The film industry has required progress since its beginning, especially when it comes to its inclusion– or lack thereof. Even though this milestone of goal is still in the process of being reached, we can thank Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, Yalitza Aparicio, and so many other women who have opened the floodgates for BIPOC actresses to showcase their talents on the big screen. Generation Z has been making strides towards continuing to break that glass ceiling – actresses like Sofia Wylie, Madison Reyes, Avantika Vandanapu, Josie Totah, and so many more are proof of that.
“It’s the AAVE for me,” “Chile, anyways,” “We been knew,” “Finna,” “Periodt, “No cap,” Well, aside from being ingrained in “Internet culture” and often incorrectly referred to as “Gen Z slang,” “internet lingo” or “stan language,” they’re all rooted in AAVE – African American Ventricular English. AAVE is an established, recognized system of linguistics and a dialect of English natively spoken by Black communities, notably in the United States and Canada.
WRITTEN BY: Cil
Burnout is often a result of work-induced stress, and for Gen. Z students, this fact is constantly applicable. Although work is a huge factor of burnout for adults over the age of twenty-four, teens and young adults often find that their source of burnout stems from school. Oftentimes, students are forced to prioritize homework, classes, and Zoom calls over their mental health. To provide mental clarity, one should always prioritize mental health above any assigned work.
We are now living in a world that is transcending beyond the former understanding that Sexuality and Gender identity are purely binary. Now, we live in a world where Sex and Gender lie on a far more complex spectrum than in the past. To many, their Sexual and Gender identity holds a pivotal role in shaping who they are. However, many struggle with their Sexual and Gender Identity at some point in their lives, including those we love. Contrary to what many of us may understand, Sex and Gender is not binary. Our biological sex is what chromosomes, hormones, genes, sex organs, and secondary sex characteristics we have, whereas our gender refers to how we think of our identity in the context of how norms function in our culture. Yet just like how gender falls within a more complex spectrum, our biology isn’t binary either. Students are often inaccurately taught that all babies inherit either XX or XY sex chromosomes and that having XX chromosomes makes you female, while XY makes you male. In reality, people can have XXY, XYY, X, XXX, or other combinations of chromosomes — all of which can result in a variety of sex characteristics. People with intersex traits can usually identify themselves as either Male, Female, or Intersex.
WRITTEN BY: Jia Xuan
Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid. These are all classic stories that were brought to life by the Walt Disney Studios. For almost a century, they have dazzled audiences old and young with these tales of fantasy. But what do they all have in common? Their stories are centered on thin white beauties. This is not to claim there is an issue with that, but when you look at the expanseous vault of Disney movies, you can easily deduce that characters of color are painfully absent.
WRITTEN BY: Evie Fitzpatrick
The cultural influences of the African American community have not only shaped American culture, but rather the entire world; with influences ranging from fashion, the arts, to even agriculture, African Americans rarely receive recognition for their contributions that are all stored in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In what is known to be a ‘universal language’ that unites individuals of all demographics, music has historically been a symbol of hope and integrity for African Americans. From what began as a way to bond with fellow slaves while easing the drudgery of their lives, music has flourished into a pivotal component of America’s overall cultural heritage. Their dance tunes, religious music, and hip hop influences makes it nearly impossible to envision America without African American influence.
Black History Month started at a Chicago festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved people. Carter Woodson observed this festival, and opened up a Black history booth during the 3 week duration of the celebration. Soon after the festival ended, he decided to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (Now changed to Association for the Study of African American Life and History).
In a fiery spoken-word piece performed by Joy Buolamwini, she asks artificial intelligence a simple question: “Often forgetting to deal with// Gender, race, and class, again I ask Ain’t I a Woman?” This sentiment rings true as visuals play of multiple high profile black women, such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams, being misidentified by various facial recognition software. The AI jumps to the conclusion that they are all men. This situation is evidence of underlying racial bias, and it’s not an isolated incident; racial bias is persistent in AI.
WRITTEN BY: Lucy Damachi
Gen-Z is a generation that is utterly obsessed with our phones and screens. We are a part of a generation that was born into the unknown and pushed into the abyss of the internet. Our developing years were spent having to choose between living in the moment and getting lost in our technology. We turned out fine though, right?
From his days on Harlem Shake to holding records on the Billboard, Joji has swept the world with his heartfelt lyrics and irresistible beats in just the past few years. Joji has now become an inspiration for young Asian-Americans around the globe. Born in Osaka, his Japanese background shines as a token of hope and pride for young AAPI youth. Underneath the company, 88rising, with fellow artists such as Niki, Rich Brian, and Stephanie Poetri, Joji has helped make a name for Asians in the mainstream music industry. His greatest feat came with his album, Ballads 1, when he became the first AAPI artist to claim the #1 title on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart.