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Opinion


Are Black Creators on Tik Tok Finally Getting the Recognition They Deserve? A Look Into Jalaiah Harmon

TikTok has provided many of its users with influencer platforms, allowing them to express their talents through a variety of creative forms including dancing, makeup advice, and cooking tutorials, among other things. Since its rebrand from Musical.ly in 2017, the viral social media app has connected “TikTokers” with brand deals from a variety of companies seeking to gain more business exposure. However, with the structure of the app's algorithm, Black TikTokers receive less exposure on the app’s main “For You” page than their white counterparts, and are rarely given credit for the dances and trends that have undeniably contributed to the app’s success. 

Higher Sales and Higher Cholesterol: An Analysis of the Trend of “Black Celebrity Fast-Food Meals” and How They Relate to Food Insecurity

On Aug. 9, 2021, McDonald’s uploaded a brand new advertisement to their YouTube channel. This advertisement featured the extremely popular African-American rapper Saweetie announcing that she was partnering with McDonald’s to sell what she called “The Saweetie Meal.” She then showed off a variety of ways that she would customize the various items included in the meal, such as placing the meal’s fries on her Big Mac, or topping those fries with the meal’s Chicken McNuggets. The ad ends with her encouraging viewers to order ahead on the McDonald’s app, while sounds similar to her hip-hop music played well into the outro.

The Unfair Treatment of Black Autistic People

The intersection of being Black and autistic in America is to be left unprotected. A telling example of this truth lies in the case of 23-year-old Elijah McClain. McClain, an autistic Black man who was confronted by Colorado Police after the department received a phone call about his “suspicious” behavior. He was walking home after buying his brother an iced tea from a nearby convenience store. 

Black Trauma and Commodification in Film

As long as filmmaking has been in practice, Black pain and trauma have always been persistent themes, and this influence heavily colors the angst that permeates the Black community. In some films, the pain is a focal point through which lived experiences can be brought to the public to shed light on the Black American experience while other portrayals of Black trauma are purely exploitive. 

Howard University Students Protest Poor Housing Conditions

Howard University students are entering the third week of sit-in protests as they combat the school board in protest of the poor housing conditions on campus. Students have complained about cases of mold, mildew, rats, and roaches in the cafes and dorms on campus, but school officials have refused to relocate students who have found these unsanitary conditions in their rooms and dorm halls.

The Sports World Has Ignored The Mental Health of Black Female Athletes

The discussion of Black treatment in sports through the lens of Biles, Osaka, and Williams. The similarities between these three athletes are very apparent: they are Black women and they have all been subject to critics' degradation of their character because they are Black women. Unlike their white counterparts, Black female athletes are expected to live up to "Black excellence" expectations and have to work twice as hard to prove their worthiness, all while having to cope with the intersections of race and gender-based violence that they experience, which can significantly deteriorate their overall well being.

Celebrity Culture and Concerns over COVID

If you’re an avid Twitter user, like myself, then your timeline may have been flooded with content about Nicki Minaj and her opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine ––what some people are calling #BallGate–– for the past few weeks. While the incident is quite ridiculous from start to finish, the power and influence that celebrities have should be taken seriously, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muslim AU Students’ Ramadan Traditions Adjusted for COVID-19

Ramadan is the holy month of fasting, reflection, and peace for Muslims every year. Ramadan consists of fasting (no eating, drinking, and other regulations) from dawn to sunset for 29 or 30 days followed by a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan in celebration of completing the entire month. Through a whole day of fasting, families from different countries and all kinds of different traditions come together at the sound of the Maghrib Athan (sunset call to prayer) to initiate the Maghrib prayer and the break of their fast to eat Iftar (meal at sunset to break fast). Across the globe, millions of Muslims fast, pray daily obligatory prayers and non-obligatory prayers (like Taraweeh), eat Iftar, eat suhoor (meal before dawn to start fasting) together or alone during these humble and important days. A month full of cherished traditions, beautiful food, and close connections with God. 

Do Not Let the Capitol Insurrection Normalize Police Surveillance

On January 6th, 2021, the world was glued to their TV screens as they watched the mayhem at Capitol Hill. White supremacists and alt-right pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building, believing that they had the power to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election results, and the police did little to prevent the insurrection from occurring. The groundwork for the insurrection dates back to almost a year ago, but the planning for the insurrection happened across the span of several weeks. Tweets dating back to December 23, 2019 serve as evidence that the far-right was rallying to suppress democracy, and the federal government failed to take these sentiments seriously and act on time. 

The Gardens that Will Regrow our Purpose

Imagine block after block of fast food chains like McDonalds or KFC serving as the only source of food with no grocery stores within a mile radius. Cities across America are dry stricken without fresh food for miles to come, leaving thousands abandoned in food deserts. Food deserts as defined by Medical News Today are “regions where people have limited access to healthful and affordable food.” 

A Post-Election Analysis: Why Bashing on Southern and Midwestern States is Elitist

 For a group of people who pride themselves on being committed to racial, economic, and environmental justice, a different ego has emerged from progressives and liberals alike during the week of the 2020 Presidential Election. Both political ideologies created a campaign of “kindness, justice, and equity” to vote Trump out of the White House, but they failed to deliver the same message in a time where it was needed most: election week. During the week of the election, a social media cleanse was not only needed to avoid false information on voter fraud, but to deter the inhumanity perpetrated by so-called progressives and liberals in battleground states, mostly located in the South and the Midwest.  

Why Your Southern Disdain is Problematic

The climate change disaster so many people wished upon Southern states like Texas and Florida after their 2020 electoral vote results has occurred. On February 16, 2021, a historic deep freeze swept Texas, Tennessee, and other Southern states, where at least 58 people had died. 

This Was Always America

What would Congress think? If I, as a Black man, were to share my frustrations of what occurred on the floor? If they were to actually hear the pain I felt— what ached while sitting in my DC apartment, staring out of my window as sirens blared throughout the streets; streets that I know were forbidden to those who looked like me, but seemed to be owned by those in red hats and white skin. The feeling of knowing, knowing that I could not dare leave my apartment or my life would be in jeopardy. What would Congress think? What would run through their mind? While I can’t share all my frustrations, because my parents will one day read this, I will offer some here:

Remembering Chadwick Boseman

The death of actor Chadwick Boseman on Aug. 28 came as a shock to members of various communities. The late actor was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, a diagnosis that he chose to keep private. His family announced that he died at his Los Angeles home at the age of 43, surrounded by loved ones, with a message on Twitter.


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