Nineteen Fifty-Six Vol. 3 Issue 1

This is the Fall 2022 edition of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, Amoir Noir (translated "Black Love") was written with the importance that Black people see authentic depictions of love. Turn the pages of the first issue of Volume 3 and feel the love coming out.

This is the Fall 2022 edition of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, Amoir Noir (translated "Black Love") was written with the importance that Black people see authentic depictions of love. Turn the pages of the first issue of Volume 3 and feel the love coming out.


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Amour Noir<br />

FALL 2022

Dear<br />

BLACK<br />


You do matter. The numerous achievements and talents<br />

of Black students deserve to be recognized. As of Fall<br />

2022, 11% of students on campus identified as Black or<br />

African American. Black students are disproportionately<br />

underrepresented in various areas on campus. <strong>Nineteen</strong><br />

<strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> is a Black student-led magazine that amplifies the<br />

voices within the University of Alabama’s Black community.<br />

It also seeks to educate students from all backgrounds on<br />

culturally important issues and topics in an effort to produce<br />

socially-conscious, ethical and well-rounded citizens.



Jolencia Jones, Leah Jones, Morgan Lewis,<br />

Kennedi Hall, Andrea Tinker, Shamiel Moore<br />

Sophana Norville, Tyquan Houston, Dani Brown,<br />

Kimora Legget, A’Mya Lewis, Ta’Kyla Bates,<br />

Madison Carmouche, Lindsey Macon<br />


Alexis Day, Ashton Jah,<br />

Tyler Hogan, Jalen Ford, Dallas Harper<br />


Janee Hill, Jordan Strawter,<br />

Morinsola Kukoyi, Asia Smith<br />


<strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> is published by the Office of Student Media at The University of Alabama. All content and<br />

design are produced by students in consultation with professional staff advisers. All material contained herein,<br />

except advertising or where indicated otherwise, is copyrighted © 2022 by <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> magazine. Material<br />

herein may not be reprinted without the expressed, written permission of <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> magazine. Editorial<br />

and Advertising offices for <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> Magazine are located at 414 Campus Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL<br />

35487. The mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Phone: (205) 348-7257.<br />

Pictured on the cover are Jarez Parks and Ericka Logan. Cover photography by Tyler Hogan.



Love, sex and relationships. Three words<br />

that hold so much power in today’s<br />

culture. People either enjoy talking<br />

about those three things or they absolutely hate<br />

it. But important and nuanced conversations<br />

around these things are needed now more than<br />

ever.<br />

This time last year, I was reading an edition<br />

of Maroon Life, the Battalion at Texas A&M’s<br />

special edition newspaper. This edition was<br />

entitled “Let’s Talk About Sex.” As I was<br />

reading, an idea popped into my head. The<br />

stories of love, sex and relationships tend to<br />

center on white people and their experiences.<br />

What about Black people? What about their<br />

experiences and how can I share their stories?<br />

At the time, I did not know I would be named<br />

editor-in-chief of <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> just a<br />

mere four months later. I just knew that these<br />

stories needed to be heard. Once I was named,<br />

I began to turn my vision into reality and now<br />

present to you: Amour Noir.<br />

I am a product of Black love. My parents were<br />

my first visual of Black love. It is—like any other<br />

kind of love—imperfect. There are highs and<br />

lows. Peaks and valleys. But it is nevertheless<br />

important that Black people of every color,<br />

gender, sexuality and background experience<br />

what it is like to love and to be loved.<br />

It is important that Black people see accurate<br />

depictions of love. Far too many times, Black<br />

people in media are in broken homes, abusive<br />

relationships or left alone with nothing but the<br />

clothes on their back. I did not grow up that<br />

way. My parents were always around and even<br />

when it was not easy to love me, they did. My<br />

brother did. My friends did.<br />

<strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> is committed to giving a<br />

voice to the voiceless. It was designed to bring<br />

stories not always told to the forefront and<br />

start meaningful discussions about was it really<br />

means to be a Black person in the United States.<br />

My staff and I have brought people from all<br />

different genders, sexualities and backgrounds<br />

to share just how powerful love, sex and<br />

relationships can be.<br />

These discussions are necessary, and I am more<br />

than honored to give these people a platform<br />

to share them. I hope that when you turn the<br />

pages of the first issue of <strong>Vol</strong>. 3, you will feel the<br />

love coming out.<br />


TABLE OF<br />



12<br />





14<br />

16<br />

18<br />

20<br />


22<br />





24<br />

28<br />

30<br />



36<br />









39<br />

43<br />

44<br />

47<br />

49<br />

52<br />

54<br />

56<br />





59<br />

63<br />




FILM<br />


Black love in film might not be hard to come by,<br />

but the portrayal of Black couples in film is not<br />

always ideal. There are a few films that get this<br />

portrayal right, but the issue of how Black romance is<br />

portrayed in the media is a topic that should be discussed.<br />

Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” might be a kid’s<br />

movie. However, the portrayal of Black love in films is<br />

something that has cemented itself in the hearts of a<br />

lot of little Black girls and has become a staple movie in<br />

many Black households.<br />

The film has a 85% critic rating and a 74% audience<br />

rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised the film for<br />

its animation and how the film seemed reminiscent of<br />

traditional Disney films.<br />

“The backgrounds are beautifully drawn. There are sunny<br />

days in the French Quarter, spooky nights among live<br />

oaks hung with Spanish moss, and a rousing denouement<br />

at the Mardi Gras,” said critic Sandra Hall.<br />

Mariah Thomas, a senior at The University of Alabama,<br />

said that some of her favorite aspects of the film were<br />

seeing Tiana find love and achieve her dream of opening<br />

a restaurant.<br />

Cierra Gilliam, another student at the university,<br />

recalled that the film was the first time she saw herself<br />

represented in a Disney movie. However, Gilliam said<br />

that Tiana being a frog for a majority of the film was<br />

disappointing to see.<br />

The dynamic between Tiana and Prince Naveen is<br />

endearing. Disney’s storytelling techniques, animation<br />

and score hold up very well despite it being over 10 years<br />

since the film was released.<br />

Seeing a young, Black woman slowly fall in love with that<br />

standard Disney princess movie formula was something<br />

that is not seen very often, especially not in children’s<br />

media.<br />

Outside of children’s media, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s<br />

film “Love & Basketball”, has received lots of love since its<br />

release in 2000. Similar to “The Princess and the Frog,”<br />

the movie received an 85% critic rating but scored much<br />

higher with audiences at a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.<br />


Thomas said that the movie is her favorite because of the<br />

dynamic between the two lead characters, Monica Wright<br />

and Quincy McCall.<br />

“How they come together in the end is what I enjoy,”<br />

Thomas Said. “Because mostly what I’ve seen with Black<br />

love and with other movies, there’s always some type of<br />

struggle or there’s always some type of issue.”<br />

Critic, Ann Hornaday praised the movie for how it handled<br />

Black culture and how the characters were portrayed.<br />

“Gina Prince-Bythewood has taken the conventional<br />

coming-of-age romance genre and invigorated it with<br />

such vivid characters and such alertness to the culture<br />

she's representing, that she makes what might have been<br />

derivative into something brand new,” said Hornaday.<br />

Barry Jenkins,’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” is another film<br />

where Black love is portrayed positively, despite the bad<br />

things happening to the main characters.<br />

The movie is based on the book, “If Beale Street Could<br />

Talk” by James Baldwin and follows Tish and Alonzo as<br />

they try to prove Alonzo’s innocence and navigate their<br />

relationship since Alonzo has been arrested, all while<br />

Tish is pregnant. Unlike “The Princess and the Frog,” this<br />

movie showcases the more tragic side of romance. It does<br />

not end with everything ultimately being resolved. Tish<br />

and Alonzo still have to battle with Alonzo’s sentence,<br />

and Tish is a single mother since Alonzo is in jail.<br />

“If Beale Street Could Talk” boasts a much higher critic<br />

rating at 91%. However, the audience score is only at a<br />

71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hanna Giorgis, a writer<br />

for The Atlantic, applauded the film for the depth that it<br />

portrayed.<br />

“Jenkins's If Beale Street Could Talk is a gorgeous,<br />

enveloping film -- and one of its most poignant triumphs<br />

is how vividly it captures the depth and complication of<br />

intimacy among its black characters,” Giorgis said.<br />

However, just because these films have glowing reviews<br />

does not mean that Black romance is portrayed fairly in<br />

the media.<br />

Kenneth Kelly, a student at The University of Alabama,<br />

along with Gilliam and Thomas said that Black romance<br />

is portrayed unfairly in the media because it focuses too<br />

much on negative aspects such as Black women being in<br />

abusive relationships.<br />

“[Black romance] is always depicting a struggle, there’s<br />

always something, whether it’s abuse, fat shaming, it’s<br />

always showing the stereotypes of Black relationships and<br />

Black family dynamics which isn’t true for the majority,”<br />

Gilliam said.<br />

According to Gilliam, these movies are also showing<br />

younger generations that it is okay to be put in bad<br />

romantic relationships because in these movies, no matter<br />

what type of abuse is going on, the Black woman defends<br />

herself and finds love in the end which is unhealthy to<br />

show.<br />

All three students agreed that in order to help the<br />

portrayal of Black romance in the media become more<br />

positive, there needs to be a shift from focusing on the<br />

negative aspects of Black love.<br />

“I think maybe it shows more of a side of relationships<br />

and couples getting through a time together rather than<br />

them being in conflict with each other the whole time,”<br />

Kelly said.<br />






16<br />

Typically, gender roles are ways people are<br />

expected to behave based on their gender<br />

identity. At a young age, children are<br />

taught to behave according to their gender. This<br />

includes telling girls how to dress, how to behave<br />

femininely and how to speak. Boys are expected to<br />

be strong, confident and protective.<br />

As people get older, gender roles start to vary<br />

depending on life circumstances, religion or<br />

culture. Women are often deemed as responsible<br />

for domestic chores whereas men are deemed as<br />

providers. These roles can put people into a social<br />

constraint, impacting their life.<br />

“I think challenging and changing the impact of<br />

gender roles in a person’s life is important and<br />

in doing so offers the individual the potential<br />

to live a happier life, feel less constrained, and<br />

generally improve our relationships with others,”<br />

Utz McKnight, a professor at the University of<br />

Alabama, said. “If possible, gender roles should<br />

not over determine how we view our ambitions,<br />

pursuits, and social self-descriptions.”<br />

Gender roles often start at home at an early age.<br />

Many Black women find themselves conforming<br />

or defying gender roles because of their<br />

circumstances. According to Statista, there were<br />

approximately 4.25 million Black families in the<br />

United States with a single mother in 2020. Black<br />

women are forced to be financially, emotionally,<br />

and domestically responsible for a household by<br />

themselves.<br />

The lack of a parental figure can skew a child’s<br />

view of a certain gender. Single Black mothers and<br />

fathers often must play both gender roles. It also<br />

often leads to women teaching young boys how to<br />

become men whereas little girls lack male love. The<br />

cycle of gender roles in children is often repeated<br />

by what an individual sees around them.<br />

Religion is a core tenet in many Black households<br />

in America. According to a study done by Pew<br />

Research Center in 2014, nearly 8-in-10 Black<br />

Americans identified as Christian. Many of the<br />

gender roles that exist come from the Bible.<br />

“The Black church has not only had an impact on<br />

gender roles, it has shaped its very performance,”<br />

Jurrita Williams, a Gender and Race Studies<br />

professor at UA, said. “Without the ability to form<br />

itself outside of the fight for freedom from white-

supremacist capitalist patriarchy, our beloved institution<br />

of the Black church absorbed values and doctrines of its<br />

oppressors while simultaneously having to wrestle with<br />

the formation of its independence from it.”<br />

Throughout the Bible, men and women were given specific<br />

gender roles. Women are described as extensions of men,<br />

while men are superior in some respects. The Bible details<br />

a life for wives to submit to their husbands and husbands<br />

to stand as providers.<br />

“That wrestling has included gender and we feel the<br />

limp of that wrestling,” Williams said. “Many times, our<br />

limp is at the expense of our LGBTQ, non-binary, gender<br />

nonconforming siblings and to the detriment of The<br />

Body [of Christ].”<br />

According to McKnight, places of worship have a strong<br />

effect on how people view genders. These communities<br />

have a certain level of control over how individuals define<br />

themselves.<br />

“I think it is important to allow individuals to define how<br />

they wish to describe themselves with regard to gender<br />

difference, and if they find their practice of religion to<br />

provide a definition, they accept for themselves that is<br />

their choice,” McKnight said. “I think a place of worship<br />

because it is an important aspect of an individual’s<br />

orientation in the world, has an important role to play in<br />

the description of gender. The church should be attentive<br />

to this responsibility and meet the express needs of its<br />

congregants.”<br />

The media Black people consume also affects the<br />

perception of gender roles. Many popular Black movies and<br />

tv shows depict dysfunctional households. Men are some<br />

of the biggest powerhouses within the entertainment<br />

industry and often control the image women portray.<br />

“The media, in all its forms, has a central place in how<br />

we think of gender differences and roles,” McKnight<br />

said. “Most sources reproduce rather than challenge<br />

established gender descriptions, because they benefit<br />

from providing legible, community defined descriptions<br />

of human activity. These confirm rather than challenge<br />

how we see ourselves as gendered in a traditional social<br />

world.”<br />

“The formation of a reel, the direction of a movie, the<br />

casting of a character, the writing of a script, the singing<br />

of a song, who gets the benefit of the doubt on a news<br />

story have all been shaped by the prevailing perceptions<br />

of people with power who write, tell, and disseminate<br />

the narrative. Media is one of the most powerful tools to<br />

shape story and form identity,” said Williams.<br />

Gender roles are very prominent and influence day-to-day<br />

life for everyone. Although many people do not have issues<br />

with gender roles, it is still important to acknowledge<br />

them. It is best that everyone conforms to the roles they<br />

see best for themselves and not what society says.<br />


Morgan Lewis<br />

Monogamy:<br />

Dating Life in College<br />

Does the saying, “the more<br />

the merrier” apply to<br />

relationships in college?<br />

It might sound like a silly question,<br />

but oftentimes it is said that loyalty<br />

amongst the youth is rare to find,<br />

and everyone seems to have multiple<br />

partners these days. Relationships in<br />

society have evolved over the years,<br />

and people are becoming curious to<br />

find new ways to gain the intimacy<br />

they want while maintaining the<br />

boundaries they desire. The term<br />

“open-relationship” has cultivated its<br />

existence in the dating world, so one<br />

cannot help but wonder if monogamy<br />

in college is an outdated idea, or do<br />

young people still want “old school<br />

love?”<br />

A study done by a professional<br />

research service called, the Institute of<br />

Tropical Medicine asked 800 college<br />

students about their subconscious<br />

attitude toward monogamy. The<br />

results concluded more than 9-in-<br />

10 college students have a strong<br />

preference towards monogamy. The<br />

Kinsey Institute, an organization that<br />

discusses research results relating to<br />

relationship behavior, studied the<br />

number of people already involved<br />

in polyamorous relationships is<br />

1-in-9. Out of the people who are<br />


not interested in polyamory, only 1-in-7 indicated<br />

they respect people who engage in polyamory. If<br />

statistics show college students favor monogamy,<br />

where is the disconnect on campus?<br />

The apparent lack of monogamy on campuses could<br />

be attributed to college student’s desire in securing<br />

a degree more than a long-term relationship. An<br />

article in The Daily Targum explains how the pressure<br />

of finding jobs, securing internships, participating<br />

in extracurriculars, and building resumes has<br />

become the main priority for many students as<br />

the workforce becomes more competitive. College<br />

students can be responsible for balancing hours at<br />

a job, while being a full-time student. This can make<br />

it difficult for some students to focus on anything<br />

else. Preoccupation with schoolwork is driven by<br />

the need for financial independence, which can put<br />

relationships at the bottom of a to-do-list.<br />

Prominent college hookup culture could also be a<br />

connection between apparent lack of monogamy on<br />

campus. According to the American Psychological<br />

Association, between 60 and 80 percent of North<br />

American students have had a hookup experience<br />

while in college, and 70 percent of sexually active<br />

12- to 21-year-olds have had uncommitted sex within<br />

the year 2013. Hookup culture allows for no strings<br />

attached interactions, as well as less effort put in<br />

compared to a monogamous relationship. If a lighter<br />

workload is what college students seek, hookups<br />

seem to be an easier route for some students<br />

.<br />

Hookup culture can also be destructive to monogamy<br />

because it produces feelings of isolation. A study by<br />

Scholars Strategy Network shows students who do<br />

not participate in hookups end up being socially<br />

isolated. Social isolation could possibly hinder a<br />

student’s chances of developing relationships with<br />

others.<br />

Monogamy can still be ideal for college students<br />

who want a traditional relationship. To achieve<br />

monogamy, effective communication is suggested.<br />

Research concerning communicative dilemmas<br />

written by Kendra Knight suggests couples<br />

participate in explicit negotiations of the status<br />

of the relationship, expectations, and appropriate<br />

behaviors to abide by. Casual relationships do not<br />

require much communication, so making intentions<br />

known can create a long-lasting relationship. An<br />

article written on monogamy in college suggests<br />

resisting temptation as well. Social gatherings along<br />

with alcohol allow for a great deal of interaction<br />

with other people, but it is important to surround<br />

yourself with people who are supportive of your<br />

relationship.<br />

Although relationships in our society have changed,<br />

knowing what works best for your idea of a<br />

relationship, whether it is “old school love” or open<br />

relationships, is important. Communicating your<br />

preferences can increase your chances of finding<br />

what you want while in college.<br />



ALWAYS<br />

and<br />



ON LOVE<br />

Music has been a staple in the Black community<br />

for centuries. Imagine songs like Never Too<br />

Much by Luther Vandross, All My Life by K-Ci<br />

& Jojo, Love on Top by Beyonce, Let It Burn by Jasmine<br />

Sullivan, or Best Part by Daniel Caesar & HER. The love<br />

is described so passionately in these songs but why have<br />

artists stopped singing as passionately about the topic<br />

than before? How has music influenced love in the Black<br />

community?<br />

Some of the most consumed music within the Black<br />

community is hip-hop and R&B. According to Billboard,<br />

hip-hop and R&B have been dominating the US market<br />

since 2017. As music continues to evolve, the topics explored<br />

have become less emotional but more explicit. Different<br />

genres invoke different emotions. R&B music tends to<br />

cover a range of topics, from love, lust, heartbreak, grief<br />

and anger. In recent years R&B has shifted to a genre of<br />

less passion and more apathy towards love. No one wants<br />

to get played but everyone wants to be the player. In 2004<br />

80% of songs that topped the chart were classified as R&B<br />

but from 2005 to 2013, R&B sales declined. The current<br />

wave of mainstream R&B demonstrates that love does not<br />

have to be expressed in a passionate way anymore.<br />

With a recent increase in artists deeming themselves<br />

“toxic” and the promotion of toxic relationships, R&B has<br />

a different feel. However, current artists are not the only<br />

ones with toxic lyrics. R&B has always had a mix of toxic<br />

songs in the mix of passionate love songs. Rappers and<br />

singers are more inclined to be straightforward with their<br />

feelings today rather than disguising them in metaphors<br />

like previous years. This also could be because songs<br />

do not necessarily need to be radio friendly to become<br />

popular. With streaming taking over, it is easier for music<br />

to be accessible which means people are more inclined to<br />

express themselves explicitly.<br />

Hip-hop, a genre that has always been known for its<br />

aggressive and explicit manner. Often being used for<br />

hypersexuality and violence, also has instances of love.<br />

However, love is often described as a struggle. Most<br />


male rappers make love songs that cover topics of love<br />

and lust. However, how are teenagers and young adults<br />

interpreting these lyrics? People are talking about love,<br />

but does anyone know how to give and receive love? Older<br />

generations tend to believe love is a lost cause for the<br />

younger generation.<br />

“I think the main difference that I’ve noticed is just like,<br />

subject matter, like it’s just not to me about love anymore.<br />

It’s about something completely different. It’s about what<br />

can you do for me, what can you provide? How much money<br />

you got? Yet, it’s less about kind of the intrinsic value of<br />

people in relationships, and more about money and image<br />

and looking a certain way on social media, and that kind<br />

of creates a completely different field in the music to me,”<br />

said Barbara-Shae Jackson, a graduate research assistant<br />

and doctoral candidate for the University of Alabama.<br />

Many people have resulted in listening to older songs<br />

to satisfy the void of emotion that is different in today’s<br />

music. With a social media-based world, everything is<br />

about how others are perceived. Some individuals base<br />

their personalities off what they see and hear. If they<br />

listen to artists with misogynistic lyrics, they will start<br />

to agree with that ideology. Music has different mental<br />

and emotional triggers. Violent songs can lead to violent<br />

thoughts and actions. So, when artists spend less time<br />

talking about love, many people follow along and focus on<br />

the materialistic aspect.<br />

So, what is love besides a four-letter word or a verb?<br />

According to Merriam-Webster, love is defined as “strong<br />

affection for another arising out of kinship or personal<br />

ties or attraction based on sexual desire.”<br />

Although R&B is not a dead genre, it still has a different<br />

feel than R&B songs from the past. Are people following<br />

trends or is love just not as cool to talk about? Although<br />

music influences the mind, everyone has a different love<br />

language and interpretation of love.<br />




The IMportance of<br />

Friendship<br />

Finding a solid friend group can be hard for<br />

even the most social people. Many are coming<br />

from different places all over the country. It can<br />

sometimes feel as though you are all alone and cannot<br />

find anyone to relate to. Although it may look like this<br />

for some, college can be best place to make new friends.<br />

The reality for a lot of college students means leaving<br />

your hometown friends. You are in a new environment<br />

and you need some time to adjust. The best thing to<br />

be surrounded by is a support group that can help ease<br />

your mind with some laughter and good times.<br />

College is a stressful time, so having a group that can<br />

help take the edge off means a lot. College friends can<br />

lead to lifelong friends. These friends see you through<br />

so many phases in your life. You grow together and see<br />

one another accomplish the things you have dreamed<br />

about.<br />

Ericka Logan, a junior at the University of Alabama<br />

said, “friendships are better for a person’s wellbeing and<br />

sense of belonging.”<br />

College friends are basically your home away from<br />

home. These will be the people who can come over at<br />


two in the morning just to watch movies on the weekend<br />

or that you can go with to a sporting event. Your friends<br />

will be there when you want to cry or when you don’t<br />

want to study alone at the library.<br />

Sometimes it becomes hard to trust people especially<br />

when you are in a new environment like college.<br />

Asia Armstead, a junior at UA said, “the relationship of<br />

friendships should be valued because people gain trust<br />

developed from platonic love.”<br />

In college you might come across that one person that<br />

you end up in a romantic relationship with. While<br />

romantic relationships are great, having a deeper level<br />

of trust within your friends is something everyone<br />

should strive for. Trust in a friendship means that you<br />

know this person has your best interest at heart and that<br />

they would never lead you down the wrong path.<br />

Being in a romantic relationship can get tricky between<br />

balancing your love life and your friends. Many<br />

people struggle to find the time to dedicate to their<br />

friends and to their partner. At times, one might feel<br />

like less of a priority in your life. You still have school,<br />

clubs, homework, a relationship, work, and friends<br />

that all need some of your time and it can become<br />

very overwhelming.<br />

“Friendships need to be valued over relationships<br />

because relationships don’t always last a lifetime like<br />

friendships can,” Logan said.<br />

Being in a romantic relationship can be great and so can<br />

having a close friend group. Finding the right balance<br />

between the two can help. Having friends means they<br />

will always be there for you during your rises and falls.<br />

They will be that shoulder to cry on if things go bad.<br />

Your friends know you on a completely different level<br />

and that is why they are so important to have. When<br />

you need a break from the world and your relationship,<br />

your friends are going to be your safe place. You never<br />

want to make your friends feel like you don’t need them<br />

anymore because you have a partner in your life. Your<br />

friends can even warn you about things that you can<br />

be blinded by. True friends know what is best for you<br />

and only want to see you happy. Sometimes it even<br />

gets hard for friends and you guys need to have those<br />

uncomfortable conversations to be okay again. That is<br />

all a part of real friendships.<br />

Making friends can seem like such an obstacle<br />

especially in college. It can get a little overwhelming<br />

being around thousands of different people every day.<br />

One of the best ways to make friends is through joining<br />

clubs or organizations here on campus. Getting dinner<br />

together after a club meeting or going to an event your<br />

organization is having is one way to start making friends.<br />

Finding people with the same hobbies as you is always<br />

a great conversation starter. Being a part of a sorority or<br />

fraternity is another way to make friends. You can form<br />

lifelong bonds from being in such a strong and close<br />

community.<br />

Many people have their own definitions of what<br />

friendship means to them. You can see people caring<br />

for one other and wanting to see each other happy.<br />

Some see laughing, crying, singing, watching movies,<br />

having dinner or going to a concert on the weekend. All<br />

these things and more are why friends mean the world<br />

to many people. Handling all the different things going<br />

on in your personal life can be a challenge, but having<br />

friends that can help you forget about the worries even<br />

for an hour can mean everything.<br />


Progressive local partnerships and highly experienced<br />

instructors make Shelton State your destination for<br />

affordable, quality education.<br />

Enroll as a transient student today! | sheltonstate.edu | 205.391.2211<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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





Some people may not think that the<br />

environment they grew up in has any<br />

impact on how they live their lives. The truth is,<br />

an environment has everything to do with the way<br />

people live; from how they speak to people, to how<br />

they dress and even down to relationships.<br />

Being a college student, you experience many<br />

relationships whether it be friendships or romance.<br />

Growing up in a certain dynamic can really affect<br />

how people treat one another. Someone who has<br />

grown up in a two-parent household can have a<br />

completely different view on love vs. someone who<br />

had only one parent in their life. Just like how<br />

someone who has grown up in a household where<br />

there is constant arguing might think that is how<br />

relationships are supposed to be. An environment<br />

is all you know, so it becomes a part of who you are.<br />

Sometimes you do not even realize how much an<br />

environment has impacted you until you move away<br />

from it. A point made by “How the Environment<br />

Shapes Us” shows that the impact an environment<br />

has on someone is done unconsciously in many<br />

ways. This is because humans are social and are<br />

constantly surrounded by interactions throughout<br />

life. Each of those interactions have some form of<br />

effect on them.<br />

Growing up, your parents or guardians are<br />

usually the first people you interact with. These<br />

relationships have an impact on who you are<br />

as an individual. A study that was found in the<br />

“Psychological Science” states that men who grow<br />

up in a warm loving environment are able to<br />

control their emotions better and have stronger<br />

relationships as they get older. On the other hand,<br />

some may have experienced neglect growing up<br />

and, therefore, became independent at a very young<br />

age. This dynamic may cause you to push people<br />

away and feel that you cannot depend on anyone.<br />

Research done by “Gillespie Shields” shows that<br />

having family intactness is important as well.<br />

It is encouraged because studies show that an<br />

individual's success in life can increase when<br />

surrounded by a strong connected family. In some<br />

Black households, for example, you may have<br />

generation after generation of loving parents<br />

and be able to see what love looks and feels like<br />

through family gatherings or sitting with your<br />

grandparents who have been together for many<br />

years talking about their love. Being surrounded<br />

by this can give you hope that you will one day<br />

experience a relationship like that. Seeing constant<br />

support like that can influence someone to strive<br />

for the best in any aspect of their life because they<br />

know it is possible.<br />

Some people are not that lucky and have trouble<br />

with relationships due to not seeing any solid<br />

relationships around them. Growing up in a single<br />

parent household can cause you to be extremely<br />

independent or extremely dependent. Some might<br />

28<br />


see their single parent struggling and realize<br />

they never want to experience that. This can<br />

cause them to go seeking for someone who<br />

can provide for them no matter what. In other<br />

cases, it can make you independent because<br />

you have never had anyone to help you and<br />

had to “handle it all”. Either one of these<br />

dynamics can cause painful or unsuccessful<br />

relationships.<br />

Observing relationships in your home<br />

environment is not the only influence you<br />

have growing up. It is also what you are<br />

taught. Words have meaning behind them<br />

and what someone says to you can stick<br />

with you throughout life. If you are around<br />

someone who is constantly telling you that<br />

you do not need anyone to help you in life,<br />

this may cause you to take on the burdens<br />

of those around you because you feel like<br />

you can handle it all on your own. What you<br />

hear and what you are told as a young person<br />

have a big impact, especially if coming from<br />

someone you admire. Having an environment<br />

that uplifts you and people who want the<br />

best for you is beneficial.<br />

In “Roots of Action” it actually shows the<br />

psychological effect words have on the brain<br />

growing up. The article states that hearing<br />

positive words can cause one to excel in<br />

life but having negativity surrounding<br />

you can actually interrupt your growth.<br />

Unfortunately, if you did not experience that<br />

kind of upbringing, breaking the cycle of<br />

mistreatment can be hard. It will take a lot of<br />

work to undo the damage caused by a negative<br />

environment or upbringing. Whenever you<br />

come in contact with others, what they see<br />

is a reflection of how you were raised. They<br />

can either see someone who is loving and<br />

supportive or they may see someone who is<br />

selfish and discouraging. The saying, “You<br />

are what you attract,” is true. If all you know<br />

is chaos, that is what you will draw to you. You<br />

can “relate” to this kind of person because it<br />

is a familiar environment. Some people do<br />

not like change, so they try to find something<br />

that resembles what they already know.<br />

You experience so many relationships in<br />

life. Your home environment is your first<br />

relationship, and it is the biggest one. An<br />

environment is the foundation for all future<br />

relationships in life.<br />

How you treat people and how you let<br />

them treat you all comes from how your<br />

environment has influenced you.<br />


30<br />












34<br />

Recently there has been a rise in people practicing<br />

self-love. With the new body positivity<br />

movement, social media influencing how<br />

people perceive themselves and musical artists singing<br />

about feeling good or inspiring others to feel<br />

good, people are learning to love themselves more<br />

than they have in the past.<br />

“Self-love is something nobody else can give you, but<br />

you have to know how to do it yourself,” Shakerria<br />

Dailey-Williams, a student at the University of Alabama,<br />

said.<br />

Dailey-Williams said that self-love is taking care of<br />

yourself first because when you accomplish that, you<br />

can know and do what is best for you.<br />

“Always take time to love yourself. Take one day out<br />

of the week, one day out of the month, or whatever<br />

to be about you. Treat yourself, learn to be by yourself,”<br />

Dailey-Williams said.<br />

She thinks that self-love has become so popular recently<br />

because of the positive image that some musical<br />

artists who do not fit the traditional beauty standards,<br />

such as Lizzo, are leading.<br />

“Her music is giving off the ‘love yourself’ message,<br />

and that’s always been her journey,” Dailey Williams<br />

said. “Even before I knew who she was, that was her<br />

message, and I feel like when we have people come<br />

out like her that don’t fit what used to be the beauty<br />

standard 20 years ago, and they look real, and they<br />

look like us, and they’re coming out saying ‘I love myself,<br />

I don’t care what I look like, I love myself and I<br />

want you to do the same,’ people started looking in<br />

the mirror and loving themselves.”

Doja Cat is another musical artist helping people<br />

learn to love themselves. In an article by Romper,<br />

writer, Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs said that Doja<br />

Cat shaving her head and embracing herself without<br />

hair taught her how to love her own hair and,<br />

by extension, herself.<br />

“I was in my mid-thirties before I discovered hair<br />

picks and the crowning glory of my own afro. And<br />

now, y’all can’t tell me a thing about my afro — it’s<br />

my favorite feature, with a close second being my<br />

skin,” Bernard-Jacobs wrote.<br />

Kennedy Allen, a student at UA, agrees that selflove<br />

means taking care of and acknowledging all<br />

of the wonderful things about yourself. She said<br />

that knowing how to love yourself teaches you<br />

confidence and independence.<br />

“It’s always great to rely on yourself for validation<br />

and affirmation rather than getting it from something<br />

or somebody else,” Allen said.<br />

With the rise of social media apps in popular<br />

culture, Allen said these apps pressure people to<br />

change themselves to fit society’s beauty standards.<br />

That pressure, according to Allen, can lead<br />

to a lack of confidence, where people apologize<br />

more often than they should.<br />

“I think it’s important to recognize the things<br />

that you apologize for because a lot of the time<br />

today, people will say, ‘oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m<br />

sorry,’ and I think that when people are apologetic,<br />

they aren’t confident in themselves,” Allen said.<br />

Diamond Cook, a sophomore at UA, also agrees<br />

that confidence is a crucial part of self-love.<br />

“To get through life we have to have self-love,”<br />

Cook said. “You can’t care about what other people<br />

think. That’s the only way you’re going to get<br />

somewhere.”<br />

Allen said the body positivity movement played<br />

a huge role in how self-love is viewed in today’s<br />

culture. Allen said that because we have only ever<br />

seen one body type being represented, now we see<br />

all of these different body types, which helps promote<br />

diversity and inclusion.<br />

In an article by Rolling Stone, Lizzo said that she<br />

has had troubles with coming to terms with her<br />

body type in the past due to issues such as failed<br />

relationships and body dysmorphia, but she has<br />

learned from those experiences how to love herself<br />

and find worth within herself.<br />

However, despite how much positive representation<br />

is shown in the media, learning how to love<br />

yourself can be difficult for some people. Not being<br />

too hard on yourself is a piece of advice Allen<br />

would give to people who are learning to love<br />

themselves.<br />

“You could be in your prime right now and not<br />

know it,” Allen said. “Your future self will thank<br />

you for loving yourself now because you never<br />

know what your life will be like in a year.”<br />

you are<br />

beautiful<br />

love<br />

yourself<br />

be who<br />

you're meant<br />

to be<br />




Korynn<br />

by Kimora Leggett<br />

When they mention a love like ours<br />

They say it comes from a choice.<br />

They say we choose who we are<br />

While they look at us with disgust<br />

I agree with their statement because<br />

I did get to choose<br />

But it’s not the gender I chose,<br />

It’s every aspect of you.<br />

Out of all men and all women<br />

All genders and those with none.<br />

I choose you, my perfect person<br />

who I’d choose over everyone.<br />




To improve your eating and lifestyle habits, take advantage of the<br />

nutrition services offered by the registered dietitian at the<br />

UA Student Health Center and Pharmacy:<br />

• Individual nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy in the<br />

areas of healthy eating, weight loss/gain, GI conditions, food<br />

allergies/intolerances, diabetes or hypoglycemia, heart health and<br />

disordered eating.<br />

• Measurement of metabolism and body fat.<br />

• Nutrition presentations for student groups.<br />

Access your patient portal to make an appointment today!<br />

{Your patient portal login is located on the Student Tab of your MyBama account}<br />

Cherie Simpson, MS, RD, LD<br />

Dietitian Nutritionist<br />

nutrition@ua.edu<br />


Editors’ Playlist<br />

1.) I Will Always Love You-<br />

Whitney Houston<br />

2.) All of Me-John Legend<br />

3.) You-Lloyd<br />

4.) Boo’d Up-Ella Mai<br />

5.) Let Me Love You- Mario<br />

6.) My Boo-Usher ft. Alicia<br />

Keys<br />

7.) Real Love-Mary J Blige<br />

8.) I Want You Around-Snoh<br />

Alegra<br />

9.) Cater 2 U-Destiny’s Child<br />

10.) Good Kisser-Usher<br />

11.) Ordinary People-John<br />

Legend<br />

12.) Thinkin Bout You-Frank<br />

Ocean<br />

13.) When I See You- Fantasia<br />

14.) Love On Top-Beyoncé<br />

15.) Dangerously In Love-<br />

Beyoncé<br />

16.) Kisses Down Low-Kelly<br />

Rowland<br />

17.) We Belong Together-<br />

Mariah Carey<br />

18.) Love Don’t Change-<br />

Jeremih<br />

19.) In the Mood-Tyrone<br />

Davis<br />

20.) Lady-D’Angelo<br />

21.) Rain-SWV<br />

22.) Weak-SWV<br />

23.) Can We Talk-Tevin<br />

Campbell<br />

24.) Hold On-En Vogue<br />

25.) 4th Baby Mama-Summer<br />

Walker<br />

25.) Sit On it-Jazmine Sullivan<br />

ft Ari Lennox<br />

26.) Poetic Justice-Kendrick<br />

Lamar ft. Drake<br />

27.) Secret-21 Savage ft.<br />

Summer Walker<br />

28.) High School-Nicki Minaj<br />

ft. Lil Wayne<br />

29.) Body Language-Big Sean<br />

ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Jhené Aiko<br />

30.) The One-Tamar Braxton<br />

31.) So Into You-Tamia<br />

32.) Mrs. Right-Mindless<br />

Behavior<br />

33.) How You Gonna Act Like<br />

That- Tyrese<br />

34.) My Bestie- Lloyd ft. Sevyn<br />

Streeter<br />

35.) About You-Blxst<br />

36.) F.N.F- Hitkidd & Glorilla<br />

[Remix] ft. Latto & JT<br />

37.) How To Love-Lil Wayne<br />

38.) The Weekend-SZA<br />

39.) Earned It- The Weeknd<br />

40.) Rock the Boat-Aaliyah<br />

41.) Love- Keyshia Cole<br />

42.) Rocket-Beyoncé<br />

43.) Love Song-Kaash Paige<br />

44.) Cuff it-Beyoncé<br />

45.) Dance For You-Beyoncé<br />

46.) If I Ain’t Got You-Alicia<br />

Keys<br />

47.) All Mine-Brent Faiyaz<br />

48.) One of Them Nights-<br />

Moneybagg Yo<br />

49.) Be Careful-Cardi B<br />

50.) Like You-Bow Wow ft.<br />

Ciara<br />

51.) Kiss Me Thru The Phone-<br />

Soulja Boy<br />

52.) 03’ Bonnie & Clyde-<br />

JAY-Z ft. Beyoncé<br />

53.) Love Happy- The Carters<br />

54.) V.S.O.P- K. Michelle<br />

55.) Girls Need Love-Summer<br />

Walker<br />

56.) Dream- DeBarge<br />

57.) Ex Factor- Lauryn Hill<br />

58.) Hrs&Hrs- Muni Long<br />

59.) Come On-Jhené Aiko<br />

60.) Sweet Lady-Tyrese<br />

61.) From Time-Drake ft.<br />

Jhené Aiko<br />

62.) Lotus Flower Bomb-Wale<br />

63.) Excuse Me Miss-JAY- Z<br />

64.) Power Trip-J.Cole ft.<br />

Miguel<br />

65.) Put It On Me-Ja Rule ft.<br />

Lil’ Mo & Vita<br />

66.) Just In Case-Jaheim<br />

67.) Part II (On the Run)-<br />

JAY-Z ft. Beyoncé<br />

68.) Love All Over Me-Monica<br />

69.) The Way-Jill Scott<br />

70.) So In Love-Jill Scott ft.<br />

Anthony Hamilton<br />

71.) Charlene- Anthony<br />

Hamilton<br />

72.) If It Isn’t Love-New<br />

Edition<br />

73.) Close Friends-Lil Baby<br />

74.) How Do You Want It-<br />

Tupac<br />

75.) Never Too Much- Luther<br />


Wasteland<br />

Album Review:<br />


Brent Faiyaz’s third studio album, “WASTELAND”<br />

embodies his idiosyncratic style, as it tells<br />

the unique story of how the consequences of<br />

actions have an effect on one’s mental state. The cinematic<br />

theme of the album captivates the mind to visualize the<br />

feelings of suspense, anger, pain, passion, and heartbreak.<br />

Faiyaz and his music are often deemed as toxic, as it<br />

often correlates to emotionally fragmented relationships.<br />

WASTELAND embodies the failure of relationships made<br />

worse by successes. The album, WASTELAND consists<br />

of 19 elements, the introduction, 14 tracks (songs), an<br />

interlude, and three intriguing skits.<br />

The arrangement of the album truly fits the sequence of<br />

the story that Faiyaz is trying to convey. Starting with the<br />

introduction as it gives the listener a sense of anticipation<br />

for what’s to come in the following tracks. Each song track<br />

on this album allows us to dive into Faiyaz’s struggles<br />

with his success, as it takes a toll on his relationships and<br />

mental health. He truly takes us on a visual journey in the<br />

making of his skits as they grab our attention, keeping us<br />

eager for answers and explanations for each.<br />

Track 1 - VILLAIN’S THEME<br />

Faiyaz’s opening introduction, VILLAIN’S THEME is a<br />

portrayal of how he views the ways of life while dealing<br />

with the rise to his success. It starts as a conversation<br />

that encompasses how working can become so repetitive<br />

that you can lose yourself during the process. During this<br />

introduction he states that he makes real music “that’s like<br />

a temporary euphoria.” Throughout VILLAIN’S THEME<br />

he addresses the label “toxic” in which the internet world<br />

has attached to him. He expresses why he messes around<br />

having fun and finding joy in ways that others view as<br />

reckless. In the end of his intro he poses the question,<br />

“What purpose do your vices serve in your life?”<br />

Track 2 - LOOSE CHANGE<br />

In this song Faiyaz recognizes his successes and rightful<br />

path to fame as he questions his lover and their intentions<br />

of being with him. The song begins with “What’s left of<br />

us? “What’s left of our lives?” These lyrics engage the<br />

audience as it gives us a relatable visualization of his his<br />

declining relationship. The condition of his relationship<br />

caused him to question love and its entirety. In all, the<br />

misunderstanding of love can lead him to making more<br />

poor decisions in other relationships to follow.<br />

Track 7 - PRICE OF FAME<br />

Understanding Faiyaz’s disappointment in the song,<br />

LOOSE CHANGE leads to his acceptance that success<br />

and fame often has a price to be paid when it comes<br />

to maintaining relationships. In his 6 minutes and 19<br />

seconds song, PRICE OF FAME, he goes into depth of the<br />

disconnect that he has with relationships because of his<br />

fame that he feels is overrated. The song begins in slow<br />


and low tones giving us his idiosyncratic style at<br />

its finest. As the song progresses, it speeds up,<br />

then begins to transition at 2:59 displaying unique<br />

expressions. In the music video for this song,<br />

Brent is recorded with a fan who is elated to be<br />

in his presence, he didn’t treat the fan indifferent<br />

but it’s clear he isn’t impressed. The main chorus<br />

of the first 2 minutes 59 seconds of the song is<br />

“(The fame) I swear it isn’t everything,” “(People<br />

screaming your name) I swear it isn’t everything.”<br />

These lyrics convey that just because Faiyaz has<br />

reached a certain stature in the name of fame, he<br />

is still human, fame doesn’t make you any more or<br />

less important than the average person.<br />

Track 13 - DEAD MAN WALKING<br />

Although DEAD MAN WALKING was released as a<br />

single two years prior to the drop of WASTELAND,<br />

it is listed as the thirteenth track lasting at<br />

four minutes and seven seconds. This song<br />

communicates the idea of the intro, VILLAIN’S<br />

THEME. The chorus symbolizes putting yourself<br />

first, stating, “You can do what you wanna, live<br />

how you wanna, spend how you wanna, be who you<br />

wanna be.” These lyrics align with the “temporary<br />

euphoria” implication of VILLAIN’S THEME.<br />

Track 19 - ANGEL<br />

WASTELAND ends with the 19th track, ANGEL.<br />

This song gives a captivating love ballad about<br />

the relationship between the flawed artist and<br />

his lover. In this song he looks to his girlfriend<br />

to never leave his side, despite what he has done<br />

to her negatively while deeming her an angel in<br />

disguise. He feels as if he would be lost without<br />

her and her support, he looks to her as an escape<br />

from the dysfunctional world he feels like he has<br />

created for himself.<br />

The skits of this album truly tie the moral of this<br />

album in and its cinematic theme. In skit one,<br />

EGOMANIAC, lasting at only 1 minute and 22<br />

seconds, Faiyaz is playing the character “Chris.”<br />

Chris is having a conversation with his pregnant<br />

girlfriend who feels like he is not supporting her<br />

in any way. She feels alone and like he doesn’t care<br />

about her as he is giving his attention to other<br />

things and people. Moreover, skit two, OBLIVION<br />

really gives us insight into how his girlfriend is<br />

feeling. In skit two “Chris” seems to be enjoying<br />

a short intimate time with a female friend. How<br />

do these poor actions play out in the end? Finally<br />

in skit three, WAKE UP CALL, we get a full intake<br />

of the consequences of Chris’ actions. This<br />

skit may be a trigger warning as it tells what the<br />

ending of the lovers’ story could be. Chris’ girlfriend<br />

is fed up with his careless actions, as she<br />

states, “You’re the worst thing that ever happened<br />

to me.” During their phone call, she states that<br />

Chris “will never see her or the baby again.” As<br />

Chris tries to make his way to save his girlfriend<br />

and unborn child, he crashes, leaving us feeling<br />

the sorrow of their demise.<br />



My<br />

A’MYA T. LEWIS<br />

FUTURE<br />

I hope that my future husband thinks I’m as beautiful as the man who created me<br />

I hope he loves me like my father<br />

And cares for me like my mother<br />

I hope that he protects me like my brother<br />

And confines in me like his best friend<br />

I hope he sees past my flaws<br />

And is deaf to the negativity talked behind my back in this crucial world<br />

I hope that like a doctor, he treats the stab wounds in my back<br />

And heals me with his love<br />

I hope that he is calm, like the night<br />

And soothing like a hot bath to aching muscles<br />

I hope that he brings me warmth like the summer sun<br />

For I am cold, like long, lonesome, winter nights<br />

I want him to hold me, like I’m a child<br />

And fill me up, where I am empty<br />

I want to mean the world to him<br />

Because he will mean the world to me<br />

For I will have waited long enough to meet him.<br />




W O M E N ’ S<br />

H E A L<br />

H<br />

Women’s healthcare is more important<br />

than many women may understand it to<br />

be. Those who have reproductive organs<br />

such as a uterus and a cervix require checkups and<br />

care to remain healthy and safe. However, many<br />

people are not aware of just how crucial this is.<br />

“As women and, whether you identify as female or<br />

not, those who were born with a uterus and born<br />

with a cervix, we have some very unique healthcare<br />

needs,” Dr. Amy Lee, a professor at the University of<br />

Alabama and the DNP Program Coordinator said,<br />

Lee said it is important to be affiliated with someone<br />

who works with women and people who have those<br />

reproductive structures. Doing so helps with<br />

prevention of issues like STIs and cervical cancer,<br />

but also helps with intervention if these issues ever<br />

occur.<br />

“If you get infected with an STI like gonorrhea or<br />

chlamydia, if left untreated it can result to long<br />

term infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and<br />

ectopic pregnancies,” Lee said. “So, the sooner you<br />

recognize you have a problem, and it is detected and<br />

treated, the more likely you are to prevent all this in<br />

the long run,” said Lee.<br />

Dr. Lee has an expansive background in women’s<br />

healthcare covering practices like obstetrics,<br />

gynecology, and labor, delivery, recovery and<br />

postpartum (LDRP) nursing. Since graduating from<br />

the University of Alabama in 1990, Lee has assisted<br />

many women with their healthcare needs.<br />

Many women are familiar getting an annual pap<br />

smear to examine the state of reproductive organs.<br />

However, most people are not as well informed about<br />

pap smears as they may think. Research has found<br />

that they are not always efficient in finding cervical<br />

issues.<br />

“We’ve recognized over the past two or three decades<br />

the role that the HPV virus plays in cervical cancer<br />

and how prevention of HPV virus can prevent cervical<br />

cancer,” Lee said. “The recommendation that has<br />

come out recently is that we can use primary HPV<br />

testing starting at 25. Then you just test for HPV<br />

and if it’s negative, you do not have to do the cycle.”<br />


Most people are still told they should receive a pap<br />

smear at least once a year. <strong>Issue</strong>s with access to<br />

health services like HPV testing across different<br />

demographics create a level of misinformation.<br />

“There are just layers upon layers of barriers to<br />

access that make it really hard for women and those<br />

who have cervixes and uteruses to access the care<br />

they need,” Lee said.<br />

Lee has worked to spread her knowledge about<br />

women’s sexual and reproductive health. After<br />

recognizing the flaws in Maryland’s sexual education<br />

curriculum, Lee created an updated sexual education<br />

curriculum. Lee’s curriculum added information that<br />

originally was not allowed to be taught in Maryland<br />

schools like emergency contraception.<br />

The approval was important to Lee because she<br />

believes everyone should be informed about their<br />

bodies so they can make decisions for themselves.<br />

“This should just be a normal part of our curriculum<br />

in an educational format,” Lee said. “Just the facts.<br />

Give people the facts and let them decipher those<br />

facts for themselves.”<br />

Having a trusted healthcare professional that<br />

understands female reproductive organs is especially<br />

necessary for Black women. With medical biases and<br />

racism that lead to Black women having three times<br />

the maternal mortality rates as white women, it<br />

makes having someone who understands their body<br />

more crucial for these women.<br />

Monica Beltran for Every Child Thrives wrote,<br />

“Regardless of income or education level, Black women<br />

in America are three times more likely to die from a<br />

pregnancy-related cause than White women. That’s<br />

unacceptable, and caused by systemic inequities –<br />

the differences in how people are treated, based on<br />

who they are, which create significant disparities in<br />

healthcare outcomes.”<br />

Multiple factors contribute to why Black women<br />

disproportionately face barriers in the medical field.<br />

Lack of educational resources on reproduction<br />

in Black communities makes Black women more<br />

suspectable to unintended pregnancies.<br />

The National Partnership for Women and Families<br />

wrote, “Black women experience higher rates of<br />

unintended pregnancies than all other racial groups,<br />

in part because of disparities in access to quality<br />

contraceptive care and counseling.”<br />


Additionally, “Black women’s access to abortion is<br />

limited, and they may be more likely to experience<br />

the ill effects of abortion restrictions — such as<br />

delayed care, increased costs or lack of access to<br />

care.”<br />

Other factors like lack of healthcare due to not being<br />

able to afford it put Black women at a disadvantage<br />

with medical care.<br />

“Median wages for Black women in the United States<br />

are $36,227 per year, which is $21,698 less than the<br />

median wages for white, non-Hispanic men. These<br />

lost wages mean Black women and their families have<br />

less money to support themselves and their families,<br />

and may have to choose between essential resources<br />

like housing, child care, food and health care,” The<br />

National Partnership for Women and Families wrote.<br />

Combating the disparities Black women face in the<br />

medical field will require better access to healthcare<br />

for Black women and more health professionals to<br />

be aware of and understand the unique experiences<br />

their Black patients face.<br />

This is where having a trusted medical professional<br />

comes in to play. Doctors that understand the issues<br />

Black women face and make those women one of<br />

their priorities are important. This includes doctors<br />

like Dr. Mia Cowan.<br />

Cowan is a board-certified gynecologist and the<br />

founder of MiBella Wellness Center, located in<br />

Birmingham AL. She obtained her undergraduate and<br />

graduate degrees at the University of Alabama and<br />

now works as a physician specializing in gynecology,<br />

wellness, weight management, and intimacy.<br />

A part of MiBella’s core values of customer service is<br />

treating patients with empathy regardless of their<br />

identity.<br />

MiBella’s website sates, “We welcome and embrace<br />

everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual<br />

orientation (LGBTQ), and socioeconomic status.<br />

We proudly serve all our patients with respect and<br />

exceptional patient care.”<br />

Through her inclusiveness with patients and the<br />

empathy she can show as a Black woman herself,<br />

Cowan is doing the work to care for marginalized<br />

groups in healthcare like Black women.<br />

“I’ve changed a lot of women’s lives by listening to<br />

them,” Cowan said for Medical College of Wisconsin.<br />


Black L ve Quiz<br />

Movie Edition<br />

written by Ta’Kyla Bates<br />

1. “I’ll play you. For what? For your<br />

heart!”<br />

A. Love & Basketball<br />

B. How Stella Got Her Groove Back<br />

C. Waiting to Exhale<br />

D. Brown Sugar<br />

2.“Love is a juice with many tastes. Some<br />

bitter, others sweet. A wine which has few<br />

vineyards.”<br />

A. Boomerang<br />

B. Love Jones<br />

C. The Photograph<br />

D. Poetic Justice<br />

3.“Would you like to have dinner<br />

with us tonight? It’s just leftovers.<br />

Collard greens and corn bread, some<br />

candied yams, a little potato salad,<br />

fried chicken, peach cobbler and a few<br />

slices of ham.”<br />

A. Deliver Us From Eva<br />

B. Waiting to Exhale<br />

C. Two Can Play That Game<br />

D. Think Like A Man<br />

4. “This from the guy who makes a<br />

midnight run to the video store and<br />

comes back with Booty Call and the Lion<br />

King!”<br />

A.Deliver Us From Eva<br />

B. The Wood<br />

C. How Stella Got Her Groove Back<br />

D. Jason’s Lyric<br />

5. “Simplicity provides a<br />

fine line between elegance<br />

and plainness”<br />

A. Brown Sugar<br />

B. Love Jones<br />

C. The Photograph<br />

D. Jason’s Lyric<br />

6. “I want to make love<br />

to you tonight. I feel<br />

our opportunity has<br />

presented itself again,<br />

and... I don’t want to<br />

miss out on it twice”<br />

A. Deliver Us From Eva<br />

B. Love Jones<br />

C. Malcom & Marie<br />

D. Boomerang<br />

7. My mother wasn’t very<br />

good at love. What if I’m<br />

just like her?”<br />

A.How Stella Got Her<br />

Groove Back<br />

B. Why Did I Get Married?<br />

C. The Photograph<br />

D. Jason’s Lyric<br />

8.“I am TRYING to love<br />

you, but I don’t want<br />

my heart broken. But<br />

that’s exactly what<br />

you’re gonna do if you<br />

keep trying to save a<br />

brother that don’t want<br />

to be saved!”<br />

A. The Wood<br />

B. Just Wright<br />

C. Jason’s Lyric<br />

D. Waiting to Exhale<br />


9.“Man, why do you always do<br />

that? If you want the last<br />

piece, why did you ask me if<br />

I want the last piece?<br />

A. Love Don’t Cost A Thing<br />

B. Love & Basketball<br />

C. Think Like a Man<br />

D. The Wood<br />

12. “Boom”<br />

A. Love and Basketball<br />

B. Why Did I Get Married?<br />

C. Jumping the Broom<br />

D. Why Did I Get Married Too?<br />

10. “What do you know<br />

about love? What could you<br />

possibly know about love,<br />

you know I’m sick and tired<br />

of men using love as if it’s<br />

some disease you just catch.<br />

Love should have brought<br />

your ass home last night!”<br />

A. Why Did I Get Married?<br />

B. Boomerang<br />

C. Best Man<br />

D. Southside With You<br />

13. “I’m not saying it like that. No, I<br />

am. I am. It’s like that Ms. Loretta,<br />

I’m ready for th rest of the tour!”<br />

A. Think Like A Man<br />

B. Think Like A Man 2<br />

C. About Last Night<br />

D. Just Wright<br />

14. “You ain’t got to love me, but you<br />

gonna know that I love you”<br />

A. If Beale Street Could Talk<br />

B. Sylvie’s Love<br />

C. Lover’s Rock<br />

D. Moonlight<br />

12-14 You know your Black Love films, no doubt about it!<br />

9-11 You watch a lot of Black movies, you’re just a lil’ rusty.<br />

6-8 Come on now, you got it, you just gotta go re-watch a few.<br />

3-5 You’re letting us down, maybe it’s time to do a little movie<br />

marathon.<br />

0-2 Black Card REVOKED! Just playing but you got some work to do.<br />

Answers<br />

1.A 2.D 3.B 4.C 5.A 6.B 7.C 8.C 9.D 10.B 11.A 12.B 13.A 14.D<br />



HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune<br />

system. The CDC reports that most people<br />

have flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks after<br />

the infection, including a sore throat, fever, rash,<br />

night sweats, mouth ulcers, etc. The second stage of<br />

HIV infection is asymptomatic. The virus is still active,<br />

but a person may not get any symptoms.<br />

If a person with HIV is left untreated, the virus can<br />

evolve into AIDS. People who have AIDS have a badly<br />

damaged immune system and can be prone to other infections<br />

as well.<br />

According to the CDC, HIV can be transmitted through<br />

sexual contact including anal sex, vaginal sex and oral<br />

sex. The virus can also be transmitted by sharing needles,<br />

syringes or other drug injection equipment. If<br />

bodily fluids from an infected person touch the mucous<br />

membranes of a non-infected person, it could lead to<br />

infection. Bodily fluids come from cuts, sores, or open<br />

wounds of an infected person.<br />


in 2020, according to a CDC report<br />





BLACK<br />

LGBTQ+<br />


In 2020, there were a total of 30,349 new HIV diagnoses<br />

reported by the CDC. 42% of those cases were African<br />

Americans. Black people in the LGBTQIA+ community<br />

were the most affected with Black gay and bisexual men<br />

accounting for 26% of the new diagnoses.<br />

HIV is not a curable disease, however there are ways to<br />

prevent an infection. A person can use condoms every<br />

time they have anal or vaginal sex, refrain from sharing<br />

needles or syringes. Sexually active people can also take<br />

pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to significantly reduce<br />

the chances of contracting HIV.<br />

As a young gay Black man, the fear of HIV is overwhelming,”<br />

Tyquan Houston, a senior majoring in public<br />

health at UA, said. “For me, being on PrEP has sort of<br />

taken a weight off my shoulders.”<br />

There are other barriers Black people must overcome in<br />

order to receive proper education and treatment of HIV.<br />

The cost of treatment is one of those barriers. However,<br />

there are also medical centers across the U.S. dedicated<br />

to helping people get the treatment they need. Five<br />

Horizons in Tuscaloosa is designed to be a safe space<br />

for HIV education and treatment, among other things.<br />






RINGES<br />

TAKE PrEP<br />

IF YOU'RE<br />


Receiving PrEP treatment at Five Horizons can be at<br />

virtually no cost for people that need it. The center is<br />

willing to work with all forms of health insurance to<br />


ensure that people get the treatment they need.<br />

Side effects of PrEP include headaches, nausea, vomiting<br />

or diarrhea. Other side effects can include kidney or liver<br />

function problems or bone density problems. These problems<br />

may subside once a person stops taking PrEP.<br />

HIV is still affecting a number of people in the U.S. It’s important<br />

to be properly educated and proactive in limiting<br />

the spread of this virus.<br />

“Being proactive about my sexual health has made me realize<br />

that it is nothing to be ashamed about,” Houston<br />

said. “Taking care of yourself is something to be proud<br />

of.”<br />




631 28TH AVE TUSCALOOSA, AL 35401<br />


PrEP Prescriptions<br />

HIV Education<br />

Case Management for HIV Individuals<br />

Referrals to Support Services<br />






Shamiel Moore<br />

How to Make it<br />

Out of a<br />

B r e a k u p

College is a place where young people<br />

come to pursue knowledge in their<br />

desired fields, develop connections<br />

for future positions and attend sporting events<br />

and other campus activities.<br />

Throughout their college career, these<br />

young people may also interested in pursue<br />

a relationship. Relationships become an<br />

extracurricular activity for many students and<br />

because of the abundance of that, relationships<br />

end fairly often.<br />

Because of students’ hectic schedules and a<br />

multitude of outside influences, it will be hard<br />

for many to cope with losing someone they care<br />

about. It is important to stay positive and social<br />

when dealing with breakups.<br />

Isolation can be a harmful way to cope with a<br />

bad breakup. It seems easy to wallow in sadness<br />

in your dorm or apartment and cry the pain<br />

away. But it can force a person to constantly<br />

overthink the situation. Being heartbroken is<br />

expected and natural, yet not looking towards a<br />

better future makes the issue more detrimental<br />

than it should be.<br />

“Take time to heal and focus on self-nurturing<br />

& establishing a new routine,” psychologist Dr.<br />

Jennifer Barbera said. “Try new things during<br />

this time. Explore and learn about yourself.<br />

Keep a routine. Eat well, exercise and build a<br />

new routine that includes good self-care.”<br />

Talking to others is also another way of dealing<br />

with the end of a relationship. Confiding in<br />

others is a great way to improve your mental<br />

state and get all the negative thoughts out.<br />

It’s also important to talk to people that are<br />

trustworthy.<br />

“Let yourself be sad for a few days, maybe even<br />

a couple of weeks,” Maddie Vaughn, senior at<br />


the University of Alabama, said. “It's important<br />

to feel the sadness, but you can't let yourself<br />

wallow and stay there. Definitely take some<br />

time to reflect on how things are and take some<br />

time to get comfortable being by yourself.<br />

Being happy on your own is such an important<br />

part of the healing process.”<br />

Rushing into a new or a sexual relationship<br />

is also not going to erase the sadness. In fact,<br />

it may bring more pain. Trying to get with<br />

someone new right after a breakup forces<br />

you to compare the new person with your ex,<br />

leading to disaster for yourself and them. Using<br />

sex as relationship therapy causes unwanted<br />

companionship with people you see nothing in.<br />

Also, drinking the pain away is probably the<br />

last situation you want to find yourself in.<br />

Resorting to alcohol and drugs is an extreme<br />

way of coping, and never fixes the affair. These<br />

substances can lead to addiction, depression,<br />

and worst of all death.<br />

The initial relief of pain is not permanent and<br />

leads to a spiral of worse conditions than what<br />

you started with.<br />

“The problem occurs when alcohol becomes<br />

your way of coping with or blocking out<br />

emotions,” writer Alicia Schultz said. “In short,<br />

you shouldn’t feel like reaching for a drink<br />

every time a painful feeling comes up. And if<br />

you do feel that way, it might be best to lay off<br />

the booze for a while. As tough as it can be,<br />

avoiding alcohol may set you on the path to<br />

feeling better for the long haul.”<br />

A breakup is never an easy thing to shake off.<br />

There are several vices that can numb the pain,<br />

but not heal it. Surrounding yourself with<br />

positivity clears out the negativity of a breakup.<br />





Most people have an image of what they think<br />

a gay person looks like, but in all honesty,<br />

there isn’t a “look” to it. While being gay<br />

has become a lot more accepted in American society over<br />

the past 20 years, there is still a lot to be done for the<br />

community. I recently came out as a lesbian, something<br />

I have been holding close to me for a long time because,<br />

like many others, I feared peoples’ perceptions of me<br />

changing. One of the many things people said to me was,<br />

“I would’ve never guessed that” or “You don’t look gay,<br />

you’re so hot!” But what does gay look like, and what does<br />

being hot have to do with it?<br />

Everyone has their personal opinions on gay people, their<br />

rights, and their relationships, but those perceptions may<br />

impact how they react when finding out someone close<br />

to them is gay. Being authentically yourself is one of the<br />

hardest things someone can do, but the relief that comes<br />

along with it is indescribable. I have known for about two<br />

years that I am attracted to women, but I was not ready to<br />

be authentically me yet.<br />

I think something that really helped me to be myself is<br />

my circle of friends that I have found over the last year.<br />

They are extremely supportive as well as my family and<br />

once I realized if the people in my corner are on my side,<br />

who cares what everyone else is thinking? Now that I have<br />

come out, I feel nothing but love and support from everyone<br />

around me. I received so many encouraging messages<br />

since the day I posted about my sexuality. The first time<br />

I tried to come out to someone, I was not met with the<br />

support that I am receiving now. I think that really set me<br />

back on my path of loving who I am. But no matter what<br />

other people say, don’t let that stop you from accepting<br />

who you are and loving whomever you love!<br />


My Experience<br />

Navigating The Dating World As A<br />

Transgender Black Woman<br />


M<br />

y name is Lindsey Macon. I am<br />

21 years old, a senior here at The<br />

University of Alabama and I am from<br />

Mississippi. Most importantly, I am a Black<br />

transgender woman.<br />

Being Black and trans is a roller coaster to put<br />

it calmly. Most people hear trans and the first<br />

thing they think of is some tall, deep voice<br />

person who you can clearly tell is a man. That<br />

is nowhere near the case. We all don’t have deep<br />

voices. We all aren’t tall and stocky either.<br />

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m<br />

here to talk about how life is being trans and<br />

dating. In a nutshell, I would say it’s difficult to<br />

say the least. You never know who just wants to<br />

be with you just as some sick, twisted fantasy<br />

that they’ve always wanted to try or who wants<br />

to be with you for the amazing person you are.<br />

Don’t get me started on the DL boys those<br />

masculine men who are too afraid of what<br />

society will think of them, so they act all hard<br />

in public and often talk down upon those of us<br />

in the LGBTQ+ community but behind closed<br />

doors are blowing up our phones saying how<br />

much they want us.<br />

In my experience with being trans, it is always<br />

important to tell someone who you are thinking<br />

about being sexually active with that you are<br />

in fact transgender. I personally have never<br />

experienced any transphobia while here at<br />

the University of Alabama. In my experience,<br />

I find that when you be honest and upfront<br />

with men their reaction is very accepting. For<br />

instance. I’ve never had an experience where I<br />

told someone that I was trans and it completely<br />

went left field. Most men will respect you more<br />

for telling them upfront then stringing them<br />

along.<br />

Now, I know sometimes this could be hard<br />

because you want people to try to get to know<br />

you for you and not for you being transgender.<br />

But at the end of the day, it’s always important<br />

to do the right thing and keep your safety first.<br />

As a trans woman, the day-to-day can be very<br />

hard especially with the hormones we take.<br />

One day I might wake up mad at the world and<br />

5 seconds later, I’m the happiest person alive. It<br />

all varies because of the hormones.<br />

Overall, though, I would say even with all the<br />

ups and downs and challenges we as trans<br />

women face, I wouldn’t change who I am for<br />

anything in the world. I am living my life how<br />

I want and as the strong woman that I aspire<br />

to be. To all the transgender women reading<br />

this, always remember to be who you are and to<br />

not rush your process because it happens in the<br />

blink of an eye.<br />

I know it can be hard when you see other trans<br />

women who are further along then you and<br />

it makes you want to rush to get there, but<br />

everyone has their own process. I have not<br />

always looked how I do now and when I look<br />

back, I realize that even though the process to<br />

get here was long and hard, it was necessary so<br />

that I could be where I am today.<br />




@1956MAGAZINE<br />

1956 MAGAZINE<br />


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