One of the many benefits of a college education is that it allows students the opportunity to search beyond their basic math and literature classes and explore topics they otherwise would not be exposed to.
Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia is offering a course that analyzes the importance of self-love for African Americans and the influence of societal pressures on just that. The course is called “The Power of Black Self-Love”. It is taught by Dr. Dianna M. Stewart and Dr. Donna Troka.
“The Power of Black Self-Love” includes teachings from two separate courses taught by the professors, “Black Love” (taught by Stewart) and “Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter” (taught by Troka). Topics discussed in the course include the use of Black Twitter and black social movements.
As reported on blavity.com, the students had to present final projects on a topic of their choice. Some used photography to tell their stories, others used video.
One student, by the name of River Bunkey, examined self-love in terms of black men. He touched on self-expression and how hair care is an important part of how black men exhibit self-love. Another student, Aiyanna Sanders used photography to showcase Black Girl Magic.
African American students make up 9.1% of Emory’s undergraduate population. It is a wonder, with a campus population made up of a majority of White and Asian students, who is going to enroll in this class?
“It’d be hard to get non-black students to enroll in a class like this. There are a lot of people who still get really uncomfortable talking about race,” explained Emory graduate student Brianna McDaniels. “Despite this though, I think it’s important to reach out to the larger student population at Emory. A lot of people don’t understand what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about, and I think this course could help to address that.”
This past semester, the class had a population consisting of an Afro-Latina, a White student, a Central American, and the majority being black students, as reported by campuslately.com.
Classes that step outside of the basic curriculum are necessary to help students look outside of themselves and look into the reality and experiences of others. Hopefully this course will continue to be offered on Emory’s campus and more and more students of diverse backgrounds will enroll.
You can see all of the student’s final projects here.