Every month is Black History Month because Black history is American history.
Black slaves who began revolutions like Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Jemmy, Gabriel, and many others who pushed through degrading labels with the bravery of 1000 soldiers, are some of the forefathers and foremothers of the unyielding nature of African Americans. Black inventors and scientists, far too many to name, who’ve created thousands of everyday household items, industrial machinery, toys, and games, and have even created mathematic equations in order to aid the Apollo 11 spaceship to land on the moon amongst many other feats, as symbols of brilliance persevering. And countless other accomplishments attained over hundreds of years. The mastery continues to this day, by champion, Black athletes like Gabby Douglas, Usain Bolt, and Lebron James, Black leaders in office like Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, and Black innovators gracing their college campuses with academic excellence like Julian Crosby.
Sophomore from Jacksonville, Florida Julian Crosby has amassed multiple successes and titles as a black male at the predominantly white University of Miami. In his 2 years at The U, Crosby thrives in student government as a tour guide and as a part of What Matters To U and he is a Ronald A. Hammond full-ride academic scholar. He’s also an associate producer and host on UMTV’s black-led news station The Culture where he also works in the control room, manages the floor cameras and lights, works on studio operations, works as the ground manager, edits videos, and formulates episodes. He’s an on-air talent for a UMTV The Culture segment called Hella Shade, UMTV’s Social Media Chair, and the founder of National Association of Black Journalists’ magazine: The Gravity Magazine. With Crosby’s major and minor in motion pictures and international studies, Julian hopes to venture into creative/screenwriting with his goals pertaining to create and develop films and television pieces that focus on global politics and international issues.
Expanding to other art forms, Crosby also has a passion for comedic release-type entertainment as well. Crosby is determined to create a piece of work that exhibits black messages comparable to that of the popular black entertainment television show Insecure.
“One day I hope to become an executive producer, start off as a staff writer, and produce a scripted comedy following in the likes of Isa Rae with Insecure.”
A show that spreads a serious and important message about the social and racial issues that relate to the many different types of black experiences in America. Crosby’s respect for the show stems from the fact that the show is relatable, and it isn’t overly corny whilst attempting to portray a social justice personna for the entirety of the show like Kenya Barris’ Black-Ish and Grown-Ish. Therefore, while ensuring a positive story is told for the future of black television, rather than the traumatic experiences our ancestors have lived and prevailed through, Crosby’s objective is to show the good of black history and livelihood. That it is more than just blood, tears, and captivity.
“I want to focus on entertainment that focuses on black peace rather than our trauma.”
Crosby’s aspirations grew from his childhood. With Julian’s father serving in the military, Julian and his family lived in many different places, and Julian was able to experience many different environments and people. Due to his nomad-like upbringing, was able to see people for what makes them different and appreciate that difference. He cherished those differences rather than minimized them.
“meeting all these people made me want to create a safe space where everyone could feel comfortable.” and this feeling grew into his ultimate idea to found and create Gravity Magazine.
Being part of a predominantly white school, as many minorities experience, makes feeling at home and safe while in attendance difficult. There are indeed school clubs and organizations, events, and appreciation weeks, but compared to the entire college atmosphere which is dominatingly white, the black voice is often either intentionally or unintentionally shaded by the massive white populace. Julian, in his observations of such, had an idea to create the school’s first black publication, Gravity Magazine. In view of the hard times that UM’s students faced upon the racist slandering of the University of Miami’s College Republicans club during the zoom scandal of 2020, other UM students who attempted to organize a Trump rally on campus, a group of racist students who blatantly and in ignorance, protested a black-led protest for Black Lives Matter with their own Blue Lives Matter gathering, and the many other injustices that took place during BLM2020 over the summer, Crosby felt that the Black students at UM had many feelings to express without an appropriate outlet provided if any. Many students, including myself, have experienced forced silence in classrooms, in offices, or while talking to school officials when bringing up racial issues within the school. And a number of us have experienced racists acts towards us, if not in person, then online. Gravity Magazine gives Black students at UM the opportunity to express themselves in the uniquely black way that no other publication on campus has before.
“This summer made me realize that I didn’t want to wait my turn, Black people have power in their voice and I wanted to create something for us by us. Gravity is targeted to write about black love, people, culture, entertainment, everything Black.”
In regards to self-Black-love: “ I spent a lot of my youth not fully accepting the color of my skin. I’m not prepositioned to want to celebrate myself because of this society.”
Black people need protection, respect, and celebration. A safe space is needed. Gravity Magazine not only offers that safe space but celebrates Black skin, Black cultures, Black people. For all those young, Black boys and girls who felt out of place, ugly, undesirable, not good enough, or too Black, Gravity’s community grants the safe space to express and heal from such toxic thoughts, and it was well-needed on UM’s campus, even in 2021.
With a head full of dreams, aspirations, and goals, as well as maintaining good grades as a full-time student on the honor roll and a full-ride scholarship, these tasks sound dreadfully tedious.
“ I fully commit my time to what I really want to commit in, at the end of it you have to choose what you really want to put your time. I definitely had to leave some stuff, but at the end of the day what actually elevates you after college is what matters. I manage my time very well. Wednesdays are all about time management and finding things to decompress. After that, I’m ready to get back to work.”
And of course, the people who helped and continue to be by Julian’s side aren’t forgotten.
“We get feedback and advising from professor Tsitsi Wakhisi, she’s been a tremendous help. I also got help from Jada Graham executive producer of UMTV’s The Culture and President of NABJ Morgan Threatt. I want to credit all of the people I’m working with. Gravity is made up of the most brilliant photographers, videographers, and writers and Gravity would not be here without their contributions. I’m indebted to all of my friends, peers, and colleagues.”
Every month is Black History Month because Black history is American history.
And if it cannot be fathomed that Black Americans have built and continue to build this nation with no form of aid or privilege, just pure talent, perseverance, and intelligence, then there is still a lot of American history that needs to be taught.
I want everyone to remember the importance of Black history and the future Black people continue to generate. Many of UM’s black students that you may call your class peers, roommates, and friends, all have culturally unique stories; Different journeys that brought them to UM. And when these various students surpassed all obstacles, aced those exams, and were successful in their admittance into one of this nation’s top 50 universities, you better believe we made our mark.
And remember this, if Black students can sit through thirteen years of white history class, then sitting through this article shouldn’t be too hard. Right?