Commentary: The Thin Line Between Appreciation and Appropriation

Chloe Thompson


Spring 2016

Australian­-born rapper Iggy Azalea has had hits, but her recent singles have failed to pack a punch. The rapper, who is of Anglo­Irish heritage,has several songs songs peppered with the catchphrase, “Tell me how you luv dat,” a line infamous for its use of monosyllabic, slang words, exemplifying the rapper’s frequent use of African American Vernacular English

Azalea’s recent fall from fame illustrates the complexities of the Internet’s new attention to cultural appropriation — how it can glorify and redefine the adoption of cultural practices, and how cultural misappropriation can be fundamentally
detrimental to the reputation of its borrowers.

A young woman sporting blonde dreadlocks.

A young woman sporting blond dreadlocks.

Continue reading

In Photos: A Neighborhood Upended

Arman Azad

Senior, Flint Hill School, Oakton, Virginia

Spring 2016

“NoMa,” among D.C.’s newest established neighborhoods, was not supposed to exist. A syllabic abbreviation for “North of Massachusetts,” the 35-block area is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue from the south and R Street to the North, stretching from New Jersey Avenue from the west to 2nd Street on the east.

The region is largely centered around its connection to the metrorail system, but when the red line opened in 1976, there was no such thing as the NoMa-Gallaudet U Station and no plans to create it. It was not until 2004 that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced the station’s opening at a final price tag of $103.7 million—$25 million of which came as contributions from private developers, according to the organization.

The landowners investment has proven profitable over the years, with NoMa’s population booming from under 1,000 residents in 2008 to nearly 7,000 in 2015, according to NoMa Business Improvement District (NoMa BID). At the station’s 2004 opening ceremony, former Washington, D.C. mayor Anthony Williams said that “the opening of [NoMa] will expand economic development and prosperity to this part of Northeast Washington,” and twelve years later, his words still resound as the noise from cranes and jackhammers pierce the air in NoMa.
Continue reading

Greek sororities & fraternities are about more than parties & pot

Heleena Assefa

Sophomore, WT Woodson, Fairfax, VA

Spring 2016

Listen to the story

Sororities and Fraternities get a bad rap. Often times, Greek life is synonymous with debauchery and hedonism.  Take the 2014 movies Neighbors and its 2016 follow-up Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.  Both focus on wild and rowdy parties at a fraternity and sorority house.  Is this stereotypical reputation, often the only portrayal of Greek life in movies, deserved?
Continue reading

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.