It’s my second period. When I walk in to my history classroom, the teacher announces what we’re going to be learning about today: the Civil Rights Movement. Immediately, I stop paying attention—I’ve learned about this a million times.
The history of African-Americans has been told many times and prevents other minority groups’ histories from receiving the recognition they deserve. In high school, we can open a textbook and read about the African-American Civil Rights Movement, but not about Japanese internment during World War II or the 1960s Chicano Movement. These events happened within decades of each other, but we only learn about one. 
African-Americans’ stories were oppressed for many years, which gives them reason to be so widely discussed now. However, this means we are neglecting the publicity other minorities should be receiving. When the history of minorities is oversimplified to include only the narrative of black victims and white villains, everyone suffers. 
Teachers seem to be obligated and expected to go deeper into black history than all other topics; it is as if this is the only historical narrative they are required to teach. However, according to Jessie Gerson, Chief Academic Officer at WriteBoston, teachers do have the freedom to structure the content they want to teach. 
“Educators can't do anything they want, but they do often have a lot of leeway when it comes to designing the learning experiences of their students, including what students read, and I think that flexibility is a net positive,” she said. 
Teachers have the opportunity to make their lessons culturally diverse; however, it seems that they do not take advantage of their freedom to teach all of the different narratives. 
We need to make it so that all ethnic struggles in history are presented equally. If we start to hear the stories of all cultures, we can see that at one point every minority has struggled and contributed to the struggles of others. 
The resolution to this issue is to put regulations on classroom lessons. Teachers should not have so much freedom in how they want to teach their classes and instead, have some regulations that require them to equally represent different historical struggles. The textbooks we use should have equal chapters on different minorities. There should be unified lessons across all Boston Public Schools so that students are learning about all minorities to the same depth, similar to Common Core State Standards. There should also be training that teachers must attend to assure that they are eliminating all biases when they are designing their lessons.
The way that we can possibly stop giving the wrong amounts of recognition to one race and expand our definition of history begins with teachers and lessons. The leniency given to teachers needs to subside. We need a more focused structure to get everyone to have an open mind towards all historic struggles. 


Read more…
For decades, the high-fashion industry has been obsessed with the appeal of the affluent class who have certainly made this world their own. They have dominated the fashion capitals of the world and inspired countless designers to pay homage to their opulent lifestyle. Along with gracing rows of magazine covers, little has seemed to change. Not until recently at least. 
Along the storefront windows of Newbury St., an area comparable to New York City’s modish SoHo district, we can see bijou boutiques and mainstream luxury brands taking on a more “modern” facade. With pop-culture influencers tapping in on the once underground fashion community, the modern face of high fashion is creating a generous spot for streetwear to sit besides it. 
 Away from the mainstream lies a massive culture containing a distinct style: streetwear. They hold anti-corporate sentiments and often go against what the larger brands stand for. Often not receiving much spotlight from the public, this underground community noted for their interest in streetwear fashion has maintained their roots for many decades. They spur revolution and encourage youth to step away from the detriments of capitalism and authority, all the while being a place for free thought to flow without intervention from the control of money. Brands such as Supreme were once small shops that found their roots leading to skate culture, which many believe is where streetwear draws inspiration from. 
Ferguson Herivaux, CEO and founder of OneGig, Boston’s skate apparel shop, has felt the true impacts of streetwear on mainstream fashion. 
“Streetwear has always ruled fashion and always will,” he said. 
For someone like Herivaux who has been in the business for nearly two decades, it is apparent that there are traces of urban style in luxury fashion. While for the rest of us, it is not too clean cut.
 In recent years, more attention is being shed on streetwear as celebrities and social influencers who have once been a part of these communities are now rising to fame and bringing these styles with them. A staple of streetwear clothing is: sweatpants. Previously a garment worn for athletics, it can now be seen on teens as they shop along Rodeo Drive. 
A trailblazer for this change can be none other than Kanye West. When he launched his Calabasas sweatpant line, they sold out within the first day, attesting to their appeal. Where money goes, the larger corporations follow. These larger brands are picking up on the success of this untouched realm of fashion and are beginning to incorporate it into their looks. A notable example is Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme, which caused major headlines.
 Jayda Dang, a teen who is well-versed in this new fusion of streetwear and luxury brands finds the brand’s intentions to be very one-sided. 
“Luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton began dipping their feet into the streetwear culture to satisfy their young and ‘hype’ affluent consumers,” she said.
Connor Morgan who is a stylist and selling supervisor at Gucci acknowledges the rise in attention towards this once unknown community. “Since streetwear doesn’t seem to be on any decline any time soon, Gucci will be keeping up with that specific trend by making its unique streetwear style stamp on the fashion world while it is so popular,” he said.
We continue to see this trend as even Anna Wintour herself has announced the Nike x Vogue AWOK Air Jordans collaboration. Chase Elliott, an advertising sales associate at Vogue believes them tapping in on this new style is “not a matter of staying relevant, but rather, it is about leading the next wave.” 
 With streetwear lines succumbing to capitalism, their prices rise with their popularity. Athletics brand Champion was once available in Walmart, but as demand for the style grew, it entered pricer shops such as Urban Outfitters. 
Some teens find this impractical, such as Legacy Thornton who, “would rather thrift shop then feed into expensive materialism.” Although some teens do hold the same values as Thornton, the truth of the matter is, a majority of teens still feed into this frenzy that is creating a multibillion dollar industry. But this issue goes beyond money and into a discussion of preserving a community that once fostered creativity and comfort from the large corporations.
With these streetwear brands finding a spot within the high fashion industry which is going against their initial sentiments, the question of whether these underground communities will continue to exist, and remain safe havens for anti-capitalists, comes into question. When streetwear rises to becoming a lucrative trend, they lose their authenticity and contradict what they have been preaching for decades.





Read more…
Opium, warfare and teenage slang all have something in common: tea. This drink has sparked revolutions, evolved to accommodate our changing tastes and altered the way we communicate with each other. 
Tea has become the most consumed beverage after water, according to the Tea Association. Tea is not just a fad; it has been prescribed to patients to help ease their pain for centuries, all the while being a drink that has led to the bloodshed of others. 
While tea is often linked to relaxation, considering its impact throughout history, historians would say otherwise. As Americans, we are no strangers to the American Revolution, and one of its prime symbols was tea, popularized by the Boston Tea Party. Decades after the American Revolution, the British introduced opium to China to exchange it for silver to be traded for tea. This thirst for tea spiraled into a war, leading to the birth of a nation and impacting culture for generations, as mentioned by the National Army Museum. 
The impacts of tea are still felt throughout Boston, as desire for this drink remains strong. Gen Sou En, Boston’s first modern Japanese tea house, proves popular amongst younger generations who find this to be a tranquil setting to enjoy tea and unwind. 
Noticing America’s growing interest in tea, Gen Sou En, which is the second largest tea producer in Japan, decided to break into their market. Chelsea Brewster, the general manager, mentioned that their new menu includes bubble tea, after overwhelming demand for this drink, a variation mixing milk, tea and chewy tapioca balls. 
The influx in bubble tea shops has demonstrated the future generations’ interest in tea, albeit with a sweeter spin. Beyond being an indulgent beverage, bubble tea shops foster comfortable hang out spots that fit youth lifestyles. 
“Bubble tea shops add to the social aspect of my life by providing a place for my friends and I to hang out and talk,” said Carolyn Diaz, a senior at the John D. O’Bryant. “Being able to get delicious drinks is a plus.”
Along with catering to youth through a sugary concoction, tea has also found a place in contemporary slang. As noted on Merriam-Webster’s site, the first variant of this word was the letter “T” for “truth.” The term later evolved to “tea” as the social context of tea became fitting, as tea time was when one would discuss the latest drama. This can be seen in modern teenage vocabulary.
 “My friends and I bond over tea while we’re spilling juicy tea in conversation,” said Mageney Omar, a Simmons College freshman.
From this single word, it has further evolved to being entire phrases from “spill the tea” to “no tea no shade,” attesting to how tea is woven in our social fabric and culture.
With the long journey tea has taken to cross the Pacific, remember the trail it has blazed before it burns your tongue.


Read more…
“Minecraft” is a game created by Swedish game developer Markus Persson in 2009 and then later sold to Microsoft in 2014. In “Minecraft,” you traverse a world of blocks and journey on a quest to defeat the ender dragon. Although you have that goal, you do not have to choose that path. You could make anything from a farm to an aquarium, you could test your ability to survive while building, or you could just build in creative mode. 
The game has changed throughout the years—for instance, in the current update, there are now dolphins and turtles! If you have just started playing “Minecraft,” there are many things that you can try, like servers that you can connect to to play games made on “Minecraft.”
Many debate if “Minecraft” is helpful or harmful for children with ADHD. On one hand, “Minecraft” can help kids improve processing speed, working memory and cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts. Also, with a game like this, making friends is easier because there are so many people who play the game that there are fan conventions, called Minefaire, and a lot of “Minecraft” players attend.
While the game is helpful to some, for many others, it is a game that parents can't pull their kids away from. When talking to my mother, she explained that at first, she was a bit skeptical about the game, mostly because she felt that the game might take over my mind. 
For me, I believe that “Minecraft” is helpful for people with ADHD. Not only can you create anything that you can think of, it's a game where you can create your own mod to implement into “Minecraft.”


Read more…
Ping! A young girl gets a notification on her iPad that her favorite YouTuber posted a new video. She rushes to open the app. She is glued to the screen, watching her favorite YouTuber’s videos for hours, while her parents are trying to unglue her. 
The Internet plays a huge role in the lives of Generation Z (1996-2010). In the entertainment world, YouTubers are taking over the industry, becoming more and more popular as years go by. They are posting videos in hundreds of different genres from DIYs, beauty, or gaming. They are signing multi-million dollar record deals, buying mansions and writing books. YouTubers are becoming the role models the youth look up to, rather than traditional Hollywood celebrities. 
The rise of social media and its stars have redefined the word celebrity. Now, a celebrity can be your neighbor who is setting the trends and driving opinions, and they are doing it all through their computer. The “classic” celebrity is still popular, but not as broadly popular as YouTubers. 
A survey by Defy Media in 2015 stated that 63 percent of respondents aged 13-24 said they would try a brand or a product recommended by a YouTube creator, while only 48 percent would do the same from a movie or TV star. Businesses are realizing that if they put an ordinary person to promote their products, teenagers will be more inclined to buy. Big makeup brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Tarte and Too Faced, use YouTubers to promote their products. 
Connection is the word that many use to describe the relationship between YouTube stars and their teen subscribers. According to a study by Business Insider, teens and young adults describe YouTubers as someone who is "just like me, understands me, someone I trust, has the best advice, doesn't try to be perfect...and likes the same things I do." All of these values are what teens need their role models to be. 
Think With Google states that since YouTubers have a stronger and more engaged audience, in comparison to a traditional celebrity, the top 25 most popular YouTubers earn on average three times as many views, two times as many actions and 12 times as many comments. On Ariana Grande’s posts on Instagram most people give one word responses or heart eye emojis. While on The Ace Family’s channel, a family that documents their regular everyday lives, it is common to see paragraphs of how they helped someone overcome some type of struggle. YouTubers are known for making millions of people’s happiness possible. 
While the Internet continues to be the main hub for new talent, YouTubers are winning over the hearts of this new generation by being authentic and true to themselves.


Read more…