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
EDITOR IN CHIEF
CULTURE & LIFESTYLE EDITOR
ASSISTANT CULTURE & LIFESTYLE EDITOR
FEATURES & EXPERIENCES EDITOR
ASSISTANT FEATURES & EXPERIENCES EDITOR
ASSISTANT ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
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,
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Toni Taite and Kim Taite
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
- Viola Davis
LETTER FROM EDITOR
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Marching with Mindfulness
When Sports Fell Silent
Building Bridges to a
Activism: A Detailed Guide
on How To Use Your Voice
Black Excellence on Screen
Getting Involved on Campus
The Discomfort Around Us
Vivian Malone Jones
She was the first African American
graduate of the University of Alabama.
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
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
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
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
Furthermore, according to The Washington Post,
anxiety and depression symptoms in African Americans
have tripled since 2019, rising from 8% to 34%.
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
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
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
She said she avoids videos like that and prefers news
outlets like NPR because they usually do not engage in
“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
Hill said to benefit her mental health, she sometimes
dials back her social media consumption and takes a
“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
“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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
R A C H E L
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
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
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.
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
She was the first African American to be
on the Homecoming court and a founding
member of the Black Student Union.
ASHLEE WOODS AND JASMINE HOLLIE
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.
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
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
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
Whether the class section you need is full or you need another
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where you are and take you where you want to go.
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SECOND TERM BEGINS OCTOBER 12.
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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
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.
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
FOR MILLENNIALS... OR IS IT GEN Z?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Places To Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
IT’S THE NECESSARY DRAMA FOR ME
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
Places to Watch: HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime
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
Places to Watch: Rent DVD through Netflix
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
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,
He was one of the first African Americans
to integrate the University of Alabama.
BrIdGeS To A
R A C H E L P A R K E R
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
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
He was the first African American
athlete to receive a scholarship to
the University of Alabama.
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
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
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
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.