No longer a ‘boring-ham’

UAB students create a platform to highlight the hot topics of city

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Paul Franklin and Darnecia Walker discuss relevant topics, tying them in to Birmingham.

Allison Brown
CityLifestyle Reporter

With UAB achieving a record enrollment for the third consecutive year, with 21,923 students and the city having a metro population of 1.1 million, Birmingham grows a demand for entertainment. Two UAB students, Darnecia Walker, senior in communication management and Paul Franklin, co-founder of Boringham and a senior in public relations, use social media to highlight what Birmingham has to offer while discussing social issues. 

“We realized there’s so much to do in Birmingham, but as we were growing up here people used to call it Boringham,”  Franklin said.

 Boringham is an organization that provides a platform for various topics, from social commentary to ‘adulting,’ all relating back to Birmingham.  

“Our goal is to bring awareness to all the great things in Birmingham,” Franklin said. “We want to be the people you come to that know what to do in Birmingham. We also want to talk about important topics like inequality or things that are affecting people of our age in our city, just social issues of that sort.” 

According to a study by World Population Review from December 2018, the age demographic ranging from 18 to 24 makes up 30 percent and is the largest portion of Birmingham’s population. Walker, co-founder and senior in communication management, said that a lot of people here think they have to go to other cities for entertainment. 

“It’s all here,” Walker said. “There’s so many venues, there’s so many good food spots, there’s so many local vendors. There’s so many rappers, artists, creatives that nobody knows about.”

 Mateo Zarate, local producer, was featured on Boringham’s Instagram and said that support is an important part of growing an entertainment community. Zarate said he grew up in Birmingham, then later moved to South America and Spain. His work has now brought him back to the area.“Birmingham is a great place to be,” Zarate said.

“A lot of people don’t see it that way, but that’s why me and Boringham understand each other. I’ve been a lot of places, but coming back to Birmingham, the potential here is growing so quick and it’s best to be a part of it and grow with it.” 

One of the first features Boringham did was for Amy George, who makes her own jewelry and who was born and raised in the city. “I’ve gotten several orders and people have reached out to me since being featured on their page,” George said.

 Since their first post in January, Boringham has had a positive reception from the community, according to Walker. Jon (JonJon) Westbrook, founder of Indie Frames, contacted Boringham to get them to host Indie Live, a show featuring local artists. “I knew Frank Paul and Darnecia already and knew they had been promoting it, and I like the message that Birmingham has fun things to do,” Westbrook said.

“People who say that there’s nothing to do here are the ones not doing anything, and I like that Boringham is finding people who are out doing stuff and highlighting them.” 

After receiving an influx of potential collaborators, Franklin said that the response they have gotten has been one of their biggest moments. “It’s hard, too, for us,” Walker said.

“We’re both college kids, we both have jobs and social lives. I just appreciate everyone being so patient with us, because it is hard—doing all of this, making it a dominant hobby for ourselves and not getting anything from it.” The organization doesn’t have a studio or office to record. Their videos are filmed in Walker’s living room.   

Franklin said that moving forward, they want to continue doing videos and start doing podcasts as well. In the future, they want to continue to focus on topics such as healthcare reforms and consent while expanding their influence. For Boringham, this means staying on top of new events and issues. “I want to be a staple in Birmingham, and to progress into a full-blown thing where we are influencers,” Franklin said.

“Where not only people in Birmingham care about us, but all over the USA.”  

For more information, find Boringham on YouTube or Instagram at Boringham_tv.

About - Student Media

UAB Student Media is the home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s student-run media outlets. They include Kaleidoscope , an award-winning weekly newspaper; BlazeRadio, our 24-hour online radio station live on the TuneIn app; Aura, a much-heralded literary arts magazine; and UABTV, original, web-based video programming. UAB students operate all media. The articles, posts, newscasts and opinions are solely those of its student writers, producers, editors, deejays, etc. and do not reflect that of the university, its administrators or the Student Media advisors.


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