Courage.

was my ending word to describe my entire experience at the United Black Students Conference this past weekend. Not only is this one of my favorite words in the English dictionary, it is an act that I truly feel transcends beauty. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty inspires and beauty is Powerful.

My week has been ridiculous. I’ve been pulling in long 14+hour days filled with projects, work, assignments, exams, the whole shebang. Amidst all this hoopla, I was asked to work this weekend filming as a videographer for the UBSR conference at my university. To be honest, I was way too busy to even contemplate what to expect from the weekend to come. It was a pleasant and beautiful surprise.

First of all, let’s talk about UBSR. Clubs day. King, who so happens to be black, had heard of a black students club at our school and wanted to look for their booth. I came along for the ride and listened to him converse with some of the representatives of the student group. All of a sudden, one deezed up, grilled up, football player of a man says to me, “You should join!” I look at him and say, “Me?! Really? Am I allowed?” Another guy steps in and says, “Yeah! Come to our meet-n-greet. You don’t have to be black to join.” Here I am, all froshed out and excited to meet new people at my new school, and these two fine black men are asking me to come join the United Black Students of Ryerson?! They must toooottaallly think I’m cute. And well… I love black boys. Chop, chop, chop, knaw mean?!?! I’m in.

From there, I met so many wonderful people, one of which was the president for this organization. I remember at a poetry event, it was the third time that I saw him, and I noticed something that was very unique about this individual. He exuded a courage that is so very rare and hard to come by. The ability for someone to allow themselves to be vulnerable and open to a large group of people is something that is extremely admirable in my books. I came up to him that night, looked him in the eyes, and told him he was a beautiful human. I did not even realize the gravity of that statement. Since I’ve met him, I’ve come to learn that he is the type of person who will support you when you don’t even know he’s doing it. By him asking me to cover the conference, I didn’t even realize that not only was he wanting to support my business and artistry, he wanted me to be part of something even greater.

Young, Black, and Gifted. Leaders and future leaders coming together and talking about real issues. It goes beyond what you’d typically assume: segregation, oppression, ignorance, racism. It was really about unity, support, education, motivation and developing the generations that will follow our footsteps. I, among a range of 30-50 people, was the only non-black person to be present at this conference. Not once did I even notice it. It was such a culturally enriching experience that I never want to forget. I feel privileged and humbled to be asked to have been there. It is incredible to feel so welcomed and a part of a community that is not my own. It feels even more amazing to be part of a legacy that will be lived on in the years to come.

I am infinitely thankful to the UBSR team. Fitz, Femi, Diandra, Zee, Eric, Chris, Shantae (sp?), Samuel, etc. I’m so glad to have met all of you. UBSR has a special place in my heart for life. To everyone I met at the conference, from the west (AB, whattup! Right near my hometown, BC.) to MTL, London, Windsor, Laurier, Scotia, ATL, and of course T.O… you are all so beautiful and I am in complete adoration of how strong, courageous and daring you all are. Real talks. Keep in touch. Lastly, Jerome, know that what transpired over the last three days all began from a vision that you dared to manifest. You are a visionary, a dreamer, and you inspire everyone around you. You are a beautiful human.

A video will be up within the next few weeks. Be patient with me as it is exam period and I am so, so, so backed up with footage that must be cut.

I leave you now with a few still shots from my footage shot over the weekend. The above picture summarizes what I’m sure everyone felt about this conference:

Beauty transcends. Love courageously. Lovehard.

I’ve spoken my piece.

Peace.

1 Comment »

  1. Lami said,

    11/24/2009 @ 10:47 pm

    Beautifulllllll

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