May
12

That’s All Folks

May 5, 2016

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to say that my thesis has been completed and defended! I received Highest Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies for the project, and I am so honored and humbled to have been able to conduct this research at all! It’s been so rewarding to engage in this kind of scholarship due to the kind of integration it allowed me to foster in my life: my interests in psychology, Africana Studies, and creative writing all found a home and centrality in this work that I never would have thought possible before.

In this research psychology and Africana Studies research combined to explore socially-just mental health practices and anti-racist research methodologies, as this project explored institutional racism and marginalization as pathogen, centralized race and anti-Black racism, and emphasized Black American student narratives as the impetus and data, the beginning and the end of the research. It is also important to note that the influence of poetry is important in this project, as to me, being a Black American artist of any sort is to do the work of sharing narratives to free both myself and others. Thus my academic poetry serves as a labor for Black liberation both inside academic settings out.

Finally, my Africana Studies courses over the past few years have begged of me questions regarding what it means to be Black in America and, at its core, this research served as a method by which I as a Black American female college student at a PWI could begin to answer this question, and to allow other students to explore and grapple with what their Black identity means, both at WM and in their lives more generally.

All in all, I am so pleased with the work I was able to do with this project, as well as the many places the lessons I learned from it will take me! Since I plan to continue studying issues of discrimination and health in the African American community, particularly in the classroom, I hope to complete a master’s thesis using the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from executing this project.