Emory Offers Students A Class On Black Self-Love

Every video I see of a little black boy or little black crying because they want to be excepted but have experienced rejection based on the color of their skin breaks my heart. Navigating through America as a Black woman or man is extremely difficult. But it starts in our youth as we are all seeking understanding, acceptance and trying to define ourselves for ourselves. Well, one college has decided to offer a course breaking down the power of self-love.

Emory University in Atlanta, GA has a course that teaches students about self-love. The Course is called “The Power of Black Self-Love” and is taught by Dr. Dianne M. Stewart, Associate professor, of Religion and African American Studies and Dr. Donna Troka, associate director at the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence.

The idea for the new sidecar course came to Troka as she was teaching “Resisting Racism” last semester.

“We were talking about the Black Lives Matter movement — what it means to assert your own humanity, to love oneself as a black person in today’s society — when a student began telling me about Dianne’s ‘Black Love’ class,” Troka recalls.

When Troka reached out to suggest co-teaching “The Power of Black Self-Love,” Stewart was open to the idea of academic cross-pollination.

They quickly realized that students from both of their classes were interested in a deeper exploration of the topic, too. Among those enrolled in the sidecar course, one student is Afro-Latina, one is white, one is from Central America (El Salvador) and seven are black.

Students Final Research Presentations

  • Aiyanna Sanders, a sophomore in political science and African American studies, presented a photo exhibit that explored what Black Girl Magic looks like on the Emory campus.

Gretel Nabeta, a junior in interdisciplinary studies and film who is from Uganda, drew from interviews with Emory students from West and East Africa to examine how African cultures influence and promote self-love and the empowerment of women.

Nellie Hernandez, a junior in media studies and African American studies, created a video about the power of social media in the lives of black youth to bring awareness to diversity issues and create community.

You can check out the rest of the projects at Scholarblog Emory

  • River Bunkley, a junior majoring in African American studies and political science, presented a personal perspective on black masculinity, self-love and the cultural importance of hair care.
  • Amanda Obando, a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary studies, presented research on the sense of sisterhood and support created through Ngambika, an all-female step dance organization for first-year students at Emory.
  • Shameya Pennell, a senior majoring in religion and anthropology, examined the music of three sociopolitical movements in black American history to analyze how self-love and affirmation are expressed.
  • Julia Feldman, a sophomore majoring in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, drew from the poetry, prose and biomythography of black feminist poet Audre Lorde to create a short play that explores her life, love and commitment to justice.
  • Lynette Dixon, a senior majoring in women’s, gender and sexuality studies and political science, kept a journal of personal reflection on self-love and examined the theme of suicide indicates a failure of self-love or the supreme act of self-love.
  • Morgan Mitchell, a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary studies, explored ways in which she learned and is learning to love herself through self-care.

We need this type of teaching and reflection in today’s time. We hope more HBCU’s and PWI’s will expand their teachings and address issues facing their current student body, until then great work Emory University!!!!!!!! #blackpower #selflove



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