Nineteen Fifty-Six Vol. 1 No. 1 Inspiring Firsts

uastudentmedia

This is the very first issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, Inspiring Firsts, can be seen throughout the magazine as we showcased Black students at the University whose firsts paved the way for future Black students.

InspiringFirsts

SEPTEMBER 2020


01


Dear Black

Students,

You do matter. The numerous achievements and talents

of Black students deserve to be recognized. As of Fall

2019, 10.50% of students on campus identified as Black or

African American. Black students are disproportionately

underrepresented in various areas on campus. Nineteen

Fifty-Six is a Black student-led magazine that amplifies

the voices within the University of Alabama’s Black

community. It also seeks to educate students from all

backgrounds on culturally-important issues and topics in

an effort to produce socially-conscious, ethical and wellrounded

citizens.

02


SEPTEMBER 2020

EDITORIAL STAFF

03

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Tionna Taite

MANAGING EDITOR

Bhavana Ravala

VISUALS EDITOR

A’Neshia Turner

PHOTO EDITOR

Zahrea Small

CULTURE & LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Farrah Sanders

ASSISTANT CULTURE & LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Reena Miller

FEATURES & EXPERIENCES EDITOR

Haley Wilson

ASSISTANT FEATURES & EXPERIENCES EDITOR

Sala Bandele-Jackson

ENGAGEMENT EDITOR

Nickell Grant

ASSISTANT ENGAGEMENT EDITOR

Taylor Garner

CONTRIBUTORS

Jeffrey Kelly, Rachel Parker, Ashlee Woods, Jasmine

Hollie, Kayla Bryan, Shamiel Moore, Madison

Carmouche, Vu Le, Tayla Bonner, Donovan Harris

Breona Winn, Cassidy Burrell, Tyala Bonner, Karris

Harmon, Kaela Robinson, Derrick Thomas, Madison

Davis, Ma'Kia Moulton, Kende'lyn Thompson,

Dominique Satterwhite, Jolencia Jones, Armyll Smith,

Asia Anderson

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Toni Taite and Kim Taite

Mark Mayfield

Traci Mitchell

Terry Siggers

FACULTY

COPYRIGHT

Julie Salter

Jessie Jones

Editorial and Advertising offices for Nineteen Fifty-Six 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. Nineteen

Fifty-Six 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

Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted without

the expressed, written permission of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine.



Meaningful change often


happens as a result of a

revelation rather than a

resolution.

- Viola Davis

LETTER FROM EDITOR

R

evelation is defined as a surprising and

previously unknown fact. Nineteen Fifty-Six

Magazine was founded on the revelation that

there was nothing like it on-campus. It is my

hope that Nineteen Fifty-Six leads you to revelations

that positively impact and better the lives of others.

During the summer, I sought ways to pass the time

while also being productive. I decided to create a

blog named Becoming Black Excellence offering

minority students– especially Black students–

educational resources and insights into the college

experience. Working on this blog led me to ponder

if there were any outlets and opportunities on

campus, specifically in the media department, that

granted Black students the opportunity to share

their unique stories and gain experience in the

form of digital media. While I found that other

student publications were making steps to be more

inclusive and diverse, there was still a need for a

student magazine that covered all of the diverse

aspects and topics that affect the Black community

at the University of Alabama.

Ultimately, I became inspired to create a magazine

that celebrated and focused on Black culture, Black

excellence and Black student experiences. Nineteen

Fifty-Six is the first Black student-led magazine at

the University of Alabama through the Office of

Student Media. I wanted the title of the magazine

to connect with the history of Black students at

the University of Alabama. The title refers to the

year that Autherine Lucy, the first Black student,

officially enrolled at the University of Alabama.

I wrote a proposal to UA faculty and the Office of

Student Media during June. This magazine has only

been a reality for three months, but so much has

been accomplished during this time. I am excited to

present the very first issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six to

you all. I hope this magazine issue leaves you with

the desire to enact change within your community.

X

TIONNA TAITE

04


05


TABLE OF CONTENTS

09

CULTURE

Marching with Mindfulness

12

When Sports Fell Silent

14

Ballot Baricade

FEATURES

25

Building Bridges to a

Lasting Legacy

17

LIFESTYLE

Activism: A Detailed Guide

on How To Use Your Voice

20

Quarantine Hobbies

22

Black Excellence on Screen

29

EXPERIENCES

Getting Involved on Campus

30

The Discomfort Around Us

06


CULTURE

Vivian Malone Jones

07

She was the first African American

graduate of the University of Alabama.


JEFFREY KELLY

F

or five months, the United States has been

entangled in a turbulent relationship with

the COVID-19 pandemic while also witnessing

countless reprehensible acts caused by systemic

racism within the justice system.

For students of color, the already complicated situation

has become more complex with a new semester on

the horizon. Now, while trying to assimilate to a “new

normal” on a global scale, students have been met with

another on an academic one.

However, students of color don’t have to confront these

stressful situations alone.

“I know a lot of us are balancing school, work, and then

everything with the systemic racism, so having someone

to vent to is really important,” said Jamaria Hill, a junior

at The University of Alabama and the vice president of

My Mind Matters, a student organization on campus

that focuses on the mental health and wellness of Black

students.

Hill said the organization was created to allow

Black students to have a safe space to have essential

discussions about mental health.

“Students are dealing with a lot right now,” said Jennifer

Turner, the Coordinator of Clinical Services at UA’s

Counseling Center.

She said having to leave campus and deal with loss of

all kinds abruptly has created an environment where

“people aren’t maybe coping at their best.”

“Then we started to have the protests and being a Black

identifying woman myself; I know how stressful that’s

been for me,” Turner said.

To combat that stress, Turner helped create a virtual

support group within the Counseling Center called

“Coping with a time of growth and change: a support

group for Black and African American identified

students.”

The support group will touch on emotional health,

social health, role expectations and more.

Though these discussions about mental health are

needed, they don’t always happen as often as possible.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of

Minority Health, Black Americans are 20% more likely

to experience serious mental health problems than the

general population.

Furthermore, according to The Washington Post,

anxiety and depression symptoms in African Americans

have tripled since 2019, rising from 8% to 34%.

08


But despite these very real mental health concerns, the

combination of socioeconomic disparities, inequality of

care and social stigma prevents most Black people from

getting the treatment they need.

“I think we may not have these conversations because

of the negative outlook that the Black community

sometimes has when it comes to mental health,” Hill

said.

Hill said to fix anything, you have to have conversations

with people who understand what you’re going through.

However, before learning how to cope with a mental

health issue, individuals must first acknowledge the

problem and understand that everyday things can be

triggers.

Although it has been vital in spreading news and the

important narratives of activists during protests, for

some people social media is triggering. With many

videos circulating platforms depicting Black people

being murdered, violent encounters at protests, biased

reporting from news outlets and more, some have

difficulty staying informed while also staying in the

right mind frame.

“We’ve seen enough videos of people dying,” Turner

said.

She said she avoids videos like that and prefers news

outlets like NPR because they usually do not engage in

sensationalism.

“That’s a way I protect myself, and that’s a way I have to

protect myself,” Turner said.

Hill and Turner both agreed that curating a positive

feed is essential for maintaining mental health on

social media.

Hill said to benefit her mental health, she sometimes

dials back her social media consumption and takes a

personal day.

“Every now and then, it’s kind of needed,” she said.

Lux Murray, a lead organizer of T-Town Freedom

Marches, uses what he sees as fuel in the fight for

change.

09

“Currently, with everything going on, I get tired of


seeing the things that have been happening for so long.

That’s why I continue to throw protests because I want

to see a change in this country,” Murray said.

While protesting can be fuel for some, it might not be

the best idea for others, but there are still ways to help.

Turner said because of a pre-existing injury, it was not

safe for her to attend protests, so instead she bought

masks for the protestors. She recalled a friend who

could not participate in protests either but decided to

help with bailout funds.

“Figure out what you can do,” she said. “It is just as

important as being on the front line; you have to provide

respite for those who are on the front line.”

Turner said at times, people feel guilty for doing what

they need to to stay healthy, but people have to do

what’s right for them “so that you can go out there and

deal with anti-Blackness and racism.”

Whether you are on the front lines or just offering

support, mental health is still an important part of

living a happy life while also fighting for change.

“It’s okay to take a day every now and then,” Hill said.

“It’s okay not to be okay.”

Hill said it is important to take mental health seriously

before it gets to the point where it’s overwhelming

because moods like that can be hard to get out of.

“Mental health is very important to me. Your mind is

important. If you need to take time to yourself to get

your mind together, then do so,” Murray said. “I’m

going to continue the fight, and so whenever they get

their mind together, then they can come back and join

us but take care of your mind before you worry about

anything else.”

Regarding the importance of mental health, Turner

recalled the words of a friend who said, “I’m not someone

who can go out and march currently, but I’m raising my

children to be joyful, and that’s radical.”

“If you think about it, it is,” Turner said. “The people

who don’t care for us and do not love us do not want

to see us be joyful and be happy, and I think that’s

important as well as getting out and exercising your

right to vote.”

10


WHEN

SPORTS

F

FARRAH SANDERS

E

L

L

SILENT

Sports have culturally served as one of America’s

favorite pastimes. It can be viewed as a welcoming

break from the outside world. A world that

is filled with struggling economies, constant

conflict, and systemic inequalities. During times of

controversy or unrest, it appears as though the two

seemingly separate worlds of sports and advocacy

collide. But are they truly separate? We have seen this

happen repeatedly over the course of organized sport.

History has recorded on-field activists such as Moses

Fleetwood in 1883, Gertrude Ederle in 1926, Tommie

Smith and John Carlos in 1986, and many more.

All of these integral moments in sports were directly

related to social and civil injustice issues happening

at the time. They tend to be heavily politicized while

gaining national attention.

The death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor

has sparked recent national outrage. Protests and

demonstrations spread across America and have

maintained a strong presence for nearly 4 months.

On Aug. 23, 2020, a video of Jacob Blake being shot

seven times in the back by a Kenosha Police Officer

went viral. As conversations and tension quickly grew,

professional sports decided that their power was in

their silence.

On Aug. 26, 2020, players from the WNBA, NBA, MLB,

and NHL decided that they will be postponing games

originally scheduled for that day. Various teams made

public statements, affirming the central message that

racial injustice is a deep issue in this country. Two-time

Grand Slam tennis champion, Naomi Osaka, swiftly

followed by announcing that she will be withdrawing

from the Western & Southern Open. She later resumed

play in the U.S. Open but wore face masks with the names

of Black people who had lost their lives to acts of police

brutality. This sent shock waves throughout the nation.

We had never seen such a bold and polarizing move of

solidarity in the sports world that caused regularly

scheduled games to be postponed.

While others threw support behind them, some expressed

discontent. They mentioned the need for athletes to stay

out of the political sphere. They wished for life to return

to “normal”. But the first domino had already fallen.

Soon after professional sports resumed, college teams

began their own acts of protest. Football teams from The

University of Texas, Boston College, Mississippi State

University, and more canceled practices and released

statements of solidarity.

On Aug. 31, 2020, the Athletic Department of The

University of Alabama, led by the football team and head

coach Nick Saban, marched from the Mal Moore Athletic

Complex to Foster Auditorium. Athletes gathered and

socially distanced in Malone-Hood Plaza, facing the same

area that became famous for the Stand in the Schoolhouse

Door.

Head coach Nick Saban, athletic director Greg Byrne,

University police chief John Hooks, University president

Dr. Stuart Bell and vice president of Diversity, Equity, and

Inclusion Dr. G. Christine Taylor shared words on behalf

of the administration.

“I’ve learned through talking with our student-athletes…

there are things I never had to think about or talk to our

boys about, such as what to do if they got pulled over.

I never had to worry about them getting followed by

security while out shopping. Or potentially be in danger

while going out for a jog,” Byrne voiced. Nick Saban

recognized the influence that those in sports can have.

“Sports has always created a platform for social change...

I think we have a responsibility and an obligation to do

that… and create positive change,” Saban said.

11


Najee Harris, Chris Owens, and Jarez Parks shared

sentiments on behalf of the athletes.

“The past few months have brought focus to issues that

have been prevalent in society for years,” Harris expressed.

“Black men and women have been the undeserving victims

of racism in many ways including police brutality and

hate crimes.”

He then asks one of the most important questions in the

conversation about social change. “What next?” Najee and

supporting athletes affirmed the need to do more within

the community and collaborate with service organizations.

They also called for holding law enforcement accountable,

asking that local police forces begin re-training officers.

This is in an effort to foster a more equitable space for

members of the community.

According to Dr. Meredith Bagley, Associate Professor

at The University of Alabama, whose research centers

around sports, power, and rhetoric, what we’re beginning

to see in sports culture is slightly different than what

we’ve seen before.

“We’re seeing more variety in the high profile athletes

who take a more prominent role. We’re also seeing levels

of sport and types of sport that we don’t usually think of

as activists. It’s this level of resistive politics,” Dr. Bagley

said.

Resistive politics is one of two forms of widely used

politics. Status Quo politics is the unnamed, yet prevalent,

other half. Dr. Bagley describes organized sport over

the past century as becoming more aligned with Status

Quo politics. For example, Collegiate and professional

teams that win their leagues national title get to visit

the White House. According to a report released by late

former senator John McCain and senator Jeff Flake, the

Department of Defense spent $6.8 million dollars from

2012-2015 on events before professional sports games,

including but not limited to, the honoring of military

members, displaying the American flag and reenlistment

ceremonies. This was justified by the department as a

part of their recruitment strategy.

“The dominant voices that shape American culture are

also shaping sports. We don’t recognize that as politics

because that’s the way our everyday world is running.

Those who are more likely to recognize that as politics are

on the edges or underside of that status,” Bagley clarified.

Essentially, those who belong to communities that have

been marginalized due to these structural rules and

shapings are the ones to recognize those very rules.

These are women athletes who don’t receive equal pay

despite having major success. These are Black women

being accused of drug use because of their natural talent

and strong physical features. These are athletes of color

recognizing the duality of being respected for their

athletic talent yet silenced for their views of society as a

person of color. Those who do not experience the margin,

do not see how sports and politics have been closely

aligned for some time now.

“What we’re seeing now is a potentially unprecedented

and sustained form of Resistive Politics in sports. We’re

seeing this interconnectedness of different leagues

forming organized protests,” Bagley remarked.

Resistive politics hinges upon challenging the status

quo. Bagley likened it to a dinner table conversation of

current events. Opinions are welcomed so long as they

are in agreement with the main beliefs of the house.

Introducing an opinion that challenges those beliefs are

met with the response, “Don’t bring politics into this.”

But, the politics were already there.

That push back is most notably seen in the “shut up and

dribble” responses. The Alabama protest was met with

mixed reviews. Some loudly supported. Some claimed

that they will no longer support the team because of their

stance.

Especially during challenging times, people may view

these resistive acts as a burden. Sports to them used to be a

welcoming break from a long work week or a needed pause

in the middle of a hectic pandemic. The issue lies in the

fact that they’re asking for a break from something that

the very athletes they praise endure without relent. Black

athletes are not afforded a break from institutionalized

racism, no matter the talent or status. It can be fair to say

that no one’s comfort level should be placed above those

seeking basic human rights.

As we continue down this path of sustained resistive

politics in organized sport, we must continue to ask

ourselves the same question that Najee Harris posed.

“What now?” What can we do to continuously press forward

toward positive change? Allowing the marginalized to

lead the charge and have necessary conversations is the

only way to navigate the path of progress.

12


R A C H E L

V

oting has been a staple of American life since the

formation of the country. From the American

Revolution to now, voting has been utilized to

elect government officials for states, counties

and the country. But, just as the practice of voting

itself is universal, so are the actions prohibiting

those who can vote, specifically Black people and

people of color. Past historical obstacles in place

such as: literacy tests, the Grandfather Clause, and

poll taxes, were used as a barrier and deterrent to

accessible voting. The passage of The Voting Rights

Act of 1965 prohibited racial discrimination in voting

and led to an improvement on voter turnout in the

African American community. But throughout time,

governing bodies with interests to retain their power

formed new ways to suppress voting in communities

of color.

The most common form of voter suppression is felon

disenfranchisement, and this has been exacerbated

through the 2017 Moral Turpitude Act, passed

by Gov. Kay Ivey. This affected African American

communities the most. Even if a conviction does

not prohibit someone from voting, instances of

voters being turned away by their voting registrars

or being told to pay fees to be eligible still act as

discouragement. “It’s placing an obstacle in front of

another obstacle in front of another obstacle, and

then pretending like it’s those people’s faults not

being legally sophisticated minds,” said Dev Wakeley,

a policy analyst for nonprofit organization, Alabama

Arise.

Felon disenfranchisement is also the oldest form of

voter suppresion, with roots connected to slavery.

African Americans were subject to institutionalized

slave labor to pay off debt and barred from participating

in civic life, effectively being silenced and stripped of

their power. “Felon disenfranchisement is currently

the best way that those entrenched power interests

maintain their hold on power. It’s a racist practice.

It always has been and attempts

to maintain,” Wakeley stated.

The practice of maintaining this

power continues as evidenced

through current statistics of

the Alabama population versus

the prison population of African

Americans as discussed by Stephanie

Strong, lead organizer of Faith

in Action, a faith based, nonprofit

organization in Alabama. With goals of

dismantling systemic racism at local and

state levels, this glaring divide shows the

urgency of representation for individuals

in the African American community.

“In Alabama, the African American community

makes up 26% of the population in Alabama

and 50% of African Americans cannot vote

because of felony disenfranchisement, Strong

said. With numbers such as these, it places an

adverse effect on the ability to form a Black

electorate as well as allow for the representation

needed to enact change in policy and elections.

13


P A R K E R

“It’s also important to know

that although we represent

26% of the population, that

the prison system consists of

54% African Americans.” Felon

disenfranchisement is only one

of the obstacles for voter turnout

among African American voters as

disparities are shown even more

throughout the poorer regions of

Alabama, specifically The Black Belt.

Composed of 17 counties: Barbour,

Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Crenshaw,

Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon,

Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Pike,

Russell, Sumter, and Wilcox, is faced

with varying issues of voter access

in polling places including but not

limited to, controversy over closed DMV

offices. Hindering ways to vote and even

register through polling place closures are

mounting acts of discrimination, placing

residents in a bind when additional options

are also criticized and cited as unjust.

Uncertainty over polling places, coupled with

distance and now controversies with mail-in voting,

add to voting obstacles. Allegations of mail-in voting

fraud are used as a weapon against communities of

color, even though they have been proven to be false.

“Voting by mail had not been shown to increase in any

sort of fraudulent activity, pretending that it has is a

lot of the same dishonesty we’ve seen over the course

of decades. And it’s dishonesty in favor of people

who have maintained power structures in Alabama

that hurt marginalized people,” said Wakeley. “The

most fundamental things that we probably need as a

society is a return to pre-clearance under section five

of the Voting Rights Act.”

Coupled with the need for voting regulations, the

need for caring for one another and the vote is also

imperative. Being inclusive of everyone, especially

ones hit hardest with voting restrictions, helps to

level the proverbial playing field and give every

citizen a voice in their interests.

“We have to bear down in every ounce of dignity

and love for one another. We as people have to care

about our fellow brothers and sisters that are having

challenges in getting to the poll, said Strong. Quoting

scripture, Strong continues, with the saying of “gird

up our loins,” that acts as a rallying cry to raise

excitement and give voters a vested interest in the

issues being discussed and know that they matter.

“We have to raise voter joy, right? We have to raise

voter joy that people get excited about what is possible

and they want to vote. That people get excited about

the opportunity to vote, that they can see themselves;

their issues in these platforms that these candidates

are running on, right? We need folks to know how

to disseminate information and everyday language

so that people can make informed decisions about

voting.”

14


LIFESTYLE

Dianne Kirskey

She was the first African American to be

on the Homecoming court and a founding

member of the Black Student Union.

15


ASHLEE WOODS AND JASMINE HOLLIE

ACTIVISM:

A Detailed Guide on How to Use Your Voice

Becoming an activist seems like a daunting task.

With so many issues and organizations needing

assistance, it may seem overwhelming to get started.

The first step is easier than most think. It all starts

with the desire to help. We interviewed four members of

The University of Alabama community and asked them to

give us their tips on how to become an activist.

The first step for all activists is being inspired to help

their community. That inspiration can come from many

places. For Teryn Shipman, a University of Alabama

alumna, her inspiration was what she saw during her time

here at the Capstone.

“I never really experienced

the whiteness before like it is

here at UA,” said Shipman.

Being exposed to things

like the confederate flag

and controversial names on

the school buildings gave

her something to fight for.

Growing up around mainly

African Americans, reading

and hearing about how

people of color fought for

change like that also inspired

her to do something like

that on campus. She saw that

there was a need for change

here at the University. From

that point on, her time at the

University has led her to fight for issues like voter rights

and the prison-industrial complex. If the desire to help

better the UA campus, community or the world is not a

driving factor, you will get easily discouraged.

The desire to make a change is a great start, but how

do you turn your passion into action? UA senior Mikayla

Wyatt advocates for networking yourself and your plan to

other people on campus or in the community.

“Always network and make sure to meet at least two to

three people that can advance the plans that you have.

There are definitely students out there who have the

same mindset as you,” said Wyatt.

Finding people to help you on this journey of

activism is just one part of putting your words and

passion into action. Another aspect Teryn points

out is creating genuine relationships with the

connections you have in your community or on campus.

“We can use each other’s experience to build upon our

relationships with each

other,” said Shipman.

Shipman would also state that

having genuine conversations

about your experiences

creates a support system for

you to lean on. She also stated

to do your research on the

issue you’re passionate about.

The willingness to learn more

about activism and ways to

help your community is vital

to your growth as an activist.

When pursuing activism,

there will be times where

the work being done in the

community or on campus

seems like it is for naught.

How does one deal with that

doubt or fear? UA Junior, Sterling Dozier, acknowledges

the validity of having that fear when branching out into

activism. But he stated that people should learn how to

embrace the resistance that comes with speaking out for

or against something.

“The resistance you get is definitely a testament to the

work you’re doing,” said Dozier.

16


17

Shipman echoed that sentiment and said knowing your

why [for getting into activism] can help ease that fear as

well. While she understands why someone may be nervous,

Shipman added that being nervous is ok. Like Dozier, she

advises people to embrace their nervousness and fear and

turn those emotions into action.

Protecting your mental health is crucial when fighting

for change. Dozier and Shipman stated creating a support

system and leaning on organizations for positivity helped

ease their worries and kept them grounded. How can one

create this group of supportive people? For Shipman, she

relied on campus resources like the Counseling Center

here at the University. There are organizations like My

Mind Matters, a group Dozier is a part of, that promotes

bettering the mental health of Black students here at the

University. Protecting the mental health of people is not

limited to campus. Community leader JacQuan Winters

started the Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation, designed

to prevent suicide among youth. It was named after his

sister, who tragically committed suicide at the age of 11.

“The objective is to keep Kristen’s memory and legacy

alive,” Winters said. “Not only that, but to also make sure

no other child or family has to go through what my family

had to go through.”

Tapping into resources like these can better your wellbeing

as you continue to advocate for change.

Activism does not look the same for everyone. For some,

it’s creating posts and petitions. Others may organize

protests or do community work. Some may just educate

themselves and have conversations. Whatever your

particular area is, Wyatt states that people should be bold

when stepping out for change while remembering who

and why you are pursuing activism.

“An activist is the person that’s in the community doing

great things on the behalf of other people,” Winters said.

“It’s someone who advocates for those that don’t have a

voice.”

All four activists and community leaders push for knowing

your reasons for doing community work. For at the end of

the day, the fight for change is about helping the people

who have no other outlet.

Teryn Shipman is an alumna of the University. She majored

in Political Science. Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia,

she is a first year law student at Southern University.

She is the creator of “For Black Girls Who Have a Lot To

Say,” a blog highlighting issues that affect Black women

and the community. She uses her blog to educate her

readers on issues that she cares about and ways they [her

readers] can support. She is an advocate for voter rights,

eradicating gender violence, and the abolishment of the

prison-industrial complex.

Mikayla Wyatt is a senior at the University. She is majoring

in Political Science. She is from the state of Georgia.

She is the Opinions Editor for the Crimson White. She

organized a protest for the resigning of Dr. Jamie Riley,

former Dean of Students in 2019.

Sterling Dozier is a junior at the University. He is

majoring in Finance and Economics. He was born and

raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Dozier is a member of

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and is the treasure of the

University’s chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

He also started the Black Business Student Association,

which is a group intended to help the Black students

enrolled in the Culverhouse College of Business. He is also

a member of My Mind Matters, an organization intended

to promote improved mental health among minority

students at UA and destigmatize proper mental health.

JacQuan Winters is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He

graduated from the University of West Alabama with a

bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and master’s in

Education. He is the director of Kristen Amerson Youth

Foundation.


EDUCATION THAT

ADAPTS

Whether the class section you need is full or you need another

chance at a class you’ve taken before, Shelton State can meet you

where you are and take you where you want to go.

NEW CLASSES AVAILABLE!

SECOND TERM BEGINS OCTOBER 12.

It is the policy of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees and Shelton State Community College, a postsecondary institution under its

control, that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, or any other protected class as defined

by federal and state law, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or subjected to discrimination under any program, activity, or employment.

18


KAYLA BRYAN

Quarantine

Hobbies

The last thing anyone expected in their lifetime was

to be quarantined for six months due to a global

pandemic. The levels of boredom have reached new

heights for most, if not all. Hundreds of thousands

of internships, jobs, summer vacations and graduations

have been canceled across the world. It has been a

tough time for everyone trying to adapt to this new and

uncertain way of life. There are only so many times you

can binge-watch a show on the thousands of streaming

platforms, re-read your favorite book or start a new book

before you are over it.

With all this being said, over the past few months

“quarantine” has been associated with not being able to

go out, not being able to spend time with friends, not

being able to travel and not being able to party. It has

been terrible, annoying and lastly, it has been draining

both mentally and physically.

Oftentimes in life, we forget that we can take whatever is

going on and transform it into something better. The only

way to get through something that is new or challenging

is to go through it with a different perspective. Because of

course, different perspectives lead to different outcomes.

Quarantine should be looked at as a time to grow because

there is so much personal time devoted to you and only

you. It is the time to pick up a new hobby, reflect on

yourself, start the blog or Youtube channel you have been

dreaming about, pick up new hair routines and so much

more.

After interviewing a few students and polling them on

their favorite quarantine hobby, cooking and baking took

a strong lead.

Nia Anderson, a junior at The University of Alabama, said

“I loved cooking over quarantine. I did it almost every day.

It was great because I am now able to cook for myself and

my roommates in our apartment.”

Some simple yet tasty meals to make are chicken parmesan,

rasta pasta, fried rice, a seafood boil or bake, shrimp and

grits, and tacos. You would be surprised what you can whip

up just by googling a few meals you’ve always wanted

to try. While these may seem easy to some, others have

absolutely no basic cooking skills. Even if you are already

a “pro chef” there is always room for improvement.

19


Learning new cooking techniques allows for more dishes

at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners.

Another fun hobby to take up during quarantine happens

to also be one that is rather important: hair care. For the

newly naturals or long time naturals, moisture training is

a very important skill to hone. Since quarantine is simply

days on end in the house, what better time to moisture

train your hair? It allows for your curls to achieve the

ultimate level of popping. Remember not to look at the

type of hair you have, but the hair porosity.

For some, making a wig has always looked interesting.

Time in quarantine allows for the trial and error of

making your first wig or even just learning how to put

one on. Weave ponytails are a simple and quick hairstyle

to master with some help from a few youtube videos.

Learning how to do cornrows, twists and braid outs are

more trial and error hairstyles - but there is no better

time than now to invest in perfecting your hair.

After scrolling through Tik Tok, DIYs became a fun hobby

almost everyone tried to pick up, while attempting to

become Tik Tok famous.

“I actually learned how to make some candles over

quarantine. It was so easy and pretty fun actually,” said

Mallory Westry, a junior at UA.

Cloud mirrors have also become popular over the past

few months. They can go well with any themed room,

especially light and airy rooms with a few plants here and

there to add a nature vibe. Over the door mirrors from

Walmart or Target are cheap and easy to fool around with

before the final project.

While on the topic of room decor, changing a bedroom

or living room around is good to do every now and then.

Since quarantine and social distance pushes many people

to fall back into their homes, switching things around

allows for better vibes and flows of energy. The feeling

you get from switching a room around is equivalent to

the same feeling you get after a good day of cleaning.

When all is said and done, you can light your DIY candle

and illuminate your reimagined living spaces.

There are several other activities to do during times

of quarantine and social distancing. Getting dressed

up and hanging out with friends is still possible. Once

everyone is feeling good and looking good, meet up at

a park, rooftop, parking lot or even create space in your

home and have a mini photoshoot. Officially ripping off

the band-aid and starting that YouTube channel or blog

is a great investment of your time. Similarly, journaling

and gratitude books open the mind and soul and are also

great to reflect on how far you have come or where you

want to go.

Being in quarantine can be no fun. The constant

anticipation and anxiety over when will life return to

normal can be overwhelming. Looking for those hidden

gems and hobbies can not only go a long way to pass

the time, but it can also improve the quality of your life.

Remember, life is full of the unexpected: it is what you

take from those moments that allow for you to be the best

you that you can be.

“Oftentimes in life, we

forget that we can take

whatever is going on

and transform it into

something better.

20


JAVON WILLIAMS

BLACK EXCELLENCE

ON SCREEN

FOR MILLENNIALS... OR IS IT GEN Z?

GROWN-ISH

Grown-ish is a spinoff of the show Black-ish

with stars Yara Shahidi, Diggy Simmons, Chloe

and Halle, and Trevor Jackson. The show follows

Shahidi’s character, Zoey, as she goes through her

college career and learns that the college life is

way more than she expected.

Places to Watch: Hulu, FreeForm, and ABC

INSECURE

Created by a Black female director, Issa Rae,

Insecure follows a middle-aged Black woman and

her friend as they try to figure out adult life in Los

Angeles. While trying to tackle their professional

appearances they also deal with mental health,

finances, and relationships.

Places to Watch: HBO Max

ATLANTA

The show Atlanta follows Donald Glover (also

known as Childish Gambino) as he tries to

reclaim himself in the eyes of his family and exgirlfriend.

The show also follows “Paper Boi”, an

underground rapper.

Places to Watch: FX on Hulu

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

Starring Logan Browning, Dear White People

follows multiple Black Ivy League students as

they tackle racial and political issues.

Places to Watch: Netflix

TAKING OVER FOR THE 90’S AND THE 2000’S

SISTER SISTER

Played by twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, Sister,

Sister is about two identical twins that were

separated at birth that accidentally found each

other at a mall and reunited 14 years later. Tamera’s

adoptive dad allows Tia and her mother to move

in with them so that the girls would not remain

separated.

Places to Watch: Netflix

MY WIFE AND KIDS

Michael Kyle, played by Damon Wayans, wants

nothing short of a normal, traditional life for

his family but as days go by it seems like a nearly

impossible task. Kyle owns a trucking company and

does everything to properly support his family,

even when things get weird.

Places to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

KENAN AND KEL

This show follows Kenan and Kel, who are high

school students that go through a lot of crazy

situations and encounters at the hands of Kenan

who does any and everything to avoid any trouble

with his parents, teachers, and boss.

Places to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

THE PARKERS

This show focuses on Nikki Parker and her

daughter, Kim, as they attend college together.

Since Nikki had to drop out due to having Kim she

waited until Kim was older to return. The motherdaughter

duo goes through the show overcoming

obstacles within a college student’s life.

Places To Watch: Netflix, Sling TV

21


THE OG’S

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR

This show follows Will Smith, originally from

Philadelphia, going to live with his rich uncle

and aunt in Bel-Air. In the show, Smith is a spiffy

teenager who likes to bend the rules and be of

influence to his cousins Hilary, Ashley, and Carlton.

Places to Watch: HBO Max

A DIFFERENT WORLD

A Different World was a spinoff from The Bill

Cosby Show that tackled the many issues no one in

television was doing at the time. The show follows

Denise Huxtable, daughter of Cliff Huxtable, who

has a white roommate at a predominantly Black

college, Hillman College. The producers of the

show approached the issues of race and class

relations, equal rights HIV/AIDs all in a college

setting.

Places To Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

IT’S THE NECESSARY DRAMA FOR ME

HOUSE PARTY

House Party stars popular Hip-Hop duo Kid n Play

who has plans to throw the biggest party of the

school year at Play’s house because his parents

are out of town. Although Kid’s dad forbids

him from going to the party he still manages to

unsuccessfully sneak out of the house and cause a

whole lot of trouble. The House Party series has a

total of four movies.

Places to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

QUEEN AND SLIM

Starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya,

Queen and Slim is about a Black couple that

goes on the run after killing a police officer at a

traffic stop. The movie is based on current police

brutality headlines.

Places to Watch: HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime

Video

THE WAYAN BROS.

Brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans live in Harlem,

New York, and work at a newsstand that Shawn

owns. Throughout the show, the brothers go

through many misfortunes but always find their

way from them. The show includes the deceased,

John Witherspoon, who plays the brothers’ dad.

Places to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

IN LIVING COLOR

In Living Color was a sketch comedy show created

by the Wayans Family that included short skits,

music, and dancing. The show aired between 1990

- 2006.

Places to Watch: Rent DVD through Netflix

POETIC JUSTICE

Starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, Poetic

Justice is introduced by a mutual couple of friends,

Chicago and Iesha, who then take a trip. On the

journey the four individuals take Jackson and

Shakur to learn more about themselves.

Places to Watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

US

Directed by Jordan Peele, Us tells the story of a

girl who had a supernatural encounter while on

vacation with her parents in 1986. In present-day,

the girl who is now a woman goes on a vacation

with her husband and two children and her

encounter comes back to haunt her...literally.

Places to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu,

Netflix

22


FEATURES

James Hood

He was one of the first African Americans

to integrate the University of Alabama.

23


BrIdGeS To A

BuIlDiNg

R A C H E L P A R K E R

LaStInG LeGaCy

The University of Alabama has always been embroiled

in controversy. Campus buildings were reconstructed

after being burned by Union troops in 1865, and in

1893, the first female students were enrolled into

the university thanks to lobbying from Julia S. Tutwiler.

Just as these events showed the indomitable spirit of the

institution, there were also moments that showcased its

ugly side. The most famous of these is the “Stand in the

Schoolhouse Door”, when Gov. George Wallace tried to

physically block the entrance to Foster Auditorium to

prevent African American students Vivian Malone and

James Hood from enrolling at the University.

Even before this moment, the enrollment of Autherine

Lucy Foster as the first African American student at the

University of Alabama in 1956 ended after a mere three

days due to racist mobs threatening her safety. Although

Autherine Lucy Foster could not complete her time at the

University then, she returned to pursue a master’s degree

and graduated in 1992 with a master’s in education at the

same time her daughter, Grazia Foster, graduated with

her bachelor’s in corporate finance. Furthermore, the

university awarded Foster with an honorary doctorate

degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Stories such as these have become enshrined as a part

of UA history, especially the story of Dr. Autherine Lucy

Foster. From the campus marker in front of Graves Hall

to the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower, Foster’s legacy is

present throughout campus and remains even more

impactful for young women. Her influence is seen in the

program Lucy’s Legacy. Lucy’s Legacy is a living-learning

community for first-year female students, named in honor

of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster and housed in John England

Jr. Hall. The program, highlighting the experiences and

history of women of color on the UA campus, is open to all

first-year women and functions as a way for freshmen to

transition to college life academically and socially.

Lucy’s Legacy first began in the Fall of 2019 and is the

brainchild of Kiara Summerville, Assistant Director of

First Year Experience. Summerville says, “The creation

of this community was a way to continue the legacy of

Autherine Lucy’s pathways that she created for women,

particularly women of color to attend the university.”

Continuing this pathway, the women are required to take a

Women’s Studies 200 course to highlight the intersections

of being both Black and a woman, and they navigate

campus life alongside their living-learning community.

Composed of current Lucy’s Legacy members and their

24


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mentors, the program includes women from both in and

out of state serving as a connection on campus.

These sentiments are echoed by Lucy’s Legacy alumna

and mentor, Arianna Morse, “You really build community

and connection and family, sisterhood,” she said. Morse,

a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education English,

is from Auburn, GA and was initially interested in

the program because coming from out-of-state to a

predominantly white institution complicated the normal

difficulties of making friends and adjusting to

campus life. Being a part of the first class of

Lucy’s Legacy helped to solidify relationships

with fellow community members beyond the

program that are replicated through the current

freshman class and their own connections.

Just as Morse questioned the idea of community

and how that would look for her, another out of

state student and current Lucy’s Legacy member,

Jazzmine Burge, had similar questions. “Some

students before they hit their first year at UA,

they hear like, you know, maybe rumors or myths

or horror stories about, the state of Alabama and

being an African American woman or male,” she

said. Rumors and stories aside, Lucy’s Legacy

placed the UA campus in a different light for

Burge with the living-learning community

playing a large role in that perception. “I was

actually going to be able to be around people of

my color or people that have the same mindset

of me,” Burge said.

Similarities have formed the foundation for

connection among Lucy’s Legacy members.

Just as this organization speaks to the care

and development of young Black women and

women of color, there is also an organization

that speaks to young Black men and men of

color known as BRIDGE. BRIDGE also began

in the Fall of 2019 with goals of creating a

legacy at the University by supporting men

of color through creating a vision plan,

forming a community and learning about

being a UA student. The involvement of

Asst. Director Kiara Summerville along with UA faculty

and staff formed the BRIDGE committee that worked

together to enhance the young mens time at UA as both

productive and enjoyable.

Both of these programs hold a special place for

Summerville, as she said, “I always tell people, BRIDGE

and Lucy’s Legacy for me is a way of reaching back into my

own undergraduate experience. So, I was very involved as

a student leader, but I can’t say that I had access to a large

number of, Black faculty or staff, to support me. I had

faculty and staff support, but they were not necessarily,

people of color, some of them were, but not all the time.”

Support from like-minded individuals is shown through

BRIDGE members’ participation in the program, as

demonstrated by current member, freshman Thomas

Rodgers. Following advice from his sister, a current

Lucy’s Legacy mentor, and his friends led to his interest

in BRIDGE. “It was an amazing way for us to learn that we

are not alone here on this campus and for us to like, just

remember that, we’re here for us basically, and this is the

place where we can keep our paths going,” Rodgers said.

Being a support system for one another is a prominent

part of BRIDGE and applies to both BRIDGE members

and mentors, known as BRIDGE Builders. As a BRIDGE

Builder, this relationship is discussed through terms of

accountability by current mentor, Brekeese Pierce. “Being

able to hold me accountable, having that representation,

seeing other men of color, who are driven just as much

as you are, who are doing big things in the community

and have a clear purpose and vision. I think that’s very

imperative,” he said. Pierce, a junior from Huntsville,

AL, elaborates on this through comments about the

importance of seeing fellow Black men as confident and

as an uplifting image against negative stereotypes.

Programs such as Lucy’s Legacy and BRIDGE are

communities of connection through friendship and

support that extend beyond campus grounds. Despite

being young organizations, their work will leave a lasting

impact for generations to come and allow students of

color to form their own stories in bridging historical

divides.

26


EXPERIENCES

Wendell Hudson

He was the first African American

athlete to receive a scholarship to

the University of Alabama.

27


SHAMIEL MOORE

GETTING

INVOLVED

ON CAMPUS

T

he University of Alabama is home to over 600 clubs

and organizations meant to enhance every student’s

college experience. Because of the substantial

number of programs on campus, there is a diverse

amount of options for students to choose from.

The University also strives to incorporate many inclusive

and safe spaces for African American and other minority

students.

Alabama’s Black Student Union is an organization that

focuses on being the voice for minority students in the

effort to make the campus a welcoming place. According

to the university’s student organization catalogue

on My Source, ​the Black Student Union strives to be

a comfortable environment for Black students: ​“We

serve our members by providing community service

opportunities, mentoring relationships within BSU,

and providing outlets for expression and discussion. We

strive to address the issues that affect our community on

campus, locally, and internationally.”

Farrah Sanders, a senior at the University, is a member

of the BSU. “I occupied two separate roles on the

organization’s E-board. To me titles never mattered

because I wanted to advocate for minority students on

campus. What I enjoyed was talking with students and

really creating an environment where they know that

they’re heard by someone,” she said.

She goes on to explain that she obtained great leadership

skills working with the organization and opportunities to

interact with administrative faculty within the University.

“It was one of the first leadership positions that I occupied

and I got to branch out and grow in leadership to where

I am now. Less of a public role but still advocating in

meetings and within the UA system.”

Ashlee Woods, a junior attending Alabama, is also a

member of the Black Student Union, as well as Bama

Tutors for Service, the Pre-law Student Association, and

The Crimson White. “I came from a majority white high

school and we didn’t get a BSU until my senior year of

high school. Being able to have a group of Black students

to lean on for support and advice was crucial to my

transition,” Woods says about her experience within the

organization.

She also speaks on her time in Bama Tutors for service: “I

love working with kids and I’m passionate about education

reform so being able to help kids get the help they need

is really fun.” Woods says that her time working with

The Crimson White has helped her lend a voice to the

voiceless and improve her skills as a writer: “The Crimson

White has helped me learn how to use my writing as a

voice to others. I believe I’m one of two Black females on

the desk so being able to represent us in a field like sports

reporting has been a pleasure.”

There are a multitude of opportunities for students to get

involved and let their voices be heard on campus. These

organizations can accelerate their growth as a person,

while also building a comfortable community around one

another to propel them forward in life.

Additional Black Student Organizations:

Black Faculty and Staff Association Ambassadors

Future Black Law Student Association

National Society of Black Engineers

Black Business Student Association

National Council of Negro Women

Black Law Students Organization

My Mind Matters

28


A’NESHIA TURNER AND DERRICK THOMAS

DISCOMFORT AROUND US

To feel like an outcast in a world not so kind.

To work twice as hard yet still feel far behind.

After the year 1956 we thought it would guarantee,

That Black people earned the right to more than a degree.

The problem transcends Tuscaloosa, it is worldwide.

How are we expected to not run and hide?

We follow the laws and are told to be submissive.

Yet when we talk of poverty and pain, they appear dismissive.

They claim we are insane, changers of historic values.

But they would never walk a day in our busted shoes.

A lot of can'ts and disapprovals.

A subjective justice system in place to handle our removal.

We are Black and we don’t need your validation.

We just want a better nation.

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