How Can You be a Better Woman?

Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

Women are powerful. They are life-givers, agents of change, and when banded together, an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. 

However, many women have expressed that when issues arise such as lack of self-esteem and being compared to other women, it can be a major roadblock to self actualization. Another woman’s successes does not diminish your own. It must become a habit to celebrate one another instead of internalizing another’s victories as your defeat or inadequacy. Here are four ways to become the best woman you can be.

Stop living in fear

It’s so easy to hold back the real version of yourself to appease others. Trends are constantly circulating with people prepared to follow them. Step up and stand out! Be the person you envision yourself being, even if it’s uncomfortable. Go against the grain and break out of the monolithic mold society places on women. A second opinion is not always needed for the outfit you may consider wearing or the business you desire to start. The fear of being unliked, inadequate or dismissed should no longer be a thought. Don’t hold back any longer, and walk forth with confidence in your purpose. 

Former Miss Black Teen US Ambassador, Ciara White-Sparks, explained the doubts she had with confidence in pageantry, and how she overcame them.

“In order to be a winner, you have to think like a winner,” said White-Sparks. “When I go on stage, I don’t think about the competition. I think about, ‘I’ve already won this title. I’m just going to show the judges why they gave me this and know I’m going to execute it well.’”

Don’t compare yourself to other women 

Comparison is the thief of joy. It often leads to feelings of inadequacy and disappointment within oneself. Also, don’t see another woman as “better” than you. Don’t think that you have to become her just to feel good about yourself. Instead, be inspired by her, celebrate her victories with her, and see how that dose of inspiration causes you to evolve into the woman you aspire to be. Oftentimes, people notice qualities of others, wishing they had them. The truth is, you can have those qualities. In fact, you might already have them. You just have to find it. 

Practice body positivity 

Women are often burdened with the idea of having to be a certain shape or size that equates to beauty. Women have been conditioned to think that being skinny is what makes a body beautiful. However, it’s when an individual embraces the skin they are in that true beauty emanates. Therefore, love your body for what it is. Protect it and handle it with love, because it is a temple. 

Eva Davis, a senior molecular biology major and current Miss Phi Beta Sigma, shares a few practical ways to show your body more love.

“Try to find one thing you love about yourself every day and why,” said Davis. “Avoid face altering filters that will leave you questioning your true beauty.”

Practice self-love 

Self-love looks different for everyone because we all carry our own definitions of it. Therefore, fuel yourself with the activities and thoughts that drive your happiness. Do what you love, and love what you do. Do not feel the need to hold onto toxic relationships that are not worth your time. You are worth more. Invest in yourself and friendships that add value to your life. Finally, be sure to pour love into yourself in the same way that is done for others. Pouring out love can be difficult when it is done from an empty cup. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Nia White | Staff Writer

A current dilemma that faces many Americans today is whether or not to get vaccinated and which vaccine they should take. Currently there are three different types: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Janseen/Johnson & Johnson. 

For Hampton students, vaccination is required for students to return to campus for the fall semester. Each of the vaccines’ goals is to “build protection” against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says “COVID-19 vaccines build immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without actually getting sick. It takes a few weeks for the vaccine to build the immunity, so it is possible to get the virus right after receiving the vaccination.” As with any vaccine, side effects are possible. Common side effects of all vaccines at the site of the shot are pain, redness, and swelling. The vaccines also include other side effects such as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.”

  With three vaccines currently being used by the American public, each vaccine has a different method of treatment. “The Moderna vaccine is a mRNA vaccine, which produces a protein that the immune system recognizes does not belong and is prevented from replicating,” said the Mayo Clinic. According to the CDC, “the vaccination process includes two shots, 28 days apart.” The vaccine is recommended for anyone age 18 and older; however, it is not recommended for those that have had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, specifically polyethylene glycol. 

  “The Pfizer-BioNTech is also a mRNA vaccine, that consists of two shots, 21 days apart,” said the Mayo Clinic. “This vaccine is recommended for anyone age 16 or older, but is not recommended for anyone who has had a severe or immediate allergic reaction,” said the CDC.   

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which means the weakened virus is inserted into cells and the immune system responds by creating antibodies to fight the virus.” “The J&J/Janssen vaccine only requires one shot,” says the  CDC.” The J&J/ Janssen vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 and older, but not for people who are allergic to polysorbate, which is found in the vaccine. 

While there are some differences between the vaccines all essentially prevent the same thing, which is the severity and spread of COVID-19.

Allergy Season Remedies

Brooklyn Young | Staff Writer

Spring is here! Which also means that allergy season is too. The pollen during this season can be bothersome and impose on outdoor activities. Not to worry, we have some home remedies that can alleviate those itchy eyes and running noses. 

Steam

If you’re anything like Jetaun Carpenter from Chicago, you might prefer in-home practices like steaming. You can use steam as a decongestant in a plethora of ways. 

  • Pair steam with essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint
  • Pair steaming water with citruses like lemon and/or oranges 
  • Taking steaming showers with eucalyptus plant 
  • Steam from mint or green tea with apple cider vinegar
  • Humidifiers 

Whether you want to steam in the shower or sit at your table and inhale it, breathing in hot steam helps to clear the passages by moistening and breaking up mucus. “I typically boil a pot of water, put in lemon and oranges and sometimes add a little mint oil and rest my head over the steam,” said Jetaun Carpenter. “This is what gets me through allergy season.” 

Honey 

A little honey a day, keeps the allergies away. Eating honey every day can improve your immunity to pollen. Many people use honey in their tea, but some eat it raw. This remedy can also be used on the go by packing honey in plastic bags or purchasing pre packaged. 

Cold compression 

Some allergy flare ups come with itchy eyes. Using a cold towel for compression can reduce irritation and inflammation. 

Clean home

Seems simple but maintaining a clean house can reduce the severity of allergies. Regularly dust bookcases, desks, fans, top of your headboard and other places where pollen hides. Changing your linen routinely is also very beneficial, as bacteria and allergens can build up. 

Taking care of the body

It all starts with a clean and stress-free body. Detoxing and avoiding foods that provide the body with little-to-no nutrients, like alcohol and fried foods, help improve your body’s ability to fight off allergies. Ensure that you are taking the proper vitamins like Vitamin C, along with apple cider vinegar, probiotics and turmeric.

These remedies will help for milder cases of allergies. If you experience difficulty relieving your allergies, try contacting your doctor or your local health foods store. 

A Photo is Worth A Thousand Words

Kennedy P. Buck | Staff Writer

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford once said that, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Photographers do their absolute best to not only capture the best shot, but also capture the best possible message of the subject. Photographers rely on their lens to tell a story and hopefully the viewers can interpret it in the best way possible.

What happens when these photographers are no longer able to continue taking photos of the things that matter to them? When the country went on a worldwide lockdown, a lot of photographers no longer had access to spaces to produce concepts for photos and even lost access to shooting subjects due to new social distance regulations.

Three Hampton University students: Jordin Wright, Olivia Mitchell and Mikayla Roberts shared how they kept their passion alive within their own photography and what they hope people leave with after seeing their photos.

Q: Who or what has inspired you to keep pursuing photography even while this world is on a pause?

Jordin: “If I didn’t have the support from my friends and family, I would just be a girl with a dream. I can grow my business and my craft because of the support system around me. The few photographers in the Charlotte, NC area also push me to be better. I’m learning so much everyday and can’t wait to bring my photography to Hampton U.”

Q: What do you want people to leave with after seeing some of your work?

Mikayla: “I want my audience to see life without the fluff. I do my best to keep my photos as raw as possible because I believe that too much editing can create a euphoric sense of the subject, and although that is the goal for certain photo shoots, I generally try to stay away from that.”

Q: How have you kept your passion alive while in quarantine?

Olivia: “I continue to think of different photo shoots and some of them I have been able to execute while others are still in the works. I am in no rush to post them either, I’m just happy I can continue doing something I love. The encouragement from my peers from the HerCampus team also pushes me to stay active and to continue being active even if we are unable to be on campus. But one thing I always do is take photos on my phone. Anytime I am somewhere, whether it is a restaurant or an outing with my friends, I always snap a picture.”

Make sure to keep up with Jordin, Olivia, and Mikayla as they continue making their marks through their photos!

Jordin Wright is a Freshman Journalism major from Peekskill, NY.  @flap.photography

Mikayla Roberst is a Sophomore Journalism major, Sociology minor from Marietta, GA. @_m4media

Olivia Mitchell is a Junior Biology Pre-Med major from Bowie, Maryland. @livslenshu

Photo By: Jordin Wright         

Photo By: Olivia Mitchell

Photo of Mikayla Roberts

Highlighting Content Creators at Hampton University

 Brooklyn Young | Staff Writers

Hampton University has always been well-known for its trendsetters and innovators. Many Hamptonians still uphold that reputation by using their creativity to not only influence others but also create change in their communities.  Hamptonians have used their creativity to start their own brands and create impactful content. Some of your favorite YouTube vloggers, fashion designers and original magazine creators got their start at Hampton. Here is a glimpse of some entrepreneurs from Ogre, Quintessence and Onyx classes. 

Accent Films

Don’t forget the accent mark.

Accent Films started off as your typical college YouTube vlog in 2018. As time progressed, Bria Dickerson, better known as Bria DéShaun, has made her mark on Hampton’s campus by commemorating social moments as “the student body’s historian,” and creating promo videos. The meaning behind the accent is to “put emphasis on your purpose [and] put an accent on your wildest dreams,” said Dickerson. This brand allows the inner creative in Dickerson to be depicted visually and expose her authenticity in various projects. Accent Films is also a direct reflection of her journey as an individual and as an entrepreneur. 

“You can be carefree in who you are and do it without hesitation,” said Dickerson. 

Recently, Accent Films collaborated with the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP) for its 20th anniversary of the Black History Extravaganza (BHX) by creating a short film, “Tales of an HBCU.” You can stream this on SLP’s YouTube channel now. 

Dickerson is a junior, journalism major with a minor in leadership studies and cinema studies from Bear, Delaware. 

COVRT 

With encouragement from friends and family, Trajan Baker, a sophomore architecture major from Winston-Salem, created his fashion brand Crafted Vision, which is now known as COVRT. At COVRT, you can have it your way with his unique clothing customizations. Baker hand paints jeans, jackets, shoes, hats and just about any clothing item you can think of. The brand is symbolic to self-discovery and revealing the artist within everyone.

 “My acronym for artist is a rare talented individual seeking truth,” said Baker. 

The relationship between Baker and his clientele are most meaningful and seeing them wear his designs makes him extremely proud. On average, it takes between 10 to 20 hours for Baker to make a single piece. Right now, COVRT is creating a graphic sweatshirt line and painting series. Baker is looking forward to where his brand will go and hoping to be a featured brand in a Hampton event like Springfest. Trajan Baker is a sophomore, architecture major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

EPOK

Dictionary.com defines epoch (EPOK) as “the beginning of a distinctive period in history of something.” This Virginia and New York based brand began with two fashion-forward individuals making t-shirts in a bedroom in the Harbor Apartments for fun. Austin Johnson, a senior marketing major from Hampton, Virginia and Jarrett Dines, a senior strategic communications major from Queens, New York constantly strive to take chances and continue going after new avenues to gain even more exposure for their brand.

“Buying into a concept; you are in your Epok,” said Johnson. “Each piece is personal.”

 Opening doors and creating better access to resources for the next entrepreneur is the ultimate goal for Johnson and Dines. 

“Jarrett and I knew we were gonna make history, this is just the beginning,” said Johnson. 

Over the past two years, EPOK has had pop-up shops in New York and Virginia, countless photoshoots and has even shipped orders to London. For these entrepreneurs, they see no limits. 

For more information on their next event(s), an interactive pop-up shop and new releases, visit their website, https://epok.store/

Austin Johnson is a senior, marketing major from Hampton, Virginia. Jarrett Dines is a senior, strategic communications major from Queens, New York. 

Reign the Magazine

Editor-in-Chief and journalism student, Tasha Smith, a junior from Baltimore, launched the first issue of Reign the Magazine on January 1, 2021. The magazine was created to exhibit Black content, including fashion, beauty, culture and music. Smith’s goal is to create an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone involved feels comfortable showcasing their creativity. 

“I want to create a community that celebrates Black joy and creativity,” said Smith. 

Smith was inspired by lifestyle journalist Elaine Welteroth. 

“I have read her book ad nauseum,” Smith said. 

Since the Black youth is so impressionable, Smith mainly targets this demographic. 

“I am sick of feeling like I have to ‘skate around’ my Blackness for white people,” said Smith.  Knowing the importance of unapologetically loving and accepting your Blackness is the Magazine’s endgame. 

Currently, Reign the Magazine is working on the March issue, which is the first style issue, featuring a young stylist. A new issue drops on the first of each month, so be sure to get yours March 1!

Threadz Boutique

The reputation of inimitability and uniqueness that boutiques possess has always enticed Taylor Robertson, a third-year, five-year MBA major from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.  That attraction and passion for fashion design created Threadz Boutique! Threadz Boutique seemed out of reach for Robertson, but with the encouragement from her mom, it became a brand. 

“I just got started,” said Robertson. 

Growing up with both parents being entrepreneurs, Robertson tapped into her entrepreneurial side. Robertson enjoys that she is able to deeply portray herself in her craft and offer rare clothing to women ages 17 to 40. 

“Everything that I have is something that I would pick up in a store and have to buy,” said Robertson. 

If you want to stand out and tap into your uniqueness, be on the lookout for new drops over at shopthreadzboutique.com

1868 The Brand

Fashionista, Inaya Henderson, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, decided to put a twist on traditional university paraphernalia by launching 1868 The Brand. Representing the year that Hampton University was founded, 1868 The Brand also looks to connect the Hampton University community through apparel and accessories.  

“It’s a line that encapsulates the essence of Hampton and transforms it into the form of fashion,” said Henderson. 

With 1868, Henderson intends to show the world that Hampton is more than what you see on the surface, but that Hampton is full of creativity and innovation.  

1868 is intended to be a classic everyday wear, whether you’re going on a Target run or on a trip, 1868 is made for it all. Currently, 1868 is working on rugs, household items, sweatsuits, workout gear, skateboards for each class and a potential collaboration with another HBCU. The newest drop is expected for summer 2021 to kick-off the summer vibes, so keep an eye out! 

For anyone scared to start their business, just look at these young entrepreneurs making it happen. It is all about believing in yourself and simply taking that first step!

Women’s History Month: Hampton Female Alumni Feature

Nia White | Staff Writer

As Hampton University has flourished for 153 years, it has helped to produce an extensive group of alumni. With graduates in a wide variety of fields and positions, Hampton University has made its impact on the surrounding community, country and world.

  The education at Hampton has allowed many alumni to advance in their field, because of the access to higher education. While many alumni have made progress in their specific field, now is a time to celebrate female alumni.  

The national observance of Women’s History Month is celebrated every year during the month of March. This month is reserved for highlighting the achievements of women making strides in their respective fields both in the present and past.  

A Hampton alumni who is flourishing in her career is Felicia Blow. She graduated in 1988 and is currently serving as Chair-Elect for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The position of Chair-Elect is one of the highest in the company and it incompeses many different roles.   

“PRSA is the world’s largest organization of communications, public relations, and strategic marketing practitioners,” Blow said. “I lead efforts with Strategic Planning and our National Leader Rally. I also work closely with other members of the executive team in carrying out the mission and vision for the organization. 2022 will mark the 75th anniversary of PRSA and in that regard, I am serving as Co-Chair of the Task Force to lead the anniversary efforts,” Blow said.

During her time at Hampton, Blow majored in Mass Media Arts, which led her to her current position. “Hampton instilled in me a pride of authorship, a determination of spirit, and the insight to never give up when pursuing your passion,” Blow said.

Another flourishing Hampton alumni is Dr. Helen Stiff-Williams, Class of 1973, former Division Chief and Superintendent of Instruction in the Virginia Department of Education. 

Her position required “experience in educational leadership,” Stiff-Williams said. As well as experience she received at Hampton, including “leadership experiences for recognition and expectations for high achievement.” 

Throughout her time as division chief and superintendent, she “provided leadership in the conceptualization of the “Virginia common core standards” that were the precursors to the current Virginia Standards of Learning,” Stiff-Williams said. 

  For current Hampton students, Blow also shares advice regarding how to be successful.

“Work hard, never shy away from something because it’s difficult. I was once told “What is easy is seldom excellent.” So don’t take the easy way out. Continue to learn…advance your knowledge…don’t stop learning, take classes, and improve your skills.” 

Highlighting entrepreneurial efforts of Hampton students

Brooklyn Young | Staff Writer

Hampton University has always been well-known for its trendsetters and innovators. Many Hamptonians still uphold that reputation by using their creativity to not only influence others but also create change in their communities.  Hamptonians have used their creativity to start their own brands and create impactful content. Some of your favorite YouTube vloggers, fashion designers and original magazine creators got their start at Hampton. Here is a glimpse of some entrepreneurs from Ogre, Quintessence and Onyx classes. 

Accent Films

Don’t forget the accent mark.

Accent Films started off as your typical college YouTube vlog in 2018. As time progressed, Bria Dickerson, better known as Bria DéShaun, has made her mark on Hampton’s campus by commemorating social moments as “the student body’s historian,” and creating promo videos. The meaning behind the accent is to “put emphasis on your purpose [and] put an accent on your wildest dreams,” said Dickerson. This brand allows the inner creative in Dickerson to be depicted visually and expose her authenticity in various projects. Accent Films is also a direct reflection of her journey as an individual and as an entrepreneur. 

“You can be carefree in who you are and do it without hesitation,” said Dickerson. 

Recently, Accent Films collaborated with the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP) for its 20th anniversary of the Black History Extravaganza (BHX) by creating a short film, “Tales of an HBCU.” You can stream this on SLP’s YouTube channel now. 

Dickerson is a junior, journalism major with a minor in leadership studies and cinema studies from Bear, Delaware. 

COVRT 

With encouragement from friends and family, Trajan Baker, a sophomore architecture major from Winston-Salem, created his fashion brand Crafted Vision, which is now known as COVRT. At COVRT, you can have it your way with his unique clothing customizations. Baker hand paints jeans, jackets, shoes, hats and just about any clothing item you can think of. The brand is symbolic to self-discovery and revealing the artist within everyone.

 “My acronym for artist is a rare talented individual seeking truth,” said Baker. 

The relationship between Baker and his clientele are most meaningful and seeing them wear his designs makes him extremely proud. On average, it takes between 10 to 20 hours for Baker to make a single piece. Right now, COVRT is creating a graphic sweatshirt line and painting series. Baker is looking forward to where his brand will go and hoping to be a featured brand in a Hampton event like Springfest. Trajan Baker is a sophomore, architecture major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

EPOK

Dictionary.com defines epoch (EPOK) as “the beginning of a distinctive period in history of something.” This Virginia and New York based brand began with two fashion-forward individuals making T-shirts in a bedroom in the Harbor Apartments for fun. Austin Johnson, a senior marketing major from Hampton, Virginia, and Jarrett Dines, a senior strategic communication major from Queens, New York, constantly strive to take chances and continue going after new avenues to gain even more exposure for their brand.

“Buying into a concept; you are in your Epok,” said Johnson. “Each piece is personal.”

 Opening doors and creating better access to resources for the next entrepreneur is the ultimate goal for Johnson and Dines. 

“Jarrett and I knew we were gonna make history, this is just the beginning,” said Johnson. 

Over the past two years, EPOK has had pop-up shops in New York and Virginia, countless photoshoots and has even shipped orders to London. For these entrepreneurs, they see no limits. 

For more information on their next event(s), an interactive pop-up shop and new releases, visit their website.

Austin Johnson is a senior, marketing major from Hampton, Virginia. Jarrett Dines is a senior, strategic communications major from Queens, New York. 

Reign the Magazine

Editor-in-Chief and journalism student Tasha Smith, a junior from Baltimore, launched the first issue of Reign the Magazine on January 1, 2021. The magazine was created to exhibit Black content, including fashion, beauty, culture and music. Smith’s goal is to create an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone involved feels comfortable showcasing their creativity. 

“I want to create a community that celebrates Black joy and creativity,” said Smith. 

Smith was inspired by lifestyle journalist Elaine Welteroth. 

“I have read her book ad nauseam,” Smith said. 

Since the Black youth is so impressionable, Smith mainly targets this demographic. 

“I am sick of feeling like I have to ‘skate around’ my Blackness for white people,” said Smith.  Knowing the importance of unapologetically loving and accepting your Blackness is the Magazine’s endgame. 

Currently, Reign the Magazine is working on the March issue, which is the first style issue, featuring a young stylist. A new issue drops on the first of each month, so be sure to get yours March 1!

Threadz Boutique

The reputation of inimitability and uniqueness that boutiques possess has always enticed Taylor Robertson, a third-year, five-year MBA major from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.  That attraction and passion for fashion design created Threadz Boutique! Threadz Boutique seemed out of reach for Robertson, but with the encouragement from her mom, it became a brand. 

“I just got started,” said Robertson. 

Growing up with both parents being entrepreneurs, Robertson tapped into her entrepreneurial side. Robertson enjoys that she is able to deeply portray herself in her craft and offer rare clothing to women ages 17 to 40. 

“Everything that I have is something that I would pick up in a store and have to buy,” said Robertson. 

If you want to stand out and tap into your uniqueness, be on the lookout for new drops over at shopthreadzboutique.com

1868 The Brand

Fashionista, Inaya Henderson, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, decided to put a twist on traditional university paraphernalia by launching 1868 The Brand. Representing the year that Hampton University was founded, 1868 The Brand also looks to connect the Hampton University community through apparel and accessories.  

“It’s a line that encapsulates the essence of Hampton and transforms it into the form of fashion,” said Henderson. 

With 1868, Henderson intends to show the world that Hampton is more than what you see on the surface, but that Hampton is full of creativity and innovation.  

1868 is intended to be a classic everyday wear, whether you’re going on a Target run or on a trip, 1868 is made for it all. Currently, 1868 is working on rugs, household items, sweatsuits, workout gear, skateboards for each class and a potential collaboration with another HBCU. The newest drop is expected for summer 2021 to kick-off the summer vibes, so keep an eye out! 

For anyone scared to start their business, just look at these young entrepreneurs making it happen. It is all about believing in yourself and simply taking that first step!

Protective hairstyles by Hampton students

Nia White | Staff Writer

Courtesy of Ariana Greene

Protective styles are a form of expression and hair care in the Black community that offer a break from the daily manipulation of hair.

 “Protective styles keep your hair tucked away to reduce manipulation which is proven to aid in hair growth,” said Camille King, senior Biology pre-med major, self-taught stylist, and owner of Hair Worth a Millie. “The more your hair is manipulated from brushing, pulling, and tugging, the more likely your hair is to break off. Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair strand so keeping them tucked and protected reduces breakage.”

  Some Hampton University students and alumni specialize in providing protective styles to students on and off campus and the surrounding Hampton area. Business owners include Ariana Greene, Kayla Waite and Camille King. 

Ariana Greene is a 2020 graduate of HU, cosmetology student and owner of Ariana’s Canvas.  Kayla Waite is a senior strategic communication major, self-taught stylist and owner of Slayed by a Goddess. Camille King is a senior biology pre-med major, self-taught stylist and owner of Hair Worth a Millie. 

“I provide so many styles from braids, [faux] locs, twists, cornrows and natural styles,” Greene said. 

The type of protective style most effective varies by season. 

“These [protective] styles are meant to reduce manipulation and or styling time for your hair. [They] also protect your strands from the harsh weather,” Waite said. 

  During the winter when the weather is harshest, full coverage for hair is best. This protects from damage and gives the hair a break from manipulation.

 “For colder months I really like doing [faux] locs on clients because it’s full protection like a coat or scarf for your hair, your hair isn’t exposed, “ Greene said.

  Other protective styles for the winter include “wigs and weaves [because] as it gets cold, it becomes more difficult to keep your hair and scalp moisturized. Wearing wigs and weaves can protect your hair and scalp from all extreme environmental elements  enhance hair growth,” King said.

  Warmer months are the time for lighter protection, that don’t weigh down the hair as much. 

  “One good protective style for spring would be bob butterfly [faux] locs, they give off a playful vibe and are lightweight so they don’t irritate you in the summer heat. Marley and Havana twists are good choices as well,” Waite said.

“I love all braided and twisted styles for the summer! They are so versatile and pretty,”  King said. “Whether you choose to add hair or style your natural hair, it will be bomb. Just remember to keep your hair moisturized using oils, creams and butters.”

  Protective styles also depend on how long they will be kept in and the overall goal of getting the style.  

“I would consider any form of box braids, like goddess braids or knotless braids long term styles. Twists, depending on the texture can also be considered a long term style,” Waite said. “Marley twists which typically are more coarse will usually last longer than passion twists. Straight backs, butterfly locs, and most jumbo styles would be short term.”

The type of protective style can also differ depending on hair density.

  “Hair texture as in 4a-4c doesn’t matter but the density is really important. [For] clients with fine hair [or] thin hair excluding texture I recommend lighter styles like knotless [braids] or a few feed-in tribal braids. For thicker hair I would not typically recommend knotless [braids] but [faux] locs are cool,” Greene said. “Honestly it depends on how the client likes their hair to shape their appearance too.”

  While protective styles are mainly protective from weather and manipulation they also offer other benefits. 

  “[If installed correctly by stylist] protective styles help because they can give low tension styles that give you a break from your hair,” Greene said.  

Courtesy of Camille King

Courtesy of Kayla Waite

Elizabeth Warren introduces student loan forgiveness initiative

Gabrielle Chenault | Lifestyle Section Editor


“President-elect Biden can enact this plan his first day in office, debt relief needs to be made a priority.” In a roundtable interview with several student journalists from around the nation, including Hampton University, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about her student loan debt relief initiative.

Although student debt has been an existing national issue, the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated this. 

“This plan will help to close the wealth gap between African-Americans and White Americans by 25 points,” said Warren. According to the Brookings Institution, the current difference between the current white and Black average wealth gap is 6.7 points or $791,700. The Massachusetts senator’s plan calls for fairness when it comes to economic wealth and the potential for economic growth. 

Another amazing aspect of this plan is the strong impact it could have for  African-American women. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019, African-American women were the most educated group in America and the most likely to seek a postsecondary degree. This plan calls for the removal of $50,000 in student loans which will drastically change the lives of millions of Americans. This is very relevant specifically if you view Hampton University’s makeup. The university comprises 34% male and 66% women. Since women are seeking more collegiate degrees, they obtain more loans which accumulates more debt.

Vice President-elect Harris, Howard University alumnus, has spoken at length in support of this bill and also supports providing free education for low-income students. She stated that if the student’s family makes under $125,000, they should be able to get a free education at any HBCU. 

The recent success of reform within the New York State College system speaks to the efficacy of nationwide reform. In 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Excelsior Scholarship which states that students whose families make under $125,000 will receive a free education at two and four-year schools. Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has proudly spoken to the success of this bill and endorses the notion that more states need to follow suit. 

Senator Schumer has partnered with Senator Warren on the debt relief plan and together they have spoken to various economic teams and local leaders to ensure this program will be effective. “The best way we can get this plan passed is by educating others. The more people that know about this plan and support, the better chance we have at it succeeding,” said Warren. 

As the Zoom meeting came to a close, Senator Warren reiterated why this plan needs to be passed and the impact it would have on Americans: “This plan isn’t just for current students. It’s for graduates who have thousands in debt, students who are scared to attend due to financial issues and even those who dropped out due to the cost. The difference it could make in people’s lives would be transformative and as a society, we need to make this a priority.”

The emergence of organic feminine care products

Tigist Ashaka | Staff Writer

Periods.  Something women get every month and a topic that men get so uncomfortable talking about. So let’s talk about it. What is really in the products? Many pads have toxic chemicals which cause damage to the body. Why are we using products that have a heavy chemical base?  There are many reasons why we should use organic products when it is that time of the month. One reason is that it is good for the environment and also for your health. 

According to the World Health Organization, many pads and tampons contain chemicals such as dioxins, furans, pesticide residues and fragrance ingredients that can cause hormone issues. These chemicals can cause problems with your immune system, developmental problems, and reproductive problems such as endometriosis, painful periods and even infertility. Dioxins are absorbed through the tissues of the vagina and can introduce these hazardous chemicals into our bloodstream. 

Hampton University student Angela Session, a second-year Cybersecurity major on the Criminal Justice track, said, “since I started using organic pads, my period has been shorter and wasn’t as heavy as it used to be.” 

Another student at Hampton, Aijeé Morris, a senior Criminal Justice major, said “I’ve used both organic pads and tampons. With organic pads, there’s no itching or irritation, and my flow usually is lighter than it is when I use commercial brand pads.” 

Some other students know the benefits of using organic products but haven’t transitioned yet because they want to make sure that they have found the right products that fit their needs. 

“I don’t use organic pads, but I want to because I’ve heard of how unhealthy regular pads are,” said Sydni Saunders, a third-year psychology major from Hampton. “I am only apprehensive about using them because I want to make sure I get the right ones.”

There are many organic products women can use. One of the most popular is a company called The Honey Pot. The Honey Pot is the world’s first plant-based feminine care line and was created by Beatrice Dixon, a Black woman. Additionally, Ruby Love is a period panty that provides “first-time kits” for teens. 

These are just two Black-owned products you can try out, but there are more. Find what fits you the best, whether it is a pad, tampon, period panty or even a dive cup. Most importantly, make sure it is organic and free of harsh chemicals! 

Unsplash user LacyGhett