February 11th was a very influential day and marker of my academic career. I attended the Conference on African American and African Diasporic Cultures and Experience (CACE) held by the African American and African Diaspora Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) as a panelist.
It was interesting to see the different theories expressed in the same place. As an English major I was it was refreshing to be in the presence of more than just English majors and professors discussing theories and research. The panelists consisted of undergraduates, grads students and instructors from various departments. The audience was diverse also.
I spoke on Hauntings and Trauma of the African America community and I wanted to make sure I spoke on it not being just an African American problem but an issue for America. It is my belief that all American citizens suffer from this haunting in some form or another. I sat alongside two other panelist one was a film student pursuing her Doctorate and the other held her Doctorate in Earth and Environmental Sciences. The diversity of our backgrounds whether it was personal, professional and/or academic proves how we can all connect with one another for a common goal. Today the goal was to talk about the different facets of the haunting and trauma.
I’m glad to have had this opportunity because I was able to connect with other like-minded individuals. The audience also provided good insight and feedback on our theories. I was also able to explore other concepts and even received some advice on grad school and the department in which I wish to go in.
The night before was the first day of the panel. It began at 6pm. The 7 o’clock session consisted of a spoken word event titled the Poetry Café. That was the icing on the cake for me. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Oral history is very much a part of African American tradition and I believe it was the perfect ending to the evening.
Networking is one of my favorite things to do so overall I gained a lot from this experience and I’m very glad my professor insisted that I send in one of my papers last semester. I really feel like this is the beginning of a possible career as a public speaker. I enjoy having a platform to discuss certain issues and possible solutions. I am a believer and supporter of Anna Deavere Smiths’s theory of open conversations. This was only the beginning.