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#Freshman5 x Kene Kae!

 
Take note of Kenechukwu’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!
 
Name: Kenechukwu Uwajeh

What college/university do you attend:

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Friendship/Relationship:

Don’t feel obligated to stay with the first people that you meet in college! It can be really easy to get stuck in a bubble. I encourage you to branch out until you find your place with friends you genuienly connect with on campus.

Classes/Studying:

Utilize the 20 to 5 or 30 to 10 studying method. Essentially, this means studying for 20-30 minutes (no distractions) and breaking for 5-10 minutes to rejuvenate. You’re brain will love you for this.

Budgeting Money:

You do not need an elaborate budgeting plan. However, you SHOULD ATLEAST give yourself a cap on how much to spend each month. You can even get more specific by putting a limit on specific categories like food/groceries.

Time Management: 

If you don’t have a planner, get one immediately. I recommend getting one that has times listed for each day so you can get a better glimpse of what that specific day should look like (even if you don’t strictly follow it). This has changed my life!

Self-care:

Try to schedule a little bit of time each day and/or one day out of the week to do something that you enjoy. You don’t want to burn out by over indulging in work and school.

Follow more of Kenechukwu’s journey:

Instagram

Dark-Skinned + The Makeup World…

(Tenor.com)

The Struggles of Having Dark Skin in the Makeup World

~ By Mariam Sikiru, Teen Blogger

The makeup industry is starting to become diverse, but how much of the makeup industry is changing. Every Year black women spend 7.5 billion dollars on beauty products and that number continues to grow. The beauty industry is valued at $532 billion and In the U.S the cosmetics industry made 93.5 billion dollars in 2019. African Americans have a 1.7 trillion spending power but, have no representation in the fields they spend their money in. In the makeup industry, it’s hard for dark skin women to be able to find makeup that matches them, they often have to mix two shades or use contour as a foundation.

A story that hit home was when an influencer named @okaysophi talked about having to use black eyeshadow or black eyeliner to contour her face for some time. But, after the release of Fenty beauty’s new contour stick called “caviar,” she found her shade of contour and has been using it ever since.

These success stories are made possible due to brands being inclusive and not putting the same three “medium-dark shades” for a group of people who should be boxed into 3 shades. The majority of the time those shades have warm, or orange undertones making it very hard for black women to even use them. It turns their skin ashy and sometimes pale white. Many brands started to become inclusive after the successful launch of Fenty Beauty, starting with 40 Foundation shades and developed 10 more shades. Rihanna set the tone for the makeup industry and many began to follow suit. 

(Nyma Tang, Tenor.com)

Some Influencers that shed light on the discrimination and the lack of diversity are Jackie Aina, Nyma Tang, Shanygne is also known as Ya Girl Too Much, and many more people who don’t revise recognition.

Here is a list of 10 Brands that are very inclusive  and have shades for darker skin toned women.

  1. Fenty Beautyhttps://www.fentybeauty.com/
  2. UOMA Beautyhttps://uomabeauty.com/
  3. Flesh Beautyhttps://www.fleshbeauty.com/ 
  4. NARShttps://www.narscosmetics.com/
  5. Beauty Bakeriehttps://www.beautybakerie.com/

    (Mariam Sikiru, Photo by E.J. White)

  6. Anastasia Beverly Hillshttps://www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com/
  7. Too Facedhttps://www.toofaced.com/
  8. Mac Cosmeticshttps://www.maccosmetics.com/
  9. Elf Cosmeticshttps://www.elfcosmetics.com/
  10. Revolution Beauty –https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/us/us/home

It’s 2020, put your money where your mouth is, don’t spend your money on brands that don’t support you nor the values that you hold. 

~ Mariam Sikiru, Teen Blogger

 

Toni + Tyanne: Falling Into Girl Chat?

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Latest | by — October 8, 2020

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Waving bye ✌🏾 to summer with a dose of girl chat with sisters Toni + Tyanne!

Not A Trend, A Movement…

~ By Fatoumata Sanneh

BLACK LIVES MATTER. Black lives matter,  is still a controversial statement and for what, why is that such a bad thing to say? Why is it that if I said ‘dog lives matter’, no one would be mad; but when I say black lives matter, I’m deemed racist by some and an activist by most. Black lives matter affects me as a black person everyday, and it should affect everyone, but it doesn’t. Why, you ask? Because people have a tendency to turn a blind eye to everything that doesn’t drastically affect them.

The Black lives matter movement was started in 2013 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman was acquitted. After Trayvon’s death, there were many, many more. The acquittal of Mr. Zimmerman just showed that the so-called justice system acts as if black lives don’t matter. And that’s how the movement was started. Soon after, Tamir Rice, who looks eerily like Emmett Till, was murdered by Timothy Loehmann. No Justice was served. Black Lives Matter continued to gain movement  + attention this year after the  death of Breonna Taylor + George Floyd.

 The problem with ‘all lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ is that all lives matter is inherently racist. Police officers are facing a fraction of what BIPOC have faced in this country for centuries. Except there are no true blue lives, if police officers don’t want to be ‘oppressed’, they can take off their uniforms,  BIPOC can’t take off our skin.

Black lives matter has solved some dilemmas in our corrupt ‘justice’ system, but the struggle of simply being your authentic self as a black young woman is a constant struggle. It is a constant battle that affects me and the rest of the black girls everyday of dealing with navigating racisim. It has shed light on the fact that the lives of many black people are riddled with microaggressions and just blatant racism. 

Here is an admission by my friend who chose to keep her name anonymous for reasons of her own:

So I didn’t grow up the way that most people think that black people are supposed to grow up. I lived in a country suburban home in Richmond, Texas. For a lot of my life I’ve gone to predominantly white schools and even though it was fun, I never truly felt like I belonged. My classes were mostly white, my teachers were mostly white. When I walked into a room I always felt like everyone’s eyes were on me, I was the odd one out. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but when people heard me speak loudly or ‘catching an attitude’ while I was just speaking my mind, people stereotyped me. That I was just another black girl or whatever. When I finally got to schools with more black people it felt like I wasn’t “black enough”. I didn’t talk a certain way, act a certain way, or carry myself in the same way that the other black kids did. So, sometimes I feel like I’m too black for white people and not black enough for black people. Because of that, I’m now learning that no matter how I act or behave prior, one wrong move and I’m either another “ghetto” black girl or “white-washed.”

Luckily I’ve befriended people who just see me for who I am, but those feelings of not belonging are still there, they’re just lying dormant for a situation to come up– Anonymous.  

Most of my community either owns a confederate flag or still preaches “all lives matter.” The minority who supported Black Lives Matter, only used it as a trend. Everyone doesn’t seem to care and our statistics show that, for example, black people make up a fraction of the American population, but are disproportionately murdered or stopped and searched for no reason. What we need right now is not equality, but equity.

 We need reparations and policies to be put in place, what we don’t need is black tiles on our instagram feeds, we don’t need  performative activism. What we need is recognition and for our voices to be heard. We need to say their names.

EMMETT TILL – MEDGAR EVERS – GEORGE JUNIUS STINNEY JR. – DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR – HENRY SMITH – JOHN CRAWFORD III – MICHAEL BROWN – EZELL FORD – DANTE PARKER – MICHELLE CUSSEAUX – MARY TURNER – LAQUAN MCDONALD – MALCOLM X – TANISHA ANDERSON – AKAI GURLEY – TAMIR RICE – RUMAIN BRISBON – JERAME REID – MATTHEW AJIBADE – JAMES N. POWELL JR. – FRANK SMART – ERNEST LACY – NATASHA MCKENNA – TONY ROBINSON – ANTHONY HILL – MYA HALL – PHILLIP WHITE – ERIC HARRIS – WALTER SCOTT – WILLIAM CHAPMAN II – ALEXIA CHRISTIAN – BRENDON GLENN – VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA – JONATHAN SANDERS – FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR. – JOSEPH MANN – SALVADO ELLSWOOD – SANDRA BLAND – ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS – DARRIUS STEWART – BILLY RAY DAVIS – SAMUEL DUBOSE – MICHAEL SABBIE – BRIAN KEITH DAY – CHRISTIAN TAYLOR – TROY ROBINSON – ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY – MICHAEL STEWART – FELIX KUMI – KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD – JUNIOR PROSPER – LAMONTEZ JONES – PATERSON BROWN – DOMINIC HUTCHINSON – ANTHONY ASHFORD – ALONZO SMITH – TYREE CRAWFORD – INDIA KAGER – LA’VANTE BIGGS – MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL – JAMAR CLARK – RICHARD PERKINS – PHILLIP PANNELL – NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT – BENNI LEE TIGNOR – MIGUEL ESPINAL – MICHAEL NOEL – KEVIN MATTHEWS – BETTIE JONES – QUINTONIO LEGRIER – KEITH CHILDRESS JR. – JANET WILSON – RANDY NELSON – ANTRONIE SCOTT – WENDELL CELESTINE – DAVID JOSEPH – CALIN ROQUEMORE – DYZHAWN PERKINS – CHRISTOPHER DAVIS – MARCO LOUD – JAMES BYRD JR. – PETER GAINES – TORREY ROBINSON – DARIUS ROBINSON – KEVIN HICKS – MARY TRUXILLO – DEMARCUS SEMER – AMADOU DIALLO – WILLIE TILLMAN – TERRILL THOMAS – DEMETRIUS DUBOSE – ALTON STERLING – PHILANDO CASTILLE – TERENCE CRUTCHER – PAUL O’NEAL – ALTERIA WOODS – BOBBY RUSS – JORDAN EDWARDS – AARON BAILEY – RONELL FOSTER – STEPHON CLARK – COREY CARTER – ANTWON ROSE II – TAYLER ROCK – MALICE GREEN – RAMARLEY GRAHAM – ELIJAH MCCLAIN – AIYANA STANLEY JONES – BOTHAM JEAN – PAMELA TURNER – DOMINIQUE CLAYTON – SEAN BELL – ATATIANA JEFFERSON – JEMEL ROBERSON – JAMES LEE ALEXANDER – RYAN MATTHEW SMITH – DERRICK AMBROSE JR. – ADDIE MAE COLLINS – CAROL DENISE MCNAIR – CAROLE ROBERTSON – CYNTHIA WESLEY – NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR. – CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD – WILLIE MCCOY – VICTOR WHITE III – MARCUS DEON SMITH – CHAVIS CARTER – MARTIN LEE ANDERSON – CHRISTOPHER MCCORVEY – BRADLEY BLACKSHIRE – TIMOTHY THOMAS – REGINALD DOUCET JR. – DANROY “DJ” HENRY JR. – KARVAS GAMBLE JR. – ERIC REASON – KORRYN GAINES – REKIA BOYD – KIONTE SPENCER – DARIUS TARVER – WAYNE ARNOLD JONES – MANUEL ELLIS – VICTOR DUFFY JR. – KOBE DIMOCK-HEISLER – CLINTON R. ALLEN – DONTRE HAMILTON – TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN – SYLVILLE SMITH – COREY JONES – TYRE KING – ERIC GARNER – MILES HALL – KENDRICK JOHNSON – CHARLEENA LYLES – MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN – TRAYVON MARTIN – RENISHA MCBRIDE – KIMONI DAVIS – KIWANE CARRINGTON – OSCAR GRANT III – BREONNA TAYLOR – KALIEF BROWDER – DARRIEN HUNT – TROY HODGE – WILLIAM GREEN –  ARBERY – DION JOHNSON – TONY MCDADE – ANDREW KEARSE – JAMEL FLOYD – GEORGE FLOYD – RAYSHARD BROOKS – ITALIA MARIE KELLY – DAVID MCATEE

~ By Fatoumata Sanneh

Music Mood: On Repeat

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — September 15, 2020

Quarantine Playlist! What’s On Repeat?

By Lynara Richards

Being quarantined is a new expereince for this generation. Adjusting to doing everything at home on electronic devices isn’t easy and can be beyond stressful. During this time music has been a great tool for staying sane!

(Giphy.com)

Personally, I don’t listen to one genre of music and my musical taste is all over the place. I like old school, new school, hip hop, pop, soca, basically everything. I’ve been listening to a lot of Burna Boy, ChloexHalle, Harry Styles, etc, and their music really keeps me together. 

When I’m calm and just want to relax Sunflower, Vol 6 by Harry Styles is it for me. This song is upbeat but calm and just gives you summer beach vibes without the sand in uncomfortable places. 

All we got (feat. Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir) by Chance the Rapper gives you the bass and trumpets that makes you put it on  blast for an upbeat feeling. Since we’re on more upbeat songs This Side (feat. YG) by Burna Boy gives you the Caribbean/afrobeat vibe. 

For more recent album release ChloexHalle has been on repeat! This album deals with relationship issues, but in a BOSS way of moving on to better things.

Lynara Richards

My personal favorites are Forgive Me,Babygirl, Ungodly Hour, and ROYL. Forgive me gives you the boss vibes + we’re moving on to better things. Babygirl gives you the message to remember who you are no matter what and stay your truest self. Ungodly Hour is more or less advice. There is a message of not falling for nonsense and knowing your worth. ROYL is the last song on the album. ROYL tells you to live your life, go out, and take risks while you’re young. The whole album is filled with beautiful vocals and gets stuck in your head.

All of these songs give you different feelings. These songs have allowed me to relax and even feel better when I was having a bad day. These artists have other great songs, but these are the ones that have been on repeat for literally all of quarantine. There are other great songs out there that can make you feel better like these did for me.

Hope these put a smile on your face and put a beat in your heart. Go and find your artist, genre, and happy songs!

~ By Lynara Ruchards

Toni + Tyanne: Dating Apps?

Being single + dating in college can be tricky already? Now, on top of that add quarantine. *sigh* Sisters Toni + Tyanne Bryce dive into on this episode’s topic on dating + dating apps with C.O.R.E Mag!

Style Diary x Tia!

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Fashion, Latest | by — September 4, 2020

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Scroll through the Style Diary of Dallas-based fashion-lover + blogger, Tia!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hey, my name is Tia and I am a 22 year old + a recent grad from Tuskegee University. I’m originally from Dallas, TX.

Style is showing who you are with out having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

The top 3 trends in feeling this season is corsets, split hem trousers, and mules!

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

My most favorite fashion icon is Teyana Taylor. She had that perfect mix of sassy and urban.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to look if you’re in a rush?

My go-to look in the morning is cropped pattern pants, a graphic tee, and a blazer. I top it off with some Nike Cortez’s.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number 1 rule to style is : You wear the clothes. Don’t let the clothes wear you!

Follow more of Tia’s style here:

Instagram

Tia’s Interlude

Skate With Sade!

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Feature, Latest | by — September 1, 2020

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ROLL, BOUNCE, SKATE vibes is what skater Sade is serving all of 2020!  Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, the talented 19 year-old rekindled her love for roller skating + has inspired her digital community during qurantine to lace up, have fun + zone out. Documenting her journey as she masters her ‘Skater Bucket’ list showcases her bubbly personality matched with her addictive playlist. Sade’s  fresh skills + style will leave you feeling inspired to not only roller skate but conquer your goals!

Let’s get to know Sade a little better…

Watching your skating videos makes us want to lace us + head to the rink! What or who inspired you to start roller skating?
I have been roller skating ever since I was around 6 years old when my dad would take me to the rink and taught me how to skate. As I got older, I went to the rink maybe 2-3 times a year up until recently when I finally decided to get into skating more! I was always inspired by seeing amazing skaters at my local rink that would just glide across the floor with such ease. It was something extremely mesmerizing to watch and I would also tell myself I’d love to skate like them but never actually tried. The only thing I really knew how to do in skates was go forwards, turn, and stop by running into the wall! However, all of that changed when this February 2020 I was scrolling through my timeline on Instagram and randomly saw a skater who I now know is @lilyskatesalot on Instagram and was blown away by her skills! I didn’t realize it was possible to roller skate outdoors until that moment and I was hooked!

For hours after I found myself deep into watching other skate videos on instagram and spent the rest of the month researching different types of skates to buy. And now here I am today doing the 365 days of skating challenge!

Whats your fave ol’ school + new school songs you like to skate to?
Oh man there are so many! A large majority of my playlist is made up of old school songs and some of my favorites to skate to are “Get Off” by Foxy, “Love Come Down” by Evelyn “Champagne” King, “Give It To Me Baby” by Rick James, “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool &  The Gang, “Let it Whip” by Dazz Band, “Stomp” by The Brothers Johnson, and “Let’s Get Married –
ReMarqable Remix” by Jagged Edge.

Some of my favorite new school songs to skate to are “Toast” by Koffee, “Tadow” by Masego, “Work REMIX” by A$AP Ferg, “Jerry Sprunger” by Tory Lanez, “Spaceships + Rockets” by Bas; LION BABE, and pretty much anything by Childish Gambino or Chris Brown! The music you listen to can really make skating an even more magical experience and feel as if you are in your own world.

Practice leads to perfection which is easier said than done! What’s the hardest move youve nailed?
Toe spins! After lots and lots of practice, frustration, and determination I can say I have nailed the ability to do toe spins. However, there is still lots of room for improvement in store for me since toe spins have a ton of different variations that I am currently working on!

Being able to express yourself is such a gift! How does skating make you feel? What’s your ultimate goal as a skater?
The first thing I think of when someone asks me what it feels like to skate is like a butterfly. I feel like I can fly and go wherever I want to with my skates as if they have a mind of their own. Roller Skating is an amazing form of expression, self care, emotional release, and utter joy. Whether that’s lacing up at the rink, trail, skatepark, tennis court, parking lot..really any place I can roll is happiness for me. It is freedom on eight wheels and there is never a day that I regret joining the skate community.

My ultimate goal as a skater is not only to achieve a list of moves on my “skate bucket list” but also have a certain flow and style that I am comfortable with. It can be hard to explain in words but it’s something I feel will take a couple years to finally feel “achieved” and I look forward to that moment!

Being young, juggling responsibilities while reaching your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate/inspire yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?
Recently, skating has been my way to regroup and motivate myself when I am feeling defeated or overwhelmed as a way to “escape”. However, my main way to do that especially before skating was through music! Listening to music is something so therapeutic and powerful for me and I do not know what I’d do without it. There are so many talented musicians out there that have no idea how big of an impact their voice, sound, and message have not only on me but on so many others as well.

One song I have gone back to for many years whenever I am really feeling down is called “All Right” by Carolyn Malachi. It is something about the combination of her voice, the violin in the background, and her assuring me that I am going to be alright helps every time. On the other hand, even songs that are more catchy and created for fun and dancing can have a huge impact on my mood as well!

Oftentimes black girls are labeled with numerous stereotypes, what’s a way we can continue to break barriers and create an authentic representation of ourselves?
BE OURSELVES!!! We are way too often put down, judged, or expected to act and look a certain way and for those reasons it can be difficult to live out our dreams and best lives. It can create a pressure to feel as if we need to change ourselves or act like someone we are not in order to be successful and respected but that is NOT the case at all.

As black girls we have so much strength, passion, and intelligence within us that is just waiting to be shared with the world. We are the beauty and the brains that are needed in so many fields in society whether that be STEM, Healthcare, Law and Policy, Arts, Education…you name it. We need to continue to break down the barriers that keep us from entering the fields of our dreams and showing the world the black girl magic we embody everyday.

What’s one mantra or positive quote you live by?

I don’t really have a mantra but one thing I do always live by is to never pass up an opportunity. No matter how big or small, an opportunity is an opportunity and you never know how far it can take you! It could be something as small as going to a community event to as big as attending a career fair. If you don’t go, if you don’t speak up, if you don’t take the chance then you will never know what you may have missed out on. The same thing even applies for me when skating! There are some things I thought I never in my life would do such as dropping in at a skatepark. But one day the park was empty and I had the chance right then to attempt to drop in and I did successfully! Even though not all opportunities will end in happiness and success, at least a valuable lesson was learned!

Time for faves! Artist? Food? Movie? Celeb crush?
My favorite artist of all time is Childish Gambino and seeing him in concert for the first time two years ago was one of the most memorable experiences of my life! I also really love Maxwell, dvsn, and Erykah Badu.

As far as eating goes, I love all pastas especially spaghetti, Taharka
Bros Honey Graham Ice Cream, and Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn.

For movies I could watch Spiderman Into the Spiderverse, Do The Right Thing, and Let it Shine a million times and never get tired of any of them! And a Celeb crush I don’t think I really have a set one but I am sure there are many that I would very likely become speechless if I was approached by any one of them HAHA. 

Follow more of Sade’s skate journey here!

Instagram

 

“Act African”…Umm What?!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — August 18, 2020

My Life As An African in America 

By Ifeoma Afugbuom

I have had my share of stereotypes that people have built inside their heads. The most I’ve seen are unreasonable but I remembered that people are not taught of how large and culturally diverse Africa is even today. 

A continent that is made up of 54 countries and over 3,000 languages in the continent alone. The clothes we wear, the way we walk & talk, our traditions, and our accents are what makes us different in all aspects.

Here are some of the stereotypes and questions that I’ve come across:

Why weren’t you born in Africa? 

My parents were immigrants and my mom had the opportunity to come here as a nurse. My dad came later and worked as a businessman. Everyday they work to provide a better life for my brother and I. I’m the result of their hard  work in this country.

Why don’t you have an accent?

I was born here just like everyone else. I have an American accent and that doesn’t make me less of an African or Nigerian to be exact.

Do you speak African? Say something?

Africa is a continent and not a language. My family speaks Igbo. Igbo is a language and one of the large tribes in Nigeria. There are many languages spoken, however, there are 3 main languages: Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba.

I listen to only African music.

I just started listening to Nigerian* music again. Since there are new artists I love I enjoy it more. I mainly listen to American musicians like Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Saweetie, Summer Walker, Pop Smoke and others.

I don’t prefer one genre over the other. I’m open-minded so I can listen to any type of music that sounds good and it doesn’t matter the language. Artists like Shenseea, Popcaan, Paloma Mami, BTS, Mamamoo, G-Idle and others. 

Why aren’t you Muslim?

Just because I’m African does not mean I’m necessarily bound to one religion. I am Catholic. According to Wikipedia and Research Gate, the muslim population in Africa 

is around 41-52%. Christianity makes a rough 49% on average. There  are also other religions so it’s bold to assume.

You don’t wear your traditional clothing.

I have a collection of sweatshirts that I love dearly. I wear casual clothes mostly and keep my dresses for special occasions or church. I only wear my traditional clothing  to church or parties that require that dress code. I’m not obligated to wear a turban and long fitted dress everywhere.

You don’t look African.

Just like Americans, there is no one appearance designed for a race. We all look and talk differently. There is no such thing as looking African. That is just a mindset people created to distinguish and separate others.

(Rema, 20)

As a Nigerian I love to embrace my culture. The clothes we wear are so dearly important to me. My language is the way I communicate to people back home. To see others being ignorant; creating a lists of questions that feeds off the stereotypes of my people are not settling to hear. Especially when I hear it more than twice. 

The music genre Nigerians called AfroBeat allowed us to grow and climb the music industry. Artists like WizKid, Davido, Mr.Eazi, and Burna Boy paved the way for us to appear on foreign award shows. Even showing us it is possible to win multiple Grammys. New artists like Rema, even at a young age, are slowly climbing the ladder with their music.

The fashion industry in Nigeria is booming with multiple tailors and different styles. So everyone can enjoy the luxury of fine clothes. I hope everyone can see this and understand our culture. To also know to not feed into the stereotypes people make about them or others.

~ Ifeoma Afugbuom

#AskAnActivist: Sophie Ming

Owning your voice + dismantling systems that were created for oppression is not only a right but a responsibility we each possess! From tackling a variety of thought-provoking cultural topics on her YouTube channel to leading protests in the streets of NYC for justice, Sophie Ming is unleashing her voice both in the digital world + her community.

As a college student, Sophie has launched her platform NYC Youth Collective with clear + strong messaging to defund the police. Not allowing Black Lives Matter to be a moment or a trend but a movement to create long-lasting change.

An authentic voice leading a generation of massive progress for the future.

Let’s get to know Sophie Ming a little better…

From organizing impactful protests to pushing powerful initiatives for change within the black community, what made you want to use your voice + platform to launch the NYC Youth Collective? 

The NYC Youth Collective for me was my passion for social justice reform and my love for the youth coming together to form one organization. Also, it’s so extremely important for us to be having conversations about race with young people, right now. The reason why we have so many white, uneducated, and racist adults in power is because those adults never learn about intersectionality, racial inequality, and white privilege. This is something that’s very new, but something I want to give momentum to. And I encourage other leaders and organizers to do the same.

Defunding the police can make a radical change within our communities; what do you want people to understand about reallocating the police department’s funds? 

Something that I always say is “defunding the police means saving black lives.” It’s so common for people to hear “defund the police” and then get scared and skeptical. It’s okay to not know exactly what society will look like without police, but we already know what it looks like with police. It’s a literal civil war against black Americans and our entire race is being killed nation wide. That is what communities with the police currently look like, that can’t be the finish line.

How key is it to know your city council member that represents your neighborhood + exercising your voice through your vote?

I will always stand behind voting and staying in contact with your reps. Politics is scary if you’re black. The entire system is set up without considering our identities. It’s easy to shy away from contacting your reps and getting involved but I cannot stress how important it is. There will always be such immense power in numbers. That being said, we can demand and vote for change all we want and if it isn’t delivered, that’s when we use our power to shut it down.

There’s been a major spark of reminding the Black Lives Matter movement that  ALL black lives matter including black girls/women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities. How can individuals keep shedding light to the importance of unity + support within the black community?

We can only keep the movement united if we keep our peers and ourselves in check. This means seeing past your own experience as a black individual to other black individuals who may be even more marginalized. This means although I have my own marginalized experience being  a black woman, I have to be able to check my privileged being cisgender, or able bodied. It’s hard for people to look past their own experience and check their own privilege but it’s absolutely necessary to prevent certain identities in the black community from getting overlooked.

What’s an avenue students can stay involved if they are unable to attend local protests?

There are so many ways to be involved in change without going to protests. Use your social media to share and uplift black voices during this time, do your research on how you can personally be an ally, have productive conversations with friends and family about race (this is also a great time to check friends and family who may be ignorant on the matter).

We love a tweet you previously shared which said,  “dear black people, please do not feel pressured to be an activist right now. you’re allowed to be angry, upset, drained, etc. you’re allowed to delete social media and take a break from reality. the burden is not on you fix a system designed to break you.” Why is it important to regroup + remind ourselves about black joy + not just only the pain?

I think it’s important for black people to understand that it is not our responsibility to dismantle white supremacy. We quite literally need white people to check and change their own racist ideals and mindsets. So much of the burden is placed on black folk to organize and educate, and make the process of social reform easier and more digestible for white people. I want to remind black people (especially black women) to give themselves rest. It’s already triggering enough seeing our own getting killed on the timeline every other day, as we progress through a modern day civil war. It is okay to not be on all of the time.

If you had to give a message to black girls everywhere about loving themselves, what would it be?

The easiest way to navigate your confidence as a black girl is to not allow your standard of beauty to be white. Erase whatever Eurocentric features are considered beautiful, and allow your own to be.

Follow more of Sophie’s journey here!

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