AFH Photo // Chen, Yvonne Yanying
History often repeats itself. Natural disasters, war and social turbulence occur every day, from Syria to Massachusetts. In times of need, the United States should help foreign countries in difficult situations by donating resources to help ease the difficulty and help the population get back on their feet.  
According to CNN, during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, estimates of 220,000 to 316,000 people died, 300,000 people were injured, 1.5 million people were displaced and almost 4,000 schools were damaged. Most people were badly affected in this situation. During that earthquake, most schools were damaged and now many kids don’t have the chance to get an education. This situation is going to affect the country in the long term because if children don’t get the right amount of food, sleep or education it will harm the well being of that generation. For the people who are having the most difficult time, the U.S. government should provide aid so they can get better.  
CNN reported that over $13 billion in aid was allocated by international agencies to Haiti for 2010 - 2020, according to the United Nations. The U.S. allocated $4 billion, and deployed civilian and military personnel to carry out activities ranging from search and rescue operations, restoring air and seaports, providing life saving health and medical services, and helping meet the basic food, water, and shelter needs of the Haitian people. This is a great example of countries coming together in times of need.  
With the current refugee crisis in Syria, last year the U.S. admitted just over 12,000 Syrian refugees, according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, Canada took in 26,000 individuals from Syria in just three months last year, reports the Guardian. As the refugee crisis continues to grow in 2017, what should the role of the United States be? 
Alyssa Hughes, history teacher at Boston International High School, thinks, “In general, we should, as citizens of the United States, think of ourselves as a part of a national community to help each other in crisis in the global community.” She thinks that we as “global citizens are responsible for people around the world.” However, Hughes also talks about how all country leaders should cooperate with one another, not just the U.S., in providing aid, because a country should not be dependent on others.  
Boston International High School English teacher Catherine Finkenstaedt said the responsibility of America should not be just financial support, but also “medicine, schools, food and housing. The U.S. should not help right way after the disaster, but think about the long term.” 
We as citizens need to encourage our government to take action and assist other countries when they are in need by rebuilding their economy and improving their quality of life after a crisis. It is in everyone’s best interest if we all help each other out. 
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AFH Photo // Nguyen, Mary
Barack H. Obama was the first African-American president of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton was the first major female party nominee for president. 
Their achievements are unalterable truths in the short history of the United States, and their successes represent the empowerment of two marginalized groups that have been oppressed for much of the nation's history. In times of heightened tension, it is crucial to highlight unprecedented accomplishments so that we continue the momentum of progress.  
Matthew A. Kazlauskas, an Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher at the John D. O'Bryant High School, comments, “The history of African-Americans and of women in the U.S. are incredibly important. Both have played vital roles in shaping this country. They didn't always make up the major narrative. They obviously weren't always in government which tended to dominate traditional narratives.” 
The oppression of African-Americans and women as a whole in our nation's history is not debatable, and it continues to this day. African-American men are disproportionately incarcerated, and women of all nations continue to struggle with equal pay for equal work.  
The worldwide Women's March on Washington in January occurred in response to Donald Trump’s presidency after a series of hateful, sexist rhetoric during his campaign. In recent years, numerous protests have transpired after an alarming amount of video evidence showing what appears to be excessive force by police officers against unarmed minorities. These social responses are evidence of ongoing struggles among marginalized groups.  
Agnes Ugoji, a junior at the O’Bryant who attended the Women's March in Boston, said, “Women need to continuously prove themselves in male-dominated jobs. They have to prove they are worthy of their positions and people undermine their education because they are women. Gender shouldn't be a barrier in professional work.” 
The unfair disadvantages of women and African-Americans in our modern society is what makes the achievements of Obama and Clinton stand out further. They defied stereotypes and misconceptions that society holds.   
Dahlia Elamin, also a junior at the O’Bryant, says, “Hillary Clinton’s run for presidency set an influence -- not just for women, but for everyone -- that women are capable.” Clinton set new, higher standards for women and became a positive model to young girls all over the world.  
Elamin elaborated, “Another African-American president also seems possible because of Obama’s positive public image. Other people could do what they might have once thought was impossible because of the stereotypes and misconceptions Obama challenged as an African -American president.”  
Obama and Clinton broke barriers and carved paths for others to follow. Their stories bring hope for improvement into reality. As a generation raised under Obama’s game-changing presidency that is now witnessing a dramatically different political atmosphere, it is our responsibility to continue the legacy of Obama, Clinton and all those who will follow in their pursuit of change and progress. 
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AFH Photo // Petitjean, Lourdes
Controversy around cultural appropriation is taking place across American society and surfaces many questions: What is cultural appropriation? Why is it significant, and what message does it leave behind?  
At the core of cultural appropriation is the idea that it is appropriate for one group of people with social power to take on elements -- cultural, religious, or historical -- of another group with less social power. It is particularly demeaning for that ‘dominant’ group to take factors of that marginalized culture. Especially when the supposed superior group oppressed them for centuries.  
It seems that everywhere in the media, culture is being used as a form of entertainment, rather than being used to learn from and educate. This controversial issue is fueled by celebrities who often wear clothes, hairstyles, or recreate dances that are not their own. To many, these celebrities are stealing from a culture they may have little knowledge about. On multiple occasions, the Kardashians have worn culturally African-American hairstyles as their own. Their fans praise them for ‘acknowledging’ the culture, when in reality they are only wearing these styles as a fashion statement.  
Cultural appropriation is especially degrading because those ‘borrowing’ the culture may be praised for it, while those of that culture are shamed for it. Notably, when a black woman wears African or black hairstyles in a public setting, they are deemed as unprofessional or less beautiful. When white individuals wear these same exact hairstyles, they are often praised for it, to the point where it becomes normalized in society. During a Marc Jacobs’ fashion show in 2016, his models were styled in faux dreadlocks. This sparked criticism from the black community, citing claims that African-Americans are discriminated against for wearing the same style. In the same year, a federal appeals court decision maintained that it is legal for employers to ban dreadlocks at work, even legally firing employees who do not comply. This speaks volumes about the society we live in today, where credit is not given where it is due.  
When a black girl has to struggle for acceptance wearing the same styles that a white girl would be praised for, the message sent to them is that their beauty is not enough, and will never be enough; that their beauty will never truly be accepted as their own in a white society; that their culture is not good enough until it is in the hands of white individuals. Simply put, cultural appropriation is hypocritical and represents our society’s lack of respect for underrepresented minority groups.  
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AFH Photo // Sanchez, Ashley
Today, we tell young girls they can achieve anything they set their mind to. That their gender doesn't define their success. But, what if a young girl aspires to be a professional basketball or baseball player? Then, she faces obstacles that others do not. People may doubt her abilities just because she is a girl, telling her it is better to play softball. What if there was a young boy whose passion was not baseball, but softball? Would he be considered less of a man?  
Even if a man and a woman play the same sport, they are not perceived or treated equally. Women are still well underpaid compared to their male counterparts. According to a 2016 article from Think Progress, five players on the women’s national soccer team claimed they were unfairly paid four times less than players on the men’s team. Due to the differing payment structures for the men’s and women’s national team, “winning women’s player makes just 38 percent of a winning men’s player.” 
Even when women break these gender norms, they still face additional challenges such as hateful or sexist comments. Women such as Serena Williams have been told their bodies no longer look feminine or lady like. The idea that women are fragile and vulnerable -- even as a professional athlete -- is still engraved in people's brains.  
While all sports in the U.S. are open to both males and females, many people still consider certain sports to be gender specific. Why do we consistently encourage girls to become doctors, engineers, future presidents of the United States, yet revert to traditional misogynistic views when it comes to sports?  
Teens in Print conducted a survey of students from the John D. O’Bryant High School and found that even today, society perceives certain sports to be dominated by a certain gender. In any sport, you and your peers are a team. You work, sweat and cry together, no matter the gender.  
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TiP Photo // Aisha Mohamed
Spring is finally coming! The best way to prepare for the new season is by shopping for affordable, stylish new clothes that are comfortable to wear to school and create a fun weekend look. Here are a few rules to consider when hitting the mall for spring fashion finds.  
 
One: Dress in bright colors and patterns. After a dreary winter, colors give off a cheerful look. This trend radiates happiness, representing spring’s renewal and rebirth. Just like the warming weather revitalizes plants and trees and adds color to drab outdoors, dress for the season by adding color and life back into your wardrobe.  
 
Two: Aim for lighter fabrics. They are easier to wear during spring weather and very comfortable, unlike winter clothing which requires heavy layers to avoid the cold.  


Three: Light, flowy layers are your friend. Thin sweaters, cardigans and light jackets paired with leggings is always a go-to look. In spring, New England is characterized by quick changing temperatures, so it is always nice to be prepared because you never know what is coming. It’s easy to cool off or warm up by either adding or removing some layers.  
 
Four: Don’t be afraid to show a little more skin. For the most part, spring weather should be warming up. Skirts, T-shirts and V-necks will not only keep you cool, but they are super comfortable to wear as you enjoy nature. Remember, if you get chilly, add a thin layer on top. 
 
Five: Jewelry is an accessory that is very important when it comes to fashion. It can make us feel beautiful, bringing out our beauty and uniqueness. For spring, simple jewelry is essential, like necklaces, earrings and wristwatches depending on where you are planning to go. Whether it is school or a party, it is very fashionable to wear jewelry! 
 
Six: Spring is often the rainiest, wettest season of the year. Cute rain gear is essential. Rainboots, raincoats and an umbrella will go a long way. Believe me, no one likes their outfit to get ruined by the rain! 
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