Real News is not Media: Our Segment with WeMagazine

Hey everyone I’m back again, and this time we had a chance to talk with the creator of WeMagazine. WeMagazine is an alternative news outlet that gives raw news without biased or skewed opinions. In today’s society the media portrays what they want you to see, ie editing. Therefore it is always great to have a go to alternative media source. WeMagazine is it because it talks about real life issues (race, police brutality, etc.), and real life people. So let’s get into some of those topics and by the end we hope you are team WeMagazine!

Q: Can you please give use your name, background, business name, and business background.

A: I am DeLisha Sylvester, Founder/CEO of Women’s Elevation Magazine. WE Magazine is an online magazine that promotes, elevates, and inspires women.
Q:  What inspired you to develop a news outlet? How does your magazine differ from other media outlets?
A: I was inspired to start WE Magazine because I wanted to give a voice to the voiceless. I wanted to share stories that you wouldn’t necessarily see in the mainstream media. I wanted to give writers a platform to get their work out there. I also wanted to provide a media outlet that was strictly positive. I felt that there were not many media outlets that do that. There aren’t a lot of outlets that don’t report gossip. I get it gossip sells, but how are you feeding the people? How are you feeding their souls? How are you inspiring them?
Q: What is We Magazine? Who are the founders? Why and how did you come up with the idea?

A: I started WE Magazine in 2013, by myself in my living room, and all I had was an idea. I was pushed to do it after the birth of my daughter. I wanted to show her that if mommy can take an idea from her head and go after it, then so could she. From there I just kept growing the business, and incorporating other positive things under its umbrella.

Q: What is the concept of the Naturally Me segment?

A: It started out as a way to promote the concept of loving yourself and defining your own idea of beauty/self-admiration. As time has passed I have incorporated other topics. Inspiration, black lives matter, entrepreneurship, positivity are things that we cover now. I decided to incorporate other topics because I found that I started to have conversations with my followers. Like I would talk with them about real topics; when I sit down to post I am really have conversations with people, and we get real and raw.

Q: From your post we see you were moved by the Sandra Bland case (especially coming from a soror point of view) what are your feelings towards the issue?
A: Well, Sandra Bland was my soror. She was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and just based off of that I had to speak out. We are bonded by our sisterhood whether we know each other personally or not. I had to speak out, and she isn’t the first woman or man that I have spoken out for. I think the thing about it for me is that black women are being killed or mysteriously dying in police custody and people aren’t speaking for them. When a black woman dies the world is silent, and that’s an issue. We have to stand up for ourselves because the media will not show that our lives matter unless we make them. At the end of the day silence is not a part of my makeup so I had to speak out.
Q: How do you stay true to your mission of conversing, inspiring, and encouraging?

A: It’s not very hard to stay true to my mission. I mean, yes I know if I was reporting the latest gossip my platform would have probably skyrocketed by now, but it’s just not me. The point of the brand is to uplift women and inspire the next generation. I can’t do that throwing someone’s business out there, especially when I don’t know them.
Q: Your page post about a lot of racial based social issues and current events; what is your overall stance or outlook on the relationship between Blacks & Whites in America? In what ways do you think your page could help impact on this issue?
A: My outlook is simple – black lives matter. It is up to us to keep reminding people of that. I talk about the issues because how can I ignore them. As a black woman I can’t just ignore it, and I especially can’t ignore us. I have used my platform to share stories that people miss or just don’t know about. I show both sides of the spectrum. I will share a story about the tragedy of Sandra Bland, but I will also showcase the positive sides of black people as well. The thing about it is that we shouldn’t have to tell the media and the people of this country that we matter, but we do. Why? Because the idea that we never mattered is a part of this country’s foundation.
Q: Why is it important to have an avenue separate from the mainstream media to talk about these issues?
A: The media is all about getting ratings. They want those likes and retweets, so they are not always going to report on what’s really going on. Even when they do, they do it in a way that sensationalizes the story. Do you really think they would report on the countless black lives being taken if there was no outcry? I mean if it wasn’t for the people many of these stories wouldn’t even get traction.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you want people to look out for? 

A:We are bringing back our WE Rock awards in 2016. It’s something we did in 2013 where we honored women making a difference in their communities. We are also working on another project that provides women coming together by sharing their stories.

Q: Where and how can people purchase your magazine?
A: People want to purchase the magazine can go to our website http://www.womenselevationmagazine.com/buy-now.
I hope you enjoyed our talk with Delisha, the creator of WeMagazine. If you found interest, or are passionate about any of these topics again you can purchase the magazine at http://www.womenselevationmagazine.com/buy-now. Also you can follow WeMagazine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @naturallymewemagazine! Be informed by something real. Tune in on Wednesday to here what the Kaotik Poet has to say!

What Happened to Sandra Bland?

“In prisons, it is not at all uncommon to find a prisoner burned or hanged to death in his cell. No matter how suspicious the circumstances, these deaths are always ruled ‘suicides.’ They are usually Black inmates, considered to be a ‘threat to the orderly running of a prison.’ They are usually among the most politically aware and socially conscious inmates in the prison.”
I wanted to start off with this very relevant quote from Assata Shakur. Before earlier today I did not know the specifics of the Sandra Bland case; I only knew it was another act of police brutality. What is bothering me is how police attitude has shifted to comply or die, when the situation is relevant to a Black person. After seeing the much edited video of the traffic stop; although, she was frustrated, at which point did she become violent? Was it the point where she was screaming her ribs were being broken? Or was it the point her head was being banged into the ground? Just as Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and Tamir Rice; America is trying to paint Sandra Bland as the non-compliant black person. Therefore, the purpose of me expressing my opinion is to paint a prettier canvas.

Let’s start with some facts:

  • Sandra Bland was a activist for African American rights and spoke out against police brutality. 
  • The officer whom stopped Ms. Bland was already known for his racist antics.
  • The trash bag was not sturdy enough to support Sandra’s weight, and also should not have been in the jail cell because anything that is not bolted to the floor is considered a hazard.
  • The panel in which Sandra allegedly hung herself from was 5 feet tall, but it’s physically impossible for a 6 foot person to hang from something a foot shorter than them.
  • In a mug shot you are in street clothes not a orange jump suit.
  • While standing your shoulders will never be aligned straightly, a shadow should never be visible under your head, and your hair will not be going in a backwards motion.
  • Lastly floor is a different texture from wall.

It was clear that Sandra Bland was dead in her mugshot. It is clear that her eyes were forced open and the mugshot was taken as she laid on the floor. It was clear she did not commit suicide. What is not clear is the lack of value for human life. When officers remove that uniform they are people. Why is it that such strong voices have to be silenced? Assata Shakur said this quote in the 80s, why are we allowing a horrid history to plague us again? If an officer takes an oath to protect and serve, what are black people not being protected? Why did Sandra Bland die because she did not comply? 
My prayers go out to the family and friend of Sandra Bland. I want to leave you with this. It’s impossible to silence every Black voice, not even a genocide would kill every Black person. It’s time you stand for yourself and stand for your people. Don’t shut up anymore the time is now to wake up. At the rate things are going your name is liable to be next. 
  

Human Cruelty: The War on Haitians in the Dominican Republic by BreC

Wassup everybody it’s BreC again, and I want to talk about the racial cleansing taking place in the Dominican Republic. People have been calling this a genocide, but it’s not because the intent was not to eliminate a racial group; however, the intent is to migrate a racial group. 
The tension between Dominicans and Haitians escalated in October 1937 during the Parsley Massacre. The Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujilio, ordered for Haitian migrants that lived across the boarder to be killed. The reason being, so there could be a differentiation between black Dominicans and Haitians. Soldiers were forced to make civilians pronounce the word parsley (perejil in Spanish). Haitians speak Creole which makes it difficult to pronounce r’s. The failures of this linguistics test caused between 9000 and 20,000 Haitian fatalities in a 5 day span. This was referred to as the unknown genocide.

Antihaitinismo (anti-Haiti sentiment) did not begin with the Parsley Massacre. It began when Haitians gained their independence in 1804, and brought their culture to the Dominican Republic. On the other hand, it also did not end with the Parsley Massacre. 76 years after the Parsley Massacre discrimination and violence against Haitians still exist. In 2010 a policy was created to not give citizenship to Haitian immigrant children. This policy impacted 200,000 lives. Now almost 81 years later the killing has continued again. As we speak Haitians are being slaughtered on the streets of the Dominican Republic. 

We are living in nostalgia because history is repeating itself. Many people have tried to deny the Holocaust, but thanks to technology the horror in the Dominican Republic is visible. So now my question is, what are we going to do about it? We are one race, human. It is time to take a stand. If you do not agree with the government of the Dominican Republic’s cleansing of 250,000 black Dominicans; sign the petition (http://wh.gov/i08oV). It’s time to end racial hatred.

  
  

Are We Living the American Dream? by Tieshay Skinner

America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, so why is it that many still dream of freedom? The mighty Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a world without segregation, discrimination and racism. As an American people have we accomplished this dream? If Dr. King were here today would he be satisfied with President Obama being a representation of his dream come true?

In today’s society the problem of race has been swept under the rug with hopes of ignoring it completely. We cannot ignore the fact that racism still exists. Although we may have a Black President, it doesn’t mean that the problem of the color line has been broken. If anything, it has become a barrier, a barrier between social class and professionalism. Many Young minority lives have been taken due to racial profiling. President Obama as a symbol of our nation is only a small sign of progress towards breaking the problem of the color line. It can also be viewed as a distraction from the ever present issue of race. More so, a distraction from the ultimate goal, the American Dream.

“The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” W.E.B Dubois prophesied this problem for the 20th century and it has carried over into the 21st century. Race continues to divide our people and our nation. The color line is also the double consciousness of being an African American. Being African American requires you to be conscious of what it means to know and distinguish your own culture from that of the dominant culture. W.E.B Dubois said “ An American, A Negro, two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals and one dark body whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

America is the land of dreams. Immigrants migrate here dreaming of a better life. Even Americans dream of a better life. We all want the “American Dream”. What is the American Dream? Is it prosperity, money, financial stability and wealth? Is the American Dream really attainable? The American Dream is the ideal that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. Better riches for all and equal opportunity for everyone according to their abilities. If this is the American Dream and we still have the problem of the color line, is it really attainable? How can we have a dream that visualizes equal opportunities based on abilities when we have racial profiling? I don’t believe such a dream is attainable when America struggles with equality. Equality understands race is not equivalent to proper treatment; but human beings, despite their race should be equal. As long as the problem of the color line exists, how can we achieve the American Dream?

Value the Past by Aliya Garfield

It is said that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. Notice the quote says doomed rather than fortunate. It is not a good thing to have to cycle repeatedly through the past but that is exactly the case. The problem is we don’t know our history. ‘Blacks’ and other so called ‘minority groups’ are held down by a system of oppression whether you want to believe it or not. This system has painted a rosy picture of “Americans” and a negative and often shameful history of blacks and others. The way the system works is the power group feels that they deserve the privilege of being in the power group for no reason other than that they are a part of the power group. This message is received from parents and is passed down the generations and is manifested in the patriarchy, white privilege and nepotism. The same thing is happening on the flip side with the oppressed group. Oppressed people internalize negative myths about themselves and pass that negative thinking and the negative effects of this thinking to their children. This is manifested in lost identity, self-hate and group hate, low self-worth, as well as assimilation to power group. All these things each come with their own sets of issues that are super effective at perpetuating the system. The only way to stop the confusion is to bust the myths and educate ourselves and each other. Instead of continually perpetuating the confusion learning our past and leaving our piece is of grave importance. Everyone has opinions and ideas about what we need to do in order to make changes or up our status in The United States as the black community. Well I say the first thing to do is learn yourself both individually and as a whole community. Studying the past helps you see patterns in the present guiding you on how to deal and maneuver. People who pay attention to history are not surprised by black men being shot down in the street and their white murderers walking away with no sweat off their brow. This has been happening and will continue to happen if everyone wants to act stunned every time they hear about it on the news. The shock is being stirred up by the media when in reality this has been the norm in America since before the first Fourth of July. Slave laws are on the books in the colonies as early as the 1640. More than 100 years before 1776 slavery was an institution in what would become the United States of America. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Beautiful words written by Thomas Jefferson that he did not apply to the people of his time that looked like me or my family members. Any country that can claim all men to be equal in the first line of their Declaration of Independence and at the same time sanction the institution of racial slavery is deceitful in its inception. This country never meant to include us as anything other than a silent labors force so don’t make the mistake of thinking the value of black life should have gone up in American standards just because of the civil rights era. It is time to recognize what is going on here so we don’t have to repeat it.  Don’t be a passive critic of life. Document your stories, the stories of your elders and help your children start their chapters. Teach them to leave their piece of history. This is important because this is how the future children will know what we did and how we lived and dealt with our problems and what were our successes. By creating primary sources that document our time our progeny won’t face the issues of only learning half a revised history. They also won’t have to deal with being forced into a box. When you don’t know yourself you believe the labels forced on you. All of this can stop the cyclical pattern of oppression. When all the negative myths are abolished we can work to together as a community without having to grapple with all the effects of oppression. This is the Black history month challenge, learn your history that the revisionists don’t want you to know. For the month of February I pledge to give up all the hours I would have spent watching reality tv to studying, writing and sharing with others. By putting a higher value on history I am committing to change. How will you commit to change?