Harmonizing to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love,” members of Azure stood in a curved line on the stage in Susie’s. The audience enjoyed free cookies and brownies as the Azure members transitioned smoothly into their next song, Beyonce’s “Independent Woman.”
According to Jane Park ’22, a member of Azure, the a capella group chose songs by Beyonce, who they recognized as a significant figure for female empowerment, to align with the core theme of BOSS magazine, Andover’s student-run feminist publication. Azure’s performance was one of many featured at the launch party for the magazine’s first issue of the year, held this past Sunday at Susie’s.
Zoeё Sylvester-Chin, one of the editors-in-chief, said, “[The launch party] was a lot of planning. I’d say a lot of the fun was in the student performances, so we had a mixture of singing groups and dancing groups on campus, as well as people actually reading pieces that they wrote for BOSS, so that was really fun. The BOSS t-shirts this term — we’re actually hand-making them, so that was something that took up a lot of time but it was super fun.”
This issue’s theme was masculinity. Students were able to submit stories, poems, reflections, and other literary works on the topic. According to Chin, each issue of the magazine will feature one central theme.
“It seemed like a nice one to kick off our sort of revamp with BOSS, because it’s something that a lot of people have a lot of thoughts about. Especially in today’s political opinion, you see a lot of things that are the result of toxic masculinity, and we talk a lot about masculinity at [Andover] — so like with the programming that they did for different grades like ‘The Mask You Live In,’ stuff like that. So it’s definitely something that members of the community have sort of thought about,” said Max Davis ’19, associate editor-in-chief of BOSS.
Along with the launch of the BOSS “zines”, or mini-magazines, soloists and groups performed at the event. Abby Ndikum ’20 performed a spoken word poem titled “A Letter to My Future Son,” in which Ndikum expressed her thoughts on toxic masculinity.
“I wrote this poem during winter term of last year when I was going through a lot, mentally. I enjoy writing and find it to be an outlet to release my feelings. The main challenge with my poem was the use of the N-word. It contributed to the message of my poem, but I know many people have different thoughts and opinions about its use,” said Ndikum ’20.
The launch party served both as an opportunity to showcase BOSS Magazine’s new issue as well as a place where students who didn’t know much about the club and its cause could learn more about it.
“I heard about the event about fifteen minutes before it started from my peer tutee, who’s a member of Azure. I went knowing I had friends in the club, and I wanted to show my support. Little was I expecting such an extravagant event with several talented performers and groups, a solid food selection, good-looking merch, and a photo booth. It was a great atmosphere to mingle and meet new people,” said attendee Logan McLennan ’19.