Why We Should Talk About It- An Editorial (by David R.)

| New Internationalist | by David Rausch |

As any teenager will know all too well, the urge to fit in is a strong one. However, to do this, one must often “follow the rules” and “act normal” ; however, this urge to not deviate from the norm affects more than just teenagers, and plays a big role in our social lives as people.  

If you look into the past, you’ll realize just how quickly our world has changed; less than 50 years ago, it would’ve been a strange sight to see a woman wearing trousers, or hear of black people in prominent leadership positions. In fact, a man like Barack Obama being president would have been impossible. Tattoos and piercings, which are seen as relatively normal today would have been seen as quite strange. Gay marriage, which is gradually becoming socially acceptable would have been unfathomable. Why? Because, as social creatures, we accept what we have…

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Is That Really Appropriate? (by Lule K.)

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Cultural appropriation has been a recurring topic in social media for quite some time now. There are different arguments for what is considered offensive, and what is considered flattery. It’s no secret that there is a certain underlying tension between Africans and African Americans, but is there such a thing as African Americans appropriating African culture?

African culture has become popularized around social media for over a year now. Wearing dashikis and headwraps as fashion statements has become a normal occurrence on Instagram, Snapchat, and various other platforms. So if an African American woman wears tribal marks and kangas, is it appropriation? Or is it an attempt to lessen the barrier between the two people groups?

 Understanding the difference between appropriation and appreciation is simply education. Different people are offended by different things, regardless of the person’s motives.

       “Just because a person shares the same complexion as…

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Perpetuating Paranoia (by Angel T.)

A Culture of Us

A wave of multicolored wigs and vivid clothing are splashed across the recommended pages on my Instagram and YouTube accounts. Memes and videos are titled in bold letters “CLOWN SIGHTINGS” or “KILLER CLOWNS” among various other eye-catching names. The sensation causing the eruption of social media? The so-called “killer clown epidemic” that is creeping its way across the globe.

Toward the end of the summer, residents in South Carolina claimed that people dressed as clowns tried to bait children into the woods, and later on, two boys and their mother saw a group of clowns in the woods whispering and flashing lights. Thus, the clown epidemic was born. Reports of being stalked by clowns, and being chased and harassed by clowns with knives have been recorded in over twenty states since then. Similar clown incidents have also been reported in Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, showing widespread the phenomenon has become.

A fundamental question relating to…

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Achieving Introspection (by Angel T.)

A Culture of Us

(Photo: Via Google Images)

It is a long, hard journey down the road to achieving one’s dreams. As a licensed psychologist, mother of two, and teacher, among various other jobs, Dr. Joanne Heugel is a woman that is very familiar with this journey. Born into a family of missionaries, Dr. Heugel has lived almost all of her life in Nairobi, Kenya. She graduated from high school in Rosslyn Academy, and soon after, moved to the United States to pursue her dream of being a psychologist. “I always knew I was going to be a counselor,” says Dr. Heugel. “Oddly enough, in seventh grade, I played the role of a counselor, and I remember the play ending and having this feeling that that’s what I wanted to do.” However, following this dream was no easy feat. Countless hours spent working at internships, writing dissertations, and studying for exams dominated everyday life…

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Is Black Beautiful in Africa ? (by David R.)

| New Internationalist | by David Rausch |

While studies are showing a growing trend in African American women “going natural” it seems that the same is not true for the African continent.

In  2014, the World Health Organization released findings showing that 77% of Nigerian women used skin bleaching products on a regular basis, while a recent study by the University of Cape Town suggests that  a third of  black South African women bleach their skin frequently. This trend is one that local doctors are calling an “epidemic” as the creams that African women use to lighten their skin often contain dangerous chemicals such as mercury that can lead to cancer, liver failure as well as skin pigmentation and diseases such as eczema.

Mounting evidence in the form of confessions by skin bleaching cream users suggest that the practice is fundamentally linked to an individual’s lack of self confidence, as women with lighter skin tones are…

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Rosslyn Academy’s Spiritual Emphasis Week (by David R.)

| New Internationalist | by David Rausch |

Every year, Rosslyn Academy dedicates a week to furthering its students spiritual lives, and while the majority of the student body have cited Spiritual Emphasis Week to be a positive force, there are some who believe that changes are in order.

A typical day in Spiritual Emphasis week entails four classes in the morning, followed by activities, a chapel service and a small group discussion between members of the same grade. The speaker in charge of the week-long daily chapel services this year was Jacob Jester, with whom I sat down with to understand the purpose of Spiritual Emphasis week.

What he told me was simple; Spiritual Emphasis Week existed to foster students’ spiritual lives from the perspective of Christianity (as Rosslyn Academy is a Christian school) and aimed to encourage pupils to have intensely spiritual experiences even after Spiritual Emphasis Week had ended. However, when I asked Jacob about…

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Racial Integration and Marriage: A Personal Matter (by David R.)

| New Internationalist | by David Rausch |

Its funny how quickly the world changes,, and how  those resisting the time often get lost in the rising tides. For example, 50 years ago, my existence as a mixed race child would have been seen as a taboo, and my parents’ marriage would have been illegal in most of the 50 states.

Both my mother and father were raised in societies where people of other races were not common; in my mother’s village in rural Kenya, the only whites for miles were the Catholic priests who ran a school and orphanage near the village , while my German father’s first memory of a black person relates to an African-American soldier in a tank distributing chocolate to bombed-out children in 1945. When asked about the specifics of the event, my father could only recall one other famous person of color; Jesse Owens, an athlete of my father’s time. So, how…

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Four Finger Rule (by Lule K.)

noirpanther

There are noticeable asymmetries when it comes to dress code implemented among males and females. To many of the male students attending Rosslyn Academy, dress code isn’t even something that crosses their mind. As for the girls that do get called out, are there certain aspects to personality, relationships, or even appearance that may determine whether or not they were forced to cover their clothing with Kangas?

“I started noticing that my white friends weren’t complaining about dress code as much as my black friends were. I’m not sure if the two are related, but I did notice it,” said Angel Thairo, a 16 year old girl that attends Rosslyn Academy. For many women, dress code is, and will continue to be a factor of everyday life. Especially if you spend the majority of your time in a professional setting. The dress code at Rosslyn is seemingly simple. Most of the…

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We Don’t Care to Clique (by Angel T.)

A Culture of Us

We’ve all seen them play out in the movies—how the cheerleaders rule the school, how the nerds get bullied by the jocks—and we’ve all heard how terrible they are, how they are simply the epitome of high school pettiness. And it’s a safe bet to say that although most of us don’t like to acknowledge it, we’ve all been a part of a clique at some point.

A clique is most commonly defined as “a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them”. Cliques are most commonly observed in middle school or high school settings, as well as in the workplace. Thanks to pop culture’s portrayal of cliques as exclusive circles that result in bullying and emotional destruction, the topic of cliques commonly evokes negative reactions.

So how do cliques work? There are several social psychology theories that work to explain the science…

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A Weed In a Field Full of Daisies (by Lule K.)

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“They didn’t care that I was African. To them, I was just black. And black was always less,” explained Eunice Kariuki, a Kenyan woman who lived in the United States of America. When you are residingin the West, sometimes the only thing that differentiates you from an African American is your accent. So what if you don’t have an accent? Then you are simply identified as a black American.

Kariuki experienced a considerable amount of culture shock when she first moved to the United States. “I remember the day that I arrived. I had never seen so many white faces in one place. I felt like a weed in a field full of daisies.”

Of course, America is not all white. However, according to Black Demographics, African Americans are the largest racial minority, equaling a measly 13.3%. The probability of racial profiling soars when a black person is clearly…

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