A Continuing Conversation: The Hispaniola Effect

by The Cowl Editor on April 4, 2019


Students Celebrate Hispanic Heritage in Moore Hall

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Providence College students gathered in Moore Hall on March 27 to discuss and learn about the Hispaniola Effect. The event was put on by both the Board of Programmers (BOP) and the Afro-Caribbean Association, and it allowed students to share and learn about the island that is home to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  

They started the conversation talking about the two parts of the island of Hispaniola, and where people tend to go when they emigrate from Haiti or the Dominican Republic to the United States.  

Kingsley Metelus ’21 is one of the members of both BOP and the Afro-Caribbean Association who put on this event. When speaking, Metelus emphasized that the purpose of the event was to “celebrate the culture” of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic here in the United States, and more specifically here on the PC campus.  


According to both campus organizations, the intent behind having events like the Hispaniola Effect is to do exactly that. Moreover, these events are meant to “emphasize unity” among students at PC as well as to get these students to “continue the conversation” when they leave the event.  

There was a sense of camaraderie among students in the room, and the concept of continuing the conversation seemed to be promising. Moore Hall hosts many events like the Hispaniola Effect, and if the conversation from events like this one continues throughout campus, it may encourage a more diverse group to attend these events moving forward. 

The event also had food, a major draw at any event hosting students, and a few dance performances as well. The traditional dancing was accompanied by lively music,  making for a fun atmosphere in the room.  

Michelle Garcia, a student at University of Massachusetts-Lowell, performed as well, showcasing her own spoken word poetry. Garcia is a self-described “Afro-Latina poet,” and she describes that “one of the struggles of being Latina is that we can’t speak Spanish” when growing up in the United States. She went on to say, “people try to take away you being Dominican or you being Hispanic because you can’t speak your language.” Garcia channels these messages through her poem, “Letters From a Poet to Her Mother Tongue.”  

Garcia continued the conversation that began earlier in the night with the discussion of the history of Hispaniola. She showed that spoken word poetry is one way to keep the conversation going surrounding the island, and those who come to America from Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  

Metelus rounded out the event with a few poems about Haiti. The first poem, titled “Flight 1804,” consists of satirical guidelines for Haitians immigrating to the U.S., outlining the unfair opposition that immigrants face when entering the country. Another poem read by Metelus, “Black Magic,” addressed the stereotypes surrounding “voodoo” in Haitian culture.  

The Hispaniola Effect brought together a group on the PC campus to celebrate this island of Hispaniola, and to ensure that there is conversation about it here at PC.  

Green Book Wins Three Oscars

by The Cowl Editor on March 7, 2019

Film and Television

Peter Farrelly ’79 Triumphs With His Latest Film

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

At this year’s Oscars there was one standout movie that won in three categories. The categories were Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture, and the movie was Green Book.  

Green Book tells the story of Don Shirley, an African-American pianist who travels to the deep south to perform music in 1962, during the height of segregation.  Shirley enlists Tony Lip, a white Italian man from the Bronx, to drive him on this tour and serve as a bodyguard of sorts. The two men develop an unlikely friendship on their drive through the south, facing racism head on with a comic twist.  

The movie was named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guidebook used by African American travelers in the south during the Jim Crow era. Truth marries comedy in Green Book, which Vulture describes as a “fact-based, feel-good film” as the film touches on issues of racism in the deep south while remaining witty. 

Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Don Shirley. This is not his first major acting role, as Ali was on House of Cards for four seasons, and he won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Juan in the film Moonlight. After his role in Green Book, Ali went on to shoot for the HBO original, True Detective. However, following his Oscar win for Green Book, Ali told The Guardian that he will not be accepting new roles for the time being, claiming that, “You get to the point where you think: ‘If I were to accept the next thing I’d be throwing off the balance of my family.’” Even though Ali may not be returning to the big screen for a while, he has left his mark with Green Book.  

Another award-winner for Green Book was Peter Farrelly ’79 who co-wrote and directed the film. Farrelly accepted the award for Best Original Screenplay as well as the award for Best Picture. Farrelly even gave Rhode Island a shout-out in his acceptance speech.  


Farrelly has traditionally stuck to directing raunchy comedies, so this step into the world of drama was a change for him. It was also the first movie that he did not co-direct with his brother, Bobby Farrelly, with whom he directed movies such as Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself & Irene, and There’s Something About Mary. His success with Green Book, and these Oscars, opens a new door for Farrelly as he moves on in his career.  

The film received rave reviews before it won the Oscars. It was initially very well received at the Toronto Film Festival in September. The film has also received consistently high Rotten Tomatoes ratings since its release in November and currently has a 93 percent approval rating.  

The film was successful before it won three Oscars, and these Oscar wins have only solidified the fact that Green Book will be enjoyed by many for years to come.  

Free the Poet! Joel Francois Inspires PC Students

by The Cowl Editor on February 28, 2019


by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

On Feb. 20, Providence College hosted Joel Francois, a New York-based spoken word artist, for his Free the Poet! performance and dialogue. A group of students joined Francois as he shared his spoken word poetry, as well as during the Q&A session after the performance. 


Francois is an artist in his late 20s, originally from Brooklyn, New York. He emerged on the poetry scene and has gained more popularity within the past few years. While he is based in New York, Francois travels around to perform at colleges, workplaces, and other events. 

Culture Trip wrote an article about Francois, explaining, “Joel writes to remedy all of the wrongs in the world and expresses his unique voice by writing his reactions to what he sees in the world.” The article goes on to quote him, “I see a truly wounded world around me, and writing is how I medicate it.” 

On Wednesday night, PC’s Kingsley Metelus ’21 provided an opening performance featuring his original poems and an introduction for Francois. This was followed by a 45 minute performance by Francois himself. 

Francois’ set featured “poems about his family, love poems, and black poems” both because race plays a major role in his poems and in honor of Black History Month. Some of the poems he included were titled “Haiti,” “Interchangeable Parts,” and “Liars.” His poetry certainly carries his intended message, addressing the flaws of the world today through his melodic verse. 

After his performance, Francois sat with the group and candidly answered any questions the students had. When asked how he came up with the metaphors in his verse, Francois replied that that was not in fact the hard part for him. He went on to say, “For the most part my poems are grappling with complicated images, but I try my best to say it in the most simple language as possible.”  This reflects the message that he told through his poems for the entire night: he gave an honest message in simple language that addressed the real problems in the world today. 

He also gave out advice for anyone who asked him, telling the group that, “If you find yourself unable to write it might be just time to live,” encouraging students to go out and experience things, and then to use those experiences in their writing. 

Free the Poet! brought together PC students to listen to poetry and converse with Joel Francois. It was a great opportunity to listen to an up-and-coming poet and learn from him as well. 

Halftime Show

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019


The Slump Continues

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Going into the Super Bowl this year, there was a great deal of controversy surrounding the halftime show and the people who were performing in it. Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi all performed on Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the question is, did they surpass America’s expectations, or did the Super Bowl halftime slump continue? 


The overwhelming majority says yes, the slump has continued. Maroon 5 gave a bland performance with a few exciting interruptions from Travis Scott and Big Boi. The band played to their strengths by featuring hit songs such as “She Will Be Loved” and “Sugar” in their set, but the fan favorites did not make the performance anything special. 

As USA Today put it, “Maroon 5 managed to clear the hilariously low bar of not being the worst halftime show of all time.” In other words, they were nothing special, but at least they did not make things worse for the NFL. 

The lacking performance given by Maroon 5 may have been exactly what the NFL wanted this year. With the controversy surrounding their treatment of Colin Kaepernick and the stars who said no to performing at this year’s game, a mediocre show that did not draw much attention may have been their goal all along. 

Although appearances from Big Boi and Travis Scott redeemed the night  slightly, it was not enough to make this halftime show anything more than average. 

Fyre Festival: A Scam

by The Cowl Editor on February 7, 2019


by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

The idea: an epic party on a private island where normal people can mix with models and celebrities at a luxury music festival featuring their favorite musicians.  

The reality: attendees stranded on the Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas, scrambling to find a disaster relief tent, wondering where the thousands of dollars they paid had gone.  

The Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, exposes the founder of both the Fyre Festival and Fyre Media Inc., Billy McFarland, for his fraudulent behavior as well as the details of his downfall.  


Fyre began as a music booking app that would allow anyone to hire famous performers for an event, something that had never been done before. The original group working on the app was McFarland, Ja Rule, M. David Low, and Samuel Krost, which they promoted at the Web Summit of 2016. The intention behind the Frye Festival was to promote the app. Meanwhile, McFarland took this idea and ran with it. 

A key factor in McFarland’s deception was the promotion for the event. The promo video intended to sell tickets by featuring models such as Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber on the island, suggesting that anyone who came to the festival would get to swim in the clear blue waters with models. Hadid and Bieber, along with others such as Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and 250 social media influencers and celebrities, posted an orange tile when the promotional video came out with a link to purchase tickets in their captions.  

If anything can be learned from this, it is the power of social media. The producer of the famous promotional video that put Fyre on the map, Brett Kincaid, stated it was “selling a dream, selling a vacation, selling a concept.” 

Jerry Media controlled the social media for the event until it became clear that McFarland was unable to make Fyre live up to what he had promised. At the end of the documentary, an employee from Jerry Media mused how “a couple of powerful models posting an orange tile is what built this festival.” 

This does not mean that the models are responsible for people losing thousands of dollars or for the damages caused by McFarland’s deception. As one Fyre Media employee contemplated, “How could we ask the models to have the kind of awareness about the festival that I myself didn’t have being an employee of Fyre Media?” Although these celebrities were not directly responsible, it is a testament to how much influence celebrities have and how powerful this influence can be when channeled through social media.  

McFarland was charged with, and pleaded guilty to,  two counts of wire fraud in March 2018 and will spend six years in jail. Many people have called him a psychopath after learning of his actions leading up to the Fyre Festival. 

A lesson can be learned from everyone who bought tickets and even those who did not: do not trust everything posted on social media. The odds are not even the people posting it truly know what they are advertising.  

Super Bowl Halftime Show Controversy

by The Cowl Editor on January 31, 2019

Arts & Entertainment

Artists Protest In Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick 


by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff


 As Super Bowl LIII approaches, the only thing getting almost as much buzz as the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams is the National Football League (NFL)’s halftime show. The coveted slot is occupied by elite artists year after year, including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. The guaranteed exposure from performing on Super Bowl Sunday is unparalleled to any other opportunity that an artist can have throughout their career, with over 100 million Americans watching. In the past, artists have taken advantage of this publicity with out-of-the-box performances, leading to many memorable halftime show moments. Prince’s performance of “Purple Rain” during a downpour at Super Bowl XLI is certainly one that will not be forgotten. 

Even though the Super Bowl halftime show has been the holy grail of shows for artists in the past, it has recently lost its clout.  When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in America, and then stopped appearing on NFL rosters after doing so, the NFL lost the support of many artists. USA Today reported that Rihanna, Cardi B, and Jay Z all declined the NFL’s offer to perform at the Super Bowl this year in support of Kaepernick. 

The NFL waited as long as possible before announcing who would perform at the halftime show on Feb. 3, before revealing that it will be Maroon 5. Travis Scott later announced that he would be performing as well, but only after “the NFL made a donation to a social justice organization” according to USA Today. American rapper Big Boi,  one half of the Outkast duo and the only Atlanta native of the group,  will also perform alongside Scott and Maroon 5, rounding out the show. 

Concert still Adam Levine Maroon 5

Fans of Maroon 5 signed petitions attempting to stop them from performing, making it known that they did not want the California-based pop band to get mixed up in the controversy that is the Super Bowl halftime show this year. Nevertheless, the band will perform in front of the country this Sunday. They have many popular songs to choose from for the show, including hits like “Moves Like Jagger” and “Sugar.” The band has “the most No. 1 singles by a group in the 20-year history of the top-40 chart,” with nine hit singles occupying the number one spot at one point. The halftime show performers have had recent success as well, with Travis Scott being nominated for six Grammys, and Big Boi winning six Grammys as part of Outkast. 

The halftime show has fallen from its holy grail status, and artists are exercising their power in declining to perform. Despite the controversy, the show must go on. The NFL will need to develop a new relationship with the artists they want to perform at the Super Bowl. This is the beginning of a new chapter for the show, one in which the artists have the power. 

Cold Horror from Ashes in the Snow

by The Cowl Editor on January 24, 2019

Arts & Entertainment

Film Adaptation of Successful War Novel Falls Short

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Ashes in the Snow movie still

Sometimes the book is better than the movie. This past week the movie, Ashes in the Snow, premiered, based on the book, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Set in the Soviet Union during World War II, the novel is told from the perspective of a teenage Lithuanian girl named Lina. The story follows Lina, her brother Jonas, and their mother, Elena, after they are taken prisoner by soldiers for supposedly committing crimes against the Soviet Union. From then on, they live a life of uncertainty and fear as they are shuffled from one prison camp to the next in Siberia. 

While Between Shades of Gray is a young adult novel, the story of a family’s struggle to stay alive and stay together is an emotional read that people of all ages can enjoy. The book is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and has received international acclaim. The Washington Post declared, “Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.” The  Post’s review of the novel rings true, especially in the descriptions of life in Siberia which are so vivid that at times it is frightening to read. It is difficult not to get emotional while reading about Lina’s experience while in the prison camps, where she was surrounded by death, disease, and the cruelty of the Soviet soldiers in command of the camps. 

Throughout the book, Lina struggles with her hatred of those who keep her prisoner, especially coming to grips with the ignorance of the outside world and the injustice manifested in the innocent people who were either being worked to death or being shot by the Soviets. Lina channels her emotions through her drawings which help her express the horrors she experiences daily. These drawings also give her hope of alerting the world to what she and so many others endured. 

However, the movie, Ashes in the Snow, did not live up to the expectations set by the novel according to critics. Rotten Tomatoes continued the disappointed sentiments by giving the movie a 5.4 rating out of 10. 

The New York Times did seek out the positive in the movie when they commented on the “few powerful images.” The review cites an early scene where “Lina draws on a fogged window before seeing the headlights of approaching officers through the glass. Aboard the train to the first camp, Elena separates a grieving mother from the corpse of an infant that has died.” According to the review, these images caught the attention of viewers as the “sheer horror stands out from a largely undifferentiated slog.” While Between Shades of Gray proved to be more successful in its novel form, the heart-wrenching story of Lina and her family struggling to survive still made an impact on the big screen. 

Bruce Springsteen Performance Coming to Netflix

by The Cowl Editor on December 6, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

 Legend Makes Broadway Show Accessible

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

It is safe to say that Bruce Springsteen’s venture into the world of theater has been a success. His one man show Springsteen on Broadway arrived at the Walter Kerr Theatre on October 3, 2017, and will soon finish on December 15, 2018, following three extensions due to several sold out shows. However, this is not the end. Those who did not have a chance to catch the live show can stream it on Netflix the day after the finale. 

The show is loosely structured around Springsteen’s 2016 autobiography Born to Run and features 15 of his greatest hits from throughout his career. Rolling Stone gives a brief summary of the show, saying that Springsteen recounts “his childhood years, his search for a voice and his discovery of rock and roll as the sound of salvation.” On stage, Springsteen plays the guitar, harmonica, and piano to perform different renditions of America’s favorite hits. He even brings his wife, Patti Scialfa, on stage for a song occasionally. 

Bruce Springsteen Broadway performance

This past week, Netflix released a trailer for Springsteen on Broadway. In the trailer, Springsteen references the harsh yet loving voice of his father, and how it intermingled with the unwavering support of his mother throughout his life.

When describing his career, Springsteen says, “This is your life. I wanted to be able to celebrate and honor its beauty and I wanted to be able to be a critical voice when I thought that’s what the times called for.” Audiences will be able to gain insight into who the American icon is by taking a closer look into his life and his career. 

The three runs of sold out shows speak for themselves when considering his popularity among the masses and critical reviews that support  its success. Rolling Stone referred to the show as “an intimate triumph” as well as, “compelling and profound.” Moreover, the New York Times went so far as to say, “There may never have been anything as real and beautiful on Broadway.” The New Yorker described it as “a romantic and intimate spectacle.”

The show brought in millions for Springsteen. According to the New York Times, tickets cost $510 at face value and the show has grossed over $76 million during its three three-month long runs. 

Even more impressive is the sheer number of people who have spent the money to go see this show, which tops 151,419. This will also increase rapidly when millions of Netflix users are able to watch it. If the success of the show in theaters is any indication, then it is sure to be a hit when the special is released on Dec. 16.

Kesha Ends Tour: Reflects With Rainbow Documentary

by Kerry Torpey on November 15, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

Kesha Rainbow
3835-015 001

by Anne DeLello ’20

A&E Staff

As Kesha wrapped up her Rainbow tour this October, she reflected on how far she has come in recent years. After she produced the album in 2017, she spent the summer touring the United States and Australia with Macklemore. In the midst of this tour, Kesha produced a short film, titled Rainbow, about her experiences creating the album, and her own anxiety about returning to the stage. 

It is not a typical documentary-style film. Instead of Kesha speaking to the viewer or interviewer head-on, the movie shows scenes of her underwater, walking, or laying down as voiceovers narrate to the viewer. Among the more artistic scenes in the short film, there are scenes that show Kesha coming up with her new music, particularly the process of how she created the song “Rainbow.” Kesha chooses to feature her music throughout the video, playing songs such as, “Bastards,” “Rainbow,” and “Praying.” As she plays “Rainbow,” Kesha describes how she began making the album, and that, when she did so, she felt like a “new artist.” She goes on to say, “This is the album I’ve always dreamt of making.” She also credits her fans in her return to the stage, referring to them as being her motivation saying, “they stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself.” 

Not only does the film explore the process of making her album, but it also addresses the mindset that drove her to write it. She says, “When I wrote Rainbow, I was in a very dark place. I was alone, and I was scared.” Kesha explains to the audience that when she first started making Rainbow, she was in rehab recovering from a severe eating disorder and was only allowed access to a keyboard for one hour every day. Fast forward to the completion of the album, where Kesha is nominated for her first ever Grammy, and is asked to perform at the event. Though it was a source of anxiety for her, she gave a powerful and memorable performance of her song “Praying.” 

Fans are now asking what’s next for Kesha as she wraps up her tour within two months of releasing her short film. She was named to the Times 100 Most Influential People this past year, and is focusing on “happiness” as she moves forward. Kesha has been able to succeed in her recent ventures despite her ongoing lawsuit with Dr. Luke, and hopefully will continue to do so in the coming years as she continues to produce music. 

Critically Acclaimed Author Russell Banks Speaks at PC

by The Cowl Editor on November 8, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Photo Russel Banks

Russell Banks, a successful and award-winning American author, spoke to an audience of students and faculty at Providence College this past Wednesday about both his fiction writing and poetry. Banks was previously a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, Lost Memory of Skin. He was also the president of the International Parliament of Writers and is currently a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as The New York Writers Hall of Fame. Banks has written over a dozen novels and won the St. Lawrence prize for fiction during his career over the past thirty years.

A Massachusetts native, Banks began his career as a writer with the book Family Life in 1985 when he was 45 years old. Two of his more famous works, Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter were adapted movies. The Sweet Hereafter also won the International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. His most recent work is A Permanent Member of the Family, which was published in 2013.

Banks came to PC as the speaker for the third annual Jane Lunin Perel Poetry and Fiction Series. This event is in honor of Professor Emerita Jane Lunin Perel ’15 Hon, who arrived as a professor of poetry here in 1971. She is also the founder of the Women’s Studies Program. This series was created with the intent to “celebrate a life in which poetry and fiction synthesize the imagination with the Divine.”

Banks’ work focuses heavily on the drama of American life across his novels and short stories. In his introduction, Dr. Chard deNiord of the English department speaks to this and describes his work as being “profound in ways that few other American fiction writers have been able to emulate.” 

At the event on Nov. 7, Banks read two short stories. The first one, called “Cow-Cow,” is a short story written about a cow who has escaped from a farm. The speaker references the cow throughout as “cow-cow.” It is also referred to as the “protein” for the family in the story. As the speaker, Katie, and her husband Larry search for the cow, Bank showcases mainstream American unhappiness, while adding jokes into the story for good measure. 

The second short story, which Banks describes as being “a little more upbeat,” is about a man who happens to go to a bar one night and runs into an older woman, who was one of his past lovers. He tells the story in a fast-paced manner that allows the speaker within the story to come alive through Bank’s telling. 

Following his readings, Banks was asked about what it is like writing in today’s world since his past works have chronicled life in America from the 1980s up to the present. When describing his writing, Banks said that, “Much of the kind of writing I do now is without will, or any impulse behind it, it’s a momentum of over 50 years or so, that is not perpetual but keeps going nonetheless.” Banks went on to add, “I’m not trying to write about the world today, I’m trying to write about the human beings who live in it.” Moreover, when referencing the stories that he read moments before, he said, “The stories I read tonight were 10 and 20 years old, but as I read them, I feel as if they live today.” 

Overall, Banks focused on the fact that he is not as focused on expressing the world in his novels and short stories, but the humans who live in it, and he has clearly accomplished this feat in his writing.