Written by: Amber Baldwin

TEXAS: The snow and low temperatures that Texas has been experiencing caused their electric grid operations to lose control of the power supply.  Now many people do not have electricity.  With no heat, temperatures in people’s houses are in the 30’s and 40’s or lower.  Because of the low temperature and no access to heat, they are also facing a water crisis because their pipes are freezing causing them to bust.  If people do have water, they have to boil it before using it. Some are even going outside to gather snow and melt that. President Joe Biden has declared Texas’ situation a major disaster and has sent in FEMA.  By doing this Texas can now receive federal funding to help with the situation.

COVID-19: According to the New York Times, 5.1% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated and 13% of the population has had at least the first dose.  There has also been a decrease in new cases and new deaths in the last 14 days. However, with new studies conducted, the CDC is now recommending double masking.  In a 2020 study, a surgical mask along with a single layer cloth mask on top was found to be 91% effective.  Please wear your masks correctly (over the nose) and always wash your hands. To find out more on masks visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/effective-masks.html

Black History Month

Since it is still Black History Month don’t forget to follow BASA, Black Action Student Association.  The group is on Instagram and Twitter.  This entire month they are doing activities that are celebrating and honoring Black lives. And don’t forget to check the free little library outside the Chapel in Schauffler hall for books written by great Black authors.

 Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/defi.basa/

Twitter https://twitter.com/BlackActionStu1

Liv B is a Canadian YouTuber and author of Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget Cookbook. She is coming out with a new cookbook on April 12, 2021, called Liv B’s Easy Everyday.  Right now, it can be preordered on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.  Liv B is known for quick simple vegan recipes that are not going to cost a ton of money.  She also does podcasts. To find more information check out her website here:  https://itslivb.com

To catch some of her videos, view both of her YouTube channels here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtuwIdM0Zx7xCiZSa_clRzw and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL4XJVj4PPOdecb2J5w3z8A 

Eight Tv and Movies to watch during Black History Month

Written by: Emily Vargo

February is Black history month. To celebrate the month, I have put together eight shows to watch during the month and what they are about.

The first show is called “Watchmen” (2019). “Watchmen” starts with the Tulsa Race Massacre, then fast forwards to 2019. The series portrays race and policing in an alternate reality. By using superheroes, random squid storms, and many plot twists, “Watchmen” is not only thrilling but can be used to begin discussions on the relationships between race and police. It can be found on HBO Max.

Next up is a called “Lovecraft Country” (2020). “Lovecraft Country” shows the horrors of the 1950s Jim Crow Laws that happened in America. The show is about a character named Atticus Freeman. He is a Korean war vet and a lover of books who heads home to the south side of Chicago to investigate the disappearance of his father. This is also on HBO Max.

The third show is called “Dear White People” (2017-2021). “Dear White People” is about a group of black students who attend a university that is made up of mainly white students. One of the black students starts a podcast directed at white students. On the podcast, they call out the microaggressions and racist behavior of the white students. This show can be found on Netflix, Youtube, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.

The fourth show is called “The Black Church: This is our story, This is our song.” This show is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., who tells the 400 year old story of Black Churches in American and the role it plays in Black people’s lives. The show also explores the history, worship of traditions, and how they came into Christianity. The Black Church can be watched on PBS.

The fifth show is titled “Queen Sugar.” This show is about a family whose daughter comes back home to get away from a very public divorce. When she gets home, she purchases a sugar mill on her father’s farmland, bringing prosperity and complications to her and her family’s lives. Over the many episodes of this show, adultery, power and influence, police brutality, and slavery are shown. This show is found on Hulu.

The sixth show is “Insecure.” This show is about a character named Issa Dee. Iassa is living in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, who she has been with for five years. Their relationship starts the fall apart, but Issa will not give up easily. In the show, you will see Iassa and her boyfriend try to work things out with each other while exploring their culture and reminiscing about their funny embarrassing moments. This is on HBO Max.

The seventh show is “Underground.” This show is about a character named Noah, who is a determined slave that leads a revolt on his Georgia plantation. He is able to escape into freedom with six other slaves. This show exposes all of the dangers and hardship of the group’s escape. “Underground” will always keep you on your toes, and you will never know what will happen next. You can find this on Hulu, Fubo TV, Youtube, Itunes, Google play, and Apple TV.

The eighth show is called “Atlanta.” This show is about three friends who are trying to make it in the city of Atlanta. They all have big dreams, and together they will try their hardest to accomplish them. This is a hilarious show that respects the Black experience of trying to make it in a big city. It can be found on Hulu, Youtube, iTunes, Google Play, Apple TV, and Vudu.

Honorable mentions go to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix, on Disney Plus, Black Panther and Black is King, and on HULU, Blackish.

Black History Month: Author Edition

Written by: Amber Baldwin

With it being Black History Month, it is important to highlight a variety of important historical events and gifted black people who played a part in history. Here are a few black authors that help create wonderful works of poetry and literature. I asked two credible people on campus what authors and works that they would recommend to Defiance College students.

Barb Sedlock, Lead Librarian, and Coordinator of Metadata & Archives said, “being a history buff, I’d recommend some of the earlier works in the African American canon, like W.E.B. DuBois, Sojourner Truth, and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who was an Ohioan.”

Dr. Steven Engel, Assistant Professor of English and Director of Composition, suggested his top 10 list of great black authors. It includes Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist, Colson Whitehead, Zone One, Jericho Brown, The Tradition, Claudia Rankine, Citizen, Mat Johnson, Incognegro, Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist, Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones, Toni Morrison, Beloved, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me.

Some of these books along with others by black authors can be found in the free little library in Schauffler Hall throughout the month of February.

The following black authors are somewhat unknown but achieved some amazing accomplishments.

Rita Dove
Rita Dove, who was born in Akron, Ohio, is known for her poems.  She even was the poet laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995 and then was the poet laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006.  She also won a Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1987 and is the only poet to receive both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts.  Some of her works are Through the Ivory Gate, The Yellow House on the Corner, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Mother Love, and Grace Notes.  As of right now, Rita Dove is an English professor at the University of Virginia.  

Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks was 13 when she first got published.  Then, by the time she was 17 she was being published regularly in the Chicago Defender.  In 1950 she became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in poetry.  She was also the first African American woman to be a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress.  Some of her works include A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, Maud Martha, In the Mecca, and Winnie.

Alex Haley
Alex Haley wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X.  It was published in 1965.  Haley is also well known for Roots: The Saga of an American Family.  Barb Sedlock said, “watching the original miniseries based on Alex Haley’s “Roots” back in the 70s had a big impact on me.  I was in college at the time, and the show made me want to learn more of the history, so I bought the book and especially enjoyed reading the parts that didn’t make it into the miniseries–it’s impossible to include everything in a novel when it’s turned into a TV show or movie, there’s just too much material.”

Valentine’s Day–It’s actually not a holiday made up by Hallmark

Written by: Emily Vargo

Every year, Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14th in the United States. It is known as the day of love where people buy candy, cards, and flowers for others to show that they appreciate them. But have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day started? I asked a few Defiance College students on campus if they had any idea of the history of Valentine’s Day.

The first student I asked was Sarah, a Freshman at DC, who said “It’s a modern day holiday to appreciate your significant other.”

“ A long time ago they took a day and dedicated it to love so they could celebrate their significant others and show how much they care for one another through romantic gestures” stated Megan, also a freshman at DC.

A third student who wanted to be anonymous thought that, “Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and the bond that it represents.

Some believe love is just human nature and it makes sense for people to get attached and fall in love, so why not have a day to celebrate it and make it known. However, Valentine’s day is more than a holiday about love and gifts.

Valentine’s day is named after St. Valentine. According to historians, St. Valentine was a priest in the Catholic Church who served during the third century in Rome.

During this time Emperor Claudius II thought single men were better soldiers than those who had wives and children. The Emperor outlawed marriage for young men so they could be better soldiers. St. Valentine felt that this wasn’t right or fair. In secret, he performed marriages behind the Emperor so couples could be together.

Eventually, the emperor found out what Valentine was doing and sentenced him to death. Some say that Valentine was killed for attempting to help Rome prisoners escape because they were often beaten and tortured, not for marrying couples behind the Emperor’s back. Others say an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” to a girl he fell in love with that would visit him during his confinement.

The exact date of the holiday is unknown but St. Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France by the middle ages. Valentine’s Day may not have a pretty history but every year it is celebrated by millions of people in the name of romance.

BASA Month Long Celebration

Written by: AD Johnson

February is Black History Month, and at Defiance College, BASA, Black Action Student Association has activities planned all month long in celebration. “For every event and activity you participate in, you will be entered into our raffle for a giveaway at the end of February,” Noelani Schmidt said in an email.

From BASA email

From February 3 till February 18, BASA is featuring an exhibit called Honoring Black Lives: Past, Present, and Future that is located in the Women’s Commission Art Gallery. “This installation is both an art exhibition and a community altar/sacred space,” stated Schmidt. The gallery is located in Dana Hall near the auditorium. It is open Monday – Friday from 9:00am till 7:00pm and Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm.

Another way to participate in the celebrations is by following BASA’s Instagram @defi.basa https://www.instagram.com/defi.basa/ and Twitter @blackactionstu1 https://twitter.com/BlackActionStu1.

Everyone can be involved in the different activities, including Mindful Mondays, Workshop Wednesdays, Feel Good Fridays, Self Care Saturdays, and Speak your truth Sundays that include interviews of black students speaking their truths.

From the Gallery Exhibit

Schmidt stated, “From contests to workshops and giveaways, we’re excited to have you join us in promoting healing, mental health awareness, all the while celebrating and honoring Black lives.”

Black History Month Spotlight

Written by: Amber Baldwin

Cicely Tyson 12/19/1924-01/28/2021

“Whatever good I have accomplished as an actress, I believe, came in direct proportion to my efforts to portray Black women who have made positive contributions to my heritage.”-Cicely Tyson.

Cicely Tyson was an award-winning actress who passed away last week at the age of 96.  She was a fashion model and actress that was best known for her roles in “Sounder” (1972), “The Autobiography of Miss Pittman” (1974), “Roots” (1977), “The Marva Collins Story” (1981), “The Women of Brewster Place” (1989), and “The Help” (2011).  

The movie “Sounder” also starred Diana Ross, and both ended up nominated for “Best Actress in a Leading Role.” It was only the second time African American actresses were nominated for this award. The first being Dorothy Dandridge in 1954. 

Her career began in 1948 as a model. Then, in 1951 she received her first acting role in a TV show called “Frontiers of Faith.” From there, she mostly played in other TV shows like “The Guiding Light” (1966). In 1972, her popularity increased when she got the role of Rebecca Morgan in the movie “Sounder.”

Some of Cicely Tyson’s awards include a Tony Award, multiple Emmy Awards, an Academy Honorary Award, The Peabody Career Achievement Award, The Spingarn Medal, and many others.  

The award that she finds most important to her is The Presidential Medal of Freedom that she received in 2016 from President Barack Obama.  

One of Cicely Tyson’s last projects that she was working on was her memoir Just As I Am. It came out just two days before her death and is now No. 1 on Amazon, beating out the previous No.1, The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman. 

A student here at DC said, “I’ve been a fan of Cicely Tyson for a while now. She’s in one of my favorite movies “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Her memoir looks really good, and I’m very tempted to buy a copy.” Cicely Tyson will be remembered as a wonderful actress and person who paved the way for other African American actresses. 

The History of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Written by Amber Baldwin


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Every third Monday in January the United States celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  This federal holiday was first observed in 1986.  It also became the first holiday that is centered around someone who is not a president and someone who is African American. 

Dr. Richanne C. Mankey, Defiance College President, shared her thoughts on the importance of Martin Luther King Jr Day by stating, “Yes, it is important to honor the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“His inspiration was for humanity to become increasingly more inclusive” Dr. Mankey continued.

“He spoke to the character of human beings rather than other features like race or ethnicity. His quote about his children and the world into which they would grow up was powerful:  “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character..” from his I Have a Dream speech.” quoted Dr. Mankey.

Even though Dr. King spoke powerful words and lead a life of strong conviction, the celebration of the holiday took almost 20 years.

The federal holiday was first introduced to legislation on April 8, 1968, four days after King’s death, by Representative John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan. 

Then, in the 1970’s the support for this holiday increased, but it was not enough. The bill lost by five votes in the House in November of 1979. The people who were in disagreement viewed King as someone who created trouble, so they did not want to give him his own holiday. 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King, who was married to King, still decided to keep fighting and ended up testifying before Congress many times. 

Stevie Wonder even worked with Coretta Scott King to gain even more support.  In 1982 both of them brought a petition with 6 million signatures that were all for the holiday to the Speaker of the House. 

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Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder accepting an award

The bill was finally signed by President Ronald Reagan on November 3, 1983, to begin the holiday in 1986. 

By 1986 seventeen states had already created a holiday for Marth Luther King, Jr.  Now many businesses, government offices, and schools are closed on this federal holiday. 

“For most of my life, it was a day off school that I didn’t really understand. Now, I like to reflect on one of the best activists the world had ever seen”, a fellow college student remarked about how they spent the day.

However, there are still some cities in some states like Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina that do not observe the holiday and use it as a make-up school day.