“I Love My HBCU”

“I Love My HBCU”

Every time I speak up in class, I find myself on stage, performing a voice that is not mine, but one that will land upon the white ears of the professor and the non-Black students in the audience. I switch back to my own voice. But now I can feel eyes: fixated on my dialect, my outfit, my freeform locs.

So many things may bring us to Northwestern. Highly-ranked degree programs, student orgs, financial aid. No matter what it is, we have learned that the Black collegiate experience necessitates intentionally creating our own space. When I find myself in a room—against all odds—with only Black people, we unabashedly display our full expressions of ourselves: our speech, our fashion, our hair, our gender, our ethnicity. And someone jokes “I love my HBCU.”

This photoshoot imagines that. It is the first day of school. There is no stage and there are no spectators. No professors policing the classroom. There are just Black students. We express ourselves however we want. We embrace any archetype we want or reject them altogether.

shot and edited by Mariam Cosmos and Onyekaorise Chigbogwu
directed by Josephine White
models— Sarah Abara, Melissa Kusi-Amponsah, Courtlyn Brown, Gabby Desch-Obi, Alec Easter, Haben Fessehazion, Jem Feuilladieu, Freda Ganiyu, Ashanti Hatchett, Ugomma Korie, Nzube Nwafo, Autymn Williams, Raven Williams,

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