Taylor Swift: Rewriting (and re-recording) her narrative  

By Iris Archer

Acclaimed musician and songwriter Taylor Swift announced on June 18, 2021, that she would re-record her fourth studio album Red, including 10 never-released songs in addition to the 20 original tracks. She releases the album Friday, Nov. 12. 

Swift, 31, is one of the most influential female artists of the twenty-first century. She continues to reinvent herself and her music to this day. 

On a personal note, Taylor Swift is my favorite musical artist, and Red is an album that I loved as a kid. I sang my heart out to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at the age of 12, as if I’d been hurt in a relationship myself. I also remember dying of laughter to “I Knew You Were Trouble” goat remixes with my mom in our living room. 

 And a few years ago, my mom and I actually performed “Red” together at my guitar recital. That was a real full-circle moment. Obviously, there’s a lot of sentiment attached to this album for me, so I’m super excited for Red (Taylor’s Version)

A lot of excitement surrounds Red (Taylor’s Version) for “Swifties” and the general public alike. First, it includes 10 never-released songs that Swift wrote during the time of the original release of Red. One of these songs, “Nothing New”, features breakout indie artist Phoebe Bridgers, and another, “Run”, features original Red contributor and singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran.  

Second, one of the most iconic and heartbreaking songs from the original album (“All Too Well”) gets transformed into a 10 minute (yes, you heard me right) extended version on Red (Taylor’s Version). And if that wasn’t enough, a short film starring Stranger Thing’s Sadie Sink and Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien accompanies the 10-minute masterpiece. The actors share the same age difference as Swift and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, about whom the song is written.  

Third, the album is known for its fall aesthetic, so its release in the midst of the season must be no coincidence. 

This isn’t Swift’s first dabble in re-recording her albums. On Feb. 11, Swift announced she would re-record her second studio album, releasing it as Fearless (Taylor’s Version). This being one of her most iconic albums, the project was well received by both fans and musicians worldwide. The new record included the 20 originals as well as six never-released songs deemed “from the vault”. Fans were delighted by Swift’s mature vocals as well as her ability to bring old feelings and emotions to life; Swift wrote the original Fearless album at 18. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was released on April 9. 

After the re-release of Fearless, fans wondered which of Swift’s albums she re-recorded next. After weeks of fan theories and speculation, Taylor announced the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) on June 18, 2021. Red (Taylor’s Version) had an initial release date of Nov. 19, but the anticipation was so extreme that Swift moved the release up a week to this Friday. 

Before discussing how important this re-recording is, we first must deluge in a Taylor Swift career retrospective; what brought her to re-record her previous work? 

Taylor Swift began her career as a country singer, attracting listeners with a heart of gold and words that resonated with all ages. Her early music touched on motifs such as first love, first heartbreak, and the importance of family. Songs like “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Our Song” catapulted her into the spotlight at 16. Following the success of her eponymous debut album, Swift released Fearless, her first true country-pop album, in 2008. It included some of her biggest hits to date, like “Love Story”, “White Horse”, and “You Belong with Me”.

Following the success of Fearless, Taylor shocked the world with Speak Now in 2010, an album furthering her pop leanings, with heartfelt tracks like “Mine”, “Dear John”, and “Enchanted”.  

Whereas Speak Now was still reminiscent of her earlier work, enter Red. Swift fully embraced pop-star status on this totally innovative album featuring some of Swift’s most popular songs, including the title track, “Red”, and radio hits like “22”, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. The album also included beautiful melodies (listen to “All Too Well”) with lyrics to match. 

In 2014 Swift released 1989, which may be Swift’s best album lyrically, melodically, and conceptually (and it’s my personal favorite). 1989 continued Taylor’s work rewriting the rules of pop, with smash hits like “Welcome to New York”, “Blank Space”, and “Shake it Off”, among several others.  

After the extremely successful release of 1989 and its equally successful stadium tour, the media began alleging “snake” behavior by Swift following a leaked audio clip of her apparently giving consent to Kanye West to use her name in his song, “Famous”. The two have had a rocky relationship since West’s infamous “I’mma let you finish, but…” in the middle of Taylor’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Awards. But in 2016, when “Famous” was released, Taylor denied ever approving of having her name in Kanye’s lyrics. Six months after the release, West’s wife Kim Kardashian tweeted out a video, later revealed to be edited, of Taylor on a phone call with the couple approving of Kanye’s vulgar lyrics about her in his song.  

After a year of hiding from the media, Swift turned the harmful words into the smash hit reputation, with visuals and lyrics referencing snakes and betrayal. She used the negativity that once brought her down to build herself up again.  

This edgy era received mixed reviews from the media as well, and even from loyal “Swifties”— her fanbase—which motivated Taylor to write a better and more cohesive record that she could be proud of, and soon she revealed Lover to the world. As the title implies, Lover explores themes of love, commitment and loyalty and honors Swift’s boyfriend of over 3 years at the time of the album’s release, actor, Joe Alwyn.  

Less than a year after the release of Lover, the COVID-19 pandemic struck Taylor Swift with inspiration. In mid-July, Swift shocked the world by surprise-releasing her eighth studio album, folklore, a hauntingly beautiful work of fictional stories about heartbreak, loss and self-reflection. Swift then dropped evermore, a self-proclaimed sister record to folklore, less than six months later, expanding on the themes from the previous album. These albums were a shift of pace for Swift and caused her to regain some of the Swifties who have not listened to her music since her release of reputation, as well as garner a new fanbase comprising indie/alternative listeners. Swift gained respect from the music industry for not only releasing folklore and evermore in such a close timeframe and during a global pandemic, but also for completely shifting genres once again while still keeping her same fanbase despite doing so. folklore was so successful that it won Album of the Year at the 2020 Grammys. 

You might be wondering: what’s the big deal with these rerecordings? Many might believe it is a quick cash-grab, but the choice to re-record means so much more than profit; it symbolizes ownership and taking back what is rightfully yours. In 2019, Republic Records sold her master tapes to Scooter Braun, a popular music producer, without her consent. Taylor does not legally own any of her music or have any licensing rights despite writing and singing practically everything that she has ever released. 

Thus, re-recording her music is a way for Swift to regain control over what is rightfully hers.  This sends a message not only to fans but to everyone in the music industry to fight for what is right and claim what is yours. This message comes across clearly in “Change (Taylor’s Version)”, from Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which is an anthem to standing up against those who bring you down. 

“Because these things will change / Can you feel it now? / These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down / It's a revolution, the time will come / For us to finally win”. 

It is also a way for Taylor to prove her strength and her willingness to stand up against adversity. I am beyond excited for this record, first for the nostalgia and second for the amazing symbolism and deeper meaning behind Swift’s time-consuming and monumental career choice.    

So grab your favorite scarf and a box of tissues and get ready to settle down for the almost two-and-a-half-hour masterpiece that is Red (Taylor’s Version) on this Friday, Nov. 12. Can you feel my excitement?  

And– even if you’re not a “Swiftie”, I hope you have a musician or a band that makes you smile and brings you undeniable joy and comfort. Listen to that artist today. Take a walk and breathe in the fall air, which is feeling more like a pre-winter chill. 


(Iris Archer is a feature contributor for The Intrepid and is also a Taylor Swift superfan.)

The genius of MF DOOM: An ode to the king of underground hip-hop 

Part of The Intrepid’s “The Genius Of…” series.

By Akim Hudson

“Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper” is the utmost praise an emcee can earn in their career. MF DOOM, or DOOM for short, garnered this acclaim before his untimely passing last year. Yet, I bet many of you have no idea who DOOM was. That was part of his genius. 

Just remember, it’s all caps when you spell the man’s name.  

1. The Mask

The very first feature of DOOM you noticed was his mask. I thought at first, why the hell is he wearing a mask? According to DOOM, he rarely revealed his face to the public. He wanted his audiences to revere his emceeing abilities over any of his other extraneous features. 

You can see that DOOM wasn’t your prototypical celebrity or entertainer. His luminescent, silver Doctor Doom mask enthralled any eyes that glanced upon it, and, ultimately, the mask further enhanced DOOM’s mystique. 

2. Covertness

MF DOOM is arguably the most inconspicuous hip-hop legend ever. No sources could detect or verify any of DOOM’s personal information besides him and maybe his wife and his closest friends. For the longest time, the general public didn’t even know his birthday.  

And peep this—you could attend an MF DOOM show, and not have even seen DOOM. Yes! DOOM had doubles he used to substitute for himself! 

Who else does absurd things like that?  

MF DOOM also had many self-proclaimed monikers that contributed to the shield around his actual identity. Each of his aliases had distinct personalities and styles of rapping, along with their own albums and projects. MF DOOM also featured his own personas in songs to make an even greater distinction between his true self and his aliases.  

3. Eccentricity

DOOM’s hip-hop career, and everything that surrounded it, was rather abstract. He spelled his name using all capital letters, even though DOOM doesn’t stand for a damn thing. No one else in hip-hop had DOOM’s distinct cadence, flow, lyricism and voice.  

His rhyme scheme, specifically, was quite eccentric because of his elite ability to deceive the listener. DOOM would take words and phrases from everyday prose and leave them hanging on a cliff or replace the word we expect with an unexpected word or phrase.  

Take his song ‘Great Day’, off his classic album Madvillainy, featuring Madlib. MF DOOM had a classic example of this when he rapped:

Last wish/I wish I had two more wishes/And I wish they fix the door to the matrix’s mad fridges/spit so many verses my sometimes my jaw twitches/one thing this party could use is more…booze.

We all know what word rhymes with ‘twitches’ that would be more ideal for a sentence pertaining to a party. We’ll leave it at that. 

     So you may never have seen or heard of MF DOOM. In some ways, it seemed like he wanted it that way. The inconspicuous emcee, the metal-faced villain, became a legend of the hip-hop zeitgeist. In my opinion, there will never be another DOOM. 

(Akim Hudson is a feature contributor for The Intrepid.)

Who are you?

I’m you, but stronger.

The girl on the top has just fallen in love with running.

Even though she does not think she is good, she knows she gives her entire heart each time she steps onto the line and that she loves her sport. The girl on the top does not think she will run again after high school or that she is fast enough, experienced enough, strong enough or fit enough to do so.  

The girl on the bottom is the same girl, but stronger, faster and now a collegiate student-athlete. The two girls look the same; the only difference is the school on their singlet. They have the same face, same form, same thumb-under-the-index-finger, same love for running and—of course—the same semi-relaxed look when they see the team photographer. 

If only the girl on the top knew her capabilities and who she could become with a combination of hard work and persistence. The girl on the bottom is strong as ever, because the girl on the top motivates her. She remembers why she’s a runner; she remembers everything she’s endured to become who she is today. If only the girl on the bottom could tell the girl on the top that her smile and her some determination could take her anywhere she wanted to go. 

The girl on the bottom is strong, but still has the same worries as the girl on the top once did: that she isn’t fast enough, experienced enough, strong enough or fit enough. But then she remembers that she is enough. She never runs alone; the girl on the top is always with her and cheers her on with every step she takes. No matter what the clock says, in the end, the girl on the top watches, in amazement and awe that she made it to the starting line in the first place.

“Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

Steve Prefontaine

When I first saw the bottom image from my race at the Watts Invitational in Edinboro, PA, I immediately thought of one of my favorite pictures from running in high school. When I looked at these images, I couldn’t help but reflect on how different a person I am today, yet my passion remains, as do my worries. I started running cross country my senior year in high school, the year of the first picture. Girls surrounded me who had ran since childhood, as well as girls relatively new to the sport but with seemingly natural talent. I couldn’t help comparing myself to those girls. But one of the greatest lessons I have learned since is that running is about your personal progress. Each runner has a different journey. I’m still shocked I’m on a team at all; the fact that I am now running more than 12 minutes faster than the first race I ever ran shows that I am doing something right. 

Am I the best? No. But I am doing my best, and that IS good enough. 

I’ll never become a record-breaking runner who makes headlines or one who makes people say, wow, she’s fast. But I am better than before, and I know I can become even better. What’s more, I do it all with a smile on my face; my smile keeps me going. In a sport like cross country, it is incredibly difficult not to compare yourself to others, because that is the nature of the sport. If you beat someone, that means you’re faster than them. Your time equals your performance and your speed on one given day, but it is important to not get caught up in what the clock says. 

Because the clock doesn’t say how long I’ve been running, or how many miles I ran during the summer or how much I’ve cried over my sport. The clock doesn’t show the expectations that I’m afraid I won’t meet. The clock shows one thing: time. But that’s just one thing. I can’t let a number define me. A number does not define my self-worth: I do.  

No matter what the clock says, the true measure of my performance and abilities IS how I feel about my own performance, which is something I’m still learning. The whole reason I started running in the first place was because I liked it and thought it was fun; I still run today for that reason, not for validation from a clock. Writing things like this helps remind me of why I make time for this sport day in, day out, and of what I can take from it long after I step to the line with “Bonnies” across my chest for the final time. I can bring these things to my job and hopefully show them to my future students and athletes when I am a teacher or a coach. 

It is also important as an athlete to have an identity outside of the sport, because athletics do not last forever. I am not only a runner, but also a writer, reader, musician, dog lover, friend, daughter, sister, future teacher and lifelong learner. This is my first year writing for The Intrepid, and one thing I hope to gain from my experience is to learn more about myself while conveying my thoughts and feelings to others in a relatable way. 

If you have made it this far, I sincerely appreciate your time, and I only hope you find something meaningful in my stream of consciousness. 

Don’t forget to smile today. 

(Iris Archer is a feature contributor to The Intrepid and a junior cross-country and track runner for St. Bonaventure University.)

Top photo courtesy RunningWorksPics 2018. Bottom photo courtesy GoBonnies 2021.

Welcome to the new Intrepid

By Nic Gelyon

Hello, I’m Nic. I’m going to be the news editor for The Intrepid this coming year, working alongside incoming editor-in-chief Anthony Goss.

You may not know what The Intrepid is. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better if you don’t. If that is the case, please allow me to introduce you. 

But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself. 

The first thing you should know about me— I’m currently sitting and writing this piece from the cluttered upstairs space that once was my childhood bedroom. I’m not sure how I ever called home this mess of a room, or how I was ever productive within its four-ish walls. 

For a long time, this room was a microcosm of my life: Messy and cluttered. But I began to learn the art of prioritization. My definition of prioritization is to focus on the things that matter—and clear the mind of things (and people) that don’t. 

Second— I love talking to people. One of my favorite pastimes is hearing others’ perspectives on life and learning from the stories they tell.  

Recently, I’ve noticed it’s better to be positive or say nothing at all than to be negative and bring everyone down. I’m lucky that most of the interactions I have in any given day are 99 percent positive. That’s a very good thing when talking to people is your job. 

Third— I’ve always had a knack for producing stuff. When I was a kid, I wanted to produce a documentary on the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, NY, so I shot footage of cows, and carnival rides, and ice cream stands. I bought stock music. I was going to produce my doc with Windows Movie Maker (throwback to Windows XP). 

I still want to go back and finish it, but I can never find the time. 

Other random things: I’m a struggling vegetarian. I’m a football addict. I’m an up-and-coming jazz pianist and drummer. And I don’t take myself too seriously.  

However, I am serious about journalism. That’s where The Intrepid enters the chat. Let me explain. 

When I first arrived at St. Bonaventure, I certainly wasn’t thinking, man, I’m going to be news editor for The Intrepid someday. Woo! 

In fact, I wasn’t thinking at all about the many opportunities of which I would eventually take advantage during my first year at St. Bonaventure. That’s the amazing part about being a journalist at Bonas: there are so many options and so many ways to develop our craft. 

At that point, I only knew was I wanted to make a difference. 

I was introduced to The Intrepid at the annual campus Club Fair, an event where each club receives a fold-up table, some poster board, and an open mic to tell students about themselves. I, looking for journalism outlets, stumbled upon The Intrepid, and former editor-in-chief Jeff Uveino (who now works for the Bradford Era).  

Jeff’s message was clear: write what you want to, whenever you want to.  

And while that remains at the heart of everything The Intrepid stands for, I always felt something was missing within that message. There was some missing code that would unlock greatness in what we do.  

I realize now that “What you want, whenever you want” is far too selfish an approach. That’s why the secret sauce to our approach will be to care about others as well, because that’s ultimately what serious journalism boils down to.  

Don’t get me wrong, we’ll have fun. The more fun we have doing our job, the more content we’ll bring you. We’ll be creative, too. I’ll be reaching out to every single person who wants to try something new. I want to talk to them and learn from them.   

“I realize now that ‘What you want, whenever you want’ is far too selfish an approach.”

— Nic Gelyon

But, first and foremost, we are going to care about you, the audience. 

We’ll care about you as much as I’ll care about the stories I write and edit, as much as I still care about that documentary I tried to create when I was 14. In other words—you are the priority. Because you matter. 

And I assure you, our writers, photographers, and content creators will feel the same. 

I don’t know what this year will look like. I don’t know how big our staff will be, what types of projects we’ll get ourselves into, or what forms of content we’ll deliver to you. 

But I am certain about one thing: We’ll have the secret sauce. (Actually—the secret sauce is just barbeque and mustard.) 

Talk to y’all soon, 


COLUMN: Uveino says goodbye to Intrepid, SBU

By Jeff Uveino

The weather matched the collective mood of the campus community.

As clouds leaked rain across the Southern Tier of Western New York, St. Bonaventure University sat in disbelief over the previous day’s decision.

It was a Monday, and the calendar read March 14, 2016. My first visit to SBU.

The day before, an NCAA selection committee decided to leave the Bona men’s basketball team out of its championship tournament field. Despite a 22-8 record and a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title, the committee excluded the Bonnies from March Madness.

“The snub,” as Bona fans now commonly refer to the incident.

To my parents and I, however, the disservice done to this private, Franciscan university of about 2,000 undergraduates located 75 miles south of Buffalo didn’t matter much.

We were there to learn about the university’s journalism school. Not its basketball sob story.

Each person we met mentioned the snub. It was as if a hammer had been dropped on the head of the school’s soul. The pain radiated from each passer-by, a campus community dumbfounded over the exclusion of its beloved Bonnies.

It’s not that we didn’t care. We just didn’t understand.

Five years later, I spent March 14 sitting court-side at University of Dayton Arena.

There, the Bonnies played VCU for the 2021 A-10 men’s basketball championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The six-hour drive to Dayton to watch the game? A small ask for myself and the dozens of Bona students that will become lifelong friends.

After all, that dreary post-snub visit to campus had all but convinced me to attend the university’s Jandoli School of Communication. With that decision came an abundance of professional opportunities, including covering that A-10 final for student media.

The Bonnies beat VCU handily. 

On the outside, objectivity fueled my stoic demeanor from the media section. My heart, however, filled with a sense of pride that could only be matched by the hundreds of Bonnies fans that scrambled toward the court to join the celebration.

Five years prior, those moments would have meant nothing. Now, the image of the confetti-laden, on-court celebration will stay with me forever.

That’s the impact that St. Bonaventure University has on its family members.

It’s hard to find the words to describe the school’s dynamic to those who haven’t attended. SBU alumni refer to the community as a family, while outsiders often prefer the term “cult.”

I still remember the guide that led my parents and I through that rainy, downtrodden tour over five years ago. He and I shared a drink over the matter a few years later.

I could write dozens of cliches to convey my love for SBU, but have been taught better than to do so.

All I can say is that the best four years of my life have been spent in the Enchanted Mountains. Thank you to every single person who has made that statement possible.

Writer, activist and revolutionary: remembering Eldridge Cleaver

By Akim Hudson

“You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.” –Eldridge Cleaver 

No one is ever certain of where life will take them, nor how our respective experiences will construct our future. There are countless anecdotes of people throughout history that rearranged the trajectory of their lives after initially starting their life immersed in utter dismay.  

Eldridge Cleaver would also become one who completely rearranged his life for the better. As a juvenile, trouble always managed to find Cleaver.

Cleaver would spend a majority of his adolescence committing crimes. Some were relatively petty, such as possession of marijuana and bike theft. Others were unjustifiable and impermissible, like rape, and assault with intentions of murder. 

Needless to say, Cleaver needed to be reeled in, or at least find a refuge to get his mind right. And after being sent to two reform schools within his youth and not showing any indication(s) of rehabilitation, he would be sent to the big boys. While serving a two-year sentence at Soledad Prison, he wrote his most notable classic, Soul on Ice, which in the words of Cleaver, details, “What it [means] to be Black in white America”. 

 A year after serving that two-year bid, Cleaver was sentenced to 2-15 years in San Quentin prison for the rapes, assaults and trafficking of marijuana that he committed. Then, amid his transition from San Quentin to Folsom, he converted to Islam like his idol, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), and wrote a proposal to Beverly Axelrod, a lawyer, for a potential parole plea. 

As another good deed besides getting Cleaver out of prison and on parole, Axelord also assisted on getting Cleaver’s essays that formulated into Soul on Ice published.  

Upon Cleaver’s release in 1966, he’d become allies with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, co-founders of the Black Panther Party. He’d become the minister of the party shortly after befriending Newton and Seale. But unfortunately, all that was brewing whilst being a member of the Black Panther Party was a whole heap of trouble.

If you know anything about the Black Panther Party, you’d know that they were a militant organization, and prided themselves on being the front line of defense of the Black community in Oakland because the police in Oakland were notorious for brutalizing and oppressing Blacks.

So, one day, there was a shootout between the Black Panther Party and the Oakland Police Department. Obviously, a parolee cannot partake in shootouts, so after being identified as one of the people responsible for the wounding of an officer, Cleaver fled to Algeria, where he’d restart his life again.  

When he returned to the United States, Cleaver was the polar opposite of himself. A Christian, in fact. The radicalism of Cleaver was merely a thing of the past. He was slowly becoming a shell of himself, and battled with addiction, and out of respect to him and his spirit, I won’t get into the semantics.  

Cleaver died in 1998, and may have rubbed many people the wrong way with his radicalism and tainted past. But, what some may view as a notorious criminal, I view a revolutionary who released one of the most important pieces of literature in Afro-American history.

I see the man that said, “If you are not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem,” and, “The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.”

These are powerful sentiments that are pertinent to any era in history.  

Hero and role model? Perhaps not, but all things considered, Eldridge Cleaver left his mark on revolution, as he intended to.  

Black Hero of the Day: Shirley Chisholm

By Akim Hudson

“Reagan is the prez but I voted for Shirley Chisholm”-Biz Markie 

For someone to accomplish all that Shirley Chisholm achieved in her lifetime, she is relatively under-appreciated historically and culturally.  

The Brooklyn-born Democrat was the eldest of four daughters. Chisholm was the offspring of two immigrant parents: a Guyanese father and a Barbadian mother, to be specific. Her father, Charles, was a factory worker, and her mother, Ruby, was a seamstress. So, as you can see, Shirley Chisholm came from humble beginnings, and speaking from experience as one from humble beginnings, it builds character and ambition that could never be wavered.

Something indicative of Chisholm’s tenacity was graduating cum laude from Brooklyn College in 1946. She would garner acclaim on the college’s debate team, and many professors egged her on to pursue a career in politics, but Chisholm humbly dismissed the compliments and suggestions due to being at the major disadvantage of being both a woman and Black in the United States of America.

In 1951, Chisholm would receive her master’s degree in childhood education from Columbia University, whilst being a nursery school teacher. Come 1960, Chisholm was an advisor for the New York City of Day Care. But Chisholm stayed busy in politics simultaneously, becoming a colleague, member and advocate of a phalanx of sociopolitical coalitions, such as the League of Women Voters, NAACP (Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and the Democratic Party club in Bedford-Stuyvesest, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

In 1964, Chisholm became the second Black member of the New York State Legislature and was very active and progressive during her time in the house. Cultivating advancements in unemployment benefits by making them accessible to domestic workers, and sponsoring the SEEK program (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) to New York State, providing an opportunity for disenfranchised students to go to college. 

Though Chisholm was proactive and made her impact be known while a member of the legislature, it would only be a matter of time before she would pursue an even bigger role in politics. In 1968, Chisholm’s legend would be solidified, as she became the first Black woman elected to Congress. Almost immediately, Chisholm was effective, as she always was at every stage of her adult life. Contributing to the expansion of food stamp programs, essential in the creation of WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children), and frankly too many to list, needless to say, Chisholm had her fingerprints all over reform, progression and advocation for marginalized peoples.  

And to add on top of the legend of Chisholm, in 1972, she ran for president. She wasn’t allowed the access to participate in nationally televised primary debates, and only allowed to recite one single speech. Inevitably, she lost.

In 1982, Chisholm retired from Congress and resumed her life as an educator, being named the Purington Chair at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, an all-women’s institution. This gave her the leeway to educate in an array of departments while not being a member of one specific department. SOON, Chisholm was back contributing to and cultivating more coalitions for marginalized peoples. In 1984, Chisholm and C. Delores Tucker created the National Congress of Black Women; and in 1990, Chisholm was at the forefront of fifteen other colleagues who co-founded African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom. 

At this point, you’re probably wondering, when is the limit? When will Chisholm finally have time to herself and relax? It’d be shortly after her last hoorah in the co-founding of the African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom in 1991. Unfortunately, due to withering health conditions, Chisholm would decline President Clinton’s nomination to become the United States Ambassador of Jamaica in 1993, but on a good note, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and rightfully so. There aren’t many people that I can think of that was as versatile in activism as Chisholm. Such a long career with all the credentials, acclaim, and impact to show for it.  

Though she died in 2005, Chisholm’s legacy than is larger than life and is certainly a tough act to follow. To do this much and be as underrated as Shirley Chisholm is, should be a damn crime, honestly. Peace to the spirit of this queen and all of her contributions.   

Black Hero of the Day: Gil Scott-Heron

By Akim Hudson

Another year has come to pass, which means that another Black History Month is in effect. 

Within this month, long reflection and observation of excellence, eminence and significance of a phalanx of Black figures, who have not yet been emblazoned to the extent in which they should. This series will include entertainers, activists in all departments, political advocates, artists, athletes and pop culture icons.  

Today’s Black hero is Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron was a poet, pro-Black human rights activist, jazz artist and soul artist. In short—Scottt-Heron was a jack of all trades. Before elaborating on Scott-Heron’s influences that made him an unsung hero and legend, let’s first take a brief gander into Scott-Heron’s life and upbringing.  

Scott-Heron was brought up in the destitute town of Lincoln, Tennessee before moving to the Bronx, which would quickly become his home and where he’d flourish. 

In his adolescence, Scott-Heron began to put together a collection of his poems and writings, and by the age of 19, he wrote his first novel, The Vulture

The motifs utilized in this murder mystery were drug abuse in the Black community and the hardships caused by it, which would become the basis on which Scott-Heron built upon for the rest of his 40-year career. After Scott-Heron’s ensuing college departure from Lincoln, he would release an array of conscious masterpieces, and this is where the legend of Gil Scott-Heron began.  

His debut album, New Black Poet Small Talk at 125th and Lennox, would feature some of his most popular, influential (and personal favorite) spoken word poems. Comment #1, a verbal onslaught on the farce of what the United States considers liberty. The Revolution Will Not Televised, which Scott-Heron applies pressure for all revolutionaries to enact on reform urgently, to not be complacent and wait for what the media  may tell you is going on. 

And, lastly, Whitey On The Moon, heavily criticizing the gratuitous spending by the United States government amid great desolation of the United States.  

Scott-Heron would solidify his legacy with his legacy with the release of Pieces of A Man in 1971, with his most famous song, Home Is Where The Hatred Is. Detailing the inner-conflict of a broken addict within in a broken home. How running away from your home doesn’t negate one’s problems. 

Supplying the masses with an unadulterated perspective on the life a majority of Blacks were living in the 60s and 70s.  

Scott-Heron has been dubbed as “The Godfather of Hip-Hop” due to the subject matter in which he wrote about and his cadences whilst uttering his lyrics. The art reflects the environment of the artist, what Scott-Heron innovated was vulnerability on a song, without having to be a great vocalist. 

This is a foundation of early hip-hop music, and has been used ever since. Due to Scott-Heron’s ability to express the state of the urban Black community within the era of post Dr. Martin Luther King and early Black Panther party he garnered notoriety and acclaim that lasted throughout his 40-year career.  

Though Scott-Heron has often been sampled and alluded to in many classic hip-hop tracks, kudos to Kanye West mostly, he remains a relatively unknown musical genius and poet.

His work and legacy is esoteric for the most part, but the offspring of such has been a beautiful thing to witness come into fruition. May Scott-Heron’s legacy live on infinitely.