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. 
Read more…
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.  
Read more…
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.  
Read more…
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! 
Read more…
AFH Photo // Melara, Mariana
Carson Lueders 
Carson Lueders is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. The 15-year-old artist currently has close to 600,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. He is wonderful! What I like the most is how he sings and dances. Carson is very intelligent. He always makes sure his music sounds great for everyone to enjoy.  I encourage everyone who is interested in music to follow him on YouTube because he is one of the best.  
 
Jacob Sartorius 
Jacob is 14-years-old. He was born in Oklahoma and now lives in Virginia. He is a cool artist,  singer and songwriter. What I like the most is the way he tells his story. For example, when he writes his songs they are always cool songs that I never thought I would listen to in my life. I encourage everyone to listen to his songs, he is awesome. You have to try to listen to one like all my friends do. Jacob is super popular on YouTube with more than two million subscribers to his channel. Follow him because he is the best.  
 
Jordyn Jones 
Jordyn is a multi-talented performer. She is a dancer, singer, actress and model. She’s 16-years- old. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and now lives in California. She is a beautiful young girl. I like when she dances while she sings. She is unbelievable. The way she dances and sings makes people focus on her. I encourage everyone to follow her because she’s the best.
Read more…