Honestly it feels like I have the best of both worlds. I am a first generation American, raised by West African immigrant parents. This has given me a diversified cultural experience and world view. On top of that I attended the number one historically black college, Spelman. I feel that my experiences have allowed me to hear the various narratives of the Black experience in America which has caused me to empathize with all perspectives of Blackness.
Going to an HBCU people always asked me, "how do you feel going to a school with all Black people?" Some critics would even go as far as to tell me that I needed a more "diverse" experience in order to be prepared for the "Real World". But going to an HBCU taught me that there are various expressions of Blackness and that is what makes being Black so beautiful. It allowed me to learn more about my history and gave me the freedom to express myself as a Black woman with no regrets. HBCU's provide a safe space for us to do internal as well as external reflection on racism and the silently loud pain it causes us. HBCU's cultivate a place to heal. If I didn't go to an HBCU I don't know if I would have ever found that safe space...
I can now be in a room full of White people and be confident to voice Black issues without feeling awkward. I also have been able to fall deeper in love with how Africans and African Americans are the same people and how the cultural practices that we do in Africa are deeply embedded in African American culture. You can take us as slaves to another land to live but you cannot take away the land that lives in us.
This outfit represents that experience. An experience I call, the best of both worlds.