Reflecting on My Blackness

The goal of Embracing My Blackness was to explore how Black women embrace their culture and how they find community at predominantly white institutions. To do this, I interviewed three Black women undergraduate students about their experiences at university, their backgrounds and how their upbringings have affected their experiences at college. I also captured photographs with these students in order to give viewers a more well-rounded perspective of my subjects.

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La’Nae Plaxico Explores How Self-Knowledge Creates Community

Part 3 of the Embracing My Blackness series. 

La’Nae Plaxico is a third-year psychology major at The Ohio State University. Her love of dance blossomed while she grew up in Chicago. Plaxico continues to cultivate this passion at Ohio State in her dance groups where she’s connected with people from all over the nation and has come to learn herself more than ever. We discuss the importance of having friends from the same and different races while at predominantly White institutions and how self-knowledge is the only way to build community.

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A Reassuring Stroll through the Short North with Faith Gamble

Part 2 of the Embracing My Blackness series. 

The second person in the “Embracing My Blackness” series is Faith Gamble. Faith is a third-year student studying New Media and Communication Technology at Ohio State. Though she hails from Cincinnati, she shared that she began to view her Blackness through a different lens while in Columbus, Ohio than she did when in her hometown. We also discuss how she went from wishing she was Caucasian as a child to finding pride in her Blackness in young adulthood.

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Mariah McDaniel on Not Putting Your Confidence in Other People’s Hands

Part 1 of the Embracing My Blackness series. 

The premiere subject in “Embracing My Blackness” is Mariah McDaniel, a third-year Physics major at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. McDaniels hails from the south side of Chicago and has found community at Ball State University through her love for One Direction and dedication to loving herself, even if she goes unnoticed to her university’s majority. We discuss how being a Black woman in science- related fields can be difficult, but McDaniels shows no signs of giving up any time soon.

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Embracing My Blackness: The Story Behind the Series

I’ve always been black. I’ve always known it, too. But I haven’t always known how being Black would make my day-to-day and lifelong experiences a lot harder.

I grew up on the Southside of Chicago. When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand why Chicago was so segregated and why I lived in one of the lesser-kept parts of the city. I didn’t know that most American cities weren’t as segregated as mine. I also didn’t understand how much of a DSC_2890luxury it was to live in a community full of people who were Black, like me. Though television shows and magazines were damaging media sources for me due to non-representation of girls of color, I could still walk outside of my home every day and not directly deal with non-black people treating me negatively because of my ethnicity. But that changed when I arrived at The Ohio State University.

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