In 2017, Tolu Olowofoyeku, Hamid Ibrahim, and Fikayo Adeola, three friends from Nigeria and Uganda, found Kugali Media. Their vision was to create a pan-African media company aimed at telling stories of the African continent by Africans. They created a sci-fi Afrofuturistic comic-book called “Iwájú,” which roughly translates to “the future” in the West African language of Yoruba. 3 years later, in December of 2020, Disney announced a partnership with the company; it will be adapting the comic book into a science fiction animated series for Disney+ coming out in 2022. The show is to be set in Lagos, Nigeria and will explore issues like “class, innocence, and challenging the status quo”–themes all too relevant today.
Why are derogatory phrases like ‘ching chong’ so ingrained and embedded into people’s vocabulary, and are often dismissed as harmless jokes? How does the Model Minority Myth and East Asians’ perceived proximity to whiteness act as an underlying factor?
As the world has become increasingly busier in recent years, podcasts have become one of the most popular mediums for news and entertainment for just about anyone. With about 25% of the United States population listening to podcasts weekly, they have completely swept the nation. This boom in popularity for audio content can mainly be contributed to one major advantage over reading an article or watching a video on a screen — its ability to allow listeners to multitask. From cleaning the house to driving to work, podcasts can be listened to while doing just about anything, making them extremely appealing to those constantly battling the hustle of everyday life.
With the rise of online criticism of conservative beliefs, figures, and news outlets has come a new form of “activism” that extends these criticisms into a mockery of red states. Even more, this has formed a new belief that red states and the people who inhabit them deserve to be the punchline of all “jokes” because of who the majority of people in those states vote for; this discounts the minority communities in each of these states that not only suffer because of their states’ legislators, but now are placed in a position where they are forced to hear about how everyone in their state deserves the lot they receive in life. It disregards the blatant voter suppression that these states imposed on marginalized voters and fails to recognize that not everyone living in a red state aligns with conservative beliefs. Making online jokes surrounding the unfortunate circumstances of red states was a common practice after Florida was declared a red state in the 2020 presidential election, which placed the state at the mercy of various hurricane and natural disaster jokes, and is now becoming commonplace following the spike in Texas winter storms and record freezing temperatures.
“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.
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.
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?