The People Issue

Fall Quarter 2020

Through these pages, follow the lives of four People who are using their platforms enduringly in "The People Issue," Fall quarter 2020.

Cover story #1 is Laganja Estranja, who struts her mission on the scene with heels so tall her head would hit the clouds. Using her platform as a microphone for equality, this Drag Queen remains stoned on the throne as she slays the stage for LGBTQQIAAP+ rights, using her choreography and performances to expand the voices of those who suffer from discrimination and societal bias.

Cover story #2 is Nupol Kiazolu, President of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York has fought for equal rights since she was nearly-suspended from her middle school for it at 12 years old. Her journey started long ago, with the White House becoming her end in sight. She spoke with Emerald about the dangers of protesting, and of her experience being taken into custody in Kentucky for demanding the arrest of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. Kiazolu gives us insight into the experience, which included being put in cages, and cuffed to chains like slaves.

Hip-hop artist and Top 16 contestant on Netflix’s Rhythm and Flow, Felisha George, dedicates her life, love and music to the healing of our souls. From a young age, George transformed her emotions into the art form of rap. Her latest single, Wash Your Soul, takes listeners on a journey of learning, growing and healing. “I want to actually rap what I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing, what I see on a day-to-day basis,” George told The Emerald Magazine. Her performances touch on adversity, and inspire others to have the courage to walk with their heads held high.

When times get tough, and the political fatigue overcomes us, we often turn to humor for mental escape. Ngaio Bealum is a life-long activist, comedian and writer who crafts heavy topics with lighthearted tones. But, lately, he’s been filled with rage and hope, he told Emerald. “[I’m] trying to let my anger motivate me but not guide me. It fills me with hope because I feel like we can go further faster. We have more people on our side now, who have really looked around.”

It is the People who operate the platforms that amplify the voices of the unheard. It is the People who move mountains to get their points across. And it will only be through the People that change is made.

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