I had the honor to take some wonderful words from a few of our African-American students on campus and transform them into pieces of art. Enjoy!
In remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. Week, Lee University’s Faculty Cultural Diversity Committee hosted “Telling to Live: Testimonies of African-American Students” on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. During this event, the campus heard varied stories from students as they have struggled with their identities.
His grandfather always told him to dress properly be true to himself and to carry himself with dignity. He always felt accepted by the white community but struggled with being told that he was not “black enough.” But, "the thing that has gotten me through is staying true to myself and knowing that my worth is in Christ"
In high school, a boy told her that they could never be more than friends because of her skin color and that later in high school, a different boy’s parent would not let him attend prom with her. She told those gathered that she was bitter for a long time, but now chooses not to be. “I will be enough for the guy who’s really meant for me.” 
His story of accepting who he is and having confidence in himself is a long one and still ongoing. “Be yourself and people will embrace you.” 
Growing up, she said she never felt beautiful and saw different women of race depicted in unattractive ways. She questioned God about her race and never truly felt secure. She said she soon realized her worth and is now able to unapologetically walk in her own beauty. "We're all worth something and we all have meaning"
before/after gif of my editing process

Tools used: Adobe Illustrator (image trace tool and text tool)
Photography by: Cody Lee Audlidge
Words by: Blake Bouza 
For Lee Clarion www.leeclarion.com