In higher education, you don’t always get the opportunity to meet too many authentic people who are just unabashedly themselves and its one of the many reasons why I have so much love for the Southern Association of College Student Affairs (SACSA). Because of a SACSA conference years ago, I met a small group of people that are simply amazing . One of the first friends I ever made in the field of higher education was Tekita Bankhead (shout out to my SACSA fam!) who is never scared to represent the ‘Sip and Delta! Our #MelaninatedExcellence spotlight goes to someone that I respect for all of their hardwork and jewels they’ve constantly given to me over the years, both personally and professionally. The support that I receive from this wonderful spirit is real and I appreciate everything that she’s done for me. Today, we recognize Ms. Tekita Bankhead, a woman of grace and fortitude!
What Does Blackness Mean to Me in 2017?
When I first received this prompt, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. My Blackness is so encompassing that I can’t really pull out a specific facet of my Blackness, especially in the context of the year of the Orange Disaster. What I can say is that as I enter into 2017, I have never been so comfortable celebrating my Blackness. My Blackness is everything that is “right” about me and the courage to challenge anything in the world that says otherwise. My life’s passion is helping Black people become their optimal, whole selves. Much of our lives, we have internalized messages that say that we are not enough–not smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, and a bunch of other lies. I am on a journey to help my people understand that their Blackness, alone, has made them more than enough. Our Blackness has powers that are incomprehensible by most of the world and are unable to be duplicated, no matter how often many try. Our Blackness is hope, resilience, restoration, creativity, innovation, style, flavor, beauty, versatility, genius, support, uplift, but most importantly, love.