Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.
Throughout my life, information on Blackness and Africa was taught to me by people who are neither Black nor African, and who espoused a racist, anti-immigration perspective at its worst, and a speculative, patronizing perspective at best. What followed is that there was much I had to learn and unlearn about being Black, African, and American because over the course of my education, I met sympathy where I hoped to find empathy. In becoming a professor, I strive to become the empathetic resource for students who I myself was once seeking.
In recent years, it has become tragically transparent that the field of African Art History does not encourage continental and diasporic Africans to become scholars. While African Art History does not belong exclusively to us, it is ours. Descendents of the continent should be encouraged to be our own experts and I hope to become both that and an advocate. My parents have always hoped that my siblings and I will one day make our homecoming to Liberia. Attending graduate school is a crucial part of the journey to begin mine.
Nectar from Pennsylvania
University of Texas at Austin