I am Nigerian-American. Both of my parents came to this country as immigrants, and I’ve been immersed in the culture ever since. After being exposed to the American school system for so long, that identity lost focus. In fact, the society in general began to reshape, not only what I thought was acceptable, but what I thought was beautiful. Dark skin? Nappy hair? Full lips? That never gained as much exposure as the light skin, straight-haired, thin-lipped boys and girls. I felt lost for quite awhile. I kept trying to find where I fit in. This is, until I started school at the University of Arizona. Here, I was able to find a culture, a group, a place I could fit in comfortably. A place I was able to be myself and not have to worry about being or feeling “different”. A place I could essentially come to realize that I am beautiful. My distinct features, an exhibition of my uniqueness, a cry of joy to my ancestral genetics, a beauty that only I possess. This university helped me acknowledge who I am with full force, and for that, I am ever grateful….
I, am beautiful.
Beautiful, powerful moment.
After each BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE empowerment workshop on a college campus, we create space for community dialogue to reflect on the shared experience and to offer up lessons learned as a result of being invited into our unique approach of exploring and affirming self identity.
Watch as this University of Arizona student takes one of the most important steps in her journey to proclaim her self identity and inspires an entire room of her peers to do the same. In one minute she reclaims 18 years of her life
50 SHADES OF BLACK™ is a signature project of BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE™: a grassroots empowerment movement affirming and celebrating the beauty found in every human being. http://www.beautifulineveryshade.com