AFH PHOTO // AIJANAH SANFORD
In the wake of police killings of unarmed black people, and retaliation against cops, the battle has been raging on social media: #blacklivesmatter vs. #alllivesmatter. 

#BLM supporters say that their movement is meant to convey the fact that blacks are facing intense mistreatment and mayhem from mainstream society -- not that people shouldn’t care about everybody. 

But #ALM backers say the message they are hearing is that only black lives matter. 
“Obviously all lives matter, but not all lives are getting racially profiled and harassed by police officers,” says Kamilla Mercado, 17, from Margarita Muñiz Academy. 

Eighteen-year-old Aureli Reyes, who attends Margarita Muñiz, feels that #alllivesmatter was created by privileged white people. 

“Everyone knows that all lives matter, but the problem here isn’t with all lives, it’s just black lives” says Reyes. “Nothing has happened to anyone else except for black lives.” 

Carlos Espinal, 18, who goes to school in Jamaica Plain, says people should be 
educated that #BLM began as a backlash against hatred directed at blacks, but he 
understands the origins of #ALM. 

“Everyone wants to be heard,” says Espinal, “no matter their skin color.”
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AFH Photo // Mary Nguyen
The news media want everybody to think that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to ever run for president of the United States of America. 
Except she isn’t. 
She was preceded by a host of others, according to womenshistory.about.com, including Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, who unsuccessfully sought the presidency in 1972. 
Eighteen-year-old Kamii Parker, from West Roxbury Academy, says she never learned about Chisholm in any history class and believes it is because society is controlled by men. 
“Why would they tell us about women that used to dominate?” she says. 
Especially a black woman. 
They want teens to believe that US history is based only on white people, says Raquel Quinonez, 17, from Margarita Muñiz Academy. 
“The government has a very messed-up system,” she says. 
Eighteen-year-old Roberto Braxton, who goes to school in Jamaica Plain, says he, too, has never heard of Shirley Chisholm, who last year was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom. 
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AFH ARTWORK // AIJANAH SANFORD
Oil spills may seem like a faraway issue but teens know how the issue can hit home. 

When oil contaminates the seas, and the marine life, it can also foul their food. 

“I feel like they need to change the way they distribute the oil on the ships or find a way so that they don’t spill it into the ocean,” says Cynthia Rodriguez, 18, from Margarita Muñiz Academy. 

About 20,000 oil spills are reported to the federal government each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“I believe that they should….find other ways to store the oil,” says Basia Brown, 17, from Margarita Muñiz. 

Seventeen-year-old Jose Pinales, from  Margarita Muñiz, says that wild animals living  near the polluted water are also harmed by  the spurted oil, so companies need to come  up with better ways to transport and contain their product. 
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Culture Club
Hey,Buddy.... (In Other Words, I’ve Forgotten Your Name)
AFH photo by Vanessa Vo
As someone who can’t remember names all that well, my life has been pretty nice.
I can’t, however, say the same for my friends.
It must have been hard having a friend like me who couldn’t recall your name throughout three years of middle school -- only to nally summon it in the second year of high school.
I guess I just don’t like to characterize people by their names. I tend to remember them by small details, such as their faces and how they dress.
However, many aren’t that lucky.
Since these people call out to me saying, “Hello, Rosa,” they must know me.
But how do I respond?
Often, I just invoke substitutes, such as
“Hey, girl,” or “Hey, homie,” or “Hey, cutie,” or “Hey, sunshine.”
Alternatively, I might go with simple greetings, like “Buenas,” or “Long time no see,” or even, “How’s life treating you?”
Finally, there’s the tried and true catch-
all “Helloooooo,” stretched out forever so it sounds familiar but also distracts friends from noticing that I can’t for the life of me extract their names from my brain.
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Growing up, my mother dressed my fraternal twin and me in similar attire to emphasize that we were twins.
But I’ve come to realize that we don’t have to wear the same clothes to be labeled as twins. Society already perceives us as one person.
Twins have to encounter constant misconceptions about our lives.
People still refer to my brother and me as “the twins,” as if we are one entity.
An algebra teacher once asked how my brother and I had received such di erent grades on an exam.
After I signed up for volleyball, people wondered what my brother was doing for sports.
Although twins share a strong bond, the questions never stop: “Are you going to get sick because he’s sick?” and “Do you feel what he feels?”
Not everyone realizes the absurd stereotypes placed on twins, but I hope they come to see us as separate rather than one.
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