The most frequently asked question I get is, “so what are you?”
But it’s much more than appearing half white, and half black. My identity traces back to where my family originates: Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Africa, and Trinidad. Navigating this world as a person of “mixed-race” is fascinating to say the least. However, understanding where I belong in this world, continues to be difficult. Identity crises are very common among people of mixed race. Throughout my life I felt as though I never fit in fully with my white friends or black friends.
The shouts of derogatory names could be heard from the rooftops. Nazi Swastikas have been drawn on the whiteboards. Racist and homophobic slurs have been engraved onto the communal bathroom walls. Signs that proclaimed: “Black Lives Matter,” were stripped down and torn to pieces.
At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, many can attest that hate has been a trend on campus for years.
According to the UMass Amherst bias-incident report page, there have been approximately 42 reported hate-incited incidents on campus over the past two years. Recently, two have occurred since the start of the new academic year.
Being a Residential Assistant (RA) or a Peer Mentor (PM) at UMass Amherst is a true honor. In our roles as the Residential Life staff who support students living on campus, we have built meaningful relationships with dozens of residents and have fostered various living-learning communities. Thanks to our status as unionized workers, we are able to collectively bargain for dignified working conditions and wages.
Recently, Victor Woolridge, a member and former Chair of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, wrote an article calling upon America to acknowledge its history of anti-black racism and take concrete steps to achieve racial justice. We, a group of UMass students advocating for racial justice, wish to comment on Woolridge’s message. One of the few Black members of the Board of Trustees, Woolridge is, to our knowledge, the only member of the Board to publicly write about the need for systemic change following the death of George Floyd. Overall, we commend Trustee Woolridge for acknowledging the need for systemic change for racial justice–yet, that he is the only member of UMass’ Board of Trustees to publicly do so indicates that the UMass system itself has much work to do.
After a series of vague emails and unclear decisions from the UMass administration these past two weeks, thousands of students have voiced their anger for the university’s decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is hair? Is it just a follicle on the top of one’s head? Or is it a piece of you that evokes certain feelings? The natural hair journey is a unique experience for anyone who goes through it. For some it’s a straightforward journey and for others there’s a lot to unpack.
This project allowed 11 people to relive and share their natural hair journeys-from their struggles to their triumphs. Below are the last three people for the natural hair stories series.
One might suspect that the hair that grows from someone’s scalp is their responsibility. At a certain age, they’re the ones who are to care for it. For Umass student Lora-Kenie Deronville, her independence in this area was only recent. Until the age of 18, her mother was the one to care for and style Deronville’s hair.(Click the image above to read the full story)
Yung Baby Tate is an impressive rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her newest album, GIRLS (released on Feb. 5), celebrates the different angles of her own womanhood and self in an empowering, fun, and expressive way. In her self-produced album, Yung Baby Tate’s sound is unique and bouncy, matching her vibrant and impeccable fashion style. The album features other talented rappers and singers including Bbymutha, Killumanti, Mulatto, Kari Faux, and Baby Rose.