As Above, So Below by Diamonique Clark

On the island of Puerto Rico, there are two staple beverages- coffee and beer. The latter being much of the reason I can’t really remember the entire day in question. However, I can recall reasoning with others that despite the lack of rain, that particular night would be our best shot at finding bioluminescent fungi because the moon was almost new.

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Moriah Ray
Blackness by Miles Davis

I am black. Since my undergraduate collegiate career at Lehigh University, the idea of “blackness” was never a debate to me. If you had melanin in your skin, and came from the African diaspora, whether you were African, African-American, Afro-Carribean, Afro-Latina/Latino, Afro-European, or the original Asiatic Blackman, you were considered black, to me. 

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Maya Rodriguez
Because You are Beautiful and Black Like Me: Reflections on Cuba, Race and Adolescence – by Amberly Ellis

Memory may omit things people say to you, but emotions tied to words spoken are hardly ever forgotten. For weeks I have been searching for a piece of paper with the name of a little girl who I cannot get out of my mind. If I could stretch my memory to recall the name she revealed to me, then I would feel so much closer to this little girl—a little girl who changed the entire direction of my research in Cuba...

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Maya Rodriguez
Self- Realization in The Motherland by Isaiah Brickus

My trip to Botswana was a journey of self-realization; understanding my identity in a global and cultural context. When I went to Botswana I was leaving one of the most blatant racially tense conditions Black America has faced in a number of years. I felt guilty at times, but I ultimately felt a great relief from what I felt was a productive and insightful brand of escapism. I have grown to believe an escape is necessary at times...

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Maya Rodriguez