Posts in "Daily Blog"

“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

Toni + Tyanne: Getting Real About #BlackLivesMatter

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — July 21, 2020

We’re excited to launch a new series with brilliant sisters Toni + Tyanne! Tune in as they get real about the Black Lives Matter movement. And yes, that includes “Karens”, proetsts + the different treatment between black  men + women from the movement!

Tune in + subscribe: HERE

Dreams vs. Fame?

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — July 14, 2020

Going for your goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. You should never hold back or short yourself when it comes to achieving what you want. If being a singer, actress, or even a Youtuber is what you desire, pursue it. But before you move forward towards achieving your dreams, you need to ask yourself if you are pursuing your passions or are you pursuing fame. There’s a huge difference and fame isn’t always as glamorous as it seems so make sure your priorities in order.

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|Not What You Think|

As we mentioned above, fame isn’t as glamorous as one might think. It comes with a lot of responsibilities, pressure, and even loneliness. Not to say there aren’t any cool perks of being famous, but a lot of time the bad outweighs the good. It’s not for everyone and there are ways to be successful with your passion without the fame.

|Do Anything For Clout|

Offset said it best when he rapped the lyrics “They do anything for clout.” People want to be famous so bad that they are willing to do things that make them uncomfortable. It’s a toxic way of thinking and if that mentality is followed, you will eventually divert from your passion and put energy into things you don’t care about. 

|Happiness|

Feeding your passion is always going to make you happy, especially when you become successful. Fame is not guaranteed happiness. You’ll find that your passions will take you father than fame ever will so stay focused!

via GIPHY

~Tia Banks, Content editor

Squad Up: CORE Interns!

We bet you can’t find interns doper than ours? From bomb interviews to fresh write-ups, our squad is covering a variety of topics for C.O.R.E mag this summer so stay tuned! Meet our amazing crew from Bela High School in Brooklyn!

CORE Crew Roll Call: Aiyana Lockley, A’Yanna Rouse, Ifeoma Afugbuom, Kiarra Charlemagne, Lynara Richards, Mariam Sikiru, Rosalie Bobbett, Uriah Denham

(Ifeoma Afugbuom + Mariam Sikiru)

What is your dream job and why?

Ifeoma: I want to be an ER Surgeon because I’ve seen how brave they are especially in the times of this pandemic. I also want to be apart of the community that saves lives.

Mariam: I aspire to be an Urban Planner. I want to become an Urban Planner because I want to help people and become more involved in the neighborhood and the building of neighborhoods.

Which hobbies do you enjoy?

Ifeoma: I like singing and dancing to my favorite songs. I love to play sports and be mentally and physically fit.

Mariam: I enjoy knitting, crocheting, photography, exercising,and partaking in commentary of topics that intrigue me.

(Lynara Richards + A’Yanna Rouse)

What are your plans after high school?

Lynara: After high school I will be attending college. I plan to attend nursing school and study to become a Nurse Practitioner specifically in the neonatal department.

A’Yanna: My plans is to go to college and get my master degree in Information Systems and Cybersecurity as double majors. Then get my dream job and save enough money to buy my dream house and car.

Who is your biggest crush?

Lynara: My biggest crush would definitely be Rome Flynn.

A’Yanna: My biggest crush is BTS’s Jin.

(Rosalie Bobbett + Uriah Denham)

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Rosalie: One thing I would change in this world is racism.

Uriah: If I could change one thing about the world it would be racism still existing. Or the cold hearts that people have in the world.

What does empowerment mean to you?

Rosalie: Empowerment means to me is someone of common difference uplifting one another.

Uriah: Empowerment means to me the authority of something. Or power given to someone to do something. But some people take advantage of what empowerment really means. When you have empowerment I feel like this is a chance to lead by example and be an idol for everyone else. Not abuse the purpose of it. It’s a chance for you to change things.

What’s your fave song on repeat right now?

Rosalie: Just Another Part  of Me ~ Michael Jackson

Uriah: Currently, I do not have a favorite song at the moment.

(Aiyana Lockley + Kiarra Charlemagne)

How have you helped someone in your life lately?

Aiyanna: A way that I have helped someone in my life lately was by giving someone who needed a hug a hug.

Kiarra: A way that I have helped someone is by standing up for others and sharing advice.

Who is your role model and why?

Aiyanna: My role model is my mother because she has always pushed me to succeed. She has gone through so much and the fact that she still works hard and never gave up is truly incredible to me. Without her
I feel like I would be so lost and clueless which is why she is my role model.

Kiarra: My role model is myself due to the fact that I imagine myself one day as being successful and not listening  to the others who bring me down/ I will rise above and live the life I always wanted to live!

We warned you, they’re SQUAD GOALS!

Exhausted? Don’t Feel Guilty

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — June 20, 2020

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Exhausted. Yep,  if we had to sum up how we feel for the first half of 2020 it would be exhausted. From shifting 2nd semester at home due to the quarantine to protesting against racial injustice all while dealing with pressure from our parents, friend drama, keeping up our GPA, internships + the list goes on! It’s time to squeeze in some much-needed self-care without feeling guilty about it!

Pressure: OFF ~ The pressure to keep it all together can sometimes feel unbearable + overwhelming, especially during these times. And oftentimes we put pressure on ourselves to keep it together. REMINDER: TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF. Feel what you feel. If you feel like crying then cry. If you’re  exhausted take a break. If you’re angry, express it. You have a wide-range of emotions + it’s okay to share them.

CHILL.  ~ With much happening in the world you can feel guilty to simply slow down. Having moments of fun + having joy doesn’t mean you do not about current  issues, it simply means you’re refueling yourself! So watch that YouTube series, make TikToks, laugh at memes, have that group chat with your friends, make a new dance. Do something that will put a smile on your face.

Where’s the CONFETTI? ~Standing in our girl genius is a revolution. Graduating + finishing this semester is a movement. Loving ourselves boldly and unconditionally is a rebellion! So celebrate yourself!

Soooo take a break you deserve it!

Speak Out!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — May 25, 2020

Finding Who You Are?

By: Tammy Elleyby

Did you or are you struggling to find your sexuality? Or maybe your gender, or rather your identity? Trust me, there are people all over the world that struggle just like you. Sometimes finding who you are can be difficult both as a teen and an adult.  However,  they’re people who may disagree with your personal journey of truly finding yourself because it’s against their beliefs or mindset. This can often trigger or affect the state of your mental health and self-esteem.

Discovering who you are as a teen can oftentimes have more of an impact on you  opposed to a 37- year old because of the added pressures of navigating teen life.

Now, I know you might be asking if finding your sexuality or identity can really affect you mentally? The answer is yes! It can lead you to feeling depressed like no one is there to understand you, making it harder to fit in with a group of people or trusting people to talk about how you feel. Even, simply just fitting in with society.

Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community can trigger you in a mental and emotional way.  It can make you feel less happy or depressed. Even for no reason without notice, and causing harmful actions that teens and/or adults make.

Studies show and talk about how people who join the LGTBQ+ community are more likely to do risk-taking behavior especially teenagers. Teens who either experienced trauma like verbal harassment, physical harassment, and physical assault due to  coming out or being seen as part of the LGBTQ community. Examples like this are reasons so many teens or children grow up and become adults who still suffer and still struggle with opening up to people whether they need help or not. Many can be so traumatized as a kid that they also grow up and make life-threatening choices like self-harm, alcohol/substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior. This leads to so many people taking their lives over something that may or may not be prevented had if they had some help to be able to cope the right way.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Even if it’s a struggle to open up to others you can find people to confide in and trust. Whether that may be family members, friends, or even a doctor/therapist. Some articles state that, Being supported and safe to explore and express your sexuality can be good for your mental health. It can reduce distress, anxiety, and depression.” If a child isn’t able to be him/her/their self and have an adult to help them express who they are it can lead to shutting down, not speaking about how they truly feel, and staying closed off even through adulthood.

When adults or people with their own religious beliefs come off as being be close-minded (not all)  the focus can get lost from being supportive and loving to instead being defensive without being open to understanding the LGBTQ+ community.

As I have talked about many of the struggles of people who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community go through; there is one last topic and that topic is fitting in with society, family and friends. Also overcoming it to just love yourself for who you are and not for who you aren’t.

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Family rejection can be one of the hardest trials to overcome. Teens depend on their family to support them, but getting negative outcomes is what makes it hard for kids to then learn to accept themselves. Imagine having complete trust in a family member or maybe a group of friends, you decide to tell them a secret you never told anyone and once you do they turn their backs on you. They begin calling you names and making fun of you.

Because of that negative outcome, the whole after effect starts damaging to your sense of self-worth and overall mental health. Making you feel like you aren’t worth anything and seen a disappointment. The whole experience makes you begin questioning your worth.

Finding who you are whether you are apart of the LGBTQ+ community or not; can affect you mentally and also may affect how you think about yourself. It can make it hard to find that trusted someone and can change the way you feel about people who’ve judged you.  Most importantly,  it can cause lifelong effects. By not getting the support young ,  these feelings  can follow you into adulthood.

In conclusion, if you see someone struggling don’t just put out negative energy, offer a hand and be kind you never know the effect you might have on them.

~ Tammy Elleyby, teen writer

Speak Up. Speak Out!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — April 6, 2020

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Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Speak Up, Speak Out: Discrimination Against Muslim Girls

By Ajwa Timber

Forty-two percent of Muslim parents say their kids have been bullied due to their religion, whether through insults or physical assaults, at least once in the past year. There are more than 1.1 million students in NYC schools. An increasing number of those students are Muslims. Others may say that Muslim women and men are not equal and are dominant over Muslim women.  Muslim women students in NYC high schools go through discrimination more than Muslim men because they are easily identified in class, in athletic programs, and people buy in to stereotype against Muslim women.

Muslim students who wear hijabs have been harassed and assaulted in school. A Muslim woman who attends Portland State University was badly abused in the past.

According to KGW Staff “A woman tried to choke a Saudi Arabian exchange student with her hijab and then ripped the head covering of the woman’s head and neck at a Portland MAX station, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said. Jasmine Renee Campbell, 23, then exposed herself and rubbed the hijab against her genitals, court records said”.

Another Muslim teenager had her hijab pulled off and was pelted with eggs’ in Dublin. “The woman and her cousin are also said to have been thrown to the ground and kicked in the alleged attack in Dundrum village, south Dublin, on Sunday afternoon”(Sky News Agust 2019). Muslim women have been prohibited from wearing hijabs. They have been harassed, fired from jobs and denied access to public places.

Noor Alexandria Abukaram via USAToday

Muslim women are not even allowed to wear hijabs while participating in sports without documentation. A Muslim teen athlete, Noor Alexandria Abukaram, was disqualified in Ohio race for wearing Hijab. She wasn’t allowed to run in her hijab without special permission. The officials said cross-country runners were allowed to compete in “religious headwear” only after they received a waiver allowing them to bend the association’s uniform regulations. It was shared she had never seen a rule that barred students from wearing hijab and had not previously run into a problem. (Liam Stack October 2019).

In my personal experience I’ve run track before but I never had to have a teacher sign a waiver for me to participate.

Some people in today’s society buy into stereotypes against Muslim women. For example, some say Islam oppresses women and forces them into a subservient role, but in reality, The Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah and forbids female infanticide, instructs Muslims to educate daughters as well as sons, insists that women have the right to refuse a prospective husband, gives women the right to divorce in certain cases. They say Muslim women are quiet and soft. They think all Muslims are from the middle east. Mulsim can be from anywhere and have different backgrounds. I’m sick and tired of some people in today’s society “pegging Muslim women as “submissive” and it’s ridiculous (Heba Kanso Feb 2019).

In conculison, Muslim women students in NYC high schools go through discrimination more than Muslim men because they are easily identified in class, in athletic programs, and people buy in to stereotype against Muslim women. I wonder if Muslim men are treated the same as Muslim women?

~ Ajwa Timber, Teen Writer

Length? Overrated.

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Being natural has its ups and downs. The upside is that you no longer have chemicals in your hair and can wear your natural curls. On the flipside, you might have to relearn how to take care of your hair, which could also affect the length of your tresses. But don’t be fooled, your hair is healthier than ever. You just have to learn to work with what you have! As long as you are good to your hair, your hair will be good to you. Here are three reasons not to get caught up!

|It’s Brand New|

If you recently became a naturalista, your hair is still getting used to not having any chemicals in it. Therefore, the texture your hair is now, may not be the texture it is forever. Give it some time and you’ll most likely see your hair change over time.

|Shrinkage|

Shrinkage is real!! You have length, but the buoyancy in your curls is forcing you to remain humble. Although shrinkage makes it look like your hair is shorter than it is, it is also a sign of health. The mere fact that your coils spring back is a sign of healthy hair.

|Health|

No matter what your hair looks like, health is always what’s most important. Bouncy curls are way better than stretched, lifeless ones. Once you’ve found a hair regimen that your hair loves, then you can work on other factors.

Tia Banks, Content Editor

Stereotypes? Toss’em!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — March 9, 2020

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Society has a funny way of shaping our views of what type of person we should be –especially black girls. We are often put in a box and showcased as having minimal types of personalities and interests when that is quite opposite of the truth. Black girls are fascinated with things across the spectrum. There is space for you to be an extrovert who enjoys the spotlight as well as an introvert who loves comics and anime. Either way, you are black enough and always will be. Ignore the stereotypes and embrace your true self.

Find Your Crew | There is power in numbers. If you find that embracing your true self is hard to do alone, find a group of people that are interested in what you like. Hanging out with them consistently will make you feel more comfortable in your skin. Black girls do a little bit of everything.

Expose Us | Depending on where you live, finding a crew can be difficult. In that case, you should look into creating one. Gather a group of girls and show them what you’re into. For example, if you like to draw, enlighten them on how relaxing it can be for all levels of creativity. Seeing you, a black girl, doing something different will open their horizons to new hobbies and interests.

Seek Inspiration | Social media is a helpful tool. Follow accounts of other black girls who you share interests with. That way when you are seeking inspiration, you can easily find it on your timeline. Look up specific hashtags and put yourself out there too so you can inspire others.

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

Overlooked, Unheard + Over It?!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — February 24, 2020

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It’s important to feel heard and understood. It makes you feel validated. When you don’t get the full attention you are seeking, it can cause you to feel insignificant. This is common especially with a younger generation. Often times, young people are overlooked because it is assumed they have nothing valuable to say, which is indeed not true. There are ways to command a room and make your voice heard.

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Communication Style| Think about how you communicate with people. If your demeanor is more laid back and quiet, then it might be time to push the envelope and be a bit more aggressive. This is important especially when speaking to teachers and counselors because they are most likely discussing your future and you definitely want a say in that.

Answer With Intelligence| When you finally get a chance to voice your opinion, don’t take it for granted. Give a well thought out opinion. It will show a level of maturity and open the door for more opportunities to speak your mind.

Send an Email| Sometimes it’s hard to command attention in person without coming across a certain way. Sending an email is a lot less aggressive and can be worded in a way that sounds mature, but still gets your point across. It’s also a lot less intimidating.

~Tia Banks, Content Creator