Over my time at Millsaps, I have submitted to the Stylus, been accepted, and witnessed the lack of diversity in the annual magazine. The Stylus was a compilation of work by the editor’s senior creative friends, oftentimes selected by those same senior friends. (I say that knowing I was one of the editor’s creative friends last year on the Editorial Board) Not only was I one of the few, if only person of color whose work graced the pages of the Stylus, but I was also one of the few underclassmen. My goal as editor was to not only increase the diversity of the contributors of color and classes, but also diversity of thought. I wanted to branch out to others in different communities who may have a different perspective from me to help me choose the pieces for this edition in order to create a literary and art magazine that was truly representative of our campus. I think I reached that goal. In this edition of the magazine, we have 40 works, 3 of those being exclusive to the website, and 25 contributors. Of those 25 contributors, 14 identify as people of color. We have 7 freshmen, 7 sophomores, 6 juniors, and 5 seniors. Although this is not an amazing representation of diversity, it is a start.
As you read this magazine, I hope you enjoy the different literary pieces about the mundane and the fantastical. I hope you enjoy the films covering topics such as #blacklivesmatter and sexism. I hope you appreciate the art displaying recreational drinking, sexism or genitalia. As you may have noticed, the cover of this edition is a digital image which is part of Sophie Fairbairn’s series, “Shimmer in the Gravel.” What you may not know is that her image is of a Jackson pothole, something frustrating and damaging that she used to create art out of – which I felt best represented this collection of student pieces. In this edition, we have different types of science and pre-health majors writing beautiful poetry, capturing fascinating photos, and drawing skillful images. We have a welder with wonderful craftsmanship and an artistic eye. We have business majors with digital art skills or a knack for crafting personal essays. We have people from all corners of campus submitting their amazing pieces and creating a beautiful body of work that you can find here.
Reader, I hope when you read these pieces you get a better sense of what it means to be a Millsapian. I hope you see the talent and creativity of each and every student, not just those majoring in creative disciplines. I hope this magazine makes you proud to attend this school, and I hope it makes you even prouder of each other. I created this magazine with you in mind. I hope you enjoy it.
It has been an honor to serve as editor-in-chief of the Stylus.
Love & Best Wishes,
Leah Nicole Whitcomb