• Art,  Keepin' It Real

    Brush Strokes

    Hello APC! My name is Andrea Gonzales and I am a sophomore at the University of San Francisco, studying Business Marketing and Design. As a first-generation Filipina with strict (but loving) parents in the medical field, I’ve been told that art will always be “just a hobby.” Since my family members consistently reduced the importance of art to merely a “pastime,” I forced myself to believe that the medical field was meant for me and neglected my passion for art. Plagued by the idea that medicine was the only opportunity to be successful, I initially enrolled at the University of San Francisco as a nursing major. But as I finished…

  • Dear Brown Girl,  Keepin' It Real

    A Look in the Mirror

    Hey APC! My name is Andrea, and I’m a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy.  I go to a boarding high school in New Hampshire, I grew up in Hong Kong. Although there are numerous differences between these two places, such as in culture and social norms, I’ve discovered one striking thing they have in common—the disturbing prevalence of white beauty standards. You’d think that a homogeneous Asian city would at least adhere to a less restrictive set of beauty standards, but I’ve come to realize that this notion is naive and untrue. The presence of white supremacy manifests in subtle, insidious, indelibly damaging ways, whether in countries next to or…

  • Dear Brown Girl,  Keepin' It Real,  Misc

    “Oreo”

    Hey APC! My name is Karla Sterrett and I am a 16-year-old from New York.  You’re not black enough! You “talk white”! You’re an Oreo, white on the inside but black on the outside! Hearing these comments from the age of 11 to 16 hurts. How am I supposed to respond to a comment so degrading? Words such as these make me feel powerless, tearing down my confidence, enlarging the insecurities I already have about myself. Being black is apart of who I am, so for another black person to say that I’m not “black enough” is worse than a slap in the face. It’s as if your own pride…

  • Dear Brown Girl,  Keepin' It Real

    Crush

    Hey APC, my name is Tyra Hughes and I am a sophomore at West Orange High School.  From a young age, I was surrounded by a heteronormative idea of love. In the movies I watched, to the books I read and even the relationships that my family members had, I had only ever seen love as being between a man and a woman. That lack of LGBT representation made it incredibly hard for me to understand and accept my sexuality as a sophomore in high school. Our society has always set straight as the default sexuality of the human race, and so when I first began to question my own…

  • Keepin' It Real

    “Different”

    Hey everyone, my name is Jannat Chaudry and I’m a staff writer for APC. This piece I have written is an exploration of what it’s like to be different Be different; Be unique; Be yourself. These are quotes that girls all around the world grow up hearing and they start believing are true. That is, until a girl actually steps into her difference and actively lives a life where she embraces all the aspects of herself. Then, difference becomes dangerous. Honestly, it’s not all glitz and glamour being different. It’s hard and exhausting. Anybody who is different in any sort of way may understand this feeling; the feeling of standing…

  • Keepin' It Real,  Misc

    A Well Penned and Equally Well Deserved Letter to my Genius, Idiot, Self

    This is staff writer Emily Diaz here, back with a letter to all those men and women out there who doubt themselves, myself included! Hello. I am something of an intellectual. Well, I’d like to think. You see I’ve read Macbeth and I’ve taken AP Literature and AP US History and well, I work damn hard in my academics. I work so hard sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget that on top of being someone who is considered by some (here’s me hoping) to know quite a few things and have good insights and yada yada yada… I am profoundly lost in life. When I say lost, I mean that…

  • Keepin' It Real

    My Own Beat

    My name is Janele Forbes and I am a drummer and dancer! I used to be very self-conscious and insecure. Before the drums and dance entered my life, I was struggling through my own obstacles related to mental illness. I would have never imagined myself doing things like a drum solo in front of a mosh pit, or shaking my hips in a coconut bra. Being a drummer demands that attention from a crowd, and even more so when you’re a small Asian girl among a lineup of male bands. You get judged more. You get the weird looks, and the mansplaining. Not only did playing this instrument force me…

  • Keepin' It Real,  Writing

    What is Justice?

    Hi! My name is Ava Burroughs and I am a 6th grader at Kent Place School. Below is a story I have written about how I started to get involved in activism and question what justice means to me! “Daddy, what is that? Why do you look so proud? Why is that lady crying? Why do they have their fists in the air?” Asked a little-mixed girl with hair like spun sugar while tugging at a picture of her grandfather. The picture depicted a civil rights march. A march to make it so there could be such a thing as a little-mixed girl and her mixed father. “Daddy answer me…

  • Keepin' It Real,  Mental Health,  Writing

    Dad

    When you’re young, you feel invincible. Your world seems elevated and tinged with gold on the edges. But then something happens and your eyes are opened to the fine line between life and death that you walk so innocently each day. It happened on a Sunday. I was about to go to tennis practice. “Hurry, you’re going to be late!” My mom announced above the beats of 103.5 radio. I was in the bathroom, struggling to pull my cloud of curls into a neat bun. It was Sunday, August 26th, 2018 and the embers of summer shinned hot that morning. I wished summer would never end. The stairs creaked slowly…

  • International Voices,  Keepin' It Real,  Writing

    On Gender Issues In Zimbabwe

    Hello everyone! Before I begin, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bekezela and I am 17 years old. I am a born Zimbabwean of Zulu origin. But most importantly, in terms of this article, I am female. Being female and commenting on gender issues in Zimbabwe can be difficult. Difficult because like every other female in my country, my experience has been, for the most part, terrible. To put it simply, Zimbabwe (the land I love beyond what can be explained) has a big gender issue. It is a sexist nation that has since the beginning of time put excessive effort into glorifying the male. Misogyny runs deep…

  • Keepin' It Real,  Writing

    Branches

    Did I mention that besides being an amazing artist, Jiji is a natural writer? Yes, Jiji is back with another piece, this time about her childhood attempting to understand her mixed-race and queer identity. Read her piece below for a thought-provoking coming of age story. I am far from my mother’s tree, yet I’m the roots of her tree, keeping her grounded. I am a constant reminder of how her family has developed, how deep the roots go and how high the branches reach. The fusion of cultures celebrated in my home was an environment molded solely by my mother. My mother passed on her eyes to me, her unique lens…