THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | More Than A Month: Black History Being Made

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by black people and their role in history. Since 1976, February has been designated Black History Month, not only in the USA, but in countries around the world- including Canada and the United Kingdom. When thinking about celebrating Black History Month, public figures such as Nelson Mandela and Oprah immediately come to mind. But I wondered if we could broaden that list of black heroes and include those ordinary people who are making or have made giant leaps in their communities, those working internationally to make change on a global scale, and those that were making history long before the Civil Rights Movement. There are so many hidden figures that need to be on everyone’s lips throughout the year.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | “Power is power”: What “Game of Thrones” can teach us about politics

Millions of Americans have been affected by the government shutdown, and many workers’ livelihoods are at the mercy of the decisions of powerful elites. While witnessing the news about the American government shutdown, another shutdown occurred in my home country of Zimbabwe. On the week of January 15th, the Zimbabwean government blocked internet access throughout the country in response to protests. Even when the internet was switched back on a few days later, Gmail and certain popular social media sites such as WhatsApp and Facebook were blocked in the country. As an international student who was in America when all this was happening, I felt powerless.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | An Alternative to Paying for Textbooks at Cornell

Here is a secret I have never shared with anyone: I haven’t paid for textbooks since sophomore year. I’m a senior this year. If you are taking four or five classes a semester, it’s more than likely that each of those classes has at least three required books. With the cost of textbooks ranging from $20 to $200, the bill for books alone piles up. After getting fed up with paying up to $500 a semester for books I never used again after the semester was over, I devised a plan on how I could spend as little as possible on books.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | The Crossing: Child of the Soil

A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to the generous farmer~ Ghanaian Proverb

Ava’s strongest memory of her father was the day he left. Memory is a weird thing, Ava thought as her toothbrush slowly crept into the inside of her jaws. It’s bristles were running out of power. She made a mental note to leave it in the sun to recharge when they landed. Do I have more of my father in me?

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | The Crossing: Matatu in the A.M.

Part II: Matatu in the A.M
“By the time the fool has learned the game, the other players have dispersed.”- Ashanti proverb

Vacant eyes stared past Ava and onto some unseen distance. Her mother, Charity, sat in a rocking chair in the common area near the staircase. She had been this way since Jamal’s funeral. Sometimes she cracked a smile. There was something very innocent and childlike about her smile, as if she didn’t have full control of her facial muscles anymore.


The Crossing is a micronovel in the genre of Afrofuturism written in honor of Black History Month. It will be published in excerpts every second Wednesday.  

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”- African proverb


Ava’s Bitmoji hovered above her Google Maps, fading in and out of sight with a buzz. She shook her phone and the glitchy hologram reappeared and pointed a finger towards a building up ahead.  

“Good job finding it, Avamoji,” she said, high-fiving her Bitmoji.


Cornell has some great off-campus programs to offer, one of them being Cornell in Washington. This program offers students the opportunity to live, study and work in Washington, D.C., which means you get to kill three birds with one stone by earning Cornell credits, getting work experience and touristing. My schedule in DC for this semester involves working full-time Monday to Wednesday and then taking classes on Thursdays and Fridays on the first floor of the dorm. Once all my homework assignments and readings are done, I’m left with a lot of free time on my hands. Unlike Ithaca, where my friends and I always complain about not having enough hangout spots, there is always something going on every day in DC, so you don’t have to scratch your head and dig through the snow to find something fun to do.

The Elephant in the Room | How to Survive On A Budget While Studying Abroad or Off-Campus

A lot of students choose the spring semester to study abroad or take advantage of off-campus opportunities such as Cornell in Washington. As an international student, I’ve essentially been “studying abroad” since freshman year but this spring I decided to take a break from the Ithaca cold while also getting work experience and Cornell credits by participating in the Cornell in Washington Program. While an off-campus experience is enriching and is for many the best semester of your four years at Cornell, it can take a toil on the pocket.  Living a week in DC and also sharing tips with my friends that are studying abroad this semester, here are some of the ways I’ve managed to save while making the most of my time away from Ithaca. Cook More

Buying groceries, cooking and eating out once in a while helps to reduce the amount spent on food monthly.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | 21 Years Living Under a Dictatorship

On November 15, the military took over my country’s main broadcasting station, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation, and announced that it had put our president of 37 long years under house arrest. A week later on the 21st, President Mugabe turned in his resignation letter just as the impeachment process in Parliament began. I watched all this from my dorm room, terrified that the bloodshed and pillage that I had seen in other countries like Syria, Somalia and Egypt had come to my home. I feared for the safety of my family back home. The army, however, was quick to put out the disclaimer that its actions were not a coup and news from my family, friends, and other countrymen mirrored these sentiments.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | A Guide to 7 Black Beauty Products and Where to Find Them

For international students, moving to a new country with a different language and culture takes a big adjustment and relearning of social cues. One of the biggest worries as a black international student is whether or not you will find beauty products that cater to your hair texture and that understand your skin. In my home country I had centered my skin and hair care routine around products that I couldn’t find in any USA store. This meant I needed to start the daunting search for new products that would be compatible with my skin and hair type. I didn’t really know what would work on me or have any reference point.