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Photos by Nathaniel Thompson / Contributing Photographer  Story by Shorin Estell / Contributing Writer To be black and queer at a predominantly white institution, or PWI, is to feel like a violin in a marching band. To be black and queer at a PWI is to feel like a Dallas Cowboys fan sitting front row …

Photo by Pete Souza / White House official photo The presidency of Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, was something of a cultural phenomenon. Here was a Senator who defied the stereotypes set by an intolerant society. Here was a Harvard graduate who fought past the social constraints imposed upon African-American citizens. …

Photo by Boyd Photography Just a few short days ago, Kristen Perry claimed the crown of the 2017 Miss MTSU Pageant. A lifelong resident of Murfreesboro and a graduate of Middle Tennessee Christian School, Perry will soon receive scholarships, as well as the opportunity to compete in the state pageant which will be held June 21-24 …

Behind every tattoo is a story — a memory, a reason, a history or even a bad decision. With her blessing, Sidelines has decided to re-up Journalist in Residence Whitney Matheson’s weekly tattoo feature, Tattoosday.  The series ran on Pop Candy, a pop culture blog she ran for 15 years at USA Today. “Honestly, I …

Photos and story by Jeffrey Harrell/ Contributing writer  “Ding, ding,” the timer sounds, signaling the first batch of blueberry muffins are done. Chantell Kennedy-Shehan resets her timer for another batch. She has two more before she switches to cinnamon rolls. Her iPhone dings again, this time to tell her it’s 5:30 a.m., an hour before …

Elvis Karegeya sits outside the Boutwell Dramatic Arts building on MTSU's campus in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. (MTSU Sidelines/ Olivia Ladd)

Photo by Olivia Ladd / Lifestyles Editor Story by Helen Wilds / Contributing writer Moving is a hassle. Possessions are packed into bulging boxes, which are then loaded onto trailers full of other bulging boxes, each one labeled with its content. Plastic totes are filled to the brim. Backs ache at the strain. Yes, moving …