Being Bold, Beautiful, Black at Barnard

Being Bold, Beautiful, Black at Barnard

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In honor of Black History Month and the many celebrations on campus such as BOSS’ (Barnard’s Organization of Soul Sisters) Black Love Week, we have gathered perspectives from a few students on what being Black at Barnard means to them. Each of them responded to the question, “What does being Black at Barnard mean to you?” Keep reading to hear their various perspectives and make sure to follow @cubhm and @barnardboss on Instagram to keep up with all of the events happening on campus this month. Title credits go to the annual initiative started by Phanesia Pharel called Bold, Beautiful, Black at Barnard.

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Solace Mensah-Narh (2021)-

Being Black at Barnard means actively keeping in memory the past Black alum at Barnard who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Black femmes on this campus can be empowered and create a space for themselves. It is walking around proud of what you represent without allowing yourself to be put in a box. It is being an active advocate and ally. And lastly, it is about embracing your beauty and everything you bring onto the campus.

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Denise Mantey (2021)-

Being a Black student at Barnard means experiencing constant difference. It’s definitely not easy—and often times isn’t all that fun—but one thing I do appreciate about being Black at Barnard that I realized I’ve taken for granted is the family us Black students have created for ourselves based on our shared histories and struggles. The Black people (both staff/faculty and students) at Barnard have taught, nurtured, protected, and entertained me in so many ways, and all the love I’ve been fed makes me especially excited to send it back out to the community. Being Black at Barnard has taught me to stand proudly in my Blackness in all settings—especially at a predominately white institution like Barnard. At the end of the day, knowing that I have a strong foundation of people who understand, validate, and prioritize my experience means the world to me. I don’t know where I’d be without my family. <3

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Maat Bates (2021)-

My name is Maat Bates and I’m currently a sophomore at Barnard studying American studies with a concentration in Media and Pop Culture. I am a part of a handful of organizations on campus, but one that has significantly shaped my experience is BOSS. BOSS stands for Barnard’s Organization of Soul Sisters. BOSS is an organization that gives Black women and gender nonconforming folk the space to express themselves. Being a part of BOSS has made my Black experience at Barnard a wonderful one. For me being Black at Barnard is an experience of triumph, joy, and excitement.

Thank you for reading and if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to reach out to BOSS by emailing them at boss@barnard.edu or on their Instagram @barnardboss.

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