Alice Vol. 6 No. 1


Published by UA Student Media Summer 2020.

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[Cover Photographer] Hannah Saad

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

Volume 6 Issue 1

Volume 6 Issue 1

Volume 6 Issue 1

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

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[Photographer] Hannah Saad

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

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editor in chief

Annie Hollon

managing editor

Alexander Plant


Creative Director A’Neshia Turner

Design Editor Sarah Lumpkin

Assistant Design Editor Autumn Williams


Photo Editor Alexis Blue

Assistant Photo Editor Keely Brewer


Beauty Editor Christine Thompson

Fashion Editor Gabby Gervais

Lifestyle Editor Jennafer Bowman

Entertainment Editor Hannah Taylor

Food and Health Editor Lindsey Wilkinson

Market Editor Evan Edwards


Digital Director Ansley Segal

Social Media Editor Kendall Frisbee

Online Editor Brynna Mitcher

Youtube Editor Mae Frey


Kelsey Bridgeforth, Kaila Pouncy, Kaitlyn Gabaldon, Hailey Wilson, Farrah

Sanders, Sophia, Surrett, Jennafer Bowman, Olivia Bowman, Christine

Thompson, A’Neshia Turner, Sarah Hartsell, Jeffrey Kelly, Hannah Taylor,

Hannah Saad, Jonathan Knox, Kalei Burgess


Eboni Rollins, Kai O’Neill, Jacob Gorbis, Kaylin Flam, Gavin Hayes, Mia

Karle, Sarah Nelson, Alex Holliman, Sophy Mangana, Kristen Sentell,

Christian Thomas, Tamera Foster


Editorial Adviser Mark Mayfield

Advertising Julie Salter

Interim Director Traci Mitchell


Editorial and Advertising offices for Alice Magazine are located at 414 Campus Drive East,

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

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

Alabama. All content and design are produced by students in consultation with professional

staff advisers. All material contained herein, except advertising or where indicated otherwise,

is copyrighted © 2020 by Alice magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted without the

expressed, written permission of Alice magazine.

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hen I first

began writing

for Alice in 2018, I never

pictured myself in this role or in the world we

are currently in. I certainly never envisioned writing

my first “Letter From The Editor” from my childhood

bedroom and collaborating with the Alice team via

Zoom call either. However, I see this as an opportunity

rather than a hindrance for us to grow beyond the

Tuscaloosa city limits and reach out to college women

across the country, which we’ve already begun with this


Since our inception in 2015, we’ve worked diligently

to represent and tell the stories of college women and

have grown significantly since. Yet as we look back and

celebrate everything we have achieved, we have had to

take a good look at where we have failed our readers

and team. Alice has for a long time claimed to represent

all college women while our content showed otherwise.

We only represented a certain kind of woman then,

and as a magazine built by and for dynamic and

incredible women, that lack of representation changes

with the digital launch of Volume 6.

Our cover word is an apt representation of how I aim

to lead and encourage our contributors and readers. As

a publication, we will work even harder to find stories to

resonate with women from all walks of life, from BIPOC

individuals to members of the LGBTQ+ community

and beyond. Some of our contributors lent their own

life experiences and

beliefs to their wellresearched

articles, marked

with an Alice Opinion disclaimer, to allow their

voices to be a part of the stories they share. With the

launch of our advice and opinion columns “Ask Alice

and “Alice Asks,” we encourage you all to make your

voices heard and be open to discussing life’s difficult

questions so we can grow and learn together. We will

reach out to journalists and students from every corner

of the country to do what we can to represent every

view possible and tell stories that extend beyond the

Southeast and UA’s campus. We’re going to get real and

honest with the content we produce and share, and I

hope you’ll be honest and real with us, too.

Change starts with us all and hopefully these steps are

only the beginning of what we accomplish in the name of

celebrating womanhood and the college experience. I’m

honored to serve as the Editor in Chief of this magazine

for the mystery that is this upcoming school year and

hope we can all change for the better and for good.

Annie Hollon

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Change is Coming

Bursting my Bubble Town

Yays and Nays: LGBTQ+ Representation in Media

Black Mental Health

The Dismantling Period

On The Frontlines

Ask Alice/Alice Asks

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Pandemic Passion Projects

Intersectionality and the Resilience of Womxn

She Well Read

I Exist

Use My Pronouns

Black Lives Matter Through a Lens

If You Like This, Try This

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On May 26, 2020, George Floyd, a Black

man who was unarmed and pinned to

the ground by four police officers was

murdered. Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s

neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds.

Before Floyd’s final breath, he cried “please I can’t


Being Black is difficult in America and will be a

challenge for those to come. Young Black Americans

are tired of being treated as “animals” and “thugs.”

In order for them to fight, they use their words.

Black protestors speak from brokenness, strength and

experience. The words they speak on the front line are

true and are rooted by their ancestors. “Black Lives

Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “No Justice No Peace”

have been the chants for years and we are still saying them

today just with another black person’s name attached to it.

Though the cry for “Black Lives Matter” was already

present, the death of George Floyd amplified the movement.

Individuals from San Francisco to Atlanta created protests

for thousands of other people to come out and voice their

hatred of systematic racism and unlawful kills of African

American men and women in America.

It is not easy going to a protest knowing there are people out

there that do not want to hear what the Black people have to

say. Some people are willing to put African Americans in harm

just for uttering their truth. This generation is bold, unshakeable

and persistent. They urge others to speak out about the injustice

acts and tell the nation that silence is too an issue. Like the ones

before, this era is tired, and it’s demanding change on the frontlines

of every protest.

“As a Black woman, it is important to me that my voice is heard

and the voices of people like me are heard,” said Love Lundy, a

freshman majoring in political science at Spelman College and one

of many young Black activists. “Not just as a Black woman, but as a

queer woman and a disabled woman.”

She participated in the protests in Huntsville, Alabama, and Leonia,

New Jersey and is known for her determination to reflect her opinions.

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

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

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[Photographers] Alexis Blue and Hannah Saad

“I have been an activist all my life,” she said, “I know

that a lot of the time when I am at a protest or a rally, I

feel called to say something. If I have the opportunity I

will do that.”

Lundy organized, advertised and promoted the

marches in Huntsville and New Jersey for other likeminded

individuals to become known and speak on the

gripes happening in America. When she spoke at her

first protest in Huntsville someone yelled out “bomb.”

They managed to set up a Bluetooth speaker in the area

of the protest and play a recording of a bomb ticking.

This interruption caused panic and dispersion. Lundy

fled before the police tear-gassed the protestors in


“I do not know what it is, but police most definitely

become more aggressive at night and when there

is a large group of people,” said Elana Daniels, a

sophomore at The University of Alabama. “It’s like they

are intimidated. It should not be a normalized thing

to protest for black lives. You see people joke about it.

People you thought you knew are backing the police and

the media is exploiting the situation.”

On May 31st, she and 2,000 other people marched

on Kelley Avenue and NE 36th Street with their signs

and flyers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The protest she

attended was not only for the murder of George Floyd

but also for the murder of Isaiah Lewis, a 17 year old

mentally ill black man gunned by the police. During the

day children attended, the community sang songs and

State Rep. Ajay Pittman said encouraging statements to

the crowd of peaceful protestors.

The protest was overwhelming to Daniels, who was

“on edge” for the entirety of the march. She watched as

officers patrolled the area and became more aggressive

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

something was going to happen to her. There were two

groups of protestors. While Daniels was a part of the

group protesting in front of city hall, the other group

was on the highway. Oklahoma issued a 10 p.m. curfew.

As people were attempting to leave, the group from the

highway converged with her group of protestors.

Police proceeded to use rubber bullets and tear gas to

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disperse the wide group of protestors.

This country has been in the crisis of protesting

for Black human rights for centuries, however, this

generation has not. This era is not settling for the bare

minimum anymore nor are they letting people take

action for things that they can fix.

“There is nothing more powerful and nothing more

efficient than doing the physical groundwork,” said

Lauren Perry, a freshman at Syracuse University.

Perry attended the protest in Atlanta, Georgia, and

demanded the application of physical pressure. There

is more to do than just sign petitions and ballots.

“Protest brings about more immediate change,”

she said. “There are people who do not care and are

compliant, people who do not want to put themselves

out there or be an activist.”

This is a call to action. If we do not go out there and

voice our acrimony then no one will. We are building

society in a positive direction once we take physical,

meaningful actions.

“We are past awareness,” she said.

Silence does not help the movement or Black

existences progress. Speak up and out about the issues

that are present in America. Stand and fight systematic

oppression. Bringing more attention to crucial problems

will cause those in power to have a change in heart and

to create a pavement of equality for African Americans.

“The Black Lives Matter movement as a whole is

about the visibility of all Black lives,” Perry said. “This

time around compared to the civil rights movement we

are making sure Black women and the Black LGBTQ+

members are not being left behind. It’s not taking away

from the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s making

sure that in the modern movement everyone has their

seat at the table.”

Understand, that if this was not a real issue then people

would not protest. Black men and women are being

killed by police officers every day. The only difference in

these cases is that they were recorded. What about the

killings that were not recorded? What happens to those

officers? What justice do those families get? Protesting

will give us those answers.

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[Photographer] Alexis Blue

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was 18 the first time I was called an activist. This

was a big deal to me because, in my own little world,

it has always been one of my biggest dreams to be

part of something so powerful, so influential and

earn that title from others. To be considered an activist

always seemed considerably distant from my reach. In

my mind, it struck me as an exclusive, card-carrying

social club where only the most diligent of the socially

active would be allowed in and accepted. Thinking of

myself as an activist seemed remarkably unconvincing

until it simply wasn’t anymore.

Growing up, I spent the majority of my childhood and

adolescence in two small Georgia towns: Fayetteville

and Peachtree City. I, a young Black woman, roamed

in predominantly white spaces, driving around towns

of small, family-owned, decorated shops and dodging

trails paved for golf carts driven by white, upper-class

families. Although my experience was not significantly

diverse until I entered high school, I’ve always seen and

recognized the importance and the value of differences

in others from all backgrounds, and it was easy to see and

accept the contrast in them whenever I left my bubble.

Throughout my youth, I knew holding these values

close to my heart were extremely important in order to

simply be a kind person, but I never knew exactly how

much they would affect me growing into the young adult

that I am today. I am no stranger to empathy, as it is

something I have possessed an overwhelming amount

of since I was a child. My family can attest that I was

always rescuing stray neighborhood cats and creating a

positive kind of trouble at school by speaking my mind

for what was right for myself and others.

When Trayvon Martin was unjustly murdered, I was

ten years old. As a young child, I couldn’t process why

the world had gone up in flames. At ten years old, I had

to learn why I couldn’t stay out after the streetlights

came on, walk to the neighborhood convenience store

and why the “But Mom, my other friends’ parents let

them do it!” argument was no longer effective. At ten

years old, I had to learn that carelessly strolling in

the wrong areas could get me killed. At 12 years old,

I witnessed the world harbor a similar rage with the

death of Michael Brown, and at 12 years old, I had to

learn this was going to keep happening.

As I grew physically and intellectually, I acquired a

strong passion for social justice, and that passion grew

stronger with each passing day. Between then and now,

I have watched the lives of people who look just like me

come and go with a temporary public eruption of anger

to follow. Each outrage, each speech, each protest and

chant being more intense than the last without proper

consequences given to the murderer to match. I’ve seen

this on television, the internet, and in books for years.

Looking in the mirror, I often wondered where society

fit me in and exactly how much I was truly valued in

these white spaces I called home. Additionally, it

became apparent to me how the murders of the very

Black women I resemble never get the same attention

in the media. Black women carry a very similar burden

to our Black men, yet still fight to be included and

protected by a cause that is supposed to embody us

conjointly when we proclaim “Black Lives Matter.” This

creates an extremely heavy weight to be carried, but a

weight often carried with such grace by Black women

everywhere. Alas, I digress. Watching people of any and

all causes organize spaces for their voices to be heard

in big cities across the nation was never foreign to the

American people. It’s so common and such a crucial

part of our history that it’s something we all learned

about as early as elementary school. Revolution is, and

always will be, in our blood. When you think about it,

Americans have obtained almost all the rights we have

today by protesting. We, the people, have watched this

happen many times throughout history, whether it be

our fellow workers, our strong women, our beautiful

LGBTQ+ community, and our people of color. The

only difference is that Black and Brown people are still

fighting an ancient problem in a modern world.

I never thought I’d live through something quite as

massive as what transpired after the tragic murder of

George Perry Floyd Jr. I always imagined protests being

reserved for people of giant cities; modern people who

work in big buildings and finally decide to abandon

them in order to storm the wide, shiny streets and

walkways leading to state buildings to fight federal laws

and injustice. Living in my tiny bubble town, I never

expected to see something like this in my city. Even

though I longed to be part of something so powerful,

I had never attended a protest until the death of

George Floyd. The week following the sad day of May

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25, 2020, I remained glued to social media, watching

every city across the country, and eventually the world,

explode one by one in protest. I couldn’t sit still or

sleep. I watched people spewing hate at those who were

simply pleading to be protected. I watched all of this

happening through every screen in my household. My

heart broke day in and day out. When my electronic

screens transformed into watching through my own car

windows, I realized that people in my town were just

as outraged as I was. It became all too real for me. My

bubble town had finally burst.

Up until this point, I had acted from the safety of my

room. I had signed petitions, shared resources, donated

money, written letters, yet nothing felt like I was doing

enough. I felt scared, angry and sad wondering if I

should be out there with my fellow citizens experiencing

the same pain and fighting the same fight. As a firstgeneration

pre-law college student, I was terrified

about how my current actions, or lack thereof, would

affect my future. What if some person out there holding

potential future authority over me doesn’t see things

the same way I do when I speak my mind? What if I say

the wrong thing? What if my lack of action hurts me,

too? After much deliberation about the potential risks,

I decided that I owed it to my ancestors, the deceased,

my little Black brother, and myself to stand in unity

with others and raise my voice. Besides, I came to the

conclusion that I don’t belong in any place of business

where my existence is not safe or valued. I watched

my small, predominantly white town transform into a

beacon of diverse unity, something I never thought I’d

ever see in my life. When I arrived to join the peaceful

protest organized by local residents, I had no idea what

to expect to see, but I do know that I didn’t expect what

I saw. I saw people of all skin tones, identities, and

backgrounds raising their voice in support of Black and

Brown lives in the courtyard of our tiny city hall. People

with colorful signs, loud voices, and passionate souls.

I soon became one of a countless number of people

circled around individuals giving speeches, sharing

their pain one by one as onlookers both observed and

supported. As I moved closer to the center, I realized

I was witnessing various people of color sharing their

experiences with discrimination, informing the public

on important topics ranging from voter registration to

recognizing white privilege and sharing resources for

anybody hurting or struggling. As I inched even closer

to the center, brimming with bravery and feeling warm

with support, I felt compelled to speak, share some

thoughts of mine, and contribute to the conversation.

I held a bullhorn in my hand and informed my

community about the importance of holding one

another accountable.

Black lives matter. All of them. My education, social

status, place of residency, interests or the people I hang

out with are not what gives my life worth. My life matters

simply because I am a living, breathing human being

who walks this earth. I am Black and my life matters

just as much as my white counterparts. As a friend, I am

holding my non-Black friends accountable for proudly

proclaiming this fact. In order for you to be a friend,

you must believe wholeheartedly that my life matters

the way I believe that yours does. As students, we

must hold our places of education and fellow students

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accountable for standing up for our Black peers to help

everyone who desires an education to safely achieve it.

As employees or consumers, we must apply pressure to

our places of business to value their Black employees

and consumers. It is not enough to simply not be racist,

we must actively be anti-racist. We must hold our non-

Black friends accountable to act on behalf of those who

are being condemned by hatred right now. We must do

our individual parts to make the world a better, more

just place for all. None of us will truly have justice until

all of us have justice.

The first time somebody called me an activist was

right after my speech. The person who casually awarded

me this title was a girl from high school who I had met

in passing and didn’t know much about me, but she

recognized my passion which made it a significant

moment to me. I proved to myself I was able to put my

comfort aside to better my community for others and

stand up for myself. The moment I truly grasped how

much my actions of courage affect and inspire others to

speak up and do the same encouraged me to keep going.

Becoming aware of that was what truly made me feel

like the activist I had been dubbed.

My first protest redefined what it meant to be an

activist for me. To be an activist and to achieve a mindset

of activism means to always be open to and participating

in ways to make this world a better place. It means to

wake up every day and be the change you want to see

in this world and encourage others to do the same, no

matter how big or small your reach is. Furthermore,

this experience gave me hope in our communities to

come together during hard, painful times like this.

Watching as people became physically willing to step

out of their comfort zones and potentially risk their

safety to walk in support of BIPOC individuals, most

of whom they’ve never even met before, became one of

the most motivating things I have ever seen. It simply

reminded me that there are so many people standing in

the corner of love fighting against hate and I will not be

standing alone. My first experience protesting was lucky

considering it didn’t include tear gas, arrests, damage or

injuries, but I will acknowledge the protestors putting

themselves on the frontlines and I will stand with them.

My experience has been safe, but it hasn’t been easy.

It hasn’t been easy to watch my Twitter timeline turn

into an obituary. It hasn’t been easy worrying if the

name of somebody I love, or even my own, will become

the next trending hashtag or headline. The fight has

never been easy for anyone, but it will always be worth

it. If you are able, I highly encourage you to stand and

walk in support of your peers. Donate money to local

nonprofits. Sign and share petitions boosting justice

for those who have been harmed or murdered unjustly.

Register to vote and write letters to your local legislators

encouraging them to act. Whatever it may be, use your

voice and platform to encourage others to do the same

and make your stand.

That day, I left the bulk of the crowd and sat on the

edge of a water fountain outside of city hall. Soaking

in the moment, I felt the warmth of the sun sparkling

across my shoulders and felt content with myself, the

color of my skin and my ability to help change the world.

I repeated to myself, “I am a young Black woman, and

there is nothing in this world that I cannot do.”

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[Photographer] Kalei Burgess



uring Pride Month in June, you probably noticed

an increase in LGBTQ+ representation in the media

ranging from social media campaigns to magazine

covers. With Pride having to be different this year

because of the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling many celebrations,

it’s more important than ever that TV, film and other media outlets

bring the stories, experiences and talent of LGBTQ+ individuals to

the forefront. Mainstream media showcases LGBTQ+ talent and

characters more prominently than ever before, but is it always done

in the best way possible?

Take a series like Pose on FX, for example. Pose is revolutionary

in how it authentically shares LGBTQ+ stories that are important

to the community’s history while being the first show to feature

transgender women of color in prominent roles on television.

The praise for Pose is well deserved, as it brings the vibrancy of

80’s underground Ball culture and delves into the struggles of the

LGBTQ+ individuals in the show in an authentic way that many

other series struggle to do. While Pose is an example of what

LGBTQ+ representation in the media should be, many miss the


During Pride Month, and throughout the rest of the year, we

need to be more aware and critical of how LGBTQ+ individuals are

portrayed and treated in the shows we watch and the campaigns we

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

genuinely share their stories and experiences in the media, here are

some of the yays and nays of current LGBTQ+ representation in the

media to think about.

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Give LGBTQ+ characters

equal screen time as their

straight counterparts.

Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ characters serve as a plot driver for their straight, main

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

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

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

only shown from time to time.

Toni Topaz, played by Vanessa Morgan on Riverdale, is a good example of a Black

LGBTQ+ character whose main plot function is as a side character who drives the

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

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

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

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

hope to see more of her in the upcoming season.

Giving equal screen time to Black and LGBTQ+ characters is something that all

shows and films should strive for in order to increase LGBTQ+visibility and make it

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

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

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

check out Sex Education on Netflix and Vida on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Starz.

Only showing LGBTQ+

representation during

Pride Month.

[Photographer] Kalei Burgess

Pride Month is an exciting time to celebrate the

LQBTQ+ community, but that doesn’t mean that

representation ends on the last day of the month.

Some brands will only include LGBTQ+ talent or have

collaborations with them for the duration of month,

but their commitments to the LGBTQ+ community

should extend beyond Pride Month as well. Having

LGBTQ+ visibility year-round is important for the

community and should be incorporated into the

media that these brands put out throughout the year.

It’s not enough to just have it during Pride Month,

and there’s no shortage of LGBTQ+ talent that these

brands can help spotlight.

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Brands paying LGBTQ+

individuals in “exposure” to

create content for them.

Brands often have large budgets of money when working with influencers to create

content. During Pride Month, many brands reach out to LGBTQ+influencers to create

content for social media with the goal of highlighting campaigns and products created

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

often known is that LGBTQ+ influencers, especially those who are Black, are often

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

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

take part in its #sliceofhappy campaign for Pride in exchange for a free outfit. Okello

shared their typical rates for working with brands only to be told by Anthropologie

that they didn’t have the budget for an influencer of their level.

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

excuse to not pay LGBTQ+ influencers for their work especially during a month that

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

influencers, and if you want to stay informed about this and other issues in the

fashion and beauty industry, follow accounts like @diet_prada and @esteelaundry

on Instagram.

Hiring LGBTQ+ directors, talent,

production staff, and writers to

tell LGBTQ+ stories.

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

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

and production staff who are not members of this community telling the stories of

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

playing an LGBTQ+ character, none are openly LGBTQ+. The film and television

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

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

see the issue with non-LGBTQ+ actors playing LGBTQ+ characters.

While the debate continues, Hollywood should provide more opportunities for

LGBTQ+ individuals to bring their talents to the industry in all aspects, especially

when it comes to telling LGBTQ+ stories. People like screenwriter Steven Canals

(Pose), director and writer Dee Rees (Empire, Pariah, Space Force), and actor

Keiynan Lonsdale (Love Simon, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow) are paving the

way for other LGBTQ+ individuals in the industry. Including their voices and talents

in Hollywood makes it exciting to see what’s to come for the industry in the upcoming


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it’s hard right now. Rules have been enforced

telling us to stay home to protect us and our loved

ones, high school students have missed out on major

life experiences such as prom and graduation, recent

college graduates are wondering what their next step is,

health care workers are risking their lives fighting for

us daily. Those are only just a few examples of what we

have been going through during the pandemic. If that

is not enough to make your head spin, well, we are in

another epidemic: a fight for racial justice and a call to

action that has swept the world.

Racial injustice is not a new issue to Black people and

the effects of it is not either. Black Lives Matter and so

does Black Mental Health. If you have found yourself

not feeling like yourself, or the repeated incidents of

police brutality have gotten you down, I want to help

you. Here are some tips and resources to assist you with

getting through this tough time.

[ 24 ]


Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment, right

here, right now and accepting it without judgment. While constant

worries and thoughts of what is to come can keep you up at night,

practicing mindfulness may come to your rescue. When done

correctly, stress and anxiety can be managed dramatically

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

the future all planned out either. Let yourself be and go

with the flow as life comes to you. It is ok to have an

idea of what direction you want to go in within your

life, but do not dwell on it too much. The most

popular mindfulness practice is mediation.

“I practice meditation myself and I highly

recommend it to my clients,” Dr. Tamika

Anderson, a private practicing psychologist

said. “You won’t master it your first try, but

each practice takes you a step closer to a

healthier thought process.”

If you want to try this technique,

Headspace and Calm are two great apps

to start with.


To start, take a break from wherever you are getting

your news, whether that is social media, Apple News

notifications or the traditional local and national

television coverage. I know that this can be a tough one for

people to do, and can hear some people now, “Removing

myself from social media during a pandemic?” I know.

The main thing people are wanting and are being told

to do is to stay connected. Which for a lot of people

staying connected happens via social media. Start with

taking one day off. Don’t watch the news, turn off your

notifications and delete your apps. If this step is too

drastic, put a time resection on your apps through

your phone’s settings. While you are on your break,

do something you enjoy. Watch your favorite Netflix

series, tackle that thing you’ve been wanting to do or

simply do nothing. The point of this is to give your

mind a break from all of the information you are

absorbing on a daily basis. In the meantime, stay

connected and call your friends and family on the

phone. Talk to them and check in with how they

are doing. You never know, this could be just

what you needed.

[ 25 ]

[Photographer] Alexis Blue


If you are feeling angry, sad or even alone, you have every right to

feel that way. The last thing that you want to do is ignore whatever

emotion you are feeling. Write down that emotion as soon as

you can. Journaling is a practice that is widely used to help

with emotional release and has been proven to help with

anxiety and stress.

“Journaling helps me analyze exactly where my

thoughts are coming from since I can see them on

paper,” said Ariel Sanders, a senior at The University

of Alabama.

You can use the notes in your phone or a

journal. Grab some paper and something to

write with and let it all out. There is no right or

wrong way to do this. After you feel like you

have gotten everything out, read it aloud.


If you want to take the previous suggestion a step further,

try therapy.

“If you are comfortable talking to someone please do,”

Makya Jenkins, a senior at UA said. “I know there is a

stigma in the Black community in regard to therapy.

Please know you are not broken by asking for help.”

If you are new to the world of therapy, it can appear

intimidating. Finding a therapist related to your

particular needs can be hard. Don’t be discouraged

because there are organizations catered to helping you

with this process. Therapy for Black Girls, founded by

Joy Harden Bradford compiled a useful directory of

therapists who actually “get it.” The organization also

produces a podcast, publishes a weekly newsletter,

and hosts free support groups on Thursday nights.

Inclusive therapists are equipped in racial trauma

training to ensure that health care providers look

critically at mental health. The organization has

a database of professionals, many of whom offer

reduced-price virtual sessions. These resources

can be extremely helpful to find someone for

your specific needs.

We currently face difficult times, and it

can be hard and even confusing to seek

help for yourself. However, prioritize

your wellbeing and take care of yourself.

Remember that there are people

advocating for a better and unified

world for us all.

[ 26 ]

[ 27 ]

[Photographer] Hannah Saad


he quickly growing mass uprising against

racial inequality is uncovering long-ignored

issues of systemic discrimination in the

United States. By way of traffic-stopping

protests, widespread social media use and overdue

conversations about race, a new era of understanding is

fastly approaching. This is causing us to take a serious

look at how we as a nation are holding onto the past.

Protestors and movement leaders nationwide quickly

identified confederate monuments and memorials as

the first artifacts to fall in what historians are calling

the dismantling period.

These monuments have been subject to nationwide

debate. It appears that every area of this country is

being directly affected by this movement, including

Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The University of Alabama is no

stranger to this argument. Students, faculty and staff

have historically led the discussion on the removal of

monuments and the renaming of buildings dedicated

to those with racist pasts. Hilary N. Green, associate

professor of history and the Department of Gender and

Race Studies, has centered her research around African

American remembrances.

“African Americans have rejected these monuments

and the racial geographies implemented from the very

beginning,” Green said. “Due to threats of violence, they

had resorted to developing safe spaces and advancing

clear counter memories to this ‘Lost Cause’ landscape.”

The monuments that Green referred to are in

various places on campus, gifted to the University

as early as 1914. Given by the United Daughters of

the Confederacy, a large boulder was dedicated to

Confederate soldiers that were also given an honorary

diploma. Since moving to its second location, the center

of the Quad, this memorial has been the center of the

removal controversy. Standing 10 feet in length, 10 feet

in width and not far from the Little Round House that

housed enslaved drummer boys during the Civil War,

this mammoth of a rock served as a constant reminder

of a dark past and the University’s persistent silence.

As tension around the country grew, so did the pressure

for change. On June 8, the UA System Board of Trustees

authorized the removal of three confederate plaques

on campus. A small council of trustees was created

to review the current names of buildings and report

recommended name changes. This announcement

came as a surprise to the UA community, especially

those who have actively fought for change.

Teryn Shipman, university alumna and founder of

For Black Girls Who Have A Lot to Say, feels bittersweet

towards this moment but believes that these matters

and more should be met with a lot of deliberation

and reflection.

“I believe that UA, it’s administration and it’s Board

[ 28 ]

of Trustees must honor the lives of those who were

enslaved on UA’s campus, specifically when we are

talking about renaming buildings,” Shipman said.

She recalls one of the reasons that she decided to

attend the University was because of “its racist past and


“I felt I was called to help create real institutional

change from policies to practices and even traditions,”

Shipman said. “While there, I’ve gotten to work

alongside many freedom fighters...I believe that this

is just the beginning of truly creating a country that

represents the people. Shoutout to my ancestors and

fellow freedom fighters.”

For decades, students, faculty and staff have found

their own ways to contribute to awareness and progress.

Shipman organized movements such as Bama Sits, Wake

Up Bama and We are Done. A coalition of students and

faculty, We are Done released a list of demands to be

met by University administration in 2015. Their second

demand called for the removal of the names of white

supremacists, Klan members, Confederate generals and

Eugenicists. The demands of the coalition can be found

with a quick Google search. Shipman sees the demands

as “still unmet or met but with the bare minimum.”

Liz Foshe, a graduate student and teaching assistant

of Gender & Race Studies, felt like now was a good time

to push for change at UA again.

“Essentially, there were two petitions circulating: one

to change the racist building names at UA, and one to

remove the confederate monuments from campus,”

Foshe said.“Petitions like these have been going around

for years since before I came to UA, but with everything

going on with the Black Lives Matter protests all over

the world, now seemed like the right time to really put

pressure on UA to make change.”

Foshe met with a fellow student, Anna Beth Peters,

and together they created an email campaign. This

consisted of creating a pre-written email that could

The University of

Alabama System

Board of Trustees

voted unanimously

on August 5 to

rename Nott Hall

to Honors Hall.

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

[ 29 ]

[Photographer] Hannah Saad

be accessed through a shared URL. Participants could

enter their names and send the prepared statement to

various members of the administration as well as the

Board of Trustees.

To gain support, they reached out to various campus

leaders and groups on campus, especially those who

appeared to be in support of renaming buildings and

removing memorials. Foshe recalls feeling disappointed

that Student Government Association leadership

responded in an email by saying they would like to

support but there are “some aspects that the University

cannot change.”

[ 30 ]




[ 31 ]

[Photographer] Keely Brewer

At the beginning of the COVID-19

pandemic, the country had started

establishing lockdowns in place and

spreading the word of the outbreak.

Putting their doubts and concerns aside, the

workers that kept our country afloat accepted the

job. Throughout the ever-changing new “normal”

that the virus demanded, essential workers have

stayed consistent in their fight against COVID-19.

Essential workers have taken on the roles of

heroes amidst the pandemic and have placed

themselves on the front lines. Many people who

have come into contact with these workers have

shown their gratitude for the sacrifices made by

the employee.

“Customers are a lot more patient and thankful

with us as well as our employer,” Brandon

Crittenden, a University of Alabama student and

Publix employee said. “They give us extra cash to

go buy groceries with due to our cut hours and we

practically always receive positivity from all of our

customers because they know how risky it is at a

time like this to be working.”

Several grocery stores and supermarkets across

the country have been putting more cleaning

methods into place as the Stay at Home Orders lift

and people return to “normal” life.

“The measures that we have had to take varied

at the beginning, but as the circumstances

changed, the safety policy did as well,” Crittenden

said.“Where I work, they issued out face masks

and have designated people to sanitize shopping

carts and wipe down door handles.

Due to the Stay at Home Orders across the

country, COVID-19 brought the world together

online in a way that has never happened before.

Crucial employees have been able to communicate

internationally and share their day to day life in

their place of work. The risks and dangers that

have been reported can only describe what the

essential workers are exposing themselves to.

“So much has changed since the Coronavirus

outbreak,” Amy Brewer, a flight attendant with

Delta Air Lines said. “As a company, we have cut

back immensely. We decreased our fleet, retired

certain aircrafts, let go of contract workers, offered

unpaid leaves to employees, reduced salaries, as

well as stopped all services on flights. To me, the

biggest change has been the reduction of flights

and hours for my job. I used to work about 16 days

a month and now I am working significantly less

because we have stopped so many flights.”

Among the beginnings of the outbreak, flight

attendants were some of the first people to be

exposed to the virus due to constant international

and national travel. Many were still forced to be

out in the field, even if hours were reduced after

the virus started to spread. Due to the high risk of

spreading at airports, many airlines have adopted

numerous new sanitation and cleansing steps to

ensure safety.

“Delta’s number one priority is to keep

employees and customers safe,” Brewer said.

“We take extreme precautions from the moment

people get to the gate to the second they deplane

the aircraft. We use high-grade disinfectant before

every single flight, make sure all customers are

employees are wearing a mask, and everyone is

social distancing. We ensure this by boarding back

to front and reducing capacity to 60%.”

Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines

constantly throughout this pandemic. Nurses have

Essential workers have taken

on the roles of heroes amidst

the pandemic and have placed

themselves on the front lines.

[ 32 ]

[ 33 ]

to make sure patients are monitored constantly

due to the uncertainty of this virus, wear personal

protective equipment (PPE) to shield themselves

from exposure and try to keep the numbers of

deaths to a minimum. These healthcare heroes

have had to handle the idea of spreading the

virus not only to other patients but their families

as well. Broadcast through media coverage,

these actions have not gone unnoticed by

the public.

“I have definitely felt respected and loved

during the crisis,” Baylee Gilchrist, a nurse at

UAB hospital, said. “We have gotten free lunches

multiple times and have gotten cards and words

of encouragement from patient family members.”

With all the appreciation from patients and

recognition across the country, nurses like

Gilchrist have said it makes the risk worth it.

Hospitals have put measures into effect to ensure

maximum safety so that the presented risks can be


“Before work, we would get “screened,”

meaning we would get our temperature taken,”

said Gilchrist. “We had the mask and the hospital

wasn’t allowing visitors. But with many nurses

being young and healthy, we could have had it

and never known, especially since our unit was

a COVID unit. The hospital never would test an

employee unless they were running a fever, been

exposed, and experiencing other symptoms.”

To help protect and show gratitude to

these essential workers, you can spread your

appreciation on social platforms and practice

social distancing. If you have friends or family

members that are helping fight against the

virus, show your support by making a card

for them or communicate to them that they

are appreciated.

[Photographer] Keely Brewer [ 34 ]

Ask Alice



What does it mean to “Defund the


The statement “defund the police” does

not mean the complete elimination of the

police system as a whole. As explained in

a Cosmopolitan Opinion article by ACLU

Policing Policy Advisor Paige Fernandez, the

idea is to “cut the astronomical amount of

money that our governments spend on law

enforcement and give that money to more

helpful services like job training, counseling,

and violence-prevention programs.” Investing

in these resources and redirecting funding to

other vital elements such as education can

make a major impact on communities across

the country, and can be a stepping stone to

creating a more just system.

Alice Asks

[ 35 ]





How do you feel about how your university

plans to operate in the fall?

I feel operations will be disorganized and that

there will probably be an outbreak

Super nervous to be on UA’s campus in the

fall as an immunocompromised student!!!

I am happy that we get to return in the fall as

of now, but my hope is that we can continue

the college experience as it was last year

while keeping everyone healthy.


Does systemic racism/police brutality only

affect black men?


What are some things I can continue to do

to support the LGBTQ+ community and the

BLM movement?



Definitely not! Black women are also

unfortunate victims of systemic racism and

police brutality, such as Breonna Taylor,

Sandra Bland and many more. However,

their stories continue to slip under the radar

as opposed to Black male victims of the same

system. In fact, Taylor’s death wasn’t a major

news story until three months later when

the killing of George Floyd made national

headlines. The forgotten stories of these

women is why The African American Policy

Forum began #SayHerName in 2015 as a

way “to continue to call attention to violence

against Black women in the U.S.”

What’s the difference between “Systemic

Racism” and “Systematic Racism”?



Go beyond sharing cute Instagram graphics

and tweets. Protests have not stopped across

the country, and that means there are still

petitions to sign as well as GoFundMe

fundraisers to support victims of police

brutality and those arrested at protests.

Beyond donating and signing petitions,

supporting organizations and businesses

owned by Black and LGBTQ+ people is a great

way to show your support, especially in your

own communities. Holding your friends and

loved ones accountable for saying or sharing

racist or homophobic things is also a great

way to continue to show your support as an

ally. It is not the responsibility of people from

those communities to teach and correct those

who act that way.

How can I talk to my friends about how I may

have been a bad ally to them in the past?



Systematic racism is active discrimination

with a plan or method used to implement it.

This type of racism is not random or sporadic,

it takes place in a planned and organized

way. There are many cases of it that aren’t

well known,but several take place within

the workplace. Hiring, firing or refusing

to give promotions or raises on the basis of

race is a good example of systematic racism.

Systemic racism is a byproduct of a structural

system. Apart from systematic, systemic is

much more oppressive because it happens at

much higher rates and has a wider impact on

minority communities as a whole.

Do you think college football should be

canceled this fall?



Having those tricky conversations with your

friends is a great first step to become a better

ally. There’s no changing the past, so take

this not as an opportunity to feel bad about

yourself, but as an opportunity to do your

research and read up on how some things you

may have said or done were insensitive. As we

mentioned before, it shouldn’t be up to your

BIPOC and LGBTQ+ friends to correct and

teach you why you shouldn’t do or say certain

things. With a plethora of information out

there, taking the time to educate yourself will

not only start you on the right path to become

a better ally, but will also help you further

understand why certain words and actions

are so insensitive and cruel.

What have you done to keep yourself healthy

during the pandemic?





Not canceled but they should probably not let

people watch in the stadium




Spending time in nature!

Workout videos - palema reif & chloe tings

[ 36 ]


By Jennafer Bowman

[Photographer] Jonathan Knox

[ 37 ]


emember when it felt like there wasn’t

enough time in the day? Between work, social

life, that pile of laundry that started to infest

more of the room, it felt like everything was

literally piling up. Throughout the country, the stress of

everyday life was becoming greater and greater. Some

felt that a weekend off would cure their woes. One

weekend turned into weeks, which turned into months,

that felt like years. After cleaning the bathroom for a

third time and watching what felt like all of Netflix’s

catalogue, boredom set in.

But, not for some.

In Cadiz, Ohio, some turned to the heat of the kitchen

for their passion projects.

“I started around mid-March,” Lexi Corder, a

sophomore majoring in dance and nutrition at The

University of Alabama said. “I was really bored with

all the extra time I had because of quarantine, and I’ve

always loved baking, so one day I decided I wanted to

learn how to make sugar cookies that were fancy like

the ones you buy in the store. I looked up a recipe and

went from there.”

Corder has since created all different kinds of themed

cookies, like beach themed and even personalized

batches. The unforeseen downside? Ironically, it’s time


“I’m bad at time management,” Corder said. “When

you mix that with

being a perfectionist,

it’s the perfect storm.

I have had cookies

take me from six plus

hours to two days to

frost because of how

detailed they are!”

Corder began to sell

her cookies through

social media (Cookies

and Creations by

Lexi), which is the

icing on the cookie.

But, as states lift Stay

at Home Orders, life

is starting up again.

As quickly as these

passions start, they

might come to an end.

“Once school starts

back in the fall my free

time will be a lot more

limited, I’ll probably

still bake every once

in a while, but I’m not

sure I’ll continue to

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

sell them,” she said.

[ 38 ]

A sweet twist on an otherwise dull past couple of


Down South in Mobile, Alabama, others turned

to a business approach to pass the time.

“I started investing with the stock market about

late May,” Preston Phillips, a sophomore majoring

in nursing at the University of Alabama said.

“I got into stocks because of my father. He’s a

businessman and has always talked about stocks

before but never really introduced me to them.

I decided to pick it up and see what the hype is

about. I downloaded the app Robinhood,” Phillips

continues to joke that he’s on his road to millions.

Robinhood is a free-trading app that lets investors

trade stocks, options and cryptocurrency without

paying commissions or fees. While investing is a

more costly approach to avoiding boredom, it can

become a great investment in the long run.

“I found this tiny penny stock at the lowest

point, that was only worth .33 cents,” Phillips said,

“I invested a lot of money into it and had a gut

feeling it would do me good. About a month and a

half later, that tiny penny stock turned to $2.20.”

He traded his stock quickly, making a profit of

over 300% from the total amount he bought them


“As an extreme extrovert, I was craving human

interaction with friends during the quarantine. I

struggled with trying to find happiness in staying

home,” he said.

As the days seem to blend together and drag out,

it can become harder to wake up every morning

and get things done. While passion projects can

bring joy in such hard times, there can still be


“Stocks are very picky and you could be profiting

$100 one minute then lose every penny the next,”

Phillips explained. “The thing about stocks is, it’s

really an educated guess. No one knows the secret

behind which companies will boom overnight or

which ones will plummet.”

With stock trading being such a risky and

expensive activity, it can be intimidating. But with

all new things, thorough research and practice

make perfect.

“My biggest advice would be to do research

on potential stocks you are looking at,” Phillips

said.“Check their past record, especially how they

are dealing with the pandemic. There are tons of

videos on YouTube to help beginners. Anyone can

invest, but not everyone wants to put in the effort

to research before committing to something.”

Others have taken their passions outside.

Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Ebonie Rollins,

a senior majoring in nursing at the University

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

[ 39 ]

[ 40 ]

[ 41 ]

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

of Alabama, has taken to the blacktop and

brought back a groovy ‘70s trend.

“I began rollerskating to stay in shape

and become more in tune with nature and

spirituality,” Rollins said. “It’s easily become

a long lost hobby that is often the excitement

that makes my day.

Rollins was working in the Emergency

Department as a scribe, someone who

specializes in charting physician-patient

encounters, but she had to end her experience

early due to COVID-19. With extra time on

her hands, she found herself reliving old

memories and hobbies.

“Skating has always been an important

aspect in my community,” she said. “Growing

up, my younger siblings and I would go to allnight

skate on New Year’s Eve and skate all

night with friends. Even though it was for a

short moment, the memories last a lifetime.

It was a must to revive an old excitement

in my life and I must say, it has made my

spiritual journey easier.”

It seems that while in quarantine old habits

have started back up, both good and bad, but

thankfully for Rollins, roller skating helped

her become more adventurous.

“Skating is pure fun. It gives me the

opportunity to enjoy being outside again,”

she said. “I also find myself finding new

places to skate which adds to the curiosity of

the different settings.”

Even with being shut inside for nearly two

months, people still find a way to be negative

about others’ passions.

“At this moment the only set back I have

is definitely finding a good area to enjoy

without judgment,” Rollins said. “I find

myself getting both positive and negative

judgments because people are not as active

as before.”

Even with the negativity COVID-19

has caused, Rollins still remains positive,

encouraging others to join her, “I do offer

that people join me rather than judge and

step out on bravery again.”

With COVID-19 causing us to adapt to new

ways of life, the one thing that hasn’t changed

is the passion we have for things that make

us happy. During this time of uncertainty

and chaos, take it upon yourself to try that

new activity or hobby you’ve always thought

about. You finally have the time to do it.

[ 42 ]






, oday I found myself watching Nanette, a comedy

special on Netflix by Hannah Gadsby. Gadsby is a

gay woman who grew up in Tasmania, Australia

in the ‘90s – when homosexuality was still considered

illegal. Gadsby tells her story in the form of a paradoxical

comedy routine guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.

This, however, is not about Gadsby’s show, this is about the

message that I heard in the last ten minutes of the special.

In the final minutes of the comedy routine, Gadsby

says, “I will not allow my story to be destroyed. What

I would have done to have heard a story like mine…

to feel less alone. I believe that we could paint a better

world if we learned to see it from all perspectives.”

The idea of seeing all perspectives or the understanding

of all perspectives brought to mind intersectionality,

particularly intersectionality as it stands for womxn.

Intersectionality, as defined by Merriam-Webster

dictionary, is “the complex, cumulative manner in which

the effects of different forms of discrimination combine,

overlap, or intersect.” Comparably, intersectional

feminism is the understanding that different forms

of gender discrimination differ for womxn of varying

intersectional identities.

[ 43 ]

Each one of us holds multiple identities that tie

us to who we are and how the world sees us. These

physical and social frameworks can bring communities

together, make people feel connected and allow us to be


Each and every one of us hold multiple identities that

tie us to who we are and how the world sees us. These

physical and social frameworks can bring communities

together, make people feel connected and allow us to be


Each one of us holds multiple identities that tie us to

who we are and how the world sees us. These physical

and social frameworks can bring communities together,

make people feel connected, and allow us to be


However, what happens when these identities cause

tension, anger or even guilt?

In New Jersey, Reginah Mako, a 22 year old Rutgers

graduate, first learned the term intersectionality in a

gender studies class. However, Mako has felt the effects

of intersectionality her entire life.

“I knew what [intersectionality] felt like,” Mako said.

“I just couldn’t articulate it.”

Mako identifies as a young person of color – both

biracial and Black – who recognizes her womxnhood

but knows that she does not necessarily fit into a gender


“I want people to know that identity isn’t finite,”

Mako said. “It can be expanded and it’s okay to change

your identity.”

Mako is not the only person interviewed who

understands the importance of recognizing


Jessica Savage is a 23 year old University of Vermont

graduate. Savage identifies as a gay, white womxn who

struggles with both anxiety and an eating disorder.

Savage wants to make it clear: she holds a tremendous

amount of privilege when it comes to intersectionality

and intersectional feminism.

“I experience comparably mild obstacles in my daily

life because of my mental illness, but my [disadvantaged]

identities are practically invisible,” she wrote. “That

means I can move through my daily life with ease from

the external world.”

Savage tries to think about her privilege in the context

of the events happening in the nation right now. She

recognizes how her white privilege is coming to light

after the recent killings of George Flloyd and Breonna

Taylor at the hands of police officers.

“I am living everyday thinking… how, in white rural

Vermont... I have some fear that I can be vulnerable out

in the middle of nowhere,” she said. “I am not deadafraid

that my life could end if a white homeowner sees

me in their yard. “

Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garze discussed

intersectionality and its importance in the BLM

movement with Ms. Magazine in 2017.

“I think there needs to be a deep dive into

intersectionality and relations of power.

Intersectionality has been around for a long time and

has resurged as a core principle of what movements

need to be effective,” Garze states.

When it comes to relations of power from a

healthcare perspective, Skye Allen, a New Jersey

native and 2020 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast

University understands all too well what it means to

be a womxn seeking care in a world dominated by


Allen, who identifies as a straight, white, disabled

woman was diagnosed with major depressive

disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and seizures

at age 17. She has also faced a recent diagnosis

of both fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease and

dysautonomia, which affects the body’s nerves.

Allen notes that the American Disabilities Act, a

civil rights law that prohibits the discrimination of

people with disabilities, was only recently established

in 1990.

“Unfortunately, the world doesn’t take too kindly

to those with disabilities,” she said. “There is a big

stigma around what a disabled person looks like.”

Allen wants people to understand the implications

of being a disabled womxn based on her experiences.

“As a woman, my healthcare journey has been more

difficult than if I were a man,” Allen said. “Oftentimes,

doctors disregard or invalidate women’s pain, simply

because we are women. On average, it takes women

years to get a diagnosis for a condition than if they

were a man.”

John Zambarano, a 22 year old queer, nonbinary,

spiritual nonreligious, white person, who uses they/

them pronouns, is no stranger to the importance of

inclusion in varying communities.

They urge people to approach others and their

communities rather than make assumptions about

their identities.

“My communities and other marginalized

communities are full of love,” they said. “We deserve

the same level of compassion, empathy and support

that we give.”

John’s words resonate closely with what Gadsby

relays in her special; that every community is worthy

of understanding.

“To be rendered powerless does not destroy your

humanity,” Gadsby said. “Your resilience is your


No matter how many times womxn and other

marginalized communities are stereotyped, attacked

or rendered powerless, we will be there to pick each

other back up. Despite our differences, we all share

one commonality:


[ 44 ]

With an infectious virus spreading quickly

in our country, and in a time of intense

political and social upheaval, uncertainty

permeates the atmosphere of the United

States. In these times, people – especially womxn –

desperately seek solace. In Birmingham, Alabama, and

from the comfort of their homes, two inspired young

womxn have created just that.

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) alumni

and best friends Samra Michael and Alana Bauman

co-founded the podcast SheWellRead in hopes of

“empowering womxn to invest in themselves and each

other.” Inspired by the Comedy Central sitcom Broad

City, Michael wanted the podcast to serve as a safe

space for “girls who want to stay more informed and

read more.” Though the podcast is by and for womxn,

the duo states that their platform is open to everybody

– including “men who want to learn.”

Each episode , such as “The One Where We Talk

About Friendships,” has a title that references popular

relics of girl culture: Friends, Mean Girls, etc. With

episodes ranging from 20 minutes to over an hour long,

they’re perfect for a quick car ride to the grocery store

or a lengthy study session. This episode in particular

features the first chapter of the autobiography Text Me

When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer – a homage

to the significant female friendships that shaped

Schaefer’s womanhood. Bauman and Michael share

their opinions about “mean girls,” the origin of the

concept of “friendship” and discuss how these themes

affect the dynamics of female friendships today.

“It’s like in Congress when all of these men are making

decisions about womxn’s bodies,” Michael stated, when

discussing a philosopher who believed womxn were not

“skilled enough” to maintain friendships.

With a quickly-growing platform, the duo does not

hesitate from expressing overtly political views.

“I’m personally not afraid to get political, because we

have facts and experiences to back up what we believe,”

Michael said.

This could be concluded based on their recent video

By Christine Thompson

[Photos provided by She Well Read]

[ 45 ]

posted to SheWellRead’s IGTV. “Question for The

Culture” is the first episode of the SheWellRead IGTV

series addressing the current state of the country. The

ten minute virtual discussion with Lacey Woodroof,

founder of company where Michael

works, tackles white supremacy, the Black Lives Matter

movement and sustaining small businesses during


“That was me kind of bringing that [the series] to

the table, and Lana was like ‘I think we need a second

opinion’ and that was good we have a balance,” Michael


This balanced dynamic is apparent early in the

interview. If opposites attract, then these two are

magnets. Bauman, who majored in accounting at UAB,

credits their success to this partnership.

“Samra is very much the creative, stylistic person …

I’m a very structured person, like, ‘let’s have a plan, let’s

map this out … our chemistry really works,” Bauman


Michael also feels that, pragmatically, their polar

personalities make for an excellent team.

“I think the fact that she’s an accounting major and

I’m a marketing major … that’s really all you need to run

a business,” Michael said. “It worked out kinda well in

a weird way.”

The conversation shifts to our childhoods as we begin

to discuss the experiences that shaped us as young

womxn. Michael shared how her upbringing created a

unique set of struggles that the average Alabamian has,

most likely, never experienced.

“I am a first-generation American living this double

life where I didn’t feel comfortable being my real self for

a very long time,” Michael says. “I felt as though I had

to fit into the bubble … I mean, we all know how Black

womxn are perceived … It got really bad in middle and

high school, to the point where I didn’t have a will to

live anymore,” Michael said.“But getting to college and

meeting Black womxn who cared about me … and being

accepted for who I was, changed my whole perspective.

But I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t

go through those things.”

Michael’s experience isn’t uncommon among Black

girls and first-generation Americans. Feelings of

“otherness” due to the culture clash between white

America, and Blackness/foreign cultures of color can

lead to serious identity issues. However, surrounding

yourself with other Black womxn can make the journey

much easier. Bauman relates and shared how her

struggle with the mental health issues in her family led

her to Birmingham.

“My mom and I were super close growing up and when

it came to my senior year she had a [bipolar] episode…

I left the situation with my mom when I was seventeen

and moved in with my dad here in Alabama… I didn’t

have any friends coming into [UAB] or know anybody

from Birmingham…the [friends] became my family.”

Unbeknownst to many, Black female friendships are

the very lifeline of Black girls everywhere. In a world

where our existence meets at the intersection of two of

the most marginalized identities, oftentimes, we only

have each other.

“I also had this identity crisis issue,” Bauman said.

“I always felt like I was trying to conform. You lose

yourself for sure.”

Given the current state of the world, many might

think they feel this sense of uncertainty that Bauman

describes. However, for Black womxn, the search for

identity has always been our reality. Creative outlets,

friendships, and passion projects bring joy in times

riddled with strife and political tensions. Their place

in our society should not be underestimated. For

womxn everywhere (and men who “just want to learn”)

SheWellRead serves as a warm, funny, and dependable

place of comfort.

Every time you tune in, you will undoubtedly be

reminded of the unwavering resilience and vulnerability

of the young Black female voice. Their soft laughs, mild

disagreements and heartwarming stories will elicit

feelings of gratitude and empathy for the womxn in

your life, and the womxn to come.

[ 46 ]

[ 47 ]

[ 48 ]




s someone who is a cis woman and dresses

fairly feminine, I have never personally had

anyone misgender me, nor do I have the

right to say I understand what having my

gender misidentified feels like. People who are cis,

trans and nonbinary are misgendered quite often.

However, when a cis person who may dress more

androgenous is misgendered, it may not impact

them in the same way it would a trans person.

When people assume pronouns, and oftentimes the

gender associated with those pronouns, they risk

misidentifying someone’s gender, which can put that

person in an uncomfortable position. People who are

trans or nonbinary often struggle with accepting their

identity because of negative social interactions with

friends, family and strangers.

Merriam-Webster states that a pronoun is “any

of a small set of words in a language that are used

as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and whose

referents are named or understood in the context.”

These substitutes are commonly attached to a specific

gender but can be harmful to someone if their

pronouns are assumed incorrectly.

With LGBTQ+ friends that act as supportive allies

for our trans and nonbinary friends, I have grown

up reminding myself to try to use correct pronouns

to avoid accidentally insulting someone or bringing

up past trauma. Even though I know sharing my

pronouns would help nonbinary and trans people be

more comfortable, my cis privilege often makes me


“When you assume pronouns, you are implying

that gender expression and gender identity

intertwine, and that’s not really it,” Ally Mia

Karle, a sophomore film major at New York

University said. “It’s just like you wouldn’t assume

someone’s name.”

When cis allies normalize identifying their own

pronouns and asking others for theirs, it can

make people who identify as trans or nonbinary

more comfortable. When pronouns are willingly

introduced, non-binary and trans people do not

have to initiate the conversation by asking that their

pronouns be used correctly.

Alex Holliman, a 19 year old from Birmingham,

Alabama, identifies himself as trans but also

nonbinary. Holliman explained that he identifies

as a man but not in an opposite-of-woman

way, because gender is a really personal thing

to him. He believes strongly in breaking any

rules people try to put on his gender identity

or presentation.

[ 49 ]

[Photographer] Sarah Hartsell

“People kind of forget trans people exist,” Holliman,

who is often misgendered, said. “When a cis person

sees an afab [assigned female at birth] person who

presents masculine they assume ‘lesbian’, and that’s

not me. It’s two aspects of my identity being mistaken

at once, my gender and sexuality.”

This kind of assumption can be degrading to

someone’s self-esteem. Sarah Nelson, a junior film

major at NYU, suggests that cis allies can help when

they make introducing their pronouns habitual

to make others feel included, rather than making

assumptions about others’ gender identity.

“We have to be active allies. If we stand to the side

and do nothing, we become bystanders,” Nelson said.

Many conservative platforms joke that in today’s

society, people continue to change their identity at the

drop of a hat or identify as genders that do not exist.

To combat these negative comments, it is critical for

cis allies to educate others as well as practice using

correct pronouns regularly. Listen when trans and

nonbinary friends say how to make them feel accepted

and comfortable in different settings. It is just as, if

not more important, that we do not assume what they

need for us to support them. In previous discussions

I’ve had with trans people, they’ve suggested that the

best way to go forward after incorrectly assuming

someone’s gender is to quickly correct yourself then

move on. If cis allies make a big deal out of correcting

themselves when they misspeak it makes the person

misidentified more uncomfortable. The next time a

cis ally uses a gender-specific pronoun when referring

to someone, make sure they use the correct pronoun

to reinforce they know how the trans or nonbinary

person identifies.

“That when a trans person has to correct someone

on their pronouns, that action leads to the trans

person outing themselves,” Nick Mueller, a junior at

Auburn University said. This not only puts the person

who is trans in an awkward situation, but

also a potentially dangerous one if someone

responds violently to this information.

It can be an uncertain time to be trans as

protections in place for this community are

at risk legally. If someone insists on using

a trans or nonbinary person’s pronouns

incorrectly on purpose, it is important as

allies to continue to use the correct pronouns

to reinforce that the trans/nonbinary

person’s gender identity is valid. Cis allies

have the power to continue fighting for trans

and nonbinary rights because if we stand to

the side, we become the problem.

[ 50 ]







[ 51 ]

[Photographers] Alexis Blue and Hannah Saad

Alongside the protestors’ call for justice, the

violent noise of colliding bodies in the searing

heat, the hiss of tear gas and the crack of

rubber bullets from the barrel of a gun, few

noticed the stray clicks of a camera capturing history.

Those frozen frames of tangible anger soon covered

newspapers, magazines, websites and social media,

captivating thousands with images depicting the

nation’s unrest.

Yet for some photographers, taking these photos isn’t

about gaining notoriety.

“We’re not here to make beautiful images,” Taylor

Gerlach, a University of Georgia senior and photo editor

of UGA’s newspaper The Red & Black said. “We’re

here to tell a story that needs to be told and honor the

humanity of the people in that story.”

It is necessary to tell other people’s stories, Gerlach

said, pointing out how journalism is under attack for

occasions when the news was “skewed.”

“For me, [photos are] like a very accurate portrayal

of what is happening,” she said. “And I think photos

have a lot more power sometimes to show emotion,

connection and humanity.”

Angela Wang, a University of Texas senior and UT

Athletics student assistant, said protests must be

photographed so what is happening is not disregarded.

“People fifty years from now could say [protestors]

were throwing rocks at the police and that’s why they

were fired on by rubber bullets, [but] the photos will

overwhelmingly show that the police misconduct came

first,” Wang said.

Hannah Saad, a senior at The University of Alabama,

The Crimson White’s photo editor and a contributing

photographer at Alice Magazine, said it is easy for

people to ignore words, but not photography.

“When you can see mass crowds gathering for Black

Lives Matter that hits differently than someone tweeting

like ‘oh there’s a big group in front of the courthouse,’”

she said. “I can show you what’s going on through

photography better than someone can really type out

what’s going on.”

Saad said photographs better highlighted how many

protestors’ wanted to speak up during the Black Lives

Matter movement.

“People connect better with seeing human emotion

from people at these protests and seeing the hurt they’ve

been through,” she said.

Daniel Roth, the digital content producer in the

Tuscaloosa Mayor’s office of public information, agreed

with Saad’s sentiment, sighting how photography was

“an incredibly powerful tool.”

“We saw the power that the video of George Floyd had

and what that did to the hearts of our country,” he said.

“I think photography is in the same line and can be just

as powerful. [It] can get you outside of your own bubble

and [help you] see that things are happening outside

your world.”

Ian Hoppe, a managing producer of news video at

Alabama Media Group, summed the importance of

photographing protests up when he said, “It’s history,


Hoppe said when he first got into media, he learned

from a seasoned reporter that journalists “don’t [just]

Google [information] – you go out and get the story,

and you become part of the record.” He said it made

him realize sometimes the story doesn’t exist and

journalists have to pull the pieces together using photos

as punctuation to a story that becomes the record of an


“It’s a difficult, important and rewarding role to have

in the world,” he said.

While getting the story, photographers have witnessed

and felt the effects of the protest.

“The best photo is the one [where] you’re closest to the

action,” Hoppe said. “That’s always been the case. The

best photographers, video journalists, photojournalists

... they’re not standing a block away. They’re in the

action, and sometimes that can be harrowing.”

Hoppe said he saw colleagues who were attacked at

protests. For him, the protest on June 3, in Huntsville,

Alabama, was particularly harrowing.

Hoppe said the protest took place in Big Spring Park

and was peaceful until it was shut down earlier than

expected. While still marching, the protestors and

Hoppe found themselves in a standoff against police

officers suited in riot gear armed with rubber bullets,

batons and tear gas launchers.

“I had never been tear gassed before then either, so

I was anticipating what that would be like. Turns out,

it’s pretty awful,” he said. “They unleashed a lot of tear

gas, and it was just absolute chaos. I saw kind of the

very intense power of a police department in the 21st

century unleashed on a group of citizens, which is a

pretty moving moment.”

Wang said she witnessed many unsettling moments

while at protests in Austin, Texas.

She recalled a protest where she saw a woman collapse

and be carried away by another protestor. A few days

later, she found out the extent of what happened to her.

According to KXAN Austin, the woman had been

sitting on the ground when officers shot her with rubber

bullets in the stomach, back and back of her head.

“There was absolutely no reason for that,” she said.

Yet, while there are harrowing moments, some

photographers experienced moments that were

impactful in other ways.

“I went to the first protest in Birmingham, and the

energy here is always very powerful,” Roth said. “So, it’s

[ 52 ]

always a powerful experience to be at any sort of rally

or protest in Birmingham knowing that you’re standing

on the ground that people fought very hard for civil and

human rights.”

Roth said while at the protest, the photograph he

liked the most was of two young men holding posters

and shouting.

“It’s an image of hope for me. It’s the next generation

participating in something that’s been going on since

the beginning of the United States,” he said.

John Watson, a freelance photographer and Spain

Park High School senior, recalled the morning after the

riot in Birmingham, Alabama. He’d gone out to take

photos downtown and saw a homeless man sitting near

the confederate monument picking up trash from the

night before.

Jasmine Kennedy, another Birmingham freelancer,

said her most memorable moment was during a protest

when a little girl held up a sign that said, “Stop killing

our dads.”

“It was definitely a gut punch,” she said. “To have

a feeling of fear of knowing there’s a possibility my

guardian will not return to me. It’s a feeling of trust on

the ends of law enforcement surrounding our future.”

From these moments that create lumps in throats

and butterflies in stomachs, photographers are left with

photos that linger long after the moment passes. More

importantly, they recognize each moment’s historical


According to USA Today, there have been more than

1,700 protests in the United States across all fifty states.

“Just seeing the scale of things has been really

different for me,” Wang said.

She said she had seen protests in Austin before, but

none with the momentum of the current movement. She

described how the protests occupied multiple locations

and somehow seemed to flow as one.

“I’ve been really amazed at how global it has become,”

Gerlach said.

She said she was working on an article for UGA’s

newspaper that compared images of the protests in

Athens, Georgia now to prior years: 2012, 2014 and


Gerlach said in prior years the protests seemed to

have a max of a hundred people who were primarily

Black. After looking at photos from last weekend’s

protest, she saw a diverse group of over 2,000 people.

“It’s been really cool to see how large the movement

has become and how widespread it is,” Gerlach said.

“It’s like so many more people are waking up to the

reality of the world we live in and [are] willing to fight

for something, which is cool.”

Hoppe expressed his amazement at the Black Lives

Matter protests emerging in places like Uganda, Kenya

and Bristol.

“I don’t remember a movement having this kind of

global impact,” he said. “The size of this movement has

reached a pitch that I never thought I would see.”

“Speaking of the context of history, we are walking in

it, you know. It’s a really cool moment to know that you

are in the middle of history; there’s nothing like that,”

Hoppe said.

Every day protestors call for justice, accountability

and change, creating historical moments to be captured

by photographers who wait on the front lines poised to

apprehend the truth and leave it bare for all citizens to


“It’s been really cool to be a part of telling the

history of this moment,” Gerlach said. “I can see how

transformative this moment in history is going to be, so

I’m really honored to be on the front lines and be able

to have people who will share their stories with me and

learn from the source.”

[ 53 ]

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

[ 54 ]

Stories across media

hold power, and with

that power comes the

ability to spark change.

Watching movies and miniseries

is not going to be the act that

transforms how racism is felt or

understood, but these resources

and works can alter people’s

perspectives by educating viewers

on the history of racism, police

brutality and inequality. Take

a look at our recommendations

for stories that can push people

past empathy and understanding

to action.




Ava DuVernay’s powerful

storytelling abilities are on

full display in two of her most

thought-provoking works. A

haunting documentary, 13th

offers an in-depth analysis of

how the modern prison system

comes directly from slavery,

while the miniseries When

They See Us illustrates this

systematic racism in a portrayal

of the wrongful conviction of

the Central Park Five.





If you found yourself swept up

in Moonlight’s moving story

of a Black man’s struggle with

sexuality and identity, then

you’ll like If Beale Street Could

Talk, in which lovers Fonny

and Tish must prepare for the

birth of their first child while

Fonny is imprisoned for a

rape he did not commit. Both

are directed by Barry Jenkins,

who addresses social and

racial inequality with lyricism

and poignancy.





[ 55 ]





Two devastatingly relevant

depictions of police brutality,

Fruitvale Station tells the

true story of the last day of

Oscar Grant’s life before he is

shot in the back by the BART

police. The Hate U Give,

based on the novel by Angie

Thomas, details a young girl’s

fight against racial injustice

after her friend is gunned

down by a police officer.




Experience Spike Lee’s diverse

directing abilities by following

the comedy BlacKkKlansman

with the drama Malcolm X. Lee

paints two different portraits

of two Black activists in these

gripping historical tales.




Those who appreciated the

close examination of Martin

Luther King Jr. and his

movement in Alabama won’t

be able to turn away from the

visceral, brutal look at what

life was really like for a slave

in 12 Years a Slave. Both

are based on true accounts

and received multiple Oscar

nominations, with 12 Years a

Slave winning Best Picture

in 2014.











[ 56 ]


[ 57 ]

[Photographer] Alexis Blue

[Back Cover Photographer] Hannah Saad [ 58 ]


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