doubts and concerns aside, the<br />

workers that kept our country afloat accepted the<br />

job. Throughout the ever-changing new “normal”<br />

that the virus demanded, essential workers have<br />

stayed consistent in their fight against COVID-19.<br />

Essential workers have taken on the roles of<br />

heroes amidst the pandemic and have placed<br />

themselves on the front lines. Many people who<br />

have come into contact with these workers have<br />

shown their gratitude for the sacrifices made by<br />

the employee.<br />

“Customers are a lot more patient and thankful<br />

with us as well as our employer,” Brandon<br />

Crittenden, a University of Alabama student and<br />

Publix employee said. “They give us extra cash to<br />

go buy groceries with due to our cut hours and we<br />

practically always receive positivity from all of our<br />

customers because they know how risky it is at a<br />

time like this to be working.”<br />

Several grocery stores and supermarkets across<br />

the country have been putting more cleaning<br />

methods into place as the Stay at Home Orders lift<br />

and people return to “normal” life.<br />

“The measures that we have had to take varied<br />

at the beginning, but as the circumstances<br />

changed, the safety policy did as well,” Crittenden<br />

said.“Where I work, they issued out face masks<br />

and have designated people to sanitize shopping<br />

carts and wipe down door handles.<br />

Due to the Stay at Home Orders across the<br />

country, COVID-19 brought the world together<br />

online in a way that has never happened before.<br />

Crucial employees have been able to communicate<br />

internationally and share their day to day life in<br />

their place of work. The risks and dangers that<br />

have been reported can only describe what the<br />

essential workers are exposing themselves to.<br />

“So much has changed since the Coronavirus<br />

outbreak,” Amy Brewer, a flight attendant with<br />

Delta Air Lines said. “As a company, we have cut<br />

back immensely. We decreased our fleet, retired<br />

certain aircrafts, let go of contract workers, offered<br />

unpaid leaves to employees, reduced salaries, as<br />

well as stopped all services on flights. To me, the<br />

biggest change has been the reduction of flights<br />

and hours for my job. I used to work about 16 days<br />

a month and now I am working significantly less<br />

because we have stopped so many flights.”<br />

Among the beginnings of the outbreak, flight<br />

attendants were some of the first people to be<br />

exposed to the virus due to constant international<br />

and national travel. Many were still forced to be<br />

out in the field, even if hours were reduced after<br />

the virus started to spread. Due to the high risk of<br />

spreading at airports, many airlines have adopted<br />

numerous new sanitation and cleansing steps to<br />

ensure safety.<br />

“Delta’s number one priority is to keep<br />

employees and customers safe,” Brewer said.<br />

“We take extreme precautions from the moment<br />

people get to the gate to the second they deplane<br />

the aircraft. We use high-grade disinfectant before<br />

every single flight, make sure all customers are<br />

employees are wearing a mask, and everyone is<br />

social distancing. We ensure this by boarding back<br />

to front and reducing capacity to 60%.”<br />

Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines<br />

constantly throughout this pandemic. Nurses have<br />

Essential workers have taken<br />

on the roles of heroes amidst<br />

the pandemic and have placed<br />

themselves on the front lines.<br />

[ 32 ]

[ 33 ]<br />

to make sure patients are monitored constantly<br />

due to the uncertainty of this virus, wear personal<br />

protective equipment (PPE) to shield themselves<br />

from exposure and try to keep the numbers of<br />

deaths to a minimum. These healthcare heroes<br />

have had to handle the idea of spreading the<br />

virus not only to other patients but their families<br />

as well. Broadcast through media coverage,<br />

these actions have not gone unnoticed by<br />

the public.<br />

“I have definitely felt respected and loved<br />

during the crisis,” Baylee Gilchrist, a nurse at<br />

UAB hospital, said. “We have gotten free lunches<br />

multiple times and have gotten cards and words<br />

of encouragement from patient family members.”<br />

With all the appreciation from patients and<br />

recognition across the country, nurses like<br />

Gilchrist have said it makes the risk worth it.<br />

Hospitals have put measures into effect to ensure<br />

maximum safety so that the presented risks can be<br />

prevented.<br />

“Before work, we would get “screened,”<br />

meaning we would get our temperature taken,”<br />

said Gilchrist. “We had the mask and the hospital<br />

wasn’t allowing visitors. But with many nurses<br />

being young and healthy, we could have had it<br />

and never known, especially since our unit was<br />

a COVID unit. The hospital never would test an<br />

employee unless they were running a fever, been<br />

exposed, and experiencing other symptoms.”<br />

To help protect and show gratitude to<br />

these essential workers, you can spread your<br />

appreciation on social platforms and practice<br />

social distancing. If you have friends or family<br />

members that are helping fight against the<br />

virus, show your support by making a card<br />

for them or communicate to them that they<br />

are appreciated.

[Photographer] Keely Brewer [ 34 ]

Ask <strong>Alice</strong><br />

Q<br />

A:<br />

What does it mean to “Defund the<br />

Police”?<br />

The statement “defund the police” does<br />

not mean the complete elimination of the<br />

police system as a whole. As explained in<br />

a Cosmopolitan Opinion article by ACLU<br />

Policing Policy Advisor Paige Fernandez, the<br />

idea is to “cut the astronomical amount of<br />

money that our governments spend on law<br />

enforcement and give that money to more<br />

helpful services like job training, counseling,<br />

and violence-prevention programs.” Investing<br />

in these resources and redirecting funding to<br />

other vital elements such as education can<br />

make a major impact on communities across<br />

the country, and can be a stepping stone to<br />

creating a more just system.<br />

<strong>Alice</strong> Asks<br />

[ 35 ]<br />

Q<br />

A:<br />

A:<br />

A:<br />

How do you feel about how your university<br />

plans to operate in the fall?<br />

I feel operations will be disorganized and that<br />

there will probably be an outbreak<br />

Super nervous to be on UA’s campus in the<br />

fall as an immunocompromised student!!!<br />

I am happy that we get to return in the fall as<br />

of now, but my hope is that we can continue<br />

the college experience as it was last year<br />

while keeping everyone healthy.

Q<br />

Does systemic racism/police brutality only<br />

affect black men?<br />

Q<br />

What are some things I can continue to do<br />

to support the LGBTQ+ community and the<br />

BLM movement?<br />

Q<br />

A:<br />

Definitely not! Black women are also<br />

unfortunate victims of systemic racism and<br />

police brutality, such as Breonna Taylor,<br />

Sandra Bland and many more. However,<br />

their stories continue to slip under the radar<br />

as opposed to Black male victims of the same<br />

system. In fact, Taylor’s death wasn’t a major<br />

news story until three months later when<br />

the killing of George Floyd made national<br />

headlines. The forgotten stories of these<br />

women is why The African American Policy<br />

Forum began #SayHerName in 2015 as a<br />

way “to continue to call attention to violence<br />

against Black women in the U.S.”<br />

What’s the difference between “Systemic<br />

Racism” and “Systematic Racism”?<br />

A:<br />

Q<br />

Go beyond sharing cute Instagram graphics<br />

and tweets. Protests have not stopped across<br />

the country, and that means there are still<br />

petitions to sign as well as GoFundMe<br />

fundraisers to support victims of police<br />

brutality and those arrested at protests.<br />

Beyond donating and signing petitions,<br />

supporting organizations and businesses<br />

owned by Black and LGBTQ+ people is a great<br />

way to show your support, especially in your<br />

own communities. Holding your friends and<br />

loved ones accountable for saying or sharing<br />

racist or homophobic things is also a great<br />

way to continue to show your support as an<br />

ally. It is not the responsibility of people from<br />

those communities to teach and correct those<br />

who act that way.<br />

How can I talk to my friends about how I may<br />

have been a bad ally to them in the past?<br />

A:<br />

Q<br />

Systematic racism is active discrimination<br />

with a plan or method used to implement it.<br />

This type of racism is not random or sporadic,<br />

it takes place in a planned and organized<br />

way. There are many cases of it that aren’t<br />

well known,but several take place within<br />

the workplace. Hiring, firing or refusing<br />

to give promotions or raises on the basis of<br />

race is a good example of systematic racism.<br />

Systemic racism is a byproduct of a structural<br />

system. Apart from systematic, systemic is<br />

much more oppressive because it happens at<br />

much higher rates and has a wider impact on<br />

minority communities as a whole.<br />

Do you think college football should be<br />

canceled this fall?<br />

A:<br />

Q<br />

Having those tricky conversations with your<br />

friends is a great first step to become a better<br />

ally. There’s no changing the past, so take<br />

this not as an opportunity to feel bad about<br />

yourself, but as an opportunity to do your<br />

research and read up on how some things you<br />

may have said or done were insensitive. As we<br />

mentioned before, it shouldn’t be up to your<br />

BIPOC and LGBTQ+ friends to correct and<br />

teach you why you shouldn’t do or say certain<br />

things. With a plethora of information out<br />

there, taking the time to educate yourself will<br />

not only start you on the right path to become<br />

a better ally, but will also help you further<br />

understand why certain words and actions<br />

are so insensitive and cruel.<br />

What have you done to keep yourself healthy<br />

during the pandemic?<br />

A:<br />

A:<br />

A:<br />

Yes<br />

<strong>No</strong>t canceled but they should probably not let<br />

people watch in the stadium<br />

<strong>No</strong>ooooo<br />

A:<br />

A:<br />

Spending time in nature!<br />

Workout videos - palema reif & chloe tings<br />

[ 36 ]


By Jennafer Bowman<br />

[Photographer] Jonathan Knox<br />

[ 37 ]

R<br />

emember when it felt like there wasn’t<br />

enough time in the day? Between work, social<br />

life, that pile of laundry that started to infest<br />

more of the room, it felt like everything was<br />

literally piling up. Throughout the country, the stress of<br />

everyday life was becoming greater and greater. Some<br />

felt that a weekend off would cure their woes. One<br />

weekend turned into weeks, which turned into months,<br />

that felt like years. After cleaning the bathroom for a<br />

third time and watching what felt like all of Netflix’s<br />

catalogue, boredom set in.<br />

But, not for some.<br />

In Cadiz, Ohio, some turned to the heat of the kitchen<br />

for their passion projects.<br />

“I started around mid-March,” Lexi Corder, a<br />

sophomore majoring in dance and nutrition at The<br />

University of Alabama said. “I was really bored with<br />

all the extra time I had because of quarantine, and I’ve<br />

always loved baking, so one day I decided I wanted to<br />

learn how to make sugar cookies that were fancy like<br />

the ones you buy in the store. I looked up a recipe and<br />

went from there.”<br />

Corder has since created all different kinds of themed<br />

cookies, like beach themed and even personalized<br />

batches. The unforeseen downside? Ironically, it’s time<br />

management.<br />

“I’m bad at time management,” Corder said. “When<br />

you mix that with<br />

being a perfectionist,<br />

it’s the perfect storm.<br />

I have had cookies<br />

take me from six plus<br />

hours to two days to<br />

frost because of how<br />

detailed they are!”<br />

Corder began to sell<br />

her cookies through<br />

social media (Cookies<br />

and Creations by<br />

Lexi), which is the<br />

icing on the cookie.<br />

But, as states lift Stay<br />

at Home Orders, life<br />

is starting up again.<br />

As quickly as these<br />

passions start, they<br />

might come to an end.<br />

“Once school starts<br />

back in the fall my free<br />

time will be a lot more<br />

limited, I’ll probably<br />

still bake every once<br />

in a while, but I’m not<br />

sure I’ll continue to<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue<br />

sell them,” she said.<br />

[ 38 ]

A sweet twist on an otherwise dull past couple of<br />

months.<br />

Down South in Mobile, Alabama, others turned<br />

to a business approach to pass the time.<br />

“I started investing with the stock market about<br />

late May,” Preston Phillips, a sophomore majoring<br />

in nursing at the University of Alabama said.<br />

“I got into stocks because of my father. He’s a<br />

businessman and has always talked about stocks<br />

before but never really introduced me to them.<br />

I decided to pick it up and see what the hype is<br />

about. I downloaded the app Robinhood,” Phillips<br />

continues to joke that he’s on his road to millions.<br />

Robinhood is a free-trading app that lets investors<br />

trade stocks, options and cryptocurrency without<br />

paying commissions or fees. While investing is a<br />

more costly approach to avoiding boredom, it can<br />

become a great investment in the long run.<br />

“I found this tiny penny stock at the lowest<br />

point, that was only worth .33 cents,” Phillips said,<br />

“I invested a lot of money into it and had a gut<br />

feeling it would do me good. About a month and a<br />

half later, that tiny penny stock turned to $2.20.”<br />

He traded his stock quickly, making a profit of<br />

over 300% from the total amount he bought them<br />

for.<br />

“As an extreme extrovert, I was craving human<br />

interaction with friends during the quarantine. I<br />

struggled with trying to find happiness in staying<br />

home,” he said.<br />

As the days seem to blend together and drag out,<br />

it can become harder to wake up every morning<br />

and get things done. While passion projects can<br />

bring joy in such hard times, there can still be<br />

setbacks.<br />

“Stocks are very picky and you could be profiting<br />

$100 one minute then lose every penny the next,”<br />

Phillips explained. “The thing about stocks is, it’s<br />

really an educated guess. <strong>No</strong> one knows the secret<br />

behind which companies will boom overnight or<br />

which ones will plummet.”<br />

With stock trading being such a risky and<br />

expensive activity, it can be intimidating. But with<br />

all new things, thorough research and practice<br />

make perfect.<br />

“My biggest advice would be to do research<br />

on potential stocks you are looking at,” Phillips<br />

said.“Check their past record, especially how they<br />

are dealing with the pandemic. There are tons of<br />

videos on YouTube to help beginners. Anyone can<br />

invest, but not everyone wants to put in the effort<br />

to research before committing to something.”<br />

Others have taken their passions outside.<br />

Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Ebonie Rollins,<br />

a senior majoring in nursing at the University<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue<br />

[ 39 ]

[ 40 ]

[ 41 ]<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

of Alabama, has taken to the blacktop and<br />

brought back a groovy ‘70s trend.<br />

“I began rollerskating to stay in shape<br />

and become more in tune with nature and<br />

spirituality,” Rollins said. “It’s easily become<br />

a long lost hobby that is often the excitement<br />

that makes my day.<br />

Rollins was working in the Emergency<br />

Department as a scribe, someone who<br />

specializes in charting physician-patient<br />

encounters, but she had to end her experience<br />

early due to COVID-19. With extra time on<br />

her hands, she found herself reliving old<br />

memories and hobbies.<br />

“Skating has always been an important<br />

aspect in my community,” she said. “Growing<br />

up, my younger siblings and I would go to allnight<br />

skate on New Year’s Eve and skate all<br />

night with friends. Even though it was for a<br />

short moment, the memories last a lifetime.<br />

It was a must to revive an old excitement<br />

in my life and I must say, it has made my<br />

spiritual journey easier.”<br />

It seems that while in quarantine old habits<br />

have started back up, both good and bad, but<br />

thankfully for Rollins, roller skating helped<br />

her become more adventurous.<br />

“Skating is pure fun. It gives me the<br />

opportunity to enjoy being outside again,”<br />

she said. “I also find myself finding new<br />

places to skate which adds to the curiosity of<br />

the different settings.”<br />

Even with being shut inside for nearly two<br />

months, people still find a way to be negative<br />

about others’ passions.<br />

“At this moment the only set back I have<br />

is definitely finding a good area to enjoy<br />

without judgment,” Rollins said. “I find<br />

myself getting both positive and negative<br />

judgments because people are not as active<br />

as before.”<br />

Even with the negativity COVID-19<br />

has caused, Rollins still remains positive,<br />

encouraging others to join her, “I do offer<br />

that people join me rather than judge and<br />

step out on bravery again.”<br />

With COVID-19 causing us to adapt to new<br />

ways of life, the one thing that hasn’t changed<br />

is the passion we have for things that make<br />

us happy. During this time of uncertainty<br />

and chaos, take it upon yourself to try that<br />

new activity or hobby you’ve always thought<br />

about. You finally have the time to do it.<br />

[ 42 ]

WOMXN<br />




T<br />

, oday I found myself watching Nanette, a comedy<br />

special on Netflix by Hannah Gadsby. Gadsby is a<br />

gay woman who grew up in Tasmania, Australia<br />

in the ‘90s – when homosexuality was still considered<br />

illegal. Gadsby tells her story in the form of a paradoxical<br />

comedy routine guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.<br />

This, however, is not about Gadsby’s show, this is about the<br />

message that I heard in the last ten minutes of the special.<br />

In the final minutes of the comedy routine, Gadsby<br />

says, “I will not allow my story to be destroyed. What<br />

I would have done to have heard a story like mine…<br />

to feel less alone. I believe that we could paint a better<br />

world if we learned to see it from all perspectives.”<br />

The idea of seeing all perspectives or the understanding<br />

of all perspectives brought to mind intersectionality,<br />

particularly intersectionality as it stands for womxn.<br />

Intersectionality, as defined by Merriam-Webster<br />

dictionary, is “the complex, cumulative manner in which<br />

the effects of different forms of discrimination combine,<br />

overlap, or intersect.” Comparably, intersectional<br />

feminism is the understanding that different forms<br />

of gender discrimination differ for womxn of varying<br />

intersectional identities.<br />

[ 43 ]

Each one of us holds multiple identities that tie<br />

us to who we are and how the world sees us. These<br />

physical and social frameworks can bring communities<br />

together, make people feel connected and allow us to be<br />

celebrated.<br />

Each and every one of us hold multiple identities that<br />

tie us to who we are and how the world sees us. These<br />

physical and social frameworks can bring communities<br />

together, make people feel connected and allow us to be<br />

celebrated.<br />

Each one of us holds multiple identities that tie us to<br />

who we are and how the world sees us. These physical<br />

and social frameworks can bring communities together,<br />

make people feel connected, and allow us to be<br />

celebrated.<br />

However, what happens when these identities cause<br />

tension, anger or even guilt?<br />

In New Jersey, Reginah Mako, a 22 year old Rutgers<br />

graduate, first learned the term intersectionality in a<br />

gender studies class. However, Mako has felt the effects<br />

of intersectionality her entire life.<br />

“I knew what [intersectionality] felt like,” Mako said.<br />

“I just couldn’t articulate it.”<br />

Mako identifies as a young person of color – both<br />

biracial and Black – who recognizes her womxnhood<br />

but knows that she does not necessarily fit into a gender<br />

category.<br />

“I want people to know that identity isn’t finite,”<br />

Mako said. “It can be expanded and it’s okay to change<br />

your identity.”<br />

Mako is not the only person interviewed who<br />

understands the importance of recognizing<br />

intersectionality.<br />

Jessica Savage is a 23 year old University of Vermont<br />

graduate. Savage identifies as a gay, white womxn who<br />

struggles with both anxiety and an eating disorder.<br />

Savage wants to make it clear: she holds a tremendous<br />

amount of privilege when it comes to intersectionality<br />

and intersectional feminism.<br />

“I experience comparably mild obstacles in my daily<br />

life because of my mental illness, but my [disadvantaged]<br />

identities are practically invisible,” she wrote. “That<br />

means I can move through my daily life with ease from<br />

the external world.”<br />

Savage tries to think about her privilege in the context<br />

of the events happening in the nation right now. She<br />

recognizes how her white privilege is coming to light<br />

after the recent killings of George Flloyd and Breonna<br />

Taylor at the hands of police officers.<br />

“I am living everyday thinking… how, in white rural<br />

Vermont... I have some fear that I can be vulnerable out<br />

in the middle of nowhere,” she said. “I am not deadafraid<br />

that my life could end if a white homeowner sees<br />

me in their yard. “<br />

Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garze discussed<br />

intersectionality and its importance in the BLM<br />

movement with Ms. Magazine in 2017.<br />

“I think there needs to be a deep dive into<br />

intersectionality and relations of power.<br />

Intersectionality has been around for a long time and<br />

has resurged as a core principle of what movements<br />

need to be effective,” Garze states.<br />

When it comes to relations of power from a<br />

healthcare perspective, Skye Allen, a New Jersey<br />

native and 2020 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast<br />

University understands all too well what it means to<br />

be a womxn seeking care in a world dominated by<br />

stereotypes.<br />

Allen, who identifies as a straight, white, disabled<br />

woman was diagnosed with major depressive<br />

disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and seizures<br />

at age 17. She has also faced a recent diagnosis<br />

of both fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease and<br />

dysautonomia, which affects the body’s nerves.<br />

Allen notes that the American Disabilities Act, a<br />

civil rights law that prohibits the discrimination of<br />

people with disabilities, was only recently established<br />

in 1990.<br />

“Unfortunately, the world doesn’t take too kindly<br />

to those with disabilities,” she said. “There is a big<br />

stigma around what a disabled person looks like.”<br />

Allen wants people to understand the implications<br />

of being a disabled womxn based on her experiences.<br />

“As a woman, my healthcare journey has been more<br />

difficult than if I were a man,” Allen said. “Oftentimes,<br />

doctors disregard or invalidate women’s pain, simply<br />

because we are women. On average, it takes women<br />

years to get a diagnosis for a condition than if they<br />

were a man.”<br />

John Zambarano, a 22 year old queer, nonbinary,<br />

spiritual nonreligious, white person, who uses they/<br />

them pronouns, is no stranger to the importance of<br />

inclusion in varying communities.<br />

They urge people to approach others and their<br />

communities rather than make assumptions about<br />

their identities.<br />

“My communities and other marginalized<br />

communities are full of love,” they said. “We deserve<br />

the same level of compassion, empathy and support<br />

that we give.”<br />

John’s words resonate closely with what Gadsby<br />

relays in her special; that every community is worthy<br />

of understanding.<br />

“To be rendered powerless does not destroy your<br />

humanity,” Gadsby said. “Your resilience is your<br />

humanity.”<br />

<strong>No</strong> matter how many times womxn and other<br />

marginalized communities are stereotyped, attacked<br />

or rendered powerless, we will be there to pick each<br />

other back up. Despite our differences, we all share<br />

one commonality:<br />

Resilience.<br />

[ 44 ]

With an infectious virus spreading quickly<br />

in our country, and in a time of intense<br />

political and social upheaval, uncertainty<br />

permeates the atmosphere of the United<br />

States. In these times, people – especially womxn –<br />

desperately seek solace. In Birmingham, Alabama, and<br />

from the comfort of their homes, two inspired young<br />

womxn have created just that.<br />

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) alumni<br />

and best friends Samra Michael and Alana Bauman<br />

co-founded the podcast SheWellRead in hopes of<br />

“empowering womxn to invest in themselves and each<br />

other.” Inspired by the Comedy Central sitcom Broad<br />

City, Michael wanted the podcast to serve as a safe<br />

space for “girls who want to stay more informed and<br />

read more.” Though the podcast is by and for womxn,<br />

the duo states that their platform is open to everybody<br />

– including “men who want to learn.”<br />

Each episode , such as “The One Where We Talk<br />

About Friendships,” has a title that references popular<br />

relics of girl culture: Friends, Mean Girls, etc. With<br />

episodes ranging from 20 minutes to over an hour long,<br />

they’re perfect for a quick car ride to the grocery store<br />

or a lengthy study session. This episode in particular<br />

features the first chapter of the autobiography Text Me<br />

When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer – a homage<br />

to the significant female friendships that shaped<br />

Schaefer’s womanhood. Bauman and Michael share<br />

their opinions about “mean girls,” the origin of the<br />

concept of “friendship” and discuss how these themes<br />

affect the dynamics of female friendships today.<br />

“It’s like in Congress when all of these men are making<br />

decisions about womxn’s bodies,” Michael stated, when<br />

discussing a philosopher who believed womxn were not<br />

“skilled enough” to maintain friendships.<br />

With a quickly-growing platform, the duo does not<br />

hesitate from expressing overtly political views.<br />

“I’m personally not afraid to get political, because we<br />

have facts and experiences to back up what we believe,”<br />

Michael said.<br />

This could be concluded based on their recent video<br />

By Christine Thompson<br />

[Photos provided by She Well Read]<br />

[ 45 ]

posted to SheWellRead’s IGTV. “Question for The<br />

Culture” is the first episode of the SheWellRead IGTV<br />

series addressing the current state of the country. The<br />

ten minute virtual discussion with Lacey Woodroof,<br />

founder of basic.clothing company where Michael<br />

works, tackles white supremacy, the Black Lives Matter<br />

movement and sustaining small businesses during<br />

COVID-19.<br />

“That was me kind of bringing that [the series] to<br />

the table, and Lana was like ‘I think we need a second<br />

opinion’ and that was good we have a balance,” Michael<br />

stated.<br />

This balanced dynamic is apparent early in the<br />

interview. If opposites attract, then these two are<br />

magnets. Bauman, who majored in accounting at UAB,<br />

credits their success to this partnership.<br />

“Samra is very much the creative, stylistic person …<br />

I’m a very structured person, like, ‘let’s have a plan, let’s<br />

map this out … our chemistry really works,” Bauman<br />

stated.<br />

Michael also feels that, pragmatically, their polar<br />

personalities make for an excellent team.<br />

“I think the fact that she’s an accounting major and<br />

I’m a marketing major … that’s really all you need to run<br />

a business,” Michael said. “It worked out kinda well in<br />

a weird way.”<br />

The conversation shifts to our childhoods as we begin<br />

to discuss the experiences that shaped us as young<br />

womxn. Michael shared how her upbringing created a<br />

unique set of struggles that the average Alabamian has,<br />

most likely, never experienced.<br />

“I am a first-generation American living this double<br />

life where I didn’t feel comfortable being my real self for<br />

a very long time,” Michael says. “I felt as though I had<br />

to fit into the bubble … I mean, we all know how Black<br />

womxn are perceived … It got really bad in middle and<br />

high school, to the point where I didn’t have a will to<br />

live anymore,” Michael said.“But getting to college and<br />

meeting Black womxn who cared about me … and being<br />

accepted for who I was, changed my whole perspective.<br />

But I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t<br />

go through those things.”<br />

Michael’s experience isn’t uncommon among Black<br />

girls and first-generation Americans. Feelings of<br />

“otherness” due to the culture clash between white<br />

America, and Blackness/foreign cultures of color can<br />

lead to serious identity issues. However, surrounding<br />

yourself with other Black womxn can make the journey<br />

much easier. Bauman relates and shared how her<br />

struggle with the mental health issues in her family led<br />

her to Birmingham.<br />

“My mom and I were super close growing up and when<br />

it came to my senior year she had a [bipolar] episode…<br />

I left the situation with my mom when I was seventeen<br />

and moved in with my dad here in Alabama… I didn’t<br />

have any friends coming into [UAB] or know anybody<br />

from Birmingham…the [friends] became my family.”<br />

Unbeknownst to many, Black female friendships are<br />

the very lifeline of Black girls everywhere. In a world<br />

where our existence meets at the intersection of two of<br />

the most marginalized identities, oftentimes, we only<br />

have each other.<br />

“I also had this identity crisis issue,” Bauman said.<br />

“I always felt like I was trying to conform. You lose<br />

yourself for sure.”<br />

Given the current state of the world, many might<br />

think they feel this sense of uncertainty that Bauman<br />

describes. However, for Black womxn, the search for<br />

identity has always been our reality. Creative outlets,<br />

friendships, and passion projects bring joy in times<br />

riddled with strife and political tensions. Their place<br />

in our society should not be underestimated. For<br />

womxn everywhere (and men who “just want to learn”)<br />

SheWellRead serves as a warm, funny, and dependable<br />

place of comfort.<br />

Every time you tune in, you will undoubtedly be<br />

reminded of the unwavering resilience and vulnerability<br />

of the young Black female voice. Their soft laughs, mild<br />

disagreements and heartwarming stories will elicit<br />

feelings of gratitude and empathy for the womxn in<br />

your life, and the womxn to come.<br />

[ 46 ]

[ 47 ]

[ 48 ]




s someone who is a cis woman and dresses<br />

fairly feminine, I have never personally had<br />

anyone misgender me, nor do I have the<br />

right to say I understand what having my<br />

gender misidentified feels like. People who are cis,<br />

trans and nonbinary are misgendered quite often.<br />

However, when a cis person who may dress more<br />

androgenous is misgendered, it may not impact<br />

them in the same way it would a trans person.<br />

When people assume pronouns, and oftentimes the<br />

gender associated with those pronouns, they risk<br />

misidentifying someone’s gender, which can put that<br />

person in an uncomfortable position. People who are<br />

trans or nonbinary often struggle with accepting their<br />

identity because of negative social interactions with<br />

friends, family and strangers.<br />

Merriam-Webster states that a pronoun is “any<br />

of a small set of words in a language that are used<br />

as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and whose<br />

referents are named or understood in the context.”<br />

These substitutes are commonly attached to a specific<br />

gender but can be harmful to someone if their<br />

pronouns are assumed incorrectly.<br />

With LGBTQ+ friends that act as supportive allies<br />

for our trans and nonbinary friends, I have grown<br />

up reminding myself to try to use correct pronouns<br />

to avoid accidentally insulting someone or bringing<br />

up past trauma. Even though I know sharing my<br />

pronouns would help nonbinary and trans people be<br />

more comfortable, my cis privilege often makes me<br />

forget.<br />

“When you assume pronouns, you are implying<br />

that gender expression and gender identity<br />

intertwine, and that’s not really it,” Ally Mia<br />

Karle, a sophomore film major at New York<br />

University said. “It’s just like you wouldn’t assume<br />

someone’s name.”<br />

When cis allies normalize identifying their own<br />

pronouns and asking others for theirs, it can<br />

make people who identify as trans or nonbinary<br />

more comfortable. When pronouns are willingly<br />

introduced, non-binary and trans people do not<br />

have to initiate the conversation by asking that their<br />

pronouns be used correctly.<br />

Alex Holliman, a 19 year old from Birmingham,<br />

Alabama, identifies himself as trans but also<br />

nonbinary. Holliman explained that he identifies<br />

as a man but not in an opposite-of-woman<br />

way, because gender is a really personal thing<br />

to him. He believes strongly in breaking any<br />

rules people try to put on his gender identity<br />

or presentation.<br />

[ 49 ]<br />

[Photographer] Sarah Hartsell

“People kind of forget trans people exist,” Holliman,<br />

who is often misgendered, said. “When a cis person<br />

sees an afab [assigned female at birth] person who<br />

presents masculine they assume ‘lesbian’, and that’s<br />

not me. It’s two aspects of my identity being mistaken<br />

at once, my gender and sexuality.”<br />

This kind of assumption can be degrading to<br />

someone’s self-esteem. Sarah Nelson, a junior film<br />

major at NYU, suggests that cis allies can help when<br />

they make introducing their pronouns habitual<br />

to make others feel included, rather than making<br />

assumptions about others’ gender identity.<br />

“We have to be active allies. If we stand to the side<br />

and do nothing, we become bystanders,” Nelson said.<br />

Many conservative platforms joke that in today’s<br />

society, people continue to change their identity at the<br />

drop of a hat or identify as genders that do not exist.<br />

To combat these negative comments, it is critical for<br />

cis allies to educate others as well as practice using<br />

correct pronouns regularly. Listen when trans and<br />

nonbinary friends say how to make them feel accepted<br />

and comfortable in different settings. It is just as, if<br />

not more important, that we do not assume what they<br />

need for us to support them. In previous discussions<br />

I’ve had with trans people, they’ve suggested that the<br />

best way to go forward after incorrectly assuming<br />

someone’s gender is to quickly correct yourself then<br />

move on. If cis allies make a big deal out of correcting<br />

themselves when they misspeak it makes the person<br />

misidentified more uncomfortable. The next time a<br />

cis ally uses a gender-specific pronoun when referring<br />

to someone, make sure they use the correct pronoun<br />

to reinforce they know how the trans or nonbinary<br />

person identifies.<br />

“That when a trans person has to correct someone<br />

on their pronouns, that action leads to the trans<br />

person outing themselves,” Nick Mueller, a junior at<br />

Auburn University said. This not only puts the person<br />

who is trans in an awkward situation, but<br />

also a potentially dangerous one if someone<br />

responds violently to this information.<br />

It can be an uncertain time to be trans as<br />

protections in place for this community are<br />

at risk legally. If someone insists on using<br />

a trans or nonbinary person’s pronouns<br />

incorrectly on purpose, it is important as<br />

allies to continue to use the correct pronouns<br />

to reinforce that the trans/nonbinary<br />

person’s gender identity is valid. Cis allies<br />

have the power to continue fighting for trans<br />

and nonbinary rights because if we stand to<br />

the side, we become the problem.<br />

[ 50 ]



ALICE<br />

LENS<br />


VOLUME 6<br />

[ 51 ]<br />

[Photographers] Alexis Blue and Hannah Saad

Alongside the protestors’ call for justice, the<br />

violent noise of colliding bodies in the searing<br />

heat, the hiss of tear gas and the crack of<br />

rubber bullets from the barrel of a gun, few<br />

noticed the stray clicks of a camera capturing history.<br />

Those frozen frames of tangible anger soon covered<br />

newspapers, magazines, websites and social media,<br />

captivating thousands with images depicting the<br />

nation’s unrest.<br />

Yet for some photographers, taking these photos isn’t<br />

about gaining notoriety.<br />

“We’re not here to make beautiful images,” Taylor<br />

Gerlach, a University of Georgia senior and photo editor<br />

of UGA’s newspaper The Red & Black said. “We’re<br />

here to tell a story that needs to be told and honor the<br />

humanity of the people in that story.”<br />

It is necessary to tell other people’s stories, Gerlach<br />

said, pointing out how journalism is under attack for<br />

occasions when the news was “skewed.”<br />

“For me, [photos are] like a very accurate portrayal<br />

of what is happening,” she said. “And I think photos<br />

have a lot more power sometimes to show emotion,<br />

connection and humanity.”<br />

Angela Wang, a University of Texas senior and UT<br />

Athletics student assistant, said protests must be<br />

photographed so what is happening is not disregarded.<br />

“People fifty years from now could say [protestors]<br />

were throwing rocks at the police and that’s why they<br />

were fired on by rubber bullets, [but] the photos will<br />

overwhelmingly show that the police misconduct came<br />

first,” Wang said.<br />

Hannah Saad, a senior at The University of Alabama,<br />

The Crimson White’s photo editor and a contributing<br />

photographer at <strong>Alice</strong> Magazine, said it is easy for<br />

people to ignore words, but not photography.<br />

“When you can see mass crowds gathering for Black<br />

Lives Matter that hits differently than someone tweeting<br />

like ‘oh there’s a big group in front of the courthouse,’”<br />

she said. “I can show you what’s going on through<br />

photography better than someone can really type out<br />

what’s going on.”<br />

Saad said photographs better highlighted how many<br />

protestors’ wanted to speak up during the Black Lives<br />

Matter movement.<br />

“People connect better with seeing human emotion<br />

from people at these protests and seeing the hurt they’ve<br />

been through,” she said.<br />

Daniel Roth, the digital content producer in the<br />

Tuscaloosa Mayor’s office of public information, agreed<br />

with Saad’s sentiment, sighting how photography was<br />

“an incredibly powerful tool.”<br />

“We saw the power that the video of George Floyd had<br />

and what that did to the hearts of our country,” he said.<br />

“I think photography is in the same line and can be just<br />

as powerful. [It] can get you outside of your own bubble<br />

and [help you] see that things are happening outside<br />

your world.”<br />

Ian Hoppe, a managing producer of news video at<br />

Alabama Media Group, summed the importance of<br />

photographing protests up when he said, “It’s history,<br />

man.”<br />

Hoppe said when he first got into media, he learned<br />

from a seasoned reporter that journalists “don’t [just]<br />

Google [information] – you go out and get the story,<br />

and you become part of the record.” He said it made<br />

him realize sometimes the story doesn’t exist and<br />

journalists have to pull the pieces together using photos<br />

as punctuation to a story that becomes the record of an<br />

event.<br />

“It’s a difficult, important and rewarding role to have<br />

in the world,” he said.<br />

While getting the story, photographers have witnessed<br />

and felt the effects of the protest.<br />

“The best photo is the one [where] you’re closest to the<br />

action,” Hoppe said. “That’s always been the case. The<br />

best photographers, video journalists, photojournalists<br />

... they’re not standing a block away. They’re in the<br />

action, and sometimes that can be harrowing.”<br />

Hoppe said he saw colleagues who were attacked at<br />

protests. For him, the protest on June 3, in Huntsville,<br />

Alabama, was particularly harrowing.<br />

Hoppe said the protest took place in Big Spring Park<br />

and was peaceful until it was shut down earlier than<br />

expected. While still marching, the protestors and<br />

Hoppe found themselves in a standoff against police<br />

officers suited in riot gear armed with rubber bullets,<br />

batons and tear gas launchers.<br />

“I had never been tear gassed before then either, so<br />

I was anticipating what that would be like. Turns out,<br />

it’s pretty awful,” he said. “They unleashed a lot of tear<br />

gas, and it was just absolute chaos. I saw kind of the<br />

very intense power of a police department in the 21st<br />

century unleashed on a group of citizens, which is a<br />

pretty moving moment.”<br />

Wang said she witnessed many unsettling moments<br />

while at protests in Austin, Texas.<br />

She recalled a protest where she saw a woman collapse<br />

and be carried away by another protestor. A few days<br />

later, she found out the extent of what happened to her.<br />

According to KXAN Austin, the woman had been<br />

sitting on the ground when officers shot her with rubber<br />

bullets in the stomach, back and back of her head.<br />

“There was absolutely no reason for that,” she said.<br />

Yet, while there are harrowing moments, some<br />

photographers experienced moments that were<br />

impactful in other ways.<br />

“I went to the first protest in Birmingham, and the<br />

energy here is always very powerful,” Roth said. “So, it’s<br />

[ 52 ]

always a powerful experience to be at any sort of rally<br />

or protest in Birmingham knowing that you’re standing<br />

on the ground that people fought very hard for civil and<br />

human rights.”<br />

Roth said while at the protest, the photograph he<br />

liked the most was of two young men holding posters<br />

and shouting.<br />

“It’s an image of hope for me. It’s the next generation<br />

participating in something that’s been going on since<br />

the beginning of the United States,” he said.<br />

John Watson, a freelance photographer and Spain<br />

Park High School senior, recalled the morning after the<br />

riot in Birmingham, Alabama. He’d gone out to take<br />

photos downtown and saw a homeless man sitting near<br />

the confederate monument picking up trash from the<br />

night before.<br />

Jasmine Kennedy, another Birmingham freelancer,<br />

said her most memorable moment was during a protest<br />

when a little girl held up a sign that said, “Stop killing<br />

our dads.”<br />

“It was definitely a gut punch,” she said. “To have<br />

a feeling of fear of knowing there’s a possibility my<br />

guardian will not return to me. It’s a feeling of trust on<br />

the ends of law enforcement surrounding our future.”<br />

From these moments that create lumps in throats<br />

and butterflies in stomachs, photographers are left with<br />

photos that linger long after the moment passes. More<br />

importantly, they recognize each moment’s historical<br />

implications.<br />

According to USA Today, there have been more than<br />

1,700 protests in the United States across all fifty states.<br />

“Just seeing the scale of things has been really<br />

different for me,” Wang said.<br />

She said she had seen protests in Austin before, but<br />

none with the momentum of the current movement. She<br />

described how the protests occupied multiple locations<br />

and somehow seemed to flow as one.<br />

“I’ve been really amazed at how global it has become,”<br />

Gerlach said.<br />

She said she was working on an article for UGA’s<br />

newspaper that compared images of the protests in<br />

Athens, Georgia now to prior years: 2012, 2014 and<br />

2016.<br />

Gerlach said in prior years the protests seemed to<br />

have a max of a hundred people who were primarily<br />

Black. After looking at photos from last weekend’s<br />

protest, she saw a diverse group of over 2,000 people.<br />

“It’s been really cool to see how large the movement<br />

has become and how widespread it is,” Gerlach said.<br />

“It’s like so many more people are waking up to the<br />

reality of the world we live in and [are] willing to fight<br />

for something, which is cool.”<br />

Hoppe expressed his amazement at the Black Lives<br />

Matter protests emerging in places like Uganda, Kenya<br />

and Bristol.<br />

“I don’t remember a movement having this kind of<br />

global impact,” he said. “The size of this movement has<br />

reached a pitch that I never thought I would see.”<br />

“Speaking of the context of history, we are walking in<br />

it, you know. It’s a really cool moment to know that you<br />

are in the middle of history; there’s nothing like that,”<br />

Hoppe said.<br />

Every day protestors call for justice, accountability<br />

and change, creating historical moments to be captured<br />

by photographers who wait on the front lines poised to<br />

apprehend the truth and leave it bare for all citizens to<br />

assess.<br />

“It’s been really cool to be a part of telling the<br />

history of this moment,” Gerlach said. “I can see how<br />

transformative this moment in history is going to be, so<br />

I’m really honored to be on the front lines and be able<br />

to have people who will share their stories with me and<br />

learn from the source.”<br />

[ 53 ]

[Photographer] Alexis Blue<br />

[ 54 ]

Stories across media<br />

hold power, and with<br />

that power comes the<br />

ability to spark change.<br />

Watching movies and miniseries<br />

is not going to be the act that<br />

transforms how racism is felt or<br />

understood, but these resources<br />

and works can alter people’s<br />

perspectives by educating viewers<br />

on the history of racism, police<br />

brutality and inequality. Take<br />

a look at our recommendations<br />

for stories that can push people<br />

past empathy and understanding<br />

to action.<br />

IF YOU LIKED 13TH,<br />


SEE US<br />

Ava DuVernay’s powerful<br />

storytelling abilities are on<br />

full display in two of her most<br />

thought-provoking works. A<br />

haunting documentary, 13th<br />

offers an in-depth analysis of<br />

how the modern prison system<br />

comes directly from slavery,<br />

while the miniseries When<br />

They See Us illustrates this<br />

systematic racism in a portrayal<br />

of the wrongful conviction of<br />

the Central Park Five.<br />





If you found yourself swept up<br />

in Moonlight’s moving story<br />

of a Black man’s struggle with<br />

sexuality and identity, then<br />

you’ll like If Beale Street Could<br />

Talk, in which lovers Fonny<br />

and Tish must prepare for the<br />

birth of their first child while<br />

Fonny is imprisoned for a<br />

rape he did not commit. Both<br />

are directed by Barry Jenkins,<br />

who addresses social and<br />

racial inequality with lyricism<br />

and poignancy.<br />





[ 55 ]





Two devastatingly relevant<br />

depictions of police brutality,<br />

Fruitvale Station tells the<br />

true story of the last day of<br />

Oscar Grant’s life before he is<br />

shot in the back by the BART<br />

police. The Hate U Give,<br />

based on the novel by Angie<br />

Thomas, details a young girl’s<br />

fight against racial injustice<br />

after her friend is gunned<br />

down by a police officer.<br />




Experience Spike Lee’s diverse<br />

directing abilities by following<br />

the comedy BlacKkKlansman<br />

with the drama Malcolm X. Lee<br />

paints two different portraits<br />

of two Black activists in these<br />

gripping historical tales.<br />


SELMA, TRY 12<br />


Those who appreciated the<br />

close examination of Martin<br />

Luther King Jr. and his<br />

movement in Alabama won’t<br />

be able to turn away from the<br />

visceral, brutal look at what<br />

life was really like for a slave<br />

in 12 Years a Slave. Both<br />

are based on true accounts<br />

and received multiple Oscar<br />

nominations, with 12 Years a<br />

Slave winning Best Picture<br />

in 2014.<br />



SPIKE LEE,<br />

HBO<br />







[ 56 ]


[ 57 ]<br />

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

[Back Cover Photographer] Hannah Saad [ 58 ]


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!