"I was most influenced by having black professors, as this allowed me to feel comfortable in the classroom"

Where are you from?

Atlanta, Georgia


Why did you choose to major in Africana Studies?

I majored in Africana Studies because I have always been interested in learning about black history. Before college, my teachers never centered black voices despite black people’s contributions to the world.


What was your favorite class and why?

I enjoyed all my Africana courses, but if I had to highlight one course, I would choose Professor Aching’s Underground Railroad Seminar. I loved this class because I finally had the opportunity to learn about black people’s experiences during slavery. In addition, this class helped me to recognize how misinformed I was about the Underground Railroad. Another course that I appreciated was Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s class, Africans and African Americans in Literature. In this class, I learned why there was tension between the two communities, and it ultimately inspired my thesis.


Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

I was most influenced by having black professors, as this allowed me to feel comfortable in the classroom. I could express myself without fear of being judged because I felt understood by both my professors and classmates. In addition, it was empowering to see black people in positions of authority and expertise. Further, I appreciated how my professors highlighted black literature, art, poetry, and film, as learning about black history from black perspectives was so important. 


What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

My Arts & Sciences education improved my critical thinking, research, and writing skills. 


What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I am proud that I took up space in the classroom by asking questions driven by my curiosity. Also, I am proud of taking my knowledge from Africana Studies into other spaces, such as the Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP). In IDP, I co-facilitated a class where we empowered students to use dialogue to form connections with one another and to fight against systems of inequity.


What are your plans for next year?

Next year, I will prepare for the LSAT and plan to attend law school in the fall of 2024. 

More news

View all news
Student walks on Arts Quad in fall