Photo courtesy of Aiyanna Sanders
A university in Atlanta is giving the students the opportunity to learn about the positive impact of black care and self-love.
This year, Emory University offered a class called “The Power of Black Self-Love,” in which students discussed and studied subjects on everything from Black Lives Matter and its relationship with social media, to black social media’s undeniable impact and influence over the past several years.
For their final projects the students were assigned with presenting different examples of black self-love, which ranged from showing a photo gallery dedicated to Black Girl Magic, to exercising self-care through pampering and other activities.
The 10 student, one hour course, was created by instructors Dianne Stewart and Donna Troka, and was inspired by two other courses the professors teach — “Black Love” and “Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter” — respectively.
“As I tell my students, a lot of people in my field who work on black religious thought don’t give a lot of attention to love,” Stewart said in an interview for the school’s website. “I thought that at a time when the humanities at many universities are being required to prove their worth, to return to an examination of love would be an important exercise — particularly love and the African American experience.”
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Stewart added. “It’s been so rewarding, such a powerful experience. Rich conversations have emerged, and I really learned a lot about where students are and how much critical, revolutionary conversation is happening within social media around the topic of Black self-love.”
“These are some amazingly sharp students who have engaged in difficult — and sometimes vulnerable — conversations,” Troka said. “Many have had to learn to negotiate environments that were sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly against them, and are now thinking about it theoretically, culturally and personally.”