Year One KSU
Published in

Year One KSU

Representation: An important factor for a sense of belonging

Growing up, I was not able to experience cultural/ethnic representation as much as I should’ve. It has been this weird fluctuation from cultural dislike to fetishization. I grew up in an era where it was acceptable to make jokes depicting black women (especially when they’re dark-skinned) and African people in a negative manner. There were jokes about how everyone in Africa is always starving, Ebola, and enough Lion King questions to go around. [As well as western society’s depiction and their media constructing poverty porn and shaping white savior guilt into a positive light.] Now in 2019, that has matured into an obsession with African clothing, traditions, and the overall culture. While my life experience shaped me from a person who wanted to Americanize themselves into a person who is rightfully proud of their identity, obviously, I don’t believe this is an experience you should go through your entire life.

In my head, my imagination of the opportunities in colleges of representation was vast and infinite. As I’ve joined seven clubs, I can say I’m currently satisfied and feel supported. I’ve picked clubs that I believe represents parts of my identity or my future career.

Since I’ve joined organizations, I believe I’ve found my placement at Kennesaw State and know what I’m going to strive for in the improvement of the college itself.

I intend to start my own organization to accommodate and support first-generation students who are going into fields their families/themselves are unfamiliar with. The mission and vision of my organization would be to give resources and create a safe space for them to talk about their problems with people who understand.

Constructing that space for yourselves and others similar to you can have an effect on numerous students including yourself.



A magazine about the first-year experience written by Kennesaw State University students, edited by students and faculty, and shared with the world.

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