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ego death

Let it question you, let it transform you, and let it break you.

Be reborn in our ninth issue, Ego Death.

Much like water, Charcoal has changed its current with the flow of our ever-growing community’s needs for the past five years. With a new team of over a hundred staff members, ambition has been our fuel in redefining the stories we aim to tell. That ambition led us to Climax, a narrative of our loudest and fullest selves. We soaked in the pleasures of self-indulgence and found what it meant to truly reach our peak. In tandem with ambition, curiosity has been the foundation of Charcoal’s ingenuity throughout this year, so it was only natural for us to be curious and question ourselves. What makes us who we are? As we each explored our individual heightened ego in Climax, we felt the need to search beyond and look within. We needed our ego to die.

Ego Death cracks open our truths. It expands on its own definition, the degradation of the human ego, by questioning the intangibility of such an experience. This issue acts as a capsule of case studies exploring how every human being can experience and achieve an ego death. By relinquishing the importance that ego provides, you can allow yourself to experience the emotions that come with approaching a theoretical death. There is fear, there is confusion, there is anger, yet above all else there is love. A deep, extreme, empathetic love for people whose lives are beyond yours.


If you allow Ego Death to do anything, let it question you, let it transform you, and let it break you. It’s when we crack ourselves open that we can fully express a deeper sense of love for people beyond our own experiences. Grant yourself the ability to put your ego aside from time to time and see what you discover in yourself and in others. It may surprise you how dissimilar, yet familiar, your world can become when you meet it with love.

Our egos are meant to die and be reborn again. So let yourself be reborn in our 9th issue, Ego Death.


We can’t wait to see who you become.


Here’s to five more years,

Charcoal Magazine


Chike Asuzu

Shamayam Sullivan

Director of Operations

Jessica Zheng

Managing Editor

Raksha Khetan

Creative Directors

Gauri Nema

Manasvita Maddi

Marketing Director

Irvin Alonzo

Web Director

Stella Ikuzwe

Art Director

Gladys Vargas

Executive Assistant

Anne Joseph

Director of Photography

Melanie Menkiti



Isabelle Yap

Jennifer Perez

Kaito Au

Ramsey Khalifeh

Sam Li

Shelby Barthelemy

Shi Qing Elizabeth Natalie Ng Zoe Tseng


Melanie Menkiti

Jaden Duenas

Lauren Richards

Make-Up Artists

Atiyyah Mayaleeke

Gahyun Kim

Hikima Lukomwa

Nyayian Biel



Immanuella Gabriel

Monfaye Nabine

Rhea Bandaru

Vibhuti Amin


Adora Mehala

Alefiyah Gandhi

Allyson Imbacuan

Atiyyah Mayaleeke

Baderha Bujiriri

Becks Loo

Ea’sus Jiménez y West

Frehiwot Bayuh

Gabriela Garcia-Mendoza

Hannah Dedji

Hikima Lukomwa

Imayah Hawkins

Imandi Herath

Jaden Bridges

Jayda Bonnick

Julian X

Kim Buyannemekh

Maria Nino-Suastegui

Milena Campos

Miyu Nakajima

Monica Laryea

Mya Ison

Mya Turner

Naomi Boye

Nicolas Zuluaga

Patrick Udeh


Reanna Valencia

Rhea Bandaru

Safiya Umrani

Sanjana Krishnamurthy

Symone Pettis

Toni-Marie Gomes

Zakiah Tcheifa


Senior Editor

Mya Turner

Print Editorial Staff Writers

Annette Yan

Blanca Isabella

Camille Ofulue

Esther Besson

Isabella Abraham

Lauren Richards

Monica Laryea

Neha Chinwalla

Sophie Lyu

Suhera Nuru

Print Editorial Copy Editors

Kiara Bennett

Frehiwot Bayuh

Shaylon Walker

Stacey Dubreus

Marketing Manager

Julian X



Angel Cisneros

Angie Zeng

Hikima Lukomwa

Jacqueline Santoyo

Kat Quach

Nicole Agwu

Skye Patton


Marketing Researcher Alefiyah Gandhi

Rachel Lin


Operations Manager

Atiyyah Mayaleeke


Production Assistants Brianna Anderson

Isabella Abraham

Kasandra Kue-Rojas

Maria Nino-Suastegui

Neha Chinwalla

Puturen Sungti Amer

Rafeeat Bishi

Torin Harris

Emmy Ma

Taylor Walker


Web Managers

Brianna Altman

Skye Patton


Web Designers

Megan Balani

Jewel Han


Digital Content Managers Farrah Ogelle

Leah McFarlance

Miles Brewster

Skye Patton


Online Editorial Staff Writers

Brittany Hoskins

Brianna Altman

Emmanuel Messele

Sara Diaz


Online Editorial Copy Editors Dinah Sher Gongora

Jewel Han

Juliana Sena

Design Manager

Drew Demeterio


Graphic Designers

Abby Gross

Alya Zouaoui

Annika Pyo

Asjha Malcolm

Derek Ewers

Gabriela Garcia-Mendoza Hannah Ramos

Joshua Diamond

Julie Lee

Kat Quach

Kimberly Zhu

Rayne Schulman

Thuy-An Nguyen



Romil Pandey

Anaya Barmecha


Thank you to the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground for their continued support.


Charcoal Magazine issue #9 is dedicated to Shari Tumandao. Thank you for being Charcoal’s biggest fan for these past 5 years. We will always be yours.

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