What have you been up to since graduation? Please inform us about:
a) any postgraduate education (where, what field, what degree[s] received, etc.)
After graduating from DePaul, I joined Teach For America and became a high school special education reading teacher. I taught 9th grade reading for two years and during this time I obtained M.S in Special Education. I currently teach 9th-grade social studies and will be beginning my Ph.D. in History at UIC in fall 2019.
What are your future goals/plans?
I plan to enroll in graduate school where I will research the agency of African American women during reconstruction/post-reconstruction. After this, I plan to become a professor of history. As an educator, I am also interested in curriculum development, particularly so-cial studies curriculum in predominately African American schools.
What drew you to ABD in the first place?
I was always passionate about African American/African history. In high school, the only outlet was through history and literature courses and this outlet was small and often from the perspective of whites. In college, I thought my experience would be the same. I was not only pleased but ecstatic to discover that there was a program dedicated to the study of the African diaspora.
What skills, knowledge, etc. did you gain from your ABD course of study?
As an ABD major, I took courses on the African American experience, African history, and Afro-Latino culture. These courses provided me with the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to examine the diversity within the diaspora while also analyzing the diaspora as a whole. I studied Black thought, Black revolutions, Black women, Black culture, and so much more which gave me a perspective of the world that I was able to bring into the history classes I took. This was important given that as a History major I of-ten found the voices, experiences, and thoughts of the African diaspora to be absent. Double majoring in History and ABD provided me with critical reasoning and analytical skills, research experience, taught me how to construct and support an argument in a clear and persuasive manner, and how to analyze the intersectionalities of history.
Is there anything you would like prospective ABD minors/majors to know about how your experience with African and Black Diaspora Studies? This could be in specific or even in very broad ways.
Know that ABD will offer a great deal to your academic experience, however it will offer so much more to your personal development. ABD was home for me. It was where I found my voice. It was where I could go and see myself and see the possibilities of what I could become. ABD made me feel proud of my identity when there were moments I felt like the world was crushing, silencing and killing people all over the world that look like me. ABD gave me hope. It is my wish that as an ABD minor/major or if you just take a few classes that ABD is the same for you and so much more.
Any other nuggets of wisdom for our current students about undergraduate or postgrad-uate life?
It is ok if you do not have it all figured out. It is also ok if you think you have it figured out and life takes a different turn.
Remember that Frederick Douglass said, “power concedes nothing without a de-mand”. You cannot demand something you do not know you need./p>