Exploring the Veil of Blackness is a creative project in the form of a podcast titled UKME America”. UKME America stands for Uwem mi Kederimbot America, which means “my life in the world in America”. It aims to explore the differences that divide individuals within the black community from a perspective of a First-Generation African American. It also illustrates how diverse the black community is. Drawing from my own experiences and research, this led me to a common theme centered around the following four questions: (a) what is it like to lose one’s identity; (b) where does this insecurity stem from; (c) how does society impact the way we view ourselves; and (d) how can we uplift ourselves. In my podcast, I interviewed individuals who identified as African Americans, First Generation African Americans, and Africans.
Everyone I interviewed told me their stories using historical, social, and cultural narratives. Overall, I want individuals to understand that there is fluidity behind the meaning of “black”, and the more individuals learn to embrace their differences, the more we can break down the barriers, put a united front, fight societal discrimination. I would like to thank my thesis director Dr. Neveser Köker and Second Committee Chair, Matthew Voorhees. I want to thank them for their guidance, motivation, patience, and for pushing and challenging me to reach new heights. I also would like thank my mom and Dr. Cynthia Patiño, for their constant encouragement and support. This would not have been possible without them.