It’s the smallest of words that can either hurt you or save you. It’s the power that one has to create meaning and the ability to not only share opinion, but also paint pictures with letters across a page. Having the capability to write one’s judgment and have it not only be said, but heard is a privilege, one that up until October 2011, for the minority on this campus was non-existent.
Kwame Belle, a recent graduate of Oswego State, gave our minority that opportunity by creating The Voice. The Voice, a gift to the Black Student Union, is an online magazine, dedicated but not limited to the minority of Oswego State. In transferring to our university Belle realized that there were no real outlets for people of color to share, speak, or be heard on campus.
“We were constantly misrepresented or just downright ignored,” Belle said. Beginning this outlet was no class assignment, or quick way to become “the man on campus” but out of sheer passion, passion driven by fearlessness and a need for results. Even with the media outlets offered on campus, Belle realized students of color had a lack of articles and there was generality within the stories to said students.
In a school where diversity is so strongly suggested, it is easy to see how that suggestion is in some ways subjective. The Voice is an outlet that challenges the ideas of students of all color to write, record and express whatever it is that they feel. There are so many students on campus that feel strongly about different things and want to have their thoughts in different forms of writing published for eyes to see yet fail to make it. With The Voice, failing is never an option.
A lot of time we speak, and are heard but not necessarily listened to. With The Voice, there is such a variety of both culture and insight that the only thing to do is become entrapped in the verses of your very own peers. We have such genuinely talented people on this campus and The Voice is that outlet for discovery. The Voice is the outlet to finally openly write and say what you want loud and clear.
As a minority on campus and now editor of The Voice, Belle’s visions have come to life. Students of color now have a media outlet to finally be heard. Our first step is to speak.
Kiana St. Louis
Junior, Oswego State