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
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca: Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast – by Andre Little

Puerto Viejo is a small town located on Costa Rica’s Talamanca coast, near the Caribbean Sea. The recommendation to visitcame from a former coworker, who said that the scenery and atmosphere reminded her of her family’s home in Sierra Leone. The earliest inhabitants of this coastal town were the Bribri and Cabecar Native Americans. I was fortunate enough to visit a family of the descendants of the Bribri and Cabecar tribes during my stay...

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Maya Rodriguez